Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Tinker, Tailer, Soldier, Spy

I kind of loved this movie for a lot of reasons. It started out very confusing and just got more so. It took a while but at a certain point I realized my confusion was a result of the filmaker's subtlety. I lot of very complicated, emotional information was communicated with a kind of visual shorthand, as in the scene where the character played by Benedict Cumberbatch (above), an intelligence agent , is told that from now on everything he's doing will be monitered. He immediatly goes home and kicks out his gay lover, with no explanation and much to the lover's confusion. It's heartbreakingly sad, and I was reminded that this kind of heartbreak was commonplace back in the dark ages. This kind of second class citizinship for gay people was a given and the gay guys actions here (denying himself a relationship) just reinforced society's homophobia. The guys acceptance of the fact that he couldn't have a lover was probably the result of some kind of shame he felt about himself, creating a vicious circle of repression, acceptance and shame. This film was incredibly evocative of places and times that no longer exist. Although the Budapest of the 70's looked a lot like the Budapest I saw a few years ago. And the Istanbul of the '70s did look a lot like the Istanbul I saw in the '80's, I have a feeling that Istanbul is quite different there these days. I would love to find out soon, that was one of the coolest places I've ever been to.

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