The grandfather of gay porn
The grandfather of gay porn
Peter de Rome meets Lord Harrison in Harlem
Peter de Rome meets Lord Harrison in Harlem

“There’s little doubt that Peter inspired many artists still working today and that he’s been unfairly neglected in the history of erotic cinema” (Run Riot)

“An excellent documentary… Reid manages to capture the essence of a celebrated, cheeky, alluringly articulate, and unapologetic dirty old man that is as engrossing and entertaining as it is insightful” (So So Gay)

“De Rome talks charmingly, engagingly, and wittily about his career making erotic films” (Polari)

“It’s a fascinating, always entertaining look at the life of the remarkably chipper 87-year old director and his archives of unfinished films. It’s excellent stuff, and a feature length version is now planned” (Strange Things Are Happening)


Fragments: The Incomplete Films of Peter de Rome

UK, 2012. Pathétique Films/British Film Institute
Executive Producer: Sam Dunn
Produced by David McGillivray
Directed, filmed and edited by Ethan Reid.
music: Jonny Trunk. assoc. prod: Edward Main. technical adviser: Douglas Weir. technical asst: Tim Everett. research asst: Upekha Bandaranayake. periodical consultants: Sarah Currant, Carolyne Bevan. asst. to Mr de Rome: Richard D’Attile. with: Peter de Rome, Maitland McDonagh, Leee Black Childers, Carol Payne, Lord Harrison.
Colour. 43 mins. Shot in New York City, November 10-16, 2011. Inserts and end credits shot in London, January 3, 2012.

“This was my opportunity to make amends to Peter de Rome, whom I nearly killed on Abracadaver!  The British Film Institute had done a deal for the UK DVD release of The Erotic Films of Peter de Rome, and, knowing of my interest, asked me to write something for the accompanying booklet. I told them I’d rather make a film. The trouble was that another film-maker, Carol Payne, had already started her own documentary about Peter’s life. Although it seemed as though it wasn’t going to be completed any time soon, Peter didn’t want to tread on Carol’s toes, and so he suggested that my film should be about the films he hadn’t managed to finish. There was certainly enough material here for a short and I agreed.

The plan was for me to shoot it with my friend Edward Main, but at the last minute he had to do a job for the BBC and recommended his friend Ethan Reid, who’d previously only done music videos. The BFI paid for us to go to New York to interview Peter. On the first day we filmed him in his apartment looking through his trunk of 8mm films and projecting them on his wall. Some of them hadn’t been shown for more than 40 years. On the second day we shot Peter walking around New York, then reading from his autobiography. On the Saturday we did the stuff outside Tiffany’s, where Peter used to work, and in Central Park. On the Sunday we took Peter to Harlem and that’s where Lord Harrison came up to us asking us to buy his CD. I said I’d buy it if we could interview him! The next day we shot Peter outside his apartment, where he’d shot his last film Brown Study. I didn’t have an ending but then I had the idea of the dinner party and I set it up at my friend Maitland’s apartment on Tuesday night. I didn’t expect the other guests to turn up but they did. Finally we filmed some stuff on the cable car to Roosevelt Island but I don’t think it was used.

Ethan cut about eight hours of footage down to 30 minutes and we showed a rough cut, with lots of black spacing, to the BFI just before Christmas. To my surprise the general opinion was that it wasn’t long enough, which is why the 43 minute version premiered at the London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival on 30th March, 2012. It sold out even before tickets went on sale to the general public and two extra screenings were arranged on 17th and 19th May. The film’s now playing LGBT festivals around the world.”

David McGillivray, Ethan Reid and Peter de Rome on location
David McGillivray, Ethan Reid and Peter de Rome on location