Gregg Araki (famous filmmaker with fetish?)

So despite being a queer cinephile, I’m embarassed to say that until recently I hadn’t seen any of the films of Gregg Araki, one of the most notable voices of the New Queer Cinema movement of the 90s. But for pride month I tried to remedy that and watched five of his films: The Living End (1992), The Teen Apocalypse Trilogy (Totally Fucked Up (1993) The Doom Generation (1995), Nowhere (1997)), and Mysterious Skin (2004).

And I’m not going to act like this was a shocking revelation, since I had read about this in non-fetish spaces before, but his work featuers a notable motif of characters burping. Like, it happens at least once in every one of these films. I’m not so much interested in offering titles up for people to clip these moments to get off to, as I am in asking the larger question, is Gregg Araki one of us?

Burping in Araki’s work is often in a pretty eroticized context, most notably in The Doom Generation where the male leads’ burping feels like an extension of the underlying homoertocism between the characters. But the pure repition of it feels notable since few filmmakers I can think of would have five of their most promient films featurin burping to the extent that it’s something normie critics and audience members make note of. If I’m remembering correctly, it happens once in The Living End and Totally Fucked up and twice in Mysterious Skin, but like four times in The Doom Generation and Nowhere.

Mysterious Skin is maybe the most direct and complicated instance of fetishization and I want to tread carefully on the topic and is also why this is clearly in the “discussions” category. If you don’t know the film, it’s about child sexual assault and it’s amazing but it’s also really heavy, and early on in the film the child predator character is seducing a young boy and trying to get him to let his guard down by offering him junk food, taking silly pictures, and recording his voice. But while hes’ recording the boy’s voice he asks the boy to drink some of his soda and belch into the mic. Is this the most direct eructophilic character in media? I mean, this isn’t “good representation” of our community, but it’s weird to see a pretty popular, much discussed movie where a character asks another to burp in a sexualized context.

I haven’t seen any discussion of Araki’s work here on the forums, not in reference to any of the individual films or to his work as a whole. I guess I’m just curious if any of y’all know of his work and have thoughts on his burping motif and possible eructophilia and also whether Mysterious Skin is “representation” of our community.


Here’s a quote where an interviewer asked him about it but he mostly kind of deflects the question and denies any signifcance. Make of it what you will.

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I’ve always wondered this. The Doom Generation is my favorite movie! I think maybe he sees the underlying sexuality in burping. It’s transgressive and taboo, and people do it. Whether you have the fetish or not burping is meaningful. People use it as a way to be intimate, or assert dominance. Friends do it and couples do it. I think Gregg sees that burping is sort of artistic. There’s art in a beautiful woman burping. There’s art in a beautiful man burping. There’s art in a person becoming confident and burping. There’s art in people growing into their bodies, owning their messy sides, owning their burping. There’s art in friends being comfortable to burp around eachother, in couples being intimate enough to burp, to love eachother’s burps because they love them. This all exists whether you have the fetish or not. Gregg explores sexuality and bodies and freedom and burping fits in perfectly.


Do you have any clips from The Doom Generation or any of the other burp scenes? (not the child one obviously)

That’s a really fascinating observation and I really can only imagine there’s SOME element of fetishization when a filmmaker decides to include a burp scene in several of their films. Every choice is intentional, and if you keep coming back to the burps, there’s gotta be a deeper connection.

I mean, I could comp the clips for you, or you could go experience some amazing cinema for yourself.

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There is a burp also in “Splendor”: it’s not very sexy in itself but it is from an extremely hot Matt Keeslar. I think the way he looks in this film is very close to perfection: hair, eyes, mouth, chin, body and attitude just make me always very horny. The film is not particularly memorable, but the scene when he has sex with the main female character in the public toilet is among the sexiest scenes ever.

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I looked up Doom Generation and skimmed through it and found a couple of the burps. I’m not into super gorey stuff so seeing the guy get shot in the face in the scene before the burp was a little off putting :sweat_smile:

Interesting stuff though!

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I knew nothing about this, but was completely intrigued and went down a rabbit hole last night. I wonder that about a lot of people who put burps in tv or movies. I think about the animaniacs burping video or Wacko. They must of been a part of this fetish…

With that being said, I would love to see the compiled burps though :sweat_smile:

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I remember this movie from when I was like still pretty young. I didn’t really get it back then but I always remembered the burps. However, after rewatching it last night, I can only say, they were better in my memory and seemed kinda fake, actually. Sad. But it’s still interesting to hear that this is some kind of recurring theme.