11 August 2010

Movie Review: Another Country

This was not the first time I had seen this film. In fact, I had forgotten all about it -- at least its name and movie poster. It is interesting that at the time when Greg has taken the helm from Victor I would encounter this film once more. This movie can be summarized as Rupert Everett and Colin Firth, the queer and commie of a pre-WWII English prep school.

When I first saw this movie more than fifteen years ago, the idea of same sex marriage (although recently approved by the Hawai'i Supreme Court) was still theoretical. The interlocutors of the discussion were those in favor of same sex marriage, those opposed to same sex marriage and those opposed to marriage. I considered myself clever to be the only one in my circle to be of the third group. A true sex radical. In fact, my position was so unintelligible to "ordinary" people that most people thought I was against same-sex marriage. Now that all looks like a curious footnote to an otherwise seemless two-sided debate. When I campaigned against the ballot ban on same sex marriage, many of my comrades, true liberals could only barely make out what I was saying and only if I didn't use the word capitalist in a sentence.

Even when I was younger, I agreed with the legal arguments for same-sex marriage. I just opposed marriage in general. The difference between then and now, is that I don't have a negative affect towards the institution of marriage and family in general. These concepts -- which have meant many things to many people in many different ways in human history -- are not just enforcers of the capitalist hegemony at least not in as much as a hammer is an enforcer of the capitalist hegemony.

It occurred to me in watching this movie, something that I could have only reflected upon with a bit more experience, is the nature of intimacy in adolescence. I watch with anticipation for how those that are just suffering adolescence will bring meaning and stability to the constant onslaught of updates and the current instantaneous nature of information retrieval and how that resolution implicates intimacy. The automobile, the movie house, etc., all provided material support for radical redefinitions of romance in the twentieth century -- that help support redefining gender roles and sexualities. I am curious to see the outcome of social networking and what kind of material support it will provide in the changing notions of romance in the twenty first century. Will it be something I have previously seen, if only a glimpse? Or will the landscape be so changed that I will struggle to find patterns of recognition in a desert of the unknown?


  1. I think social networking and the almost-instantaneous delivery of information will help foster intimacy only in terms of the sense of being "there", which is only about half of what it means to be intimate with someone.

  2. i wonder if that is true. perhaps that's my luck with adult who were presently absent and absently present in my life childhood.

  3. i guess our generations will not really reap the benefits of our struggles. i myself am all for same sex marriage if only for the legal equality. there's something in me that was instilled when i was still very young and that is the concept of happily ever after is very immature. i hope that the kiddos of the future no longer see it that way.