David Thompson


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March 26, 2007


KB Player

Now here's a question. At what point does grunting, blood-spattered hyper-masculinity become totally homoerotic?

In Derek Jarman's Sebastiane

David Thompson


Yes, but Jarman’s Sebastiane was overtly and intentionally homoerotic. I don’t think it’s quite so clear what Miller’s intentions were on that front, or indeed Zack Snyder’s. Maybe visitors can suggest other films where over-revved masculinity veered unintentionally into homoerotica or teetered on the brink of camp.


Given what (admittedly little) is known about Spartan culture, I don't see how a movie about them could fail to be homoerotic. Honestly, though, who cares? Should straight men refuse to like something purely because it has homosexual overtones?

Football players wear extremely tight pants. They slap one another on the butt all the time. They end most plays with large, sweaty piles of clutching, grunting beefcake. Heterosexual men persist in watching and even enjoying such spectacles.

David Thompson


“Should straight men refuse to like something purely because it has homosexual overtones?”

Heaven forbid, and I wasn’t implying disapproval. I was just curious as to why overstated masculinity often leads to either homoeroticism or camp, while overstated femininity doesn’t – so far as I know – lead to suggestions of lesbianism. Just a thought.

KB Player

That kind of strutting bicep heavy masculinity would strike me as absurd rather than as erotic (okay, camp if you like). But then I don't think heterosexual females and homosexual males are necessarily the same in what they find erotic.

As for overstated femininity, it's just annoying. It puts the ninnie into females.

KB Player

And can you imagine the scenario of a film of overstated femininity. A Miss World contest? (Miss Congeniality?) A harem (The Story of O - only that is overtly erotic)? What would the women be doing? Films that are all female are fairly rare anyway unlike all the war films and cowboy films.

Also, don't these homoerotic films have to be set somewhere warm so the guys can fight half dressed and before the invention of muskets, guns etc so there is plenty of hand to hand fighting.

David Thompson


“And can you imagine the scenario of a film of overstated femininity… What would the women be doing?”

Yes, that’s the thing, isn’t it? If hyper-masculine roles are supposed to involve strutting, slaying and the beating of chests, I guess the ultra-feminine roles would - by the same logic - involve… um, less activity. Cards, perhaps.

I hasten to add I’m not being entirely serious here. And, cinematically speaking, I tend to think the ladies should be equipped with flame throwers and a no-nonsense attitude.

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