At a SXSW brunch hosted by the Austin Gay and Lesbian International Film Festival (AGLIFF), we ran into gay director Daniel Laabs whose dramatic film “Easy” is playing in the shorts program.
In a video interview with Towleroad, Laabs explained why his films’ exploration of athletic homophobia is relevant now more than ever.
Easy focuses on a sensitive pre-teen athlete named Jeffrey and his strained relationship with his older brother.
Jeffrey’s skill and his brother’s new girlfriend have created distance between the two siblings. Jeffrey spends most of his time either practicing alone in the gym or admiring YouTube videos of hunky Olympian Danell Leyva. But he soon realizes that not everyone appreciates his sport’s athleticism and grace. And their thoughtless comments could damage Jeffrey’s love of the sport (and himself) forever.
Laabs works in a realistic minimalist style that uses light to set each scene’s emotional pitch — the gritty dimmed fluorescents of a subway car as the two brothers converse in private and the incandescent glow of a campfire as Jeffrey broods. His script also features succinct dialogue with a brooding yet passionate performance from young actor Brennen Bliss (who is himself an award-winning gymnast).
See Easy's trailer and interview with the director AFTER THE JUMP…
Continue reading "Athleticism, Adolescence And Homophobia Collide In 'Easy': INTERVIEW"
Posted Mar. 9,2014 at 4:47 PM EST by Daniel Villarreal in Film, SXSW |
| Comments (4)
South Carolina Republican lawmakers voted to slash funding to the College of Charleston and the University of South Carolina Upstate in Spartanburg because the schools gave freshmen assignments with gay themes, CNN reports:
Last summer, the College of Charleston provided incoming freshmen with a memoir, "Fun Home," in which the author deals with coming out as a lesbian. The University of South Carolina Upstate, meanwhile, assigned "Out Loud: The Best of Rainbow Radio," which features an account of South Carolina's first gay and lesbian radio show.
Rep. Garry Smith (pictured), a Republican from Simpsonville, proposed the cuts in the House Ways and Means committee and says they were prompted by a complaint from a constituent whose teen daughter was going to one of the schools. They would strip the College of Charleston of $52,000 and the University of South Carolina Upstate in Spartanburg of $17,162 for making the assignments.
The budget is to be considered by the full House this week.
"I think the university has to be reasonable and sensible to the feelings and beliefs of their students. That was totally ignored here. I was trying to hold the university accountable. Their stance is 'Even if you don't want to read it, we'll shove it down your throat.' It's not academic freedom -- it's academic totalitarianism."
The College of Charleston meanwhile, says the book is not required reading.
The WaPo adds:
Several state senators have also complained that public universities are not following a nearly century-old law requiring schools to teach the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Harris Pastides, the president of the University of South Carolina, said the law would pose constitutional challenges: It also requires students swear a loyalty oath to the United States before receiving a college degree.
Posted Mar. 9,2014 at 2:45 PM EST by Andy Towle in Censorship, Education, News, South Carolina |
| Comments (31)
Cameras captured a funny moment in Saturday's Six Nations rugby match-up between Ireland and Italy: the smiling face of Irish player Rob Kearney peering through a tangle of thick thighs and meaty rumps.
Someone was kind enough to clip it and set it to "A Whole New World" from Aladdin.
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
As Deadspin notes: don't try to understand this rugby vine, just enjoy it.
Continue reading "Irish Rugby Player Finds Joy in Tangle of Bums and Thighs: VIDEO"
Posted Mar. 9,2014 at 1:44 PM EST by Andy Towle in News, Rugby, Sports |
| Comments (17)
In Predestination — a sci-fi mystery based on Robert Heinlein’s short story "All You Zombies—” — Ethan Hawke plays a time-traveling investigator chasing The Fizzle Bomber, a terrorist who killed thousands of New Yorkers during a devastating 1975 attack. Hawke seems doomed to fail until he meets a pessimistic patron in a New York tavern whose past may hold a clue to the Bomber’s true identity.
The film’s tightly constructed plot and amazing narrative twists make it hard to elaborate without spoilers. In fact, if you want to walk into the film completely blind, you should just stop reading now. But if you’re interested in learning just a little more as well as why we’ve included this film in our South By Southwest coverage, read on.
Keep reading and see some film images AFTER THE JUMP...
Continue reading "'Predestination', A Surprising Sci-Fi Noir About Time And Identity: PHOTOS"
Posted Mar. 9,2014 at 1:19 PM EST by Daniel Villarreal in Ethan Hawke, Film, SXSW |
| Comments (6)
Sarah Palin took a page from Ted Cruz's 'Green Eggs and Ham' playbook at CPAC and proved she's still got the kind of knack for vapid conservative showmanship that makes wingnuts get on their feet and cheer, the L.A. Times reports:
Unburdened by the rules that keep serious politicians tethered to serious messages, her task was to toss red meat to a ravenously appreciative conservative crowd Saturday at the closing session of the American Conservative Union's annual CPAC conference.
By my count, her speech got more standing ovations than the one delivered Friday by CPAC favorite Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who won the CPAC presidential straw poll.
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
Continue reading "Sarah Palin's 'Green Eggs and Ham': VIDEO"
Posted Mar. 9,2014 at 1:16 PM EST by Andy Towle in CPAC, News, Sarah Palin |
| Comments (33)
Police in Moscow detained approximately 12 men, including one with a machete hidden under his clothes, after they attacked a group of gay activists taking part in a feminist rights rally on Saturday.
Queer Russia reports:
LGBT activists Igor Iasine, Nikolay Bayev, Evgeniy Pisemsky, several members of the Moscow Rainbow Association and other participants of the sanctioned rally held rainbow flags and placards against homophobia and sexism.
Police detained armed thugs who made several attacks on the rally participants with rainbow flags. Attackers has knifes, a crowbar and a machete, they threw addle eggs at protesters and tried to burn a placard saying “No church, no kitchen, no state!”.
The rally was held in Moscow from Samotechnaya Square to Suvorov Square and drew about a hundred participants. The rally was held under slogans for women’s rights, anti-discrimination, against domestic violence, for reproductive freedom.
However, shortly after the rally started, the police demanded participants to take the rainbow flags away. But placards with slogans against homophobia were allowed to remain, Grani.ru reports.
Watch video of the attacks, AFTER THE JUMP...
Continue reading "Gay Rights Activists Attacked at Feminist-Led Rally in Moscow: VIDEO"
Posted Mar. 9,2014 at 12:32 PM EST by Andy Towle in Moscow, News, Russia |
| Comments (5)