Sorry to differ with the Berlin Film Festival’s recent decision to adopt gender-neutral performance awards. Ditto Tilda Swinton‘s belief, stated hours ago at the start of the 2020 Venice Film Festival, that getting rid of Best Actor of Best Actress awards is a good thing.
“Humans are so interested in division and compartmentalizing ourselves,” she said. “As we’re really getting to understand now, this is not the way to go — dividing people up and prescribing a path for them, whether gender or race or class.”
Hollywood Elsewhere calls “bullshit” as far as gender differences are concerned. Throughout all creation and with nearly all species of life, nature has insisted upon genderism and all the accompanying differences and distinctions. In the realm of screen acting, there are certain skill sets — basic postures and attitudes and inclinations — that divide male and female thesps. Tilda may dislike this, but they’re built into biology. She can try and Khmer Rouge her way around this, but it’s a no-go.
“It’s just such a waste of life,” Swinton explained. “Life is too short for all of this. I’m really happy to hear that about Berlin and I think it’s pretty much inevitable that everybody will follow. It’s just obvious to me. The whole idea of being fixed in any way, it just makes me claustrophobic.
“It just makes me sad to call yourself definitively heterosexual, definitively homosexual, definitively male, definitively female. It makes me want to go to sleep. So bravo, Berlin.”
Charles Durning‘s 60ish farmer character in Tootsie disagrees — “Bulls are bulls, and roosters don’t try to lay eggs.”