Larry Kramer v Barbra Streisand: The Normal Heart hits US

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Barbra Streisand and Larry Kramer are both in the spotlight this week over comments Kramer made that imply Streisand is ‘uncomfortable’ with gay sex. He claims this delayed production of The Normal Heart, a film based on his play of the same name.

Mark Ruffalo and Matt Bomer star in the made-for-TV film adaptation, which premières on HBO in the US on Sunday 25 May. Barbra Streisand held the film rights and, according to Kramer, delayed its production because she found gay sex ‘distasteful’.

Vada is unable to ascertain whether Kramer is serious or if this is a clever ploy by both of them to boost publicity before the film’s release.

Kramer wrote the stage version of The Normal Heart in 1985 as an autobiographical drama about HIV.

He told The New York Times:

‘The problem with her is she didn’t know what to do with it. She also was really uncomfortable with the subject of gay sex.’

He goes on to say, ‘I said: “I really think it’s important that after eons of watching men and women make love in the movies, it’s time to see two men do so”.

‘I bought her a book of very beautiful art pictures of two men making love, and she found it very distasteful.’

Streisand, however, claims she is being misrepresented. She claims she was merely concerned with presenting the sex scenes tastefully.

‘Larry was at the forefront of this battle and, God love him, he’s still fighting,’ the star said about the writer and LGBT activist.

‘But there’s no need to fight me by misrepresenting my feelings.

‘As a filmmaker, I have always looked for new and exciting ways to do love scenes, whether they’re about heterosexuals or homosexuals. It’s a matter of taste, not gender.’

Indicating, perhaps, the difficulties in making such a film for a mainstream American audience, she adds: ‘I was trying to reach a large audience, and I wanted them to root for these two men to get married.’

The UK release date of The Normal Heart has yet to be announced.

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