This Week's Guest: Justin Sayre
My guest this week is Justin Sayre, whom you may know from the excellent Sparkle and Circulate podcast, or his delightful live show The Meeting of the International Order of the Sodomites. He always knew there was a big queer community out there, but he never quite felt a connection with it, so he decided to do something about that: by appointing himself its chairman.
This Week's Recommendation: Mae West in Myra Breckinridge
For my recommendation this week, I want you to take a look at a film that does everything it can to defy description -- Myra Breckinridge. And specifically, look up the YouTube video that's just excerpts of scenes with Mae West.
The movie was made in 1968, and it's a weird sloppy mess of a story that's pulled in all different directions by all different ideas. Sometimes it's funny, sometimes it's torturous, every now and then it's a little bit sexy. And never is it any better than when Mae West is on the screen.
By this point in her career, Mae is an undisputed master of feminine sexual glamour. The fact that she was 75 years old at the time doesn't matter at all, and it is with unbridled gusto that she delivers lines like "ah, the end of another busy day. I can't wait to get back to bed. And if that don't work I'll try sleep."
The rest of the film is a mixed bag at best -- it's a fumbling adaptation of a Gore Vidal novel by a creative team that lacks the sophistication to understand the queer source material. The result is a mess of ideas about masculinity, which on their own would simply be forgettable. But Mae West's campy vamping snatches defeat from the jaws of defeat, not quite redeeming the film or rescuing it from its downward spiral, but at least transforming it into a joy to watch on its day down.
Clips of Stuff we Talked About
Parisian Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0