August 17th, 2013

Hu

More gay-themed films

Since the time my father finished his visit with us (last Saturday) my husband and I have watched two gay-themed feature films via Netflix. My husband also continues to find gay-themed short films online.

This leads me to think that, for all that my husband is focused on his family of origin, in-laws, nieces and nephews, etc., and for all that his family is accepting of him and of our relationship, there are aspects of our experience that remain misunderstood by family, and therefore it is necessary for us to seek out reflections of out particular experiences in friendships with gay people, as well as well as through gay-themed films and literature. For my part, I still struggle with resentment over the way I was treated in my family of origin, so a little family--mine or anyone else's--goes a long way for me.

The first film we watched was Judas Kiss (2011). This was a fantasy in which a failed actor and director (who had been through rehab at least once since moving to Hollywood) is called upon to judge a film competition at his alma mater, only to find that the most promising contestant bears his own birth name and has entered a film whose title is the same as his own first student film. Hints from other characters indicate that he has a chance to intervene in the life of the contestant, thereby offering him a better future than he has enjoyed so far himself.

The film is the first feature by someone whose previous work was on short films, and I found it to be full of approaches that might be more suitable for short films. Nonetheless, it contained some food for thought, such as the fact that the student film entry in the competition is a quasi-autobiographical account of a sexually abusive, widower father and his son. (The topic of sexual abuse, naturally, makes me think of X.) In addition, the writer and director, who is openly gay, seems to be interested in drawing attention to younger gay performers, such as a Belgian singer and actor Timo Descamps (who performs briefly in a shoot for a Lady-Gaga-esque music video), and Sean Paul Lockhart (a.k.a. Brent Corrigan), whom I recognized as a well-known porn actor.

Lockhart's appearance in the film made me curious to find out what he had been up to recently. In reading his Wikipedia bio, I was reminded of his controversial past, and I was able to see how elements of his biography had been woven into the Judas Kiss film. I also found out about a book that came out last summer that deals with the murder of the former director of the porn films in which Lockhart got his start. I ended up purchasing a Kindle version of the book, and it's quite a story.

The second film we saw was The Green (also 2011), which is about a gay private-school teacher and his boyfriend, who move from New York to a town in Connecticut. (The film was shot in Guilford, Connecticut.) It features a somewhat predictable scenario in which a sympathetic teacher shows concern for a troubled student and is then accused of molestation. As things progress, it turns out that the student's mother's boyfriend, who is also the school janitor, is the real culprit, but trust and relationships are damaged through the process of the accusation of the teacher and its processing through the legal system.

Perhaps because this film touched on themes that are more directly related to my department at the university, I found it somewhat difficult to watch. As I woke up this morning, I found that I was flooded with hatred and contempt for my department. I have noticed feelings like this intensifying from time to time since my soon-to-be-former colleague (who was also department head when I was hired) was put on leave pending the state police investigation into allegations of improper sexual conduct with students. It seems to me that, when someone who has evidently caused a lot of damage to a department is possibly finally to be held accountable, it makes a lot of sense that buried anger and frustration over the damaged reputation of the department as a whole will surface from time to time. As I look toward this coming academic year, I think I should be okay so long as I stick with my spiritual practices and give myself lots and lots of space from potentially uncomfortable social situations on campus and in general.


Peace,

KH
Hu

SPL

In browsing around online for information on Sean Paul Lockhart, an actor that I mentioned in my previous post, I noted that he was born on Oct 31, 1986. Not only would that place his Sun in Scorpio, but it would place his Sun very near to mine, since I was born on Nov 1 (although 24 years prior to him).

I had been struck by some comments, quoted in Cobra Killer (the book about SPL's murdered former porn filmmaker), but a perceptive and articulate blogger on gay porn, who noted among SPL's characteristics that he was very sexual, frighteningly intelligent, and highly manipulative. This sounded like a stereotypical description of Scorpio personality traits, so I decided to draw up a hypothetical birthchart to see if he had more than just Sun in Scorpio. (The chart is hypothetical since it is based on date and location, without precise knowledge of birth time.)

What I found was quite interesting: Pluto, Sun, and Venus are all in Scorpio, clustered close together, with Pluto and the Sun within the same degree of the zodiac. I also noted that all of the planets in his chart were concentrated within the second half of the zodiac, from Libra through Pisces, giving a sense of, as it were, reaping of a karmic harvest from the past.

I was reminded, too, that when he was born, I was dealing with parental rejection over my relationship with my husband, and that I also had a female boss from hell at work. These manifestations are fairly typical for Pluto transiting (temporarily passing over) the Sun in one's natal chart, particularly when Pluto is in a place of strength such as Scorpio (the sign which it is generallys aid to rule in modern astrology).

But having Pluto conjunct (very close to) the Sun in one's natal chart would lead one to expect difficulties of this sort to constitute frequent themes in one's life, if not permanent conditions. In SPL's case, he never knew his father, his mother abandoned him and his siblings at some point during his childhood, and he was raised mainly by his stepfather. During his teens he relocated in order to move in with his mother, but she neglected him financially and emotionally, and he then became involved with an older boyfriend who introduced him to drugs and promiscious sex, and who helped to launch his career in porn films. Much of his life since then has consisted of a series of attempts to overcome the negative effects of his past and to establish himself in legitimate mainstream film work.

In my poking around I came across references to a film called Truth, in which he has his first starring role. The film was shot last year and is starting to make it to festivals. His blog about the film (http://sean-paul-lockhart.com/2012/12/14/shooting-truth-the-movie/) is interesting, and shows another Scorpionic trait: an uncompromising confrontation with difficult truths, even if the telling of them can be harsh or even hurtful. Since I find myself in a similar frame of mind as I approach the coming academic year, I have to say that I have some respect for where he seems to be coming from.


Peace,

KH