Bruno amounts to a rather large penis in the face (13 July 2009)
"Brüno" is not good for gays, but not for the reason you may suspect. Brüno is, ostensibly--is seemingly incontrovertibly--Sasha Baron Cohen as a über-feminine, frilly, flashy, fashion-obsessed, "girly-man" homosexual. But he is in fact more accurately understood as a hyper-masculine, phallic aggressor, phallic male, whose aim is to not so much to show up others’ prejudices, cruelty, ridiculousness, but rather to ridicule people in a way he can readily get away with, tear away at any self-dignity they claim for themselves, to, in effect, come as close to making him his "bitches," as he can.
Brüno may look to be someone a man’s man would abhor, would react to, just as the wrestling mob reacted upon finding themselves being duped into having cheered on a homosexual coupling. But natural queer aversion, isn't how best to account for the mob's reaction. The wrestling crowd was stunned and, in greater truth, traumatized by the reveal, because Cohen had set them up to look/feel like fools--colossal ones. He had “unmanned” them, made themhis "bitches"--a very cruel act, one no different in true intent than manipulating the high school' least popular into approaching/flirting with the good looking quarterback, to drive her to near suicide-level self-estimation--but one that operates under way better cover.
This bad for gay men? You betcha. Because while to the American public, gay men can be understood as the aggressors--"vampires," whose approach, whose near touch and breath, can leave you forever after affected/infected, what comes most readily to mind when they think of homosexuals is of themselves being made to seem ridiculously "girly"--"bottom-bitches," as they say. That is, humiliated, powerless, disarmed and in full surrender. And what Brüno most effectively communicates, in my judgment, is that there is no better remedy for feeling at risk of being made to feel akin to Brüno’s "bottom-bitch" (in the hotel scene, be sure that Cohen made sure he was the one caught with his penis up someone else’s rear end, not the reverse), note--not to Brüno, than to strut about swishing your dick in everyone else's face.
Not a satire. Not social commentary. Brüno is a paean to the hyper-masculine--to the penis-empowered, in full (and brutal) disregard of the lay "pussy" victim. If America turns on to this film, it will be because Cohen has convinced them there is in fact something to be said for finding your dick halfway up someone else’s anus, a disaster for the truly "girly"-seeming, wherever they're to be found.
Richard Brody shared a link.Moderator · November 20 at 3:38pm I'm obsessed with Bringing Up Baby, which is on TCM at 6 PM (ET). It's the first film by Howard Hawks that I ever saw, and it opened up several universes to me, cinematic and otherwise. Here's the story. I was seventeen or eighteen; I had never heard of Hawks until I read Godard's enthusiastic mention of him in one of the early critical pieces in "Godard on Godard"—he called Hawks "the greatest American artist," and this piqued my curiosity. So, the next time I was in town (I… I was out of town at college for the most part), I went to see the first Hawks film playing in a revival house, which turned out to be "Bringing Up Baby." I certainly laughed a lot (and, at a few bits, uncontrollably), but that's not all there was to it. I had never read Freud, but I had heard of Freud, and when I saw "Bringing Up Baby," its realm of symbolism made instant sense; it was obviou…
A Polish zoologist and his wife maintain a zoo which is utopia, realized. The people who work there are blissfully satisfied and happy. The caged animals aren't distraught but rather, very satisfied. These animals have been very well attended to, and have developed so healthily for it that they almost seem proud to display what is distinctively excellent about them for viewers to enjoy. But there is a shadow coming--Nazis! The Nazis literally blow apart much of this happy configuration. Many of the animals die. But the zookeeper's wife is a prize any Nazi officer would covet, and the Nazi's chief zoologist is interested in claiming her for his own. So if there can be some pretence that would allow for her and her husband to keep their zoo in piece rather than be destroyed for war supplies, he's willing to concede it.
The zookeeper and his wife want to try and use their zoo to house as many Jews as they can. They approach the stately quarters of Hitler's zoologist …