Saturday, January 07, 2006

Gay Propaganda??

A very dear, very old friend disagrees with my December 26th review of "Brokeback Mountain," which she refers to as (ha ha) "Bareback Mounthim."
She says she found it slow, the Ennis Del Mar character maddeningly passive, and Michelle Williams as his wife pouty and irritating.

Okay, that's cool. Everyone sees films differently.

But then she says that 2-3 days after having seen the flick, she agrees with those who call it gay propaganda.

I have e-mailed her to ask her to explain, because I'm rather floored by this assessment, which I would not expect to be coming from a liberal, open-minded, unhomophobic pal.

I asked my friend this, and let me ask you, too:

Do you think that gay people will ever be able to have cinematic love stories that aren't about AIDS, that aren't de-sexed (i.e., fade to black before we see anything explicit), and that don't conform to a bunch of hetero stereotypes (which, in the case of "BBM," would have had required either Jack Twist or Ennis Del Mar to be fairly limp-wristed) without being accused of being gay propaganda?

People, the way our culture allows or disallows stories of people's real lives to be told is a justice issue.

When the majority population dictates the terms of the depictions of real life, we not only suffer for it artistically, we suffer for it morally. This is, perhaps, why Hollywood has seemed so spiritually bankrupt to me for so many years: the story they keep telling again and again reinscribes the Accepted Truth that macho men run the world, that love is a matter between beautiful men and beautiful (younger) women, and that the most interesting people on the planet are sociopathic torturer/murderers.

In fact, to answer my friend most distinctly, I would say, "No, I don't think that 'Brokeback Mountain' is gay propaganda. I think that the majority of films produced in Hollywood are white heterosexual male propaganda."


Blogger Jamie Goodwin said...

You hit the nail right on the head. Most people actually have less issues with fem gay men than they do with gay men who for al intents and purposes are able to blend in.

Take Will and Grace for example, a show I love btw, everyone loves the silly, dingy, fem, Jack. Normal Ohio, another great show about an average guy living in an average town who just happened to be gay (and it was also a great show) just didn't peak anyones interest.

While everyone enjoys a bit of camp and sillyness, and i do not find those types of characters to be any less "real life" than the more average ones. It's time that some people look life in the eye and realize that there are more a whole lot gay men out there who are in most ways just like you.

Blogger LaReinaCobre said...

Because Brokeback Mountain does not question the validity or sincerity of the relationship between Ennis and Jack, it is considered propoganda.

People don't realize just how conditioned they have been.

Blogger Tricycle Blog said...

Clearly, Brokeback Mountain is gay propoganda. [spoilers ahead]

I mean, I know it made me want to rush out and have confusing, fear-filled affairs that necessitate deceiving my family, and end with me being beaten to death and my loved ones having to lie about it all.

If this is gay propoganda, then the alleged "homosexual agenda" folks need better publicists. Sheesh.

Maybe it was human propoganda, advancing the insideous idea that all human beings are multi-dimensional and have actual emotions.


Blogger Kim said...

You tell 'em, Peacebang.
No, it wasn't gay propaganda, it was a sweet sad tragic love story. Tragic means one or more of the main characters is heading inevitably toward a bad end through the facts of his own character or the facts of the world around him. and this movie qualifies.
Can't you just see Ennis feeling guilty the rest of his life for foregoing a full-time relationship for fear of what might happen, and then it happens anyway, so why did he have to forego it?
anyway, the whole movie was worth the scene of Ennis with Jack's parents. Jack's mother (who was the actress?) stole the show.

Blogger Chalicechick said...

Jack's mother was played by Roberta Maxwell.

I haven't seen the movie, but I'd say that your friend made up such a nickname says it all, PB.


Blogger Kim said...

Thanks CC.
I hope you get to see it soon.

Blogger PeaceBang said...

She didn't make that up, CC -- she saw it in a magazine or something. And I have to say that I went to see it with two gay friends and we were cracking stuff like that all the way to the theatre, so I don't think that really does "say it all." I rather think it's about how people are conditioned, as Hafhida Sofia suggests.


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