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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. Just wanted to add another plug for the Quebecois C.R.A.Z.Y.; I thought it was a terrific film. And I'm a big fan of "Beautiful Thing."

    What bugs me about a lot of gay indies is that the filmmakers can't get the tone right. They teeter awkwardly between frothy comedy and overwrought melodrama, and not in a controlled Almodovar way. Combine that with cookie-cutter urban twink characters, and my interest level plunges. The Europeans and Latin Americans seem able to avoid cliché much better than their U.S. counterparts.

    Posted by: Ernie | Jun 17, 2008 5:39:46 PM

  2. Chas, glad to hear you and others are watching RWF! I very much recommend "Ali: Fear Eats the Soul" and "The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant" for Fassbinder greats. Also, if you want a really, really, really bleak one, then go for "In the Year of 13 Moons" but be warned!

    Michael W, I agree that it does seem that the successful, Hollywood general-release gay movies are generally tragic. It will perhaps say a lot about our culture when a well-made gay comedy/romance can do just as successfully. Perhaps "Bruno" will help fill that void, so to speak?

    Evan, was Fellini gay? That's the first I've heard that, and his movies seem pretty heteroccupied. I'm excited to see Paradjanov on your list; I've only seen his "Color of Pomegranates" but it is one of the most beautiful movies I've ever watched. I would add Kenneth Anger and Derek Jarman but the list could go on and on.

    Posted by: GBM | Jun 17, 2008 7:00:23 PM

  3. If the kitten was born in the oven, that doesn't make it bread!

    Yes, Eisenstein was born in what is now an independent country of Latvia, but at the time it was Russia, and his parents were Jewish and Russian. His mother took him to Petersburg when he was 7, and he was very much a Soviet filmmaker.

    And Paradzhanov, while born in Tbilisi, was Armenian. Georgia was part of the Soviet Union when he was born, and he made films in many different languages. Brilliant and beautiful films, some starring his hot young lovers . He was several times jailed for homosexuality.

    (and re Fassbinder: Querelle!!! with Brad Davis!!!)

    Posted by: Kevinvt | Jun 17, 2008 8:20:42 PM

  4. I remember gays I knew saying they will be glad when they no longer have to go to gay movies and act like they like them.

    Back in the old days if there was a gay movie playing everyone went to see it, even if it was crap you still supported it, because at least it showed gay people.

    I think now we are reaching that point where we don't have to do that. We are having a growing choice of gay media and gay friendly media.

    I know longer have to sit through an art house film, done in shadows with two many staring at each other and speaking about a line a minute. Instead I watch reality tv with a hunky guy, or a go to you tube and watch a subtitled german soap opera. I get to choose.

    If there was a gay film, or a film with I gay character in it, I was there. Use to go to them all. Now I am more discriminating in my taste. The movie has to appeal to me when I see it.

    It use to be I would tell people to go see a crappy gay movie, because at least there were gay people in it. Now if I see a crappy gay movie I warn people.

    The indie films will always do their own things. But there can still be a market for gay films, you just have to learn to read the market.

    Posted by: kujhawker | Jun 17, 2008 10:29:08 PM

  5. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't "intersex" the preferred term over "hermaphrodite"?

    Posted by: Elliot | Jun 18, 2008 2:09:33 AM

  6. Evan, I don't think Fellini was gay. Though he had gay friends, his gay characters were stereotypes. And though I know it's not a definitive answer of any sort, he was married for 50 years and had two children who died young.

    Posted by: Paul R | Jun 18, 2008 7:10:40 PM

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