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300 Director Pushes Gay Panic Button

March 16th, 2007 · 2 Comments · Film, LGBT

Homophobic toga party
I wasn’t really planning to see 300 anyway, because it just looks kind of — to use a French expression — stupid. But now I’m going to really enjoy not seeing it, thanks to the Best Gay Day Ever blog on AfterElton.com, which reports that the director of this brain-dead toga party, one Zack Snyder, deliberately and consciously used homophobia to manipulate his teenage male audience:

The director says that the film’s (homo)sexual undertones were intended to make young straight males in the audience uncomfortable, because “What’s more scary to a 20-year-old boy than a giant god-king who wants to have his way with you?”

That’s from a recent Entertainment Weekly interview, but apparently there was an earlier one where dear little Zack said this:

Some people have said to me, ‘Your movie is homoerotic,’ and some have said, ‘Your movie’s homophobic.’ In my mind, the movie is neither. But I don’t have a problem with people interpreting it the way they’d like to.’’

That’s right, Zack has zero problem with his movie being seen as homophobic. And who knows? With a little more application, maybe he’ll even manage to dethrone Mel Gibson as the biggest homophobic twit in Hollywood.

And as for the macho pretensions undergirding the whole business, I’m reminded of something Gore Vidal wrote in Palimpsest about the period when he was working on Ben-Hur. The film’s producers were hoping to get Gore’s good friend Paul Newman for the title role, and Gore had to burst their bubble:

I explained that after Paul’s first movie, a disastrous Roman affair called The Silver Chalice, he had sworn never to act in a cocktail dress again.

OK, yeah — technically speaking, the guys in 300 seem to be running around in capes more than togas. You tell me how that makes it better.


2 Comments so far ↓

  • Jason

    Christ. I went and saw this movie with a lesbian and that was the gayest part of it.

    Never mind the fact that the king dude makes a “boy-lovers” comment about Athens, and that the movie glossed over the fact that Spartan soldiers were encouraged to find another Spartan soldier to buddy up with in the fun way, but taking a New Criticism school of critique look at this, you’ve also got the fact that the good guys are all white, the bad guys are the Persians (you know, while we’re at war with Iraq and poised to go to war with Iran). There’s also the bit about the good guys are all beefcake and the bad guys having some unbeefy folks and transsexuals. And the queen letting herself get screwed over (literally and figuratively) because she thinks it’ll help her city-state.

    I mean, there’s this point where two of the Spartans are becoming really buddy-buddy, right? Trading snarks in battle and grinning at one another and it gets to the point where I am dead sure that they’re going to kiss. And instead one of them, despite the fact that he’s been rocking the battle reflexes this whole time, stands there all stupid-like while this guy on a horse–you know, a horse, with the audible hooves and shit–comes up from a long ways off and decapitates him.

    What the fuck.

    This movie left a really bitter taste in my mouth, as you can tell. :p

    Anyway, welcome to weblogging, much love from San Francisco. :)

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