Heavenly Creatures; cast and crew influence

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Personally, the sexual identities of the cast and crew of a given film have never been a factor in the credibility I place on the film's interpretation or representation of a story. When it comes to the true story of Heavenly Creatures, I am very satisfied by the fact that the narration comes from Pauline's diary entries and that there were many congruent depictions of the mid- 20th century that surrounded the young women.

I feel that just because someone identifies with a plot-line, or a specific character does not necessarily that they give an accurate depiction of the story. I think it could work in reverse, at times even. However, with the right intentions, a person of any identity can accurately portray any given character and his/her life.

Just as it seems unreasonable that we can disregard all films based on women that are directed by men, I feel it is similarly closed-minded to say that a queer identified person could not accurately create a film of a non-queer identified person/lifestyle.

4 Comments

I totally agree with your words. Films for me can be seen as individuals. Each person walking down the street has their own outlook and viewpoint on life, but just because you don't agree with that person's views, doesn't mean that there isn't importance or reason for them to be there. When friends have different perspectives on things, hopefully, one does not just toss that friend aside because of differing views, it helps to place yourself in their shoes and try to see things from their perspective. Just as it may help them to see things from your perspective. I feel that a film has many interpretations just waiting out there to be experienced. The possibilities are endless, and ultimately the original intentions of a films as somewhat unimportant because the average viewer is never going to meet the director, or actors. On the other hand, I do think that it is important to know the context of films to perhaps have a greater understanding of the film as a whole.

I like what you've said here. It reminds me of the Newsweek article (http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2010/05/12/straight-talk-continued.html) that said that gays can't play straight, which I think is downright ridiculous. But then it's hypocritical to say that straight actors can portray gay. I think as long as the actors and director surrender themselves the story and roles, you can achieve an accurate portrayal of sexuality, even if the portrayed sexualities do not match up with the sexualities of those involved with the making of the movie.

I agree that the cast and crew's sexuality don't necessarily factor into the credibility of a film. What's important to me in situations where the cast and crew differ from the characters in the movie is that really detailed research goes into making the characters what they are meant to be. I did some reading on the interwebs about Heavenly Creatures and scrupulous effort went into casting the perfect girls to portray Pauline and Juliet. The fact that actual diary entries were used in Pauline's voice-overs adds to the credibility of the film and the depiction of the characters. I don't think Peter Jackson went into the production of the film willy-nilly with his own perspective and nothing else.

I think the same goes when the ethnicity of a director differs from the characters in the film. The director should make sure he isn't perpetuating stereotypes or inaccuracies because of his own preconceived notions.

Haha, I like your comment about how we can't disregard films about women made by men anymore than we can disregard queer films made by straight directors. Just because someone is creating a movie from the experience of their own identity doesn't mean that it will be accepted by others who share that identity. (Case in point: I identify as Queer and DESPISE The L Word.)

I also enjoyed the narration and adaptations drawn from Paul's diary for Jackson'a version of Heavenly Creatures.

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This page contains a single entry by ked035 published on March 4, 2012 7:02 PM.

Takes a queer to know a queer was the previous entry in this blog.

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