VQFF 2007 Diaries, Part 3: Out in Israel outside the bubble of Hollywood

Sexuality is never cut and dried, but the lack of honesty and anxiety about admitting to same-sex attractions, experiences, or relationships by men results in the common perceptions of what is gay and straight being divided into strict categories.

While it may be true for some people, that's not the case for everyone.

In an amazingly brazen move, Israeli actor Lior Ashkenazi (who is considered the equivalent of Brad Pitt) confessed during a live TV interview meant to promote the 2004 film Walk on Water by director Eytan Fox (whose film The Bubble opened the VQFF and also had a second screening on Saturday due to high demand) that though he is straight, he had an affair with a gay man in the past. He also posed naked, with his body wrapped around Fox's clothed body (mimicking the famous pose of a nude John Lennon wrapped around a clothed Yoko Ono for the cover of Rolling Stone) for the cover of Israel's Time Out. Needless to say, he caused quite a stir.

(In an interesting referential wink, in The Bubble, the straight female roommate Lulu is involved with an editor from Time Out.)

Even though Brokeback Mountain has made waves, and actors such as Will Ferrell, Jude Law, Ashton Kutcher, Sean William Scott, James Van Der Beek, and Ian Somerhalder have had onscreen same-sex kisses, we have yet to see a Hollywood actor of the same stature take such bold risks.

An interview with Fox is featured in Matthew Hays' book The View From Here (Hays will be conducting an interview with Shortbus director John Cameron Mitchell at the screening of Hedwig and the Angry Inch as well as launching his book at the VQFF on Aug. 22).

To read part 2 of this blog series, click here.

To read part 4 of this blog series, click here.