10 July 2009


Directed by: Larry Charles
Written by: Sacha Baron Cohen, Anthony Hines, Dan Mazer and Jeff Schaffer
Full credits from IMDb

Brüno pleasantly surprised me: because it’s from Sacha Baron “Borat” Cohen, who a few years ago taught us all about American racism (thanks!), I assumed this film would teach us a lesson about how homophobic we are. And there’s plenty of that in there (sometimes unfairly; I might be a bit put off, too, if a nude Brüno kept trying to sneak into my tent in the middle of the night, as he does to a few unsuspecting Arkansas hunters). But there’s another, far more interesting subtext running through the film: the American obsession with those ever-elusive 15 minutes. “Brüno burlesques homophobia the way Borat did anti-semitism,” Papa Hoberman writes in his review, but it's “more of a comment on celebrity culture than the love (or hate) that dare not speak its name.” After all, Bruno, a disgraced Austrian fashion reporter, travels from Vienna to L.A. not for the sunshine and organic vegetables but for the chance at stardom. Bruno, really, works as a parodic primer on How to Become a Celebrity, mocking A- through D-listers, as well as those who aren’t even on a list: bring peace to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by writing songs; contribute to Save Darfur causes when you can’t even pronounce Darfur; dish on a talk show (using celebrity ultrasounds, Brüno plays a game called “Keep It or Abort It”); film a pilot; make a sex tape—with Rep. Ron Paul!; appear on a talk show with your black “gayby”.

Keep reading my discussion with Benjamin Sutton at The L Magazine

Watch the trailer:

No comments: