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Queer director Gregg Araki remembers the sex scene that shocked and angered audiences, 30 years on

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The Living End, a wild, fearless, homoerotic road trip movie that, today, is remembered as one of the earliest works to come out of the ’90s’ New Queer Cinema movement.With a minuscule budget of $20,000, Araki’s film was an indie passion project in the truest sense—there were no permits, no one in the cast or crew was paid, and the police were called on the production on multiple occasions.“It was this whole crazy adventure and we had nothing to lose,” Araki remembers in a new anniversary interview with i-D. “We just kind of went for it.

There was no self-censorship involved and, in that way, it was creatively reckless and free.”The Living End is the story of shy film critic Jon (Craig Gilmore) and a hunky drifter Luke (Mike Dytri)—both HIV positive—who meet by chance when the latter kills a homophobic cop, setting them off on a breathless, cross-California adventure as they outrun the law.For Araki, the film was “almost like a journal” that captured the spirit of queer youth and a reckless abandon during the height of the AIDS epidemic.

As he tells i-D: “My sensibility is in a different place—obviously, you grow up—but I appreciate that the film captures that period of my life.

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