I’ll admit upfront — I’m not always a fan. I like a lot of movies that feature gay characters and storylines, like A Single Man and Brokeback Mountain, but when the film is specifically targeting a gay audience, I tend to feel excluded. Maybe I have a bias; maybe such pieces of entertainment have a recurring deficiency. Maybe a little of both.
Ian Parker’s piece for The New Yorker on Tyler Clementi’s suicide — and the legal aftermath — is a must-read for anyone who is ever going to discuss recent gay teen suicides. It’s so hard not to use buzz words like “bully” and “epidemic” that have previously been attached to these stories, but Parker’s story focuses almost exclusively on Clementi and makes no attempt to incorporate it into a wider social “trend.” As it shouldn’t. There are many, many things that teenagers do because they see other teens doing it. But suicide is not one of them.
Each suicide is an isolate, individual event; suicide is done alone.
I’m not going to kill myself, I just need to get this out here.
(Movies discussed in this post: Like Crazy, Weekend, Crazy Stupid Love, Friends With Benefits, No Strings Attached.)
Or, to put it in Julia Roberts terminology — some movies are Runaway Bride, and some movies are Closer.
(The vast majority of movies are Runaway Bride.)
From the Vault: Here is my review of Kaboom, originally posted on Fabulous Apple.
Sex! Blood! Sex! Drugs! Sex! Witch! Sex! Vomit! Sex! Cult! Sex! Apocalypse! KABOOM! End credits.
Or so goes the plot of Gregg Araki’s latest film, Kaboom — only with less subtlety. Araki is the filmmaker behind 2005′s hauntingly beautiful, moody Mysterious Skin, which gave the world its first taste of Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a seriously talented performer, and the stoner comedy Smiley Face, a silly trifle worth watching to see the inimitable Anna Faris in full-out gonzo crazy mode as she rolls from her car to the floor of her garage because she thinks Satan is after her. Of course, Araki also has a cult following thanks to early films like Nowhere and The Doom Generation, which were also about disaffected, strung-out, promiscuous youths, many of them gay/lesbian/bi/whatever. Ostensibly, Kaboom is a throwback to those films, dubbed the “teen apocalypse trilogy” — is it now a quadrology? If you ever watched Dr. Strangelove and thought it could use more gay sex and a witch-melting scene, then Kaboom is the movie for you.