Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Stonewall: Straight Power!

Danny is the centerpiece of Stonewall, a decision Emmerich made, in part, in an effort to attract a wider audience who could connect with him.“You have to understand one thing: I didn’t make this movie only for gay people, I made it also for straight people," he says. I kind of found out, in the testing process, that actually, for straight people, [Danny] is a very easy in. Danny’s very straight-acting. He gets mistreated because of that. [Straight audiences] can feel for him.”
Roland Emmerich talks to BuzzFeed LGBT about his Stonewall movie.


Maybe they should have made Harvey Milk a straight dude in Milk, 'in an effort to attract a wider audience who could connect with him'?

The almost painful pay-off here? Roland keeps right on digging!

The petition to boycott Stonewall also takes issue with Ray, the most prominent character of color, falling in love with Danny — critics read that particular arc as a White Savior narrative. Emmerich, for his part, thinks that Ray and the other street hustlers benefit from Danny’s presence, even after Danny leaves the Village to begin his freshman year at Columbia.

“They learned something from Danny — that you can make it, that you can study, you can maybe have a more regular life,” Emmerich said. “I also don’t have the feeling at the end that they are so much on the streets anymore.”

Poster released after the whitewash furore blew up.
You may also enjoy; The Problem With Stonewall: It Isn't About Stonewall, Keving O'Keefe, Mic. Stonewall Is Terribly Offensive, And Offensively Terrible, Richard Lawson, Vanity Fair. There Aren't Enough Bricks in the World to Throw at Roland Emmerich’s Appalling Stonewall, Rich Juzwiak, Gawker, and an untitled absolute stinker of a review on IndieWire; 'The thick blanket of badness that covers the entirety of the film doesn’t do its problematic subtextual politics any favors, either. At the very least, Emmerich can hold his head high in the knowledge that he wasn’t responsible for the astonishingly thick script...'


Real-life Stonewall hero Marsha P. Johnson only gets a little screen time, and is played as comic relief, flatly, by Otoja Abit. Many of the characters who don’t look and sound like Danny are rendered as jokes, silly people who need Danny’s relatively rugged masculinity to get them angry and organized. Stonewall is ultimately yet another cartoonish fantasy about white saviors and square-jawed heroes; it should be called Independence Gay. Vanity Fair.

PS Boring Queerty interview.

Update: Not sure there's much point in listing all the articles listing all the flaws in this film - Salon's listed the most scathing - but Fagburn thinks Tim Teeman should have the last word with his fine essay for the Daily Beast, The Gay Shame Of Stonewall The Movie.

If the Stonewall Riots radicalized politics and culture—and their echo is still present, it is now an official New York landmark—then let this listless film be its own wake-up call for writers, directors, and mainstream cinema to mine the true variety of LGBT lives.

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