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Posts Tagged ‘Oscar Wilde’

WildeIn Brian Gilbert?s Wilde, Oscar Wilde (Stephen Fry) says of the male escorts? he meets through Lord Alfred ?Bosie? Douglas (Jude Law), ?Such flowers never could grow in the harsh light of day.? This comment is more than a simple scripted line. It is the basis for much of the film?s mis-en-scene. For the filmmakers, homosexuality becomes a descent into darkness in terms of secrecy, invoking the necessity for Wilde to hide his true identity from the social critics of his time. This theme is strategically played out through the careful use of lighting in both interior and exterior scenes.

In scenes representing homosexuality, although brilliantly colored, the rooms are?also dimly lit and contained by dark walls. The first inkling of Wilde?s desire for young men is depicted when he descends into the darkness of the Leadville, CO mines and yet is guided by ?angels.? When Bosie sings at the piano, the dark wood interior makes his light gray suit and honey colored face stand out. All the young faces glow and these fresh flowers of men flourish in this type of light. Wilde wears white and also shines brightly within the scene, a film gesture than not only represents his eccentric taste, but his desire to reclaim his fearless and confident youth. In the hotel, this pattern is repeated. The costumes coordinate Wilde?s solid yellow suit with Bosie?s yellow and gray plaid. Bosie wears a yellow rose in his lapel coordinating with Wilde. Each shines brightly against the dark wood paneling. A shift is foreshadowed when Bosie learns of his brother?s death and is consoled by Wilde. The two sit in a very dark room huddled on the couch. Blinding light from the outside outlines their bodies morphing together into a nearly unrecognizable shrinking silhouette. The flowers appear to be wilting as they become smothered by the harsh scrutiny of Bosie?s father, Marquess of Queensbury (Tom Wilkenson).

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