“The love is very much there,” McEwen says of Jane’s relationship with Viv, “but the society around them is shouting so many different things into their ear that it’s hard to find each other through that noise.” One of the strongest lines of dialogue in Blue jeans It sees Jane gently trying to tell her lover that “it’s not all political”, which Viv quickly disagrees with. Decades later, little has changed.
A newspaper article put the wheel on for Oakley to write Blue jeans, who published a report on a group of lesbian activists who descended on the House of Commons to protest Section 28. In addition to the undeniable impact of this massive effort, what also remains is the bad taste of seemingly harmless words. “Things we make into the shape of who we are,” says McEwen, as she and Hayes firmly agree with Viv over Jane regarding the inevitable political career.
“The stuff on TV, the stuff we swipe on TikTok, anything you digest shapes who you are. The newspaper article about lesbians was like “Looney Lesbians,” and it seemed harmless, but for someone who struggles with that part of themselves, that will take hold in your psyche. Every detail of Jan’s life puts her in a panic. The little extras slowly add up, and would not affect her so much if it were not for the subliminal messages, and the total and micro aggressions she constantly encounters.”
As Choissar put it in his Letterbox review, Blue jeans It is as much about the “highly personal” effects of Section 28 as it is about the “harmful” effects. “He’s entitled to be so angry, even now Blue jeans is also tender, funny, and deeply sincere in its portrayal of the gay community.” Much of this tenderness comes from McQueen and Hayes’ work with intimacy coordinator Jennifer O’Dell (who also worked on sex education) for Jane and Viv’s sex scenes – although the trust between the actors and their director was already there. “It’s a privilege, but it’s a right,” Hayes says of orchestrating intimacy. “Some of the things I’ve done in the past have been like that Outlaws. “
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