Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Bromances are old news

I stayed up late last night sipping hot cocoa and watching Flesh and the Devil, a silent classic starring Greta Garbo and John Gilbert. 

People who haven't seen a silent film before have this strange idea that they're, well, silent. In fact, silent movies were meant to be shown with a score, played live at the theater. The result of me watching this, of course, was that my mom--who had been on the computer--was unaware that I was watching a movie until I was a third of the way through it.

There are three great things about this movie.

1. Garbo, obviously. She looks like she's swallowed a lightbulb. In a good way.

2. What Garbo is wearing.

I love everything about this outfit: the soft collar, the rose, the silk headband in her ridiculously perfect hair...

Tell me you don't want this. Go ahead, try.

This makes me wish people would wear hats more often. And although I'm against wearing fur, I do have to admit it looks great and is probably quite warm (it's obvious watching the film that much of it was actually shot outside, in deep snowdrifts.)

3. the healthy man-love

It's really odd to think now that this film, which has more homoerotic content than I Love You, Philip Morris, chooses as its moral champion the relationship between the two men while punishing the wayward, sexually charged woman--perfect adherence to the Hayes Code . Films celebrating male friendship are hardly revolutionary, but it's unusual--at least, by today's standards--to see a film celebrate two men being so handsy with each other, unconcerned with upholding the gruffness of masculinity.

But, you know, make the sexuality OVERT and we have GRAPHIC GAY SEX, just like in I Love You, Philip Morris, which has scenes of graphic gay sex, but you wouldn't know from the movie being banned in the U.S., would you?

Seriously, though, take Garbo out and you'd have slash fiction.

You should watch the movie. There are Swedes in it. And as you know, Sweden is a synonym for 'awesome'.

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