Turnaways

Which sexually frank Toronto Film Festival drama seems like the rougher sit — (a) Borderline (d: Lynne Charlebois), about a sexually active Quebec writer (Isabelle Blais) featuring “numerous scenes of full-frontal nudity by both genders, various sexual positions gay and straight, coarse language and wrist slashing” or (b) Cloud 9 (d: Andreas Dresen), which is about geezer infidelity and hot sex? The answer, of course, is the latter.

I don’t want to even begin to imagine 70- or 80-somethings doing it, much less submit to the sight of same during a film. All power to them, of course, and the life-affirming metaphor of “the act.” Sex is life, etc. I just don’t want to let it into my head to the point of visualization. Because I don’t want to see or imagine any acts of unclothed intimacy between any partners who aren’t in some kind of tolerable shape (reasonably well-toned, no Jabba bellies, no milky freckly skin, no ass blemishes, no dirty feet or untrimmed toenails). When grotesques come together and do it they certainly don’t inspect each other’s bods — they turn the lights off and pretend.
And I don’t want to see any guys in whatever kind of shape doing each other either, as long as we’re talking no-nos. Sorry, but this stuff (Salo, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Taxi Zum Klo, Dude, Where’s My Car?) makes me shift in my seat. And I’m allowed to feel and say this without anyone calling me this, that or the other thing.
I know the p.c. things I’m supposed to say. I know how to play the game and blah-blah my way through a discussion of films of this type. But if you can’t man up and say, “Well, this is how I really feel about this,” then what good are you?

  • BurmaShave

    “Borderline (d: Lynne Charlebois), about a sexually active Quebec writer (Lynne Charlebois)” Tells me everything I need to know.
    “And I’m allowed to feel and say this without anyone calling me this, that or the other thing.” Homophobe? Or is BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN exempt so we can all feel good about ourselves?
    I guess these people all fall within appropriate levels of attractiveness, but I saw it recently and I was amazed how good John Cameron Mitchell’s SHORTBUS was.

  • George Prager

    I just threw up in my mouth a little.

  • Mark G.

    Jeff, you sound like the priest in HAROLD & MAUDE…

  • mutinyco

    The real question is: How well do they climb obstacles?

  • Pinko Punko

    Hey, did I hallucinate this, or was the first ever appearance of Jeff’s “foot thing” a riff on Jimmy Stewart’s and Kim Novak’s feet being seen in Bell, Book, and Candle? Because I saw that the other week and when I saw the feet I just thought of Jeff, as I think I will anytime I ever see a human foot on film from now on.

  • NotImpressedYet

    Here goes Wells with another boorish insensitive homophobic rant.
    But in this instance I’m right there with him. 100%. Thank you for saying what needed to be said!!

  • Gatrios

    [Deleted for reasons that were immediately apparent as soon as the posting appeared . The writeris a gross provocateur splashing around in his own spiritual puss.]

  • http://www.lytrules.com Luke Y. Thompson

    Jeff, I take it then that you’re no fan of Carlos Reygadas (Japon, Battle in heaven — both involve old or ugly people doing it)
    Neither am I, but it seems like they’re among the kinds of self-concsiously arty films critics are expected to like.

  • The Winchester

    How is Milk, anyway?

  • The Winchester

    Gatrios, that’s not cool, man.

  • http://www.movingpictureblog.blogspot.com Joe Leydon

    Good-bye, Gatrios. Enjoy your banishment.

  • Mcflyboy

    Gatrios went over the line but this thread is unfortunate. Wells clearly has demons and avoids these scenes so he doesn’t have to confront the inner gay, fatty within.

  • The InSneider

    Shortbus was amazing. Good call. And Gatrios, Wells is going to strike down upon you with great vengeance and furious anger.

  • Gatrios

    [Deleted for reasons that were immediately apparent as soon as the posting appeared . The writer is a gross provocateur splashing around in his own spiritual pus.]

  • gruver1

    Wells to Gatrios: Your ugly warts are large and protuberant and sprouting squiggly hairs. I don’t see how my saying I don’t go all goo-goo watching naked guys go all Shortbus on each other means I’m a hater of anyone or anything. Is there any way to say a certain touchy-feely-sucky experience of whatever kind isn’t my cup of observational tea without someone stepping up and saying “bigot! brownshirt!” like one of the pod people in Phil Kaufman’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers? This is 21st Century p.c. fascism, of course, but what else is new?

  • Gatrios

    [Deleted for reasons that were immediately apparent as soon as the posting appeared . The writer is a gross provocateur splashing around in his own spiritual pus.]

  • TedM

    Playing Devil’s Advocate, how would you feel if a gay critic were to make a similar statement about heterosexual depictions of lovemaking on screen?
    As a gay man, I DO take offense, Mr. Wells, but you are certainly entitled to your opinions. Sometimes it’s classier NOT to voice them.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvO93tLbLvc worrywort

    “It wouldn’t be a Lemon party without old Dick.”

  • Goulet

    Director Lynne Charlebois doesn’t actually star in BORDERLINE, the utterly gorgeous Isabelle Blais does… Movie’s got problems, but has more good than bad things about it… And again, Isabelle Blais is a sight to behold!
    Just Google Images her. :)

  • http://www.lytrules.com LYT

    Jeff, I take it then that you’re no fan of Carlos Reygadas (Japon, Battle in heaven — both involve old or ugly people doing it)

    Neither am I, but it seems like they’re among the kinds of self-concsiously arty films critics are expected to like.

  • Ogami Itto

    And I don’t want to see any guys in whatever kind of shape doing each other either, as long as we’re talking no-nos. Sorry, but this stuff (Salo, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Taxi Zum Klo, Dude, Where’s My Car?) makes me shift in my seat.
    How do you feel about she-males. The attractive ones, I mean.

  • Yuval

    I just don’t want to see interracial couples in movies. I just don’t want to let it into my head to the point of visualization. When interracial couples come together and do it they certainly don’t inspect each other’s bods — they turn the lights off and pretend they’re normal.
    I just don’t want to see a black man near the white house in movies. I just don’t want to let it into my head to the point of visualization. When a black man and the white house come together and do it they certainly don’t inspect each other’s bods — they turn the lights off and pretend they’re both white.
    I know the p.c. things I’m supposed to say. I know how to play the game and blah-blah my way through a discussion of films of this type. But if you can’t man up and say, “Well, this is how I really feel about this,” then what good are you?

  • DarienStyles

    As a gay fan of your blog, Mr. Wells, I’m disappointed with your statement. Why do straight men feel the need to tell the world how gay sex grosses them out ? You’re entitled to say what you feel, but to be rude is another different story.

  • George Prager

    i’d rather watch Ernest Borgnine masturbate to a Men’s Glee Club.

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