Monday, July 07, 2008

There's something almost humourous about two heterosexual actors playing gay for pay on the screen in that moment just before they kiss. They're never believable and I'll tell you why. In that half second before their lips are to meet, they inevitably part and this most false action completely betrays their pussy-loving ways. Go back and look at the great straight embraces of the celluloid; a straight man would never dream of opening his mouth before his lips touched his lover because that would completely foul that sublime moment when the lips touch for the first time. Do they part afterwards? Well, of course they do. This is not a Disney film, my dear; some friction is necessary. However, that first moment is to be preserved. It's as though these two sweetly delusional thespians believe that the only intimacy that can occur between two men calls for the lips to be parted, which is unfortunately homophobic as they probably think of themselves as allies. Now that our esteemed government has given us the right to marry, this does not mean that weddings will end with the phrase, "You may now fellate the bridegroom!"

It's so disappointing, isn't it? We expected so much more. I can recall sitting through a screening of Making Love in 1982 at the Metro 8. One would have thought that the release of the film was messianic, such were the palpitations in my chest. In the scene where Harry Hamlin and the cute but ultimately forgotten other guy are bare chested, hands tracing backs, lips inching closer, the pulsations moved somewhat more southernly. And then at that moment, that moment for which I braved slurs from the pock-marked box office employee and the disappointment of realizing I was one of seven people in the theatre, each sitting by themselves, their lips finally touched, but not before that asshole Hamlin opens his goddamn lips. Suddenly, it was false. It wasn't the apocalypse but rather some pre-Melrose demi-hunk serving my life up on spray painted silver platter. I walked out in disgust, just like all those that had walked out for the exact opposite reason.

There is nothing more thrilling than that moment, you see. An amazing kiss is about contact, to be sure, but when they disappoint you so 90% of the time, one can't help but live for that second before it all goes wrong. My greatest pleasure on this earth is lingering on his bottom lip the moment we touch. I am convinced that the Song of Songs was written about his bottom lip. I would call it manna had I not been heckled as an old dramatic by some of my ever aging girls. The comments of our 25 year age difference are near constant from them and I take every loving barb with reverie, so happy am I with that bottom lip. That bottom lip is the one vice on this earth that I have maintained in this, the golden years of life for a gay man not yet 50. The previous ones always needed a balance to keep them from oscillating out of control. The promiscuity of my thirties was tempered by the fact that I only slept with unattractive men as to not indulge too frequently or risk contracting some dreadful ailment by one to ugly too bear a repeat performance. In my twenties, my lust for food, thinness and my poverty resulted in a cycle of spending far too much on fancy meals after which I would promptly induce vomiting as a chastisement on behalf of my wallet as well as my waistline. Now in my forties, I only have his bottom lip and fuck, if I don't make up for Harry Hamlin's mistakes.


Émilie, géographe en devenir said...

Maybe I don't get all of it, but I'm not sure that the kissing between two men in movies is homophobic. I'll explain what I mean.
Heterosexuals know how to kiss someone from the opposite sex. It just comes natually. Homosexuals know how to kiss someone of the same sex, it also just comes naturally. But if you ask either to kiss someone who doesn't fit with their sexual orientation, they just won't know how to do it properally even if they are actors and are supposed to act well. It sounds easy to say, but I'll make a comparaison with something in everyday life.

Lets say you fancy someone and you don't want them to know. The person is there in the same room as you and you want to look at them as if they were a normal friend but the thing is that very often, a witness can say anyway that you fancy the person. Why? You thought that everything was alright, that you were acting as with any friend, but no! There are signs that your body makes, signs that even you cannot perceive, but that the others can perceive.
Am I explaining the comparaison well?
Anyway. Homosexuality is more and more shown as something quite normal, and although there will always be closed-minded and homophobic people, from what I see in every day life, less and less people care about sexual orientation (although I couldn't say that I'm very well placed to really know), so that's good news!

Lysander said...

VERY interesting point!

It's important to note that the movie in question came out in the early 80s when homosexuality was not considered normal. That certainly affected the way the actors portrayed their characters, whether it was conscious or not.

As for the homophobia point, it wasn't calling these portrayals discriminatory, but rather based in apprehension and a bit of fear. 'Phobia', right? When you say that 'they won't know how to do it properly even if they are actors', that's a bit of a cop out. The whole point is that they are actors. Actors research, the become their roles. Someone playing a fireman is not a fireman but we still believe they are, so really, this should (in theory) be no different.

Personally, I wouldn't find it a huge challenge to feign interest in kissing a girl and there are many straight actors that do a convincing job conversely. Much as I thought it was over-lauded, Brokeback Mountain was a prime example of really good 'gay for pay' acting. It does exist.

In any case, while I love the comments, ultimately this was fiction and coming from a perspective of a man much older than myself who grew up in a very different time period for GLBT rights and he may be a little blinded by his history.