Apex Predator wrote:DeHaan. I can buy him doing drama. But a tough guy? I'm still struggling over an hour in.
I don't buy him as a tough guy so much as I buy him as a smart guy who is also a bit reckless.
Wooley wrote:Been meanin' to watch this for ever.
I say go for it. It's a quick watch.
Watch a film set in a school of some sort (high school/college/private school): Valentine Road
Back in 2008, a 14 year old boy, Brandon, shot his classmate, Larry, twice in the head in the middle of a computer class. The film takes a deep look at the lives of both boys, their fatal intersection, and the complicated legal trial that followed.
The supposed trigger for the killing was that Larry, a flamboyant child getting into cross-dressing, had flirted with Brandon in front of other boys in the grade. This element of the case reveals a deep homophobia and transphobia in the community.
The film is incredibly effective at contrasting the reactions of different characters to information about the case. When the film explores the question of whether Brandon might have been partially motivated by racism (and we learn that he was close friends with a white separatist), we get one story from a girl who claims that Brandon had a "thing" for calling people "n*****" and that he used the slur repeatedly against her. But then later, in reference to Brandon's notebook being full of doodles of swastikas and other Nazi imagery, a handful of middle-aged women declare "Boys just love doodling!". The film clearly takes the position that is on Larry's side, but it does a very good job of understanding the point of view of those who sympathize with Brandon. One teacher borders on caricature as she all but says that Larry invited what happened to him, but even she does genuinely seem to believe that forcing Larry to give up his effeminate ways was needed to protect him.
The film also mines some remarkable small details, such as one of the girls who witnessed the shooting reporting that all of the witnesses were shuttled into a room and shown Jaws.
"Not a cartoon or something for kids . . . Jaws
," she reports, in laughing disbelief. From Brandon's life we also get harsh details, such as the fact that Brandon's father once shot Brandon's mother in an argument. Both boys suffered tremendous abuse and hardship in their young lives, but the film never loses sight of the fact that one of the boys is gone forever.
It's startling to realize that Larry lived in a world of stark contrasts. Some of the adults around him loved him for who he was--showed him how to put on makeup correctly, gave him a dress, honored his kindness. While others considered "drawing attention" to be a behavior issue worthy of legal intervention and muse that in Brandon's place they might have done something similar. One adult talks of a lesbian student, saying that she was told not to hold her girlfriend's hand in school. "She got the message," the woman says approvingly, just totally oblivious to the culture of oppression in the school for LGBT students, as if just hiding their true selves is clearly the best thing for everyone.
This was a hard film to watch, but I think it's critical in terms of understanding that many communities have a long way to go before all of their children can lead happy, healthy lives.