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NBC Straightwashes Its John Constantine

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2005’s Constantine, directed by Francis Lewis, was essentially an excuse to watch Keanu Reeves smoulder on screen and Tilda Swinton rock a pair of post-modern angel wings. Constantine, which was based on Vertigo Comics’s Hellblazer series, was met with mixed reviews from critics and fans alike. The movie bore little resemblance to the source material other its characters’ names. John Constantine was no longer blonde, English, charming, or apparently bisexual the way he’d been on the pages of Hellblazer.

Late last year Deadline reported that NBC had greenlit a Constantine reboot for its fall lineup. As casting announcements were made and promotional footage released, fans of the comics were left wondering if this incarnation of the supernatural antihero would be truer to its roots.

M3ywffzyvmwu7jzedbenDaniel Cerone, executive producer for NBC’s Constantine, set the record straight this past Sunday at the Television Critics Association’s press junket. One of the more interesting things about the Hellblazer series was that its characters aged in real time over the book’s 30 year run. Bisexual as Constantine may have been, the bulk of his love interests were women.

“[T]here might have been one or two issues where he’s seen getting out of bed with a man.” Cerone explained, musing about future developments for the character. “So [maybe] 20 years from now? But there are no immediate plans.”

Unlike his love of cigarettes, Constantine’s sexuality was never exactly an ancillary aspect of his character. But it wasn’t something that the character himself, and his writers by extension, ever outright dismissed or retconned. Charlie Jane Anders of io9 agrees that the NBC’s decision to tone down Constantine’s smoking is a little more egregious, but felt as if the network definitely missed an opportunity:

I didn't mean to skate over this issue quite so glibly — blame deadlines and pre-Comic-Con phone calls. I do think erasing queer people from pop culture is a shitty thing to do, and we desperately need more pop culture that represents the whole range of human sexuality. And it really wouldn't have cost much for them to include an aside about ex-boyfriends along with ex-girlfriends. At the same time, to me the most important aspect of John Constantine is not who he fucks, but who he fucks over.  

A Pew study published last June reported that bisexually identified individuals composed the largest percentage of their survey sample that included gay, bisexual, lesbian, and transgendered people. Conversely, on average lesbians and gays reported being far more open with friends and family about their sexual orientation than their bisexual counterparts.

One of the major challenges to combating what many queer people have identified as “bi-invisibility,” is finding opportunities to introduce bisexuals into the popular conscious. Calls to action for compulsory comings out for bisexuals are neither moral nor realistic, but programming like Constantine has the potential to push that conversation in the right direction.

Check out the promo for the new Constantine AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "NBC Straightwashes Its John Constantine" »


News: Adam Lambert, Iraq, Star Trek, Meshach Taylor

RoadFlordia Governor Rick Scott talks out of both sides of his mouth: "Asked about gay marriage in questioning from reporters afterward, Scott refused to support an overturn to the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. He says 'people have differing views and 'what's important to me is that we don't discriminate against anybody.'"

Adam RoadAdam Lambert is all glammed up performing with Queen in Vancouver.

RoadPrince Harry busts a move while in Chile.

RoadDolly Parton performed "Jolene" at The Glastonbury Music Festival.

RoadTensions continue to escalate in Iraq as Isis declares caliphate straddling the borders of Iraq and Syria: "'We will break other borders,' a jihadist from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isis) warned in the video called End of Sykes-Picot."

RoadChris Pratt chops wood. Looks good doing it

RoadBefore Shia LaBeouf decided to cause a ruckus at Cabaret, he apparently got into a fight in front of a strip club

RoadNew video game Dragon Age: The Inquisition to have gay character: "As a person Dorian will be a fully gay character who is very intelligent, and has a rather sharp wit. This wit and intelligence has been cultivated over many years in a society where outdoing peers is required, and it also makes him incredibly sarcastic."

RoadKen Watanabe to star in revival of The King and I.

RoadAs our very own Ari Ezra Waldman expressed earlier, today's Hobby Lobby ruling at the Supreme Court has a lot of people worried about the greater impact of the case for the LGBT community and women.  

RoadMoving photo portraits of LGBT couples from the 20th century.

Dog RoadICYMI, the most invested canine soccer/futbol fan out there. 

RoadGay Pride Parades saw large crowds this past weekend. 

RoadMale Model Monday: Daan van der Deen.

RoadPippa Middleton apparently missed the memo that her sister's wedding to the future King of England was a big deal.

RoadSome browmance/showmance speculation is already underway on Big Brother 16.

RoadDiplo wrote a song with Maddonna called, "B-tch, I'm Madonna."

RoadStar Trek 3 director Roberto Orci open to a gay character in the next installment of the franchise: "I would like to see that...It can be part of a character and not be the whole shebang…It doesn’t’ have to be like South Park, like ‘what have we learned today.’ It can be so normalized that it just exists. I agree it can’t be shoe-horned in. And it is not necessary for it to be the whole point of the thing. It is an ensemble and there are lots of people to represent so no one point of view should hog it.”

MeRoadOrlando Bloom makes some interesting sartorial choices for a trip to the beach.

RoadCam Gigandet made sure to ditch the shirt on the premiere of new show Reckless last night.

RoadTilda Swinton did a Reddit AMA, proves more intriguing than ever. 

RoadFirst look at Henry Cavill in Clark Kent mode in the upcoming Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.

RoadActor Meshach Taylor, perhaps most popular for his role on Designing Womenhas passed away at 67.


Tilda Swinton: To Call Putin Russia's 'Gayest President Ever' is Offensive to the Gay Community

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Tilda Swinton, who showed solidarity with the gay community last July by standing in Red Square with a rainbow flag, is asked about that moment in a SXSW interview with The Daily Beast.

Says Swinton:

"Well, Russia has the gayest president ever. No, that’s an offensive thing to say—not to him, but to the gay community."

Swinton has some additional insights about gay people:

"Well, I think there’s something that gay people have. It is true that to pass through the transitions that gay people have to in order to come out to themselves, to their families when they’re quite young, it’s a grow-bag, isn’t it? And I think that very often, heterosexual people miss out on that. There’s a feeling of development and sometimes, heterosexual people have never had to go through that self-examination and just knowing themselves, and that sense of coming out, coming to your own defense, and being your own best advocate, and going, “No! I’m going to stand by myself and say this is who I am and you can all fuck off.” That is a wonderful transition to go through, and I suppose a lot of straight people miss out on that, and then maybe their relationship choices are potentially less examined. They could be lazier or less thoroughly thought-through."


Tilda Swinton Shows Solidarity with LGBT Community, Raises Rainbow Flag Near the Kremlin

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Tilda Swinton's agent Christopher Hodell posted this message from the actress on his Twitter account yesterday: "Please share this message from Tilda: 'In solidarity. From Russia with love.'"

The freedom to be LGBT in Russia has been under severe threat in recent months. Last week President Vladimir Putin signed a law banning "gay propaganda" which bars (and imposes fines for) gay groups, gay books and periodicals, LGBT Pride events, and other "promotions" of homosexuality. He also signed a law banning gay adoption by foreign same-sex couples.


Movies: 'The Place Beyond the Pines' in Theaters, 'Les Miz' on DVD

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Ryan Gosling cashes in

BY NATHANIEL ROGERS 

The opening shot from THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES, is a stunner. And not only because it starts with a view of a well-muscled and inked masculine torso. The camera follows the man (we don't see his face) as he paces back and forth, plays with a knife and then walks through a fairground where he turns heads and prompts amateur snapshots. Finally the camera catches his face. It's "Handsome Luke" (Ryan Gosling), a daredevil motorcylist about to defy death and gravity in a round metal cage. As soon as we've seen 'Handsome Gosling,' though, Luke throws a motorcyle helmet on depriving us of his Movie Star mug and enters the cage to perform miraculous stunts. As I recall there aren't any edits in this shot and I have no idea how it was filmed unless Ryan Gosling moonlights as a stuntman in addition to his many many other talents (like naming his body parts, and inspiring hilarious fandom and popular internet memes).

This lengthy continuous shot with its 'now you see him, now you don't' movie-star tease is a pretty apt description of the movie to come which is something of a bait-and-switch with a prominent throughline. See, it's not a Ryan Gosling movie so much as an ambitious triptych which passes the baton fluidly each time it's becoming a new movie.

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I'm positive that most reviews will spoil surprises so I'm only offering up a few words on its three parts AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Movies: 'The Place Beyond the Pines' in Theaters, 'Les Miz' on DVD" »


Tilda Swinton Sleeping in Glass Box at the MoMa

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Gothamist writes:

Tilda Swinton has currently taken up residency sleeping at MoMA. It's part of an unannounced, surprise performance piece called "The Maybe" that will be taking place on random days all month. A MoMA source told us, "Museum staff doesn't know she's coming until the day of, but she's here today. She'll be there the whole day. All that's in the box is cushions and a water jug."

"Tilda Swinton will be doing unannounced, random performance art pieces sleeping in a glass box in the museum," the source added. "Today is the first performance. Each performance lasts the whole day the museum is open." Swinton and her box are located near the ticket collectors today, but the box may be in different locations at other performances.

Like Marina Abramovic, but less scheduled...


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