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Thursday, August 31, 2006
Because Gay Men Have Bad Taste...
This article at AfterElton talks in rather broad terms about why, in most cases, films aimed at gay men are so bad. I really have a hard time disagreeing with the basic argument here: most gay films are really, really awful. But then, most films are really, really awful. Add to that the fact that gay films tend to be low-budget affairs, and it's really not surprising that they tend to be somewhat lacking. Further add to this that most gay films fall under the rubric of "independent films," a genre which tends to attract the pretentious, and it's surprising that any gay films are ever any good at all.
A good example of this is the film I watched last night, O Fantasma. This is a perfect example of the "Emperor has no clothes" principal as applied to independent film. The acting is terrible, the script is non-existent, and the film ends with the entire project disappearing up it's own sense of self-importance. Yet it was highly critically praised. Apparently all your average gay film-goer needs to be convinced that a film is brilliant is a few dick shots and an explicit hard-core sex scene or two. If you're ever tempted to watch it, just watch a Bel Ami film instead. At least the acting and script will be better in that.
There are a couple of things in the article which make me question the aesthetic of the author, however. He calls Adam & Steve disappointing. I thought it was pretty charming, and one of the better examples of the gay dating film genre. If nothing else, the fact that it's not about 20-something twinks who magically find a pure and everlasting love without any complications whatsoever (other than a sexy rival) puts it miles ahead of most of the "boyfriend" films. Eating Out is also cited as an example of a good gay film, and this is where the author totally loses me. Eating Out is a terrible, terrible film. Again, apparently a couple of full-frontal nudes, and in this case a soft-core sex scene, are all it takes to win over gay men. The "gay man falls in love with straight man" premise of the film is offensive, the film is incredibly misogynistic, the acting is horrible, every single character is thoroughly and completely unlikable and unsympathetic, and the stupid, annoying made-up slang drove me batty after five minutes. And there's apparently going to be a sequel.
It's films like this that sometimes make me glad that gay films don't more often play in my area.