(UPDATED) Let’s catch up with the most acclaimed homosexualist film since Parting Glances, Weekend, written and directed by the graceless Andrew Haigh.
Now, this is a great picture
Did you know the movie has a 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes? That’s only because Ed Champion and I aren’t included in their rankings. Oh, whoops! It’s actually 93%, because those marginal contrarians at the New Yorker panned it.
I told you this thing would make money: Weekend, which cost about 100,000 quid to make, has already raked in 189,000 bucks just in limited U.S. release. Of course everyone up and down the line takes a cut, but please: Even Hollywood studio accountants couldn’t turn this thing into a money-loser.
Nick Denton, who fell in love with the picture as though it were a million extra pageviews, held a private rooftop screening. Or maybe it was just the afterparty. At any rate, didn’t a marginal filmmaker know somebody who knew somebody who “thought the film was bad? He nodded. ‘You’re an idiot,’ snapped.”
Russell and Glen really aren’t drug addicts, are they? (“Neither is as wasted as he probably should be.”) Obviously not: “There’s always some people, because there’s quite a lot of drugs in the film and all this kind of thing, people sometimes say I’m not sure you’re representing the community in a correct light.”
But finally some honesty from Haigh about who isn’t going to show up for what all their girlfriends would call a little gem of a picture: “I’m under no illusion that a bunch of straight guys are all going to go to the cinema on Friday night and watch it.” (Weekend manifestly is not “a gay movie for straight boys.”)
Because, at root, “progressive, accepting, straight wish gays all the best, but they’re probably not too actively curious about what that best – or its opposite – means for their gay friends, if they have any.” Haigh agrees:
We all know what it’s like to tell our family and the people we love that we’re gay. That fear is still there. I think especially if you are not obviously gay, or if you could be perceived as straight, that it’s almost harder because you’re constantly having to come out.
Even with your straight friends, they almost forget you’re gay until you say something and they’re, like, “Oh, yeah.”
And you gauge your straight friends’ reactions, their visible discomfort if the conversation steers a certain way, the ways they can be oblivious to the ways in which your life and theirs is just not the same, and you condition yourself to censor yourself… because you feel uncomfortable. They can talk about girls they’ve had sex with and feel free to go into all sorts of details, but if you mention it, they’re, like, “Um….” So you censor yourself. The thing is, you shouldn’t censor yourself. You should just be as open as you can.
Elsewhere, Haigh admits:
Most of my friends are straight as well. Everyone is very accepting and everyone says it’s no problem, but I don’t really discuss too much with them. I think that may be the case for a lot of gay people whose friends are all straight. It’s not that you’re necessarily embarrassed. It’s just a hard thing to talk about and I think it’s hard on both sides.
The way, when guys get together and all talk about their girlfriends, it’s a bit different when you’re gay and talking to the guys about that. There’s an element of feeling uncomfortable. In this film, it’s Russell’s fear of what his friends will think rather than the actual reality.
Chris New says it was horribly embarrassing to fuck a straight guy on film. As opposed to real life, where it really brightens up your day.