Tonight is SIFF’s big, um, “Gay-la” (which is, naturally, the festival’s “Big Gay Event”, with a really gay movie and a big gay party afterwards held somewhere tragically gay like Neighbour’s or something) and it features a film by a bright and friendly young fella called C. Jay Cox. Mr. Cox has done things you have heard of, like Sweet Home Alabama, and things you haven’t, like The Nightmare Sisters and The Offspring. His SIFF film tonight, which you haven’t heard of yet, is called Kiss the Bride. It is a tremendously gay little movie that features scads of homosexuals, tons of homosexualia, and buckets of gayness in general. And a gay wedding. And tears. It stars Tori Spelling mostly. And I have not seen it. (I’ll be at tomorrow’s 4:30 screening at the Egyptian.) But Mr. Eli Sanders saw it, and he called it a “bad, bad movie”. Yes, that’s TWO “bads”. Bad squared. But everyone knows how bitchy Eli can get sometimes, especially about things like weddings. (Anything can set him off. He once shot a man for NOT snoring. Believe it.) So I’m withholding judgment. I mean, how can a gay Tori Spelling movie possibly be bad? I ask you.
Anyway. I sat down for a little chat with Mr. Cox at the W Hotel today (and yes, that’s his real name and not a reach at gay irony, thank you), and we explored his twisted childhood growing up gay and Mormon in the wastes of East Nevada, his fear of legalized gay weddings, square-toed shoes, and his death wish for old Republicans everywhere. Oh, and Kiss the Bride. We talked about that a little too.
Mr. Cox had just flown into town. He was just back home in Nevada, he said, visiting his, ahem, “Very Mormony” cousins. The drama inherent in growing up a big gay Mormon has haunted much of Mr. Cox’s recent film work (his 2003 film Latter Days is a “deeply personal” account of homosexuality amidst the LDS) and, apparently, his entire life. This was his first visit with his cousins in 20 years. Mormons and fags are two great tastes that usually fricking hate each other.
“I had to keep telling myself, ‘Remember not to say “Fuck”…Remember not to say “Fuck”…otherwise the visit wasn’t too bad”, he says.
“So, Mr. Cox, tell me about Kiss the Bride.” It’s always wise to skip the family drama and dive right in.
“Well, our timing is excellent. Gay marriage becomes legal in California, what, next month? Kiss the Bride is all about the gays and weddings.”
“Gay marriage is legal for the next fifteen minutes, until somebody overturns it again. Like always,” says I with a sneer. I’m a cynic. Mr. Cox is a cynic, too.
“Thank God. Actually, the second gay marriage becomes legal, my film becomes kind of less relevant. So I don’t mind waiting a little longer. But yeah—the gay marriage laws will probably only change permanently when the old generation finally dies off. Newer generations aren’t going to care about gay marriage. It will be a non-issue with them.”
“So you’re saying that the only way to permanently achieve gay rights is for old Republicans to die?”
“Exactly. Yes. God, why can’t they just die faster?!”
I simply love the way this man thinks. But in that direction, madness lays. Lies. Whatever.
“You grew up in Nevada, Mr. Cox. You made your first film when you were eight years old. It was a horror film called Vampire Cave. You’ve made four or so gay-themed films and a couple of horror films. Would you call those your genres of choice? Horror and gayness? Do you consider the bulk of your work mostly just gay and scary?”
“Well, I wouldn’t put it like that. But I do enjoy making horror. It’s fun. And I’m gay, so that comes naturally. And perhaps the two genres aren’t mutually exclusive…”
“Is there a gay horror film in the works?”
“Hmmm, well, it’s certainly an idea…”
Yes. A bad idea.
“Mr. Cox, I have a serious question which truly puzzles me. You grew up Mormon and are, indeed, gay. I grew up with a tremendous amount of Mormon friends, most of whom turned out also to be gay. The gay Mormon is almost a cliché. What do you think it is about Mormonism that seems to lend itself to homosexuality? Why are so many Mormons gay?”
“I think it’s totally the missionary situation. It’s insanely homoerotic. You send two horny adolescent boys out into the world together, to be around each other constantly—it is the perfect partner training for young homosexuals.”
“There’s a lot of situational homosexuality on missions?”
“Two horny boys, far from home, starved for affection…yes there was a lot of late-night underwear wrestling and that sort of thing…”
“And this reflects your own person experience? As a young Mormon who went on a mission?”
“God damn. I want to be a Mormon. I want to go on a mission. Right now.”
“I understand completely.”
Well, that answer didn’t really satisfy the true depth of my question: Little mormons are born, not made on missions. Everyone knows that. But my head was dancing with visions of missionary circle-jerks, and it was hardly the moment to argue.
“Thank you, Mr. Cox. Thank you very much.”
And that was the end of our interview. Our time together simply flew. And now it’s time for the big party…so I’m off to Neighbour’s, or, uh, someplace tragically gay like that. And then, I’m going on a God damn mission. I don’ t know when. I’m not sure exactly how. But, dammit, it’s going to happen.