Nathaniel Rogers Hub




Movie Review: 'Pride'

  Pride-disco
You'll feel like dancing, too. "Pride" is the year's most adorable movie.  

BY NATHANIEL ROGERS 

Truth is stranger-than-fiction and also often gayer. The new feature PRIDE dramatizes a largely unknown historical anecdote from the bitter year-long miner’s strike in Thatcher-era Britain when a group of gay activists fundraised for the miners. This alliance is at first an awkward tense match but it eventually finds heartwarming pockets of oxygen when these two unlikely groups are breathing the same air.

It begins with a handful of gay activists (“and lesbian!” their only female member interjects with a small wave in a recurring joke), notice a sudden decline in police bullying in their neighborhood. They make the connection: the conservative government has a new minority to scapegoat. They form a group called LGSM “Lesbians and Gays for the Striking Miners” to help the people suffering without paychecks for months on end — a byproduct of Margaret Thatcher’s war against the unions.

At first, though, these gay heroes can’t even find a miner’s group that will take their money in this cross culture dramedy. MORE AFTER THE JUMP...

Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 8.51.54 PM

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Weekend Movie: 'The Maze Runner'

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No, Dylan, the Maze is not a metaphor for navigating your sudden stardom.  

BY NATHANIEL ROGERS 

The last thing anyone will ever enjoy about THE MAZE RUNNER, should they be so lucky as to enjoy it, is a review describing the finer points of its narrative. Let if suffice to say that Stiles from Teen Wolf wakes up in a large glade surrounded by a huge stone maze. The only inhabitants of this sealed environment are a group of similarly aged boys, none of whom are frequently shirtless werewolves, dammit.

Why are they there?

Who put them there?

Can they ever escape?

What’s different about Dylan O’Brien besides the largest paycheck?

Will there be a sequel?

The movie shall answer all of these questions in 113 minutes! And many more. In fact The Maze Runner so loves to ask and answer questions, that it does so in literally every scene rivalling Inception in sheer expository percentages of dialogue uttered.

Since the movie loves to answer questions, TEN QUESTIONS AFTER THE JUMP...

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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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Gay Cinema Touchstones: Suddenly Last Summer

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Suddenly Last Summer... "The one they're all talking about!"

BY NATHANIEL ROGERS 

Have you seen the classic queer cinema documentary The Celluloid Closet recently? Whenever I see an older film with gay content I find myself reflexively referencing that documentary. Did they cover it? If they didn’t could it fit easily into the historical narrative they mapped out there? I know that Suddenly Last Summer (1959) is referenced, but I can’t begin to recall in what context or which clip was shown. The film has a dark stickiness to it that is hard to shake for days afterwards and I’ve just rewatched it last week so I’m still in its swampy hot presence.

In high school English I became totally smitten with the Tennessee Williams classics. This worried my mother because she picked up on everything gay long before I did though she was too religious to ever name that unspeakable concern. (She gave me the same look when I fell hard for Cabaret though the most she would say by way of explanation was that it was “disgusting”). Hollywood as an industry is perhaps a little more akin to a frightened parent than their gay child; Showbiz loved, nurtured and produced endless gaybies but always had issues with their gayness!

MORE AFTER THE JUMP...

Suddenlylast-blondes
Liz dreams of beautiful men "Blondes were next on the menu"

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NewFest Films: 'Futuro Beach' and 'Gerontophilia'

  Gerontophilia
Bruce LaBruce's newest provocation is intergenerational romance

BY NATHANIEL ROGERS 

Help, he’s drowning! In good movies so don’t rush to the rescue. Both the opening and closing night films of this week’s satisfying NewFest (July 24th-29th), NYC's annual LGBT film festival in partnership with OutFest, begin with a drowning. Both drownings become romantic catalysts for the lifeguard, but the films couldn’t be more different in tone or purpose so it’s surely a coincidence. NewFest got the order right, opening with the dramatic punch and ending with a sweet drive into the sunset.

In the Brazilian/German film FUTURO BEACH, which opens the annual LGBT film festival tomorrow, two tourists are hit by violent waves. Lifeguards rush in to save them but only one survives. Donato (Wagner Moura) shaken up by losing his first swimmer, seeks out the survivor's friend, a sporty motorbike enthusiast named Konrad (Clemens Schick) to explain the process for dealing with the body. Soon they're angrily rutting, caught up in the disorienting and wrenching drama. Their hookup appears destined to burn bright and die quick due to its emotionally disconnected start and its rapid and frank visual presentation -- English language cinema still lags far behind European cinema in its depictions of sex; the full frontal here is presented as if it’s no big deal.

MORE ON BOTH FILMS AFTER THE JUMP...

FUTURO-arms

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14 Hottest Movie Characters of 2014 (Thus Far)

  Wolverine-sad
Wolverine drowns his sorrows, no longer eligible due to repetitive hotness

BY NATHANIEL ROGERS 

It’s my duty as a film critic to warn you that you’ll really be missing out if you skip the movies this week. After that dire 4th of July weekend, there’s suddenly a handful of excellent pictures expanding or opening: Boyhood is a one of a kind curio from Richard Linklater (of the Before... series fame) where you watch the actors age 12 years in one go since the film was shot for one week each year; Begin Again is a sweet and relaxed romance where the romance isn’t with people but with music and second chances; Land Ho! is an endearing comedy about two elderly men impulsively heading to Iceland that will immediately make you want to book a trip (I’ve been twice, to the country not the movie, and it is that special; and two dystopian sci-fi action films (Snowpiercer & Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) that may be thinly disguised agitprop on destructive economic disparity and our refusal to deal with our gun addiction, respectively, but those are worthy enough messages and the films are totally exciting with memorable acting and visuals. Support great movies!

PairDuty done, I must admit that if you stay inside in air-conditioned dark theaters you miss all that aggressive and welcome exhibitionism happening outdoors. So let’s combine the best of both worlds with this extremely scientific ranking of MOVIE HOTNESS IN 2014.

TWO DISCLAIMERS BEFORE WE BEGIN 

1) This list is dedicated to “The Full Metal Bitch” and “The Black Widow” because Emily Blunt (Edge of Tomorrow) and Scarlett Johansson (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) are perfect specimens and all the best moviegoers are polysexual when it comes to big screen beauty. But in order to narrow it down we’ll stick to the men.

2) Men who have been doing the same shtick repeatedly are not eligible no matter their temperature so goodbye to Jackman's claws, Channing undercover, Chris Evans' Captain Fantasy Boyfriend of America (who would be #1, duh) and so forth. We're focusing on the now.

THE 14 HOTTEST ACTOR/MOVIE-CHARACTERS OF 2014 ARE AFTER THE JUMP...

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