The film will have closed captions (English subtitles especially for D/deaf or hard of hearing attendees) and the event will have British Sign Language interpretation. 



Director: Arthur J Bressan, Jr. 1985. USA. 79 minutes. Rating: 18. 

In anticipation of World AIDS Day.

Released in the early years of the AIDS epidemic, Buddies was the first feature film to address a crisis that many were reluctant to discuss. Directed by Arthur J Bressan, Jr., an audacious filmmaker whose work included gay pornography, documentary and fiction, the drama tells the story of a young man named David who becomes a voluntary ‘buddy’ for an AIDS patient named Robert.

As the two men spend more time together, a profound friendship develops and the pair soon grow to depend on each other more than they would ever have anticipated.  Bressan died two years after the film’s release from AIDS-related illnesses, but the impact of his film endures to this day.

We have a limited amount of tickets available for free for those who cannot afford the regular ticket price. Please email tickets@eyeswideopencinema.co.uk to reserve these. 


Short film: Frank’s Cock

Director: Mike Hoolboom. 1994. Canada. 8 minutes.

Mike Hoolboom, one of Canada's most prolific experimental filmmakers, uses multiple screens as a backdrop to a man, facing the camera, telling the story of a relationship severed by AIDS. The visuals are hypnotic - here, the stark beauty of an individual, shot in black and white, is juxtaposed with a stream of impressionistic colour images. In a beautifully modulated performance, Callum Rennie plays a character whose lover, Frank, is dying. The emotional tenor of Rennie's monologue builds delicately but steadily, as the details of his relationship with Frank unfold

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Guest Speaker: Gary Needham

Gary Needham is a Senior Lecturer in Film and Media at the University of Liverpool. He is a scholar of queer cinema and has written extensively on the work of Andy Warhol and, most recently, on Midnight Cowboy and underground cinema.

Gary joins Eyes Wide Open Cinema programmer Jacob Engelberg to discuss the life and work of Arthur J. Bressan, Jr.

This screening has been made possible by the BFI's Film Audience Network, with the support of The National Lottery.