Friday, August 28, 2009
Dorian Gray: Censored and de-queered for the Wuthering Heights mob?
Ben Barnes as Dorian: simply not gorgeous enough
I fear Oliver Parker's new flick Dorian Gray (released in the UK on Sept 9) has de-queered Oscar Wilde's Gothic moral tale (The Picture of Dorian Gray).
Judging by the hetero-screaming trailer (below) alone, there is not a trace of the saturation camp of the book's early pages. Colin Firth is the personification of redundant cock-cuntery as Lord Henry Wotton while Ben "Prince Caspian" Barnes as Dorian is simply not beautiful enough: there must in Dorian's face be a suggestion of polysexual libertinage, a trace at least of the capacity to be "fatal to young men" through "friendship" (Wilde's necessary euphemistic way of describing cock-cockery in Victorian England). Dorian has to be exquisitely, ambiguously gorgeous to explain why he transacts with some unseen Satan to preserve his youth.
Imran Abbas. A more suitable Dorian?
Barnes has a dashing, OK face for the Wuthering Heights sofa sisterhood. Not worth saving.
Parker appears to have replaced the implied homosex of the original with some fashionable and graphic S&M - but then botched it via the British censor. The BBFC reports Momentum submitted an incomplete version of the film for advice on getting a 15 cert to avoid a less commercial 18.
The nanny twerps report: "A scene in which a tea party is intercut with shots showing Dorian's sadomasochistic excesses was toned down to remove or reduce the more explicit moments (explicit sight of a fingernail being pulled off, explicit sight of a chest being cut with a razor in a sexual context, explicit sight of blood being sucked from a woman's breasts and sight of a restrained man being beaten). Additionally, a murder scene was toned down to remove the sense of dwelling on the infliction of pain and injury (reduction in the number of stabbings, removal of a blood spurt from man's neck, reduction in sight of victim choking on his blood)."
Or Robert Pattinson, of Twilight fame
None of this sounds remotely interesting in the least, just sub-Tarantino or sub-Hostel. Parker's attempt to locate a modern taboo fell at the commercial hurdle, it appears. Let's see.