17 December 2005

Brokeback Bravery

For your consideration, "It's Very Brave of Them":
When I look at Brokeback Mountain all I see is fear. In the story, I see the fear of two obviously gay people too afraid to actually commit to their love, so they run off and marry women and live a life unfulfilled out of fear.

I see the fear in two major stars of actually admitting they played gay, as they downplay in the press their characters' sexuality.

I see the fear of movie studios too afraid to make the movie with Gus Van Sant years ago.

I see the fear of countless Hollywood actors who wouldn’t take the parts.

I see the fear of a still-homophobic corporate press, which grabs onto the stars' sexuality instead of the script's quality. A press that gives these stars an outlet to gauge their "comfort level" with playing these roles. A press that throws around words like bravery and courage when referring to pampered stars playing well-scripted roles.

I see the fear of theater owners, who already are hesitant to book this film in smaller markets.

I see the fear in filmmakers like Lee who make "gay" movies without the "gay," meaning gay people are deluged with images of heterosexual lovemaking everywhere, but should a gay couple show it on-screen—oh, no, we must hide the sex.

I see the fear in those in Wyoming, who have already spoken out saying there's just no such thing as gay cowboys. (Well, hon, 12 men, 100 head of cattle, three months away from civilization...somebody was getting some.)

I see the fear of the critics, who say things like New York Daily News critic Jack Mathews did when he predicted that it may be "too much for red-state audiences, but it gives the liberal-leaning Academy a great chance to stick its thumb in conservatives' eyes."
(via Abigail Nussbaum)

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