14 June 2007

The Curiosity of Chance

I saw this movie as a kind of last minute thing using vouchers I got from volunteering at Inside Out. Funny and smart and definitely the best movies of the festival, I really hope this gets picked up for distribution because it has so much potential.

Taking its cue from The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles and all the other John Hughes 80s teen movies that people love, it has all teased hair and music that made the 80s great, plus drag queens, hot shirtless neighbours, a super-cute lead and sassy Eurotrash accents (the movie is set at an American school in Belgium). What more could you want?

While this film is funny and light-hearted, it's also a headlong look at the unpleasant reality of being gay in high school. Unlike most gay teen movies which deal with coming out, the title character in this movie, Chance, is already out. Way out. With his sexuality already a fait accompli, the movie looks at the bullying, addled parents, jocks and self-doubt that all teen gays spend their formative years dealing with.

Change Belgium for Belleville and Wham! for Nirvana and what you have is a film about an eccentric gay outsider struggling with being gay in high school — i.e. a film about me! It was as though the writer had followed me around Grade 11 and translated my life into a script — The film could have just as easily been called The Curiosity of Tokyo Tintin for how much I felt like I was watching my life. There is even an exact duplicate of a conversation I had with one of my friends. (A: “I don’t know why you put up with the jocks.” Me: “I rise above it and be the better person.”). While the protagonist goes on to face his fears and his bullies in an explosion of glitter and fabulousness, I wish the outcome of my conversation had been more fruitful. I just shirked away from the bullying and built up a wall of defenses (and rather lacked in glitter department I'm afraid). I guess I learned something from it all, but perhaps there was a better lesson I could have taken away from the situation.

I found Curiosity of Chance really empowering and wish I’d had the opportunity to see it when I was young and impressionable. I might have found the confidence to stand up to the myriad of jerks and rednecks who populated my school and achieved my full fablutronic potential at a much younger age. For the sake of all the gay youths out there I hope this film gets picked up for distribution and adopted into the gay cannon post haste (right up there with Rocky Horror and Jem). We'd probably have more happy confident homos with positive outlooks and square heads on their shoulders (and even, perhaps, less dependence on transvestite aliens or hologramme machines — I personally am lost when my Synergy earrings stop working).

Kudos to Russell P. Marleau for writing and directing such an insightful and funny movie (about me). I can't wait to see it in the cinema again!

You can watch the trailer here.


Anonymous said...

So much has changed since we were in high school! I'd be curious to know if my high school is any queerer, or if it's still repressed Catholicism all the way...

Miss Ash said...

I'm with Sly on this one, I wonder how my highschool has changed. I don't recall anyone being outwardly gay in school, but I had a few friends that were comfortable enough within our own group to come out, just denied it to the rest of the people who questioned.

jolie-chan said...

when i was closeted in high school, and during childhood, i was bullyed, however, as soon as i came out at the end of highschool, people never really bothered me...very odd....

movie sounds grrreeeeat though!!

Tokyo Tintin said...


I realise now that if I had stood up to the people who made fun of me and and just said "Yeah, I am a homo — So fucking what?" then they would have stopped.

Bullying and name calling depend on the shame the bullied person feels. If you don't feel any shame about being gay, or being overweight or being a nerd, then no one can really try to make you feel bad about it.

It's all about empowerment yo!

Anonymous said...

checked your post and am preparing to scour the internet for a download of your picked pic now. thanks for the tip.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for checking out 'Chance' at Inside/Out -- you were part of an amazing audience for the film. Toronto extended a lot of love to 'Chance'. Your blogging about the film is actually very helpful to us as we look to secure distribution for it. So thanks for sharing your views -- and for the nice things you had to say about the movie. I'm really happy you enjoyed it.

Tokyo Tintin said...

Mr Marleau,

Thanks for taking the time to comment on my post, and thanks again for making such a great movie!

If you're looking to widen the market for Chance, I'd be happy to offer my services as a subtitler (French, and possibly Spanish). — Technically I'm not a subtitler yet, I'm a translation student looking to get into that field. If you're interested, I think it'd be a great opportunity for both me to gain experience, and for the film to reach a larger audience.

Feel free to contact me at: tokyo_tintin@yahoo.com



Brandon Burt said...

Just watched this movie tonight; interestingly enough, it was really about me! (I guess there must be near-universal appeal to The Curiosity of Chance if so many of us are identifying with the eponymous character.)