Brüno: A Queer God for the Ages


bruno-filmYes -- if you're asking -- Brüno is quite possibly the most uproarious, groundbreaking, and shocking comedy of the past decade -- and that includes its sister film which showcased the Jew-phobic Borat.

Actor/co-writer/producer Sacha Baron Cohen has now taken the image of the homosexual as propagated by the Right Wing for fund-raising purposes, and he's exaggerated that stereotype one hundredfold.

His Brüno, host of a defunct German-language fashion-oriented TV show, is a limp-wristed fop; a blatant misogynist with a special distaste for the vagina; a dildo-carrying satyr; and an inhumane, racist, child-endangering, self-promoting anal warrior. He's, in other words, a solipsist nonpareil.

Clearly, Brüno's only goal in life is to promote Brüno at whatever the cost. Superstardom here he comes . . . possibly.

In attempting to achieve his goal, this Narcissus Jr. will stoop to the lowest of lows, which is, of course, a comment on fame itself. As Lord Byron so concisely noted, "What is fame? The advantage of being known by people of whom you yourself know nothing, and for whom you care as little." Yet, this very vacuous Fame has now replaced the American dream of a spouse, 2-1/2 kids, a dog, a house, and a surrounding fence that the early Hollywood moguls pushed down our ever-grateful throats.


So what are some of these lows? How about trading an iPod for an African tot to tote about, trying to make a porn film with a reluctant Republican presidential candidate, and achieving peace in the Middle East by confusing hummus with Hamas.

That Baron Cohen put his life at risk several times during the making of this epic funfest gives credence to those who've always expounded on the high cost of comedy.

As for the gay groups who've gone a bit nelly over this flick, get over it. For example, Rashad Robinson, senior director of media programs for the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, voiced, "We do feel the intentions of the filmmakers are in the right place -- satire of this form can unmask homophobia -- but at the same time it can heighten people's discomfort with our community."

Believe me, if someone is already worked up about homosexuality, Brüno will only make him feel like a bigger asshole. Besides, there is an educational aspect to this whole enterprise. Just tell me, what other movie out today will answer the question, "Is it harder to defend yourself against a black dildo?" - Brandon Judell

brandon.jpgMr. Judell is currently starring in Rosa von Praunheim's New York Memories, which is still in production. In the fall, he'll be teaching "The Arts in New York City" at City College. He has written on film for The Village Voice, indieWire, Detour, The Advocate, and dozens of other publications.