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04/19/2007


Movies: 'Whip It' Real Good

Whipit_smashley

GuestbloggerNATHANIEL ROGERS

Nathaniel Rogers would live inside a movie theater but for the poor internet reception. He blogs daily at the Film Experience.

YOUR FEATURE PRESENTATION

Whip It is based on a novel about a young girl who joins the roller derby.
Whip It is not based on the classic Devo tune. But still...♫ "Whip It good!"

For her fictional novel turned movie, writer Shauna Cross drew from her own experiences as derby girl "Maggie Mayhem" and imagined what it would have been like to discover this alternative grrrl world as a young woman. So Whip It introduces us to Bliss Cavendar (Ellen Page), a sad eyed highschooler who is eager to get out of BoDeen Texas and into the big city. In this particular case that's Austin, Texas, which just happens to be the spot where roller derby resurrected itself a decade ago. Bliss doesn't share her mom's (Marcia Gay Harden) tenacious dream of beauty pageants. She doesn't even exactly share her best friend's (Alia Shawkat) college plans. Bliss is basically a dreamer without a dream, until a serendipitous sighting of derby girls passing out homemade competition flyers sparks a fire inside of her.

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Bliss hungrily learns everything about this new world of self-made skating "stars" like Maggie Mayhem (Kristen Wiig), Smashley Simpson (Drew Barrymore) and undefeated derby champ Iron Maven (Juliette Lewis, time for a comeback!). With their oversized personalities and theatrical names, it's rather easy to view all of this as an elaborate drag competition on skates... only these women are real and they don't trade bitchy barbs so much as elbows to the face.

MORE, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Movies: It's a Gay, Gay, Gay, Gay Weekend

Humpday

Guestblogger NATHANIEL ROGERS

Nathaniel Rogers would live inside a movie theater but for the poor internet reception. He blogs daily at the Film Experience.

Now Playing
When it rains, it pours. After months of gay-free movies, this weekend is curiously homo-saturated: Outfest began in Los Angeles, QFest began in Philadelphia and at least three of the week's new releases are touched by the gay.  I Love You, Beth Cooper, a new high school "comedy" -- that's in quotes because it sure ain't funny -- has a totally obnoxious running gag about whether or not the hero's best friend is gay. And the weekend has two highly discussable homo-adjacent movies. The big wide hyped release is of course Brüno, Sacha Baron Cohen's satire of homophobia or Sacha Baron Cohen's gay minstrel act depending on where your sense of humor lies. Brüno's gotten a lot of play here at Towleroad, with presumably more to come. Also worthy of discussion is the micro-indie Humpday, the story of straight best friends who decide to have sex for an "art project".

MORE after the jump

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News: Prop 8, Hubble, Ruben Diaz, Abdellah Taia, White Knot

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New York State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. takes credit for poor marriage equality polling numbers, predicts bill won't come to floor by end of session.

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Vampire takes his chances in the sunlight.

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Let's Pets Get Physical!

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Guy Ritchie working on film adaptation of Guys & Dolls? "The director, best known for his London-based crime films, is said to have roped in movie hardman Jason Statham to show off his vocal talents in a reworking of the classic musical, which originally starred Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra."

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Kathy Griffin, Lance Bass and other celebs take to the streets of L.A. to protest Prop 8 decision.

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Drew Barrymore speaks at Prop 8 protest.

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AIDS prevention campaign: sexual promiscuity written in the pubes.

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Hubble Telescope healthy, solid after repair: "We've got a whole new telescope. We've got four new instruments. Two of them dead, now alive. These are truly the best of times. Not the worst of times."

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Phyllis Lyon recalls her life with the late Del Martin as Prop 8 is upheld.

Taia

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Gay Moroccan author Abdellah Taia tells all: "Taia has defied Moroccan society's don't-ask, don't-tell attitude toward homosexuality — and prison sentences that are still on the books in the North African kingdom — to write five autobiographical novels about growing up poor and gay in the northern coastal city of Sale. The novels, peppered with sexually explicit passages, have catapulted him to fame in his native country and made him the de-facto poster child of its budding gay rights movement."

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Make Me a Supermodel fix: Jonathan Waud.

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Right whales return to former whaling ground.

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Chris Brown: "I ain't a monster."

Whiteknot

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Levi's joins White Knot movement for marriage equality: "Our design team was seeking something that would resonate beyond just fashion but also fit with our white product theme."

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Hero of the day: Duckman.

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Grand Theft Auto IV creators to release new title - The Ballad of Gay Tony.

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San Francisco's thin blue gay line.

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Paul Oakenfold says titles of new Madonna singles are "I'm Sorry", "Broken", and "Celebrate".

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8: The Mormon Proposition. An interview with director Reed Cowan: "Truthfully, this film started out as an exposé on the problems of gay teen homelessness in Utah's 'Zion' and an examination about WHY otherwise loving parents would kick their kids out on to the streets just because their kids are gay.  But as the weeks and months unfolded in our project, I began seeing that history demanded our project be larger in scope.  Slowly, but with great force, our focus shifted to what I believe is the 'touchstone' of Mormon ideology regarding homosexuality...and that is exclusively Mormon efforts to get PROP 8 on the ballot in California and see its passage.  It's the case against Mormons and what I believe has been a decades long work to damage gay people and their causes.


An Even Bigger Glimpse at Grey Gardens

Grey1

HBO has released an inside look at the making of Grey Gardens before its airing on HBO on April 18. Says Barrymore, of Little Edie: "I think I actually might have gone a little insane playing her."

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

Previously...
Trailer: A Longer Peek at Grey Gardens [tr]
Drew Barrymore and Little Edie Welcome you to Grey Gardens [tr]

Continue reading "An Even Bigger Glimpse at Grey Gardens" »


Trailer: A Longer Peek at Grey Gardens

Grey

Last week I posted a short TV spot for the upcoming Grey Gardens movie with Drew Barrymore, Jessica Lange, and Jeanne Tripplehorn It's an adaptation of the 1975 documentary about the reclusive cousins of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Here's a new colorful one-sheet and the longer version of the trailer, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Trailer: A Longer Peek at Grey Gardens" »


Grey Gardens with Lange and Barrymore Comes Out of Seclusion

Gg1

HBO films Grey Gardens is set to air in April, but a sneak peek at the Jessica Lange - Drew Barrymore take on the Beales and their decrepit mansion in East Hampton has snuck on to the web.

Take a look, AFTER THE JUMP...

Recently
Drew Barrymore At Front Lines in Battle for Same-Sex Marriage [tr]
Drew Barrymore Moved to Tears by Need for Gay Rights [tr]

Gg2

Continue reading "Grey Gardens with Lange and Barrymore Comes Out of Seclusion" »


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