Jump to content


Overrated productions


  • This topic is locked This topic is locked
44 replies to this topic

#31 Jan Brock

Jan Brock

    Advanced Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2756 posts

Posted 01 May 2007 - 09:48 AM

QUOTE(pesa @ May 1 2007, 09:37 AM) View Post
Probably more Gay men enjoy musicals than straight men (never understood why to be honest) I agree but we are talking about something far more serious than being able to sing all the lines to 'Cabaret' here and the insinuation that a gay man will go to see the History Boys basically because he will 'get off' on the idea of seeing a middle aged man in authority touching up a teenage school boy (sorry Alan but this is exactly what happens) or seeing a 17 year old boy/man naked violently attack horses is a different matter, Homosexuality is one thing and paedophilia is another.

On another note when I saw Equus the larger proportion of the audience were young women many of whom were giggling away to themselves, I wouldn't by this think that all women were immature and rather stupid.


The question of History Boys and paedophilia is an interesting one as both you and I and "Armadillo" seem to think the play is partly about this, but both Alan Bennett and Richard Griffiths have fairly violently rejected any suggestion that the play condones or even actually deals with this topic at all. If you'd care to debate this in a separate thread please start one up and I'll retrieve Bennett's frankly offensive and misguided quotes from his diaries which shed an interesting and unexpected light on the views of this particular National Treasure.

#32 armadillo

armadillo

    Advanced Member

  • Validating
  • PipPipPip
  • 2740 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 01 May 2007 - 10:07 AM

It should be remembered that, during the 1980s the gay age of consent was 21 and therefore Hector, if arrested, would have been charged with sex with a minor. If that isn't paedophilia, what is? I certainly agreed that the law needing changing but it was the law at the time and Bennet did choose to set his play at a time when Hector's acts were most definitely illegal even if not immoral.



#33 Backdrifter

Backdrifter

    Advanced Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 999 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Location:London
  • Interests:Moving, sleeping, eating, not being here

    Gender says 'not telling' but, clue: I own some Y chromosomes

Posted 01 May 2007 - 10:17 AM

The thing that bothered me about the groping in this play was the rather glib way in which it featured and was carried out, and the casual off-hand manner of the boys' acceptance of it (adding to their general unconvincing worldliness). It seemed like a tacked-on thing, in an "oh by the way he gropes them" fashion. It contributed to the overall feeling I got of Bennett having knocked the whole thing up in his shed one afternoon while on economy power.
Turn up the signal... wipe out the noise

#34 armadillo

armadillo

    Advanced Member

  • Validating
  • PipPipPip
  • 2740 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 01 May 2007 - 10:20 AM

What puzzled me is why Hector chose a motorcycle rather than a car. This is not something I've tried, but is it even possible to grope the person sitting behind you on a bike? I find it hard to believe that Richard Griffiths is that acrobatic.

#35 pesa

pesa

    Advanced Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 71 posts

Posted 01 May 2007 - 10:59 AM

QUOTE(Backdrifter @ May 1 2007, 11:17 AM) View Post
The thing that bothered me about the groping in this play was the rather glib way in which it featured and was carried out, and the casual off-hand manner of the boys' acceptance of it (adding to their general unconvincing worldliness). It seemed like a tacked-on thing, in an "oh by the way he gropes them" fashion. It contributed to the overall feeling I got of Bennett having knocked the whole thing up in his shed one afternoon while on economy power.


I couldn't agree more and I think I must have been the only person in Britain who didn't know this was in the storyline at all, the fact that it was potrayed as something of a joke made me feel rather uncomfortable because this issue aside i'm sure most of us would have loved to have had a teacher like Hector when we were growing up.

I admire so much of Alan Bennetts works, in particular 'The Lady in the Van' and his films such as 'A Private Function', I'm just not sure as to why this part of Hectors character was covered in the play, it was a little ridiculous and totally unbelieveable.
I'm not saying it doesnt/didnt happen but i'd have thought if any teacher did that to a 16 year old they would probably have got a punch in the mouth even in the 1980's. I did enjoy The History Boys but certainly don't think it remarkable at all.




#36 Backdrifter

Backdrifter

    Advanced Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 999 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Location:London
  • Interests:Moving, sleeping, eating, not being here

    Gender says 'not telling' but, clue: I own some Y chromosomes

Posted 01 May 2007 - 11:07 AM

QUOTE(pesa @ May 1 2007, 11:59 AM) View Post
I did enjoy The History Boys but certainly don't think it remarkable at all.

I think this sums it up. It's okay, but I'm genuinely puzzled by the praise it receives, and its longevity.
Turn up the signal... wipe out the noise

#37 Jan Brock

Jan Brock

    Advanced Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2756 posts

Posted 01 May 2007 - 11:41 AM

I went and got "Untold Stories" from my shelves as it is pertinent to this discussion.

Background: In 2001 Jonathan King received a seven-year prison sentence for four indecent assaults and two serious sexual offences going back to the 1980s involving male teenagers aged 14 and 15.

Here, verbatim and complete, is what Bennett says about a TV documentary on this shown AFTER the convictions:

"A shoddy programme about the conviction of Jonathan King for offences against young men dating back 25 years and more. While it features some of the police involved, it manages not to ask the pertinent question: if these fifteen-year-old boys had been fifteen-year-old girls and romping around in Rolls-Royces even more famous than Jonathan King's, the Beatles' say, or the Rolling Stones', would the police have been quite so zealous in trawling for the supposed victims from a quarter of a century ago ? King does himself no favours but I prefer his defiance and want of remorse to the odiously caring voice of the man who presents the programme. As it is, a succession of sad middle-aged men are encouraged to blame their failure in life on these ancient wanks, a service for which the state will now reward them far more munificently than King ever did".

I find that quote breathtaking on a number of counts - consider, for example, the use of the word "supposed".

#38 Matthew Winn

Matthew Winn

    Advanced Member

  • Global Moderators
  • PipPipPip
  • 2898 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Bletchley

Posted 01 May 2007 - 11:49 AM

QUOTE(armadillo @ May 1 2007, 11:07 AM) View Post
It should be remembered that, during the 1980s the gay age of consent was 21 and therefore Hector, if arrested, would have been charged with sex with a minor. If that isn't paedophilia, what is?

There are two separate concepts here: a psychological one and a legal one.

Paedophilia is a psychological concept. It's sexual desire for someone who is physically immature and undeveloped. It's unrelated to age, except in so far as younger people are more likely to be immature than older people.

However, the law can't deal with concepts like that because law must sometimes be applied retrospectively. If an adult has sex with a fifteen-year-old and five years later the police find out and get involved it's far too late to judge whether the now twenty-year-old person was mature enough for sexual activity five years earlier. So the law imposes limits that have nothing to do with the maturity of those involved, but are merely based on their age.

By law, the legal lowest age for heterosexual sex is 5844 days. If one of the participants is 5843 days old it's illegal. In psychological terms it makes no sense to say that a few hours can make the difference between a psychological aberration and normal behaviour, although in legal terms it does make the difference between illegal and legal behaviour.
I have always hated eggs. I remember back when I was a sperm I tried to head-butt one. It did not end well.

#39 pesa

pesa

    Advanced Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 71 posts

Posted 01 May 2007 - 12:16 PM

QUOTE(Jan Brock @ May 1 2007, 12:41 PM) View Post
I went and got "Untold Stories" from my shelves as it is pertinent to this discussion.

Background: In 2001 Jonathan King received a seven-year prison sentence for four indecent assaults and two serious sexual offences going back to the 1980s involving male teenagers aged 14 and 15.

Here, verbatim and complete, is what Bennett says about a TV documentary on this shown AFTER the convictions:

"A shoddy programme about the conviction of Jonathan King for offences against young men dating back 25 years and more. While it features some of the police involved, it manages not to ask the pertinent question: if these fifteen-year-old boys had been fifteen-year-old girls and romping around in Rolls-Royces even more famous than Jonathan King's, the Beatles' say, or the Rolling Stones', would the police have been quite so zealous in trawling for the supposed victims from a quarter of a century ago ? King does himself no favours but I prefer his defiance and want of remorse to the odiously caring voice of the man who presents the programme. As it is, a succession of sad middle-aged men are encouraged to blame their failure in life on these ancient wanks, a service for which the state will now reward them far more munificently than King ever did".

I find that quote breathtaking on a number of counts - consider, for example, the use of the word "supposed".


I've always been a little irritated when people proclaim adoration of writers and performers when to be honest they don't really know them as people at all.
This proves that all we can ever be is an admirer of their work, no more and no less.





#40 Job

Job

    Advanced Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 511 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:

Posted 01 May 2007 - 01:53 PM

Hi. (Timidly...) Any chance we can get back to 'overrated productions' and leave Alan Bennett's shortcomings to another thread?

Job

(who's never fancied seeing The History Boys, so feels somewhat excluded from the turn this discussion has taken)

P.S. (Even more timidly...) Is it worth adding I'm a massive fan of Benjamin Britten's music, and I have tickets for Death in Venice next month, but neither fact has any bearing on my own, somewhat different, sexual orientation? I doubt whether I'd have liked Britten much if I'd known him (prickly sod, apparently) nor Mozart, probably, for that matter - but that doesn't stop me from admiring their achievements.
With the ancient is wisdom; and in length of days understanding.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users