02 October 2011

Favorites: Maurice

Excuse the dry spell here at DoaWE....my willy-nilly life was filled with too much Working and not enough Wandering for my taste.   Fortunately, I did manage a late night screening of the Merchant Ivory film Maurice and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it.  I hadn't seen the film in ages and I was struck (once again) by the beautiful styling and the refreshingly frank gay narrative....also, it brought back a flood of memories from my first viewing.....back then I was a newly out gay man attempting to navigate the rather choppy seas of dating with nary a safety-orange life vest to protect my gullible heart.  My dinghy of a boat was sinking fast into a whirlpool of negativity.....who knew all I needed was a lush period film with a gay story line to get me safely to shore?   I remember sitting in that darkened theater watching the story of Maurice unfold.....his struggles with his sexuality, his secret loves both lost and found....and feeling my inner romantic idealist breathe a sigh of relief because hope was finally restored.




5 comments:

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello WE:
We imagine that you have read the novel which, in so many ways, outshines the film.

Have you seen 'Another Country' with Rupert Everett? A film with a gay theme, set in an English public school and well worth, in our view, watching.

Laurent said...

The Hattatts cite a production which is also pretty good about how desolate the other country was. In both films there is a disagreeable element of the seductions of the class system -- which, taking nothing away from the lifeline "Maurice" threw to you -- I've always found to be fundamentally incompatible with 'liberation'. Thus, one's gay friends will be millionaires, one's lovers will usually not be.

Blue said...

Maurice was one of the rare movies not to portray gay men as suicidal, bitchy and guilt-ridden queens and for that reason alone it has a place in my heart. The portrayal of the class system during the last few years before all was blown apart on the fields of Flanders is superb. I own Maurice on DVD and occasionally watch it again. I understand the importance that movie might have had for you. I have not read the book but shall pretty soon.

W.E. said...

Thank you thank you thank you for these heartfelt comments! Yes, I have seen the film Another Country (I remember thinking it was going to be based on the wonderful James Baldwin novel by the same name)...that film was also beautiful but it did not have the romantic ending of Maurice. Regarding the class system differences, of all the characters in the film, I was most seduced by the grounds keeper's life and his cozy room in the boat house...typical.

Laurent said...

In the very same vein, I liked how the groundskeeper's visit to the house shed light on the egalitarian experience. From my perspective this was the great discovery.