New Black Films has teamed up with BBC Storyville to produce THE ICE KING – a documentary about a lost cultural icon, a story of art, sport, sexuality, and rebellion.
Including incredible unseen footage of some of John Curry’s most remarkable performances and with access to his letters, archive interviews, and interviews with his family, friends and collaborators, this is a portrait of the man who turned ice-skating from a dated sport into an exalted art form. Watch any figure skating and it falls into two possible camps: before and after John Curry. From what was a macho, technical sport whose judges punished deviation blossomed – through John Curry’s stubborn beauty – ice-dancing. This was no Holiday on Ice, but a new artistic medium.
After winning gold at the Winter Olympics for a rebelliously balletic routine, Curry saw the world’s stages sheeted with ice. Audiences and reviewers alike were enthralled by his genius. But Curry’s story is about more than skating. On the night of the final, Curry became the first openly gay Olympian at a time when homosexuality was barely legal. From bullying and prejudice, to relief in the gay underworld, to his untimely death from AIDS, Curry’s story dovetails with the experiences of a generation. Tortured by demons, Curry was forever on the run. Never owning a home, he lived on the favours of those who loved him. The only place he found true freedom was the ice. This is the story of a man whose body was a battleground. From love affairs, to violence in sex clubs, to its ‘unmanly’ elegance on the ice, every act was rebellion. John Curry was no activist, but an artist expressing his authentic self – yet in a world where his existence was taboo, his life was unavoidably political.
New Black Films are one of the leading producers of high-end sports documentary and drama in the world, and have been trading since 2010 in the UK. During this period, they have received international acclaim for their productions which include One Night in Turin, The Battle of the Sexes (now a major motion picture with Fox), Pantani: The Accidental Death of a Cyclist, Shooting for Socrates and Building Jerusalem among many others. Their award-winning content has been sold to distributors and broadcasters in over 50 countries including BBC, Netflix, HBO, PBS, Discovery, RTE, Canal+ and many others.