Monday, December 19, 2005

Adam Mars-Jones on them gay cowboys

A really funny and thoughtful piece, I think. Respond! Respond!



it was a good read. But i'm wondering about BBM getting called on things that aren't its fault -- (i.e. that a straight woman wrote it and a straight man was the one to finally shepherd it onto screens. Other people did try.)

There is no shortage of gay films made by gay men and women. Many of them are very very bad... or at least too tunnel visioned on GAY (caps intended) to present anything like the breadth of Brokeback Mountain (imho, one of the ways in which the film beautifully overachieves is the fine details in the peripheral lives, which Ang Lee is often skilled at --which end of reflecting back on the films center to make the whole thing just even that much finer).

If we want gay films as good as Ang Lee's we need directors as good as Ang Lee. Not saying we don't have any --Almodovar and Haynes spring immediately to mind.

But it's an interesting notion that you need to be something to understand something. I don't agree with it at all but it's an discussion worthy pov.

tim r said...

I think he's aiming to respond more to the misleading hype around BBM than to diss the movie itself, which he concedes is really quite good, but I broadly agree with all your points.

Boiled down, my argument would be that BBM should be contending for awards because it's a good film, not a gay one. It's not gay enough to win for being gay! A slightly ridiculous way to put it, but that's where I fundamentally agree with Mars-Jones's piece.

Interesting, isn't it, how the media is reductively pitching the movie as the big gay Oscar favourite, which is the last thing the studio publicity is trying to put out there. For once I think the official campaign strategy is probably a better one for the film!


well the media always reduces. But given how impressed i was by BBM (and I am a hard sell with gay films because I need them to be better than they ever are ;) i agree that the studios angle is better.

normally i would shudder to recommend this site but Jeffrey Wells of Hollywood Elsewhere, who is rabidly straight, is crazy about the film and even compares himself and other men to Ennis Del Mar... So the "Universality" of its tragedy and central relationship --and I know some gay critics are annoyed by that tag --is not entirely suspect as a marketing ploy.