Sunday, December 28, 2014

A Florida Enchantment



1914 American Feature

Cast: Sidney Drew, Edith Storey, Charles Kent, Jane Morrow, Ada Gifford, Ethel Lloyd, Lillian Burns, Grace Stevens and Allan Campbell
Director: Sidney Drew
Writers: Marguerite Bertsch and Eugene Mullen, based on the novel and play by Fergus Redmond and Archibald Clavering Gunter.

Synopsis:
Lillian Travers, a wealthy Northern woman about to be married, takes a magical seed which transforms its user into the opposite gender, changing her into Lawrence Talbot.

Links:

Ratings:
  • Internet Movie Database: 6.2/10

Buy/Rent:
  • DVD: Available



Video clip:


Notes/Trivia:
  • Based on the 1891 novel and 1896 play (now lost) of the same name written by Fergus Redmond and Archibald Clavering Gunter.
  • Lillian's transformation into Lawrence has been read as a transformation into a butch lesbian. This reading is bolstered by the later transformation of Lillian's fiancĂ© into what could be an effemininate gay man. However, as Lillian and her fiancĂ© are shown attracted both to each other and to the same sex (albeit at different times), the film has also been considered to have the first documented appearance of bisexual characters in an American motion picture.
  • Twenty-seven years later, another film character who undergoes a drastic physical transformation was named Lawrence Talbot in the classic horror film The Wolf Man.
  • Since its inclusion in Vito Russo's book The Celluloid Closet, the film has increasingly been seen as one of the earliest film representations of homosexuality and cross-dressing in American culture.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Holiday Heart



2000 American Television Movie

Cast: Ving Rhames, Alfre Woodard, Jessika Quynn Reynolds, Mykelti Williamson and Johnathan Wallace
Director: Robert Townsend
Writer: Cheryl L. West, based on her play

Synopsis:
A drag queen befriends a single mother and her daughter and tries to protect them from the criminal environment around them.

Links:

Ratings:

Buy/Rent:
  • DVD: Available



Video clip:


Awards:
  • GLAAD Media Award nomination for Outstanding TV Movie.
  • Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actress in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV (Woodard).

Notes/Trivia:
  • Originally aired on the American premium cable network Showtime.
  • Actor Robert De Niro was among the film's producers.

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  • Features Imitation of Life.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Winter Kept Us Warm



1965 Canadian Feature

Cast: John Labow, Henry Tarvainen, Joy Tepperman, Janet Amos, Iain Ewing, Jack Messinger and Larry Greenspan
Director: David Secter
Writers: John Clute, Ian Porter and David Secter

Synopsis:
Popular senior Doug and shy freshman Peter, two students at the University of Toronto, develop a complex relationship.

Links:

Ratings:

Buy/Rent:

Trailer:


Notes/Trivia:
  • The title comes from the fifth line of T.S. Eliot's "The Waste Land", considered one of the most important poems of the 20th century.
  • Writer/director David Secter, who wrote the film based on his own experiences, carefully coded the film's gay subtext due to fears that a more explicitly gay film would not attract an audience.
  • In 1966, Winter Kept Us Warm became Canada's first English-language film to be presented at the Cannes Film Festival.
  • Although not widely remembered among the general public, Winter Kept Us Warm is considered a major milestone in the Canadian film industry as one of the first Canadian films ever to attract international attention.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Geography Club



2013 American Feature

Cast: Nikki Blonsky, Cameron Deane Stewart, Justin Deeley, Alex Newell, Ana Gasteyer, Meaghan Martin, Scott Bakula and Allie Gonino
Director: Gary Entin
Writer: Edmund Entin, based on the novel by Brent Hartinger

Synopsis:
At Goodkind High School, a group of students of varying sexual orientation form an after-school club as a discreet way to share their feelings and experiences.

Links:

Ratings:
  • Internet Movie Database: 6.5/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes - Critics: 64% / Audience: 55%
  • Metacritic - Critics: 57% / Audience: 8.0%
  • Movie Dearest rating: B+/C+

Buy/Rent:
  • DVD: Available
  • Book: Available



Trailer:


Awards:
  • GLAAD Media Award nomination for Outstanding Film - Limited Release.
  • L.A. Outfest Audience Award for Best Feature Film.

Notes/Trivia:
  • Brent Hartinger's novel Geography Club, first published in 2003, is the first book in his "Russel Middlebrook Series". It was followed by The Order of the Poison Oak (2005), Double Feature (2007) and The Elephant of Surprise (2013), with a fifth book reportedly planned.
  • Hartinger also adapted Geography Club into a stage play in 2004.

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Thursday, December 4, 2014

Running with Scissors



20006 American Feature

Cast: Joseph Cross, Annette Bening, Brian Cox, Joseph Fiennes, Evan Rachel Wood, Alec Baldwin, Gwyneth Paltrow, Gabrielle Union, Patrick Wilson and Kristin Chenoweth
Writer/Director: Ryan Murphy, based on the memoir by Augusten Burroughs

Synopsis:
Young Augusten Burroughs absorbs experiences that could make for a shocking memoir: the son of an alcoholic father and an unstable mother, he's handed off to his mother's therapist and spends his adolescent years as a member of this bizarre extended family.

Links:

Ratings:
  • Internet Movie Database: 6.2/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes - Critics: 31% / Audience: 56%
  • Metacritic - Critics: 52% / Audience: 6.0%
  • OMG rating: 7/10

Buy/Rent:
  • DVD/Blu-ray: Available
  • Soundtrack: Available
  • Book: Available



Trailer:


Awards:
  • Broadcast Film Critics Association Award nomination for Best Young Actor (Cross).
  • GLAAD Media Award nomination for Outstanding Film - Wide Release.
  • Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Performance by an Actress - Comedy or Musical (Bening).
Notes/Trivia:
  • Augusten Burroughs' acclaimed 2002 memoir Running with Scissors spent eight weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. Burroughs makes a cameo appearance in the film as himself.
  • In 2005, the family of the late Dr. Rodolph H. Turcotte filed suit against Augusten Burroughs and his publisher, alleging defamation of character, invasion of privacy and emotional distress. They stated that they were the basis for the Finch family portrayed in the book but that Burroughs had fabricated or exaggerated various descriptions of their activities. Burroughs and his publisher, St. Martin's Press, settled with the Turcotte family in 2007. Burroughs defended his work as "entirely accurate", but agreed to alter the acknowledgments page in future editions to recognize the Turcotte family's "conflicting memories" of described events.
  • Writer/director Ryan Murphy's feature film debut.
  • Casting Call: Julianne Moore.

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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

An Englishman in New York



2009 British Television Movie

Cast: John Hurt, Denis O'Hare, Jonathan Tucker, Cynthia Nixon and Swoosie Kurtz
Director: Richard Laxton
Writer: Brian Fillis

Synopsis:
Celebrated author and raconteur Quentin Crisp is embraced by the New York elite following his high-profile move in the late 1970s from London to Manhattan.

Links:

Ratings:
  • Internet Movie Database: 7.2/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes - Critics: 71% / Audience: 70%

Buy/Rent:
  • DVD: Available



Trailer:


Awards:
  • BAFTA TV Award nominations for Best Actor (Hurt), Production Design and Costume Design.
  • Berlin International Film Festival Special Teddy Award for Outstanding Performance (Hurt).
  • FilmOut San Diego Festival Awards for Best Actor (Hurt) and Supporting Actress (Nixon).
  • GLAAD Media Award Nomination for Outstanding TV Movie or Mini-Series.
  • Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Dorian Award nomination for LGBT-Themed TV Show of the Year.
  • Hamburg Lesbian and Gay Film Festival Award for Best Feature.

Notes/Trivia:
  • The film takes its title from "Englishman in New York", a song about Quentin Crisp written by Sting for his 1987 album ...Nothing Like the Sun.
  • As well as Quentin Crisp, the film includes characters based on New York artists Patrick Angus and Penny Arcade.

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