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USA Today Swoons over “Brokeback”

USA Today Swoons over "Brokeback"

In a too-late last-ditch attempt to remind Oscar voters that “Brokeback Mountain” is still the leading Oscar contender, USA Today publishes this profile of Focus Features’ James Schamus and David Linde, the men behind “Brokeback.” I single out the story only because it reminds me that I saw Schamus last night — in a documentary at the IFC Center called “Fabulous! The Story of Queer Cinema,” showing as part of the weekly doc series Stranger than Fiction, estimably curated by new Toronto fest nonfiction programmer Thom Powers.

In the film, Schamus is present not to talk about “Brokeback,” but Tom Kalin’s 1992 black-and-white Leopold and Loeb murder chronicle Swoon, for which Schamus is credited as an exec producer. I realize this isn’t news to anyone in the indie community, but after reading the dozens of articles that have come out about “Brokeback” since it was released, I realized few have mentioned Schamus’s connection to the beginning of the New Queer Cinema and now to its complete mainstreaming. It’s an amazing arc, and all the more staggering considering the bow-tied white-guy is as straight as one can be.

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