Oh, Rocky…!

Sweet Transvestite

If you grew up any time after 1975, there was probably no way you missed it. Be it in a movie theater, on TV late at night, or on video/DVD – when I was young, The Rocky Horror Picture Show was literally everywhere. Remember Tim Curry’s iconic smoky, dramatically made-up eyes, deep red lip gloss, the cross-dressing burlesque getup, and the glittering heels …? Oh my! I don’t know about you, but I crushed on him so hard! Obviously, at 15, I was way too young to get even half of the innuendo in the dialogue, but the movie’s whole playful approach to morbidity and decadence spoke to me loud and clear, as did the music. I loved the main character’s no prisoners (nor boundaries for that matter) attitude towards sex, and I could relate (as probably many, many other teenagers) to his credo of ‚don’t dream it, be it‘. Obviously, in the movie, it’s what kills Frank N Furter in the end – but as teenagers are invincible as well as immortal, that’s just details, right…?

Maybe that’s why I never really bought into gender stereotypes so much, or maybe the movie tapped into my disposition towards rainbow colors, I don’t know. It’s probably unsurprising that I unapologetically enjoy steamy gay romance novels, that I love all the characters on ‚Queer as Folk‘, and that I ship Kurt and Blaine from ‚glee‘.

But what brought my doing the time warp down memory lane on? The other weekend, we re-watched Rocky Horror with our teenage son and his girlfriend, who are now the same age I was when I first saw it. I don’t really know what the kids thought, about the movie, and about us, afterwards. Watching this particular movie with them made me feel a bit weird, to be honest, like breaking the Fourth Wall or something. I never watched sexual content with my kid before, jeez. I know it’s not porn, but there are a few kind of … um … suggestive scenes in that movie, and I usually keep my obsessions _to_ myself. But anyway, now it’s done, and they probably – like me as a kid – didn’t get all of the subtext anyway. And of course I’m all about being authentic with my children, so there.

But isn’t it interesting to see how you can still be so caught up in the magic of a movie, after having loved it for decades? Isn’t it reassuring that there still are films like that, even in this short attention span TV show format dominated day and age?

And since I’m already deeply into the overthinking, the fact that I still found Tim Curry as Frank N Furter hot after 35 years got me pondering what makes us ‚like‘ actors via their screen characters in the first place. Obviously we don’t know them from Adam, bless them, and they have absolutely no business sharing with the world who they really are. Still, I can never help reading up on actors I ‚like‘ whenever I get attached to a character on a show or in a movie – easy enough to do these Internet days. More often than not, actors will seem vastly different from the people they play, and still, it makes me have to sort of go through a detachment process sometimes, reconciling their screen persona and what they reveal of themselves when they’re interviewed as ‚themselves‘.

It can get complicated! Say, you love a character like Spock. And then you see Leonard Nimoy being this friendly, serious dude who is a married man and a dad – mind-boggling, right? Does it make you love Spock any less? No, but you may need to accept that Spock isn’t real, and that can be sort of painful – it’s not easy, being a fangirl ;-)).

And then, some of them also seem way less interesting or likeable than their screen characters. It shouldn’t really come as a surprise that sometimes they come across as self-absorbed, vain or boring or, or even as a bit on the dumb side. But I have to confess that watching the wrong interview with an actor can make me stop liking a character, and literally stop watching a show altogether: instant detachment happened! Does that make me a highly disturbed individual, I wonder? Or a bit on the shallow side, myself? What do you think? Have you experienced this kind of thing yourself? Hope I’m not alone …

Anyway, we’re back from our summer vacation (which was wonderful, but that’s another post), school’s in full swing, and so is my latest book translation – a very good knitting book on cable patterns. I won’t be doing much else for a few weeks now, and may not post a lot here because I need to sleep. I just had to get this one out of my system, because it’s been on my mind.

Signing off today with my favorite picture from this summer, obviously showing what I love most in the world. Take care, everyone!

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