Friday, January 06, 2006

Best Review of 'Brokeback' I've Read

Since I'm too busy to post my own stellar review, here's Jim Emerson's, via Roger Ebert's site.

I totally agree with Emerson's critique of 'provincial' big-city 'sophisticates' who are accusing the film of being 'closeted.' It is so clear if you watch this film that Ang Lee was not out to make a political statement. But by not focusing on the political statement, he made such a political powerful film about gayness and homophobia and our society's violent repression of gay love that even the right wing doesn't know what to do with it. The Catholic Church even initially gave 'Brokeback' only its 2nd-highest 'offensive' rating, only to be forced to switch to the highest offensive rating after zealouts complained.

This film is political art of the highest degree by virtue of the fact that it wasn't trying to be political. This is the tension I struggle with in my own writing and living. How to balance the need for real change in our world, policy change, political change, with the need for real stories, honesty, beauty, art?

1 comment:

Efren said...

I think I've noticed that often the most politically powerful things that are done are usually done by people who aren't intentionally trying to be political. When the husband and I were interviewed by Channel 26 Chinese news, we only did it to get Mabel Teng and other people off our backs--little did we know that one interview probably did more visibility for the queer API community than anything any of the other organized groups have ever done, and for a time, catapulted us as SF's most prominent queer API activists, even when we both find most queer API politics (and politicans) abhorrent.

I subscribe to being political, but being practical and pragmatic. Living my life as an openly gay 2nd-gen FilAm man is already overly politicized by people who are ready to use me for their own tokenizing purposes. Refusing to live by anyone's agenda except my own has gotten me further politically (and made me way happier) than ever joining any group that demands my allegiance.

Wow, I haven't written anything this theoretical since leaving grad school! :)