11/14/2005

Brokeback Mountain-today's gay cinema

An Americablog post a few days ago got me thinking about gay cinema (or lack thereof).

Americablog covered the potential "liberal Hollywood" flack that will inevitably come from the release of "Brokeback Mountain," a cutting edge gay western about two men struggling to fight their love for each other. Considering the two men live in 1963 Wyoming, the circumstances of their struggle shouldn't be surprising. They have occasional rendevous in the mountains while keeping their wives and families back home. Perhaps not much has changed in the reddest of red states or just in the most conservative of gay people (yes, they do exist and I've known a few, even today).

Can this really be "liberal Hollywood" or a dose of reality about the lives gay people have had to lead to survive?

The gay community has given flack too over the movie saying it shows us as self-hating. However, I suggest that it shows what the world does to us. When secrecy is forced on us, we become torn between our heart and our head, between natural instinct and safety. Could it not be that when the hegemonic social powers-that-be enforce demands of secrecy over us that we find we have no choice but to succumb to the social order, yet our human nature to claim control over our lives pushes us to live life and live it as fully as possible, even within social prisons?

Look at the movie, "Aimee & Jaguar", a true story of a Jewish woman and the wife of a Nazi officer who fell in love during WWII. Despite their short time together and the enforced social codes of the Nazis against all minorities, they managed to claim a piece of joy even while hiding their life together. Of course, nothing was ever hidden from the Nazis and their life together was cut short by the camps.

It was a heartbreaking story much like "Brokeback Mountain" will be, but it's proof of our lives that manage to survive. They tell the truth of how we have had to live in order to survive in this world.

Forget "Priscilla, Queen of the Dessert" or some other silly movie! These are the real stories and the real lives of gay people.

You don't know us because you've never really bothered to talk WITH us. You've just spent your life generalizing and talking ABOUT us and TO us, but never WITH us.

Get educated!

4 Comments:

At 17:31, Blogger dorsano said...

This is a very well written and thoughtful piece, Callie.

 
At 06:22, Blogger RedStateExile said...

Thanks, Dorsano! My partner has been researching lesbians in film for a doctoral class. She has found that those that had big media frenzy or brohaha had to do with lesbians that were violent or murderous. In fact, there has been a steady dosage of big box office films with misleading portrayals of lesbians (Bound and Monster are two examples).

It's like with Will & Grace on TV or having Ellen at least having a talk show (even if she never talks about her personal life). We are so HUNGRY for any representation that we let this slide.

But "Brokeback Mountain" and "Aimee & Jaguar" are as close to real life gay experiences as you can probably get based on their historical period.

 
At 21:40, Blogger Tonito Bandito said...

Callie, I cannot wait for this movie to win the Best Picture Oscar and watch the conservative's heads' explode!

 
At 08:22, Blogger RedStateExile said...

That would be sweet, huh, Tonito??

There's also been a lot of talk about how this will end Jake's career because the teenyboppers will be put off by him playing gay.

What these idiots don't realize is that today's kids don't care!

Besides, lots of actors and actresses have played gay characters and it hasn't hurt their careers at all.

Except for a few snickering idiots in the theatre, who are probably secretly turned on by two hot guys getting it on, a majority of moviegoers don't decide an actor's worth by whether they play straight or gay roles.

 

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