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Entries in My Beautiful Laundrette (6)

Friday
Jul122019

'My Beautiful Laundrette' for the UK stage

Jonny Fines and Omar Malik headline the production

Have you heard that My Beautiful Laundrette, one of our favourite 80s movies and one of the most beloved LGBTQ films ever, is getting the stage treatment? The production which is using the Oscar-nominated screenplay by Hanif Kureishi as its text, will open September 20th at Leicester's Curve. Though it's not a musical adaptation, the Pet Shop Boys are composing the score for it. The leads look the part but we are giggling a bit that they actually cast actors named Jonny and Omar for the lead characters of Johnny & Omar. 

If you are a UK-based reader who is plannning to see it, please do report back about your experience! I will be tense with anticipation until you do but, to quote Johnny (Daniel Day-Lewis) directly from the film...

In my experience it is always worth waiting for Omar"

Tuesday
Jun042019

Best LGBT Movies?

by Nathaniel R

For Pride month you may have heard that Rotten Tomatoes has expanded and updated their list of the greatest LGBT films ever to a full 200 movies wide.

Given that they've just done this, we thought it might be a good idea to share multiple "best lgbt films list" to give you lots of rental ideas for Gay Pride month. We've also listed the pros and cons of a few of the key lists out there. Do you feel like you've seen your share of queer classics perusing these or do you have endless hours of screenings ahead to catch up?

The Rotten Tomatoes list and 4 additional lists are after the jump. Which lists is friendliest to your tastes?

Click to read more ...

Friday
Aug122016

Posterized: Director Stephen Frears

Streep & StephenThe "Posterized" series has fallen into a 'totally inconsistent director' zone. Last week we looked at Woody Allen's filmography, full of impossible peaks and embarrassing valleys and everything inbetween. The 75 year old British director Stephen Frears hasn't had peaks that are quite as dizzy from the genius altitude but his valleys aren't as cringeworthy as Allen's, either. He's a safe middle distance director that critics and audiences and Oscar can all love, albeit not stay married to. He's made 22 features over the course of his long career which began with 1971's Gumshoe after which he disappeared into epidodic British TV for a decade or so until his movie career really started to sizzle; My Beautiful Laundrette put him on the global map. But did he ever really top that breakthrough?

For all the ups and downs that followed, the consistency is his love for actresses: he famously directed Helen Mirren to her Oscar, and he's worked with Glenn Close, Judi Dench, and Michelle Pfeiffer twice each.

It's a busy summer for Frears.  He's prepping a third feature with Judi Dench called Victoria and Abdul, he's added Meryl Streep to his grande dame arsenal via Florence Foster Jenkins, and he'll receive the Honorary Heart of Sarajevo Award at the 22nd Annual Sarajevo Film Festival which starts today.

All the Frears theatrical posters are after the jumpHow many of his films have you seen?

Click to read more ...

Monday
Oct272014

Does Eddie Redmayne in "Theory of Everything" = Daniel Day Lewis in "My Left Foot"?

A consistent yet elusive golden thrill: that moment in each year's Oscar race wherein everyone disagrees on who and what is the frontrunner in this or that category.

There are a few different schools of thought out there about who might win Best Actor. I have always believed and probably will continue to believe that the race for Oscar nominations is a very different and altogether more interesting contest than who will eventually win them. Because of this I like to focus on that before I get to "who will win" but I'll make an exception today for fun. Most experts (see this handy Gurus of Gold chart) currently name Michael Keaton (Birdman), Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything) and Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game) as the leading threats to win the statue. I agree wholeheartedly with this and actually believe that they're the only three who could pull off a win in this particular year (unless American Sniper is some sort of late breaking Oscar stampeding Million Dollar Baby for Bradley Cooper... but I personally doubt it). Who will fill the other two 'not-in-it-for-the-win' slots is anyone's guess. I've returned again to the unpopular notion that Channing Tatum and Steve Carell will both win Best Actor nominations for Foxcatcher but I've mostly done so under the file labeled "Why Not? Who knows?" The competition for those two final slots is where the action is right now and there are about twelve guys who, with the right combo of precursor support, smart campaign moves, media approval, film heat coattails, and/or old fashioned luck could still pull it off. Any of the 12 who aren't out there fighting for it are, frankly, crazy.

Eddie at an AMPAS screening of THEORY OF EVERYTHINGBut, jumping ahead... who will win? 

On twitter today I was briefly discussing this with Kris & Jenelle and found them both sympathetic to my notion that Redmayne has a rather underdiscussed but considerable advantage in that he is enormously charming in person. When races are tight, charm counts for a lot. I've seen him in public thrice, met him once, and this charm is highly visible. What's more his charm never tilts toward cockiness but toward genuine-feeling humility. That's quite a trick if you stop to think about how actors build successful careers...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jun202014

My Beautiful Laundrette 

[With Gay Pride festivities happening in various cities in June, we'll take a look back at a few gay classics. Here's Matthew Eng (who you'll remember from a couple of American Hustle pieces) on an Oscar nominated 80s classic - Editor]

Initially envisioned as a low-budget, Channel 4 telefilm, My Beautiful Laundrette cheekily challenged the Western moviegoing market upon its U.K. and U.S. releases in, respectively, 1985 and ’86. It became an out-of-nowhere arthouse hit, all while ironically embracing and blending a distinctive, regional-specific grouping of Thatcher-era South Londoners who fall under social categorizations normally left discrete or disregarded in modern-day moviemaking, both then and now. In the film, Omar (Gordon Warnecke), a young, business-minded Pakistani-Brit, sets out to renovate his uncle’s dreary laundrette into a clothes-cleaning arcade, a luxury laundrette “as big as the Ritz.” To do this, Omar recruits Johnny, his white former classmate and one-time lover, resulting in all the charged, complicated power shifts that would inevitably stem from a South Asian British man employing his former skinhead ex-boyfriend in Thatcherite England.

Arguably the film’s greatest claim to fame is that the smirking, blonde-streaked, and neck-licking Johnny is played by an effortlessly charismatic and impossibly hot Daniel Day-Lewis, the only actor in the cast since allowed to top his work here (not to mention the only one still working, period) and whose strong turn in Laundrette—coupled with his amusingly meek snob in the same year’s Merchant-Ivory export A Room with a View—prompted a prize-winning stateside breakout...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jun272013

Great Moments in Gayness: "Waiting for Omar"

Team Experience is celebrating Gay Pride Week with their favorite moments in gay cinema. Here's David on a 1986 classic introducing a certain 3 time Oscar winner..Happy Gay Pride Week Everyone!


In my experience, it’s always worth waiting for Omar.”

One of my favourite LGBT movies will always be Stephen Frears’ My Beautiful Laundrette, one of the most important and political British films of the 1980s, but also one that was important to the development of my own sexual identity in the calmer climbs of the mid-2000s. It was the first Film Studies class my school had ever taught, I’d just fallen in love with cinema over the summer, and I was a sixteen-year-old struggling with his ‘different’ sexual feelings – there was basically a lot of late blooming going on. [more]

Click to read more ...