February 2, 2023


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‘Everything Everywhere All at One’ ‘visit’ spotlights LGBTQ

8 min read

When non-binary actor August Winter read Sarah Polley’s “Woman Talking,” he was really excited about the prospect of playing the transgender character Melvin, who finds his identity in a specific, unfamiliar environment — in this case, a toxic fight within a Mennonite community. Like most characters in masculinity films, Melvin was a victim of sexual abuse, and Winter responds to the honesty with which Polly navigates her trauma.

“His [gender] Identity has always been a part of him,” they explained. “Especially because he doesn’t talk about much of the film, not because of it, but it was important to me to capture the feeling of someone finding his way through an event.”

This awards season, films featuring or centering on LGBTQ+ characters portray them as fully realized, complex human beings.

To understand Melvin, Winter pondered the meaning of knowing one’s identity but not yet being ready to come out. They said, “I’ve never had the experience of choosing not to talk, but I’ve had times where I wasn’t ready to talk about my identity. “[I thought of it] Like chrysalis and butterfly. In this particular context, Melvin must find out what it means to be a man in a new way because [the old way] Bound by violence. He has this opportunity to choose.”

They continued, “What I’m looking for immediately [in a script] is, ‘Is this person human?’ I’m seeing a lot more roles for trans and non-binary people, and that’s great. [But I want] To normalize the art that we are a part of every story.”

The complexity of the human experience that Winter explores in the stories has been embedded in numerous richly layered features over the past year, which have either led or featured particularly complex LGBTQ+ characters.

“I wanted to tell a story where that’s true [lead] That the character was a lesbian was just a given,” says Todd Field, writer-director of “Tar,” in which Cate Blanchett portrays Lydia Tarr, a famous yet deeply troubled maestro who falls from grace. “Actually, having a lesbian character in this position is a fairy tale. A woman, gay or straight, has never been the principal conductor of a major German orchestra.”

But in his narrative world, Field just wanted to imagine a reality where things were exactly how they were. He wanted his gay female protagonist to operate within the same parameters as the patriarchy that came before her.

“We all wrestle with the question of why people are addicted to hierarchical structures,” he says. “It’s the age-old question about power: who has it, feeds it, and benefits it.” [from it]. Since the beginning of time, those people have been men and we’ve been focused on how we feel about it. So by inverting that reality and letting Lydia Tarr hold that kind of power, the viewer can perhaps see things through a slightly different lens when examining the character’s actions, without being weighed down by knee-jerk, almost-impossible-to-avoid bias.”

Elsewhere, “Everything Everywhere All at Once” writer-director duo Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert wanted to tell a story of generational struggle. “We knew from experience how difficult it was for our parents’ generation to fully accept isolation,” they say “Our writing process was very experimental as we searched for a story that would allow us to explore this tension.”

With each draft, the collaborators came closer to something that felt true and concrete about how Asian American immigrant parents deal with non-conflict and how this process can often erase their children’s identities. Throughout, they landed on a more gay version of Evelyn (Michelle Yeoh) and a more closeted iteration of her openly gay daughter Joy (Stephanie Huh), but tempered those instincts. Meanwhile they approach Joy’s alter ego Jobu as Evelyn’s nightmare: “Worst-case scenario for his daughter. We don’t envy our parents for having to bear the burden of telling their peers that their sons made a ‘Harry Potter farting corps movie’ or that ‘Alabama horse farting movie’. And yet, these films are expressions of the most vulnerable and strange parts of our subconscious that have been incredibly healing for us. And so Jobu is the manifestation of all that actively suppresses victory.”

Finally, they acknowledge their own blind spots and invoke nuances in their stories about the dilution of good intentions amid the chaos of modern life. “We invited Stephanie and Michelle into the conversation as soon as possible, so they could bring our words to life. Stephanie’s perspective on being a daughter, growing up in SoCal, queerness and mental health was invaluable.”

Michael Showalter, director of “Spoiler Alert” — which joins “Bros” and “Fire Island” in the year’s delightful slate of queer rom-coms — has always been interested in stories about people who are a little “next to, “The Big Sick.” with Kumail Nanjiani in and Tammy Faye Bakker in “The Eyes of Tammy Faye”.

“I’m interested in people who don’t quite fit in,” he says. “But I think it’s showing that I’m interested [that] These are all different characters [still] Same as everyone else.”

Showalter was drawn to directing “Spoiler Alert” — an adaptation of Michael Osciello’s memoir that centers on her and her partner Kit — partly because it wasn’t a straightforward couple’s story. “I don’t know that I would want to tell this story if it was a heterosexual couple. What I love about the movie is that it assumes the audience has no problem with being gay.

In this regard, Showalter and the screenwriters were not trying to be didactic or didactic. “It’s literally just: these are two people and I don’t [even] Want to say ‘who’s gay’ because it’s more than that. We assume our audience doesn’t need any help getting on board with this. We can just cross that part and enter [their] Love story.”

With “Visit,” writer-director Elegance Bratton wanted to revisit her memories of joining the Marine Corps at a pivotal time in her life. “It was after being homeless around the East Coast. Kicked out of my home for being gay, the reality of being a young black man without an education or a stable place to live, I felt worthless. I truly believed I was headed for an early grave. but [the Marine Corps] I was a hero to someone and had to get out of my life.

In the end, it was a drill instructor who told Bratton that his life was meaningful and valuable. So Bratton poured all that experience into his movie at a very political time around the world. “We need to relearn how to listen across our differences. And the place I learned was the Marine Corps.”

When writing Jeremy Pope’s character Alice French, a stand-in for himself, Bratton reflected his true spirit even as he fictionalized some events. “The movie is 100% autobiographical in terms of the character’s initial inspiration. Everything between French and his mother is out of my life. But I mix and remix things. It is more about the gist of emotional truth than the recollection and chronology of specific events.”

When it comes to the portrayal of masculinity in his films, “‘Paris is Burning’ has this great quote: ‘Being a black gay man is the greatest social behavioral experiment of all time,'” he says. “We often don’t get to be the heroes of our stories. Hence the intention [is] Seeing the world through its eyes [a] Black Gay People: Very Arthouse, Very Handheld.”

One of the writers of “Causeway,” Elizabeth Sanders, has been researching characters like wounded veteran Lynsey (Jennifer Lawrence) since 2012. It was a time when IEDs changed the landscape of warfare and redefined the meaning of war. Frontline “Women didn’t even play combat roles until 2013 and yet they’re coming home [traumatic brain injuries]. I was really impressed with these female soldiers and how difficult it was for them to re-enter civilian life because they were coming home with vision problems, memory problems and mental problems.”

Sanders considered Lynsey as someone with growing trauma, isolated and alone for most of her life while coming to terms with both her family dynamics and her sexuality. “The explosion brought everything to a head. Suddenly he had to deal with his past, his life. I wanted to explore the life of a gay woman who moves around the world without her armor.”

He also envisioned a backstory for Lynsey—that he fell in love with a female soldier who died in the same explosion—that he shared with Lawrence. It was important to Sanders and his co-writers that viewers learn about Lynsey’s sexual identity in a casual way.

“He’s not coming out or wrestling with it. It’s just who he is. And that immediately changes the nature of the potential shared between him and Aucoin [Brian Tyree Henry]. At the end of the day, it’s empathy and connection that propels us through grief and heals our trauma.”

Meanwhile, “The Whale” — adapted from a play — comes from different personal touchpoints for writer Sam Hunter, a story set in an unnamed Idaho town where he grew up as an isolated gay child in the 1990s.

“I went to a fundamentalist Christian school that I eventually had to leave when it was discovered that I was gay. I was depressed for years and self-medicated with food for a really long time,” he says.

Still, Hunter considered herself lucky to have the love of her family and her then-boyfriend, now husband. So with Brendan Fraser’s Charlie, he wanted to tell the story of someone who didn’t have the same luck. “I often write gay characters in my plays and most are set in Idaho. From the beginning, I was really interested in telling the stories of gay people who didn’t leave these rural communities. We see a lot of great stories of gay urban life, but I think there’s a real lack of non-urban LGBTQ characters. They have very fascinating and complex lives,” he says.

As a screenwriter and playwright, Hunter values ​​seeing three-dimensional people in a story through which the author disappears.

“I am [don’t want to] Think about the pen that wrote it. I write characters who are gay a lot of the time. But it is not a genre. I’m not making any decisions [based on] What are their demographics? He is a man who is also gay. And real people are incredibly complex. We’re all messed up. It’s something that Brendan’s performance shows so beautifully: joy and despair live side by side, as well as love and anger.”

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