Richard Linklater’s most recent film “Everybody Wants Some!!” has been called inadvertently gay and that it has subtle homoerotic elements. The director recently spoke with Vulture about the how he actually did intend his film to be looked at from another angle.
The film tells the story of a group of college baseball players as they get to know each other, navigate life, meet girls and form a bond.
“I think there are some early shots, like when we’re driving with Jake’s [Blake Jenner] character, it’s all male gaze,” he explained, adding that the male gaze opens up to include men because how athletes showcase their bodies and act in the locker rooms. “It goes back to ancient Greece. Those early Olympics were performed in the nude.”
Actor Wyatt Russell also commented on the playful displays the males had as a form of bonding, “There is an element, where you’re in the shower together, and you’re all whipping each other with towels. It’s part of the bonding process, a male bonding in athletics that’s hard to get anywhere else.”
But was this his intention, to shoot an “inadvertently gay” movie that gazed over the male bodies? Linklater explained that he thought it was “a little funny” that his movie was seen “as if it were made by a frat boy who has no idea.” Adding, “I’ve been around a long time. Not inadvertent.”
He credits his way of finding the gay subtext in each film to his good friend and mentor, the late film critic George Morris. The two often watched movies together and Morris would always look at films, “through a gay lens or see the gay view in anything.”
“He opened up a world to me that I hadn’t known, and that I was lucky to be privy to, but I’ve never forgotten,” Linklater discussed. “Still, to this day, I look at films and go, ‘Oh, George is going to love this.’ I always kind of felt like George would like these guys in this film, because it’s in there. It kind of speaks for itself.”