Saturday, August 27, 2005

Rembrandt's conundrum

The Warriors is made of chapters. It's an effective cinematic tool if used properly, the film is divided up into chunks of narrative, mini-situations to which the protagonists must deal with the current threat, though offer no great resolution to their travails. As such you can break many chunks of the film into their set pieces: The Baseball furies, the rollerskating dudes, The Orphans, Cyrus's gathering, etc.

Perhaps most fascinating (though the film is a wonder), is the section with The Lizzies, an all girl gang whose interests seem to be Sapphic, yet act as Sirens/seductresses to the three Warriors in their company: Rembrandt (Marcelino Sánchez), Cochise (David Harris) and Vermin (Terry Michos). The three are brought in thinking they've found safe haven, and begin to get their game on with the ladies. ExceptRembrandtt, who does not partake, and who quickly gets a weird vibe.

Marcelino Sanchez died in 1986 of cancer at the age of 29. In an era where A.I.D.S. was oftenreferredd to as "Gay cancer" or A.R.C.Rembrandtt, the character, is the artist of the group, and doesn't have the street toughs of the others (he also, in defense of himself sprays paint in an opponents face, which I will not type as a homosexual gesture, though could be read as such in a very "graduate thesis paper" sort of way). I'm not saying this to cause offense, honestly I think Sanchez's probable homosexuality adds a deeper resonance to this sequence.

Rembrandtt is, as I said, the only one who doesn't fall under the spell of The Lizzie's seduction. So his reticence can be read threefold: he's reacting because he knows something's off (in a general non-sexual sense), he's reacting this way because as a homosexual he has no interest in their sexuality and is therefore more aware of the danger or is madepanickyy by the nature of such direct sexuality on display, or he's attuned to their homosexuality because he recognizes that they too are of a different breed (and then that alerts him to their offness). I would suggest all three come to play.

Which is to say that I think The Warriors is a strong and important text well worth lauding as a classic.