“THE SILVER SCREEN: COLOR ME LAVENDER”–revisiting the celluloid closet

“The Silver Screen: Color Me Lavender”

Revisiting the Celluloid Closet

Amos Lassen

I love documentaries about the movies because so often I find little gems that I have missed. Mark Rappaport takes us back to the time when gays hid behind the screen and he gives us quite a look at what went on. He looks at themes and images that represent the gay perspective on film and by the time the film is over we understand just what he is telling us. Rappaport makes the assumption that those who watch this film are gay and he has geared the film to the gay viewer.

Dan Butler narrates a series a film clips and shows us what is gay in them and he tries very hard to substantiate what he says. However, he finds what he calls repressed homosexuality a bit too often for it to be conclusively such. (Martin and Lewis, Hope and Crosby) and he seems to find homoerotic fantasies in places I never would have thought to look. I am not sure how accurate he is in his assumptions but they are certainly something to think about.

I would rather think that this is a movie that questions homosexuality instead of coming out and claiming something and to me, this makes it interesting. Some of the reviews that I have read have attacked the film because they feel that the claims do not hold up and while this may be true, it also may not be true. This is a problem when a director gives too many opinions without adequate back-up. We do see a lot of m/ relationships but I am not sure they can be classified as homosexual but then again we must question when those movies were made and being an open gay person was to have the kiss of death. So whether the claims are real is not as important as is the total affect of the film. There is a lot to be seen and thought about here and no one need come to any conclusion without adequate thought and research. I think that this movie is a perfect jumping-off place to look at gayness in the movies.

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