Sep 18, 2022

Going to Movies in 1999-2000: Christian Bale kills, Matt Damon kills, Edward Norton fights, and I see (some of) the most homophobic movie of all time


 In 1999-2000, I was living in New York and working on my doctorate.  But I was also making a concerted effort to see as many "artsy" movies as possible, so I wouldn't be left out at a legendary and making a concerted effort to see as many films as I could, so I wouldn't feel left at one of my roommate's legendary Oscar parties.  Fortunately, you couldn't walk a block in Manhattan without passing a movie theater.  

August: The Sixth Sense.  Psychiatrist Bruce Willis counsels a little boy who "sees dead people."  Unfortunately, they look like they looked at the moment of their death, gaping wounds and all.  No gay characters, but it's still the best movie of the year, with a plot twist that I didn't see coming.  


August
: Detroit Rock City.  Four KISS fans try to make it to a concert while fighting Catholic-fundamentalist anti-KISS relatives and protesters.  One might expect some buddy-bonding gay subtexts, but in fact the boys are extremely homophobic.  I felt like I was back in the 1980s.

September: American Beauty.  Kevin Spacey perves on a high school girl and dies, a "homosexual" dies of self-loathing, and there's a plastic bag blowing in the wind.  It won six Academy Awards.

September: Breakfast of Champions.  An incomprehensible novel by Kurt Vonnegut transformed into an incomprehensible movie starring Bruce Willis and Nick Nolte.  Can't get more artsy than that, right? I don't remember what it was about, just that it appeared in only one theater in all of Manhattan, and only for three days.

October:  Three Kings.  Not a Christmas movie, a war drama.  Mark Wahlberg and his three friends are in Iraq, trying to steal some gold that Saddam Hussain stole from Kuwait.


October: 
The Fight Club.  Edward Norton buddy-bonds with Brad Pitt through an underground fight club where guys wail on each other to demonstrate their masculinity.  Some nicely toned physiques fighting shirtless.   But the gay subtext is ruined when Norton finds salvation with The Girl of His Dreams.  By this point, I was thinking that, Oscar party or not, artsy movies were not my cup of tea,

November: Sleepy Hollow.  Johnny Depp plays Ichabod Crane, a police officer (in 1799?  the first professional police forces began in the 1820s).  He investigates the headless ghost of Sleepy Hollow and meets a "love interest."  Ugh.

December: Topsy-Turvy.  I know all gay men are supposed to be obsessed with Gilbert & Sullivan, but I've only seen one of their operettas, and that was a couple of years ago.  This is a backstage drama set during rehearsals for The Mikado.  It's not as zany as it sounds.

December: Man on the Moon, a biopic of the late comedian Andy Kaufman.  I liked him in the 1970s sitcom Taxi, but never realized that he was such a jerk, playing nasty pranks, deliberately antagonizing audiences, and pretending to be other people who were even greater jerks.  Sure, biographies are supposed to humanize their subject, but to make fans hate him?


December:
The Talented Mr. Ripley.  The Talented Mr. Ripley kills his boyfriend, assumes his identity, kills another boyfriend, and has sex with a girl.  Starring Matt Damon (who only stopped calling gay people "fags" when his daughter called him out on it in 2021).  


January: None


February:
Wonder Boys.  No wonder boys in this movie, just a professor of creative writing with writer's block and a lot of clandestine heterosexual affairs. There's also a quiet, shy, closeted gay guy (Tobey Maguire) who doesn't get a boyfriend, but has sex with Robert Downey Jr.

March: None.

April: American Psycho.  Christian Bale (top photo) works out and kills people.

May: Hamlet.  Ethan Hawke stars as the Prince of Denmark.

June: None

July: Chuck and Buck!  The most homophobic, insulting, and down-right terrible movie of all time!  I walked out halfway through.  Rant appears after the break.



Chuck and Buck were childhood buddies, see, and engaged in some same-sex activity, but then Churck grew up, which means turning heterosexual and getting a wife.  Buck (World Champion Homophobe Mike White) is still stuck in gay childhood.  "Gay" means arrested development, perpetual childhood, cut off from the mature heterosexuality of adulthood.  The blatant homophobia wouldn't have been nearly so grating except that this movie was advertised in gay magazines, inviting gay men to come to the theater to be insulted!  Plus writer/star Mike White is "openly bisexual" and massively self-loathing.  How did he find out that gay people have magazines?  Surely they're not mature enough for such a complex enterprise!  

The message is loud and clear: mainstream media hates us.  


26 comments:

  1. I saw The Sixth Sense. Yeah, the ending was a twist.

    I do think you could use KISS itself as a metaphor here. The fundamentalists all up in arms over KISS. A reach, but just assume "fundamentalists hate something kids like" is gay subtext or race subtext.

    Literally the only thing I remember about American Beauty was the dad wanting to fuck a high school girl. What do you mean, Hollywood is run by pedophiles? Can't be.

    Three Kings was pretty blatant propaganda. You know SOMEONE was spoiling for a war between the US and Iraq. (Iran was. But besides them.)

    Fight Club is funny because nobody remembers the ending. (Fight Club is training grounds for anarchist terrorists, and Durden is the Narrator.) But hey, there's a dick in the end credits scene.

    Okay, regarding Sleepy Hollow, there WAS law enforcement, or reeves, prior to the 18th century. Sheriff literally means "shire reeve". That said, the only thing I remember about the story of Sleepy Hollow (which I saw as a cartoon on Nickelodeon's Special Delivery) was that the Headless Horseman can't cross running water.

    And that brings us to Chuck and Buck!

    Okay, this was the era when bisexuals, well, we didn't exist, per gay intelligentsia, but we also were all psychopaths; gay villains became bi villains. (A similar "officially not trans but obviously trans" thing was done in Sleepaway Camp and Silence of the Lambs.) Further, while we didn't exist, we were inherent cheaters and simply in denial about being gay. Bi women, however, did exist, and female bisexuality was to some extent universal, which is great for threesomes. Straight guys, ask your wife or girlfriend today!

    And, eppur si mueve, males have a surprisingly high frequency of sexual contact with other males in earlier (pre-1980s) literature, and most of it is, in fact, "two or more boys experiment and later turn to women". (The definition of boy is debatable; and even college-age guys do this.)

    I mean, it all goes back to respectability politics in the end.

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  2. "Topsy Turby" is one of the best films ever made I about the creative process... I loved the look of 'The Talented Mr Ripley"

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    1. I mean, yeah, but "kills two boyfriends, impersonates one and takes his girlfriend" couldn't at least be the gay villain trope? Now bisexual because hating bis is PC.

      No, seriously, the old gay villains (you know, disturbed and written in such a way that you know they're gay) became bi or trans some time in the 80s.

      This even affected villains from classic franchises: Look at how the Joker evolved starting in the 80s.

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  3. Christian Bale's looks in that movie are everythin' 💪🏻😏

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  4. "American Beauty " is really over rated- yes it has some good acting but the gay panic scene is ridiculous

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    1. The best thing about it is it left Bill O'Reilly's jimmies properly rustled.

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  5. hey Boomer; hope you are well? random question, but any thoughts on the actor edward furlong (was in d.r.c. mentioned above^)

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    1. I don't really remember Furlong's character in "Detroit Rock City." Other than that, I've only seen him in "American History X," which has a gay subtext.

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    2. *or any juicy gossip? xD (on any of the drc boys, for that matter... )

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    3. he was the one who strips in a "lady's night" club @ gets "cougared" by an older woman, etc. (the in-jokes being that the actress was a former pornstar & i think married to somebody notable, possibly a kiss member). i think his character name was 'hawk' - green jacket. (there was also an sctv castmember in the movie, as the questionable school master priest)

      jumping back to e.f. you might like 'pecker' by john waters. one of his milder & more lyrical works xD he was also in 'the grass harp' from the truman capote short story. both film same era, much cheese since...

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    4. *both films from the same era as detroit rock city

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    5. *"cougarred"? i am not sure of the correct spelling in this conjugation... xD

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  6. Mike White just won an Emmy for HBO's 'The White Lotus'. He directed and wrote the show. I know you said that you hadn't seen the series, but it was pretty good. I did see 'Chuck and Buck' in the theater when it came out. I was able to stay for the whole movie, but like you, I thought was a disturbing as well!

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    1. It's a weird thing. Gays hated it, bis had a more nuanced view. (Gays thought our existence was homophobic in the 90s, understand. Essentially a lot of gay men assumed bisexuals' existence proved being gay was a choice, and tried to slough off whatever the latest gay panic was onto us.)

      The thing is, before what I like to call the orange juice era, this sort of experimentation was actually pretty common for boys. People didn't talk about it any more than they might talk about why that one girl is with her grandma and missing school this year, women at least may not have even known about it, but it wasn't uncommon. (Pierre Tremblay wrote a paper about it for more details.)

      I mean, there are issues. This could easily be a horror movie, and in fact Robot Chicken did a parody of the My Buddy doll that went in the horror movie direction. And yeah, Buck doing things like sucking lollipops is a bit weird (though I must say I've seen plenty of women suck lollipops as a blowjob metaphor in movies, which should disturb me, I guess). But again, most romantic comedies could become horror movies once (not if) one character does something illegal.

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    2. The movie makes it clear that same-sex desire and romance is strictly for kids, a sort of rehearsal for adult heterosexuality. If you're still doing the same-sex stuff as an adult, you're suffering from "arrested development." The Peter Pan Syndrome: the boy who refused to grow up. Actually, Freud thought the same thing: gay men are stuck in the "latency" stage, unable to move on to mature "genital" (hetero-genital) sex.

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  7. Sadly Edward Furlong has been dealing with addiction problems which have put a stop to his once promising career.

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    1. sad & true; though he has rehabbed pretty thoroughly in the last few years & it seems to be sticking. he is still working on getting everything else together in his life & will have hell of a time rebuilding his acting career, if he still wants to do that.

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  8. "The Grass Harp" is by Truman Capote. Are there any gay or gay-vague characters?

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    1. Roddy McDowell plays Amos Legrand is the effeminate town barber and gossip.

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    2. When I saw "American Beauty" I could not understand why people thought it was so groundbreaking. It was just "Babbitt" but more pretentious and less interesting.

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    3. loosely biographical based on capote's youth/childhood. ef plays capote's character, has a boy crush on a slightly older guy with a snazzy car (played i think by whatever actor played teen indiana jones in the young indy tv series). but definitely gay-vague in the film, not overt or even nearly as fenimine as capote. lyrical growing up in a small town life stories. walter matthau & jack lemmon are in the movie, though only briefly together. matthau's son directed it. pretty impressive cast, but the shoot ran out of money & they had to scramble to finish it; fineline/newline was having troubles at the time. think of it as an aborted attempt @ an oscar season classic. (also, i think, one of mcdowell's onscreen last roles?)

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    4. interesting tangent: there is an old 1970's(?) truman capote (childhood memories) christmas story tv special; live action maybe 1/2 hour. it plays with the same settings & some of the same characters as the grasp harp, only set a few years younger (& different cast ofc).

      another interesting tangent; there was a 'the grasp harp' musical. broadway i think(?) it was not successful xD

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    5. I remember "A Christmas Memory." It has the usual Capote themes: a shy boy with elderly, dying relatives and bizarre townsfolk.

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    6. yep, you got it. shy (closeted) boy being capote. add ~5 years to the boy's age, make it a longer & non-christmas based story, & you've got the grasp harp.

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  9. You actually watch movies just to see if they have gay characters?

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    1. You must be new here. Look at my last 1,000 posts.

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