At times it can seem that cinema, at least its American variant, inhabits a prolonged adolescence in which images of sex are at once omnipresent and puerile, in a “can’t look too close but can’t look away” manner. But why? Why should sex be any harder to credit in movies than murder?
The first image we see is of a dead body, probably from a film of a concentration camp but, like every other archival image in this film, it does not fit into familiar paradigms. A skeletal, naked corpse of a man lies face up on the ground, arms and legs splayed out—the whole cadaver fills the screen. Where can we possibly go from here?
Special Issue on Brokeback Mountain, plus reviews of Volver, The Line of Beauty, Passio; and an interview with Fernando Perez
READ: Passio, and editor Rob White’s introduction to Brokeback