Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The "Brokeback" effect: Argentina television tackles gay sex scenes

Today, in its Culture section, the Argentinean daily Pagina/12 has a cover story on two yet to be televised episodes of serials that are finally daring to show intimate contact by characters who play gay men.

Titled "Secreto de la Pantalla" [Secret of the Screen] after the name given to "Brokeback Mountain" when it was released throughout Latin America and Spain ("El Secreto de la Monta
a"), the article argues that the success of the film has given a final push for these type of scenes to be aired in television shows produced in Argentina.

"If up to now the quota of gays and travestis contemplated realistic archetypes (Luis Machin in Padre Coraje), caricaturesque femenine stereotypes (Nicolas Scarpino in Sin Codigo) and travestis that did not express their sexuality (Florencia de la V in Los Roldan), the novelty of 2006, perhaps due to the liberty that brought "Brokeback" to the Oscars (the integration of the gay couple into the red carpet), is to incorporate them into a sexual scene."

The article goes on to talk about two television serials or mini-soaps, Al Limite (To the Limit) and El Tiempo No Para (Time Doesn't Stop) and describes visits to the sets while the scenes, yet to be broadcast, were shot. Reporter Julian Gorodischer interviews actors, producers and stars about shooting the scene and their thoughts on why Argentinean television is now ready to tackle the taboo (it's "marketing" says Al Limite producer Pablo Cullel who also says that he likes how the gay topic was handled in series such as "Six Feet Under;" Al Limite Director Diego Palacio says "To get comfortable with gay sex, we began by watching Queer as Folk" but he also makes reference to Al Pacino's role in "Angels in America").

In related articles Pagina/12 talks to actor Juan Minjuin, who recently was seen here in the United States in the limited-release Argentinean film "A Year Without Love," filmmaker Edgardo Cozarinsky and to the organizer of the Buenos Aires gay film festival, Lorena Sanchez, about representation of lesbian sex in Argentinean film and television.


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