Hobbit: Dos Junket [Warner Bros France]—talks about Andy Serkis.
How to Channel Your Inner Hobbit (short interview snippet)
Berlin red carpet fan video
I wanna hug him!!!
Martin Freeman’s interview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IrGoxKUUl0w
I admire him so, so much…
Directors that Benedict Cumberbatch has worked with and fellow actors who have nothing but kind words about him ;) Ya see, it’s not just his fans who praise him about his brilliant acting and just overall being a decent person :)
sherlock in the christmas/new year issue of radio times… that picture just killed me…
A Lesbian’s Guide to Shipping Johnlock in S3, or
How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bombshell
[This meta is long but it’s going to important places. Patience is advised.]
As a 43-year-old lesbian I’ve spent most of my life studiously reading between the lines. My erotic desires lounge in the liminal space between code and image. I am 4 years younger than Mark Gatiss who grew up in the north of England a whole ocean and half a continent away from me but we share some basic survival skills. We learned early on to read between the lines, alright, to read gaily during a very confusing era for young queers.
There’s a whole documentary called The Celluloid Closet about what it was like to be a gay cinema-goer in the 20th century looking at overt representations of your desire (almost universally pathologized) and looking into film narratives desperate to find some of the gay, any of the gay to identify with. God, the loneliness! Go watch the documentary. Do it.
A Bit of Gay Man Background
Younger Sherlockians won’t remember a time when homosexual desire was literally the love that dare not speak its name. For god’s sake when Gatiss and I were kids nobody ever confirmed publicly that Liberace was gay! There were jokes and winks of course.
But I’m serious. Liberace even won a lawsuit in the UK against William Connor, a Daily Mirror reporter who implied he was homosexual by calling him fruit-flavoured!
Connor wrote that Liberace was “…the summit of sex - the pinnacle of masculine, feminine, and neuter. Everything that he, she, and it can ever want… a deadly, winking, sniggering, snuggling, chromium-plated, scent-impregnated, luminous, quivering, giggling, fruit-flavoured, mincing, ice-covered heap of mother love.”
(Two important contextual facts: male homosexuality was then illegal; the word “gay” had not become an antonym for homosexual).
After a six-day hearing, during which Liberace denied being homosexual or ever having taken part in homosexual acts, the jury found for him. He was awarded a then-record £8,000 in damages (about £500,000 in today’s money). (x)
Not only were we desperate for representations of our desires and identities in popular media and discourse, but what we thought we could read definitively as gay/queer/homosexual was undermined quite often by the very people we were confidently reading— the people we were kind of sure we could look to for confirmation that we we not only not alone, but that queer people could be and were already loved by the masses. That’s how you make what you call a gay icon.
Here’s another example of confusing from our teenage era. We watched this handsome gay boy cinema heart throb, Rock Hudson,
be ravaged by AIDS. He wasted away shockingly before our very eyes and at first he denied he even had the disease and then a year later when he finally admitted he did have AIDS he claimed he got it from a blood transfusion. After his death scores of celebrities came forward to verify that the beloved Hudson was indeed gay.
Sherlock in Love, a Queer Love Triangle
It’s not possible, given the mainstream cultural expressions and repressions of homosexuality, to overestimate the impact that Billy Wilder’s overtly queer film, The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, had on the young Gatiss, gay Holmesian fanboy. (Moffat, too!) I’ll repeat Gatiss’ famous lines about the film because they’re MARVELOUS:
They gently take the mickey out of Sherlock Holmes in the way that you can only do with something that you really adore. It’s a fantastically melancholy film. The relationship between Sherlock and Watson is treated beautifully; Sherlock effectively falls in love with him in the film, but it’s so desperately unspoken. There’s an amazing scene where, to get out of a situation where a Russian ballerina wants Sherlock to father her child, he claims Watson and he are gay. Watson is outraged and, when he calms down, speaks of the women all over the world who could attest to his sexuality. He says to Sherlock, “You do too, don’t you?” Holmes is silent, and Watson says, “Am I being presumptuous? There have been women, haven’t there?” Holmes says, “The answer is yes – you are being presumptuous.” Sensational. -Mark Gatiss, “The Film that Changed My Life”
Mofftisson giveth and, we fear, taketh away. We’ve been blessed with so many canonical references to Johnlock that it makes me giddy, while at the same time we’re told again and again and again that John’s not gay. Nope. Not. We Johnlock shippers are sick at the idea that John’s attachment to Mary will erase, undermine, etc. all the homoeroticism we’ve been luxuriating in for two seasons.
If you haven’t seen TPLoSH, you need to know one very important fact. Three-continents Watson is so plainly straight. Sherlock Holmes, according to Gatiss’s own reading, falls desperately in love with a straight man.
With every frustrated plan Sherlock has for himself and John, every moment it should be the two of them against the rest of the world, every notice that John’s heart or attentions are divided, Mary will be the torch. Mary will be the torch that shines a light on Sherlock, the man who carries a torch for her husband. Sherlock thought his grand re-entrance into John’s life would be a source of awe and admiration for his former flatmate. That absence of awe only serves to highlight that it once existed, flowed freely. What Mary has of John will only serve to underscore what Sherlock no longer does. And by forcing us to read between the lines for our cannon/canon fodder, we will read queerly. For me, this is second nature. For Gatiss, second nature. Most of YOU will earn the frustrations, yes but ultimately the exquisite, exquisite joy of cherishing stolen moments of desire and longing. Trust me, it’s fucking hot.
Mary, who is going to be an AWESOME character, a sexy, strong woman we can love, Mary will be our proof.
I say it will be some work on your part but for god’s sake that still up there ^ Sherlock looking at John from his freaking bedroom. That’s hardly subtle, is it?!
Important Stuff to Look At
I feel good about and appreciate this analysis/explanation. Mary Morstan always gives me mixed feelings (yay Mary! such a plot device, Arthur!), but I really want to like her in S3. I really, honestly do. I don’t want her to be a wedge, I want her to be, like mid0nz says, a torch, illuminating SH and JW and what does and can and did exist between them.
I appreciate this analysis. Queering the text, reading queerly, is a skill developed over many decades for people like myself, Gatiss, mid0nz, and so on. I range from indifferent to curious about Mary Morstan’s arrival on screen.
(I still maintain a good many complex and incandescently negative feelings about Moffat’s treatment of two of the rare ‘safe’ characters of my childhood, Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Who—not to mention his egregious track record with female characters—and don’t trust him further than I can spit, mind you.)
This is a highly interesting analysis that I still feel the need to say squicks the SHIT out of me, from BOTH directions, wherein it not only says “be happy to get little scraps you’ll have to read queerly to get” and ALSO posits a woman’s purpose as a character being to highlight the relationship between two men. Wow.
It’s possible to understand this whole history and STILL feel really upset that oh great, here we are going to Erasure Except As Unspoken Tragedy place, AGAIN.
Reblogging for the last couple of comments.
It’s tricky to put something out there that is personal and honest and unapologetic and know that no matter how you frame it, you WILL be misunderstood. I’m ok with that — it’s inevitable. I don’t recognize my meta as it’s characterized above but no matter. People will read what they will read and that’s PRECISELY my point. The reader chooses their meaning from the evidence proffered. That’s a tremendously good thing.
I actually don’t think we’re getting scraps. Our Johnlock cup runneth over. There is a TREMENDOUS power in subtlety and it’s queer to notice the gestures, and to relish and expand on them. I’m beginning to think that this is Sherlock’s genius— it’s a queer aesthetic, taking the “you must read queer into this to find any queer” strategy and giving away the queer freely. This is the most moving moment in the whole series so far for me:
In another life and time this moment alone would set sail a mighty ship. In Sherlock it’s a blip. The whole SHOW is ripe for queer interpretation with a myriad of outcomes— thus so many ships. All the Sherlock ships!
I rarely find anything offensive and I’m not offended here but I am a little bothered by the idea that reading queerly is somehow debasing. It’s not. It’s a strength and a skill.
I’m talking here about shipping Johnlock and the role of the character of Mary— a role we’re all completely speculating about because we know fuck-all. If your primary erotic attachment is to Johnlock then what role does the new wife play? That’s the question. And we’ve got half a fandom up in arms, so many people experiencing genuine anguish over the perceived threat — that Mary will erase the show’s queer. We’ve got people foaming at the mouth with hatred for her because of this. It’s a fandom PROBLEM. So if you’re shipping Johnlock how do you cope? Do you wish the character dead? People do, yes they do… That’s not the only way to resolve queer tension. It’s the easy way and the way of so. many. fanfics. People have a hard time knowing what to do with the stress. Mary is not ALL WOMEN any more than Irene is all lesbians or Sherlock everyman. In the case of Johnlock she IS the third. She’s amazing — we’re assured and I’m willing to believe it. I love Amanda Abbington. I’ve nothing against her or Mary Morstan in theory. But in my shipping process, yes, she is like the steel dust that makes the magnetic force (homoeroticism) visible. A torch on the torchbearer. I’m not talking about an OT3 here. I’m not saying that this is Mary’s only purpose as a character, but it’s the character’s role in my ship.
Thanks for responding last-snowfall and making me think! I really appreciate it.
Also one last thing… Unconsummated love is not a tragedy.
Oh OK one more thing— this season will be INCREDIBLY FUNNY. Yes, we’re talking violins and tears here but ultimately it will be charming and hilarious, too. A HUGE part of that charm and humor will come from Mary.