hepclassic

Gay True Stories That Need To Be On Film

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If mainstream Hollywood has offered anything as of late to diversify cinema orientation-wise, Carol (2015) I hear, is a good film that shows a love affair that doesn't end with the gay couple murdered. I can understand Hollywood catering to those in the GLBT community wanting to live without killing ourselves or being murdered by a homophobe with a gun, but there are gay women in history I would like to see stories of and not on HBO. 

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There is a great deal of gay independent cinema - you couldn't keep up with it even if you made a valiant attempt.  In the NYC area, these kind of films open up for a week and, then, sadly, they are gone - where, I'm not exactly sure. Perhaps onto Netflix, which has an astonishing variety of these films.  A recent surprise for me was the quality film, "From Beginning To End", an engrossing tale of two brothers - who fell in love.  It was anything but "a sordid tale" - the brothers' love for each other was both "real" and overwhelming. Surprisingly, what could have been "a tragedy" ended up on a triumphant note.

 

 

 

One good things is story driven films are relatively inexpensive to make.   e.g. Carol cost < 12 million to make,  earning around 40 million worldwide.    So that is a sound return on investment ratio but still not the type of net return a major studio would like.  The film was financed by film mogul Harvey Weinstein so that is encouraging.        

 

But I still say it isn't realistic to expect major studios to back what is viewed as niche market films.   

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Well to that I just have to quote from Cate Blanchett's Oscar speech with a slight paraphrase: 

 

"And thank you to Sony Classics, to Michael and Tom for their extraordinary support. For so bravely and intelligently distributing the film and to the audiences who went to see it and perhaps those of us in the industry who are still foolishly clinging to the idea that [gay] films with  [gay] women at the center are niche experiences. They are not. Audiences want to see them and, in fact, they earn money. The world is round, people!" 

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One good things is story driven films are relatively inexpensive to make.   e.g. Carol cost < 12 million to make,  earning around 40 million worldwide.    So that is a sound return on investment ratio but still not the type of net return a major studio would like.  The film was financed by film mogul Harvey Weinstein so that is encouraging.        

 

But I still say it isn't realistic to expect major studios to back what is viewed as niche market films.   

Hollywood is sometimes like panning for gold. The big studios and producers are looking for the motherlode (blockbusters that will make billions). But they also put up money for smaller, prestigious films. So while the industry is commercial it also has people willing to take risks and make artistic statements. 

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"Carol" was well made but I found it cold- which I think it's the reason it was ignore by the Oscars. 

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"Carol" was well made but I found it cold- which I think it's the reason it was ignore by the Oscars. 

Well, I have yet to see a hot 1950s period piece involving two white women. And it's Todd Haynes, and even though he is an excellent filmmaker, his films are usually kitchen sink. 

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There are several things I wanted to add here on this thread before the thoughts get away from me:

 

a ) First, not every gay-themed film is artistic. Most of us know it. Someone mentioned the film FROM BEGINNING TO END. I have not seen it, so I can not evaluate it. But a lot of reviews I have read online call the film 'shallow trash.' The filmmaker might have tried to do something artistic with the subject matter, but that does not mean he necessarily succeeded. A lot of films about two gay men are borderline soft porn. That itself does not make them trashy, because they can still be artfully rendered. But many of the films, budgets aside, are trying to show off good looking bodies instead of telling a compelling story, and we have to judge those accordingly.

 

b ) When Cate Blanchett says there is a market for a certain type of gay or lesbian themed film, she is to some extent correct. But she's also saying that because she wants there to be a market for those motion pictures. She is making movies she would like to see. Nothing wrong with that. But the numbers do not entirely support her point of view, if we do a comparative analysis of people who want straight action films versus people who want homosexual love stories. Going with James' point for a moment, about the business angles, if 50% of the human population was gay or openly identified as such and films like CAROL were consistently raking in a half billion worldwide, then you can bet all the major studios would be turning them out left and right. Why? Because there was a huge, obvious market for it. But at this point, the demand for mainstream gay cinema is not equal to other mainstream cinema, and we have to acknowledge such a fact.

 

c ) Getting back to hepclassic's original topic here-- yes, more true stories about gay men and lesbians and other groups along the spectrum should be filmed. But quality filmmaking must be the goal. It shouldn't be about mass producing a hundred or a thousand of these films merely to increase visibility or raise awareness if they are still made in inferior ways. What good does that do? It becomes an ironic step backward, not forward, if the films lack a special must-see quality.

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There are several things I wanted to add here on this thread before the thoughts get away from me:

 

a ) First, not every gay-themed film is artistic. Most of us know it. Someone mentioned the film FROM BEGINNING TO END. I have not seen it, so I can not evaluate it. But a lot of reviews I have read online call the film 'shallow trash.' The filmmaker might have tried to do something artistic with the subject matter, but that does not mean he necessarily succeeded. A lot of films about two gay men are borderline soft porn. That itself does not make them trashy, because they can still be artfully rendered. But many of the films, budgets aside, are trying to show off good looking bodies instead of telling a compelling story, and we have to judge those accordingly.

 

b ) When Cate Blanchett says there is a market for a certain type of gay or lesbian themed film, she is to some extent correct. But she's also saying that because she wants there to be a market for those motion pictures. She is making movies she would like to see. Nothing wrong with that. But the numbers do not entirely support her point of view, if we do a comparative analysis of people who want straight action films versus people who want homosexual love stories. Going with James' point for a moment, about the business angles, if 50% of the human population was gay or openly identified as such and films like CAROL were consistently raking in a half billion worldwide, then you can bet all the major studios would be turning them out left and right. Why? Because there was a huge, obvious market for it. But at this point, the demand for mainstream gay cinema is not equal to other mainstream cinema, and we have to acknowledge such a fact.

 

c ) Getting back to hepclassic's original topic here-- yes, more true stories about gay men and lesbians and other groups along the spectrum should be filmed. But quality filmmaking along these lines is the goal. It shouldn't be about mass producing a hundred or a thousand of these films merely to increase visibility or raise awareness if they are still made in inferior ways. What good does that do? It becomes an ironic step backward, not forward, if the films lack a special must-see quality.

Well, I paraphrased her Oscar acceptance speech for Blue Jasmine (2013), because she was mostly talking about roles and opportunities for women and that films about women make money, which they do, but the trend is that they only make money if a man directs, writes, or produces them. She won for playing a Woody Allen character. Woody Allen has written complex roles for women, but women have been writing complex roles for women since Claire Booth Luce's The Women and before that. 

 

To go to your last point, there is a huge difference in increasing visibility of GLBT stories, and having that story be compelling and of artistic value. There is so much underground that still quantifies the need to be visible and the need to be artistic at the same time. If American cinema wasn't the constant struggle between commerce and art ("Putting It Together"), we wouldn't have so many doozies as we do artwork. But, I look at a film like Pariah (2011), which is about a teenage African-American lesbian coming to terms with who she is while dealing with the pressures of her ultra-religious mother, and I watch it on Netflix, and usually, after watching I'm like- "Why did I not see this in theatres?" Then I look at when it was available in my city to see, and I see a theatre that only plays indies had it play there. I'm thinking if it wasn't mass distributed that much, maybe that's why Netflix is airing it, to fix the visibility gap. I think, "oh, this happens a lot." But the film has artistic merits. It's not just a visibility issue film. 

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Well, I paraphrased her Oscar acceptance speech for Blue Jasmine (2013), because she was mostly talking about roles and opportunities for women and that films about women make money, which they do, but the trend is that they only make money if a man directs, writes, or produces them. She won for playing a Woody Allen character. Woody Allen has written complex roles for women, but women have been writing complex roles for women since Claire Booth Luce's The Women and before that. 

 

To go to your last point, there is a huge difference in increasing visibility of GLBT stories, and having that story be compelling and of artistic value. There is so much underground that still quantifies the need to be visible and the need to be artistic at the same time. If American cinema wasn't the constant struggle between commerce and art ("Putting It Together"), we wouldn't have so many doozies as we do artwork. But, I look at a film like Pariah (2011), which is about a teenage African-American lesbian coming to terms with who she is while dealing with the pressures of her ultra-religious mother, and I watch it on Netflix, and usually, after watching I'm like- "Why did I not see this in theatres?" Then I look at when it was available in my city to see, and I see a theatre that only plays indies had it play there. I'm thinking if it wasn't mass distributed that much, maybe that's why Netflix is airing it, to fix the visibility gap. I think, "oh, this happens a lot." But the film has artistic merits. It's not just a visibility issue film. 

Thanks for clarifying about the origin of the Blanchett quote. I do not think Allen writes for women as much as he writes for himself his ideas of how women seem. But that's another discussion altogether!

 

As for Netflix, most of these films are available there because Netflix is trying to increase the amount of content available to subscribers. And the indy titles are cheaper than studio product like MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS, SUNSET BOULEVARD and THE TERMINATOR. Still, it's good to see the stories are finding audiences, which is how it should be.

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Thanks for clarifying about the origin of the Blanchett quote. I do not think Allen writes for women as much as he writes for himself his ideas of how women seem. But that's another discussion altogether!

 

As for Netflix, most of these films are available there because Netflix is trying to increase the amount of content available to subscribers. And the indy titles are cheaper than studio product like MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS, SUNSET BOULEVARD and THE TERMINATOR. Still, it's good to see the stories are finding audiences, which is how it should be.

I agree. And I think where the classics hit their stride well was taking the time to test and experiment WITH their audiences to find their markets. That's why there was Meet Me In St. Louis (1944) and why there were "race" films like "The Duke Is Tops." 

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Well, I have yet to see a hot 1950s period piece involving two white women. And it's Todd Haynes, and even though he is an excellent filmmaker, his films are usually kitchen sink. 

Hayne's have some interesting films like "Poison" and his  "Far From Heaven" is TCM worthy tribute to Dougals Sirk and  Ross Hunter. 

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Sal Mineo would be a worthy film biography subject- I know James Franco did a movie about him - but was it ever actually released.   Matt Bomer  is attached to a Montgomery Clift bio. 

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Sal Mineo would be a worthy film biography subject- I know James Franco did a movie about him - but was it ever actually released.   Matt Bomer  is attached to a Montgomery Clift bio. 

 

Gene Krupa could play the part of Sal.   

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There are several things I wanted to add here on this thread before the thoughts get away from me:

 

a ) First, not every gay-themed film is artistic. Most of us know it. Someone mentioned the film FROM BEGINNING TO END. I have not seen it, so I can not evaluate it. But a lot of reviews I have read online call the film 'shallow trash.' The filmmaker might have tried to do something artistic with the subject matter, but that does not mean he necessarily succeeded. A lot of films about two gay men are borderline soft porn. That itself does not make them trashy, because they can still be artfully rendered. But many of the films, budgets aside, are trying to show off good looking bodies instead of telling a compelling story, and we have to judge those accordingly.

 

b ) When Cate Blanchett says there is a market for a certain type of gay or lesbian themed film, she is to some extent correct. But she's also saying that because she wants there to be a market for those motion pictures. She is making movies she would like to see. Nothing wrong with that. But the numbers do not entirely support her point of view, if we do a comparative analysis of people who want straight action films versus people who want homosexual love stories. Going with James' point for a moment, about the business angles, if 50% of the human population was gay or openly identified as such and films like CAROL were consistently raking in a half billion worldwide, then you can bet all the major studios would be turning them out left and right. Why? Because there was a huge, obvious market for it. But at this point, the demand for mainstream gay cinema is not equal to other mainstream cinema, and we have to acknowledge such a fact.

 

c ) Getting back to hepclassic's original topic here-- yes, more true stories about gay men and lesbians and other groups along the spectrum should be filmed. But quality filmmaking must be the goal. It shouldn't be about mass producing a hundred or a thousand of these films merely to increase visibility or raise awareness if they are still made in inferior ways. What good does that do? It becomes an ironic step backward, not forward, if the films lack a special must-see quality.

 

I watched the trailer for FROM BEGINNING TO END and what struck me is how the entire story unfolded, scene for scene, in just a few minutes so that viewer knows everything that happens except whether or not the brothers will live happily ever after. Now if I see the movie on DVD, all I need to do is watch the final 20 minutes in order to say "I saw it"... from beginning to end.

 

Now I don't know how you would define "borderline soft porn", but I haven't noticed any ratio difference between standard gay drama and straight drama (that is, those quantifiable for an R-rating and a wider audience than, say, Falcon Studios). I would agree that many gay dramas do include a bedroom scene that will at least show torso and possibly behind. OK... since hardly ANY mainstream movies these days ALLOW full frontal male nudity, they may include a quickie shot here of an "unaroused" man naked to please the intended audience. Case in point: the excellent and well-acted WEEKEND, made in the UK by Andrew Haigh with a straight and a gay actor "simulating" love scenes (I think a woman filmed those) and one of them shown for a few seconds naked... "limp", of course. Also some suggested slightly off-screen fondling and "release" that might push it a few edits further into "soft core" territory than, say, BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN which showed two bare bottoms jumping in a lake and a tent scene consisting mostly of sound effects.

 

However heterosexual dramas tend to show a great deal more in their bedroom scenes.

 

Likewise, any movie plot involving a buff 6-pack boy meeting a perky sex kitten girl is labeled a "romantic comedy" and gets heavy promotion in February (for the Valentine crowd) or during the late summer on the major TV networks. If the plot involves a skinny boy who is "intellectual" meeting a girl who doesn't look great in a bikini, you get what is defined as an "indie comedy"... and it better have enough laughs or else it won't make it out of the Sundance Film Festival. Of course, ANY romance involving two guys (regardless if they are "buff" models or not) winds up as a TLA release and any involving two ladies has to feature Cate Blanchet, Susan Sarandon or fellow straight-but-acting-gay actress Julianne Moore in order to make a profit.

 

It is interesting that you suggested "if 50% of the human population was gay or openly identified as such" for one scenario you were speculating.

 

Now I am going to get DEEP here, so fasten your seat belt. You will instantly think I am just whipping this silly business up out of my head, but I am putting it out there anyway.

 

Hep and I had a LITTLE post exchange on an earlier thread referencing the 1940s-50s Kinsey reports. These claimed only a small percentage of the people interviewed (privately and in an era years before much "urbanization", the dominance of TV and later internet, the sexual revolution, Stonewall, the panic over AIDS, the anti-gay politics of Anita Bryant and Ted Cruz... and everything else that happened in regards to "molding" how the average American defines gay vs. straight lifestyles) were accurately "100%" heterosexual or homosexual in their sex histories. Most interviewed fell somewhere in-between, being aroused by other factors than "can I create children with this partner using the appropriate anatomical parts?" A vast majority simply identified as "heterosexual" publically regardless of their actual desires or private experiences (and you could be more private back in the 1940s than today) because of the triad of dominance: Church, Family and Society (society = government laws). With this triad, it is MANDATORY that as many people as possible are heterosexual at least in PRACTICE so that children continue to be born and family bloodlines and heritages are maintained. Also the armies need soldiers.

 

Sexuality is quite often "fluid" in that you and I tend to be attracted to individual humans first and gender is really secondary. Of course the triad (Church, Family, Society) influenced and conditioned us to be as heterosexual as possible. This starts at the toddler stage when dolls are removed from little boys so that they don't become too "feminine".

 

An interesting side effect is that many self-described heterosexuals who stick to heterosexual relationships (including those getting married "traditionally" by GOP standards and having kids biologically) are still often very, very curious about gay themed entertainment, but are obviously too cautious to fully investigate. Nor will they sit through an entire film with gay characters. Yet they are still curious enough for a "sampling" and Hollywood subconsciously knows this so there will always be some "teasing" involved.

 

One humorous example was in 2014 when ABC's HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER inserted a gay scene that was a trifle more provocative than usually seen on network TV. However, because of the show's very high ratings and the fact that most of the characters were heterosexual... and the subject itself had little sex... it didn't create anger among conservatives like an earlier kissing scene in GLEE (a more outwardly "gayer" show) and, if anything, was an episode many re-watched over and over with intense curiosity. There is a certain "percentile" that fits the mainstream "comfort level".

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For some reason tv shows seem to get away with including gay content...straight romantic encounters can get away with a lot before they get an R rating- (did anyone see the rather dull- "Fifty Shades of Grey " movie? ) The most shocking moment was a brief frontal glimpse of  the male lead's **** hair.   I don't buy the sexuality fluid thing- except maybe in women.  Men who define themselves as straight are not going to go gay unless maybe money is involved.  But going back to cinematic musings...just look at "Looking" on HBO a very sexy show with some very hot sex scenes - that were just a few frames away from the current Titan Men release.

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I watched the trailer for FROM BEGINNING TO END and what struck me is how the entire story unfolded, scene for scene, in just a few minutes so that viewer knows everything that happens except whether or not the brothers will live happily ever after. Now if I see the movie on DVD, all I need to do is watch the final 20 minutes in order to say "I saw it"... from beginning to end.

 

Now I don't know how you would define "borderline soft porn", but I haven't noticed any ratio difference between standard gay drama and straight drama (that is, those quantifiable for an R-rating and a wider audience than, say, Falcon Studios). I would agree that many gay dramas do include a bedroom scene that will at least show torso and possibly behind. OK... since hardly ANY mainstream movies these days ALLOW full frontal male nudity, they may include a quickie shot here of an "unaroused" man naked to please the intended audience. Case in point: the excellent and well-acted WEEKEND, made in the UK by Andrew Haigh with a straight and a gay actor "simulating" love scenes (I think a woman filmed those) and one of them shown for a few seconds naked... "limp", of course. Also some suggested slightly off-screen fondling and "release" that might push it a few edits further into "soft core" territory than, say, BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN which showed two bare bottoms jumping in a lake and a tent scene consisting mostly of sound effects.

 

However heterosexual dramas tend to show a great deal more in their bedroom scenes.

 

Likewise, any movie plot involving a buff 6-pack boy meeting a perky sex kitten girl is labeled a "romantic comedy" and gets heavy promotion in February (for the Valentine crowd) or during the late summer on the major TV networks. If the plot involves a skinny boy who is "intellectual" meeting a girl who doesn't look great in a bikini, you get what is defined as an "indie comedy"... and it better have enough laughs or else it won't make it out of the Sundance Film Festival. Of course, ANY romance involving two guys (regardless if they are "buff" models or not) winds up as a TLA release and any involving two ladies has to feature Cate Blanchet, Susan Sarandon or fellow straight-but-acting-gay actress Julianne Moore in order to make a profit.

 

It is interesting that you suggested "if 50% of the human population was gay or openly identified as such" for one scenario you were speculating.

 

Now I am going to get DEEP here, so fasten your seat belt. You will instantly think I am just whipping this silly business up out of my head, but I am putting it out there anyway.

 

Hep and I had a LITTLE post exchange on an earlier thread referencing the 1940s-50s Kinsey reports. These claimed only a small percentage of the people interviewed (privately and in an era years before much "urbanization", the dominance of TV and later internet, the sexual revolution, Stonewall, the panic over AIDS, the anti-gay politics of Anita Bryant and Ted Cruz... and everything else that happened in regards to "molding" how the average American defines gay vs. straight lifestyles) were accurately "100%" heterosexual or homosexual in their sex histories. Most interviewed fell somewhere in-between, being aroused by other factors than "can I create children with this partner using the appropriate anatomical parts?" A vast majority simply identified as "heterosexual" publically regardless of their actual desires or private experiences (and you could be more private back in the 1940s than today) because of the triad of dominance: Church, Family and Society (society = government laws). With this triad, it is MANDATORY that as many people as possible are heterosexual at least in PRACTICE so that children continue to be born and family bloodlines and heritages are maintained. Also the armies need soldiers.

 

Sexuality is quite often "fluid" in that you and I tend to be attracted to individual humans first and gender is really secondary. Of course the triad (Church, Family, Society) influenced and conditioned us to be as heterosexual as possible. This starts at the toddler stage when dolls are removed from little boys so that they don't become too "feminine".

 

An interesting side effect is that many self-described heterosexuals who stick to heterosexual relationships (including those getting married "traditionally" by GOP standards and having kids biologically) are still often very, very curious about gay themed entertainment, but are obviously too cautious to fully investigate. Nor will they sit through an entire film with gay characters. Yet they are still curious enough for a "sampling" and Hollywood subconsciously knows this so there will always be some "teasing" involved.

 

One humorous example was in 2014 when ABC's HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER inserted a gay scene that was a trifle more provocative than usually seen on network TV. However, because of the show's very high ratings and the fact that most of the characters were heterosexual... and the subject itself had little sex... it didn't create anger among conservatives like an earlier kissing scene in GLEE (a more outwardly "gayer" show) and, if anything, was an episode many re-watched over and over with intense curiosity. There is a certain "percentile" that fits the mainstream "comfort level".

 

So 'born this way' is a myth?

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I don't buy the sexuality fluid thing- except maybe in women.  Men who define themselves as straight are not going to go gay unless maybe money is involved.

 

 

I did say "quite often", not "always".

 

Maybe I should have been more conservative and said "sometimes"? "On occasion"?

 

I was going by what studies done many decades ago were suggesting. I should have also added that when such studies were done in later years, there was a different ratio... and those that leaned to the homosexual side were in the minority and those in the hetero were in the majority. However I doubt there is a fully accurate way of studying sexual orientation.

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So 'born this way' is a myth?

 

THAT is going to be debated consistently. The Religious Right is convinced it is a myth and there is no point in arguing with them.

 

Y'know... I had the feeling I would rattle everybody's chains here. Ha ha! I am not completely sure of a lot that I read, but I do think a lot... and wonder...

 

One thing that MANY people fear is not being accepted because you are "different".

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I think we need to go beyond " the gay as lifestyle" cliche or the homosexual as tragic hero in film

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I think we need to go beyond " the gay as lifestyle" cliche or the homosexual as tragic hero in film

I understand the desire to say such a thing, but I don't agree. It's like black people acting as if the 'N' word doesn't exist. Yes, it might be painful but why bury your head in the sand about it? Face it and own it.

 

Some people believe the gay lifestyle is a choice (and in fact, there are active bisexuals who come out and say it is). Also there are homosexuals who do live rather tragic lives, just like heterosexuals do. These are variations on a larger theme. To say films should not depict that or we should not talk about it does not seem correct in my opinion. All forms of expression and identity conflict should be considered.

 

Returning to the thread topic-- for some, cliched aspects of the lifestyle and living a tragic life might very well be their "true" story. When I watched the documentary on Harvey Milk that TCM aired a year or two ago (it's currently on Hulu), almost all of the subjects interviewed did seem to fit stereotypes, bless 'em, and every single one of them were impacted by tragic circumstances, including Harvey's assassin. You can't ignore the reality of those circumstances and what their shared journey might include, even if it seems less than ideal when discussing LGBT issues.

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There is still too much type-casting that needs to change. Sort of like the "stock" cardboard characters of yesteryear: native "Indians" saying "how" when being friendly and scalping innocent white settlers when aggressive, Chinese stuck doing laundry unless they get to play detective (one positive Asian American "role" even if a Swede Warner Oland played the role), blacks being lazy and eating watermelon... or being hip hop antagonists of the police.

Gays have to be "tragic". They also have to have "a lifestyle" that is "not of the norm".

However the times have been changing for the better. At least we have films like THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT even though they suffer by being "eccentric" comedies with "eccentric" lesbians.

Interracial marriage was legalized in 1967 and late that year we got GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER. Then we got several decades worth of entertainment with little actual interracial "mixing" on screen. THE JEFFERSONS had supporting characters who were interracial, but that was just a "novelty". Only the last 15 years or so has seen some network programs like GREY'S ANATOMY being more inclusive. So I think America is finally... FINALLY... getting used to it.

I guess we have to wait a while for the whole "gay thang" to be accepted as "normal". Gay marriage was legalized last June and currently we have to go through this angry phase of one political party (the Republicans) trying to overturn it before most Americans have a chance to get used to it. There was plenty of hostility towards interracial relationships too in the sixties and seventies, but it was more society oriented and not so *political* as the current situation.

 

Part of the problem, no doubt, is the age group in power. Millennials born after 1980 are more accepting of both interracial and gay relationships than even their Baby Boom parents overall, despite the former growing up during a commonly viewed "liberal" era.

We just have to wait another decade or two. Look how long it took for the other to get accepted.

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There is still too much type-casting that needs to change. Sort of like the "stock" cardboard characters of yesteryear: native "Indians" saying "how" when being friendly and scalping innocent white settlers when aggressive, Chinese stuck doing laundry unless they get to play detective (one positive Asian American "role" even if a Swede Warner Oland played the role), blacks being lazy and eating watermelon... or being hip hop antagonists of the police.

 

Gays have to be "tragic". They also have to have "a lifestyle" that is "not of the norm".

 

However the times have been changing for the better. At least we have films like THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT even though they suffer by being "eccentric" comedies with "eccentric" lesbians.

 

Interracial marriage was legalized in 1967 and late that year we got GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER. Then we got several decades worth of entertainment with little actual interracial "mixing" on screen. THE JEFFERSONS had supporting characters who were interracial, but that was just a "novelty". Only the last 15 years or so has seen some network programs like GREY'S ANATOMY being more inclusive. So I think America is finally... FINALLY... getting used to it.

 

I guess we have to wait a while for the whole "gay thang" to be accepted as "normal". Gay marriage was legalized last June and currently we have to go through this angry phase of one political party (the Republicans) trying to overturn it before most Americans have a chance to get used to it. There was plenty of hostility towards interracial relationships too in the sixties and seventies, but it was more society oriented and not so *political* as the current situation.

 

Part of the problem, no doubt, is the age group in power. Millennials born after 1980 are more accepting of both interracial and gay relationships than even their Baby Boom parents overall, despite the former growing up during a commonly viewed "liberal" era.

 

We just have to wait another decade or two. Look how long it took for the other to get accepted.

I think your comments are over-generalizing (and ironically stereotyping) to some extent. I know blacks who are progressive on a host of issues but still not in favor of 'mixing' because they feel it waters down their own culture. They see the need to preserve their race and its beautiful cultural components. 

 

Also, I wouldn't say millenials are necessarily more accepting and open minded. My cousin's daughter is 20, and she gets a kick out of going on Facebook pages of vegetarian groups and vegan groups to post pictures of the deer, wild turkeys and fish she and her boyfriend killed and recently ate. She loves to make fun of progressives and she and her friends are not too gay friendly. It's not a generational thing, it's an attitude that gets handed down from one generation to the next. Also, some younger people who experiment with their sexuality might reverse themselves and become more conservative and rigidly opposed to such openness later on, when they are raising a family. 

 

As for saying gays cannot be tragic in movies anymore (if that is indeed what you are advocating) it is sort of like saying the opera diva has to now be shown as cheerful and Maria Callas should smile through the tears when she is singing. I am not comparing all gay men to opera divas, but my point is that if their lives and their stories are heavy on tragedy, let them express it as such and be authentic. 

 

Also, we need to realize that in movies as well as in life, some unhappy endings are happy endings. And some happy endings are actually unhappy endings. Many times a movie will conclude, and the couple seems to have attained a moment of bliss, but we know that the next conflict is around the corner, and some of them did not really choose the best mate to deal with what's next.

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Oooohhhh.... I think you may be generalizing my own response. Ha ha!

 

I am not THAT "absolute" in my opinions. I am very careful not to say EVERYBODY in such and such an age group is one way or another.

 

http://www.pewforum.org/2015/07/29/graphics-slideshow-changing-attitudes-on-gay-marriage/

 

Of course, I probably need to re-edit many of my posts to be sure I am not viewed as THAT one-sided in my views. (However... lately I have gotten sssssooooo disgusted with what the Republicans are doing these days to stay in power that I do need a muzzle.)

 

... and I do agree with you more often than I disagree, including your last post.

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The gay is 'lifestyle choice" must have been dreamed up by some pot smoking hippie in the 1970's . Sexuality is not a choice you either are attracted to men or to women. You choose how you live your life - either as openly gay or in the closet which usually leads to either drama or comedy or both.  There are many homosexuals in the past who did lead tragic lives but I'm sure there are plenty who were actually happy and going back to the cinema - I would prefer to see gays integrated into mainstream movies - and not just a comedy relief

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The gay is 'lifestyle choice" must have been dreamed up by some pot smoking hippie in the 1970's . Sexuality is not a choice you either are attracted to men or to women. You choose how you live your life - either as openly gay or in the closet which usually leads to either drama or comedy or both.  There are many homosexuals in the past who did lead tragic lives but I'm sure there are plenty who were actually happy and going back to the cinema - I would prefer to see gays integrated into mainstream movies - and not just a comedy relief

 

To me human sexuality is too complex to be viewed in a narrow binary manner of 'born this way' or 'lifestyle choice'.    

 

This applies to heterosexuals as well.     Anyhow at the end of the day why does it matter?    Everyone should be given equal rights and treated with dignity regardless of their sexuality and regardless of what factors made each of us the way we are.        

 

PS:  Your post also ignores bisexuals.   Is that a choice?    Another examples that human sexuality is complex and must be viewed with nuance.  

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