Best gay blog. Towleroad Wins Award

Nathaniel Rogers Hub



04/19/2007


Weekend Movie Review: Are You 'Divergent'?

  Divergent-zombie
Shailene Woodley inches closer to Theo James in "Divergent". Wouldn't you?

BY NATHANIEL ROGERS 

Erudite. Dauntless. Abnegation. Amity. Candor. Doesn't have quite the same ring as "Charisma. Uniqueness. Nerve and Talent" does it? But it's with the awkwardly titled five factions of DIVERGENT's world that we begin. In some future Utopia young citizens must choose their faction (a fancy word for tribe) on their 18th birthday after taking an aptitude test that reveals where they truly belong. They have the option of any faction but most, we are led to believe, choose either the tribe they grew up in or the tribe of their aptitude and these are often the same. Nature vs. Nurture and all that, you know.

Our heroine Tris (Shailene Woodley) lives with her parents in Abnegation, the "selfless" tribe that runs the government -- your first clue that this is total science fiction! They also feed the homeless (aka the "factionless"), dress like monochromatic fashion-forward Amish and eschew mirrors. Beatrice is played by Shailene Woodley and her parents are Ashley Judd and Tony Goldwyn (Scandal) - our first clue that this is actually a Dystopia*; how long could any of them survive without mirrors?

MORE AFTER THE JUMP... (LITERALLY FOR TRIS, PICTURED BELOW)

Divergent-jump

Continue reading "Weekend Movie Review: Are You 'Divergent'?" »


Movies: Jake Gyllenhaal² in 'Enemy'

  Anenemy-twosome
Jake Gyllenhaal can't believe his eyes and doesn't see eye to eye... with Jake Gyllenhaal

BY NATHANIEL ROGERS 

Have you ever read Jose Saramago's "Blindness"? That genius novel, about a sudden epidemic that renders the whole world blind, is hugely unsettling in content. It's also experimental in form. No character is named, the two protagonists are only referred to as "The Doctor" and "The Doctor's Wife", and punctuation is so scarce that there's nothing to guide you; you have to feel your own way through the blocks of words. The film version in 2008, which starred Mark Ruffalo and Julianne Moore, was too traditional in execution and couldn't capture the mad confusion and haunting power of the book. I haven't read Saramago's novel "The Double" upon which the new film Enemy is based but no one is playing it safe in the transfer this time. This is the kind of movie that feels like a true transfer of surreal text to visuals.

Who is Jake Gyllenhaal playing and why are there two of him?

The incomplete answers are AFTER THE JUMP...

Enemy-websearch

Continue reading "Movies: Jake Gyllenhaal² in 'Enemy'" »


Movies: Elaine Stritch is Still Here in the Must-See 'Shoot Me'

  Stritch-makeup
Stritch gets ready for another show... and then another... and then another

BY NATHANIEL ROGERS 

I saw Elaine Stritch’s famous one woman Broadway show “At Liberty” in the last days of 2001 a couple of years after moving to New York. I’m not exaggerating when I say that it was nothing short of spiritual ecstasy but then showbiz is my religion and actresses are my only gods. You might then justifiably say that I am predisposed to love the hell out of the new documentary ELAINE STRITCH: SHOOT ME and you’d be right. But I can still tell a peak performance from a Wednesday matinee and the last doc I saw on Stritch, which shared its title with “At Liberty” was significantly less stellar. Shoot Me is a must-see, even if you only know this Broadway legend from her hilarious guest appearances as Jack Donaghy’s impossible mother on 30 Rock.

We don’t feel enough sacred reverence for stage actors in our culture. Beyond of course the self-flogging of parting with $100+ for tickets. What they do is harder than what movie and television actors do and they do it 8 times a week. And in today’s reality-tv soaked culture, when people regularly get famous for merely subjecting themselves to cameras, the stage performer’s old school work ethic is almost unimaginably titanic.

MORE AFTER THE JUMP...

Stritch-pose

Continue reading "Movies: Elaine Stritch is Still Here in the Must-See 'Shoot Me'" »


Movies: 'The LEGO Movie' Wins the Weekend

  Lego-cuckooland
Batman and friends enter Arkham Asylum Cuckoo Land in "The Lego Movie"

BY NATHANIEL ROGERS 

'If you build it, they will come.' They'll come in droves. It's 2014 and at this point, it's safe to say that Hollywood has mastered the art of pandering to the masses. They deliver exactly what we are pre-conditioned to want. The box office charts each year are now completely filled by franchises and pre-branded efforts. Frozen, for example, isn't a true original, but the 12th episode of the Disney Princess franchise that's been breaking box office records since (gulp) 1937. It's now extremely rare for a non-sequel non-pre-branded film to ever become a mammoth hit; only one "original" per year even cracks the annual top ten now (Gravity in 2013, Ted in 2012, none in 2011) which is a big downturn from the Aughts which themselves weren't as original as the Nineties.

All of which brings us to this weekend's chart topper,THE LEGO MOVIE. With its built-in nostalgia for childhood as well as a huge swath of pre-licensed characters to dangle in front of your 3D glasses (Gandalf, Batman, Han Solo, Wonder Woman, and dozens more), it's easy to approach the new hit expecting the worst. But there's no need! I'll use Bad Cop / Good Cop (voiced by Liam Neeson) to illustrate the situation and my own immediate mood swing as the movie built its case.

MORE AFTER THE JUMP...

Lego-badgood

Continue reading "Movies: 'The LEGO Movie' Wins the Weekend" »


Two Must-See LGBT Sundance Films: 'Love is Strange' and 'Appropriate Behavior'

  Lithgow
John Lithgow & Alfred Molina just got married in "Love is Strange"

BY NATHANIEL ROGERS 

I'm popping into this space from the snowy mountains of Park City, Utah, where I've been attending the 30th annual Sundance Film Festival. It kicked off the day of the Oscar nominations a week ago and in my golden-statue-mania I keep imagining it would have felt more festive had it coincided with Robert Redford's first Oscar nomination in 19 years for All is Lost. But it was not meant to be. Still Redford's legacy lives on in the most celebrated American film festival. Coincidentally, but happily given our purposes here at Towleroad, two of the best films at Sundance 2014 are LGBT films. Hopefully they'll both hit theaters or on demand or however we're watching movies next, and very soon.

APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR is the perfect Iranian bisexual hipster coming-out comedy that you didn't know you needed or even wanted. But it's really good and really funny. The absurdly talented Desiree Akhavan (who some of you may know from the lesbian web series The Slope) wrote, directed and stars in the film as Shirin. She's a sharp-tongued bisexual twentysomething who is reeling from a breakup with Maxine (Rebecca Henderson) her activist vanilla girlfriend, and acting out sexually in Brooklyn.

MORE ON THESE TWO MUST-SEES AFTER THE JUMP...

Approp-threesome

Continue reading "Two Must-See LGBT Sundance Films: 'Love is Strange' and 'Appropriate Behavior'" »


Best LGBT Movie Characters of 2013

  Behindthe-leads
If BEHIND THE CANDELABRA can't even find a distributor...

BY NATHANIEL ROGERS 

Have you properly reflected on the year that was as we switch numbers? I tend to make a whole month of it and haven't quite done the difficult work of trimming down my favorite 17 or so movies into that small "top ten list" box yet, so let's concentrate on movie characters for our annual tradition:

TEN BEST LGBT MOVIE CHARACTERS OF THE YEAR
*this list contains some spoilers*

Previous Years: 20122011, 2010

Queer cinema is having a rough where-to-now period. After Brokeback Mountain, an inarguable hit with nearly $200 million in worldwide box office eight long years ago, we had reason to hope that we were entering a new golden age of LGBT awareness, a true place at the table. And we were, of course -- gay marriage in Utah? Wow! -- just not onscreen. When Oscar famously denied Brokeback its rightful win who knew that it would prove such an ill omen for queer movies? Almost immediately afterwards, gay mainstream filmmaking fell into swift decline. The contributing factors are complicated and well-theorized about but it's led to a dearth of gay films in movie theaters -- you know you're in trouble when no one wants to distribute Steven Soderbergh's Liberace biopic BEHIND THE CANDELABRA (reviewed) which came with easy marketing hooks and major stars.

Screen shot 2013-12-31 at 6.01.16 PMWhile complex gay characters get good play on TV, mainstream movies are a weirder place for gays. Consider Catherine Zeta Jones's evil lesbian psychiatrist in Steven Soderbergh's Side Effects, who would have provided a juicy clip for The Celluloid Closet (1995) had she appeared in an older movie, or disposable characters like the butler The Wolf of Wall Street whose purpose in the movie seems to be... what exactly? The (comic) gaybashing adds nothing to the film.

Special Mention: I'm dedicating this list to two movies I missed that friends have sworn by. The acclaimed Cuban feature UNA NOCHE, currently available for instant streaming on Netflix, has a gay subplot I've only heard good things about and my friend Glenn swears by Xavier Dolan's LAURENCE ANYWAYS, a three hour epic about a transgendered woman born "Laurence" (delicious Frenchman Melvil Poupaud) and her girlfriend "Fred" (Suzanne Clement). My apologies also to sadfaced YOSSI (Ohad Knoller) but the Yossi & Jagger (2002) magic just wasn't there in his titular sequel.

 THE LIST IS AFTER THE JUMP...

Imsoexcitedtrio

Continue reading "Best LGBT Movie Characters of 2013" »


Trending



Towleroad - Blogged