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By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

Schamus-less: NYRB Brokeback exchange continues

Over at Filmmaker, Peter Bowen prints a letter from Brokeback Mountain producer James Schamus that continues the letters-page kerfuffle from New York Review of Books between Schamus and writer Daniel Mendelsohn about the movie’s marketing; apparently NYRB thinks the first exchange suffices. Schamus: “In his reply to the few corrections in my otherwise laudatory response to his review… Daniel Mendelsohn calls me, and my work as a producer of Brokeback and as the head of the studio that distributed the film, “discomfited,” “embarrassed,” “defensive,” “bluster[ing],” practicing “obfuscatory sophistries,” “actually falsifying [the movie’s] content,” arguing “with breathtaking disingenuousness” and “evasive coyness” my “heated but ultimately self-destructive protestations” against his charges that I and my colleagues have consistently sought to “closet” the film’s central gay themes in our marketing of it. BBM-affiche.jpgOf course, our very success ($150 million in worldwide box office to date) is prima facie proof of the efficacy of our sinister methods “in so aggressively marketing this gay story to the ‘heart of America’”: how else could we have snookered so many millions of people into embracing such a gay film? Mr. Mendelsohn was, as I so gently put it in my response, “unfair” in his original depiction of our marketing; he is viciously mendacious in his latest reply, and NYRB readers deserve at least a brief correction: it is important that, as gay subject matter continues to enter further into mainstream culture, parochial nay-sayers such as Mendelsohn are at least asked to maintain the minimum standards of honesty in discussions of such matters… I will gladly provide a full refund to any New York Review reader who bought a ticket to Brokeback Mountain, and who feels that he or she was misled by our marketing campaign into not knowing that the movie’s central story was an epic romance between two men.” [There’s more, more, more at the link.]

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