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January 7th, 2013

Ten Movies I Hate

I never make pointless New Year’s resolutions on the grounds that anything you notice that needs changing you really should start changing right then and there.   And…it’s just another randomly designated special position in the Earth’s orbit.   Solstice is actually something worth noting and celebrating; it’s when the days stop getting shorter and start getting longer again. But there are routines we all fall into around now, and most often it’s the annual cleaning out and sorting through last year’s Stuff to make room for this year’s Stuff.

While going through my word processor files I found this list I must have started work on to post here and didn’t for some reason. I’m guessing it was a reaction to all those damn Best Of lists you see around this time of year, but this is my all-time hated it list, not just last year’s hated it list.   And it’s from a few years ago.   If your eyes glaze over at all the lists this time of year, feel free to skip this one.

Anyway…in no particular order…

The Boys in the Band

A play for sympathy, that starts out with a quick shot of a gay bookstore employee casually shoplifting for a friend. Please don’t hate us…we can’t help ourselves. Have pity… Puke…puke…puke…puke…   At the end of it the self absorbed and self loathing Daniel wishes gay people didn’t hate themselves so very much. They say now that it’s a period piece and reflective of the reality of gay men’s lives in that time. But so what. Picasso said art is a lie that makes us see the truth, not that it’s a truth that makes us believe a lie. You just know that a lot of homophobic bigots left the showings feeling entirely justified in their cheapshit prejudices, and lots of young gay men left feeling sorry for themselves and hating what they are.   If Crowley really wanted gay people to stop hating themselves, so very much, then he might have told them they didn’t have to live in the ghetto of other people’s ignorant disgust.

Mad Max (aka The Road Warrior)

When I first learned to hate Mel Gibson movies. Dirtball toddler with a deadly boomerang kills cute teenage loverboy of evil bad guy lieutenant…proving once more that pretty boy faggots have it coming. But then even evil perverted bad guys can have hearts too, sort of, deep down inside of them, somewhere. “Be still my dog of war. I understand your pain. We’ve all lost someone we love.” Oh fuck that noise. When Gibson later came out in a Spanish newspaper as a homophobic nutcase (“they take it in the ass”) I couldn’t have been less surprised.

Lawrence of Arabia

A sexually ambiguous, self absorbed and manipulative British officer befriends two young beggars who, unaccountably, seem to regard him as some sort of deity. Rather liking their attention, he leads them into the desert where he gets one killed in a quicksand, and then later shoots the other. When shopping for a deity to follow, be sure to ask for references.

Loved the musical score and the photography. Hated the movie.

The Detective.

Frank Sinatra playing Frank Sinatra playing a hard boiled film noir detective…a loathsome self hating homosexual killer, who begs for pity on his confession tape… What’s not to like? Besides everything I mean. “I thought maybe just once more….maybe I could get it out of my system…” I get to feeling like a bit of murder myself just remembering William Windom’s pathetic gay confession scenes, and especially where his character takes a stroll through a gay cruising ground by the docks. The camera, followed around by some really cheesy background music, pans across the gay guys there who are all busy either making out or cruising, with such contempt and disgust you’d have thought they were filming a group of cannibals dismembering and eating bodies instead of…well…some guys cruising for sex…just like they do at all the heterosexuals singles bars all over town. The horror. The horror.

Advise and Consent

All American virtuous freshman senator is blackmailed by evil ex homosexual lover. All American virtuous freshman senator confronts evil ex homosexual lover in the bar from Hollywood stereotype hell. Vito Russo nailed it when he described the scene as a vilification of gays who accept what they are, while canonizing the All American virtuous secretly homosexual freshman senator for hating them. And being a virtuous homosexual, he goes back home and kills himself.

The gay bar scene, like the one in The Detective, is a hoot for all it’s piss elegant faggotry. The reality in those days was that gay bars were dank, seedy, hole in the wall places run by mobsters who couldn’t have cared less how the place looked, or what sort of swill they served to their customers. Gays endured them because there was simply no other place to go to socialize and meet other gays but places run by organized crime. In many cities back then, it was illegal for a bar or restraint to serve a known homosexual.

A.I.

Man…Stanley Kubrick really hated the human race, didn’t he? Enough for it to show though even the Steven Spielberg treatment.   Poor Haley Joel Osment and Jude Law were just stunning enacting non-human intelligences.   You really believed they were machines trying to cope with self awareness. But the movie was just a depressing cloud of human self loathing and I really wished film explored more of the other side of the coin presented in the opening moments, where the lady tells Doctor Hobby that the question isn’t whether we can make a machine love us, but can we love them back.   And…there was this really unforgivable missed opportunity here, to really dig into something these human/android stories can talk about. You see it when the executive of the company that makes the Davids pontificates that while God made man in His image, He didn’t make man God.   Well…fine.   We make our machines in our image…we have no choice about that. everything we create is in a sense a kind of art.   Everything we make is an image of ourselves. What does it say about us? Could we love it back? Well Kubrick thought he knew those answers.   I think better answers are out there waiting for a better storyteller.

Death In Venice.

If you just look at the pretty pictures, it’s a sultry visual treat. If you pay attention to what’s going on by the end of the movie you just want to smack them both.

The Business of Fancy Dancing.

Gay Native American has an identity crisis. And his utterly indifferent white guy boyfriend isn’t helping matters any. Whenever these two appear together on the screen (which isn’t very often) you just keep thinking “What the hell do these two see in each other?” There is not a shred of love shown between them. Well…except maybe here:

White Guy Boyfriend: “How can you make love to a white man?”
Seymour: “I just pretend you’re Custer.”

Ah…romance…

I loved Smoke Signals. I love reading Sherman Alexie. This film only made it to my ten most hated list because of Yet Another Shallow and Loveless Same Sex Relationship from a guy I would have thought, especially after all his gay media interviews, could have spared a few frames of insight and thoughtfulness and illumination about same sex couples. I mean…since he bothered to write one into the story. I still don’t think that straight male directors necessarily can’t do films about gay people, but…crap…Alexie shouldn’t have been more evidence against that.

…him and goddamned Oliver Stone. The only reason Stone’s Alexander isn’t on this list, with its DVD Director’s Cut that’s de-fagged even more then the theatrical release, is that I’m not going anywhere near it. Swear to god you’d think he could have shown a little backbone for the home video market. But the director of Platoon decided to cut and run.

Caligula

Proof that big budget porn is still…well…porn. My straight high school buddies (we were all in college then) drug me to see this one. It’s why I am unimpressed whenever someone waves some sexually extreme behavior they’ve heard gays are into in my face. That one movie, made by heterosexuals, for the entertainment of heterosexuals, and the profit of the publisher of one of the nation’s biggest tit and ass magazines, gave me tons of stuff to wave back in Their faces. Not that this was worth the pain of sitting through it. Okay…I’m gay…but this movie made sex look cheesy and boring and gross and that’s unforgivable.

And speaking of which…

Making Love

Self repressed gay man, a young doctor building a practice, who has a completely charming long time girl friend, suddenly takes a trip on the wild side with a handsome party boy, gets his heart broken, but finally comes to terms with his own sexuality. They called it groundbreaking when it first came out, because it was the first reasonably well budgeted film from a major studio with well known actors in it that portrayed same sex love in a positive light. But it only served to reinforce the notion that homosexuality is just about pure lust and that only heterosexual relationships are based on love. The first part of the film treats us to how wonderful the main character’s relationship with his girlfriend is. They seem to be such a sweet, caring, loving couple with so much in common, and who have so much fun together. The first glimpse we get of Mr. Repressed’s true sexuality is when he tries to pick up a guy at a gay cruising ground. All through the film we never see Mr. Repressed love another man, just desire them, and in particular one stereotypical self absorbed urban gay pickup artist.   Sweet.   At the end Mr. Repressed is seen finally settled down with another man, but we have no idea what the two of them saw in each other and the audience is left with the impression that he’s settling for a very distant second best because he’s a homosexual and can’t help himself and both him and the poor woman who was his soul mate are left to glance back wistfully at what might have been.   The only love you saw in Making Love was between the man and the woman.

The mostly gay audience I sat watching it with laughed nearly all the way through it, while I just sat and squirmed.

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