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I can’t find a good moving coming out movie to watch.

I used to be a big fan of gay cinema. When I was a teenager I’d pounce on any piece of gay culture that I could, feeding a starved appetite. Yet, gay movies today — even those same ones that I couldn’t get enough of five or ten years ago — don’t hold nearly the same appeal as they once did.

On some level I’m tempted to think that it’s only because I’m past that stage of coming out in my own life, because I don’t identify with any of those troubled characters in the same way that I used to, but it is not limited to just coming out films. I don’t have that strong desire to be part of some larger community at all anymore, so although it’s still nice to have films with gay characters in them, they’re no longer exempt from the regular criteria of good cinema that I would apply to any other film.

Let’s be honest. Most of these movies are not very good. They tend to convey a feeling that they were only made because somebody had some vague idea that a particular story needed to be told, rather than a feeling that the filmmaker had a compelling story to tell. The difference may be minute but it makes a big difference. Somebody wanted to address the problems of homophobia in the mormon church and made Latter Days, but unless you’re predisposed to identifying with the character that suffers through it — that is, unless you yourself are faced with, or significantly interested in, the same problem of religious homophobia — the movie doesn’t pack much of a punch, in the same way that coming out stories mean much more to closeted teenagers than well adjusted adults.

No longer can I profuse love for a particular movie out of a mere desire for commonality with somebody, nor out of a fallicious obligation to support one’s community. There’s a lot of gay themed movies out there, but very few of them are genuinely good. It seems to me that most are B list curiosities, there if you need them but forgettable if you don’t.

Random FAQ Comments (4)

4 Responses to “Gay cinema: the free ride is over”

  1. Jon says:

    I think it’s about time that “gay movies” (whatever that may mean, really) stop riding on the commonality thing and actually have depth and the ability to appeal to anyone interested in a great film.
    how horrible was ‘another gay movie’??
    you know?

  2. Jon says:

    so, yeah i don’t think it came out clearly but i totally agree with you!

  3. GP says:

    Well, at least “Another Gay Movie” had no pretenses about being fantastic cinema. I can forgive it for being what it was. Not that that makes it any good…

  4. David says:

    you should check out ‘boy culture’. i saw it at cinema du parc before i left and was actually impressed. it didn’t suck! it was well shot, etc

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