Monday, April 17, 2006

Gay Movies

OK - I have to ask: why are the majority of gay and lesbian flicks so crap?

I bring to mind, most memorably (although I have DESPERATELY tried to forget) "Claire of the Moon", which has to be by far THE MOST horrendous lesbian movie I have seen so far. Over-long and self-indulgent, not even the obligatory sex-scene (which came - no pun - in the last 10 minutes of the movie) was worth the torture of watching this film. My cats could have done a better acting job and would have skipped over the ENDLESS diatribes on gay life and gay rights and what makes a lesbian a lesbian... YAWN...

In my pursuit of the perfect lesbian flick (yeah -no pun, you get the picture) I have discovered that most of the films are out there not to tell a story, but to push ideals.

I am not knocking the idea of film changing people's views of lesbians, bisexuals, gay men and transexuals in any way, I only ask that when the writers and directors decide to do this that they follow a few simple rules:

1. Write something with a compelling and believable story line

2. Make sure that the people hired for the parts are actually capable of acting

3. The scriptwriter creates compelling and believable dialogue

4. The director has actually directed before and knows how to create a compelling and believable film

I do realise that LGBT film making isn't topical enough for mainstream players, although it's getting there. I have to confess that the ones I have seen and enjoyed are the ones that have obviously had a large enough budget to employ actors with names we recognise.

That said, I have listed my all time GOOD gay (admitedly I haven't seen too many gay male films) and lesbian films and TV series so far:

Bound

If These Walls Could Talk Two

Fingersmith

Tipping the Velvet

Sugar Rush

Boys Don't Cry

Brokeback Mountain

What makes these worth watching? Characters that you fall in love with, stories that are gripping and productions that are top-notch.

Gay and lesbian characters are becoming more visible in numerous TV series. We are 'people'. Taken to the extreme we have "The L Word" (I haven't seen yet) and "Will and Grace".

I have also noticed that lesbian celebrities (Ellen de Generes, Portia Di Rossi, Rosie O' Donnell...) are by far the more visible. Gone are the days when it was just good ole Martina, Melissa and kd that we all knew as lady-lovers.

But here is a strange Hollywood paradox: while it now seems to be popular to be lesbian (or at least have had a lesbian past/affair), you don't get to see too many lesbians in mainstream movies. Conversely, it is still taboo for a male actor to be 'out' yet gay male characters are frequently portrayed on screen (albeit in a very stereotypical manner.)

I am not suggesting that we don't exist simply because Hollywood says so. But come on - there has to be film out there with real Lezzers, portraying real lesbian situations.... no? Anyone? No?

Pah.... I'll write one myself.

7 comments:

  1. If you write it, I'll go see it!

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  2. Now here I agree with you - apart from a couple of good classics (Brokeback Mountain, The Sum of Us, Priscilla, ...), there is not much to write home about. Movies like Philadelphia that exploit sterotypes and create others that just freak me out, and even television like Queer as Folk and Will and Grace is full of generalisations. There was one movie that I loved about two young boys who fall in love in the UK - anybody remember the name?

    Also - some of the more subtle gay characters are the ones I like - like the way Tenessee Williams portrayed his characters in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and A Streetcar Named Desire.

    I will be very excited to see your script - just lay off the sterotypes and generalisations :-).

    PS: If you search IMDB for "Gay Interest" you get over 3000 movies :-).

    PPS: Thanks for visiting my blog over on the other side ;-).

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  3. The movie Gav is talking about is "Beautiful Thing" - one of the most amazing beautiful movies EVER made (gay or straight)! SEE IT!!!

    Although they're quite 'arty', "When Night Is Falling" and "Go Fish" are quite cool as lesbian films go... and "All Over Me" is ok - a bit slow, but Leisha Hailey is beyond cute in it!

    And as for great boy gay films, "The Broken Hearts Club" is right up there!

    I know there are others but they escape me for now.

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  4. I liked "The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love". That was sweet little romance, I thought.

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  5. Oh, and I'm with Kat. I'll see any movie you write, Tanya. :)

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  6. Dori is correct - it was Beautiful Thing :-). Thanks - and I also locved the Broken Hearts Club. By the way - if you live in ZA (sorry Tanya) - Wednesdays have become "Pink Wednesdays" as of today at Cinema Nouveau. More info at http://www.oia.co.za. I will feed back on tonight movie - Dorian Blues - no particular coincidence Dori :-).

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  7. Hey Tanya

    Great to see your blog!

    I agree with you re the crap films, but if Brokeback is anything to go by, then maybe we are about to see a change?

    If you ever want to see a good low budget gay film, I would recommend a film called 'Latter Days'
    When I saw it... I wept! it was as if I was watching my own life played back to me, up until the age of 30!

    Anyway, I agree we should get together soon to chant and also to have a good old chin wag!

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