reesepd

reesepd

I'm a 25 year old film analyst and filmmaker, residing in Cincinnati, OH. I've recently finished my 2016 feature film "Warwick" which is making festival rounds.

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The Stereotyping of Homosexuals in American Film

When they’re not simply a supporting character for comedic relief, the "gay character" in American films are usually outward stereotypical. It’s been getting better over the years, but mostly only in the independent scene (most recently "Moonlight").

But even beyond that, gay films themselves have been seemingly only interested in their sexualities. The film’s plots – with gay characters – are strictly, and only, about being gay – as if that’s the one and only attribute of such a human being. Films rarely ever explore things beyond their sexual orientation (the only recent one I can think of is Ira Sachs’ "Keep the Lights On", which was a film about drug addiction tearing up a gay couple).

When will American film be able to present a gay character in such a way? So uninteresting or "normal" like heterosexual characters are presented in various genres?

  • There's a really great documentary about precisely this topic, called The Celluloid Closet. It would be necessary for whoever attempts to write this article to watch that, and take it as a jumping-off point. Being made in 1996, I see this article as a good "picking up where they left off," particularly dealing with how the increase of social tolerance toward LGBTQ people at the turn of the 21st century may or may not be reflected in cinematic representation. – ProtoCanon 4 years ago
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  • reesepd, maybe explaining how gay cinema outside of the USA better handles the topic might help to clarify the problem of gay stereotypes in American cinema. I hope you don't think I'm criticizing the topic negatively. It will be enlightening for me to read, and I appreciate you writing the topic. – Tigey 4 years ago
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  • Reesepd, here's another thought: You mention Ira Sachs’ "Keep the Lights On" as the only recent example of a film not using gay stereotypes. Maybe part of the topic is the question, "Is the use of gay stereotypes actually getting worse in American cinema? Why?" Again, a very interesting topic. – Tigey 4 years ago
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  • This would be such an important and engaging topic to explore. Maybe even further exploring the history and progression of LGBT representation, and touch on the fact that we see more instances of m/m gay romance more so than any other part of the LGBT community. Looking forward to reading this! – Abby Wilson 4 years ago
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Latest Comments

reesepd

“We see the way she sobbed in the shower after believing she was dying once her period started. We see the way she looked down at her feet when talking to her principal and her teachers. Most importantly, we see the glimmer of hope in her eyes when Tommy Ross takes her to prom, and just how naïve she becomes when she has faith that night will change her life for the better. We want her to have a happy ending, and our dreams are just as crushed as her when the blood pours down on her from up above.”

And that’s something so great about the story. The irony that it circles back on itself. That Carrie White is a representation of female sexuality at its most repressed. Her mother pushes her from it with her extremism, but there’s also the fact that we witness another female character (Nancy Allen’s) as some kind of object to the John Travolta one.

The fact that “Carrie” begins with her “blossoming” (the “Valerie and Her Week of Wonders” flower, so to speak) – and the telekinesis follows is a great touch by De Palma – whereas King had her with the powers since she was a child. Having her drenched in blood on the stage for everyone to see is the ultimate destruction of her willingness to be open. To “blossom”, with such a wonderful, surprising night with her crush. But then, it unleashes the rage of her repression.

Carrie White: Horror's Most Relatable Anti-Heroine
reesepd

“Boyhood” is inevitable, for sure.

I’m not sold on “Her”, however. I loved the film, but it’s also one that doesn’t seem to have the residing emotional status to actually penetrate some kind of cultural iconography. It doesn’t help that it’s not as prevalent in modern circles as something like, say, Jonze’s “Being John Malkovich” – which I think is probably going to become the director’s most remembered.

The 21st Century Films Prepared For Classic Status
reesepd

It’s amazing, I’ve heard so much about Kiarostami throughout the years, but found myself weirdly avoiding his work. I started really getting into his work a few weeks before his passing – starting with “Close-Up” before moving onto “Where is the Friend’s Home”; the latter of which affected me deeply, and stands high as one of my favorite child films with Malle’s “Murmur of the Heart” and Panini’s “The White Balloon”.

Can’t wait to explore deeper and rewatch some of the ones I saw long before I really “understood” the man.

The Cinema of Abbas Kiarostami: The Legacy Lives On