Welcome back to our queer film retrospective, “A Gay Old Time.” In this week’s column, we revisit Gods And Monsters, a more recent film that turns the lens on gay Hollywood history from nearly a century ago.A few years ago, during an interview with Buzzfeed News, Sir Ian McKellen mentioned (maybe as a joke, maybe not) that he would like the inscription on his tombstone to read: “Here lies Gandalf. He came out.”In just six words, he was able to capture perfectly the two things he wanted to be most vividly remembered for: embodying one of the most emblematic characters in both literature and film, and living as an openly gay man.Although it was probably meant as a throwaway joke in an otherwise quite moving conversation, the idea of having a choice in how we want to be remembered is one that’s remarkably present throughout Gods And Monsters, the 1998 biopic that stands as (arguably) McKellen’s most acclaimed star vehicle.
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