Homosexuality in Film

blueiswarm

Ever since it won the Palme d’Or at Cannes earlier this year, director Abdellatif Kechiche’s Blue is the Warmest Color has been creating a ton of buzz in the film world, which should be pretty understandable—it did win the biggest award that Cannes gives out, after all. But the reason the film’s buzz has been a little bit annoying is that it’s not generally stemming from the quality of its performances or the raw emotion put on display by the young love it takes on as its focus, it’s stemming from the lengthy and explicit lesbian sex scenes that get peppered throughout its run time. It turns out lesbian sex is still the sort of thing that gets people’s attention. Not only has there been debate as to whether or not Kechiche exploited his two lead actresses and forced them into performing acts that they weren’t comfortable with, but there also seems to be a debate raging as to whether or not the love scenes shared by the two girls should be viewed as pornographic and labeled appropriately so more uptight consumers know for sure what to boycott. Those heady sorts of debates are the complex yet still subjective ones that could rage on for an eternity though, so probably we don’t need to add any verbal fuel to their fire here. Instead, let’s focus on a new debate that has sprung up around these controversial sex scenes—the one that questions whether they’re even realistic enough to be worthy of […]

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Over Under - Large

Brokeback Mountain had the highest opening weekend per screen average in 2005, and it went from opening in only five theaters to playing wide all over the world by the end of its run. Then, when award season rolled around, it garnered all sorts of acclaim, getting awards for best picture from multiple outlets, Oscars for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Director, and it even got recognition from GLAAD for being the year’s most outstanding film. Pretty much it was embraced by everyone as being groundbreaking and important, and it saved Ang Lee’s butt after he pissed everyone off by making The Hulk. Weekend came out just this last September, but you might not remember it because not many people ended up checking it out. By the time it left theaters it had only made a domestic gross of  $484,592. Ouch. And while this movie also got some love from GLAAD, it was ignored by all of the mainstream awards shows like the Oscars and the Golden Globes. A cultural phenomenon it wasn’t.

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Inspired by the real life murder of Ahmet Yildiz, filmmakers Caner Alper and Mehmet Binay set out to tell the story of a friend who was believed to be killed by his father for being in a homosexual relationship. The result is Zenne (or Zenne Dancer) which focuses on three disparate characters forging a friendship that challenges at least one of them to come to terms with who he is. According to Reuters, that’s not all it’s challenging. At least one newspaper in the largely Muslim country has decried the movie as “homosexual propaganda” made by people trying to “legitimiz[e] perversion through their so-called art.” This comes on the heels of the movie winning 5 awards at Turkey’s most respected film festival, the Antalya Golden Orange – including Best First Feature and Best Cinematography. Check out the trailer:

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Your daily recommended allowance of random movie stuff, stories that fell through the cracks, and news you can’t use.

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This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, we talk about homosexuality in film (to celebrate National Coming Out Day), awkwardly discuss the all-nude fighting of Bronson (because it’s awesome), and explore the hardest part about rollerblading.

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