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The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R


 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | letterboxd

 

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Entries in LGBT (246)

Tuesday
Jan202015

GALECA Loves Transparent (and a little of everything else!) 

The Gay & Lesbian Entertainment Journalists Association have chosen their winners from the film year and, like so many other awards bodies they've opted for a Savage Grace mother/son reunion with Julianne Moore & Eddie Redmayne taking Actress & Actor of the Year for film. (The primary difference being only that they have probably heard of / possibly seen Savage Grace.) Lisa Kudrow & Jeffrey Tambor took the television version of those prizes and though there was significant spreading of the wealth elsewhere, Transparent, Amazon's Golden Globe winning breakout show about a retired father (Jeffrey Tambor) who comes out to her children as a trans woman thoroughly dominated the TV field winning five prizes. [More...]

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Monday
Jan192015

Looking for Returns: In Search of Gay Intimacy

Manuel here checking in on the Looking boys this week, after their carnal sojourn into the woods last week.

We open with Kevin and Patrick in bed and if we didn’t know any better, their adorable reminisces about their queer childhoods, including talk of what is arguably one of the gayest videos ever, read like an intimate scene from a healthy burgeoning relationship. Of course, it’s lunchtime and they’re at a motel (“don’t you guys find seedy motels kind of sexy?”), indulging in what Patrick refuses to acknowledge is an “affair” (“I really like him and the word ‘affair’ is starting to feel rather shitty to me”). In many ways, this scene feels taken straight out of Andrew Haigh’s own Weekend, a film that was thoroughly fascinated with contemporary gay intimacy and gay identity. What does intimacy look like within a community that is still encumbered by secrets and closets, even as it prides itself on openness and honesty? It’s also no surprise that Patrick and Kevin end up coming up with a gay-themed card game that works as a brief run-down of various gay archetypes (“hot-shot”, “drag mother,” “lusty lads of London,” “gay-for-pay,” “the ashamed gay”).

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Monday
Jan122015

Looking for the Promised Land: A Midsummer Night's Queers

If the comments on last week's recap of Season 1 of Looking are any indication, what fascinates yours truly, Manuel, about the show is also the very thing that makes it so divisive. Disclaimer: what follows should in no way be taken as an apology for the show nor a glowing endorsement of it as "the best!" As I pointed out last week, there's room for improvement and Patrick & co. have great heights to scale before being able to sit alongside Don Draper, Selina Meyer, Valerie Cherish, Piper Chapman & Jane Rodriguez (my Top 5 shows for 2014). 

The burden of representation. That's how I diagnosed what has fallen on Looking for the mere reason that it's one of the few shows openly about gay people men. As some of you pointed out in your comments, issues of entertainment value and overall quality depend on the fact that the show (whether intentionally or not) announces itself as a mirror. [More...]

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Monday
Jan122015

GALECA Nominations: Pride, Birdman, Transparent, and Mommy

The Gay & Lesbian Entertainment Critics Assocation, which has over 100 members nationwide, and first joined the year end awards jamboree in 2009, have announced their nominations for the year in a slew of categories, not all of them for movies. Full disclosure two members of TFE are members of this organization: Nathaniel and Glenn. You may notice a lone nomination for Under the Skin and love for Mommy both of which we were loud advocates of during voting. We didn't need to shout the praises of Pride because a lot of people were doing it. It's fanbase grows each week which leads me to believe that maybe it should've come out in March like Grand Budapest Hotel, you know?

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Monday
Jan052015

Looking Back: Season 1 Recap

Manuel here bringing us up to date on Andrew Haigh’s first season of his HBO show Looking in preparation for the weekly recaps that will take up this space starting next week. 

“You know how I know you’re gay? You’re boring,” With those nine words, Mick Stingley (writing for Esquire) summed up his reaction to Looking, one which continued to be echoed even as Andrew Haigh’s low-key San Francisco-set show about a group of gay men blossomed into a fascinating (if, yes, clipped and narrow) show, ably experimenting with the long-form storytelling of TV to offer mundane snapshots of the contemporary gay male experience. “Boring” became a code word for viewers (both gay and straight) who for the first time found themselves exposed to gay characters on screen who didn’t mince or flounce (no Wills or Jacks here), nor who aimed to become a banner ad for a movement (no Michaels or Emmets here). It was also an HBO show hard to pin down. It doesn’t have Sorkinean monologues, or Dunhamesque sex scenes. It doesn’t have the acidic comedy of Veep nor the pathos of Enlightened. There’s a level of mundanity in Haigh’s show that's decidedly un-HBOish; this is no Westeros nor Bon Temps. In many ways, it feels like an indie film with its closest kin being Haigh’s 2011 film, Weekend. [Full disclosure, I hated that film, but that’s neither here nor there].

I bring this all up front to showcase what it is that interests me about Looking; its rather transgressive indifference towards politics of representation. There’s transgression in the very banality that so characterized the show's first season which, while climaxing with a wedding, a hook-up, a breakup and a pitch-perfect Golden Girls shout out, nevertheless seemed quite content in what Haigh & co. bill their show as: merely looking, observing really how these young able-bodied (and damn good-looking) gay men navigate their lives. It’s not surprising then that the best episode of the first season was solely focused on Patrick & Richie in a long, romantic date around San Francisco.

So, before next’s week’s premiere episode, let’s briefly recap/meet our boys:

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Saturday
Jan032015

The Heroes of "Pride" Wouldn't Stand For Their DVD Packaging!

I accidentally got two copies of the Pride DVD in the mail for Christmas. I had bought one not knowing that I'd be sent one from the studio. But no matter. Now I have one to gift and just about anyone would love to receive it. I recently talked to my best girlfriend from high school and I can't remember if I've shared this story but it's worth repeating even if I have. 

She and her husband had accidentally gone to see it at a movie theater in Michigan (I didn't interrogate the accidentally part) and liked it so much that they went again the following week and brought another married couple with them. Isn't that great? A decade ago when the theatrical window was longer the movie could have surely found a much larger audience.

About that DVD though...

A scoop from Pink News  today alerted me to the fact that I should pay closer attention to DVD packaging. It seems that Sony Pictures has removed all mention of "gay" or LGBT" from the packaging and official synopsis. If you look at the photo above you'll see that they've even photoshopped out the "Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners" banner in the background of one of the film's two Gay Pride marches.

 

"Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners" or LGSM  is the official name of the collective protagonist organization and exactly what the film is about. They made a huge difference not just for striking miners in the 1980s but for Union nondiscrimination laws thereafter. The synopsis now refers to the group only as "London based activists".

To put all these feisty gays and lesbians back in the closet when the entire movie is about people, gay and straight, who refuse to be bullied into submission by homophobes or Thatcher's horrible dehumanizing rule is every kind of wrong. The LGSM in the movie even questions whether they should work anonymously because of homophobic thinking and their own fear and decide that it wouldn't be right.

What was Sony thinking?!?

In Happier News
To not end on sour note I urge you to visit Nick's Flick Picks for this glorious long read celebrating "collaboration" in 2014. It's a particularly fresh angle for a year in review piece, and yet more wonderful for this film year when so many of the finest movies were about solidarity (Two Days One Night, Pride, Selma, etcetera) or, if they weren't, focused on small duos or trios with gripping connections. If you don't have time to read all pieces of this today visit a few times until you've absorbed them. I particularly enjoyed the write-ups of We Are the Best!, Happy ChristmasLilting, Pride and Reese Witherspoon & Laura Dern for Wild