Deborah Cole — AFP Feb 18, 2018
Gay cinema pioneer Rupert Everett said his new biopic about legendary literary dandy Oscar Wilde captures him as a “Christ-like” figure who sacrificed himself for the future global LBGTQ rights movement.
Everett penned, directed and starred in his years-long passion project about the flamboyant 19th-century Irish writer, “The Happy Prince”, screening this week at the Berlin film festival.
The 58-year-old British actor focuses in the film on Wilde’s self-imposed exile after serving two years’ hard labour from 1895 on “gross indecency” charges for sex with men.
Such convictions were only wiped from the British books last year for some 70,000 men who had criminal records simply for being homosexual, Everett notes at the end of the film.
“The gay liberation movement really started with the Oscar Wilde scandal,” Everett told reporters.
Set in Paris, Naples and the north of France, the movie weaves flashbacks from Wilde’s heyday as the toast of London’s theatre scene with his life’s twilight as a vagabond racked by poverty, alcoholism and illness.
– ‘Run towards ruin’ –