We’re wary of beating a dead horse here (we prefer them live and trying to run away), but more on two much-discussed issues regarding films opening tomorrow: the gayness of "Brokeback Mountain" and the Christianity(ness) of "The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe."
First, and we know you’ve been just pining away â€” our review of "Brokeback," written with Matt Singer. Then to MSNBC, where Dave White has a mildly funny but mostly smug "straight dude’s guide to ‘Brokeback.’" White is gay and apparently gleeful about the image of dozens of straight guys shifting unhappily in their seats after having been dragged to the film by their girlfriends…we suppose this is sort of a refreshing attitude in light of the general self-congratulation in Hollywood on allowing such a film to get made, with its one sex scene and its cuddling and emoting and its shiny awards-worthiness. Anyway, on the topic of said girlfriends, Mackenzie Dawson Parks at the New York Post revisits the bar conversation everyone’s already had and tries to make an article of it: if, like, guys like to watch two girls make out, why don’t girls, you know, like to watch two guys make out? Maybe they do, Parks muses, turning to the quotable public for some much-needed analysis:
"Cowboys are hot," says Alexandra De Toth, a 28-year-old photo editor.
"Jake and Heath as cowboys; even hotter. Jake and Heath as cowboys making out â€” get the extinguisher!"
To the wardrobe! At the Christian Science Monitor, G. Jeffrey MacDonald scopes out the debate on what type of Christian CS Lewis was, a heated discussion recently renewed by Lewis’ improved stance as a potential posthumous box-office draw:
Laying claim to Lewis’s legacy is serious business in the diverse world of 21st century Christianity. That’s because 42 years after his death, this Irish-born Oxford University instructor still sells books like hotcakes: "Mere Christianity" alone has sold almost 1 million copies since January 2001.
Through a corpus that includes more than 30 books, Lewis explains and popularizes a faith that now nurses painful fractures along political as well as theological lines. Whichever of the competing strains can lay claim to his legacy stands to enjoy the fruits of association with a widely loved giant of Christian faith.
[C]loser to the heart of this critique lies Goldthwaite’s assertion that "whenever a professed Christian feels he must create some wholly other world to explore the meaning of his religion, he is flirting with bad faith. When he fills that world with the make-believes of other religions, he is playing at polytheism. When he further sets sorceresses to rule over it, and werewolves, incubuses and wraiths, he is dabbling in Manichaean dualism, the idea that standing opposed to God’s good creation is another, separate and equal, or nearly equal, creation given over to evil."
Still, we feel like Miller’s stretching for it a little â€” and regardless, Lewis is way dead. The way we choose to skew his work now is what’s interesting…perhaps too much. From Stephen Applebaum‘s Independent interview with director Andrew Adamson from a few days back:
But didn’t they hold special presentations, I ask Adamson, at least one
of which he took part in, to assure Christians that Lewis’s vision
would reach the screen intact? (Interestingly, as well as the
soundtrack, a separate CD of music performed entirely by Christian acts
inspired by the Narnia stories has been released.) "We assured a lot of
fans of the book, both faith-based and not," says Adamson, clearly
becoming irritated by the subject.
And John Patterson at the Guardian thinks there aren’t nearly enough religious-entangled films: "If Baptists and
Catholics made movies as bad as the Scientologists’, we might see an
end to religious observance in a matter of weeks."
+ Eat Drink Man Man (IFC News)
+ The straight dudeâ€™s guide to ‘Brokeback’ (MSNBC)
+ RIDE ‘EM, COWBOYS! (NY Post)
+ Christians battle over ‘Narnia’ (CS Monitor)
+ The Jesus symbol, the witch and the wardrobe (Salon)
+ Andrew Adamson: The man bringing Narnia to the big screen (Independent)
+ Cult followings (Guardian)