Justin Lundsten

April 1998


This is supposed to be the music issue, but I have chose to write about another form of "Fine Art" - The moving picture.

Gay films. Very controversial just ten years ago, the movies depicting gay lives and characters has boomed into a immense flood of films. Why so? Well, the new openness of course, the acceptance of it's existence in everyday life and the sheer need of these films.

How do gay people want to be depicted, and how are we depicted? Well the first question is very individual. The other question though, I think can be answered. From having been shown very feminine, obviously showing the sexual preference of the character. In this way everyone "knew," without having the question ever discussed or brought up. Now, gay characters more and more become ordinary men and women, living ordinary lives in their apartments and having ordinary jobs. The boundary between gay-straight gets invisible -- and more realistic. Today gay life is shown in every context, from the flamboyant clublife of the city to the middle class boring suburb-life with it's everyday trivial difficulties. Gay characters can be a contrast to the straight characters or be one with them.

I haven't seen all gay films -- not by far, and there is always a new one coming out. Although gay films are few here in Sweden, a few has been made. "Sebastian" or the Swedish title "När alla vet" (When everyone knows), about the first love and coming out of the young Sebastian was a complete failure in Scandinavia. It was voted one of the worst films ever made! It has gone better outside Scandinavia. A contrast to this film is "Pensionat Oskar" (Boarding-house Oskar), which was awarded with a Swedish "Oscar". It tells the story of a middle aged man, living with his wife and children in a semi-detached house in a ordinary boring suburb of a Swedish town. He his depressed and bored with his life. During a vacation he finds himself attracted by the resorts "handy-man", a mystical man who fascinates and lights up the boring life of the "suburb-slave". It is a wonderful film, filled with warmth and hope.

Gay films from countries outside the western countries have been rare, but now more and more films has come from these countries. The Cuban film "Fresa y chocolate" is a very sad film, showing the frustration of being different, and the value of friendship. The first Chinese film to ever depict homosexuality was "East Palace, West Palace", a highly controversial film, it was banned in its native country. The film shows a conversation between a jailed gay man, and the police officer guarding him.

So if your planning to rent a movie tonight, you don't have to scout the innermost corners of the rental store to find gay movies. How about some heavy moral dilemma? Take "Priest", A first love and coming out story? Take "Beautiful thing", or maybe some gay mentality in "All the rage". Have fun!

At last, I will share my favorite movies! I love French movies. Preferably starring the actress Juliette Binoche. I hate to say this, but her looks is near to perfect! She is an enchanting woman, who takes the whole screen into her acting. I don't understand French, but the language is so beautiful. I can snuggle up in the sofa, and put on the movie; then it is fully possibly for me to shut my eyes and just listen to the actors speak! It's wonderful!

See you next month,

Justin Lundsten

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