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Montrose Voice, No. 82, May 21, 1982
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Montrose Voice, No. 82, May 21, 1982 - File 014. 1982-05-21. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. November 28, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/6055/show/6039.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(1982-05-21). Montrose Voice, No. 82, May 21, 1982 - File 014. Montrose Voice. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/6055/show/6039

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Montrose Voice, No. 82, May 21, 1982 - File 014, 1982-05-21, Montrose Voice, University of Houston Libraries, accessed November 28, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/6055/show/6039.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Montrose Voice, No. 82, May 21, 1982
Contributor
  • McClurg, Henry
Publisher Community Publishing Company
Date May 21, 1982
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
  • Gay liberation movement
Place
  • Houston, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 22329406
Collection
  • University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
  • LGBT Research Collection
  • Montrose Voice
Rights In Copyright
Note This item was digitized from materials loaned by the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM).
Item Description
Title File 014
Transcript May 21,1982/Montrose Voice 13 Movies Conan: 'Barbarian Beef By Richard Rogers ©1982 Stonewall Features Syndicate If Conan the Barbarian had been made in the '50s, it would have been a low-budget adventure flick with Steve Reeves and an ad campaign that screamed, "See Conan Tempted by the Seductive Sorceress! See the Man of Steel Wrestle a 34-Foot Snake! See Him Knock Down a Camel With One Blow!" In the inflated '80s however, Hollywood relies on blockbusters for survival. So this naive little tale of a Hyborian-Age hunk has been bullied into a $19 million epic, with nudity, gore, and overblown special effects. Last year, Steven Spielberg turned a serial adventure into a stunning hit with Raiders of the Lost Ark. Despite its big budget and elaborate special effects, Raiders never lost the dopey charm of its sources. Spielberg's friend, John Milius, has not been so fortunate with Conan. He has borrowed from Samurai movies, Biblical epics, and Italian quickie flicks, then attempted to superimpose a comic view on the collection. But the gore and humor tend to fight one another. The writer/ director has peppered his tale with visual jokes, but he never achieves a style that is consistent. This is a shame, because the middle portion of Conan has a sense of high adventure and comaraderie reminiscent of Sinbad the Sailor. Arnold Schwartze- negger almost comes to life in these sequences, and Sandahl Bergman and Perry Lopez make lively characters ofthe barbarian's lady love and sidekick. If you're in an indulgent mood, there may be enough derring-do and visual humor to keep you amused through most of Conan. But if you're in the mood for a more cohesive work of the imagination, you may want to wait for Spielberg's upcoming E.T. or Ridley Scott's Blade- runner. The media attention lavished on several new films has made it easy to overlook the slow but increasing influence that the gay community has exerted over the film world in the past few decades. Yet anyone who has grown up with movies cannot forget the impact of Julie Christie's gay friend in Darling, or the daring on-screen kiss between Peter Finch and Murray Head in Sunday, Bloody Sunday. As we approach Gay Pride Week, it seems fitting to recall a sample ofthe films that shows a progression in the handling of gay themes, changing our awareness of ourselves as well as the consciousness of the general public. Vito Russo's important book, The Celluloid Closet, used here as a reference, is recommended to readers for a complete analysis of the subject. In the '20s and early '30s, films like Pandora's Box, The Gay Divorcee, and It's Love I'm After featured character actors like Edward Everett Horton and Eric Blore, who specialized in playing "swishy" valets and male secretaries. By the mid-'30s, the production code of the Hays Office forbade the treatment of gay subject-matter or characters. Gay references were deleted from scripts such as The Lost Weekend and Crossfire. Kenneth Anger made the independent gay short film entitled Fireworks in 1947. Tea and Sympathy (1956) dealt with that "unspeakable topic," but it turned out the protagonist was just shy, not gay. Some Like It Hot (1959) played around with role reversal and transvestitism. Billy Wilder left the ending curiously ambiguous. Otto Preminger's Advise and Consent gave mainstream America its first look at a gay bar, and a gay protagonist who, of course, committed suicide. Also in 1962, The Children's Hour suggested and then denied that heroines Audrey Hepburn and Shirley MacLaine were lesbians. MacLaine hanged herself, just in case it might be true. Kenneth Anger's Scorpio Rising burst on the scene in 1963 to become an underground classic. John Schlesiger's Darling (1965) showed audiences that straight women sometimes have gay friends. An independent feature, Frank Simon's The Queen (1968) caused a stir in larger cities. The Boys in the Band (1970) became the first Hollywood film in which all the major characters were gay. William Friedkin (of Cruising infamy) directed. Tragic gays, including lesbians, became the rage in a wave of films that included The Fox, The Killing of Sister George, Staircase, The Damned, Midnight Cowboy, Death in Venice, and Fortune and Men's Eyes. Entertaining Mr. Sloane, Something for Everyone, and Cabaret introduced bisexual chic in the early '70s. Sunday, Bloody Sunday (1971) provided the most mature view of gay love of any movie of the decade. John Waters' Pink Flamingos, Multiple Manics, and Female Trouble brought us Divine and his/her heady irreverence for traditional roles. Truffaut's Day for Night included a recognizable gay character in 1973, foreshadowing the director's positive gay images in The Last Metro and The Woman Next Door. Christopher Larkin's A Very Natural Thing (1974) was the first non-porno commercial release that dealt with the gay lifestyle exclusively. Of questionable artistic merit, it nonetheless represented a breakthrough for gay visibility. Sidney Lumet's Dog Day Afternoon presented a real-Life gay love story with a minimum of sensationalism in 1975. Al Pacino's lover was a tragic mess, though, and Pacino died in a hail of bullets. In 1977, two independent gay features (Outrageous; Word Is Out) won critical and popular support. La Cage Aux Folles (1978) stunned Hollywood with its box-office clout, and started producers thinking about gay- themed films. Face to Face, To Forget Venice, and The Best Way were late-'70s pictures that presented responsible, non-neurotic gay male and lesbian characters. 1981 brought us meaty, humorous parts for gay charaacters in Neil Simon's Only When I Laugh and Blake Edward'sS.O.B. So far, 1982 has given us major gay characters and themes in Making Love, Personal Best, Deathtrap, Victor/ Victoria, and Taxizum Klos. Partners is upcoming. It's anyone's guess as to what (or who) will jump out of the closed next! The new religious wars By John W. Row berry International Gay News Agency "With Beirut, an old dream disappears, that of the Orient. The Orient no longer exists. Actually, it never did exist. It was only a dream of the West." The seeming contradiction in these lines, spoken by one foreign journalist to another during the 1980 war in Lebanon, is echoed throughout Volker Schlondorff s Circle of Deceit, where war and betrayal are wedded to rites of manhood and love. Schlondorff s first film since The Tin Drum is firmly set in the genre of the New German Cinema with its daring composition and narrative—but is unlike any film about foreign journalists or foreigners living in a war-torn landscape yet to emerge from the modern electronic age. The story, simply, is almost a cliche: A West German reporter and his photographer companion are sent to Beirut to cover the Palesteniam uprising. The reporter, played by Bruno Ganz, leaves behind a shattered relationship with his wife in which nothing is what it seems; inwhich deceit and betrayal are as ordinary as morning orange juice. When they are caught mid-argument by one of their children, they begin a quick ritual of seduction in front of the child as if the violence ofthe sex act would mask the violence of their paronia. Rather than have Georg, the reproter, go through the usually predictable metamorphisis—where he enters the war with objectivity and emerges on one side or the other—Schlondorff follows the path established by Coppola; the act of redemption for Georg in which he comes to understand the fighting, is so horrible as to be unspeakable. Circle of Deceit was filmed in Beirut while the war raged on across town. Schlondorff didn't use any actual film footage or enlist any of the rebels in the making of the film—yet everywhere there is the look of authenticity. A printed preface on the screen warns that every single image in the film is a work of fiction. It iB, while no doubt the truth, impossible to believe. I can not imagine fiction created to so mirror truth with such detachment. American audiences may not understand the underlying factors in the war in Beirut, and Circle of Deceit does not attempt, at any point, to separate the "good" guys from the "bad." While this film is set amid a war, and uses the metaphor of war, it is instead a film about the humam condition that becomes interchangeable under certain circumstances. Georg is betrayed by his wife, his peers, the Lebanese, the woman he meets and falls in love with in Beirut (Hanna Schygulla); ultimately by his profession and his own weaknesses. He doesn't return from Beirut a better man for the experience, but a changed man; perhaps a man who fits better into the landscape around him. The killer in us all—a cliche except for Schlondorff s selective handling of the sums that add up to this whole. Something must be said about the look of Circle of Deceit; the cinematography by Igor Luther is itself a deceptive metaphor, often filled with fictionalized "newsfilm." Part of the ability ofthe film to distinguish itself from others in the same genre is how amazingly well Luther mixes the straight- on style of the film's narrative with touches that are either copied from sheer documentarianism or border on pure visual metaphor. The composition of key shots (like a recurring letter that threads the relationship of Georg with his wife back in Germany) are nothing short of brillant. And Luther makes even the most unbelievable film symbols—crashing waves turned blood red—workable semiology. Circle of Deceit is an intellectual exercise, to be sure; but one that moves with the swiftness of a missle. The gentle and biting satire of The Tin Drum has been replaced with a focused, sharp, unsettling sense of reality-as-illusion. It questions our ability to see not just the truth, but to see at all.
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