Advertisement
Advertisement
HOT TOPICS



Advertisement
NOW PLAYING

in theaters



review index

new on DVD/BluRay

Welcome

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

 

Powered by Squarespace
What'cha Looking For?
Comment Fun

COMMENT DU JOUR
Love Affair (1994) - as "A Year With Kate" nears its conclusion

A YEAR WITH KATE... 2 episodes left

 "A really beautiful look into the careers of one of my favorite actors, but it's made me consider the careers of so many different actors and how the great ones adapt to eras while still staying true to themselves. This is a special, lovely series. I both cannot wait for and am so sad for the end next week.-John T

 

Beauty vs. Beast

Rhett is all "as if i could lose this poll" - Have you voted?

Keep TFE Strong

Your suscription dimes make an enormous difference to The Film Experience in terms of stability and budget to dream bigger. Consider...

I ♥ The Film Experience

THANKS IN ADVANCE

For those who can't commit to a dime a day, consider a one time donation for an article or a series you are glad you didn't have to live without.

Subscribe

Entries in LGBT (237)

Wednesday
Nov122014

Interview: Director Hong Khaou on "Lilting"

Director Hong Khaou on the set of "Lilting"

Jose here. Director Hong Khaou’s touching drama Lilting centers on the ways in which we deal with grief, filtered through two characters who are in pain over the loss of the same person but who can’t share this pain, because they don’t speak the same language. The death of Kai (Andrew Leung) leaves his Cambodian-Chinese mother Junn (Cheng Pei-pei) completely devastated, but little does she know that Kai’s boyfriend Richard (Ben Whishaw) is going through the same. As he tries to fulfill the protecting-role Kai would expect of him, he finds Junn to be reluctant to his attention.

Tenderly directed by Khaou, who with this makes his feature length directorial debut, Lilting is a quiet, yet poignant, chamber piece anchored by the subdued, beautiful performances of Cheng and Whishaw. Exploring themes of cultural shock, intolerance and rediscovering life’s worth, the film is one of the most unique portraits of love to be put on the screen this year. I spoke to director Khaou, who eloquently elaborated on the film’s origins, the process of making his first film and how his own upbringing shaped this project.

How did you decide that this would be your first feature film? Did you conceive it as a short originally?

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Nov062014

Freakshow: Pink Cupcakes

Nathaniel's in LA for the week so welcome Adam, who previously covered True Blood, for the latest AHS: Freakshow epsiode. Here's the rundown and commentary. How'd you like the episode?  

The Motts. They're the best part of "Freakshow," yes?

Plot: Elsa continues to plot against Bet and Dot since they’re in the position to replace her front-lining status at the Freak Show. Stanley and Maggie conspire to murder the Freaks, choosing money and notoriety over human compassion. Gloria and Dandy each come to terms with his new 'hobby,' she in the way of clean up and him in the embracement of his murderous urges. Desiree realizes she may not be as “freakish” as she once thought, while the Strongmen combats his inner self-loathing for that which he cannot change. 

The Strong Man joins the rest of the planet in lusting after Matt BomerGuest Star of Note: Matt Bomer!  ♥ In what begins as a slightly boring intro, more needed for its revelation of the strongman’s love for a man than anything else, becomes exponentially more interesting when Dandy enters the picture. Also, that hair and those eyes. *swoon* (Gabourey Sidibe makes a brief Horror Story return as Patti Labelle’s inquiring daughter, but that scene was more about revealing Gloria’s inner pain from being an absent mother than announcing the presence of a new character.) 

QUOTABLES & SPOILERS after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Nov052014

The Way Big Hero Looks in the Moonlight

As you read this I am en route to L.A. to join Anne Marie & Margaret at the AFI this week so expect coverage of A Most Violent Year and The Gambler premieres, a sneak peek at Selma, a Sophia Loren tribute, and more. But before that all start, and as I fly over some of you, brief thoughts on...

THREE SCREENINGS

THE WAY HE LOOKS 
Opens November 7th in limited release
Glenn has already smiled upon this Brazilian coming-of-age film in our ongoing Oscar foreign film race coverage but I wanted to offer my own thumbs way up, too. Like all niche audiences, LGBT people are sometimes too forgiving of bad movies so long as they meet their particular niche needs. But you can love The Way He Looks without any of the guilt that sometimes accompanies pleasure because it's very good.

This affecting high school drama is a love triangle of sorts that plays, smartly, more like a friendship triangle... since all three of its leads are still feeling their way toward their own futures, figuring themselves out. That's particularly true of Leonardo, who is blind and painfully aware that that limits his options. He still dreams of moving out of his parents house and really wants to do a foreign exchange program. His two best friends are Gabriel, a new boy in town who immediately puts him at ease, since he's unphased though sometimes a bit confused about the blindness, and Giovana his best girlfriend since childhood who walks him home every day from school and is so protective that she's become entirely codependent. Giovana resents Gabriel's growing place in Leo's life and nobody ever understands quite what anybody else if feeling. They're all immediately bruised by each other but still walking tightly arm in arm which makes for a hugely sympathetic totally relatable tale of first loves, young friendships and heartbreaks. It's endearing and, like Big Hero 6 (discussed next) it admires the good natures of its characters and their capacity for kindness and love. I don't mind sounding Pollyanna about this: I love seeing basically decent loving people dramatized on film.  That seems to be out of fashion in film and television characters so it's a special treat now when you see it, like a unicorn. B+

BIG HERO 6
Opens November 7th
Daring the long long shadow of The Incredibles, one of the best animated films and one of the best superhero films of all time, this initially very charming movie is about a genius robotics nerd named Hiro (voiced by Ryan Potter) whose older supremely good-natured brother Tadashi (voiced by Daniel Henney), also a tech wizard, convinces him to develop his skills at college instead of wasting them on robot fights. Take that Real Steel! Tadashi's best invention is that white inflatable marshmallow like A.I. you've seen in the trailers named Baymax. A fateful series of events, which I won't spoil though I'm betting the trailers I haven't watched already did, changes everything and suddenly Hiro is furiously reconfiguring Baymax with armor and jetpacks and taking him far from his original purpose as an inhome nurse. Hiro teams up with his new college friends (hence the plurality of the title) to fight off a supervillain in a kabuki mask. The second half of the movie is quite a deflation, sadly. You can feel the pandering for all demographics and senses of humor and like so many visual effects movies the climax is just a mess of OVERLONG NOISY ACTION SETPIECE without much character weight, steering this movie towards "fun but predictable/disposable action-comedy".

But, you know, the things it does well are awfully hard to shake. And boy does that initial brotherly bond stick in the heart. The movie is decidedly pro education (nice to see in a movie), the animation is beautiful, and it's nothing short of wonderful to see a blockbuster family movie led, unambiguously, by people of color. They even used Asian actors for the voices. Well done.  B


MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT
Coming to DVD/BluRay in December
I had remembered this getting relatively mild reviews, inspiring neither loving nor loathing, so it was a surprise to discover a quite emphatically bad movie dully staring back at me. I didn't buy one single moment of it from Emma Stone's strangely lackluster star turn, to Colin Firth's mannered fussiness to the various relationships and plot "twists". I amend: I didn't buy one single moment of it that didn't involve Eileen Atkins as "Aunt Vanessa" who is the film's sole bright light, totally charming and authentically aunt-like both emotionally involved and appropriately removed from whatever is ailing her incorrigible celebrity nephew's heart and soul. That's really too bad because the core idea of the movie is "fun" if you will and there's a whole slew of good actors standing around with nothing good to play with. What's more the real life magician its riffing on, an Englishman who was globally famous, not as himself but in yellowface as a Chinese illusionist named Wei Ling Soo, is also richly fertile ground for a screenplay. It's easy to imagine a pretty great movie emerging from that historical figure and obviously several pretty great movies have emerged in the romantic comedy genre by pitting competing agendas against each other in the form of a man and a woman for whom falling in love is a gigantic inconvenience. But it doesn't remotely work, the romance especially (Firth & Stone have zero chemistry) and the smothering atmosphere is one of laziness... like no one is trying at all (particularly Stone & Allen) or like they're trying too hard (Colin Firth, Hamish Linklater) sensing the inconsequential piffle around them or like they're standing around wishing someone would ask them to try at all (Marcia Gay Harden). D

Tuesday
Nov042014

First Image from "Freeheld" - It's Really Happening!

This image fills The Film Experience's heart with actressexual joy...

God and Ellen Page in "Freeheld"

Freeheld, a drama based on adocumentary short, has had a difficult journey to the big screen. There have been cancellations, delays, cast-changes, funding issues, you name it. But Ellen Page stuck with it, came out, and the film powered back to life (coincidence? who knows). But it's delightful to see a still which is proof that it the movie is actually happening. For those who haven't been keeping up Freeheld this is the official "about synopsis" from the Oscar winning documentary:

Detective Lieutenant Laurel Hester spent 25 years investigating tough cases in Ocean County, New Jersey, protecting the rights of victims and putting her life on the line. She had no reason to expect that in the last year of her life, after she was diagnosed with terminal cancer, that her final battle for justice would be for the woman she loved.

The documentary film "Freeheld" chronicles Laurel's struggle to transfer her earned pension to her domestic partner, Stacie Andree. With less than six months to live, Laurel refuses to back down when her elected officials - the Ocean County Freeholders -deny her request to leave her pension to Stacie, an automatic option for heterosexual married couples. The film is structured chronologically, following both the escalation of Laurel's battle with the Freeholders and the decline of her health as cancer spreads to her brain.

As Laurel's plight intensifies, it spurs a media frenzy and a passionate advocacy campaign. At the same time, "Freeheld" captures a quieter, personal story: that of the deep love between Laurel and Stacie as they face the reality of losing each other. Alternating from packed public demonstrations at the county courthouse to quiet, tender moments of Laurel and Stacie at home, "Freeheld" combines tension-filled political drama with personal detail, creating a nuanced study of a grassroots fight for justice.

If Julianne's much delayed Oscar doesn't happen for Still Alice maybe she can ride Freeheld to a statue? If she does win for Still Alice maybe Ellen Page can take this one all the way? They play Detective Hester and Stacie Andree, respectively and maybe whoever picks up the movie will be brave enough to try a dual Best Actress campaign since there's no way you tell this story and they both aren't leads, you know?

And to think that Julianne Moore once worried in her first cover interview for Out that she'd never get to play gay again after her first gay role -  a reinterpretation of Lila Crane in Gus Van Sant's Psycho (1998) remake which hit the year after she became a bonafide star with Boogie Nights and the Oscar nomination.

She needn't have worried since her filmography post-stardom, is so LGBT friendly (Far From Heaven, Chloe, The Kids Are All Right, A Single Man, Savage Grace, The Hours) and she might win her Oscar for Still Alice directed by gay partners in filmmaking and in life (Richard Glatzer & Wash Westmoreland). It's all wonderfully apt since the LGBT community championed her early on.

Wednesday
Oct222014

Exodus: To Links and Blogs

Let my readers go... to other places. Here are a bunch of articles I enjoyed elsewhere or which are worthwhile for their informational newsiness. But come back soon, okay? Okay.

Screen
Dissolve a new Pee Wee Herman movie is "imminent"  
The Dissolve rights to John Carter of Mars have reverted to the Edgar Rice Burroughs estate. Do you think we'll get another film... and will it be better? 
The Guardian on Renée Zellweger and 'the Actor's face as His/Her brand'. I made a point of not talking about Zeéeeee's looks yesterday in my own post about the photo but this is an interesting non-aggressive non-misogynist piece about movie stars and how shifts to their brand work (or don't).

I was going to link to another Guardian piece about Julianne Moore and Ellen Page's lesbian drama Freeheld experiencing bigotry already banned from filming at a Catholic school but the page started playing really loud Arby's ads (WTH?) so, no. If you appreciate that I don't allow audio ads on this site (unless it's your choice to play the audio as in the sidebar Oscar ads later in the year) than you should maybe donate to the site to help keep us afloat. (see right hand sidebar. Kisses) 

Screen, Superheroics Corner
Pajiba Ming Na-Wen fought herself on last week's Agents of SHIELD for a series highlight. Which other characters should do the same? And yes, the show is actually really good in season 2. Surprise! Last night's episode was really exciting and next week, they'll premiere the trailer to Avengers: Age of Ultron
Comics Alliance talks to Jason Momoa who is excited to embrace his Polynesian heritage as Aquaman. I like Aquaman, and I have no trouble with switching races of known characters - especially when it makes sense (as it would here and similarly I pray to God they don't try to cast a white guy as Iron Fist when they get around to that character since he'd make so much more sense as an Asian). All that said I am not a fan of Jason Momoa - don't respond well to his enormously bulky look and wasn't impressed with him as an actor in Game of Thrones
We Minored in Film Painkiller Jane to get her own movie, possibly beat high profile superheroines to the screen

Off Screen
Vanity Fair Sarah Jessica Parker's unauthorized shoe-stoop photography 
Boy Culture meets Annie Lennox
The Cut The Met's new cleverly titled exhibit on mourning fashions is called "Death Becomes Her". Sadly there is no sidebar exhibit on Madeline Ashton & Helen Sharp. A pity because "I would like... to... talk... about... Madeline Ashton"  

EXODUS: OF COSTUMES AND KINGS
I recently attended a sneak preview of footage from Exodus: Of Gods and Kings. We were shown about 40 minutes of the Biblical epic which seems to be Cecil B DeMille's The Ten Commandments minus Anne Baxter's campiness (pity) remade through the lens of Ridley Scott's Gladiator. Moses is no longer a "splendid adorable fool" but a guylined killing machine (at least in the early action sequence we saw). Ridley Scott's movies are always great looking however they come across otherwise and this one looked suitably gigantic. Especially the plagues and the finale Red Sea chase. I admit I was somewhat distracted worrying about the horses who are dying right and left in these sequences. I will never be able to watch old school war scenes without worrying about the horses, all the pretty horses. Yes I am one of those animal lovers that stays through the end credits to make sure no animals were harmed in the making of anything.

Here's a featurette on the golden costumes by Oscar winner Janty Yates (Gladiator)! She mentions the film's powerful women but they weren't showcased at all in our preview. Sigweavie only got a couple of side-eyes in. I must admit, too, that at our preview I was baffled as to why Sir Ridley kept appearing between the scenes to explain the plot. UM. MOSES. THE BIBLE. THE TEN COMMANDMENTS. It's a bit like describing what happens in Noah. Let me guess: Rageful god warning, two animals of every kind, floods!? Actually come to think of it, Moses's story beats are not unlike the Noah template only two animals of every kind is more thousands of only two kinds (frogs/locusts) and the flood is region specific.

Are you planning to see Exodus? Do you like actors in guyliner and gold plated costumes? The latter is a rhetorical question since your answer should be use.

Friday
Oct172014

How To Get Away With Turning Your Procedural TV Into Gay Porn.

I was going to quit How To Get Away With Murder with this fourth episode but I may have to keep watching from the sheer ridiculousness as well as the fascinating case study of Anything Goes in contemporary television. If you replace all the female characters on this show with gay men (as you could well do with only 1% of your imagination since all the characters are so broadly drawn) this would be the gayest show that ever existed. Sorry Queer as Folk, Sex & The City and Looking.

ABC had promised jaw-dropping with their promos for last night's episode once you heard 'Viola Davis's last nine words'. Those last nine words included the word "penis". Hey, they're the ones who said "jaw-dropping" not me! Naughty naughty. (For the record my jaw did not drop but it did open wide for a long chortle. It's either really terrible writing or A+ lurid paperback but either way it amounts to the same thing) Viola's quotable send-off turned out to be so gay and so trashy that it exemplifies the young series better than I could ever hope to.

The last nine-words were...

 

Why is your penis on a dead girl's phone?

The most important word in that sentence is penis because How To Get Away With Murder is obsessed with them. Let's recap their communal cock collection after the jump...

Click to read more ...