Director Nick Cassavetes has an interesting take on love.

His new film, Yellow, is about the “love affair” between a sister and brother, and as he told The Warp, “love who you want.”

Come on, guys, incest isn’t exactly that big of a deal. It’s love, and love is never wrong as long as you follow your heart, right? Or at least this is what one is to gather from Cassevetes’ pretty earnest statement. Love and let love, even if it’s your brother.

The appalling factor of incest and the biological ramifications on any offspring aside, Cassavetes went on to pretty much compare incest to gay marriage:

“Who gives a shit if people judge you? I’m not saying this is an absolute but in a way, if you’re not having kids – who gives a damn? Love who you want. Isn’t that what we say? Gay marriage – love who you want? If it’s your brother or sister it’s super-weird, but if you look at it, you’re not hurting anybody except every single person who freaks out because you’re in love with one another.”

OK.

While the point he’s trying to make is clear, he goes about it all wrong. For starters incest is, by most civilized people, considered a vile union between two relatives. It’s not only frowned upon, but is illegal in most places. (I could totally make an Appalachia joke here, but I won’t.)

Gay marriage, on the other hand, is far from vile. It’s not even in the same category of incest no matter how hard you try to put it there. (This is where the far right jumps in to object.) Yes, it may be illegal in some places at the moment, but not for long. The likelihood of incest ever becoming legal or accepted by society is pretty low — not just because it’s been ingrained in our heads that it’s wrong, but on an evolutionary scale, it doesn’t make sense. If brothers and sisters started fucking, the human race would be kaput in no time. It’s amazing that the royal families of the world are still around at the rate they practiced incest back in the day.

If Cassavetes needed to make an analogy in regards to incest, he probably could have chosen a better form of “love.” Like, say, bestiality, or maybe even necrophilia. Either of these would have been far more on par with incest than gay marriage will ever be. Like I said, I see the point he’s trying to get across, but putting those two topics in the same breath feels as though he’s not only setting back how far the acceptance of gay marriage has come (finally!), but he’s also giving them both the same “ew” factor. Gay marriage isn’t “ew;” incest is “ew.”

But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe my view of incest is coming from a place of ignorance, and I just don’t get it. (Frankly, I don’t want to get it.) The day I start thinking about getting down and dirty with a family member, is the day I march back up to Beth Israel, ask them to commit me, lock the door and throw away the key.

I know there’s going to be two sides to this one, so let’s discuss. Thoughts?

 

Photo: Retna