L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e ~ D o s t o ï e v s k i

L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e  ~  D o s t o ï e v s k i

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Rex - briefly

By way of my friend Stephen Rutledge's excellent and informative blog, I'm informed that yesterday was the birthday of film reviewer Rex Reed; he's seventy-four.

When I was growing up, I saw him on television talk shows all the time.  Daytime and nightime.  Long before I understood what "homosexual" was, what "queer" was, I knew that he was that.  I guess it's just one of those things one recognizes.  The languor, the bitchiness.  And right or wrong, I'm sure his example was very instructive to a generation of gay men coming up; is this what I am?  Is this how I am to behave?  Is this how I am to gain acceptance?

And his public "personality" seemed to be the point of his frequent appearances on mainstream media.  His film reviews were hardly reliable.  Or even the point.  He seemed too much interested in score-settling and scathing bon mots - or just making stuff up - to really be taken seriously as a film critic.  He never seemed all that comfortable in front of the camera, and was fairly humorless.  It was his ever-caustic drawling that put him "on the couch"; he could always be counted on to say something mean-spirited and outrageous.

And then he was quite photogenic.  A great swathe of dark hair, long lashes, sparkling eyes.  And it was that sort of soft, feminized, loose-mouthed, Southern sort of male beauty.  Pretty but lacking structure; Elvis-ian.  The sort of beauty that, at first glance, I might find attractive but, almost immediately, the slackness becomes rather repellent.  Though Reed may be entirely different in his personal life, at this distance, the lack of heart, the pointed unkindness Reed demonstrated time after time on the television of my childhood, was ultimately just us unattractive as his pretty face.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the shout out for my blog & for naming as your friend. Mr. Reed sure did have pretty lashes.