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Gay Films, Star Power, and Oscar Buzz: a Report from the Toronto International Film Festival

  Theoryof-premiere
Eddie Redmayne got a huge thumbs up in Toronto. Oscar-bound?

BY NATHANIEL ROGERS 

Hello all. Just back from Canada from the Toronto International Film Festival, aka the best film festival in the world, which wrapped up on Sunday. My fellow Oscar bloggers like to shill for Telluride these days but I’m convinced it’s simply Stockholm Syndrome since Telluride actually makes the press pay hundreds and hundreds of dollars for a pass for the privilege of giving them free publicity. In Toronto, if you’re lucky enough to write about the movies for a living, you get your press pass for free and your only expense, other than travel and lodging (which can add up) is your time. But what person who loves movies, wouldn’t want to spend that gorging on selections from all over the world, the best of Cannes and Sundance and a ton of new ones, some of them courting Oscar gold, too.

I was so giddy all week that even when I failed to spot Reese Witherspoon at her own party for WILD (she’s short, y’all and thus hides easily in a crowd even in a sparkly dress) I remained elated to chat with Laura Dern (one of the greats who needs big roles again!) and wonder what possessed Chris Evans to what looked like gloriously form-fitting white longjohn shirt to a party where everyone else was in suits. I’m not complaining, I’m just saying. I was so thrilled that even the sight of Eddie Redmayne’s back in his daring aquamarine suit and Andrew Garfield’s giant beard at THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING party was as good as actually talking to them, but I made do with talking to Oscar-buzzing Felicity Jones who, like Redmayne, gives her best screen performance yet in that new Stephen Hawking biopic.

MORE AFTER THE JUMP..

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Bear Cub Takes Playtime On The Putting Green: VIDEO

Golf course bear cub

The Mountainside Golf Course at the Fairmont Hot Springs Resort in British Columbia's Rocky Mountains got an unlikely visitor in the way of a bear cub (four legs, not two) who wandered on to the resort's putting green. When it realized the pole marking the hole wasn't much good for back-scratching, he then tried his best to reach the bright red flag up top before turning his attention to the much more accessible golf ball that was just lying there, begging to be played with.

You can watch the adorableness AFTER THE JUMP...

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Toronto School Board Member Shuts Down When Asked To Defend Homophobic, Transphobic Views - VIDEO

Sam Sotiropolous

Sam Sotiropolous, a member of the Toronto District School Board, has refused in an interview to answer questions about homophobic opinions expressed on Twitter, reports Pink News.

An August 30th tweet read “Until I see scientific proof that transgenderism exists and is not simply a mental illness, I reserve the right not to believe in it.” An earlier tweet on July 4th called Toronto Pride a “freak show.”

However, in a Global News interview, Sotiropolous - who is clearly uncomfortable -  refuses to answer questions about his views, claiming that although he has not formed an opinion on transgender people, he “has the right to reserve the right to have an opinion.”

Despite the fact that the tweet hasn’t been deleted, Sotiropolous denies calling Toronto Pride a “freak show”.  When confronted with another tweet claiming that the “disseminators” of “homosexism” are “maliciously rabid,” he walks away from the camera and appears speechless. At that point, his only comeback is he was under the impression that the interview would concern his comments on transgender people only. However, he does appear to back up his homophobic opinions, stating that “the words stand for themselves.”

At this point, he refuses to answer any more questions. The interview ends with a bizarre staring competition - which the Global News reporter wins.

Trans-rights activist Susan Gapka said that outrage at Sotiropoulos’s comments points to how far society has come in recent years.

“The terrific thing is that there are non-trans people, allies and supporters, leaping to the defense, there was a flurry on twitter, and social media, the news has covered it, that shows you how far we’ve come in the last five or ten years.”

Sotiropolous has since taken to Twitter again to defend his opinions, claiming that the school district is targeting "the rarest" types of bullying - transphobic and homophobic - while ignoring bullying based on appearance, school performance and ethnicity.

Watch the bizarre interview, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Montreal Men Allege They Were Kicked Out Of A Straight Bar For Kissing

Gabriel Dion

Gabriel Dion was at the Saint-Sulpice bar last Friday to celebrate the initiations into the med faculty for the University of Montreal, and like other celebrants he got a little tipsy and made out with someone. In his case, it was another man, whom he retreated with into a stairwell. Even though the two men made efforts to be discreet in their behavior, a security guard was alerted to them and escorted them from the bar, not even allowing them to return inside to collect their belongings. The bouncer told them that they had done something stupid, which Dion interpreted as the bar throwing the two of them out for being gay and presuming that because they were gay they would eventually try to have sex in the stairwell.

The bar owner Maurice Bourassa responded to Dion's circumstances by saying that the security guard found them in a more compromising position than just making out, saying:

We can kiss, no matter the sexual orientation. But once we’ve become horizontal, I believe there we have some limits.

He also asserts that the stairwell the men were making out in was a fire escape, which is against fire department regulations. Bourassa ensures that there is no homophobia in his bar and that gay men and women are, and have always been welcome.


Alleged Killer In 2012 Murder of Halifax Gay Activist Fires Lawyer, Delays Trial

Andre Noel Denny

In 2012 Ryan Raymond Taavel, a gay activist in Halifax, Nova Scotia was allegedly beaten to death by Andre Noel Denny, a psychiatric patient "suffering from paranoid schizophrenia" who was on unescorted leave from a psychiatric hospital. Denny fired his lawyer Don Murray this past Tuesday, the day his trial was set to begin, a decision supported by Murray who said that he felt the solicitor-client relationship was "irretrievably broken." Judge Peter Rosinski allowed the firing, saying: 

While this may not be in his best interests, neither the court nor his family are entitled to interfere with his decision in the circumstances as I see them before me.

The case has been adjourned until September 25th, and the delay may set the trial back by a year, pending on Denny's ability to secure a lawyer willing and able to take his case.


Anti-Gay Activist Bill Whatcott Crashes Vancouver Pride, Hands Out Fake Condoms

Bill 'Matthew Davidson' Whatcott

For as much as they claim to be about spreading the love of the gospel and hope of Jesus Christ to the fallen, anti-gay wingnuts really seem to put a lot of effort into trolling. Crazy person Bill Whatcott, whom you may remember being "oppressed" alongside Peter LaBarbera at Canada's University of Regina, decided to crash Pride in Vancouver to spread his message of hate. Feeling that the ninth commandment - "Thou shalt not bear false witness" - was more of a suggestion than a command, he dyed his hair pink and went under the pseudonym "Matthew Davidson" to hand out "condoms" that were really anti-gay screeds in disguise.

Only one person actually opened a condom in the presence of "Davidson" and his cohorts. When she became visibly distressed at the bait and switch, Joe Jervis points out that they continued "lying for Jesus" and told the woman that he mistakenly handed her something that he himself had earlier been handed by some homophobe at the parade.

So not only is Whatcott a vile homophobe, he's a coward to boot, unwilling to stand by his convictions when face-to-face with someone in public. And it's actually kind of wonderful. The more spineless lunatics devoid of all integrity on their side, the better. Much like Westboro, it removes the mask of civility from the ugliness of the hate and exposes it for the world to see, and that will only benefit proponents of equality in the end.


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