Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-09-01
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Kimberly Peirce: 'Loss' in Translation
Extended for the Online Edition
by Richard Knight, Jr.
2008-03-26

This article shared 5028 times since Wed Mar 26, 2008
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Almost ten years after her stunning 1999 feature debut, Boys Don't Cry, writer-director Kimberly Peirce has returned with Stop-Loss, a powerful, thought-provoking film that focuses on a little-known policy that forces soldiers to return to duty in Iraq after fulfilling their commitment. Peirce spent years researching the film and collecting actual footage from soldiers documenting their experiences in Iraq. The film stars a crew of young hunks ( Ryan Phillippe, Channing Tatum, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, etc. ) who enact a story revolving around the stop-loss issue. Peirce has also set up a Web site, www.stoplossmovie.com/SoundOff, where actual victims of the practice can post their own stories.

In person, Peirce has enormous vitality, and speaks quickly in a no-nonsense manner in a torrent of words.

Windy City Times: I know [ Stop-Loss ] started from a personal place for you. Could you talk about that?

Kimberly Peirce: Sure, sure. Shortly after the war started, my younger brother told us he was enlisting—so … shocking. It wasn't so much that we took a position on whether it was right or wrong to fight the war; it was that I'd brought him home from the hospital when he was born and he represents innocence to me. My mother, obviously very upset, wouldn't come home at night because she knows that if you're home they can come to the door. A lot of women do that.

WCT: I didn't know that.

KP: They just stay at work because they have to give you the news that your soldier has died in person so they're just like, 'I'm not answering the door and I'm not going to be around.' They've had women just say when they're knocking, 'You can't come in.' They don't want the news. So it's very intense when you have that personal connection. So not only was I IMing with him every day and hearing his side of it, which was an important element as a sister, ... but I was interviewing soldiers throughout America and that was really important to me. I really wanted to understand like generally speaking where were the soldiers coming from. I wanted to tell an emblematic story.

WCT: This research has taken you years and been your main focus for a long time. In all your research did you find examples of gays and lesbians that had been stop-lossed?

KP: Yes.

WCT: Did you find some people who said, 'Okay, I'm going to go back even though I'm a gay or lesbian?'

KP: Yes. But those are the people in the military, anyway.

WCT: Right, and everything you read now seems to suggest that they look the other way because they need the people so badly.

KP: Yes—they really need them—and that's why, to me, the movie isn't about stop-loss; it's about people. The reason that stop-loss is so important is because it cuts through everything including the gay and lesbian thing. I feel like both the soldiers are being stop-lossed and I feel that America is also being stop-lossed. Which is you're stuck in it, you can't get out. I mean, it's happening to 81,000 soldiers but it's also very much like America—kind of like having all these resources in Iraq and you just can't pull them out.

WCT: Is there any chance this policy will be overturned?

KP: I don't know the future of stop-loss but I do know that [ Defense Secretary Robert ] Gates has come out and said, 'We want to decrease the use of stop-loss.' You don't have anybody in the military saying, 'It is a good solution.'

WCT: No.

KP: Because, I believe, it's not like the draft where everybody was invested. You have a smaller group of the population—but a significant group—fighting this war. It's contained.

WCT: What about the change in the attitudes toward 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell?' Over the course of your research—from 9/11 to now …

KP: You mean because they need gays and lesbians, they're more tolerant?

WCT: Well, that's what I'm reading and you have military personnel saying, 'I don't care if he or she is gay, this is someone who has watched out for me.'

KP: Exactly. Well that's the argument that I found the most profound. That it's about camaraderie, right? It's about the person that you're serving with, and so it makes sense that it would get to a point where gay wouldn't matter—the same way we got to a point that race didn't matter. I mean, fundamentally, it doesn't matter. I'm sure there's still racism in the military and I'm sure there's still homophobia but it's really true—you put people into a life-threatening situation that's the bonding experience that happens in the military. It makes sense to me that you would get to that point.

WCT: With such a punitive policy I can't help wondering what makes a gay or lesbian person want to go see a movie like Stop-Loss? I can't serve my country …

KP: Well, you can serve your country.

WCT: I can't openly serve my country.

KP: Right. But there are a lot of people who still have these values that were raised in these military towns—that were raised with this as a value system so they don't see their gayness. ... It's not mutually exclusive with their desire to serve their country in this way. They still want to.

WCT: I see that.

KP: I also think that the way masculinity works … I mean, I'm so fascinated with masculinity; I'm so fascinated with guys bonding.

WCT: Me, too.

KP: [ Laughs ] I think the guys are gorgeous, I think the guys are deeply interconnected, they live together, they fight together, and I think there's something very interesting about that.

WCT: Boys Don't Cry featured two strong female actors in the starring roles—and here you had Ryan Phillippe and Channing Tatum and Joseph Gordon-Levitt—who I love so much—

KP: Me, too. He's great.

WCT: What was the difference in directing all these men? Intimidating? Easier?

KP: I don't think it was intimidating or easier or harder. I think it was just very different. I'm a very physical director. I seek, in my screenwriting and my directing, to create physical situations. That's why I like sexuality and I like gender and I like fight scenes and car races. I like bodies against bodies, and I like bodies moving through space and time. What's so great about the guys was—if you notice—they're always hitting each other and touching each other and bonding, and when they have that fight with the snake they're in each others' faces. In a way, I got to be even more physical.

WCT: Oh, yes.

KP: This is about guys who love each other and respect other and will die for each other and almost every soldier I've spoken to said, 'The relationships that you form in combat become the most intense relationships you will ever have in your life.'

WCT: Between this and Boys Don't Cry, you are the perfect director to do the Don't Ask, Don't Tell movie.

KP: [ Delighted ] Oh good!

WCT: Right?! You do action so well [ and ] you do gender issues so well. Any chance you'll get into that issue?

KP: If I find a story that feels compelling I would love to, yeah. I mean, for me it's about making sure that the central protagonist has a deep human goal that I can identify with. For Brandon King this is a guy who is a great leader and he wants to protect his men. It's about family and duty and honor—those are the things that are compelling. So if then I can get a character that in the pursuit of their goal fits that in a Don't Ask, Don't Tell story then that would work.

WCT: Great, great! Or an action picture.

KP: I love action.

WCT: It's so ironic that you do war so well. You've made a great war film.

KP: I think the way a gay and lesbian audience finds their way in is certainly duty, commitment, value, honor, being patriots, the American stuff but I think also the male bonding is just so interesting to me.


This article shared 5028 times since Wed Mar 26, 2008
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

8th Annual Black Alphabet Film Festival on Nov. 5-7 2021-09-17
- The 8th Annual Black Alphabet Film Festival (BAFF) will take place Nov. 5-7 at the University of Chicago's Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th St. One of the longest running Black ...


Gay News

Brittany Devon meets a 'Platonic Girlfriend' 2021-09-15
- Queer, genderfluid actor Brittany Devon has created a brand new project to explore with Platonic Girlfriend. It is the story of a relationship between straight woman Alice and a queer, nonbinary person named Dev. Devon stars ...


Gay News

THEATER Out actor Dan Butler to be in 'When Harry Met Rehab' 2021-09-15
- Don Clark, a Chicago-based film/theater producer as well as co-owner of the Chicago Magic Lounge, will present the world premiere of When Harry Met Rehab—a comedy that takes sobriety seriously and is based loosely on the ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Boy Meets Boy,' Jennifer Hudson, 'SVU,' tennis honor, ABBA 2021-09-12
- Ariztical Entertainment is releasing the German movie Boy Meets Boy on DVD and VOD on Oct. 26. According to a press release, the plot of the 70-minute movie is as follows: "Harry has been partying for ...


Gay News

MOVES Talking about 'Everybody's Talking About Jamie' 2021-09-08
- The new movie Everybody's Talking About Jamie tells the inspiring story of Jamie New, a young drag artist who overcomes hardship and homophobia in Sheffield, England. Out actor Max Harwood stars as New, who gets by ...


Gay News

Survivor shares the story of trauma and thriving in 'Untold' 2021-09-07
- WARNING: This article contains material of a graphic nature. Gina M. Garcia is finally sharing her story of thriving after trauma in her new docu-drama biography, Untold: This is My Story, which premieres Sept. 6 at ...


Gay News

MOVIES Fall films harvest famous names for LGBTQ+ stories 2021-09-01
- The film industry is featuring world-renowned names like Lady Gaga, Truman Capote and Tammy Faye on the big screen this fall season. Award-winning musicals, true-life stories and far-out fiction are all part of the fun in ...


Gay News

MOVIES 'On Broadway' to open Sept. 10 in Highland Park 2021-09-01
- As theatergoers prepare for the return of Broadway after an unprecedented absence of 18 months, Kino Lorber is releasing Academy Award nominee Oren Jacoby's documentary On Broadway. The tribute to one of the most vibrant ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Billy Porter, 'Death Drop,' Brandi Carlile, vintage films, Gaga 2021-08-29
- Billy Porter will direct a queer teen comedy feature titled To Be Real for Amazon Studios, which is being helmed by Gabrielle Union's I'll Have Another Productions, NME.com noted. Porter, who is currently working on his ...


Gay News

EVENTS Celebrity attendees named for Wizard World Chicago 2021-08-28
- William Shatner (Star Trek; TV's Boston Legal), Michael Rooker (Guardians of the Galaxy, TV's The Walking Dead), Matthew Lewis (All Creatures Great and Small), James Marsters (TV series Buffy the ...


Gay News

TV Netflix animated series 'Chicago Party Aunt' debuts Sept. 17 2021-08-27
- The LGBTQ-inclusive series Chicago Party Aunt will debut on Netflix on Friday, Sept. 17. Inspired by the popular Twitter account Chicago Party Aunt, this eight-episode adult animated comedy follows Diane Dunbrowski and nephew Daniel as they ...


Gay News

Reeling: The Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival announces full slate 2021-08-25
--From a press release - CHICAGO, Illinois — Reeling: The Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival today announced the full slate of programming for 2021, opening September 23, 2021 at the Music Box Theatre (3733 N. Southport Ave.) and running September 24 ...


Gay News

MOVIES 'Mr. SOUL!' looks at groundbreaking '60s show and Black, gay host 2021-08-23
- Al Green, Stevie Wonder, Patti LaBelle, Gladys Knight, Nikki Giovanni, James Baldwin, Cicely Tyson, Harry Belafonte, Muhammad Ali, The Last Poets, Earth, Wind & Fire, Sidney Poitier, Mavis Staples and even a teenaged Arsenio Hall were ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ RuPaul, GALECA toast, Elliot Page, 'Chippendales,' bi model 2021-08-22
- RuPaul revealed a new wax figure at Madame Tussauds Las Vegas, a press release noted. The all-new Rainbow Runway experience invites guests to "meet" and take cues from the most commercially successful drag queen of all ...


Gay News

MUSIC Lyric Opera of Chicago's 'Pagliacci' on film 2021-08-18
- Lyric Opera of Chicago announced that registration is now open for audiences to secure a free link to screen the new, original film production of Leoncavallo's Pagliacci, filmed at the Lyric Opera House. Audiences can now ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.