American novelist Gore Vidal has risen to the defence of critically panned historical epic Alexander, praising the "barrier-breaking" way it deals with bisexuality.

The movie, which stars Colin Farrell as the Macedonian king, has been savaged by reviewers, who have dubbed it "a noble failure" and "indifferent epic".

But Vidal, whose books frequently cover gay themes, insists it deserves recognition for the 'matter-of-fact' way it deals with the military leader's relationships with both men and women.

He says the film is "a breakthrough in what you can make films about. Movies are always the last to register changes in society and this movie does it".

He adds filmmakers have declined to show bisexuality for fear of alienating the public but counters, "I don't see why they should be so upset since the public practices it."

25/11/2004 17:11