I’m a far bigger fan of Kathy Griffin than I am of Barney Frank so I’ll side with Kathy on this one.
The U.S. congressman from Massachusetts has come to the defense of Republican Sen. Scott Brown over some comments our favorite redhead made about Brown’s daughters.
On last week’s episode of Kathy Griffin’s My Life on the D-List airing on Bravo, the comedienne is interviewed by a pair of CNN reporters and when one of them displayed a photo of Brown, Griffin reacted by saying: “Scott Brown, who is a senator from Massachusetts. And has two daughters that are prostitutes.”
A disclaimer on the show is then read, saying that “Scott Brown’s daughters are NOT prostitutes!!! We now return you to our regularly scheduled negativity.”
Since Frank also appeared in the episode, he felt compelled to distance himself from Griffin and to publicly scold her: “I think it’s possible to have fun, and even to poke fun at people in my businesses, without this kind of completely unfair attack,” he wrote in a letter to Griffin. “And while I don’t usually feel compelled to comment on what various entertainers do, since you did include me in that show I wanted to make it very clear that I thought what you did was wholly unfair and inappropriate. It’s the kind of thing that makes it less likely that I or others can cooperate with you in the future.”
Kathy had gone to Washington to appear at a rally against Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and in the episode tells Frank during a visit to his office: “I need [don’t ask, don’t tell] repealed by Thursday, because I’m leaving Friday.” If it’s not, she said, “That’s a bitter pill to swallow.”
Frank replied: “My guess, Kathy, is it’s not the only pill you’ve swallowed this week.”
I think Barney Frank needs a sense of humor!
I also lost a lot of respect for Frank, one of the few openly gay members of the congress, last year when he dismissed the National Equality March in Washington D.C. saying “the only thing they’re going to be putting pressure on is the grass.”
He later told Joy Behar: “I am afraid that some people will come to Washington and they will march and think they’ve done it. That’s why I said what I did. Marching isn’t a negative thing, but to the extent that people think that having marched they’ve done something effective, they wouldn’t do something that is effective.”
Had a front-row seat for the awards presentation for the 2010 Outfest Film Festival this morning.
I was thrilled to see that several of the films and performances championed by Greg In Hollywood – including A Marine Story, The Four-Faced Liar and BearCity – were big winners!
The festival ends tonight and I will miss it because, as always, it’s been a very fun and rich experience.
The awards were hosted by the very funny drag queen Momma (pictured, left) who told everyone how happy she was that there is such a wide array of LGBT movies these days unlike the past when coming out stories dominated: “I just can’t see another movie about a 15 year old boy who discovers he likes penis and comes out. If you want that, there’s porn on the web!”
Momma was very funny throughout the awards – and very politically incorrect! First off, let me start off with sharing the awards won by the powerful drama A Marine Story starring Dreya Weber, written and directed by Ned Farr and produced by Jd Disalvatore.
I hung out a bit with Jd (pictured at the podium with Farr and Weber) last night at the DGA and told her I thought A Marine Story was going to win some big awards. She was skeptical, citing the strong competition. I’m so glad she was wrong and I was right!
A Marine Story won the Audience Award for Outstanding Dramatic Feature Film AND the Grand Jury Prize for Outstanding U.S. Dramatic Feature Film. In addition to that, the film’s star, the sensational Dreya Weber, took the home the jury’s award for outstanding actress.
“I love you guys so much,” an emotional Jd said to Ned and Dreya while accepting the Grand Jury Prize. “It was so great to work with you. I’m kind of a total wreck!”
I’ll be posting an interview I did with Ned and Dreya (married in real-life) in the coming days but here is some of what they said while accepting their awards:
Ned: “This really was unexpected. We hope that things changed very soon and that our ending [in which Don't Ask, Don't Tell is repealed] wasn’t some kind of fantasy.”
Added Dreya: “I’d like to thank every gay and lesbian currently serving in the military that doesn’t allow them to have full lives. … There’s no better feeling than putting things out in to the world that you can fully stand behind and say, ‘Yes!’”
The Grand Jury Prize for Outstanding Actor in a feature film went to Stephen Guarino (pictured, left), one of the stars of the wonderful BearCity which also won the Outstanding Screenwriting Award for Douglas Langway and Lawrence Ferber.
“I’m totally shocked, that movie is a total ensemble piece,” Guarino said at the podium. “I’m totally shocked. To shoot a feature fim in a 100 degrees in New York at The Eagle at 11 am in the morning, it’s not pretty honey. It’s just a beautiful movie. Oh my God.”
[My interview with Stephen will run soon]
The terrific The Four-Faced Liar, which I loved, won the Audience Award for Outstanding First U.S. Dramatic Feature Film, an award which came with a $5,000 cash award from HBO.
“That’s crazy, we don’t ever win anything at these things,” director Jacob Chase (pictured at the podium) told the crowd. “Thank you for embracing me and my film. We’re shaking up here so we’re gonna get down there.”
There were three Special Programming Awards presented and they went to: The Topp Twins directed by Leanne Pooley (for freedom), actor Drew Droege for emerging talent; and Undertow (Contracorriente) directed by Javier Fuentes-Leonfor artistic achievement.
“It’s been an amazing week, I’m kind of speechless about the whole experience,” Fuentes-Leon said while accepting the award. “Tuesday [at the screening] I felt like Cinderella and I still feel like that.”
The Grand Jury Award for Outstanding International Dramatic Feature Film went to The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister directed by James Kent.
Other winners: Audience Award Outstanding Documentary Short: I’m Just Anneke (directed by Jonathan Skurnik); Audience Award for Outstanding Dramatic Short Film: You Move Me, directed by Gina Hirsch; Audience Award for Outstanding Documentary Feature Film: Forever’s Gonna Start Tonight directed by Michelle Lawler.
Other Grand Jury Awards included: Outstanding Documentary Short: Close (Pod Bluzka) directed by Lucia Von Horn Pagano; Outstanding Dramatic Short Film: Samaritan directed by Magnus Mork; Outstanding Documentary Feature Film: Strange Powers: Stephin Merrit & the Magnetic Fields directed by Kerthy Fix and Gail O’Hara.
One of Broadway’s biggest stars during its “golden” era and beyond, Gwen Verdon was an actress and dancer who won four Tony awards for her musical comedy performances and was once married to Bob Fosse.
She and Fosse first worked together on the Broadway production of Damn Yankees in which she played the vampish Lola who sells her soul to The Devil to be a beauty. The musical ran for 1019 performances. Vernon won her second Tony and went to Hollywood to repeat her role in this 1958 movie version.
In those days, Hollywood was often replacing Broadway stars with bigger movie star names if a musical was made into a feature film. But, thankfully, this was an exception.
When I was a kid, I only new William Holden from the classic episode of I Love Lucy where Lucy encounters the movie star at The Brown Derby and he ends up with a tray of desserts all over him. Later, her putty nose catches on fire as the two are having coffee!
But that’s just a footnote to one of the most successful careers in Hollywood history.
The handsome Holden got his big break as the star of 1939′s Golden Boy opposite life-long friend Barbara Stanwyck. A stint in the US Air Force during WWII slowed him career momentum but he was back on track by 1950 starring opposite Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard which earned him his first Oscar nomination for best actor.
Holden won the Oscar in 1953 for Stalag 17 and also starred in such classics as The Country Girl, Picnic, Sabrina, Love is a Many-Splendored Thing, The Bridge on the River Kwai, and Born Yesterday.
Later roles included The Towering Inferno, The Wild Bunch, The Earthling, S.O.B. and an Oscar-nominated performance in Network. He won an Emmy Award in 1974 for his performance in the television film The Blue Knight.
He died too young. Holden was just 63 when he slipped while intoxicated and hit his head on a night table in his Santa Monica apartment and bled to death.
Meredith Baxter’s coming out as a lesbian last December got a lot of media attention including a compelling interview on The Today Show and an extensive profile in People magazine.
Now the star of Family Ties, Family, Bridget Loves Bernie and the Betty Broderick bioflicks has had time to process what has happened in her life and she seems quite content these days.
“I had a couple of very uncomfortable days … and after that, it has been fine,” Baxter said at the Outfest Film Festival Saturday. “It has probably been more than fine and there is a great deal of relief, freedom and a sense of we aren’t keeping any secrets and that’s a secret I don’t have.”
The actress was joined on a Coming Out In Hollywood panel by out actors Doug Spearman (Noah’s Arc) and Jonathan Slavin (Better off Ted) as well as out director Don Roos (Opposite of Sex) and out publicist Howard Bragman.
She was asked how she reached the decision to come out publicly as a lesbian.
“I don’t know how much it was actually a decision on my part,” Baxter said. “To be honest, I was at a point in my life where I was sort of entertaining the idea … I thought I might put an ad in the paper, kind of like a little birth announcement that would say, ‘Okay, I’m gay. – Meredith.’ I didn’t really know how that was supposed to come about but I was planning to talk to my business manager about that the same day he called and said that Perez Hilton and The Enquirer and all those guys were ready to talk about the fact that [her partner] Nancy [Locke] and I were on a lesbian cruise.”
“When it became apparent that this was not in my control any longer I was put in touch with the lovely [publicist] Howard Bragman and he sort of put things into motion in ways that I thought was way over the top…an article in…People Magazine….followed by on air with Matt Lauer saying to national television ‘hello im a lesbian!’”
Baxter added, “It was not in my plan but I will say that an enormous amount of relief followed that. I didn’t expect it. I didn’t know to look for that. I didn’t know to want that. But now the feeling is ‘Fuck it. Everyone knows. I don’t have to worry about anything.’”
The actress said that before she went public, “it just felt normal to be in, to be in the closet frankly because it hadn’t been that many years and I’d always been one of those obnoxious people who didn’t want you to know anything about me! So that was just one more thing I didn’t want you to know. I just kept a low profile. Certainly to my family and friends I was [out].”
The moderator asked Baxter if she was still pursuing acting roles and she said: “That’s a question you have to ask, isn’t that funny? One would hope you wouldn’t have to ask that. … It’s just been a long, slow period – it was tough before I came out, it just hasn’t gotten better.”
Coming soon: Much more from the Outfest panel Coming Out In Hollywood
Tomorrow is closing day of Outfest 2010. I’m looking forward to seeing Spork at the Ford Ampitheatre (Chad Allen pictured with cast and crew is a producer and has a supporting role) then wrapping things up at the Closing Night party at Madame Tussauds in Hollywood.
I’ll also be at the awards program before lunch and try and catch an early afternoon flick – most likely From Beginning to End at 2:30 at DGA 1. It was added to the schedule as a replacement for a Drop Dead Diva program that was dropped.
There is plenty else going on during the final day with encore showings of some of the more popular films. At noon inside DGA 1 you can catch Boys Shorts which is well-worth seeing with such standout short films as GaySharkTank.com, Gayby, Billy and Aaron, and Curious Thing. Here is a LINK to my review of the collection.
At around the same time (12:15 p.m.) in DGA 2 is an encore showing of Girls Shorts and over at the Redcat at noon is a second encore presentation of the German drama Sasha.
At 2:30 p.m. at Redcat, you can catch the second showing of BearCity which I saw the other night and enjoyed immensely.
Directed by Doug Langway from his screenplay with Lawrence Ferber, thing of this flick as a very hairy Sex and the City.
The flick follows the funny, romantic, and occasionally dramatic adventures of a group of bears and cubs in New York City leading up to a big bear weekend. From the folks who brought you Another Gay Movie, Bear Cub, Raising Heroes, and the short film Birthday Time.
I did not expect this movie to be so damned funny but probably should have since Stephen Guarino of The Big Gay Sketch Show cast has a principal role.
At the Thursday night screening, I sat next to musician Michael Mirlas whose song Puppy Dog Eyes plays over one of the movie’s key scenes between leads Joe Conti who is fresh and appealing and cute as can be be and Gerald McCullouch who is the real sexpot in this flick. He reminded me of a combination of Harrison Ford and John Slattery and that is damned sexy!
At 5 p.m. in DGA 1 is the drama Role/Play which rests on the able shoulders of leading men Matthew Montgomery and Steve Callahan. (pictured at last weekend’s screening).
Both lead characters are high-profile guys (one a soap actor, the other a gay rights activist) who are guests at a gay resort in Palm Springs.
Both arrive with some serious baggage and secrets and it all comes out as the two get to know each other – mostly in bed! Both are accomplished actors, are a real-life couple and they have all kinds of chemistry. They are also both very fit as you will see for yourself with a lot of nudity – all very tasteful!
As much as I enjoyed seeing these guys in the buff, I enjoyed their conversations even more like this fun exchange:
Callahan: “You have no sense of gay culture. Have you seen Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?”
Matthew: “It’s a TV movie about a little girl who fell down a well.”
In addition to the performances (David Pevsner plays the resort owner and Jim J. Bullock is fun as Callahan’s publicist), it’s an intelligent script that nails the worlds of daytime soaps and of gay activism.
The movie was shot on location in Palm Springs in just eight days. Explained writer-director Rob Williams at last weekend’s screening: “These guys were so good we didn’t need more time. It’s not something I would recommend but it can be done.”
Other Sunday screenings include:
Rosie O’Donnell’s HBO documentary A Family is a Family is a Family has been added to the schedule and will screen at 5 p.m. in DGA 2.
It was not until doing research for her 58th birthday post did I realize that the great singer Phoebe Snow is recovering from a brain hemorrhage suffered in late January.
She is facing a long recovery from the stroke but doctors are optimistic, according to a note on her website posted by her manager.
I hope that Phoebe knows how many fans are praying for her.
When the stroke hit, the legendary singer – best known for the 1975 classic Poetry Man – was still dealing with immense grief following the death of her only child, Valerie, in 2007 at the age of 31.
She was recording again and planning to kick off a tour in March.
In 1975, shortly after releasing one of the most acclaimed debut albums of the era, Snow gave birth to Valerie who was born severely brain injured. She was told her child would not live very long, be extremely disabled and should be placed in a residential facility.
“She came home with me and that’s where she lived for 31 years,” Phoebe told me when we spoke in late 2008. “Back then, the music industry saw that as a liability. But my daughter was the most amazing person.”
Snow had been nominated for a Grammy, been on the cover of Rolling Stone and continued to release an average of one album a year through the 1970s. She cut back to put motherhood first and recorded only sporadically.
But Snow, who uniquely combines elements of jazz, blues, folk, and rock music into her songs, has always managed to retain legions of fans including Bill Clinton who asked her to perform at Camp David during his presidency and Howard Stern whom she serenaded earlier this month at his wedding to Beth Ostrosky.
During her darkest times, Snow found surprising solace in a television show she happened upon one day: “Noah’s Arc,” a drama on MTV’s Logo Channel about a group of gay African-American men navigating life and love in Los Angeles.
“It was kind of a fluke that I even found it,” she said. “About 2-3 months after my daughter’s passing, I was in a vegetative state when I happened to see some of the season two episodes. It sort of brought me out of my abyss and gave me something else to focus on. I became a little emotionally involved with the characters and found them very endearing and charming.”
But the Logo series ended after two seasons – in a cliffhanger!
“I wanted to know what happened!” Snow said. She asked a publicist friend of hers to find her series creator Patrik-Ian Polk An hour later, the friend called back and said Polk was having a private party in Manhattan that night. Could Snow, who lives in New Jersey, be at the Splash Club on 17th Street at midnight?
“It had been quite awhile since I’d been somewhere like that,” she recalled. “They put me in a little room, Patrik came in, we met, and I loved him. I said, ‘Your series has been virtually kind of saving my life here and I have to know, what happened to the characters?’”
The two kept in touch and Polk kept the singer updated on the progress of a feature film, based on the series, that was being planned and included the wedding of title character Noah (Darryl Stephens) and his longtime love Wade (Jensen Atwood).
She volunteered to do a song for the soundtrack of the feature film Noah’s Arc: Jumping the Broom then something else happened.
“He said, ‘Do you want to be in it?’ I said, ‘You’re kidding!’ and the world stopped rotating for a minute. I freaked! I’ve never been in a film before.”
Snow soon found herself in Nova Scotia where the movie was filmed. She played a singer who performs in the climactic wedding scene.
“It was unbelievably cold and I’m just not a cold person. But it was one of the greatest moments of my life.”
But being surrounded by members of the cast that had gotten her through some tough times suddenly made her very emotional.
“I was like a weeping bag of crap,” she said. “I was hysterical crying.”
“They put 18 pounds of eyelashes on me, I got glue in my eyes. I was trying to pull myself together and (while on the set) I had a grieving moment. I was trying to hold myself together, lost it, and the lashes were melting off. (Jensen Atwood) just came over and gave me a big hug.”
We all want to give Phoebe a hug and wish her the very best always.
German soccer star Michael Ballack is currently involved in a controversy over whether or not he is still captain of the country’s national team after missing World Cup with an injury.
The 33-year-old has captained the national team since 2004 but Philipp Lahm took over during World Cup where Germany reached the semifinals. Now Lahm does not want to give the captain’s armband back!
I don’t know enough about the situation to take sides but if the captaincy were determined by looks, Ballack would win hands down! This guy is movie star handsome with an amazing body.
Prior to World Cup, his smiling face was plastered all over German train stations, and in the Vanity Fair World Cup issue – Ballack was chosen as the German player to be photographed in his underwear — in Germany’s national colors — next to the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaká, Drogba and Eto’o.
He was born in East Germany and made his professional debut in 1995. He was named Germany’s Footballer of the Year in 2002, 2003 and 2005. Ballack is married to Simone Lambe and the couple has three children.
Ballack returned to his old pro team, Bayer 04 Leverkusen, this week after signing a two-year contract last month. He had most recently been playing at Chelsea.
The soccer star might want to rethink his management team though. In a recent article is Der Speigel, his manager, Michael Becker, told a reporter that many German players are supposedly gay. My question to Becker is this: “So?”
I’m interested in hearing Ballack’s thoughts on this and hope he has muzzled his manager – or maybe even fired him.
I am so looking forward to seeing the International Male collection of shorts on Saturday at 11 a.m. at DGA. That will be followed by what is sure to be a provocative panel on Coming Out in Hollywood which will include Meredith Baxter as one of the participants!
While this is going on, over at the smaller DGA 2 venue will be the documentaries Out of the Shadows/Signs of Protest beginning at noon followed by an encore screening of the French coming of age film The Evening Dress (La Robe Du Soir) at 2:30 p.m.
Later in the afternoon, you can catch Strange Powers: Stephen Merritt and the Magnetic Fields at 4 p.m. at DGA 1 and a program called Trans-Politics Then and Now: Queens at Heart at 5 p.m. in DGA 2.
I’ve seen Queens at Heart and was fascinated by this 1967 documentary about four male-to-female transsexuals. It is a very valuable portrait of pre-Stonewall transgender life in NYC. It is paired with a comedy short called Bella Maddo which is noteworthy because it features a transgender cast playing non-transgender characters.
Once evening falls, you might want to make it out to the Ford Ampitheatre if you are in the mood for a romantic comedy. The movie screening under the stars is The Four-Faced Liar which I have seen and liked.
It’s about a group of college-aged friends in New York City and its a mix of gay and straight. The same-sex relationship is a lesbian one. The guys are cute but there is no boy-on-boy action in this fick.
The character of Bridget who becomes involved with a woman struggling with her lesbian feelings, was my favorite. Marja Lewis Ryan is such a perfect fit for the role that it didn’t surprise me to find out that she also wrote the movie’s screenplay based on her own play.
I’ll be catching Spring Fever at 7 p.m. in DGA 1 about a guy who is hired to spy on a philandering husband then becomes involved with the guy! That will be followed at 9:30 p.m. by the Canadian feature I Killed My Mother about a gay teen who is struggling to navigate the various trials of gay adolescence.
Go to Outfest.org to order tickets and to see the full weekend schedule. I’ll post a guide to Sunday early tomorrow.
I’ve been smitten with Linus Roache ever since seeing him as a gay Catholic priest torn between his call as a conservative priest and his secret life as a gay man in the early 90’s drama Priest.
After Priest and starring in the BBC wartime drama Seaforth, Roache gave up acting for awhile and spent 18 months in India where he discovered spiritual meditation. Thankfully, he eventually returned to acting.
For the past few years, Linus starred as assistant DA Michael Cutter on Law & Order.
But now that NBC has canceled the long-running legal drama after two decades on the air, Linus is a free agent and he has wasted no time in lining up another gig: AfterElton.com’s Gays of Our Lives column reports that Linus is getting involved in another gay storyline, only this time he’s on the opposite side of the fence.
He will join the cast of UK soap Coronation Street for a month-long story arc to air in September, a plot producers believe will lead to some of the show’s most controversial scenes ever.
Anthony D. Langford writes: In the storyline, Roache will be revealed as Lawrence Barlow, the secret long-lost son of character Ken Barlow. Ken is played by Bill Roache, who has been with the soap opera since its inception 50 years ago and is Linus’ real life father.
Ken will track down his newly discovered son and will be delighted to learn that he has a grandson, James, who will be portrayed by Roache’s other real life son, James Roache. But things will get ugly quickly when Ken finds out that his grandson is gay and that Lawrence hates him for it, putting Ken in the middle of a family feud between father and son. Ken will be shocked and horrified by his son’s unrelenting homophobic attitude towards his own child.
To read the entire column on this and other developments on various soaps, go to AfterElton.com.
The studly star of the X-Men flicks is offering someone a chance to work out with him – for a price and I’m getting ready to sell a kidney or something just to get in on the bidding!
According to E!Online’sMarc Malkin, the workout up for auction at charitybuzz.com to benefit New York City’s Summit School for children with learning and adjustment challenges. “If someone comes in and says, ‘I want to try it exactly how you train. I want to just go as hard as we can,’ we’ll go there,” Jackman told Marc from Michigan, where he’s shooting Real Steel. “But I don’t want people to feel intimidated if they want to come experience it but not keel over.”
So will he do the workout shirtless?
“Sure!” he said. “No problem. You know me, I’m a whore. I think I was shirtless for the whole time in my first movie in Australia and I think I only made about $4,000.”
GQ has selected the 50 Most Stylish Men of the past half century and includes such icons as Cary Grant, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley and some modern-day stars including Brad Pitt and Robert Pattinson.
But I am sharing with you the three who stand out to me the most in terms of looks, talent and raw sex appeal!
Montgomery Clift: As director John Huston once put it, Montgomery Clift “always held something back.” He wasn’t one of those what-you-see-is-what-you-get types. But there were a few things about him you could be sure of. He was tough without being macho. He was one of the first guys on the scene to get all moody (here’s the guy Dean learned his game from). And his bad luck offscreen left him tortured as hell. But while his sensitive, anti-Wayne act kept you guessing, his style couldn’t have been more clear: classic, clean, and American. Simply put, few folks ever looked as sharp as Monty with a slicked-back pompadour, a white oxford, and a pair of worn-in khakis.—ANDREW RICHDALE
Warren Beatty: If Warren Beatty wore scuba flippers instead of shoes, we might consider copying. If he wore garbage bags instead of oxfords, we might wake up and throw them on, too, because, you know, Warren did it. But inevitably we’d balk because, well, we’re not Warren Beatty: We don’t have that once-in-a-generation leading-man confidence, that hyperevolved swagger, that “Me? Yeah, I know—I’m great looking” smile. In a sense, it’s never really mattered what Warren Beatty wore. Warren Beatty, shirt unbuttoned to his navel, silk scarf knotted around his neck, looked…manly. Beatty tuxedo-clad? Downright debonair. And from Splendor in the Grass onward, he’s always looked completely nonchalant, which isn’t to say he didn’t think about his sartorial choices. Of Beatty, Eva Marie Saint once said, “Some guys come at you like a Mack truck. But Warren’s slow, smooth, and in complete control.” It’s hard to imagine him being anything but.—HOWIE KAHN
Paul Newman: During the 1950s and ’60s, the early years of a career that spanned more than half a century, Paul Newman did his best on-screen work in a tight undershirt and slacks. This ensemble, which was often accessorized by a cigarette and a glass of bourbon (preferably J.T.S. Brown, neat), was tailor-made for the collection of misfits, hustlers, and broken-down drunks that Newman immortalized. Offscreen, Newman was thoughtful, dignified, decent—a family man. He may have represented the ideal of what a man should look like in a tuxedo, but he was at his best in a V-neck sweater or an oxford cloth button-down shirt and plain-front trousers. In 2007, before the actor passed away, we spoke with Newman’s publicist and friend of more than fifty years, Warren Cowan: “After Paul won the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award in 1993, he had a bonfire with his tuxedo because he said he never wanted to wear a black tie again. Shortly after, he gave away his entire wardrobe. He’s down to just a few pairs of slacks and cords, a few shirts and sweaters. He says his life is much simpler. He’s much happier.”—ALEX FRENCH
There is only tonight, Saturday and Sunday left then it’s 12 months until Outfest 2011! My Christmas is July is almost over.
The remaining three days have plenty of gems. I can only advise you on what I have seen and make you aware of what else it is screening.
At the DGA, it’s ladies night with the drama Elena Undone kicking things off at 7 p.m. I am recommending it on the strength of Jd Disalvatore (Shelter, A Marine Story) being one of the producers. The movie combines the enchantment of falling in love for the first time with the reality and responsibilities of long-term commitments.
Following Elena in DGA is a program of Girls Shorts screening at 9:45 p.m. In DGA 2: The documentary Hooters! at 7:15 p.m. followed by the lesbian romantic drama from Brazil Paulista (Quanto Dura O Amor?).
As for what I have seen and can recommend, let’s start with Is It Just Me? It’s a wonderful romantic comedy that screens at 8:30 p.m. tonight at the Ford Ampitheatre. This is perfect weather for a nice date movie under the stars. I recommend packing a picnic and getting there a little early.
Here’s a re-posting of my review of the film:
Is It Just Me? is written and directed by JC Calciano who I met a few weeks back. He has put together a very appealing cast for this movie about a writer named Blaine (Nicholas Downs) who is running very low on self- confidence in the guy department.
He meets Xander (David Loren) first at a coffee house then online and they click. But his hunky roomie Cameron’s (Adam Huss) photo appears on the chat page because he had been using Blaine’s computer previously. It becomes a case of mistaken identity.
Blaine wants Cameron to pretend he’s him when he and Xander meet until he can win the guy over with his wit and charm. You have to really engage in some serious suspension of disbelieve to buy that Xander would not quickly figure out that there’s no way Cameron is the man he had connected with so deeply on the phone.
Cameron, who works as a go-go dancer, is seriously hunky so it’s easy to see why Blaine might be feeling insecure even though he is absolutely adorable.
Blaine’s BFF (Michelle Laurent) tries to re-assure him: “You deserve to be loved. You’re a great catch, trust me.”
It’s easy to see why he’s drawn to Xander. The guy is not only very attractive and with a Texas drawl, he’s also thoughtful, charming and seems emotionally intelligent.
The movie gives us something special in Xander’s older roommate Ernie who is so wonderfully played by Bruce Gray who you will recognize from his role as John Corbertt’s father in My Big Fat Greek Wedding but who I remember best from his stint on Queer as Folk as Emmett’s lover who dies in an airplane while they are having sex!
His presence and his performance are wonderful!
One of the best dramas I’ve seen at the festival is Children of God which has its second screening at 7 p.m. tonight at the REDCAT.
The film is written and directed by Kareem Mortimer who has successfully expanded his short film into a provocative full-length feature.
Children is is a portrayal of love, loneliness, tolerance, secrets and self-acceptance. It’s a religiously and politically-charged drama that has humor and romance but also shows the ugly side of homophobia.
In the film, the lives of several Bahamians intersect.
After being abused by a local gang in Nassau, a gay white art student (an outstanding Johnny Roberts) takes refuge on the smaller island of Eleuthera where he meets a sexy, charming [but closeted] schoolmate named Romeo (Stephen Tyrone Williams who had the same role in the short) whose family is pressuring him to marry.
The there is Lena, a political activist who arrives on the island to spread her opposition to homosexuality. She is the wife of a preacher and we learn why she has such a problem with the gays. Margaret Kemp gives an award-worthy performance as Lena.
After the initial Outfest screening last Saturday, I chatted with Kareem Mortimer briefly: “I’ve never screened any of my work in Los Angeles and it’s a capitol of filmmaking and it was just a great experience to have this venue and have as many people come out to see this film.. I feel like I made an achievement. I hope people get to see the humanity in other people. Our film has a bittersweet ending but when you walk out of the theater, you think about it and you can’t dismiss the story and I hope people continue to think about it long after.”
This episode, Off to Florida, is probably my all-time favorite.
It is HILARIOUS!
There are just so many funny lines: “I love buttered grass!” “Hatchet!” “What are you two muttering about?” “Who DIED?” “I’d like another HELP-ing!” and, of course, “Y’all must be from the north.”
To refresh your memory, this is a hysterical episode from season six that has Lucy and Ethel hitching a ride with Elsa Lanchester (Mrs. Grundy) to Florida due to misplaced train tickets. On the way they change a flat tire (I think Lucy is at her absolute bitchiest to Ethel in this scene – and it’s hilarious!), they sleep in the car, and they mistake their driver for an ax murderess!
Lanchester is a hoot! Ball and Vance are, as always, perfection.
He has literally grown up before our eyes as Justin Suarez on Ugly Betty and now Mark Indelicato is 16 years old!
Mark recently filmed a guest spot on the new sitcom Hot in Cleveland (the one with Betty White) and keeps his fans in the loop with frequent Twitter updates including several earlier today about turning 16!
The teenager is also a wonderful singer who has appeared in several musicals including performing the part of Boq for “Wicked Day”‘s 5th Anniversary Concert on Broadway in New York City in 2008.
I’m sure Mark has a long career ahead of him but already he has contributed so much to the world by being Justin who always marched to his own drummer with his love of fashion and drama.
We pretty much figured Justin was gay but the show took time and care in focusing on it – Justin had to be ready.
And finally, he was when came out to his family by dancing with his cutie pie boyfriend Austin at his mother’s wedding.
I felt so good inside for every gay kid out there watching that episode and I hoped that their family would take a cue from the Suarez family who loved Justin unconditionally – just as he is.
Justin’s family looked on lovingly and allowed the teenager to come out on his own terms. It was in contrast to an earlier scene where the family found out about Austin through Hilda’s fiance, Bobby, who had seen the two boys kissing.
Hilda calls Betty and says excitedly: “Betty! Justin’s got a boyfriend!” The family then plans a surprise coming out party: “This one of the most important things that will ever happen to Justin and he needs to know that we accept him.”
Ignacio excitedly shows Betty the “starter kit” with info on PFLAG and GSLEN.
They toned it down though and let Justin do it on his own.
One of the world’s great mysteries has got to be why Ben Cohen has not been featured as a Morning Man until today!
Just to make up for the oversight, I’ve included a massive amount of photos of this English rugby star with the massive gay following. Gays love a man who likes to take off his clothes and who isn’t afraid to be a sex symbol for men and women alike!
Ben, who is married with two children, says he may not be quite as fast as I was 10 years ago, but he works hard and is as fit as he’s ever have been.
After 11 years of playing with the Northhampton Saints, Ben spent 18 months playing for CA Brive in France before returning to the UK this year to play with Sale Sharks.
The 31-year-old stud talked to Compete Magazine recently about his status as a gay icon: “I have never really thought about whether I court a gay fanbase. I actually find it quite amazing that people are so interested in me in that way. I don’t see it myself. But it seems that my acceptance of those who like me makes a big difference to a lot of gay men. I have had numerous e-mails, mainly from young men who have been inspired by me in some way, and so have had the courage to come out to their friends and families and so live fulfilled lives. I have also been told that I have helped parents come around to the fact that their son is gay. I have no idea how I have managed to do that, I have to confess – but if my openness has done that then it seems that it is the right way to be.”
End of slideshow… Start over? Okay, I really don’t want to get totally caught up in Big Brother this summer. There are just too many movies to see, concerts to attend, friends to catch up with.
But I took a peek last night and ended up getting sucked in because the hunky swim coach Brendon Villegas had been put up on the block by the hunky (and kinda dumb actually), Hayden Moss a college baseball player from Arizona with shaggy 70s hair.
It was so funny to see these two shirtless babes circle around each other in the Head of Household room. Brendan may have been up for elimination but he kept his swagger and his nerve and told Hayden that he was going to win power of veto and then come after him!
Hayden looked kinda scared but figured odds of Hayden winning POV and taking himself off the block were slim.
Well, he did it! He spelled the word with the most letters in a game that required brawn and brains.
Payback is gonna be a bitch Hayden!
Tonight is the elimination vote and bartender Annie Whittington has been put up in place of Brendan against his showmance girlfriend Rachel Reilly who he made out with on the hammock on last night’s show.
I like Rachel even if she is showmancing my boyfriend Brendan so I hope she survives the vote and that Annie gets sent packing. I don’t enjoy her for some reason.
I hope Brendan wins head of household tonight because I want to see Hayden beg like a little punk to not be put up.