Film | News | Sacha Baron-Cohen

Bruno Inspires Billboard Installers to Swing for Each Other


Above, workmen install a billboard featuring Sacha Baron Cohen's gay Austrian reporter Bruno on Oxford Street in Sydney, Australia. The film opens there on Monday. No doubt Bruno will be there, likely in some bawdy kangaroo outfit.

Here's a portion of a review from Hadley Freeman in The Guardian:

"The funniest thing about Brüno - funnier, even, than when he asks a former Mossad agent if his biggest problem is pitta bread, not Israel: "Hamas! Not hummus!" barks the agent - is that it is, in fact, an unexpectedly moral film, which is not something that one might expect to say of a movie in which the second scene involves sex with a pygmy. But once you get past the outer crust of slapstick, far from being homophobic, the movie satirises homophobia.

"This is not a tedious example of postmodern liberal columnist twisted logic: the movie actively points a chubby finger at homophobes and laughs at them with a Nelson from The Simpsons-like 'ha ha'. And frankly, I'm far more offended by movies in which the gay character is, yet again, the neutered sidekick, there purely to provide a support and witty sidecracks to his single girlfriend (Bridget Jones's Diary, any comedy starring Rupert Everett) than anything Brüno does.

"Unlike Borat, Brüno has not only a plot, but various points, the main one being the idiocy of the pursuit of fame in LA via the adoption of African babies and charity causes ("Clooney has Darfur - what is Darfive?") followed closely by the stupidity of homophobia. The only people who might come out of cinemas feeling hard done by are Paula Abdul, Latoya Jackson and a preacher whose life purpose is to "convert" gay men and, for some reason, I find it hard to muster much outrage on their behalf."


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  1. I cannot fucking believe that Mark Sanford just admitted to an affair and you're covering Bruno. Damn it, Andy...

    Posted by: Dawson James | Jun 24, 2009 3:13:57 PM

  2. Yeah, Andy, I'm outraged! There's no way in hell you can POSSIBLY cover multiple topics, some serious and some not when it should take you ALL HOURS OF THE DAY to cover JUST ONE TOPIC! You better make up for this by flying to Mark Sanford's house and having an affair with him yourself so you have more to report on.



    Posted by: Jon | Jun 24, 2009 4:02:33 PM

  3. Jon


    I have mentioned before to others, now to you Dawson James...........I to once screached in outrage that Andy was not covering a topic that I thought should be covered. He posted "wait" and ta da...........the thread he posted on it was very in depth and with lots of links.

    Give the guy a moment or go start your own web site. he does NOT have a staff.

    Hell, he might be getting a BJ from his boyfriend. More power to him if he is in the middle of a BJ


    Just wait. Whatever Andy does post on it will be in depth , I'm sure.

    Posted by: jimmyboyo | Jun 24, 2009 4:08:51 PM

  4. I'd be happy if he'd just show some respect for the gay people who read this site and remove the link to Perez Hilton's website.

    Posted by: paul c | Jun 24, 2009 4:14:30 PM

  5. Paul C

    Who would have thought I , the naive and crazy socialist, would agree with you, cheney's right wing butt boy, on something.


    I agree with you on dropping the perez link, but it isn't my blog

    Posted by: jimmyboyo | Jun 24, 2009 4:22:00 PM

  6. Is Bruno missing a left nipple?

    Posted by: Paul R | Jun 24, 2009 5:07:52 PM

  7. I cannot fucking believe that Iran is having a revolution and you're covering Mark Sanford. Damn it, Andy...

    Posted by: Wes | Jun 24, 2009 5:25:54 PM

  8. Towleroad is a progressive and influential site, but this Brunorama is a disturbing trend.

    This site is one of the biggest online promotors of this film and one can only surmise:

    1) They really do think Bruno is funny (if true, a highly disturbing state of affairs. One can not reason with a Bruno-Borat fan, and are only greeted with "He's a genius. You just don't get it". You would have better luck dissuading a cult member)

    2) That Bruno is "far from being homophobic, the movie satirises homophobia" (Unlikely. The comedian in question is not of high enough intellect to pull that off. A monkey in blinders could see that's not the case anyway.)

    3) Money (a depressing possibility. All this publicity is for payment rendered. This would at least get Towleroad off the hook for having shocking bad taste in movies.)

    4) Sex. The writer or writers of the non stop flood of stories could have a "crush" on said Bruno (Not a crime of course, but I would seek medical help for failing eyesight and metal instability).

    Towleroad, if you really do care about the welfare of the gay community, please cease promoting this toweringly embarrassing carbuncle on the body of entertainment. Send this "genius" back under the rock from whence he came.

    Stick to the cheesy dance music, you do those articles very well.

    Posted by: protogenes | Jun 24, 2009 5:36:41 PM

  9. Bruno looks fucking hilarious, I can't wait to see it.

    Posted by: Eshto | Jun 24, 2009 5:58:28 PM

  10. I guess the point of having a comments section is to flame?

    I mean if you don't like Andy's blog, why are you reading it? Start you own damn blog.

    I hate Perez too, but this blog is what it is BECAUSE of Andy and BTW he does not do this alone, if you notice he has a STAFF to help him.

    So get over it fellas. If you see a post you don't like, use the scroll bar and just move along.

    Posted by: rich | Jun 24, 2009 6:22:10 PM

  11. This really does seem like an actual case of one's having to see the movie before one having a genuine opinion as to whether it's dangerous, a klunker, hilarious, a must-see, or a musto-avoido.

    Posted by: NSFW | Jun 24, 2009 6:22:25 PM

  12. oh andy, i feel for you. you must be just horrified at some of the regular posters on this site. negative nellies. protogenes must be fun at a hanging. yuck.

    looking forward to bruno. and the comedian, in this case, went to cambridge. where did you go, proto, other than charm school?

    see, now I'M being bitchy! is it the black background?

    Posted by: brad | Jun 24, 2009 6:38:34 PM

  13. Rich

    i wouldn't consider quest bloggers when he goes on vacation or the music guy as staff

    Staff = assistants running around getting him coffee, a secretary, paid bloggers scouring news sources , etc

    Anyway; I agree 100% with everything else U posted

    It is andy's blog. Besides, he generally does cover everything and quite well even if not as quickly as some would wish.

    Posted by: jimmyboyo | Jun 24, 2009 6:40:27 PM

  14. Lighten up, Proto.

    Posted by: Kugel | Jun 24, 2009 6:46:26 PM

  15. My first instinct, as a gay man, was to be offended but then I thought the same thing the reviewer exposes people's homophobia, especially from the black community where it is rampant.
    And I have to admit I laughed when he gave the baby a traditional African name....OJ.

    Posted by: Robert | Jun 24, 2009 7:08:33 PM

  16. Robert

    The AA interaction is not even 1% of any of the previews. Yet, you seem to think it is a large part of the movie.

    He also exposes the homophobia of orthedox Jews, which by the way is more homophobic as a segment of the Jewish population than the entire Black community is. Sacha is himself a Jew and was raised in an orthedox household.

    I for one bemoaned this movie at first, but after seeing more previews think it might actualy do what all the "Bruno cultists" claim and expose a wide range of homophobia across all communities as the foolishness it is and be kind of funny while doing it.

    Will it create a gay utopia where there is no more homophobia? Not so much, but I have changed my earlier views on this movie and Sacha's talent by simply watching more and different trailors for it.

    Posted by: jimmyboyo | Jun 24, 2009 7:24:09 PM

  17. Holy shit! Jimmyboyo, I've wondered why you've been MIA in the Bruno posts lately. I am buying your ass a cocktail!

    Posted by: crispy | Jun 24, 2009 7:49:56 PM

  18. Evidently Jimmy you are a mind reader.....what else do I think about the movie?

    Posted by: Robert | Jun 24, 2009 8:22:38 PM

  19. crispy



    Yeah, I bitched about it at first then I ended up watching a few different trailors and found myself giggeling and "getting it"

    I'm not sure I qualify for Bruno "cult" status yet, but I am honestly looking forword to watching it now.



    Hmmmmm the voices in my head say that you also think the movie.................


    Posted by: jimmyboyo | Jun 24, 2009 9:20:57 PM

  20. "Lighten up, Proto."

    Oh but I was. Can't you see I was using humour to expose the truth?

    Sheesh, you people can't see deep social satire when you see it.

    ;) For those who can't I "find it hard to muster much outrage on their behalf"

    Posted by: protogenes | Jun 24, 2009 11:40:40 PM

  21. Can't wait for the chance to make my own mind up.

    Posted by: Nonplussed | Jun 25, 2009 6:41:21 AM

  22. I saw the movie at a screening in LA earlier in the week and agree with Hadley Freeman's review. I found it to be a very funny and poignant film. Some of the situations Sacha Baron Cohen puts himself through had me fearing for his life. I thought it was great commentary on how people who look and act differently from the norm are subject to mob violence.

    I would suggest seeing it before commenting.

    Posted by: Mark in NYC | Jun 25, 2009 10:09:40 AM

  23. @ Protogenes ...

    First, my guess is that you are amongst the over-40 crowd -- rarely a crowd given to in-your-face anything (food, sex, humor, etc.). If you aren't, your writing betrays an old fogey within. Plus the fact that you dusted off the musty old "carbunkle" is a bit of a giveaway. Or if you're under 40 and using that word, you're just being precocious, and should cut that out! ;-)

    But let's look at your points:

    1. I DO think he's funny. I'm not sure why this is a "highly disturbing state of affairs," and you certainly don't offer any criteria or reasoning why this would be so disturbing. Older folks said the same things when Lenny Bruce, George Carlin or Richard Pryor came along, and those comedians' places in the comedy firmament (yes, with that word, I'm over 40 too) has long been established, making in-your-face humor as valid a form as any other.

    2. So, without having seen the film, you're going to dismiss the original author (who HAD seen the film) as well as the comedian as not being of high enough intellect. Well let's dissect Cohen's humor a little bit. His tactics are to give the "interviewee" (or victim, however you want to look at it) an over-the-top, outrageous depiction (Bruno) of what the victim already despises (gay flamboyance, African baby adopting, Nazism), then puts them in a situation that gives them just enough rope to hang themselves by letting the audience see just what idiocy is underpinning their homophobia (racism, classism, etc.) in the first place, and then he lets the audience figure out for themselves who's the good or bad guy in the scene. It's a very sly use of psychology, and a great example of showing, not telling. And make no mistake, it's very clear from the start what conclusion he himself has drawn (otherwise he wouldn't be doing the joke in the first place). And to do all that requires a fair amount of backstory and set-up to herd the audience to the same conclusion that he's come to. Saying that Cohen is "not of high enough intellect" kinda makes you look like you're the one without intellect, or at least not even trying to understand where he's coming from. (And, btw, I would LOVE to see a monkey with blinders understand the psychological dances that Cohen performs.)

    3. First of all, it's called show BUSINESS so of course it's about money. And since we live in a capitalist society, everything, including your own health, is about someone making money. In response to your comment, you must be depressed a LOT.

    4. Sex? Really? Not likely, and a point that was below you. This one only further shot yourself in the foot and was an argument that should've been dropped altogether.

    Just thought a Bruno fan (and not a cult member, I never said he was infallible) should counter your not very convincing arguments.

    Posted by: Markus | Jun 25, 2009 12:23:18 PM

  24. That's the problem with satire, most people don't understand it.
    Just ask Stephen Colbert.

    Posted by: Robert | Jun 25, 2009 12:41:11 PM

  25. The Bruno stuff is getting boring. Is it an ad?

    Posted by: Derek Washington | Jun 25, 2009 2:25:02 PM

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