On 12.14 I made it clear that I had no problem with the Academy’s foreign-film branch leaving Robin Campillo‘s BPM: Beats Per Minute off the shortlist. I respect BPM — it’s fleet and sharp and well cut — and I admire, of course, the balls-out militancy of the ACT UP movement in the late ’80s and ’90s. But to me Campillo’s felt too strident, too hectoring and a little too Taxi Zum Klo.
Yeah, that’s right — I prefer gay movies (i.e, Call Me By Your Name) to queer cinema. I guess that makes me a bad guy in some quarters, right?
Variety‘s Guy Lodge has dutifully passed along the elitist disappointment about the BPM snub. “More conservative voters in the general branch might not warm to the film’s length, talkiness and frankly queer sensibility, it was reasoned,” GL wrote, “and when the film got frozen out of the Golden Globes last week, we were given a hint that it wasn’t a universal favorite outside the critical enclave. [For] the general verdict from onlookers was that the Academy had erred badly by passing on Campillo’s film.”
Translation: Those who didn’t vote for BPM are likely homophobes, and they need to work through that. Group therapy, night classes, etc.
Guys like Mark Harris and Vanity Fair‘s Richard Lawson can lament this, but there’s no law that I know of stating that you have to be moved by, say, a scene in which an AIDS-ravaged guy gets a death-bed hand job. “Reform is desperately needed here,” tweeted Harris. “And the fact that it’s a gay movie…this is a stain.”
Presumably the foreign language committee as well as the Academy at large understand that the next queer movie that comes along needs to be embraced with a bit more fervor. If not, more charges of homophobia!