Bi sex films severe dating anxiety
Although Cabaret has become a key gay text, its fanboys and fangirls tend to deify the performances of Liza Minnelli as singer Sally Bowles and Joel Grey as the sexually ambiguous master of ceremonies. But the best, albeit far less showy, acting comes from Michael York as the bisexual writer (based on Christopher Isherwood, who penned the memoir upon which the musical is based) who moves to Berlin to complete a doctorate, but falls in with Minnelli’s glamorous cabaret singer.The two have a complicated relationship – they have sex with each other, and later find out they have been having a relationship with the same man, a rich baron.Laurence Olivier’s famous, unreciprocated pass at Tony Curtis in the baths in Spartacus (1960) – “My taste,” he hisses, “includes both snails… Still, things are getting better – if even James Bond is allowed a suggested previous sex life with males, as is hinted in Skyfall (2012), then Hollywood cinema is at least acknowledging other sexualities.Bi women are even less visible in Hollywood films, particularly before the last couple of decades (a surprising exception being Lauren Bacall’s psychiatrist in 1949’s Young Man with a Horn).It’s a reminder of the commendably liberal depictions of same-sex relationships that appeared in many films from the Weimar era, including Different from the Others (1919), Mikaël (1924) and Pandora’s Box (1929).One of Claude Chabrol’s most intriguing films, Les Biches opens with a rich woman, Frédérique (Stéphane Audran), picking up a young street artist (Jacqueline Sassard) called Why and taking her back to her apartment.Games are a symbol throughout, even inviting the audience to play along and unravel its mysteries (Why’s name is a gift for film studies tutors).
Eagle-eyed viewers will spot the film debut of Daniel Day-Lewis, in a small role as a vandal.It stars singer Murray Head as a bisexual artist who embarks on simultaneous relationships with a Jewish doctor (Peter Finch) and a divorcee (Glenda Jackson) – both are aware that they are “sharing” their lover, but tolerate the set-up for fear of losing him.The film is non-judgmental about its characters, and just four years after gay male relationships were partially legalised in the UK, its positive portrayal of a happy homosexual man was groundbreaking.They then hightail it to the Riviera with the older woman’s rather weird gay male cronies, but their bohemian idyll is torn apart by the arrival of a handsome architect (Jean-Louis Trintignant).
The visitor has a sexual liaison with Why, before Frédérique makes her move and embarks on a relationship with him herself, to the chagrin of Why.A synopsis of the plot sounds like a tired chauvinist fantasy, but Chabrol isn’t much interested in his leading man.