Madeline Olnek's "Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same" is so gay
Madeline Olnek's sci-fi comedy "Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same" is a huge hit with the lesbians, film lovers, aliens, and others (the straights?). I really like gay stuff. I do – I like the gays and the queers, and all that. I feel like the battle for gay rights is the same as the battle for women's rights – it all boils down to gender equality, which is the same thing gays and straight women want. And also, gays tend to have better senses of humor that the straight people I know; maybe it has something to do with cynicism, constant disappointment, a lack of fundamental faith in the establishment, and the masking of pain?
Olnek and her were featured in an article in Interview Magazine in which she cracks me up with her lesbygay humor and says things about queer film and experience like:
There was a point where every person I knew was making a lesbian movie. I thought, "I better make my own." Teen suicides were also getting a lot of media attention. A world where gay people are killing themselves is one where comedy needs a presence. If aliens landed on this planet and tried to understand gay people by watching gay films, they'd think that everyone wakes up hit by their mother and feeling rejected. Personally, I don't want to be reminded of what I went through. Because in Codependent we're following these people—or aliens—whose gayness is not an issue, everyone can identify, understand and enjoy. It's not a watered down movie that assumes the audience can't understand authentic experience.
There's also a really nice review of "Codependent" in Art in America Magazine which totally talks about how gay this film is:
Olnek compares gay characters today to pinko queers in the '50s. Just as dangerous as communist "aliens," the morphing trope of alien sexuality impinging "on us" has evolved into valuable cultural capital for whoever as corporate cooptation, as political red herring for the right, even as part of the larger phenomenon Sarah Schulman wrote about in the Times recently, an opportunity for right wing governments to "pink wash" their larger destructive political agendas by slapping a smiley OK with gay face on it. Olnek skillfully and pleasurably has managed to update the history of the sci-fi genre by linking it to the predicaments of the present. And finally, because Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same is a comedy, its ending has a feel-good punch. That is if you think voluntarily leaving this planet (for another one) with your alien lover is a good thing, and I do.