Disco Fever is a fake making-of film documenting the preparation and the shooting of a series pilot about Gaëtan Dugas, the AIDS Patient Zero. A furious partygoer and early victim of the epidemic (1984), the young Canadian steward with a thousand lovers was made responsible for the contamination of hundreds of Americans. He remains today one of the founding gay myths of contemporary America and the anti-hero of a tragedy that still influences our time. He was only recently rehabilitated by a documentary, released in 2019.
I am particularly interested in the question of memory and the influence that contemporary myths have on the construction of our identities, as well as the way these identities are constantly reconfigured by mass media and new technologies. By following the actor in charge of the role in the quest for his character, the film will cross real images, archives, found footage, phone images, and 3D, to document the ghosts of NYC, a city that was the epicenter of both Disco and AIDS.
How is this memory still active in the bodies and representations of American gay men today, in a post-pandemic context in which Grindr participated in the massive spreading of the practice of chem sex? How does the specter of AIDS still loom over the enjoyment and liberation of our queer bodies?