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TopBilled

Ideas for LGBT essentials

59 posts in this topic

40 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

But the ending of the film is pretty much how the novel ends; where one commits to a lifelong relationship with a woman and the other one commits to a lifelong relationship with a man.

But... but ... I don't think you can use the same verb, "commit," to describe both of those relationships. Clive does what many gay men of his period (and class) did: got married, but did not really commit to their wives. That penultimate scene in the movie -- Clive looking out of the window and remembering Maurice, then turning to face poor Phoebe Nicholls, who is obviously desperate for the sex she will not get, is totally different from the hot sex (and of course love) that Maurice and Alec achieve in the shed.

Two late lines from the novel, the first (and paragraph preceding it) make clear that Clive remains in love with Maurice for the rest of his life:

"Out of some eternal Cambridge his friend began beckoning to him, clothed in the sun, and shaking out the scents and sounds of the May Term." 

(The above quote is beautifully depicted in the movie, when Clive imagines seeing Maurice outside his window.)

And a phrase from the last line of the novel:

"...and to devise some method of concealing the truth from Anne."

So, Maurice commits to his nature; Clive continues to remain in the closet, his poor wife a sort of victim of that choice.

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Swithin said:

But... but ... I don't think you can use the same verb, "commit," to describe both of those relationships. Clive does what many gay men of his period (and class) did: got married, but did not really commit to their wives. That penultimate scene in the movie -- Clive looking out the window and remembering Maurice, then turning to face poor Phoebe Nicholls, who is obviously desperate for the sex she will not get, is totally different from the hot sex (and of course love) that Maurice and Alec achieve in the shed.

Two late lines from the novel, the first (and paragraph preceding it) make clear that Clive remains in love with Maurice for the rest of his life:

"Out of some eternal Cambridge his friend began beckoning to him, clothed in the sun, and shaking out the scents and sounds of the May Term." 

(The above quote is beautifully depicted in the movie, when Clive imagines seeing Maurice outside his window.)

And a phrase from the last line of the novel:

"...and to devise some method of concealing the truth from Anne."

So, Maurice commits to his nature; Clive continues to remain in the closet, his poor wife a sort of victim of that choice.

 

 

The depth  - and beauty - of this novel and film - will never fade.  

 

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31 minutes ago, Swithin said:

But... but ... I don't think you can use the same verb, "commit," to describe both of those relationships. Clive does what many gay men of his period (and class) did: got married, but did not really commit to their wives. That penultimate scene in the movie -- Clive looking out of the window and remembering Maurice, then turning to face poor Phoebe Nicholls, who is obviously desperate for the sex she will not get, is totally different from the hot sex (and of course love) that Maurice and Alec achieve in the shed.

Two late lines from the novel, the first (and paragraph preceding it) make clear that Clive remains in love with Maurice for the rest of his life:

"Out of some eternal Cambridge his friend began beckoning to him, clothed in the sun, and shaking out the scents and sounds of the May Term." 

(The above quote is beautifully depicted in the movie, when Clive imagines seeing Maurice outside his window.)

And a phrase from the last line of the novel:

"...and to devise some method of concealing the truth from Anne."

So, Maurice commits to his nature; Clive continues to remain in the closet, his poor wife a sort of victim of that choice.

First, it's interesting how literary scholars consider this an inferior novel of Forster's (which I don't think it is). The parts you quote show us the beauty of the language this author uses.

I do not think Clive stays gay in the story. Maurice was his first love, at least his first love in the story, since we don't know who else he was involved with before meeting Maurice. And the truth he's concealing from his wife is that she's not his first. Not necessarily that he's still gay, because he is not. Part of him will always love Maurice more in terms of brotherhood and loyalty. But I do think he genuinely loves his wife and will find a good deal of contentment with her and the family they will have. He would not have been happy traipsing off to South America. Clive's a bit of a snob and he would not be able to have a proper place in society chasing the wind with anyone; he's established here and Anne supports him in all that which is a great comfort to him. So given these definitions he's happy at the end.

The way he looks after Maurice leaving is nostalgia. He's not sure he will ever see him again; Maurice holds a unique place in his development. I do think Ivory gets that scene of him staring out the window wrong. He's not supposed to be miserably pining after Maurice. He's not going to have sex with men behind his wife's back; there is nothing in Forster's text which suggests that. If so, then he (not Maurice) would have had the affair with Alec. The ending is simply that he's saying goodbye and is gaining wisdom a part of his life is leaving and what it means for him and his wife.

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6 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

The way he looks after Maurice leaving is nostalgia. He's not sure he will ever see him again; Maurice holds a unique place in his development. I do think Ivory gets that scene of him staring out the window wrong. He's not supposed to be miserably pining after Maurice. He's not going to have sex with men behind his wife's back; there is nothing in Forster's text which suggests that. If so, then he (not Maurice) would have had the affair with Alec. The ending is simply that he's saying goodbye and is gaining wisdom a part of his life is leaving and what it means for him and his wife.

Interesting perspective. Like what happens in the Marabar Caves in A Passage to India, we will never know for sure. 

My edition of Maurice (the novel) bears a postscript in which Forster writes that Clive deteriorates when he turns to women. Forster also writes, that Clive "feels the last flick of my whip in the final chapter, when he discovers that his old Cambridge friend has relapsed inside Penge itself, and with a gamekeeper."

Forster was inspired to write Maurice by a visit to Edward Carpenter, one of the great Edwardian figures, who campaigned for gay rights. Forster wrote, "Carpenter had a prestige which cannot be understood today."

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4 minutes ago, Swithin said:

Interesting perspective. Like what happens in the Marabar Caves in A Passage to India, we will never know for sure. 

My edition of Maurice (the novel) bears a postscript in which Forster writes that Clive deteriorates when he turns to women. Forster also writes, that Clive "feels the last flick of my whip in the final chapter, when he discovers that his old Cambridge friend has relapsed inside Penge itself, and with a gamekeeper."

Forster was inspired to write Maurice by a visit to Edward Carpenter, one of the great Edwardian figures, who campaigned for gay rights. Forster wrote, "Carpenter had a prestige which cannot be understood today."

The way I look at this story-- one doesn't stay gay (Clive); and one doesn't stay straight (Maurice). They completely reverse themselves by the end from how we see them in the beginning. It's why I think this story is so brilliant, because Forster is giving us two sides of the same coin, and intriguingly the sides on the coin change.

I am sure that if Clive deteriorates in any way with Anne he quickly regenerates himself with her. As for Clive discovering the relationship between Maurice and Alec, yes it's tinged with irony and "pain." But that doesn't mean Clive wants to be in Maurice's place with Alec; or in Alec's place with Maurice. It's how Forster is causing Clive to see a reverse almost parallel image of himself.

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Since I mentioned Edward Carpenter, those of you who are unfamiliar with him might find this fascinating. I've excerpted a quote to titillate you:

"George Merrill, Carpenter's uninhibited working-class partner, touched Forster's repressed Cambridge backside during a visit to Millthorpe in 1912, "... gently and just above the buttocks. I believe he touched most people's. The sensation was unusual and I still remember it, as I remember the position of a long-vanished tooth. It was as much psychological as physical. It seemed to go straight through the small of my back into my ideas, without involving any thought."

Inspired, Forster went home, sat down on his probably still-tingling buttocks and wrote the first "gay" novel, Maurice. Though it wasn't to be published until after timid Forster's death, DH Lawrence saw the manuscript and was himself touched: Lady Chatterley's Lover is in many ways a heterosexualised Maurice. When Maurice was made into a film in the 1980s, its stars James Wilby and Rupert Graves made millions of ****, male and female, tingle at a time when homosexuality, as a result of Section 28 and Aids, had become a cultural battleground."

https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/features/the-lost-utopian-why-have-so-few-of-us-heard-of-victorian-poet-and-renowned-socialist-edward-949080.html

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Thanks for the feedback/comments on this thread yesterday. It was appreciated.

Next weekend I will post my review for the German film JONATHAN, which I've reviewed before in another thread. But it will be slightly edited with enhanced photos so it looks more like my usual reviews in the Essentials forum. Please check back.

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Here's what I wrote for this weekend's review:

Essential: JONATHAN (2016)

This German film is very different. The title character is played by Jannis Niewohner a relative newcomer to motion pictures. Niewohner does quite well given his lack of acting experience. He has the lead role, but he's not playing a gay man. His character is not even questioning anything in life. He seems sure of everything-- except his father.

Screen Shot 2018-06-24 at 7.48.58 PM.jpg

Jonathan's father is dying of cancer. During these final days Jonathan learns his old man is closeted. At one point we learn the backstory-- how the father had left Jonathan as a young boy to go off and be with his lover. But when Jonathan's mother took ill a short time later the father left his lover to return home and care for the wife. Then he finished raising Jonathan. Jonathan grew up not knowing his father had this other secret life, even after the mother died.

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Now the father is dying and of course his ex-lover shows up and they reunite. This throws Jonathan into a tailspin. He can't accept his dad being gay or having to share him with any other person during these last few weeks.

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There's a secondary story which covers Jonathan's own romantic life. His aunt shows up at the family's farm to help with chores while Jonathan's father gets sicker and goes into hospice. She is attracted to Jonathan, and Jonathan is attracted to her. They begin an incestuous affair. There is more than one sex scene between them and the first one is very explicit. This secondary "love" story is meant to comment on Jonathan's inability to accept his father's forbidden affair with the other man, the way Jonathan's forbidden relationship with the aunt might not be accepted.

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The father dies near the end, after affirming his love to his partner. There is a scene afterward where Jonathan buries the urn on a piece of land at the farm. The farm has now been sold and Jonathan is leaving. The final shot has Jonathan and the aunt riding off together to some unknown destination. What I enjoyed was how complex the relationships were that develop in this story. The are no easy answers and things are not exactly resolved, yet life goes on for Jonathan after his huge loss.

Screen Shot 2018-06-24 at 7.47.09 PM.jpg

JONATHAN is directed by Piotr Lewandowski and can be streamed on Hulu.

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Wiktor Grodecki's trilogy focusing on the gay rent boys of Prague is a haunting series: brutal, tragic. The films are Not Angels, But Angels (1994); Body Without Soul (1994), both of which are documentaries; and Mandragora (1997).

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Against the baroque backdrop of Prague, with an incredible musical score that includes Bach's St. Matthew Passion, these films bring to life the sadness of a group of young men, a few of whom have fled abuse from their families in the small towns of the Czech Republic.

 

 

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