Well, well, Shirleypal. So you finally got a chance to see Crash
… I liked the film, more than most people who saw it did, but you must remember that at the time of the 2005 Oscars in February of 2006, Dubya was still riding high. Hollywood was terrified of opposing him politically at the time, and the idea of giving a homosexually-themed film the Best Picture
Oscar was out of the question. (Who knows what would have happened if the producers had released Brokeback Mountain
just one month later, in January of 2006, rather than in December of 2005? It is quite possible that in February of 2007, in the wake of the faux-revolutionary election of 2006, it might just have won the Oscar as a politically safe act of defiance…) The look on Jack Nicholson’s face as he announced the winner of the Best Picture
Oscar in 2006 told it all: the fix was in! And now Hollywood has to live with the shame…
Since Shirleypal has been foolish enough to unearth a grave that might be better off buried and forgotten, allow me to continue the discussion in this thread on a related key by bringing your attention to another “gay-themed” film that has gotten a lot of publicity this past spring --- The History Boys
, which came out on DVD in mid-April and which I saw approximately a week later. This film, which started its life on the London stage as a play in 2004, came over to the colonies in the summer of 2006, where it ran for twenty weeks at the Broadhurst Theatre
on Broadway. Last June, it won six Tonys --- the greatest number of Tonys for a play since Death of a Salesman
in 1949 --- as well as the prestigious New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play
. Hmmm, I remarked at the time, as I filed the play in the back of my mind for future reference, especially after I learned that it was in the genre of the teacher-student play (for which I have been a hopeless sucker since Dead Poets’ Society
Well, I saw The History Boys
, and I am shocked to say that I did not like it at all. On the surface, the play is a condemnation of the Thatcherite educational “reforms” of the early 1980s, which trashed the British educational system in exactly the same way as the Reaganite educational “reforms” of the mid 1980s trashed the Amerikan educational system and as the “Sarko” educational “reforms” of 2007 will trash the French educational system. And yes, from time to time, playwright Allen Bennett does get a superb stab at “the Iron Maiden”’s obsession with “educational performance for results.” But he did not go far enough in this direction to satisfy my political lust for fascist blood. But what really bothered me about the film was ----------- its relentless homoeroticism!
“WHAT?,” you squeal, “YOU, the biggest fag-lover on The Fantastic Forum
, complaining about homoeroticism in a film! WHAT?” Yes, folks, it’s true. I am actually quite a prude, and only my passionate romanticism even can overcome my instinctive prudishness. Jack and Ennis, the Romeo and Juliet of our age, are one thing, as I readily acknowledge, but “the history boys” are quite another. As Queen Victoria would have phrased it, “we are not amused” by the sexual shenanigans of the film. Not at all, guv’ner, not at all!
There are touching moments in the film, one of them being the occasion when the short, plain, Jewish --- and deeply gay --- Posner takes the opportunity of a class musical exercise to serenade his inamorato Dakin with a moving rendition of “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered” from Lorenz and Hart’s Kismet
Believe me, folks, this is the most chaste moment in the film, and everything else goes downhill from there! And that Dakin, oh God, what a piece of work he turns out to be --- Jack and Ennis would tire iron him themselves in a blind rage! I can’t get into the sordid details here, because I don’t want to spoil the movie for those of you who might be interested in seeing it, but suffice it to say that everybody --- with one notable exception --- ends up having a gay old time in this film. Much to my discomfort!
I am afraid that my opinion of this film is very much along the lines of Richard Roeper’s vicious and dead-on review:
http://tvplex.go.com/buenavista/ebertan ... y_boys.mp3
So there you go! Have any of you seen this film? If so, let me know if I am in the ballpark here, or whether I am just being gratuitously homophobic. Enquiring minds, as they say, want to know…