You guys, the Oscars this year were so gay! Neil Patrick Harris and his giant stuffed bulge were so gay. That acceptance speech Graham Moore made for winning Best Adapted Screenplay for The Imitation Game was so gay. The Imitation Game itself, nominated for Best Picture was SO GAY.. Oh wait. NPH is the most innocuous non-radical faggot to enter the public sphere since Sean Hayes, Graham Moore is STRAIGHT (wtf?), and the gayest thing about The Imitation Game is that its leading actor’s name sounds a little porny if you pronounce it drunk. Not to mention, where THE FUCK was Joan Rivers’ slide in that In Memorium segment?!
Such unabashed heteronormativity makes a cake boy like me go straight to the Netflix Instant Gay & Lesbian section looking for solace. To my chagrin, eCupid is still there, mocking me for even considering clicking play. But what ho, salvation from the soft-core standbys; a new addition to the dreck that is gay cinema, and this one really seems like a doozy. Inter-racial, closeted gay, British, tragic death mope-fest Lilting creeps up in my queue, promising something more than a Kickstarted Wolfe Video. I want to click play, but after viewing the trailer multiple times I think, “no. I don’t need to feel even shittier about myself”–watching a room full of completely out of touch celebrities celebrate each other already made me feel numb and numb-er and it was getting late. But then a quick Google search leads me to the revelation that lead actor Ben Whishaw is not only super cute but ACTUALLY GAY. Hold the phone, or at least put it on vibrate, Mama is in for this ride, even if it promises to depress the shit out of me.
As I sit here, with my obese cat by my side and a dry martini in hand at 4pm, I reflect on the bygone year(s) – deplete of Homoflix posts, but full of regional theater, drag debuts and global crises. Where have we been? What have we been watching? What’s the T? It’s time we caught up.
What happens when film imitates fashion, post-production imitates Instagram, and Julianne Moore imitates a 60s divorcee shut-in with amazing winged eye liner? Why A Single Man happens, of course. The 2009 film debut from fashion designer cum director Tom Ford stars Colin Firth in an emotionally restrained portrayal of an aging gay professor who’s recently lost his longtime companion. Based on the novel by Christopher Isherwood, the filmic adaptation (penned by Ford and David Scearce) is morose, terse and depressing: all things a good Fall/Winter 2015 Lookbook should be.
Eva Green: where ya been all my life? Sometimes, I think I live under a rock because when a specimen so fine as Ms. Green (Casino Royale, Camelot) escapes my mental clutches for this long, I have to wonder how strong my devotion to pop culture really is. And she’s not just a complete babe – sister can act to boot! Alongside, Homoflix regular Juno Temple and bombshell supporting players Imogen Poots and Maria Valverde, she tears up the screen in melodramatic brooding so committed, it’s sure to make you reach for a stiff drink and that old copy of Nightwood faster than you can answer Cracks opening line: “Do you have desire?”
Set in a random British boarding school in 1934, Green’s Ms. G is a rogue hottie in a sea of sexless Protestants, known for her amazing stories of exploits abroad while managing a dorm of rich, abandoned young women led by Temple’s grumpy bitch alpha princess Di. Her only definite responsibility at the school seems to be leading the girls on diving expeditions. (You can pause and let that sink in. Really. I don’t mind.) Anyway, Ms. G and Di have a “special,” if unconsummated, flirtation and clear love of water sports, but all shit breaks loose when a prodigious Spaniard hits the scene, making waves as a Catholic and foreigner with a past to boot. Fiamma (Valverde), an asthmatic with flawless skin, is immediately loathed for being the most cosmopolitan lady on campus, inspiring jealousy and rage in her overly sheltered, hormonal peers. Ms. G is of course completely smitten with the well-travelled 16 year-old, but Fiamma quickly discerns that G might have at least one screw loose, catching her in a white lie of inflated storytelling that will eventually have tragic consequences for the sharp minor. What follows are fucked up mind games involving an inhaler, a decadent dorm party, an implied lesbian rape and a prolonged, terribly upsetting Lord of the Flies chase scene. And this at 3 in the afternoon on a Thursday! My heart, my heart!
So being shacked up inside during this hurricane forced my roommate Mike and I to talk about art. And to drink. For some reason we got on to the topic of gay cinema (wonder why!?) and were discussing how there aren’t really any gay horror films, except über-cheesy ones that err more on the side of satire than satanic. So you’ll imagine my glee when I came upon HellBent, the interestingly capitalized title on N’insant. Unlike my second horror choice, The Gay Bed & Breakfast of Terror, this one seemed to actually be a gory slasher film! Just in time for Halloween. And hey, it’s better than facing the real horror of the fact that most of NYC has been without power for two days, the subways won’t be up and running for a week and climate change is real.
Like Sandy Duncan – this recent hurricane’s namesake – the protagonist of this film has a glass eye. I would write !!!!!~SPOILER ALERT~!!!!! in front of that last sentence if I thought this blog was anything BUT spoilers and/or you would ever actually watch this POS film. Now, don’t think I’m being harsh. The benefit of the doubt was given, my friends. I turned out all the lights, I put on my fancy headphones and I was ready to get scared. But I actually ended up laughing out loud at least four times at some ridiculous “special effect,” editing mistake or idiotically penned punchline like, “C’mon, we’re fuckin’ fabulous!” delivered with an inexplicable Bronx accent. For rls, I LOLd. Ask Mike, who was frankly just happy to hear something other than porn reverberating through the paper thin wall between our rooms.
Every once and a while life seems to be doing weird things to you. You’re confused. You feel like your art is confounding you and maybe you’re having some trouble getting laid. You’ve got a lot of shit to deal with, but you just can’t. And for some reason, you’re having trouble feeling anything. During these times, you might just need a good fucking cry, to bawl your eyes out, sob alone in the comforting darkness of your empty apartment. If that’s what you need, then Longtime Companion is the film for you. And fuck it, if it isn’t what you need, you should still fucking watch this movie if you haven’t, cuz this be a MO CLASSIC.
If you’ve been living under a heterosexual rock and haven’t heard of this film, here’s the breakdown : seminal, groundbreaking, late-80s film that unabashedly, un-glamourously and honestly portrays the AIDS crisis, and its effect on the gay community, featuring phenomenal performances by young Mary-Louise Parker and Campbell Scott, and young-ish Harry and the Hendersons star, Bruce Davison. It is and was one of the best artistic representations of how AIDS actually effected real people, and is extremely moving, educational and inspiring.
Who doesn’t love a good ole fashioned government ban? Apparently that’s what controversial Chinese director Ye Lou was defying when he made this dark and stormy tale of old lovers, scorned wives and noobie ‘mos. Spring Fever is all about love and loss in a totalitarian society that just doesn’t get it. It’s kind of like Footloose, but hotter.
The film opens with some simple, beautiful shots of two lovely lovers, Jiang Chen & Wang Ping, pissing on someone’s house (or something?) on their way to their secret sex castle (or… something??). Unfortunately for us happy openly-gay gays, these two protagonists are not only not-out, but one has a wife who’s on to them (played by the amazing Jiang Jiaqi). She hires a P.I., Luo Haitao (played by the smoky Sicheng Chen), who snaps some kinky photos of a sex scene that we totally get to see, subsequently ruining her life and the lives of everyone else in the film. She freaks. She cries. And acts really hard. It’s actually amazing.