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What's your favorite reference in Stranger Things?

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Entries in LGBT (374)

Thursday
Jul072016

Lukewarm Off the Presses: Woolf, Winona, and La Pfeiffer

Things we forgot to talk about but it's never too late.

Do You Love She Loves Me?
Did any of you manage to catch the Broadway livestream of She Loves Me June 30th? It was the first ever of its kind though I've heard no details on how well it performed (i.e. if we'll see more of them). They've extended the availability to rent it until July 10th on Broadway HD

The Hours 2: The Return of Virginia Woof
Okay not really. Basically everybody committed suicide or got old in The Hours. But recently we got word that Virginia Woolf is coming back to the big screen  in the adaptation of the play Vita & Virginia which is about Woolf's friendship and affair with another female writer. The most delightful part of this news may be that the play and its screenplay adaptation were both written by the actress Dame Eileen Atkins who was in The Hours (she worked in the flower shop in the Streep section). No word on casting but allow me to have a brief fantasy about Nicole Kidman reprising her Oscar-winning role before we hear who got the plum gig. 

Winona is Back
Time Magazine recently published a solid interview with Winona Ryder on the eve of yet another comeback. This time via Stranger Things on Netflix. Of interest is a lengthy response when she's asked about the recent allegations against Johnny Depp. It's definitely the most levelheaded response we've read on any celebrity weighing in on the matter. But then we tend to like levelheaded responses and people who realize that they don't know what happened whatever their assumptions. That kind of response is almost impossible to find online from normal folks and it's also increasingly rare with celebrities.

But the best part of the interview was a question about the current nostalgia rage.

I get asked a lot, ‘What does it feel like to be a ’90s icon?’ And I’m like, ‘You think I sit around and think of myself like that?’ You can’t think about yourself in those ways, because who does that?

...I think because I started so young, I secretly wanted to be older all the time.

The interview is good but even better is that Stranger Things is getting really strong advanced buzz... especially for Winona herself who hasn't had anything work out that well for her showbiz-wise in aeons with the exception of that brief dark flash of Noni fever via her bit part in Oscar favorite Black Swan (2010).

Finally in confusing rumor alerts...
I don't normally share rumors (the internet is way too hung up on speculation when dialogue about things that actually exist is way more healthy/substantial) but I can't let this go without a mention. Remember the news that Jennifer Lawrence's Darren Aronofsky picture (working title Day 6) would co-star Javier Bardem, Domhnall Gleeson, and Michelle Pfeiffer? The story's logline is:

A couple whose relationship is tested when uninvited guests arrive at their home, disrupting their tranquil existence.

Most of the speculation on the internet was that Michelle Pfeiffer was playing Jennifer Lawrence's mother which seemed like a leap in logic -- why would they be related given that logline? A new rumor recently sprung up that the film would be titled Mother. Pass the fainting salts could this mean Pfeiffer was the actual lead -- but no, then that rumor was debunked by Paramount. It's all very confusing and typical internet (shut up everyone!) but any news of a Pfeiffer movie actually making it into production without her bolting is thrilling. And we are apparently getting three of them in relatively short succession, which all sound way more promising than that misfire The Family (2013) which was her last time before cameras. Two are already filmed - HBO's Wizard of Lies, and the indie drama Beat-Up Little Seagull (both due later this year though specific dates aren't announced) and Day 6 the following year unless she bolts from the set mid-production.

Saturday
Jun252016

Great Moments in Gay - 'This kind of stuff' in Weekend (2011)

In June we're celebrating favorite queer moments in cinema. Here's guest contributor Bill Curran on a pivotal low key scene in Weekend... 


Jamie: "What's going on?"

Russell: "Nothing… nothing's going on."

Pride is hard. We’re in a month filled with delirious rainbow floats, umpteen “Yass Queen” gifs, and appropriately lascivious street dancing down many city streets around the globe, and yet I’d like to pause and consider how pride is not merely happiness or acceptance, but respect. And respect is hard. 

Respect—one’s own worth in relation to others—is the motoring theme behind much of Andrew Haigh’s Weekend (2011). In this sense, if Weekend can be considered a landmark 21st century film (as indeed it should be, by any number of artistic rubrics), then the pivotal scene is this exchange between Russell (Tom Cullen) and his best (straight) mate Jamie (Jonathan Race). It is the sea change climax before the more expected bittersweet one... 

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Wednesday
Jun222016

Best Shot(s): The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant (1972)

Hit Me With Your Best Shot
Season 7 Episode 16


The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant
Written and Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Cinematography by Michael Ballhaus 

When you watch a lot of movies you inadvertently end up drawing comparisons between films that you wouldn't have thought to put in conversation previously. It's as if you've accidentally become a guest programmer of a repertory theater or a local festival. Such was the case this week when I (not intentionally) watched Whos Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1966) and The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant (1972) nearly back to back and shook my fists to the heavens and cursed the name of anyone who ever regurgitated the lie that you have to "open up" stage plays to make them work on screen. 

Tears. not totally bitter yet but she's getting there.

Sometimes half the power of a text is in its site-specific constriction. So I went from George & Martha's messy drab campus housing with a bar (or at least its contents) in every room, to the stylish studio apartment of fashion designer Petra Von Kant which was paradoxically both over-decorated and minimalist, and both frozen in place and ever-shifting without explanation (Wasn't the bed over there in the last scene? Can these mannequins move around the room at will like the toys in Pixar movies?). I loved every second of both films and especially, perhaps paradoxically for someone who prefers short movies, the foreboding sense that there was no way to exit either film, ever, unless you accepted your fate and drowned in their contagious neuroses.

All it takes to make a play cinematic when it becomes a movie is great filmmakers. That's it. That's the whole formula...

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Saturday
Jun182016

Great Moments in Gay - Sexual Confusion in "Kissing Jessica Stein"

Team Experience is sharing favorite LGBT scenes in cinema for Pride Month. Here's Deborah...

Kissing Jessica Stein is one of my all-time favorite movies, and I could make a whole list of “great moments in gayness” just from Jessica Stein scenes, but there’s one in particular that’s my favorite.

Here’s the quick plot summary: Jessica (Jennifer Westfeldt), cute, quirky, neurotic, single, is reading the personal ads (for you youngsters, that’s the paper equivalent of Tinder or OKCupid), and is struck by one ad in particular. Realizing she’s accidentally been reading in the “Women Seeking Women” section, she throws the paper away, but then decides to answer it anyway. 

Helen (Heather Juergensen) and Jessica begin tentatively seeing each other; Helen, too, is exploring bisexuality for the first time. Helen wants to dive right in, but Jessica is nervous, skittish, and afraid. 

Cut to Helen at Jessica’s place. Jessica presents Helen with a pile of brochures, dons her comically serious reading glasses, and says one of the greatest lines ever uttered in the movies: 


I was surprised to learn that lesbians accessorized.

BWAHAHAHA!

I love everything about this. First, because the word “accessorize” is inherently funny, like “pickle”. Second, because it’s even funnier when referring to a dildo. Which is another inherently funny word. Finally, because there’s an underlying truth: No one seems to have any idea what two women do in bed together. Both straights and gay men seem to kind of go all cross-eyed with, “But, but, but…What do you do?” And studying? Getting brochures for a date? That’s just hilarious, but also not horribly removed from anything that might really happen. 

I love movies about sexual ambivalence. I love straights having gay sex and gays having straight sex and people trying to figure out the difference between love and love. Can I love you and not desire you? Can I desire you and not want to desire you? Why is “best” friend” so different from “romantic lover”? I love the exploration of the gray space where we try to figure all that out. (See also: The Object of My Affection.) Kissing Jessica Stein is a movie that gives us real gay people, and real straight people, and real people exploring the space in between. It’s funny about family, funny about desire, funny about being confused, and funny about coming out. Also, it has Tovah Feldshuh, and she makes everything better. 


previously in this series...

Saturday
Jun182016

Tweetweek: Skarsgård, Fences, and... yes... Politics 

Time for a quick diversion - tweets that amused or edified this week, somewhat randomly selected.

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Thursday
Jun162016

Great Moment in Gay - Pariah

In Great Moments in Gay, Team TFE looks at our favorite queer scenes in the movies for Pride Month. Here's Kieran Scarlett on Pariah (2011)

Writing this piece this week, in the wake of tragedy is especially difficult. Thinking about all of the incredible, vital voices that make up Team Experience, as well as the readers who this blog touches on a daily basis, it's impossible not to think that a great number of us could have been (and have been) in places just like that Orlando night club. Safe spaces for marginalized people—queer people in this instance—are sacred, rare and often self-forged. This is especially true of safe spaces for queer people of color, who face an even greater burden of those added identity politics. Now more than ever, it is important to recognize that being queer and open remains a revolutionary act. It's a sad truth to intuit—something so innate and unchanging being a cause for notice and affirmation in the face of a world that is still struggling to understand. It's also beautiful to observe the strength of the queer community, who continue to push forward, forging those safe spaces, making room in spaces that are not yet totally safe, prospering, thriving and living.

Which brings us to Dee Rees' 2011 debut feature film Pariah. This coming-of-age tale charts a young, black lesbian Alike (a magnetic Adepero Oduye) as she struggles to find herself. in the face of a home and school life that are not entirely welcoming to her identity...

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Wednesday
Jun152016

Great Moments in Gay - Defiant Humanity in "Bent" 

For Pride month, we're celebrating our favorite queer moments in cinema. Here's guest contributor Steven Fenton...

Bent is the story of two men who fall in love while imprisoned in Dachau concentration camp during WWII. When the original play premiered in 1979 it made waves for its powerful depiction of Nazi persecution of homosexuals. By the time the film was released eighteen years later, the AIDS epidemic had ravaged the global gay community, giving further significance to the story’s exploration of survival and freedom.

In the camp, Max (Clive Owen) and Horst (Lothaire Bluteau) are assigned the sisyphean task of hauling stones from one rubble pile to another. On a miserably hot day, Horst attempts to distract Max from the maddening heat and labor. [More...]

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