"Queer" by Queers

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I feel that this is a difficult subject to tackle. Although I think the best way to understand something is to experience it (in this case, understanding queerness by being queer), ultimately there can't be a completely accurate way to go about a story unless it has been been experienced first hand. But what does that say about any other movie or television plot line? A movie made by a queer director with queer actors could be entirely inaccurate in a queer sense if none of the above have ever experienced whatever story is being presented.

I don't think that in "Heavenly Creatures" having a straight, male director detracted from its queerness. It may be true in many portrayals of queerness that the view is perverted and skewed to fit the idea of what is generally acknowledged as queer (say, in just about any movie or television using queerness for ratings or expanding the fan base), but Peter Jackson's film told a story of an unorthodox "friendship" between two girls, nothing else.

As for the movie itself, I do believe it is queer, even with statements saying that the friendship was completely non-sexual. It shows an obsessive and extremely intimate relationship between two girls that is not what is considered "normal." And not normal=queer, right? With or without the sex, the friendship was romantic in a sense, just in the imaginary world that Parker and Hulme shared. As for other aspects of a queer horror film, it pretty much fit the bill with over-dramatization of emotion, the constant shrieking, and fantastical element.

3 Comments

I definitely agree that it really depends on the experiences of the people making the film to determine it's accuracy. I think you also failed to mention how it's imposible to embody everyone's story with a single movie. We're all individuals and we're all going to have different experiences and react to them differently. I also agree. The movie is definitely a queer horror.

I think that's interesting how you said they had an obsessive relationship that wasn't considered "normal" and then not normal = queer. I felt like they did have a sexual relationship in the movie in the way that they rolled all over each other in the woods, and they would always hold hands and such. I think the director wanted to make this movie palatable to a larger audience than just queer people, and by adding in an explicit sex scenes between them, they would have alienated a large portion of the audience, and probably would have gotten the movie a NC-17 rating which equates to box office crap.

"ultimately there can't be a completely accurate way to go about a story unless it has been been experienced first hand. But what does that say about any other movie or television plot line?"

I have a hard time agreeing with this statement. I have seen many movies where the actor (as far as the public knows) did not experience in real life what they had to portray in the movie. For example, Charlize Theron does an amazing job in "Monster", portraying a rapist/killer(?, I haven't seen it in a while), and yet she has not raped or killed anyone. Does that detract from her performance? The same question could be asked of any other movie that depicts forced sex or violence/crime of any kind. Hilary Swank is heterosexual in real life, but does an amazing job in Boys Don't Cry, and I don't think her heterosexuality makes her performance unauthentic. I think it is the mark of a good actor/actress to not let who they are in life affect their performance on screen.

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This page contains a single entry by thom3804 published on March 5, 2012 3:50 AM.

Evaluating the queer factor was the previous entry in this blog.

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