jump to last post 1-6 of 6 discussions (12 posts)

Unusual movie question.

  1. brimancandy profile image83
    brimancandyposted 6 years ago

    I am a gay man, and I have been watching a lot of gay themed movies which I feel kind of sad and angry after watching them, because of the way that it hits home in my own life. Mainly because I am not one bit like the charactors in those films, and know a lot of gay men who aren't like them either.

    I don't know, there is a big push to keep the stereotypes out of gay film, but, it seems like none of them are trying hard enough. For example, why is it that every gay film has to have some kind of fag hater in it, to the point of beating up someone who is gay in the film, and, can I watch one where someone isn't smoking pot, or getting drunk off their ass?
    What kind of message does that send to people who aren't gay?

    They have moved away from the limp wristed stereotype, and moved into the more darker side of being gay, that just makes gay men look even worse then the guy in high heels. At least those guys were fun. In the newer films we are just portrayed as sad drunken losers...with a so-so happy ending.

    So, onto my question for all of you straight people.

    When you are watching a movie, do you ever feel that you are somehow being portrayed in a bad light? Do the endless women with their legs in the air bother you in any way? And, what about the guys? Do you ever look at a male charactor portrayed a certain way on the big screen as insulting to you as a straight man?

    Lord knows there are enough movies out there were someone is getting nailed. It seems to me that someone would be offended by it. Does it bother you that straight people are sometimes portrayed as drunken, drugged up sex perves? They certainly are in gay cinema. And, I'm kind of tired of it.

    Any comments?

    1. Stevennix2001 profile image83
      Stevennix2001posted 6 years ago in reply to this

      I can see exactly what your saying on this, as it's no secret that if you look back at the history of films there's a lot of movies that have racial, sexist, and sexual orientation stereotypes.  Heck, if you read my review of "Birth of a Nation", then you should know that film portrayed African Americans in a bad light making them out to look like nothing more than horny wild savages with no morals.  While making the ones that sided with the Klu Klux Klan being aptly dubbed, "The faithful ones."  Yes, it's racist and offensive, but it's part of cinematic history.  If that film didn't become a hit, then there would be no movies at all today, as that was deemed one of Hollywood's first epic films. Therefore, love it or hate it, there's nothing you can do about it.

      To say how this film relates to you and your question, I'll get to that.  Granted, "Birth of a Nation" is an extreme example, but it does prove a point.  Over the years, it's no secret films have endorsed various stereotypes about various ethnic and social groups, like yours, that are sometimes represented in an unfair light.  Is it right?  No, but the reality is...somebody is watching it if they're making money.  The best thing I can tell you if you want to see movies that don't endorse that stereotype outside of what mega1 suggested, then you can boycott them.  Hitting them were it hurts...in their pocketbooks.  Just go up to everyone you know, and start a protest over it.  Mail letters and call your buddies whether straight, gay or whatever, and boycott the films that promote the stereotypes completely.  this will send a loud and clear message to hollywood to reevaluate how they portray homosexuals in films, as its always about making money when it comes to big budget movies. 

      of course if you want, I don't know if it's any consolation...i do agree with you about "Brokeback Mountain."  Great movie. In fact, i had that in my top ten love stories of all time on my myspace page before I deleted my account.

      As far as the rest of your query about me being offended by stereotypes and whatnot, I'm going to have to say no with you.  You see.  Unlike you and everyone else here, I don't associate reality with movies at all.  No, when I look at a character in a movie, I don't see a black guy or a white guy.  Hell, I don't even assume characters are gay in films unless they flat out say they're gay in the movie.  Like "As Good As It Gets", I didn't even know Greg Kinnear's character was gay until Jack Nicholson kept calling him one obsessively.  No, when I look at a movie, I usually look at lot of things.  One, what's the director and writer's intent? 

      What most average viewers don't know about movies is that no matter how crappy a film is, there's always two different meanings behind it. One being the surface meaning.  Take a film like "X-Men" for instance.  What's the surface meaning?  the surface meaning is it's based off a marvel comic book, about a rag team of mutants that are banded together to protect the world that hates and fears them from other mutants.  These mutants are born that way, and they're shunned by the public eye as freaks. 

      Whats the underling meaning?  Well it's simple, anyone that knows a lot about comic books will tell you that the "X-Men" are basically a symbolic comic book regarding racism.  Where you have charles xavier representing symbolically the Martin Luther King jr. perspective of preaching love and togetherness.  Thinking that his kind can someday live as equals among the majority.  Magneto represents Malcolm X, a man that believes that the only way to achieve equality is through force.  That's the underlining theme for "X-Men."   Once, I deduce what the surface AND underlining meaning of a film is, then I analyze if that said film accomplished what it was trying to do.  To analyze that query, I look at numerous factors.

      One being obviously the script.  Let's face it, you can have the most intriguing premise in the world but if your story sucks, then the movie will too most likely. To analyze the script, I listen to dialogue, as in how believable does it actually sound.  Then the overall story itself like does it make sense?  Did the film provide enough information to pull off what the director and writers wanted?  Or did it try to do too much?  How much was necessary?  Did it execute it's point clearly?  Or was it a piece of s*** commercialized garbage to make money like "The Matrix trilogy?"  Stuff like that.

      Of course, this also leads to how the film is edited too, as to whether or not certain scenes were necessary to prove a point, and what should have been there to make the film better.   

      Secondly, I look at the tone of the film.  Does the tone and feel of the movie capture the story that the writer and directors are trying to convey and does it fit with who the character is supposed to be.  If it does, then I'll probably like it.  If it doesn't, then i'll probably hate it. Take a film like say..."Spawn" for instance.  He's a dark superhero based on a guy that dies and gets resurrected to lead hell's army.  here's the kicker to that here folks, in the comic book, the lines between good and evil aren't that clear.  As heaven and god can be just as evil and corrupt as satan and hell.  Or at least that's how Todd McFarlane described it.  Watching the live action film, the movie was obviously too light in it's tone.  Don't get me wrong, I understand why they made it the way they did.  As a true adaptation would've gotten banned from theaters by efforts of the Catholic Church, AND Todd seemed to have wanted the movie to be as commercially acceptable as other comic book films like "Spider-Man" and "Superman."  The problem with that here is this...that's not who Spawn is.

      Spawn is a controversial and dark character, and to portray him in a lighter tone in liking to Superman is an insult to the established fan base.  Then you look at a film like say "inception."  that film was a dark film noir sci-fi story that not only talked about the possibility of invading people's minds to steal information.  It also went over other concepts like the dream within a dream scenario on how time travels faster in a dream.  The warped perception of reality, and the consequences of implanting an idea into someones subconcious.  As leonardo dicaprio says in the film, "an idea will either grow to define him, or destroy him."  as some of you can tell, it's a dark story, and nolan and his writers played on that beautifully.  hence, i give it a full four stars out of four.  anyone that says different, obviously didn't understand it.     

      thirdly, i look at the actors.  What's their character's motive?  how does the the actor/actress portray said character?  is he/she believable in that role?  do they add something to the film or do they detract from it?  How well is the chemistry with the actors?

      Then i look at costumes and set designs.  Do they look fake or realistic?  What time period was the film made?  (yes, i do cut older films slack due to the fact of limited technology).  Whereas modern films, I expect perfection. 

      There's a lot of other stuff I look at, but i don't want to bore anyone heads off.  lol.  however, im sure you get the gist of it.  the point is, i don't look at the stereotypes too much, as i just look at how well the story is told.  if it's told right, then i can look past a lot of stereotypes.  just look at "machete." that had a lot of racial stereotypes, but i still loved it.  Why?  because it was a well told story that fulfilled the intent of what the director and writers wanted, and it was executed perfectly.  anyways, i hope that answer your question. im sorry for the long winded answer though. lol.

      1. brimancandy profile image83
        brimancandyposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        I guess you missed the point of my post.

        The movies I am talking about are listed as "gay and lesbian." It is not like "as good as it gets." where there is just one lone gay guy. Almost every charactor in the movie is gay. If they are not gay, they are either a faghag, a closet case, or a basher. Or, they are somehow related to the gay charactors, but, not the main charactors in the story.

        However, your reply was certainly interesting, and I agreed with some of your points. I think one of the reasons Brokeback Mountain was so successful is because all of the sterotypes of gay cinema were thrown out the window, and the men were portrayed as two masculine normal acting guys who just happened to love each other. Which is more real than the crap these gay film makers are putting out.

        People who go to see Gay themed movies, are actually expecting to see what a gay person might be like. It might be someone who is unsure of their identity, or a parent who wants to learn what their might be gay child is getting themselves into. And, I have found that very few gay and lesbian movie makers go out of their way to make gays and lesbians seem normal, and would rather shove sterotypes right in their face. As, if being too normal is too boring.

        If you would like to see examples of this, watch "Another Gay Movie." Or "Another Gay Seaqual." and you will see what I mean. They are comedies. But, both of them will shock the crap out of anyone who watches them. The Seaqual is one of the worst movies I have ever seen.
        It is gay sterotypes taken to the max, with tons of gross nudity.

        But, I will say "Another Gay Movie." Is kinda funny. But, you almost have to be gay to get the jokes. It's a take off on the "Edge of Seventeen" which is a gay teen drama. makes me laugh my ass off every time I watch it.
        The only difference is, it is meant to be funny. Some of the other gay comedy movies are not funny at all. Just bad taste.

        1. Stevennix2001 profile image83
          Stevennix2001posted 6 years ago in reply to this

          movies listed specifically targeting gay and lesbian groups?  hmm..that's interesting.  I didn't some film makers had films specifically geared towards that lifestyle. that's very interesting.  I wonder if that one film that me and my brother watched as kids would qualify then as one of those types of movies.  It was a foreign film about a kid that loses his mom, and goes off to find out who is father is.  as it turns out, he's a bisexual transvestite living among various gay men and other tranvestites.  I can't remember the name of it right now, but i'll get back to you once I do. 

          anyways, thanks for letting me know about this, as i always love learning more about movies.

          1. brimancandy profile image83
            brimancandyposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            There are literally hundreds of gay themed movies out there. Up until recent years, a lot of them were produced by gay dierectors, and producers who were dying to cash in on the gay dollar. And, to bring some awareness that gay people are everywhere, and not just where the church and polititians want people to believe.

            They went against the hollywood norm, and the people who tried to stop them from putting out any gay films, and put out some really good movies. Unfortunately, a good majority of gay film is amateur, and B movies, and mostly comedy, or borderline porn.

            If you look at the more recent gay films that have come out of hollywood, a lot of them have made a butload of money, because gay people, and people interested in the subject, are coming out more and more to the theaters to see them. Where maybe 30 or 40 years ago, they may have been afraid they would be "seen" going to watch a gay film.

            I know that netflix has a bunch of gay films, because my partner and I have been watching them. We just recently watched a gay zombie flick called "The Creature of the Pink Lagoon." Which was so stupid it was mildly funny. But, then we also watched a gay musical, which was actually pretty good. We even watched a gay flick with a well known actor in it, can't think of his name off the top of my head, but he was the star in the movie Gladiator. In this movie he's gay.

  2. mega1 profile image79
    mega1posted 6 years ago

    It bothers me these things you're talking about - since I was a kid its bothered me a lot the way women and girls are usually portrayed as pretty,weak, weak-willed, or if strong, homely, harsh and domineering.  Every time I see women with a smile pasted on tripping around in 4 inch high heels, as if to say "the shoes? no, no, they never hurt! I LOVE them!" - I want to puke!

    You don't want to get me started.  It seems the trend with movie makers is first to acknowledge them (women, gays, transsexuals, people who are disabled, people who are over 50, anyone different than a white anglo macho straight men) - then sensationalize them - then "gently" bring them into the "mainstream" and so on.  It's never a true portrayal. So the only way to counter this is to write the book, the screenplay of the situation the way you know it and would like to see it!  That'a what I'm trying to do, a bit.  You could too!  Tell us a "real" gay story and set us "straight"!  smile

    1. brimancandy profile image83
      brimancandyposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Well. If I was really good at writing, I probably could write a really good gay story. But, I think if I did it would be very hard for me to finish it. As real life situations always seem to go toward on no end conclusion. Unless of course one of the main charactors dies, or is somehow taken out of the picture.

      I think the only real gay themed movies I have seen that seem close to reality, are Brokeback Mountain, and The long Time Companion. There was some sterotypes in Companion...but, it also portrayed a majority of it's charactors as normal guys who just happened to be gay.

      Brokeback Mountain had a different kind of gay sterotype that wasn't obvious...and that was the typical closeted homosexual. Both of the main charactors seemed to be straight acting, and, were only compfortable sharing their secret with each-other. Which was one of the reasons why it seemed so real, and the acting in the movie was brilliant.

      I mean, if you actually lived and interacted with the guys from Brokeback Mountain you would never suspect that they were gay. And, I think that it is them that represent a good portion of Gay men in the United States.

      I mean if you looked at my profile picture, you certainly couldn't tell that I was gay just by looking at it. Yet there are some people out there who think they can. And, I think it is very funny how many men I mistake for straight, who turn out to be gay. So it works both ways.

  3. alternate poet profile image77
    alternate poetposted 6 years ago

    Hi Brimcandy

    However, your reply was certainly interesting, and I agreed with some of your points. I think one of the reasons Brokeback Mountain was so successful is because all of the sterotypes of gay cinema were thrown out the window, and the men were portrayed as two masculine normal acting guys who just happened to love each other. Which is more real than the crap these gay film makers are putting out.

    This illustrates the real issue. I am a straight guy and I found Brokeback Mountain totally boring - in the same way as any snip from 'normal' life is boring.  I have the same problem with writing poetry, my life is not fragmented or dark and bitter - where most poetry comes from, it is full of light and happiness and well, normality.  What do I write about that will strike some 'deep' chord within a fragmented being who can 'resonate' to what I write.

    I don't think gay people are any more discriminated against through their portrayal in movies it is just that to make an interesting movie we need to see out of the normal stuff - especially as the majority of film goers are straight.

    1. brimancandy profile image83
      brimancandyposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      A majority of people who go to see gay cinema, or gay themed movies are gay. Or interested in the subject. The only reason I went to see Brokeback Mountain was becasue I knew it was gay related. If it had been a story about a man and a woman I would have skipped it.

      I think the fact that the men were gay in the movie made it not boring to me. But, it probably would have bored me if one or both of the men turned out to be limp wristed screaming queens, who spent every weekend hitting the bong, and getting plastered, which is what a majority of all other gay films are. Nothing but stereotypical camp.

      I'm also curious of what other gay oriented films you have seen, or wether or not you thought they were of any value. As I have seena lot. Here are some really good gay themed movies.

      Longtime Companion....sad/drama
      The object of my affection...drama
      Torch Song Trilogy....Drama
      Billy's Hollywood Screen Kiss....Comedy/drama
      A beautiful Thing.....british teen drama
      Shortbus....sexually graphic drama/dark comedy
      Adam and Steve......Comedy/Drama

      There are literally hundreds of gay films out there. But, watch these, and let me know if you don't see any sterotypes in them.  Then watch sterotype city. If you dare.

      Edge of Seventeen....gay teen drama
      Another Gay movie and another Gay Sequal

      Then tell me that you didn't laugh.

  4. Mighty Mom profile image92
    Mighty Momposted 6 years ago

    Not in any way to minimize your point -- which is absolutely valid -- but in current TV and movies, it's hard to find any (or many) characters who are NOT stereotyped. I feel like we are watching characters who can't be their real selves as fully informed characters because they also have to represent their race, gender, or sexual orientation, etc. 

    Comedy, unfortunately, tends to rely heavily on stereotypes.
    "Will and Grace" comes to mind. But I loved that show, primarily for the interactions between Karen and Jack!!

    Thank you Brimcandy for bringing this topic up. It's a good one that deserves thoughtful discussion. MM

  5. ceciliabeltran profile image85
    ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago

    Well, for what its worth artists are always portrayed as demented or disturbed. Neat freaks as serial killers. They are all for effect.

    Movies are heightened reality.  The caricature is a sketch of real life.

  6. 61
    HOLLYWOODHYPEposted 6 years ago

    I remember being appalled that my local cinema wasn't showing BROKEBACK because of it's gay content.  I saw it with my very straight mother and we both came out with the opinion that it was a very beautiful love story that just happened to be two men.  Both who deserved Oscar Nom's - I know Heath got one.  I bought it the moment it came out on DVD.