Oscar History

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Entries in LGBT (511)


Coco, CMBYN, and the Specificity of Feeling Seen at the Movies

by Jorge Molina

Award season means trying to watch as many movies as possible in the shortest amount of time to feel included in the zeitgeist (well, in our zeitgeist here, at least; movies from all across the board that, apart from wanting to be in the awards conversation, often have little in common.)

Recently I watched two movies that, at first glance, couldn’t be more different. On one hand there’s Coco, Pixar’s newest entry about a Mexican boy wandering into the Land of the Dead. And on the other, there’s Call Me by Your Name, the much-discussed festival favorite that follows the romance between a teenager and an older man in sun-drenched Italy. On the surface, these two films don’t share much yet they offered me a very similar cinematic experience.

Both made me feel seen (yes, in italics). They reflected parts of my identity that I rarely get to see reflected on screen. How did they do that? By being as specific as possible...

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Call Me With Kindness

by Jason Adams

Call Me By Your Name is turning out to be the sort of success none of us saw coming sixteen months ago when it was first announced that the director of I Am Love was tackling a little gay love story. It just broke the 2017 record for per theater average over the weekend, and its reviews have been unanimously stellar. It won Best Feature at the Gothams Monday night, it topped the Independent Spirit nominations, and it’s expected to stick around racking up such prizes all awards season long.

And yet there’s been one complaint that’s nagged at the movie from a determined bunch of folks (including the film’s own writer, legend James Ivory) since it first screened at Sundance in January – a supposed shyness about nudity and gay sex. Ivory told Variety it’s a “pity” there's no full-frontal nudity in the film, while The Guardian called the movie “coy” and Slate called it out for a “lack of explicit sex.” One shot in particular has rankled these folks the most – a seemingly old-fashioned pan out the window just as the characters finally approach their erotic consummation.

The film’s director Luca Guadagnino, who probably had to look up the word “coy” in the dictionary the first time it was lobbed at him for this, is nonplussed by the reaction – he told Vulture:

“It’s really something I don’t understand. It’s as if you said there are not enough shots of Shanghai. I don’t understand why there has to be Shanghai in this movie.”

I’m inclined to agree with him. Not only because I found the film sexy as hell, erotic in languorous, voyeuristic ways that movies don’t really approach anymore. Its sense of tactility, for sweat and fabric and skin, and its often-prurient stares – up the legs of swimming trunks, for example - are a welcome shock to the system that makes the forbidden seem commonplace, easy...

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• New York Times "The artists have been rebuked. Now what about their art?"
• Gr8ter Days which years were the worst for celebrity deaths? A morbid obsessive list that's kind of eye opening. I mean 1977... ouch.
• Los Angeles Times Carol Burnett on the 50th anniversary of her classic show
• The Guardian Guy Lodge wonders about the relative sexlessness of Call Me By Your Name and Moonlight before it and whether that timidity is what it takes for an LGBT film to become a big Oscar player?

Much more after the jump including Justice League credits, Daniel Dae Kim, Michael Apted, Aquaman, an honor for Detroit and the first round of PGA nominations...

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Dan Gives Thanks

by Dancin' Dan

2017 started off in a rather dark place, didn't it? And it's kinda stayed there, hasn't it? It's difficult to look at the entertainment industry at the moment and not want to just throw your hands up in disgust - are there no decent men (besides Tom Hanks) anywhere?!? But on the bright side, at least the entertainment 2017 has had to offer has been up to the task of nourishing our souls. I have been to the cinema more times this year than I have in any other year, and other than a certain remake of a certain animated musical, I haven't hated anything I've seen, and I've loved quite a lot of them.

But of all the things to love, these are the things I'm most thankful for:

• The perfect endings of BPM, Lady Bird, and The Florida Project, in part because they lead up to their respective endings brilliantly

• The fact that, no matter what happens with The Greatest Showman, we've already gotten a great movie musical this year, and that it's as weird and wonderful and fabulous as The Lure is...

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Talking About Passion and the Films of Stephen Cone

by Glenn Dunks

In some ways, Stephen Cone is an unlikely name to warrant a retrospective. And yet in other ways, he’s a perfect choice. Those who already know this writer-director likely typify him, not incorrectly, by the way he infuses queer-leaning narratives with themes of religion and faith. But considering Cone’s films – of which he is likely best known for Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party from 2015 – have rarely ventured out of the queer film festival circuit and his earlier works remain virtually unseen, Talk About the Passion: Stephen Cone’s First Act is actually a well-timed way to learn about a filmmaker who is clearly doing enough right to stick around for a little while yet.

His debut as a feature direct after several short and medium-length titles was In Memoriam, a film that sits rather out of place among Cone’s filmography. Following a man who becomes curiously obsessed with the story of a couple who fell from their roof while drunk and who decides to make his own movie about their love, it plays very much like a low-budget stereotypical first film full of artistic flourishes and awkward narrative beats. It’s not a bad film, but it is also hard to decipher exactly what it was that Cone was attempting to say beyond a very basic reading that everybody’s story deserves to be taken seriously.

He followed that one quite quickly with The Wise Kids, released in the same year. This was the first time his own life as the son of a Baptist minister came into play on a feature (many of his shorts dealt with religious themes) and mixed with what I assume is his experiences of growing up gay (correct me if I am wrong). While it is certainly not averse to some of the same directorial greenness that he showed in In Memoriam, The Wise Kids proves a significant step up...

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Kevin Spacey Continues to Take Low Roads

by Nathaniel R

a famously cheeky magazine cover from 1997Sigh. How do you solve a problem like Kevin Spacey? The actor's career started off splendidly but soon after those hugely popular double Oscar wins (The Usual Suspects and American Beauty) in the second half of the 1990s, he became rather insufferable both onscreen and as a celebrity. Acting is a subjective art but I personally can't make it through a single episode of House of Cards (I've tried a few times) with that pitched to the rafters hamminess. 

The Netflix star has been resisting public admission of his open-secret homosexuality since he became famous. He's let decades go by without comment, while dozens of braver less famous actors took up the challenge and made the world a better place for future generations by coming out.

Now that he's accused of sexual assault by another man he chooses THIS moment to do it? For shame!

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RuPaul's Next Batch of All Stars!

Chris here. Last night the lineup was revealed for the third season of RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars in a big casting extravaganza like Drag Race used to do in the old days. These casting specials really should be required for each season because we get to spend solo time with each queen that the workroom can't afford. And for an All Stars season it allows the newer viewers an opportunity to get to know queens from early seasons. But onto the queens - this year's lineup is also stocked full of "eliminated too soon" queens to go with the fan favorites:

But wait, there's more! In typical teasing Ru fashion, one queen has yet to be revealed. Whether she will be announced later or saved for the show itself remains to be seen. However with such a build up, its safe to say it's a major competitor. Could it be a shocking game changer like Willam or a cult favorite like Stacy Layne Matthews?

We'll have to wait and see when the new season arrives sometime this winter. This set of queens is on the scrappier side, so we can expect a fight to the top. I'm not ready to name a personal favorite until we see what happens, but current top 3 would be Kennedy, DeLa, and Trixie. I'm already seeing lots of passion for Chi Chi on Twitter, but tell us in the comments: who are you rooting for? (And for the love of RuPaul: let's keep the spoilers out of the comments this go around, readers!)


Chile's Oscar Submission: "A Fantastic Woman"

Sean McGovern reporting from the London Film Festival


There’s a scene early on in Pedro Almodóvar’s All About My Mother, when a young man laments the Spanish translation of All About Eve, to Eva al Desnudo. English subtitles tell us it’s “Eve Unveiled”. It also translates to “Eve Naked”. “All About Eve should be “Todo Sobre Eva”,” he says. “But that sounds odd,” replies his mother.

Sometimes a title, or a translation of a title, can make a difference. A Fantastic Woman, in English, basically means an amazing or brilliant woman. The Spanish adjective fantastica has the connotation of something unreal or imaginary, and in this film, writer-director Sebastián Lelio has created a heroine who is indeed fantastical: angelic in the eyes of her man, a threat to his toxic family, and the object of her director's vision... 

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