Though not much remembered today, Winter Kept Us Warm was the first gay-themed Canadian feature film, and the first Canadian movie to attract international attention when it was screened at the Cannes Film Festival in 1965. Written, directed and produced by 22-year-old University of Toronto student David Secter, it explores the relationship between two college students (played by John Labow and Henry Tarvainen). Notes the CLGA (Canadian Lesbian & Gay Archives), “While their bond is not explicitly sexual, the subtext that the two are ‘more than friends’ was clear to audiences and reviewers at the time… Given that homosexuality was still an offense under Canada’s Criminal Code until 1969, the film’s relative frankness is all the more significant.” (via SissyDude)
The two scenes below don’t have much in the way of context or narrative arc but sure are fun as little verité slices of ’60s life. Like walking into a time machine. People just looked different then, didn’t they? I could watch this stuff all day.
Says IMDB: “The film’s gay subtext was carefully coded by Secter, who wrote the film based on his own experience falling in love with a male fellow student but feared that a more explicitly gay film would not attract an audience.”