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segunda-feira, 31 de outubro de 2016

Risos, culpa e tabu: personagens travestidos no cinema / Laughter, guilt and taboo: A brief history of dressing in drag in the movies

Ah, cinema! Uma fonte histórica maravilhosa, um espelho poderoso de como a sociedade pensava e se comportava décadas atrás. Claro, nenhum pensamento é unânime, mas o cinema é um bom termômetro dos preconceitos e das ideias de uma era.

Oh, cinema! A wonderful historical source, a powerful mirror of society’s thoughts and actions from decades ago. Obviously, no way of thinking has ever been unanimous, but cinema is a good thermometer to measure the prejudices and the beliefs of an era.
Por isso falar de personagens travestidos, cross-dressers, não importa o termo, nos leva por uma viagem que começa em 1906. Não é um artigo sobre como transgêneros são retratados no cinema, pois ainda há tabu no mundo cinematográfico e só há poucos anos foi lançada uma luz sobre transgêneros e sua luta.

So, talking about dressing in drag or cross-dressing in movies takes us to a long trip that starts in 1906. This is not, however, an article about how transgender people are portrayed in movies, because this is still a taboo in the film world (and the real world as a whole) and only a few years ago it was given a little space to talk about transgenders and their fight.
O cross-dressing no cinema é dez anos mais novo que o próprio cinema. O primeiro filme que lida com o tema, “Os resultados do feminismo” (Les résultats du féminisme, 1906) não troca as roupas de homens e mulheres, apenas os chapéus... e as ações. Agora, as mulheres frequentam bares, brigam por causa dos homens e inclusive os assediam. Os homens cuidam da casa, costuram, passeiam com as crianças e são oprimidos. Parece ser uma propaganda anti-feminista, até que vemos o nome da diretora do curta de sete minutos: Alice Guy-Blaché, uma pioneira no cinema. Alice faz, aqui, uma grande zoeira com gêneros, estereótipos e o medo do feminismo.

Cross-dressing in film is tem years younger than film itself. The first film dealing about this thematic, “The Consequences of Feminism” (Les resultants du feminism, 1906) does not interchange clothes between men and women, only hats… and actions. Now, women go to bars, fight over men and even harass them. Men take care of the house and the children, sew and are oppressed. It looks like anti-feminist propaganda until we see who directed this seven-minute short film: Alice Guy-Blaché, a pioneer woman director. Here, Alice mocks with gender stereotypes and the fear of feminism.
Vestir-se como homem, sendo mulher, em geral é libertador para a personagem. Foi assim que a rainha Christina de Greta Garbo pôde, finalmente, se sentir livre. Foi assim que a Sylvia Scarlett de Kate Hepburn pôde se juntar ao esquema desonesto de seu pai, e conhecer Cary Grant. Foi assim que Yentl pôde estudar no filme de 1983. E não devemos nos esquecer de que Barbra Streisand foi protagonista E diretora de Yentl!

Dressing as a man, being a woman, generally allows the character to have freedom. It was by cross-dressing that Greta Garbo’s Queen Christina could finally feel free. It was by cross-dressing that Kate Hepburn’s Sylvia Scarlett could join her father’s dishonest heist and meet Cary Grant. It was by cross-dressing that Yentl could study in the 1983 film. And we can’t forget that Barbra Streisand directed AND starred in Yentl!
Queen Christina (1933)
Sylvia Scarlett (1935)
Yentl (1983)
Vestir-se como mulher, sendo homem, é problema na certa. O exemplo máximo disso é o enredo de “Quanto Mais Quente Melhor” (1959), que foi inclusive eleita a melhor comédia de todos os tempos.

Dressing as a woman, being a man, is the source of trouble. The greatest example of it is the plot of “Some Like It Hot” (1959), that was even considered the best comedy film ever made.

O cross-dressing foi empregado muitas vezes como um elemento cômico pontual, passageiro, uma gag que dura apenas alguns segundos. Em geral, um personagem do sexo masculino precisa se vestir de mulher para escapar de algum problema. Em alguns casos, outro personagem desavisado acaba se apaixonando pelo nosso herói travestido. Essa gag foi usada, com êxito, no cinema mudo, falado, e também em animações.

Cross-dressing was used several times as a comic tool, a gag that lasts only a few seconds. In general, a male character must dress as a woman to escape trouble. In some cases, a silly male character even falls in love with our transvestite hero. This gag has been used, successfully, in silents, talkies and also animated pictures.  
Ivan Mosjoukine, The House in Kolomna (1913)
Buster Keaton, His Wedding Night (1917)
Laurel and Hardy, Twice Two (1932)
Cary Grant, I Was a Male War Biride (1949)
Fora das telas, as atrizes que optavam por looks mais masculinos nem sempre eram bem vistas, mas lançavam moda, como foi o caso de Katharine Hepburn e Marlene Dietrich, que adotaram calças compridas como parte do look nos anos 1930. A diretora Dorothy Arzner também usava apenas calças durante o trabalho. Uma mulher vestida com trajes masculinos era, naquela época, chocante. Marlene Dietrich em “Marrocos” (1930) que o diga!

Outside the screen, actresses who adopted more masculine styles were not always respected, but they ended up as fashion icons, like Katharine Hepburn and Marlene Dietrich, who favored pants in the 1930s. Director Dorothy Arzner was another woman who also wore only pants while working in Hollywood. A woman dressed with male clothes was shocking at that time. Marlene Dietrich in “Morocco” (1930) knows what I’m talking about.
Vestir-se como o gênero oposto foi, na maioria das vezes, motivo de risadas. Quando o cross-dressing era usado no drama, era para provar que algum personagem era desequilibrado... e assassino. Isso aconteceu muitas vezes (SPOILERS):

To dress as the opposite gender was, in most times, a reason to laugh. When cross-dressing was used in drama films, it was a way of proving that a character was… an insane murder. This happened a lot of times (SPOILERS):
Psycho (1960)
The Devil Doll (1936)
Dressed to Kill (1980)
E é aí que entra “o pior diretor” de todos os tempos, Ed Wood, para falar do tema com seriedade e um orçamento mínimo. Ed costumava se vestir de mulher, e tratou deste delicado tema em “Glen ou Glenda” (1953). Quem diria que, à sua maneira tosca, Ed Wood abriria caminho para o papel que rendeu uma indicação ao Oscar a Eddie Redmayne?

And then we have “the worst director ever”, Ed Wood, to make a film about the theme with a serious tone and a tiny budget. Ed used to dress as a woman, and dealt with this delicate theme in “Glen or Glenda” (1953). Who would have said that, in his own odd way, Ed Wood would be responsible for paving the path for the role that gave Eddie Redmayne an Oscar nod?
Glen or Glenda (1953)
Ainda há muito a ser mostrado sobre cross-dressing pelo cinema. Evoluímos, a passos lentos, é verdade, e da piada fácil vestir-se como o gênero oposto passou a ser retratado com mais seriedade e, o mais importante, mais humanidade.

There is still a lot to be shown about cross-dressing by the movies. We evolved, slowly, it’s true. To dress in drag started as an easy gag, but it is now, luckily, treated in a more human light.

This is my contribution to the Characters in Costume Blogfest, hosted by Christina and Andrea at Christina Wehner and Into the WriterLea.

5 comentários:

christinawehner disse...

It is very interesting how cross-dressing has been employed throughout film history...in many different ways than I had realized. I have not seen that specific silent film you mentioned (I want to look for it, now), though I saw some of the others that the film is making fun of...the ones that show what the world would look like if women had the vote. It's curious how movies largely reacted to the prospect of women voting with films about how men and women reversed roles.

I've also been very curious to see Sylvia Scarlett, too.

Thanks so much for this fascinating exploration. So glad you could join in the blogfest!

Andrea Lundgren disse...

The Consequences of Feminism was fascinating to watch! And it's interesting to note that they chose to have the women still be dressed in long skirts rather than bloomers. Overall, it really illustrates how the abuses common to one gender is just as wrong--and perhaps shows up more clearly as wrong--when the other gender manifests them. Clearly, abuse should never be excused away because of gender. One source said this was a hypothetical 2000; if so, I'm glad it didn't look like that, with women perpetuating the very ills of society that men had been guilty of furthering for so long.

Thank you for sharing this! It was very interesting.

Lynn Elizabeth disse...

This is definitely a very interesting topic! And one that I am glad was covered. It seems as though there really have been very few instances where cross-dressing was taken seriously. And most of the movies that come to mind were released in fairly recent years. But like you mentioned, movies that have gender-bending elements are usually pretty highly regarded films. I think it is something that has always intrigued people. However, it is important that films make sure they are not insensitive to those that do cross-dress. Very fascinating post! I enjoyed it.

Flapper Dame 16 disse...

I love your topic! Cross dressing even dates back to the theatre so naturally it would come into film! Favorite cross dressers- Cary Grant in I was a Male War Bride, William Powell in Love Crazy and of course Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis! The Kings of Cross dressing!

Virginie Pronovost disse...

Wow I truly enjoyed this! It was a very original and unusual topic to talk about! :)
Your blog posts are always written in such and entertaining way Leticia! :)

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