Monday, June 15, 2009

Borat Goes Gay

I must confess that I've never seen Borat. I've only seen little parts of it. My friends who saw it are very divided over it. Some said it was hysterically funny, a great send-up of antisemitism. Others thought it was a really vulgar mean spirited piece of entrapment. Most of my friends felt it was both.

Now Sacha Baron Cohen is about to take on homophobia with another regular of his Da Ali G Show, a potty-mouthed extravagantly gay Austrian fashion designer named Bruno (with an umlaut over the u). From what I've read, gay groups are very divided over this movie. Most of the argument seems to be over whether or not audiences (and American audiences in particular) will get that it's satire.
Another difference seems to me is that Borat was a caricature of an antisemite. Bruno is not a caricature of a homophobe, but of a popular stereotype of gay men exaggerated exponentially. His strategy is to confront people not with the spectacle of their own prejudices made ridiculous, but with an embodiment of their worst fears. I wonder if that might backfire.

The publicity for the movie is already at full throttle (aided and abetted by this blog) complete with the public stunts for which Cohen is famous. Here's one at the recent MTV awards:

Here is the trailer for the movie.


June Butler said...

When I saw the Borat movie, I didn't stop laughing for the first 30 minutes, and I laughed during a good part of the rest of it. Yes, Borat exploits people, but is exploiting them to draw their prejudices into the light a bad thing? A good many folks I know did not get the humor and were baffled by what I found so funny. I could read their thoughts, "There's crazy June again with her very odd taste in movies."

I'll surely see the latest movie, and I'll let you know what I think. Outrageous and in-your-face as he is, I love Borat.

Counterlight said...

Well, I have to admit, the trailer is very funny.

Brian R said...

Sorry, the trailer was enough to make me decide not to see it. I don't do satire very well.