February 03, 2006

Who, Me? Queer?

It really is worth wading through this very long article about whether it makes sense to think about Brokeback Mountain as some kind of cultural watershed. Amid the Oscar hoopla about the year of the queer, Larry Gross points out the persistence of "Hollywood's devotion to the public heterosexuality of its stars."

Lots of great quotes, like from the Guardian film critic who observes that "the actors in these films are always at pains to stress the incredible trauma involved in having to pretend to kiss a person of the same sex in front of cameras." You also have Jake Gyllenhaal telling Details that "my character could have been played by a woman and it would have made just as much sense." Boo, I disagree.

1 comment:

prince eric said...

i also appreciated the quote in this article from Chinua Achebe and the comparison of critics who laud a movie's ability to "transcend" queer subject matter and be "universal" to colonialist literary criticism:

"...the Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe decried those Western critics who evaluate African literature on the basis of whether it overcomes parochialism and achieves universality: 'It would never occur to them to doubt the universality of their own literature. In the nature of things, the work of a Western writer is automatically informed by universality. It is only others who must strive to achieve it.'"

"ymutrg" -- sound of annoyance uttered when heteronormative movie critics say dumb stuff while trying to show how "tolerant" they are.