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“The minute you start to reduce something by saying, ‘It’s gay,’ or, ‘It’s straight,’ it becomes niche. You ghettoize it by saying that it only belongs in one place”

SOUNDBITES — “There was an initial poster that had a shot of Colin and me lying down together, and Tom was the one who said, ‘No, I don’t want that poster.’ It made A Single Man look like a romantic comedy, which it’s most certainly not. He’s the one who changed that poster. … The minute you start to reduce something by saying, ‘It’s gay,’ or, ‘It’s straight,’ it becomes niche. You ghettoize it by saying that it only belongs in one place. That’s what’s so remarkable about A Single Man. It’s really about love and loss—period.” —Actress Julianne Moore, denied an Oscar nom for her role, on the film’s obvious de-gaying (via)

By:           editor editor
On:           Feb 4, 2010
Tagged: , , ,

  • 16 Comments
    • Cam
      Cam

      That would be the case if everything wasn’t automatically assumed to be straight.

      Feb 4, 2010 at 10:18 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Blair
      Blair

      I loved this movie, and I so hope that Colin Firth wins the Oscar for best actor.

      Feb 4, 2010 at 10:19 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • chango
      chango

      The “labels are wrong” meme is sooooo After School Special. Almost as tired as “it’s really about love.”

      Feb 4, 2010 at 11:30 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • romeo
      romeo

      I think I get what Julianne is talking about that the film has a universal theme about “love and loss,” and doesn’t need to be labeled a “gay” film in that regard, because the human condition is the same for gays and straights. Same could be said about “Brokback,” which is certainly true about both the original short story and the film. Unfortunately, if the protagonists are gay, then the media and the general public will assign the niche. “Brokeback,” though, came close to changing that. We’ll get there.

      How many guys cried over those shirts at the end? C’mon, admit it!

      Feb 4, 2010 at 11:59 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • chango
      chango

      Um, no: the entire POINT of both “A Single Man” and “Brokeback Mountain” was that being gay wasn’t a viable option for the main character(s).

      Neither film works if you substitute “straight” for “gay.”

      I notice Julianne Moore didn’t blather on about how “Far From Heaven” wasn’t really about an inter-racial love affair, but was actually about the universal theme of “love and loss.”

      Commence eye rolling.

      Feb 4, 2010 at 12:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • romeo
      romeo

      Chango, you are sooooooo off base. You can’t have studied much serious literature to be so literal minded. seriously.

      Feb 4, 2010 at 12:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • romeo
      romeo

      Oh, and Chango, the point of “Brokeback” was that being gay was the ONLY viable option for the protagonists. Thwarted love is the most universal of all literary themes. The tragedy was that their love was thwarted by assholes, apparently like you.

      Feb 4, 2010 at 1:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • chango
      chango

      The tragedy was that their love was thwarted by assholes, apparently like you.

      *****

      Congratulations, it took you six whole minutes to bolster your argument with an ad hominem.

      Feb 4, 2010 at 1:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • romeo
      romeo

      You’re timing me! LMAO

      Feb 4, 2010 at 1:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Robert
      Robert

      it’s true that the theme of love and loss is rather universal, irregardless of whether one is gay or straight; however, that doesn’t mean the human condition is the same for everyone or that that theme is manifested in the same way.

      in brokeback mountain, the presence of love and loss was made possible only through the characters’ sexuality: their love had to occur outside society (i.e., in the wilderness) and when it was brought into society, it resulted in the loss. this construct is unique to those who have an “outsider” status: sexual minorities, racial minorities, etc. the reality of their sexualities and what that means in regards to love and loss cannot be ignored, in the same way that tribalism cannot be ignored in romeo and juliet.

      Feb 4, 2010 at 1:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Caleb
      Caleb

      @Robert
      I stopped reading after “irregardless”

      Feb 4, 2010 at 4:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason
      jason

      The problem with the gay and straight labels are that they are polar opposites of a much wider spectrum. They fail to represent all the shades in between.

      Another problem with the gay label is that it has become heavily commercial. The word “gay” is used as a marketing ploy by people who market to those who live within the gay community. It’s become a means of making money rather than a description of human sexuality.

      Feb 4, 2010 at 5:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • chango
      chango

      @jason:

      “gay community?” Irony alert.

      Feb 4, 2010 at 6:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Robert
      Robert

      @Caleb

      haha, you stopped reading because you didn’t particularly like a word? maybe reading a blog with multi-syllabic words isn’t for you?

      Feb 4, 2010 at 9:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • chango
      chango

      @Robert:

      I think he means because “irregardless” is, ahem, “non-standard.”

      “Regardless” would be the preferred usage.

      And Romeo, since I’m so woefully ignorant about “serious literature,” perhaps you could explain why you think Edmund White was incorrect for calling Isherwood’s A Single Man as “the first and best novel of the modern gay liberation movement.”

      Feb 5, 2010 at 2:21 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • David Ehrenstein
      David Ehrenstein

      @Cam: You got it CAM!

      It’s preety obvious the film, like the book it was based on, is intended to deal with grief and loss in universal terms. But the specifics of being gay keep popping up — most dramtically in the phone call scene, where the hero is informed that he’s not invited to his lover’s funeral.

      How amny of us have gotten this very same call? Too many to mention.

      Feb 5, 2010 at 10:33 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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