Sunday, October 5, 2008

Allow Me To Explain Through Interpretive Dance

Credit for the title of this post must go to Threadless T-Shirts, which I learned about through a comment by karina at Nicola Griffith's blog. I must have that shirt.

But a few words about this number from The American Astronaut, a tiny-budget artsy-fartsy science-fiction / Western musical which is one of the gayest/queerest movies I've seen in a long time. Because it mostly doesn't use standard gay-male codes and tropes, it's easy to miss just how queer it is. Watching The American Astronaut for the first time I kept waiting for its mainly all-male universe to resolve into mere "homosociality" and a heterosexual love interest, but it never did. The main character (writer/director Cory McAbee, in the john stall in this clip), who has separated himself from love, ends up running away from the Southern Belles of Venus into outer space with a dumb-blond boy who wears the campiest outfit this side of Aleister Crowley. And how about that hot little bear who dances his heart out in this scene? At first you'd think that he and his partner were just practicing for a dance contest and were unaware of McAbee's presence, but by the end they make it clear that they know he's there and that the song is indeed a message for him. A rare gift.