Hats off to the organizers of the Portland Lesbian and Gay Film Fest, which continues through the weekend, for their commitment to presenting the newest developments in gay cinema (see Film Shorts, pg. 68). But what about gay movies that don't fit into the traditional queer cinema canon—movies that posit themselves as mainstream, traditional flicks, but are, in fact, unintentionally gayer than gay? How come they don't get a festival?
• Stand by Me (1986)—Here's the film that inspired this whole column. Watch Stand by Me again and marvel at the latent homosexuality between Gordie (Wil Wheaton) and Chris (River Phoenix). These two troubled tweens spend the whole movie hanging back from the gang, whispering secrets, crying on each other's shoulder, sharing long, meaningful glances, and willing themselves not to pick leeches off each other's wangs—no matter how badly they want to.
• Top Gun (1986)—'86 was a big year for unintentionally gay movies, as evidenced by this touching story of two Air Force (gay!) top (gay!) guns (GAY!) who masquerade their love for each other by singing campy Righteous Brothers songs while rolling around on bar counters. Includes the gayest volleyball scene in the history of gay volleyball scenes.
• Thelma and Louise (1991)—Gee, two man-haters plunge into big gaping canyon. I wonder what that symbolizes?
• The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001-2003)—You know what they say about hobbits with big feet, don't you? Old Sam Gamgee wanted some of that Frodo lovin' so bad that he followed him through three of the most boring movies ever made. Things don't get wildly homo until the very end of The Return of the King—when Sam, Merry, and Pippin all jump up and down on Frodo's bed, each with a visible erection.
• Brokeback Mountain (2005)—Two ranch hands who sleep on the side of a mountain with a bunch of sheep and then vacation together every year? This is the gayest movie ever made! How come nobody picked up on this?!? CHAS BOWIE