Sunday, 2 November 2014

Unthought For The Day: Benedict Cumberbatch

‘For me there’s explicit love in the film, and the fact of his sexuality being homosexual doesn’t make any difference. If it would have added to the film, we’d have done it. I’d have no qualms about filming those scenes, expressing that side of a character’s relationship to his body. It’s partly to do with the logical loop of the film, the poetical loop. It’s about what’s not seen, it’s about secrets, what’s repressed – and his sexuality was. This is a man who’s never going to be allowed to love, and that’s really his tragedy and the tragedy of the film...

‘It sort of is, but more important is the idea that the man at the centre of it, who was persecuted for being different, still stands sadly for a lot of persecution that goes on around the world today. That’s what terrifies me – that it's as prevalent now, and that this is how we treated one of our war heroes, and a great scientist, someone who’s up there with Charles Darwin; he should be on banknotes. I don’t think Alan set himself up as a martyr, but he sure as hell was treated as one in a sense.’

Cumberbatch’s voice rises in indignation. ‘This was 60 years ago – here, in this country! Giving a man injections to turn him into something desexualised, that ruined his brain. He was being given weekly oestrogen doses and at one point the doctor said, this is a bit embarrassing for both us; why don’t I give you an implant so you don’t have to keep coming back for these appointments every week. He was given the implant in his thigh. It was supposed to stop after two years, and it didn’t.

‘A colleague of his whom I spoke to told me Turing had said, “It’s not really cricket, is it” – being wry and humorous about it. But then one night he pulled out a carving knife from the kitchen drawer and tried to gouge it out of his body.’ Cumberbatch sighs deeply. ‘To reach that state of mind... The only thing he had left to love – that he was legally allowed to love – was his work, and even that was denied him, to the extent that he took his own life by swallowing cyanide.’

The hilariously thick and insincere Benedict Cumberbatch in the Sunday Telegraph

Oh do shut up!

Alan Turing probably didn't commit suicide - though that rather spoils the myth of The Great Gay Martyr - and I'm pretty sure he'd shudder at the very thought of being put on a sodding banknote. 

This profile also contains the classic line/lie; Turing 'invented the early computing machine that cracked the German Enigma code.'

It didn't - that was the work of three Polish mathematicians; Jerzy Rozycki, Henryk Zygalski and Marian Rejewski.

Can they be on a banknote, Ben?

• Images by Darren and Polari magazine. x

£45 t-shirt made in 62p an hour sweatshop claim.

These 'This is what a feminist looks like' t-shirts were made for the Fawcett Society - current chair, Angela Mason, ex-head of Stonewall and former cadre of anarcho-terrorist gang, the Angry Brigade.

1 comment:

  1. Not sure about the mock-up: Turing does rather out of place with finches and the Beagle as a backdrop.