Apr 11, 2007

Adam and Steve

Adam and Steve is one of a growing body of films written by gay men that obliquely and cleverly discuss both religion and queerness, without marginalizing either. Written, directed and starring Craig Chester (Adam) it also stars Malcomb Gets as Steve, and Parker Posey (who I love ever since 'Best in Show').

The film begins with a scene (a one night stand from hell) that echos the "Fall" - and results in a condition of guilt, shame and fear. A great deal of the movie's appeal is about the overcoming of this condition. Along the way we get cute romantic comedy and a sexy gay country/western dance scene - but at it's heart, it's a bible lesson.

Adam and Steve are archetypes of struggle and triumph. They represent all gay men, on the front lines of the struggle against fear and shame.

And then, the intriguing story line of Adam's family. Adam Bernstein is Jewish, and his family suffers under a curse - the Bernstein Curse. Bad shit follows them like a dark cloud - his dad's in a wheelchair, his mom has a broken neck, his sister - oy, don't ask. They suffer under the curse, and yet, when Steve asks them about it - how can they live with it?... Adam's father gives the most graceful and wisest answer I can imagine. And when Adam and Steve are finally married - when guilt, shame and fear are overcome in a holy marriage, then Adam's father leaps out of his wheelchair in joy, the curse of Bernstein overcome.

If Adam's family is an archetype of all Jews, then all Jews are an archetype of the whole human race, and Adam, the second Adam - is an archetype of the overcomer - the redeemer.

So it is written: "The first man Adam became a living being" ; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. --1 Corinthians 15:45

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