Arthur J. Bressan, director
Passing Strangers; 1975
Arthur J. Bressan’s Passing Strangers (1975) straddles the line between gay pornography and art film. This award-winning film features both hardcore sex scenes and elements of tenderness, such as kissing, holding hands, and romantic courting, that often were omitted from more graphic gay pornographic films. Through its two main characters, Tom and Robert, the film also explores various cultural, social, and personal challenges associated with being gay. In keeping with its more romantic and artistic tone, the poster for the film downplays its sexual content by simply displaying two men embracing in a close-up. In order to encourage audience reception as an erotic prestige piece, the poster also celebrates Passing Strangers’ being chosen as the first prize winner at the San Francisco Museum Erotic Art Film Festival, and it adds on six blurbs from critics attesting to the film’s quality.