If nothing else, awards season is a great time to reflect culturally on our cinematic mirror. The perpetual lack of gay men as significant characters and/or actors is unremarkable, though it’s striking that a not-too distant watershed is now being reimagined as an opera.
Ever more remarkable is how our stories gain a traction where they once were steamrollered over by the “mass message.” David France‘s outrage, over the already lauded “AIDSploytation” film stars’ obliviousness to the realities they have portrayed, has echoed. (Though their “grueling” metamorphases were, according to a few peers, normal for any actress.) But it also severed any thread of altruistic pretense for anyone on this project, and exposed instead their steeplechase toward vanity.
To be clear: Matthew McConaughey plays a bigoted homophobe, and Jared Leto a transexual. “Gay,” “male,” and “AIDS” together don’t even enter into the equation of the film (which I haven’t seen), forget the awards pandering–er, campaigning. I’m not going to presume to judge anything, especially a film, sight unseen. However make no mistake: this indie film, among a pack of very glossy, more noticed ones, probably deserves our attention because it’s about outcasts. Something we were not very long ago, and in many respects still are whether we care to admit it or not.