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Archive for February, 2011

First reaction: Lady Gaga’s ‘Born This Way’ video


I feel like I just went on a psychedelic acid trip, yet I don’t remember taking any LSD.

I’m not even sure what to think about the new “Born This Way” video Lady Gaga released this morning. I always get a little squimish when it comes to the birthing process (I nearly fainted just from seeing what was produced when my sister’s water broke when she went into labor for her first baby), so all the gross birth scenes throughout was a bit much for me. I did like the dance scenes and I thought the beginning montage about a new race free of discrimination was clever. You can tell she worked really hard on the symbolism in this video and it’s obvious that it’s specifically targeted at her lgbt fans, so I can definitely appreciate the effort.

Overall, I was somewhat disappointed. I was hoping she’d forgo all the Gag eccentricities and go for a more visual representation of the gay community, our struggle, our triumphs, etc.  There wasn’t anything blatantly gay about the video. I was expecting maybe two guys kissing at a gay wedding, maybe footage of a gay rights march, or even a storyline like Pink did in her “Perfect” video but showcasing a gay kid being bullied and then maybe subsequently being saved by Gaga in the end.

This apparently is the first of two music videos Gaga plans to release for “Born This Way,” one of which will filter its proceeds to an organization that works to end anti-gay bullying. Maybe the second one will be more geared towards the gay rights movement or an anti-bully message somehow.

Here’s the full video. Tell me what you think in the comments below.

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Oscars 2011: Gay Roundup

Winners Circle: Christian Bale, Natalie Portman, Melissa Leo, Colin Firth

Sadly, the only gay thing about the Oscars this year was a win for Iain Canning, one of the three producer of The King’s Speech, who thanked his boyfriend during his acceptance speech when the film took home Best Picture. Unless you also count Colin Firth thanking out gay director/designer Tom Ford when he won for the same film. And unfortunately, gay indie breakout The Kids Are All Right succumbed to defeat in every category in which they were nominated.

Best dressed? My picks were Sandra Bullock, Halle Berry, Hillary Swank and Jennifer Hudson.

Worst dressed? Definitely Nicole Kidman, Cate Blanchett, Melissa Leo and Scarlett Johansson

James & Anne? I feel so bad for James Franco and Anne Hathaway. I was really rooting for them. They had some good moments. I loved Anne’s little “On My Own” remake. (The girl can sing!) And I thought the opening Inception spoof was hilarious. But overall, instead of the the hosts coming off young and fresh, like the producer were hoping, they came off awkward and inexperienced. James looked rigid and Anne looked like she was trying too hard. Maybe next year the Oscar producers should just go back to comedians. (The stage and set designs were ridiculously brilliant though.)

The ensuing battle between of The King’s Speech and The Social Network ended with a win for the Brits, as The Social Network garnered three statutes to The King’s Speech‘s four. But The King’s Speech wasn’t the only big winner. Inception also took home four wins, tying for the most wins of the night.

Here’s a full list of the winners:

Best picture

  • The King’s Speech

Best actor

  • Colin Firth, The King’s Speech

Best actress

  • Natalie Portman, Black Swan

Supporting actor

  • Christian Bale, The Fighter

Supporting actress

  • Melissa Leo, The Fighter

Director

  • Tom Hooper, The King’s Speech

Animated feature

  • Toy Story 3

Foreign language film

  • In a Better World

Documentary feature

  • Inside Job

Documentary short

  • Strangers No More

Adapted screenplay

  • The Social Network

Original screenplay

  • The King’s Speech

Art direction

  • Alice in Wonderland

Cinematography

  • Inception

Costume design

  • Alice in Wonderland

Makeup

  • The Wolfman

Film editing

  • The Social Network

Visual effects

  • Inception

Original score

  • The Social Network

Original song

  • “We Belong Together” from Toy Story 3

Sound editing

  • Inception

Sound mixing

  • Inception

Animated short film

  • The Lost Thing

Live action short film

  • God of Love

Queer Film Spotlight: ‘Heartbeats’

Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan’s new French-Canadian film, Heartbeats, is making some big waves, not only in the independent film industry, but in the mainstream media as well.  Dolan, who wrote, directed and stars in the film, is only 21 years old and is being refereed to as a prodigy by critics.

Dolan’s 2009 film, I Killed My Mother, received rave reviews and quite a few awards at the Cannes International Film Festival. Heartbeats definitely seems like it’s heading in the same direction of success as it also won the youth award at Cannes and is also being lauded by critics. (Entertainment Weekly says, “Xavier Dolan…is back with another madly stylish Montreal-made delight , happily under the influence of Godard, Audrey Hepburn, and Wong Kar-wai.)

Heartbeats follows friends Marie (Monia Chokri) and Francis (Dolan) as they both fall for blond-haired beauty Nicolas (Niels Schneider). Stylistically shot though a slightly film noir set up, the movie intensely follows the love triangle’s journey as Nicolas dates both Marie and Francis at the same time.

It definitely looks like an interesting film about bisexuality and Dolan is emerging as the future of gay cinema, even with his pensions for old-school technique. Heartbeats is enjoying a limited release in theaters and is also available on cable via Video On Demand.

Here’s the trailer:

Queer Corner Quickie #5: Will Philips, DOMA, Gay Super Bowl, Darren Criss, Montana hate update

A quick roundup of this week’s gay happenings…

Video of the Week: In this week’s video we catch up with 12-year-old gay rights activist  Will Philips and his thoughts on DOMA and the conservative backlash. (I said it once, and I’ll say it again, if it was guaranteed my kid would turn out like him, I’d commit to reproducing.)


Speaking of DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act), that was definitely the biggest gay news item this week. Here’s Rachel Maddow’s coverage on the topic. And for a dose of funny here’s Jon Stewart’s take.

The Gay Super Bowl (Academy Awards) is Sunday. To help you get ready take a gander at Ellen and Neil Patrick Harris’ hilarious parody of the nominees.

Tennessee gets it wrong. Kentucky gets it right. (It being the solution to anti-gay bullying.)

In related news, a gay student in Florida is not only being bullied by his classmates, but by his teacher. Dan Savage has issued a call to action against the school.

Gay Bashing Report: Guilty verdict in bashing of lesbian couple near Toronto. Man arrested for hate crime vandalism in Long Beach.

A gay “preacher” and “Christian” zealot go head to head at Auburn University.

NoMoreDownLow.tv discovers curator of rare black gay historical record. (Start video at 4:20.)

Loving this Coming Out in the 1950s series, featuring gay young people interview gay seniors about the early gay rights movement.

Obama hires first openly gay male for White House social secretary.

Here’s an update on the hate brewing legally in Montana. Although, it’s all starting to make sense seeing as the state’s legislature only recently struck down a law that criminalized gay sex.

Israel appoints first gay judge. (If all judges looked like this I might get arrested more often. I mean consider becoming a lawyer.)

Gay sports magazine launches nationally.

Darren Criss (Blaine on Glee) recently appeared on Access Hollywood to chat about that controversial kiss.

For Your Consideration: Angry Old Man & Gay Teenage Runaway

Photo of the Week: Adidas recently rolled out the press campaign for their new line of underwear, modeled by German soccer star Lukas Podolski. (Why is this news? Because I said so. Just enjoy.)

Queer Film Spotlight: ‘Making the Boys’


One of the most influential gay themed plays is, without a doubt, Mart Crowley’s The Boys in the Band, an Off-Broadway production that was made into a 1970 movie, also written by Crowley and directed by William Friedkin, becoming the first portrayal of gay men on film. The new documentary  Making the Boys is a in depth look at how the play was created and the controversy behind the film’s initial release.

Filmmaker Crayton Robey puts together recent interviews with the people behind the play and the movie, interspersed with clips of the widespread protesting that took place during the shooting of the film. Making the Band is currently making it’s way through the film festival circuit, recently having it’s world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival. The movie will also see a limited release in March. It’s been getting some pretty good reviews so far.

I definitely can’t wait to see this documentary. The Boys in the Band has been widely criticized for perpetuating stereotypes and even being racist, but most critics recognize it as a major stepping stone for gay mainstream visibility in Hollywood and seeing the intimate details behind it’s inception, controversial release and the proceeding backlash, is a gay entertainment history lesson that’s too good to miss.

Here’s the trailer:

Ohio Queers: Legistlators reintroducing discrimination amendment in Ohio House


Ohio Queers is a new feature that will focus on lgbt-related legislation that is currently being debated at the Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio, and other gay-centric news happening in the state at large.

Reports are coming in that legislators Ross McGregor (R – Springfield) and Nickie Antonio (D – Lakewood) will be reintroducing the hotly contested Equal House and Employment Act into Ohio’s Congress in the coming months.

Many may remember EHEA’s fate in past years. The bill made it all the way through the House in 2009 but then died once it reached the Senate. McGregor and Antonio (Ohio’s first openly gay state level elected official) are hoping the recent strides Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and the popularity of gay republican groups GoProud and The Log Cabin Republicans will help push the measure through a Republican dominated Congress.

Here’s hoping the second time is a charm.

Hawaii becomes 7th state to legalize civil unions!

Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie made history today when he signed a law legalizing civil unions in his state. Hawaii becomes the seventh state to offer same-sex couples the full legal protections and rights as married heterosexual couples.

From the Star-Advertiser:

Less than a year after seeing the push for civil unions vetoed, gay rights advocates cheered as Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed into law a bill legalizing civil unions and making Hawaii the seventh state to grant such privileges to same-sex couples.

Abercrombie signed the legislation at a ceremony today at historic Washington Place.

“E Komo Mai: It means all are welcome,” Abercrombie said in remarks before signing the bill into law. “This signing today of this measure says to all of the world that they are welcome. That everyone is a brother or sister here in paradise.”

“The legalization of civil unions in Hawaii represents in my mind equal rights for all people,” he said.

The ceremony was broadcast live on television and the Internet as Abercrombie, a Democrat who campaigned on a promise to sign the bill if it reached his desk, reversed the decision made by his Republican predecessor.