homosexuality

Depending on how you interpret it, This Means War is either another insipid, aggressively convoluted candy-colored flick from that auteur of nothingness McG, or one of the great unrequited male love stories of all time. The portrait of two men who really only have eyes for each other, it’s an aggressively formulaic, borderline nonsensical fantasy about Los Angeles-based CIA studs FDR and Tuck (Chris Pine and Tom Hardy) who fall for a woman named Lauren (Reese Witherspoon) and set out to woo her in an elaborate pissing contest.

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Inspired by the real life murder of Ahmet Yildiz, filmmakers Caner Alper and Mehmet Binay set out to tell the story of a friend who was believed to be killed by his father for being in a homosexual relationship. The result is Zenne (or Zenne Dancer) which focuses on three disparate characters forging a friendship that challenges at least one of them to come to terms with who he is. According to Reuters, that’s not all it’s challenging. At least one newspaper in the largely Muslim country has decried the movie as “homosexual propaganda” made by people trying to “legitimiz[e] perversion through their so-called art.” This comes on the heels of the movie winning 5 awards at Turkey’s most respected film festival, the Antalya Golden Orange – including Best First Feature and Best Cinematography. Check out the trailer:

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Culture Warrior

Warning: This post contains spoilers about J. Edgar. For the past few years, I haven’t been much of a fan of Clint Eastwood’s work. While he no doubt possesses storytelling skills as a director and certainly maintains an incredible presence as a movie star, I’ve found that critics who constantly praise his work often overlook its general lack of finesse, tired and sometimes visionless formal approach, and habitual ham-fistedness. When watching Eastwood’s work, I get the impression, supported by stories of his uniquely economic method of filmmaking, that he thinks of himself as something of a Woody Allen for the prestige studio drama, able to get difficult stories right in one take. The end product, for me, says otherwise. While I was a fan of the strong but still imperfect Mystic River (2003) and Letters From Iwo Jima (2006), the moment that I stopped trusting Eastwood came around the time the song “Colorblind” appeared in Invictus two years ago, throwing any prospect of nuance and panache out the window. Eastwood, despite having helmed several notable cinematic successes, has recently been coasting on a reputation that doesn’t match the work. He is, in short, proof of the auteur problem: that we as critics forgive from him transgressions that would never be deemed acceptable with a “lesser” director. As you can likely tell, my expectations were to the ground in seeking out the critically-divided J. Edgar. I was prepared, in entering the theater to watch Eastwood’s newest, to write an article about […]

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As many fellow conflicted yet faithful Netflix subscribers know, last week marked the beginning of the separation of Instant and disc-only memberships. I had been trying to whittle down my streaming queue for a few months, but we all know that is a nearly impossible task with that devilish recommendation list appearing every time you go to the site’s homepage. Suffice it to say, my queue had actually grown since the announcement, making the budgeting decision for me. One of the films at the top of my queue was 2010’s long-awaited gay love story I love You Phillip Morris starring the forever not-sexy Jim Carrey and the always delicious Ewan McGregor as two convicts head-over-heels in love with each other. I could spend an entire column writing about this rapid, surprisingly honest and tender romance sprinkled with deception and humor, however my greatest take away from this man on man sexiness was the unexpectedly hot chemistry (and subsequent love scenes) between Carrey and McGregor.

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Star Trek is a television and film franchise that has often been thought of as being very forward thinking. Seeing as it centers on a science fiction heavy presentation of our future, I would say that’s a good thing. With the original series, creator Gene Rodenberry broke through a lot of societal boundaries. His future was a multi-cultural, multi-national one that must have seemed very progressive in 1966. The show’s character Uhura was one of the first regular black characters on any series. It showed Americans working side by side with Russians back when communism was still being portrayed as an evil red threat in everything else. But one thing that the franchise has never depicted, even in all of its TV and film spin-offs, is homosexuality. That’s got to be seen as a pretty big failure when looking at things in terms of hard sc-fi. When talking to gay-slanted pop culture site afterelton.com, The Next Generation c0-producer Brannon Braga had this to say about the subject, “It was a shame for a lot of us that … I’m talking about the Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and there was a constant back and forth about well how do we portray the spectrum of sexuality. There were people who felt very strongly that we should be showing casually, you know, just two guys together in the background in Ten Forward. At the time the decision was made not to do that and I think those same people would make a different […]

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outrage-1

Kirby Dick’s ‘Outrage,’ a documentary that outs closeted politicians, has been one of the hot titles at the Tribeca Film Festival.

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