Friday, July 3, 2009

GAY HO!! - a celluloid take on homosexuality

Hello my steamed frEEksums!
It was a landmark day for the swingers, kite-runners, behnas last week with the Delhi High Court, declaring void, the Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code ( seriously, isn't it ironic that something known as the Penal Code banned sex!)
For those not in the know, the said section codified in the 1800s by the Brits, prohibited "unnatural" sex (man, the Brits, really were prudes!) and effectively banned homosexuality, whatever our stance may be on homosexuality it is a welcome relief, that the judiciary has kept up with changing times. Join me then my fellow frEeks in celebrating the depiction of the alternate lifestyle on celluloid!
The leading take on history of homsexuality in cinema, and amongst actors is the "Celluloid Closet" written by Victor Russo, which was later into a movie, on the same name, take a look:
The movie, takes an witty look at the exaggerated portrayals of homosexuality in early hollywood, where the "gay" man had overtly effeminate characteristics, dressed in drag and even carried a purse! In several films, the gay had character confessed his "sin" on being "different"! While Hollywood later portrayed more realistic homosexual character, there was always that sterotypical movie which portrayed gay men, as campy cross-dressers, or lesbian women as crazy violent bitches,
some of the better portrayals of omosexuality include:
"My Own Private Idaho" - which was a sensitive portrayal of Keanu Reeves, as a wayward youth who becomes involved with a gay lad played by River Phoenix
and Tom Hank's Oscar winning turn in Philadelphia - where he plays a gay lawyer afflicted by AIDs

and of course, the unforgettable "Midnight Cowboy" starring Dustin Hoffman and Jon (Angelina ka baap) Voight sad tale of a wannabe actor (Voight) forced into gay prostitution to make ends meet..

Bollywood on the other hand still has a coy relationship with homosexuality and
for the exceedingly rare "My brother Nikhil"

There is always the cliched portrayal of the homo/lesbo character, most notably for cheap thrills, the nadir of which was "Girlfriend" in which Isha Koppikar portrayed a boyish lesbian who

decides to kill her lover's boyfriend to prevent her from going straight, the movie aimed to titillate the basest of crowds, and garnered publicity due to the outcry that the "moral police" made in wanting the movie shut down!
Even the recent Dostana which was a blatant rip-off of the Hollywood flick "Now I pronounce you Chuck and Larry" had its cast proclaiming it to be India's first "Gay flm".. resorted to camp humour and gay stereotyping to bring in the laughs!
All the while, Homosexuality and celluloid have become comfortable bed-fellows ( yes, pun very much intended!) what with movies such as :
the Bird-Cage: starring Robin Williams and Nathan Lane as a gay couple whose adpoted son falls for the daughter of an ultra conservative politician played by Gene Hackman

or event "To Wong Foo with love, Julie Newmar" - which starred the macho Patrick Swazye and Wesley Snipes as cross dressing gay dancers..

and of course homoerotic vampire thriller "Interview with the Vampire"

and yes, that little movie about the two Cowboys..

which have all gone on to become huge blockbusters!

Who knows, what the frEEking future holds, a gay James Bond perhaps???

You heard it first here folks!!!

Extra frEEky: Midnight Cowboy is the only X rated movie, to win an Oscar!

1 comment:

reevi said...

honorable mentions:

1. 'Divine' movies: acting in over 7 nor 8 movies as the notorious cross-dresser.

2.120 days of sodom: well not exactly gay but they had their.. ah....hearts and hinds in the right places to count.

4.and what about the lesbians?
why the discrimination? you keep this up your going o see a few rallies in lower parel

I m sure there would have been loads of material on TV also like:
Absolutely Fabulous.... Will and grace


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