Queering Sundance: What’s Gay At This Year’s Sundance Film Festival?

The Thing

In hopes that she and her trans boyfriend Tristan will reconnect, Zooey has planned an elaborate road trip to a mysterious roadside attraction (the titluar “Thing”) On the road, both Tristan and his fluffy grey cat, Steven, struggle to find places to comfortably pee, while Zooey learns hitting the open road doesn’t mean you’ve left your troubles behind.  Yes, The Thing highlights the specific experiences of one FTM (and his oddball companions) but trans filmmaker Rhys Ernst—who started the movie as his MFA thesis—manages to tell a story with universal appeal.

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  • Interesting

    The gay content seems disconnected from our times versus what is being described as looking at America in decline for the rest of the movies in screening.

  • Lefty

    @Interesting: Or the Sundance programmers think representations of gay themes are intrinsically tied up with the decline of (American) society?

    That’s an interesting thing: maybe the direction of gay rights/representation runs counter to most people’s perception of the direction of society as a whole? We’re making progress bit by bit, while society is declining bit by bit – and that’s why some people see a correlation between the two? I was joking about Sundance buying into this and clearly only idiots/bigots would see such a correlation – but it is an interesting difference. Maybe straight society is burning out and we’re the optimists/catalysts of the bright future/ :D

  • Interesting

    @Lefty: No, I think its a representation of the limited amount (a) movies made about gays (b) the fact that the people making them have a limited range of subject matter they want to cover (that’s why I was stunned to see low income gays in a movie like Brokeback Mountain- I mean in gayville low income gays don’t exist), (c) The straights aren’t going to cover if we don’t and (d) gay rights is in vogue so “edgy” and “hip” remains including something gay even if its out of step.

    The reality of course is that we are just as burnt out as the rest of society. Ever try having a discussion about non-gay issues with a bunch of gays? Ask them about economic issues? If anything, they are worst than the heterosexual majority.

    Its just a disappointment that no one has made grade movies about a wide range of gay experiences. Its like when i see movies about African-Americans, and they are all in an urban setting. Its like black people don’t live anywhere else.

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