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'The New Yorker' Profiles The Wachowskis


The New Yorker this week offers a lengthy, detailed profile of Lana and Andy Wachowski, the filmmaker siblings behind The Matrix franchise, the forthcoming Cloud Atlas and the 1996 lesbian crime caper Bound.

In addition to looking at their cinematic oeuvre, reporter Aleksandar Hemon gives readers a look into the elder Wachowski's transition from Larry to Lana.

As is the case with their movie career, 2001: A Space Odyssey played an instrumental role:

Lana initially hated “2001,” and was perplexed by the mysterious presence of the black monolith. “That’s a symbol,” Ron explained. Lana told me, “That simple sentence went into my brain and rearranged things in such an unbelievable way that I don’t think I’ve been the same since. Something clicked inside. ‘2001’ is one of the reasons I’m a filmmaker.”

Perhaps not coincidentally, Lana’s gender consciousness started to emerge at around the same time. In third grade, Larry transferred to a Catholic school, where boys and girls wore different uniforms and stood in separate lines before class. “I have a formative memory of walking through the girls’ line and hesitating, knowing that my clothes didn’t match,” Lana told me. “But as I continued on I felt I did not belong in the other line, so I just stopped in between them. I stood for a long moment with everyone staring at me, including the nun. She told me to get in line. I was stuck—I couldn’t move. I think some unconscious part of me figured I was exactly where I belonged: betwixt.” Larry was often bullied for his betwixtness. “As a result, I hid and found tremendous solace in books, vastly preferring imagined worlds to this world,” Lana said.

Lana also discusses coming to terms with her identity, a realization that brought on suicidal thoughts but, eventually, familial and self-acceptance: "My biggest fears were all about losing my family. Once they accepted me, everything else has been a piece of cake."

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  1. I've never liked the Wachowskis. I consider them to be on the homophobic side. Correct me if I'm wrong but I'm pretty sure their major movies are almost totally devoid of gay male sexuality. It's as if they fear us.

    They seem to have a fascination for lesbianism, a fascination which borders on the type of objectification you see in the sleazy straight men's magazines. Sorry, Lana and Andy, but I don't consider you to be friends of us gay and bisexual men.

    Posted by: jason | Sep 4, 2012 9:56:10 AM

  2. Jason, do you have these canned responses on a notepad so you can copy/paste them and just change the names?

    You have zero credibility here.

    The Wachowskis' career has been off/on for me. Cloud Atlas sounds interesting, and I hope it gets them back on track.

    And congrats to Lana for finding herself.

    Posted by: endo | Sep 4, 2012 10:17:50 AM

  3. Well, this lesbian LOVES Bound and has yet to run across any other dykes who don't.

    Posted by: Chris | Sep 4, 2012 10:34:52 AM

  4. Homophobic? Um, Jason, you do realize lesbians are homosexuals too, right? Just because they have no particular interest or fascination with gay males--which isn't very surprising, considering--doesn't mean they're homophobic; and certainly no more so than someone who focuses on gay males at the exclusion lesbians is homophobic.

    Posted by: C. Foley | Sep 4, 2012 11:27:42 AM

  5. Jason, quite honestly you are one of the most homophobic commenters I have come across in Towlereoad comments.

    Posted by: Ark | Sep 4, 2012 11:30:02 AM

  6. Though it's fantasy, the Wachowski's V For Vendetta is one of the most effective calls for freedom and political involvement I've seen in a long time, and both gay men and lesbians are featured as examples of why freedom is important. In fact the closeted gay character played by Stephen Fry and story of Ruth and her female lover are in many ways the heart of the film.

    Posted by: Caliban | Sep 4, 2012 1:17:49 PM

  7. ok, LANA LOOKS AMAZING. wonderful!

    and i'm literally counting the days til CLOUD ATLAS

    it looks earth-shakingly good!

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Sep 4, 2012 1:23:35 PM

  8. JASON/RICK/RICCO/ANDREW needs to step away from the computer.

    Posted by: DAN | Sep 4, 2012 2:42:38 PM

  9. You see, to Jason if somebody doesn't explore gay male sexuality all the time, in everything, then they must be anti-gay! Even if the subject is worlds apart from gay males and has NOTHING to do with us, he complains.

    -Filmakers who have done a movie about lesbians but not gay men - oh no!
    -Playboy for NOT including male bi-sexuality in a mag for HETEROSEXUAL males!

    The list goes on. That's like going to a vegan restaurant and complaining that there is no steak on the menu! Or going to an AA meeting and asking "where's the beer?".

    Jason: please examine your outlook on the world. Not everything is about you and nobody owes you anything.

    Posted by: DAN | Sep 4, 2012 2:56:51 PM

  10. @JASON

    You are an embarrassment to gay males everywhere. Please shut up as you are making the rest of us look bad.

    Have you seriously given heterosexuality a fair try? Sarcasm

    Posted by: DAN | Sep 4, 2012 3:03:26 PM

  11. im a gay (mostly) dude and i freakin love bound.

    and good on lana. wish her the best.

    Posted by: gomez | Sep 4, 2012 3:57:57 PM

  12. Maybe if everyone just ignores Jason, he'll go away. (Acting as if his comments matter certainly can't be helping.)

    Posted by: Carl | Sep 4, 2012 4:59:08 PM

  13. Jason will never go away. He's like a smelly fart in a room, unwanted, stomach-churning, uncomfortable and disgusting. You hope it will go away soon only to be replaced when his ass bellows again!

    Posted by: LOU | Sep 4, 2012 5:40:46 PM

  14. The truth has a habit of hanging around like a bad smell, I concede.

    Posted by: jason | Sep 4, 2012 7:16:47 PM

  15. So Jason's attempt to express himself was poor, and his follow-up response was even poorer. An argument from silence is not an argument. But did any of you see the second Matrix film? (if you didn't, don't, you're not missing anything). In a film trilogy bursting with Christian symbolism, the characters visit a place called "Club Hell" which is full of LGBT couples, who aren't people but "programs" and can therefore be shot with impunity! What I think Jason was trying (and failing) to communicate with his "obsession with lesbianism" comment was that the kind of lesbians that occur in Wachowski films are the same kind that occur in straight porn - the kind that are there to please men. I would add that this goes for straight women too; the way Trinity was portrayed in the second movie comes to mind. Jason's comments, unfortunately, came out as "they're paying more attention to lesbians than to us," which I hope is not what he actually meant.

    Posted by: Dan B | Sep 5, 2012 5:36:02 PM

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