The Birdcage

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In the Birdcage, it is obvious that the two male gay characters have pretty opposite gender roles. Armand is the stereotypical masculine, butch man in the relationship, and Albert is the feminine nelly queen. It is arguable that these two are merely perpetuating stereotypes of a gay relationship, and mimicking a heterosexual one. Armand is the man, and Albert is the woman.
However, I think it is interesting to take Judith Butler's perspective into consideration. Armand and Albert aren't just mimicking a heterosexual relationship, they seem to be mocking it. Albert is not only feminine, he is often hysterical, his "feminine" qualities are blown way out of proportion, in the same vein as drag queens, he is performing gender, even when not in drag. The funny part about it was that he was so good at it, he could convince Val's soon to be father in law that he was really a perfect lady.
It is problematic that at first Val feels the need to hide his fathers' true identities, and his real upbringing, but in the end he does turn out to be proud of them. Also, I do feel like the conservative politician (Val's girlfriend's Dad) is certainly played out as the villain, while the two gay men are more of the heros. It is unfortunate that they feel like they have to sneak the family out at end, though.
On another note, it does bother me the seeming lack of physical affection between Armand and Albert. I mean, there is a bit of it within the film, but you almost never see them kiss, or be intimate with each other. I think at the time this film was made, there still weren't a lot of male/male relationships portrayed in cinema, and it was rare to show that kind of intimacy.

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This page contains a single entry by nels6731 published on February 13, 2012 11:47 AM.

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I want to glitterbomb the HRC. is the next entry in this blog.

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