Gays, Geeks, and Games
In the last 3 weeks two movies with “Game” in their titles were shown two weeks apart. The first was the sequel to “The Hunger Games”, which I hadn’t seen. Before going to the cinema, I downloaded the first film and watched it at home. It was okay; a bit predictable as far as dystopian stories went but it was entertaining and enjoyable, largely due to Jennifer Lawrence and Lenny Kravitz. The sequel, “Catching Fire” was even better, in my opinion. I didn’t expect to like it very much, but I did. Francis Lawrence seemed to have found his stride, in terms of balancing his storytelling with the visual flourishes that he likes to use in music videos and in films. Jennifer Lawrence and Lenny Kravitz are still great, and so are the other stars like Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson and Elizabeth Banks in her Alexander McQueen threads.
I saw the trailer for “Ender’s Game” when I saw “Catching Fire” and I immediately asked myself why the title seemed so familiar. The film appeared to be based on yet another work of juvenalia. Its cast, both young and old, was impressive. When I got home I realized that this film was the subject of a boycott call by a group of gay geeks (which I like to think I’m part of) because its author, Orson Scott Card, is a proud homophobe. A board member of Geeks OUT wrote an op-ed published by Advocate magazine to elaborate on the matter.
Of course, the people behind the film tried to do damage control by saying that Card won’t make a single centavo from the film’s earnings aside from the $1.5 million he already made when the film was optioned. The director and lead star Harrison Ford defended the adaptation and tried to distance it from the author. Through all these, Card remained silent. And unapologetic. The effects of the bad media generated extended to DC Comics, which hired Card to write a story as part of a new series on Superman. The illustrator assigned to the story quit because of Card’s participation and stores promised not to stock the issue if Card remained an author.
So did I watch “Ender’s Game”? No, I didn’t. I can respect Mr Card’s views on LGBT, even if it were detrimental to me, on the basic principle that everyone is entitled to his own opinions and beliefs. I can also separate Mr Card the bigot from Mr Card the writer of great stories. People are complex; I get that. However, I think that it’s only fair and right that Mr Card doesn’t make any money from the people that he vilifies and undermines with every chance he gets. People like me. I have never read any of his books and I won’t start anytime soon.
By the way, “Ender’s Game” earned 60 million of its 110 million dollar budget in its theatrical run, killing the would-be franchise. Reviews were mixed. Hollywood insiders are still speculating how much Geeks OUT’s campaign affected its lackluster performance at the box office.
I say, “Queer Geeks, the force is with us!”
*with thanks to The Advocate on-line
Posted on December 17, 2013, in events, review and tagged Catching Fire, Ender's Game, film, gay geeks, Geeks OUT, homophobia, Orson Scott Card, The Hunger Games. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.