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News: Gay Films, Paraguay, Harvey Dent, The Rock, Atlantic City

road.jpg Gay panic: Trial to begin for Cesar Israel Villazano in Florida. He shot a man wearing a mini-skirt and high heels in the back of the head for making a sexual advance: "Villazano told police he was embarrassed because he isn't gay."

Bbroad.jpg Hollywood Reporter: Gay indie films more plentiful than ever, but suffering critically and at box office. "Strand Releasing's 22 films in theaters last year (most with GLBT themes) grossed just $462,000. Killer Films has shifted its focus from queer-themed features to true crime dramas and other films, with tepid critical and financial success. Rotten Tomatoes says that gay- and lesbian-themed films averaged a 51.5% rating in 2006 and 2007 (well below its under-60% "rotten" threshold), while projects like the 2005 Toronto fest's best Canadian feature winner, "C.R.A.Z.Y.," can't secure U.S. theatrical distribution."

road.jpg Openly gay journalist David Self who took part in one of Britain's first civil partnership ceremonies, has died at the age of 67.

road.jpg Man makes love to Cheeto...really.

road.jpg UK Vicar Dudley has no regrets over performing marriage of two priests: "Amazing flowers, fabulous music, a ceremony both solemn and oddly homely, familiar words reordered and reconfigured, carrying new meanings. Nothing jarred, nothing felt even vaguely inappropriate. New and untried but not wrong."

road.jpg Harvey Dent: viral video for The Dark Knight unleashed...

Paraguayroad.jpg Couple jailed in Paraguay for same-sex wedding is freed after one of them is discovered to be a hermaphrodite.

road.jpg Anti-gay "pro-family" bigot Paul Cameron takes his diatribe to Russia.

road.jpg What does gay look like?

road.jpg Larry Craig and Dave Karsnia wed in quaint bathroom ceremony: "The private ceremony was held in a quaint public bathroom on the third floor at San Francisco City Hall. In an interview after the ceremony, Craig said, in his highly oratorical and completely off-putting voice, 'We wanted all of the heat to die down before we went forward with this. Well ... not all the heat.'"

road.jpg That kiss that Dwayne Johnson had with Steve Carell must have really affected him. He's still talking about what a man he was to do it: "It was like -- you know, you ever had, like a warm apple pie with that cold ice cream, too? And you find that balance, where you're like [utters disgusting sound]. Hey, it was great, it was great."

Gaydayroad.jpg Atlantic City holds first-ever "Gay Day at the Beach". ORganizer: "There isn't a gay area in Atlantic City. "We decided to pick Flag Day as a way to stake out our claim for an area. We're trying not to be political, but there's so much to be political about."

road.jpg The 70's are back: Robbie Williams flashes his chest rug.

road.jpg Former NY Governor Eliot Spitzer to be named the "Ultimate Sugar Daddy". "He'll win a pound of sugar, a year's worth of free lap dances from strippers at the VIP Men's Club in Chelsea and an unlimited supply of testosterone pills."

road.jpg Ireland's Catholic Bishops restate opposition to gay marriage: “In view of the current debate in our society about the nature of marriage, sometimes promoted by individuals or institutions who claim support from Christian ideals, the bishops reiterated that marriage presupposes the mutuality and complementarity of the sexes."

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  1. The article about the drag queen murder refers to her friend as a "cross-dresser." Really?

    Posted by: Rami | Jun 17, 2008 2:10:05 PM

  2. That first story is a real fucking shame and YES I think they should throw the book at Villazano, in case anyone wanted to compare this one to the King/McInerney case. If Villazano is old enough to die for his country he's old enough to get life in prison.

    It's also a real fucking shame about the financial state of gay independent films (fuck the critical reception, it's all opinion anyway). I could definitely live without another Eating Out but films like C.R.A.Z.Y. are real gems that should reach as wide an audience as possible. Speaking of C.R.A.Z.Y., I saw it on one of the cable movie channels two weeks ago, so even it doesn't get a U.S. theatrical you might be able to catch it on T.V. The DVD is also available on Amazon.

    Posted by: Chas | Jun 17, 2008 2:10:36 PM

  3. "I thought it was my turn to kiss a man."

    Just get in line and wait your turn, Mr. Johnson.

    Posted by: Mike in the Tundra | Jun 17, 2008 2:16:06 PM

  4. I really have no great desire to see gay-themed films, independent or otherwise. Gay films usually fall into two categories for me: one, really good but sad, and two, crap. I have no use for the crappy ones and I despise gay movies with sad endings. I'm sick of them. It's like Hollywood is telling us we're destined to live out these sad, tragic lives and I'd rather believe differently. I'll go see The Incredible Hulk any day of the week. If anyone knows of any upbeat, happy ending, gay-themed movies, I'll be happy to put them in my Netflix que...

    Posted by: Michael W. | Jun 17, 2008 2:25:09 PM

  5. Couldn't agree with you more, CHAS. Transfolk are not only the most vulnerable victims of violent gay-bashing, but nobody really cares about them being victimized or murdered--not law enforcement, not the schools, often not their families; and sadly, not a lot of gay men. McInerney may be a "child", but the mentality between he and Villazano is the same: fags deserve to die.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Jun 17, 2008 2:25:59 PM

  6. Most gay indie films suck. Its just a fact of life.

    Like horror films, there's a great niche demand for them, thus a lot more crap that would normally never see the light of day suddenly gets a theatrical release in major cities.

    However, that article seems to hint that demand might have dried up.

    Posted by: Gregoire | Jun 17, 2008 2:40:32 PM

  7. Most gay indie films suck. Its just a fact of life.

    Like horror films, there's a great niche demand for them, thus a lot more crap that would normally never see the light of day suddenly gets a theatrical release in major cities.

    However, that article seems to hint that demand might have dried up.

    Posted by: Gregoire | Jun 17, 2008 2:40:45 PM

  8. Mike W.

    Check out anything by John Cameron Mitchell. Also, C.R.A.Z.Y.'s ending isn't depressing. Billy's Hollywood Screen Kiss also isn't the least bit mopey or depressing. Also, British gay films tend to be much more realistic and less melodramatic than American ones.


    Isn't a shame? I mean, I understand (but certainly don't condone) the skittishness some gay men have about being lumped in with transfolk because they don't want to be thought of as "men who want to be women". But those same men should take the time to get to know transwomen and -men so they can see that there's nothing "freaky" or "wrong" about them. Some of the sweetest, most down-to-earth, NORMAL people I've ever met have been transgender. Ignorance is a human condition that sees no gender or sexual orientation.

    Posted by: Chas | Jun 17, 2008 2:44:15 PM

  9. It's not that all gay films suck, it's just that many of them that get produced are like indie films. Most indie films don't get released and few find financial success.

    Gay-themed films have few theaters that will play them given the choice of a major studio backed film and an indie with little marketing push, a studio film will be more profitable.

    There are some good gay films. The recent film "Shelter" was quite good.

    But there are a lot of really bad gay films that seem to recycle the same plots over and over with a heaping of bad acting added.

    Gay films are niche like films for other "minorities." Movies for Latino and Asian-American audiences rarely succeed at the box office. Films aimed at African-Americans have been able to succeed only in recent years.

    Posted by: noah | Jun 17, 2008 2:52:34 PM

  10. Michael W.

    I highly recommend Shelter. I saw it at a film fest last fall and ordered it as soon as it was released on DVD a few weeks ago. Definitely worth watching!

    Posted by: JP | Jun 17, 2008 2:54:41 PM

  11. From "What does gay look like?"

    The numbers: Anthony Bogaert of Brock University in Ontario and his colleagues re-analyzed data on 5,000 gay and straight men from sexologist Alfred Kinsey's famous files, collected from the 1930s to the 1960s. The results, published in 1999, showed that gay men had longer, thicker penises than did straight men: on average, about 6.5 inches long and 4.95 inches around when erect, versus 6.1 inches long and 4.8 inches around for straight men.

    No wonder so many of them hate us! Ha!

    Posted by: JP | Jun 17, 2008 3:02:50 PM

  12. Thanks for the recommendations, JP and Chas--I'll give them a try!

    Posted by: Michael W. | Jun 17, 2008 3:23:11 PM

  13. JP, you are right, the straights have been hatin on me for years.

    Posted by: davefromtampa | Jun 17, 2008 3:25:07 PM

  14. Some of the greatest filmmakers of all time are queer and many fantastic films are gay-themed, whether they are receiving funding at the moment or not. Sure there are a lot of derivative titles that come out, but you can tell them from a mile away and there are some really fun and lovingly made derivative titles as well. But why would a film have to have a happy ending though? Has the world really come to that? There are many movies that are necessarily dark or bleak; that isn't a statement that all gays have tragic lives but just an expression of that very ancient art form called tragedy. On this note, everyone should go out and see "Edge of Heaven," or at least everyone who wants to see a great if bleak film that happens to have a lesbian romance in it (and Fassbinder star Hanna Schygulla!). Even most great gay comedies know how to balance the dark and bitter with the sweet -- John Waters, John Cameron Mitchell, Charles Busch, and Almodovar all offer great examples of this but, heck, so does Another Gay Movie. But, if you really, really, really want an 'upbeat' gay film with a 'happy ending,' then hands down I recommend: Killer Condom. Bonus- it's also a family pleaser : )

    Posted by: GBM | Jun 17, 2008 3:29:01 PM


    Also check out Beautiful Thing if you have't already. It's a British comedy-drama about two working class boys who fall in love. It's funny, dramatic, and sweet as English toffee all at the same time. Definitely one of my all-time favorites.


    Almodovar + Waters + Fassbinder = BETTER THAN SEX (almost). Almodovar and Waters are two of my all-time favorite filmmakers. I'm new to Fassbinder but I'm two-thirds of the way through the BRD Trilogy (awaiting the arrival of Lola in the mail) and head over heels already. Fassbinder himself was an endlessly interesting character himself, as I'm beginning to find out. I have and will continue to recommend their films to anyone who appreciates quality cinema.

    Posted by: Chas | Jun 17, 2008 3:54:31 PM

  16. I was going to say that gay movies don't make much because, as others have noted, most of them suck. Then I realized that's painting with too broad a brush. But I think it's fair to say that nearly all gay "romantic comedies" are insipid and redundant, and we've all seen way more than our share of coming out films.

    Greg Akari makes some great gay-themed films, though often with difficult themes.

    Posted by: Paul R | Jun 17, 2008 4:02:43 PM

  17. Well, what about "Grief" Alexis Arquette was so masculine and butch. It's called ACTING! Go to any gay club.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Jun 17, 2008 4:08:28 PM

  18. I too have been wondering about the weirdness with quality gay films (and plays and novels) lately. It seems the quality gay (or made by gays) material is happening in TV (Brothers and Sisters, for example) and indie rock (Magnetic Fields, The Hidden Cameras, Tegan and Sara, Sigur Ros, etc.).

    Speaking as a theater artist, it's very hard to get funding and productions as the economy tanks and people have less money to spend on the arts . . . and having a conservative government that affects arts funding hampers non-profits who could support gay (or any other non-mainstream artists), therefore they are at the mercy of their subscribers who tend to have MOR (and straight, white) tastes. I am not sure if there's a lot of that going on with filmmakers.

    Plus, I tend to think there is a lot of pressure on gay artists to "represent" the community, which IMO leads to maybe some slick propaganda, but weak art. It could just be a big phase gay filmmakers are going through now.

    Plus, gay themed films from Europe tend to be very good, especially Almodovar's entire ouevre.

    As for that gay men have bigger penises study, I guess I'm not gay enough. Lemme go play some showtunes to compensate. *sniff*

    Posted by: Alex | Jun 17, 2008 4:09:27 PM

  19. That's all right, ALEX, atleast you've got a man. Some of these horse-hangin' studs are walkin' around still waitin' and hopin' and prayin'. Besides, as we learned today, it's the brain size that matters. Those gay men with very big dongs must have small brains...oh, hell, we didn't need any study to tell us that, we've known that for years.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Jun 17, 2008 4:32:30 PM

  20. Chas, I actually did see Beautiful Thing, and you're right, it is a great movie that leaves you feeling good--I had forgot about that one. I seem to remember My Beautiful Laundrette was an upper rather than a downer, too. I guess if I think hard and long, I can recall some gay movies that break the molds of what I was saying earlier.

    GBM: Gay movies don't have to have a happy ending. I was merely stating my observation and taste. I'm sick of the idea that for a gay movie to be good, it has to be tragic, such as Brokeback Mountain and Philadelphia. Of course a movie doesn't have to have a happy ending, but the gay experience is so often wrought with negative experiences, I don't need to spend money to experience more of it in a theater. I'll take the superheroes, space aliens, and dinosaurs and escape reality for awhile instead.

    Posted by: Michael W. | Jun 17, 2008 4:37:28 PM

  21. Alex, I supposed I'm clueless, but as a long-time fan of Sigur Ros I had no idea they were queer-friendly. (I was on a work trip to Instanbul a couple years ago, and the shock of hearing them play in a bar almost made me cry.)

    Then again, I don't follow much music news, and just pick up bits and pieces here and there. Adore Tegan and Sara, and would have loved to see the True Colors tour (had great seats last year but had to sell them at the last minute). I just can't appreciate stadium shows. Though I did recently see the cover of the new Sigur Ros album---perhaps that should have clued me in....I guess, Derrick, I'm the dumb well-hung one.

    Posted by: Paul R | Jun 17, 2008 4:41:58 PM

  22. Paul,

    Jonsi is gay. I think his BF has done their artwork. There music isn't "gay" per se, but it's cool to see an openly gay lead singer make awesome music.


    I am hopelessly single. Well, no. I have some hope, but still single. LOL.


    I wonder if the lack of good films with happy endings isn't just a gay thing. I just read a book on George Cukor and for the life of me I can't imagine anyone making really intelligent comedies like the Philadelphia Story or Born Yesterday today (be it with gay or straight characters).

    I'm sort of like you. When I want silly, mindless stuff I like my superheroes and space aliens (and Sarah Jessica Parker, LOL).

    Posted by: Alex | Jun 17, 2008 4:53:14 PM

  23. Chas, wait until you see Lola! You are going to lose your mind that movie is so good. Once you've seen that, you might want to start renting the huge, mulit-part Berlin Alexanderplatz. It's excellent!

    Posted by: seeldee | Jun 17, 2008 5:00:26 PM

  24. I want friends who like Fassbinder!

    None of my friends are big "movie night" people.

    My ex was a big cinephile and I totally miss him coming home with a bootleg DVD of some obscure Antonioni film.

    Posted by: Alex | Jun 17, 2008 5:15:46 PM

  25. I'm salivating already SEELDEE! Thanks for making me even more excited!


    Beautiful Thing is the movie that solidified in my mind something I already knew deep down in my heart: Not only is there nothing wrong with being gay, but to be gay and in love can be a truly, turly beautiful thing. Whenever I find myself experiencing The Big 'L' my mind drifts back to the first time I saw it.

    Posted by: Chas | Jun 17, 2008 5:20:32 PM

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