Recommended (inevitably) by Armond White was Patrice Chéreau’s Son frère, which, like Free Fall, approaches homosexualism from unexpected angles (in the latter case including who does so from the rear). (A later review by White. Chéreau’s obituary; all we can hope for is to be half as interesting as he was.) For some months I have been the eldergay on the subway picking through the atrociously typeset library copy of the original book by Philippe Besson.

One brother in Son frère is sick, only it isn’t with AIDS and he’s the straight one. The gay brother is removed from his own feelings and is played unconvincingly by a visible heterosexualist. (Both lead actors have Italian surnames.) The gay brother suddenly has to give a shit and do so with a commitment, gravity, energy, and stamina never before needed. His skinny twink bf unit deals with everything better – so much so that he and the sick brother become pals behind his boyfriend’s back.

The gay brother does not need to feel bashful or ashamed about hanging out at the gay beach or actually being gay.

Straight brother: I really love you. I wanted you to know it. I’ve always loved you.

Yet he does. Really, it’s hard for us not to self-censor. But he’s willing to speak with honesty after he makes out for a moment with his brother’s girlfriend. (With full commitment from the actor. You can see the blood pumping.) The only time the brother/actor can be honest is after kissing a girl.

Gay brother: His was the first cock I touched. I think I jerked him off. He was the first boy I knew.

Son frère restates the lesson of The Long Day Closes and Toast and it remains the hardest lesson to learn: Men will let you love them.

Son frère: It’s icy, it’s distant, it has a great ending. Yes, the sick brother dies, as he must. But then the gay brother finally changes. It took his brother’s dying for that to happen. That, like loving him, was all right too.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2014.11.25 14:32. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:

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