In this surreal period of post-release filmmaking, when George Lucas can go back and add CGI vermin to the dusty streets of Mos Eisley, Oliver Stone has reportedly returned to Macedonia to cleanse it of all queers. In an interview with the New York Post last week, Stone explained that he was re-editing his disastrous epic Alexander in the hopes that its DVD release would meet with some success minus its gay content. Naturally, I assumed this meant he was excising all scenes of Angelina Jolie purring in a Russian accent with snakes wrapped around her wrists and her breasts at high alert, but, no, apparently he was referring to the emotive sniffling that Colin Farrell and Jared Leto kept doing before heading off into every incomprehensibly filmed battle sequence. (Based on all the urns I've seen, boys back in Alex's day were up to more than wee-wee-weeing all the way home, but perhaps I've misinterpreted the craftsmanship.)
"You cannot associate homosexuality with the military in this country," Stone told the Post. "From the day we opened, we did not do business in the South."
Though someone might want to point out that from the day Alexander opened, it did not do business anywhere, Stone seems convinced that the South has risen again.
"They didn't even read the reviews in the South, because the media was using the words: 'Alex Is Gay,'" says he. "As a result, you can bet that they thought, 'We're not going to see a film about a military leader that has got something wrong with him.'"
While I'm ashamed to admit that my first response is that, duh, everybody knows Southerners don't read, my better judgment wonders why Stone would want anybody to peruse the reviews. Oliver, try to follow me as closely as possible: YOUR MOVIE SUCKED. As a comedy, sure, it had its moments—particularly the rapture of hearing Anthony Hopkins intone, "It was later said the only place Alexander was ever defeated was between Hephaistion's thighs"—but, Ollie, baby, the thing was clearly horse meat from the minute you hollered, "Action!"
I'll grant that any emotion between men makes the American public very, very nervous, and Alexander allowed its heroes boo-hoos as never before, but, sorry, I'm not sure that loaded, lingering goodbyes were entirely responsible for this particular Colin Farrell flop. In fact, I believe the phrase "Colin Farrell flop" has for some time now been accepted into the American lexicon.
Look, perhaps the South has risen again, based on who's currently picking his teeth in the Oval Office. Does this mean that filmmakers are to roll over and whistle "Dixie"? And what does this bode for Tinseltown's next supposed gay love story, Ang Lee's much-ballyhooed Jake Gyllenhaal/Heath Ledger, cowboy kissin' Brokeback Mountain, whose new poster features the tag line, "Love is a force of nature"?
"If you have two people banging or kissing on-screen, that's all people would talk about," Leto whined before Alexander's opening. "How great would it be if they were talking about the pure love?"
It would be great, Jared. It would be even better if the force of nature in Alexander and every other depiction of gay romance were allowed the physical expression that every human being experiences without asking for red-state permission.