928 posts categorized "Arts-Entertainment"

June 28, 2014

'Vicious' brings its camp stereotypes to PBS

The British sitcom starring Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi as a long-time gay couple is coming to PBS, NYT reports. Good for them, but from the YouTube clips I've seen, Jacobi's over-the-top stereotypical queen is too much. Such a pair of world-class actors deserves better material. I have seen both of them in theaters give extraordinary, nuanced performances. Don't expect that here.

June 22, 2014

Melissa Etheridge at WorldPride opening ceremonies

From WorldPride, now going on in Toronto.

June 04, 2014

Jonah Hill shows how to make a sincere apology

Alec, babe, you should watch this. Thank you, Jonah.

June 02, 2014

Give this man anything he asks

(Image courtesy of GPN/Nebraska ETV Network and WNED Buffalo)

Congrats to LeVar Burton on his huge crowdsourcing success with his Reading Rainbow reboot. He exceeded his $1 million goal within 24 hours, and has now set a new goal of $5 million to expand the program into more classrooms. A great many of us fell in love with him (and those eyes) 37 years ago with his legendarily soulful and shattering performance as Kunta Kinte. How the hell can we be that much older? Anyway, the cause of literacy just got a much-needed boost. Good on him and all the people who joined the cause. You can kick in here.

May 29, 2014

De Niro talks about his gay father in HBO documentary


New York Daily News reports on a documentary that actor Robert De Niro has made about his gay father, who was an artist and died 20 years ago from cancer:

The award-winning actor took a seat behind the scenes to produce a documentary about his late father, who was openly gay, called "Remembering the Artist: Robert De Niro Sr."

"I felt I had to. I felt obligated. It was my responsibility to make a documentary about him," he said in an interview with Out magazine about the film, which includes archival footage from the '70s, and was edited by Thelma Schoonmaker, a longtime editor for Martin Scorsese.

May 28, 2014

Maya Angelou, 1928 - 2014

A great spirit has left us. And yet, of course, she hasn't. Keep rising, Maya Angelou.

Our friend Ernest Hopkins writes on Facebook:

Hard, very sad day. It is impossible to measure of the depth and import of her contributions to our culture. Her impact is broad and rolling like the sea. The Gods are smiling with her return. Rest in Peace Sister Angelou. Job well done.

May 26, 2014

Bring Them Home

A tribute for Memorial Day.

(Hat tip: David Sisson)

"You shall not pass!"

A belated happy 75th birthday to the magnificent Sir Ian McKellen, born on May 25, 1939. In this clip, matched with Peter Jackson's flawless composition and special effects, he falls through fire into the abyss battling the Federal Marriage Amendment in the form of a balrog: "You shall not pass!" And indeed it did not. All hail our brother Sirina, whose career certainly was not harmed by coming out.

May 23, 2014

Too happy in Tehran

MTV reports:

Six young Iranians have been arrested after they uploaded a video of themselves dancing throughout Tehran to Pharrell’s “Happy.”

“Happy in Tehran” was uploaded to YouTube last month and garnered more than 165,000 views before being made private. It shows three men and three women — all unveiled — looking, well, happy as they dance and lip-synch to Pharrell’s hit.

But authorities in Tehran are calling the video “vulgar,” and all six were arrested and forced to formally apologize on state television. (Under Islamic law, women are required to cover themselves from head to toe in public, a rule monitored by “morality police.”)

Do not take your freedom for granted.

Larry Kramer Lives to See His ‘Normal Heart’ Filmed for TV


NYT talks to Larry Kramer on the occasion of the TV version of his landmark play The Normal Heart. Congrats to him.

However. "We have no power in Washington, or anywhere else," says Kramer, who doesn't do nuance. In the week of Frank Kameny's 89th birthday, I say what he once said to Kramer in Lambda Rising bookstore: Larry, you are wrong.

That we haven't won everything doesn't mean we won nothing. Kramer has done much to admire; but his boorishness and disrespect are gratuitous and increasingly ridiculous.

(Photo of Larry Kramer by David Shankbone)

Harvey Milk Forever Stamp dedicated

On what would have been Harvey Milk's 84th birthday, the U.S. Postal Service and the Harvey Milk Foundation hosted a ceremony at the White House unveiling the Harvey Milk Forever Stamp.

Zach Ford at Think Progress gives us 5 Amazing Harvey Milk Quotes That Are Too Long To Fit On His New Stamp.

Meanwhile, there's a Harvey Milk musical.

May 14, 2014

'We oppose bearded men in dresses', say bearded men in dresses


As The Independent reports, "The Russian Orthodox Church’s condemnation of Conchita Wurst’s Eurovision victory is being ridiculed on social media."

God is great, and She has a sense of humor.

(Hat tip: Joel Lawson)

May 11, 2014


From Australia. The astrophotos begin at 2:21. Photographer: Mike Salvay. Soundtrack: Vangelis - Across the Mountains (2004). Project, concept and design, light effects and editing by Sandro Sansone. Source: www.mikesalway.com.au.

(Hat tip: Dickie Popp)

Rise Like a Phoenix

Austrian drag performer Conchita Wurst won the Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen on Saturday with "Rise Like a Phoenix." As others have observed, right wing heads must have been exploding yesterday.

May 07, 2014

HGTV Backs Away From Reality Show Starring Anti-Gay Activist Following RWW Report

Brian Tashman at Right Wing Watch reports:

HGTV announced today that the recently unveiled reality TV show, Flip it Forward, about realtor David Benham, a virulent anti-gay activist, will not move forward after all.

Swim test

In this closely watched news from the National Zoo, the lion cubs all passed their swim test. Below is a video from two weeks ago showing the cubs' first time spent in the same enclosure with their father.

May 06, 2014

John Oliver on top


HBO's new show, "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver," had a great debut last week. I'd have embedded the video, but they don't allow it. Click on the link and check it out. My favorite line was when he expressed sympathy for His Former Holiness Benedict XVI on the occasion of the canonization of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II as saints: "It cannot be easy to be the fourth most popular pope in a room -- especially when two of the other popes are dead."

WHCD 2014: Lou Chibbaro was there and you were not

(Blade editor Kevin Naff with reporters Michael Lavers, Chris Johnson and Lou Chibbaro Jr. at WHCD.)

I thought the President was pretty funny at the White House Correspondents Dinner. Joel McHale, OTOH, whom I confess I never heard of before, was mainly mean. Oh, Chris Christie is fat! Ha ha! But the really important thing is that the Washington Blade was there. Who wants to ogle Richard Sherman when you can set your eyes on these handsome gents?

Continue reading "WHCD 2014: Lou Chibbaro was there and you were not" »

April 25, 2014

Stewart on Bundy and Hannity

Colbert on the Harvey Milk postage stamp

Stephen Colbert's right-wing persona has a problem licking the back of Harvey Milk's stamp, even if it's self-adhesive.

On a more serious note, others have noted unhappily the lack of similar recognition to our late colleague, gay rights pioneer Frank Kameny, whose contribution was far more extensive than the martyred Milk. I agree, but I am rather worn out on the fighting-over-a-grave front.

April 17, 2014

Beards and fashion


If you are a slave to fashion, forever worrying about what "they" will think of your choices in clothing and personal grooming, I suppose you may be interested in this article in Salon. It states:

Attention all persons sporting a full visage of facial hair: If you’re trying to attract a mate, you might want to rethink your beard. That is one takeaway from a new study published this week in Biology Letters.

“We may well be at peak beard,” researcher Robert Brooks told the Guardian Australia. Brooks is part of a facial hair research team at the University of New South Wales; previously the team found that beards signaled virility. This year they discovered a different behavioral effect related to facial hair: If everyone is bearded, women prefer a clean shaven man. The same principle also works in reverse.

They don't need to change a hair for me. Affleck in particular looks stunning in his beard. I don't care a fart about someone's notion of fashion.

April 10, 2014

Marian Anderson at Lincoln Memorial, 75 years ago

Filmpreservation.org writes:

[I]n early 1939 the Daughters of the American Revolution declined music impresario Sol Hurok's request to book Marian Anderson into its Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. Her race was evidently the reason. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt then resigned from the DAR, an act that increased public awareness of the controversy. Secretary of the Interior Harold L. Ickes arranged for a concert on the Lincoln Memorial steps. On April 9, 1939, Marian Anderson sang before a live audience of seventy-five thousand and a national radio audience of millions more.

Mrs. Roosevelt's immortal resignation letter to the president general of the DAR began, "I am afraid that I have never been a very useful member of the Daughters of the American Revolution...." It was politely devastating. Any course in rhetoric should include it.

April 07, 2014

Bedtime Bible Stories

America's Best Christian, Betty Bowers, gets biblical with her bedtime stories for children. If you think this scriptural stuff is harsh, you should check out the original fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm. Or perhaps Hilaire Belloc's Cautionary Verses for Children.

Mickey Rooney, 1920 - 2014

Actor Mickey Rooney has died at age 93. A tribute is in order. This may be heresy, but there's something about those old Mickey & Judy "let's do a show" movies that makes me gag; so I chose the trailer for 1938's Boys Town, in which Mickey starred with Spencer Tracy.

Below is "Yakko's Universe" from the 1990s TV show Animaniacs, which was deliberately annoying but had its moments. This song includes a reference to Rooney. Hat tip to Sean Bugg.

April 06, 2014

20 years later, commemorating the Rwandan Genocide

[Above, the 2004 film Hotel Rwanda tells the story of how hotel manager Paul Rusesabagina, played by Don Cheadle, hid and protected 1,268 Hutu and Tutsi refugees during the Rwandan Genocide. Rusesabagina's story was told by Philip Gourevitch in his book, We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will be Killed With Our Families: Stories from Rwanda.]

20 years ago the horror was already planned, and needed only surface-to-air missiles to set it off. Wiki reports: "On April 6, 1994, an airplane carrying [Rwandan President Juvénal] Habyarimana and Burundian president Cyprien Ntaryamira was shot down on its descent into Kigali, killing all on board. Genocidal killings began the following day: soldiers, police and militia quickly executed key Tutsi and moderate Hutu leaders, then erected checkpoints and barricades and used Rwandans' national identity cards to systematically verify their ethnicity and kill Tutsi. These forces recruited or pressured Hutu civilians to arm themselves with machetes, clubs, blunt objects and other weapons to rape, maim and kill their Tutsi neighbors and destroy or steal their property."

The commemoration to be held in Kigali tomorrow, April 7, will not include a representative of France. Al Jazeera reports:

Continue reading "20 years later, commemorating the Rwandan Genocide" »

Citing Israel Policy, D.C. Jewish Community Center Pulls The Plug On The Shondes

(Photo by Frank Stefanko)

WAMU reports the demoralizing details.

The Shondes’ singer and bassist, Louisa Solomon, said, "The occupation is illegal, brutal, and unjust, and it is hard to imagine anyone with both a heart and a mind concluding anything else." Well, we can't have that kind of talk at DCJCC.

As a longtime defender of Israel, I increasingly find myself asking: If willful moral blindness is necessary for that defense, does it not undermine itself? As J Street understands, the West Bank Occupation is itself an existential threat to Israel. A two-state solution is the only sane path forward. Given demographic trends, if Israel stays on its current path, it will either stop being a Jewish state or it will stop being a democracy. It is unfathomable how the denial exemplified by DCJCC on this situation can possibly help Israel or the Jewish people.

I wrote to the leaders of DCJCC on this subject a year or two ago in response to an email I received from them. I got no response. If you have to hunker down and shut out contrary views, including from friends like me, you are not headed down a sustainable or happy path. This makes me inexpressibly sad.

April 05, 2014

Carole King surprises Beautiful cast at curtain call

Joe Jervis writes:

Beautiful, the Broadway musical that tells Carole King's life story through her songs, has been running for months to record crowds and rave reviews. King had famously declined to see the show, telling Playbill in December after walking out of a reading, "I can't watch my life played out before me." She changed her mind on Thursday, choosing to attend the show during the week that Broadway casts issue curtain call pleas for donations to Equity Fights AIDS.

Lovely. Especially nice for those of us who were in our teens during her peak years.

April 03, 2014

Capehart tribute to house music producer/remixer Frankie Knuckles


Jonathan Capehart pays tribute to house music legend Frankie Knuckles, who died on Monday at age 59:

The National Public Radio obituary noted that “By the mid-1990s, house music was so mainstream that a song by Frankie Knuckles was played in a commercial for Lipton Iced Tea.” The New York Times remembrance highlighted the Grammy he won in 1998 for nonclassical remixer of the year. And the Chicago Tribune obit pointed out that Knuckles would build “dynamic ebb-and-flow sets that would keep his dancefloor filled from midnight to noon on weekends.”

March 28, 2014

Is a racist caricature okay as long as it's satirical? (No)

A controversy has arisen over Stephen Colbert's use of an offensive Asian stereotype to mock Dan Snyder's "charm offensive" over the racist name of the Washington football team. (The embed wasn't working, so click on the above link if you want to see the clip.) The question is, does Colbert's satirical purpose make it any more ok for him to do an Asian caricature than, say, a Stepin Fetchit impression? I agree with @suey_park that the answer is no. But she was barraged on Twitter by over-the-top threats and insults.

Really, people? The speed with which some resort to the most extreme language in online forums is scary, and does raise questions about the willful obtuseness of privilege by some and pandering to it by others. Okay, so you're being meta. The racist stuff is still offensive. Please knock it off.

March 14, 2014

You thought your marriage had problems

She's mad because her husband used to do "Straight Porn for Gay Eyes." Sounds like a niche market to me.

March 10, 2014

Swanson: Disney's 'Frozen' Is A Satanic Push To Turn Kids Gay

Right Wing Watch shares the latest in wingnuttery.

March 06, 2014

Lupita and Conan on working the cape

I have no particular reason to post this interview with Lupita Nyong'o and Conan O'Brien. She is just so stunning and poised. Their discussion of the advantages of wearing a cape does remind me of a revue at the National Theatre in the mid-1980s (it was an MLK Birthday celebration) in which a bunch of us from the Gay Men's Chorus were in the balcony watching an Elizabethan dance troupe which, let's just say, was way more gay than we were. One of the dancers wore a cape, and his absurdly elaborate and stylized moves caused a very bad boy among us (whom we nicknamed Crystal) to call out, "Work the cape, honey." I remember my friend David Sisson dissolving into tears of laughter.

(Hat tip: Rod 2.0)

D.C. Council's action to decriminalize marijuana possession

Jimmy Fallon on Wednesday mentioned the D.C. Council's action to decriminalize mj possession. (He also mentioned the bill last fall.) Oh, what we have to do to get attention!

GLAA endorsed the "Simple Possession of Small Quantities Of Marijuana Decriminalization Amendment Act of 2013," Bill 20-409, in our 2014 policy brief.

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) issued the following statement:

In a country where many states are permitting medical marijuana, or have decriminalized or legalized marijuana, I do not expect Members of Congress to interfere with D.C.’s local right to pass its own law on marijuana decriminalization. If Members try to interfere, however, I will stoutly defend D.C.’s right to pass such legislation, just as 17 states have already done.

March 04, 2014

Lupita Nyong'o on beauty

I encourage you to take the time to watch these remarks by Lupita Nyong'o on the gatekeepers of beauty and learning to love oneself and the beauty inside that has no shade. This was prior to her winning an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her performance as Patsey in 12 Years a Slave. What a class act this young actress is, and how well she is using the limelight. Brava.

March 03, 2014

American troops perform in drag; WND gets its panties in a twist

Some American troops donned drag for a charity performance in Okinawa. World Net Daily is appalled.

Ellen's Oscar selfie

Ellen's selfie with several stars during the Oscar telecast last night established a new retweet record, with 1.8 million RTs as of midnight EST.

The hottest guy in the picture (IMHO), charmingly enough, was not one of the stars but Lupita Nyong'o's brother Peter, whom she called "Junior" during her acceptance speech. They are a photogenic family. Okay, Bradleys, you're cute too.

12 Years a Slave wins Best Picture, Supporting Actress, Adapted Screenplay

The radiant Lupita Nyong'o gave an eloquent acceptance speech as she won an Oscar last night for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Patsey in 12 Years a Slave. It also won for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay. This is the first film by a black director to win the top prize in Oscar's 86-year history. A fine moment of recognition for a magnificent, powerful film. It is a much-needed corrective to filmic falsehoods from "The Birth of a Nation" in 1915 to "Gone With the Wind" in 1939. Congrats and thanks to its makers.

February 25, 2014

A wee bit of Oscar news


Judy's three children (Liza, Lorna, and Joey) are going to do a tribute at the Oscars next week to mark the 75th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz. This could be painful. I may call up one of my Wiccan friends and ask them to cast a spell to keep it scripted and mercifully short.

February 10, 2014

The little snowflake that couldn't

Let's hear it for Suzie Snowflake's brave protest at the Sochi Olympics opening ceremony, where she refused to open into an Olympic ring.

January 28, 2014

Stay, Mister Hannity!

Nathan Lane, Tim Gunn, and other New Yorkers help Jon Stewart plead with Sean Hannity not to carry out his threat to leave New York.