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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 (247)

Monday
Jan262015

Sundance: "Tangerine" The Best Trans Hooker Christmas Comedy You Might Ever See!

This review was originally published in Nathaniel's column at Towleroad

Indie writer/director Sean Baker (and recently his co-writer Chris Berloch) specialize in portraits of characters on the margins of society. Baker's previous slice-of-life film was the still underappreciated Starlet (2012), which traced an unlikely friendship between a young porn star and an old woman she meets at a garage sale.  Their very worthy follow up is TANGERINE (not to be confused with the Estonian drama currently nominated for Oscar's Foreign Film Category called Tangerines). Again we find Baker looking at places others haven't thought to look — or at least haven't looked at with anything like the same affectionate humor and nuanced humanity.

In this case that place is a Hollywood block filled with ex-con trans hookers who still have their penises, their lonely trade, immigrant cab drivers, and the colorful seedy neighborhood they all share. Tangerine is filled with memorable scenes in busted-ass laundromats, car washes, cheap motels with "party rooms", and of course Donut Time. The movie tells the story of a single event-filled day and night (Christmas Eve) in the lives of Sin-Dee Rella (Kiki Kitana Rodriguez) and her best friend Alexandra (Mya Taylor) who treats her to half a holiday sprinkled donut in the movie's abrasively funny opening scene. 

"Merry Christmas, bitch."

Remember that claim that Wolf of Wall Street used the most "f--ks" ever uttered in a movie? I hope Tangerine makes that claim for "bitch". [More...]

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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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