988 posts categorized "Arts-Entertainment"

January 23, 2015

Enter the dragon

Above, a bit of motion capture from Benedict Cumberbatch as Smaug in The Hobbit. Below, how the animation was constructed.

January 22, 2015

If guys acted in real life the way they do on gay apps

Our friend @OfficialSampson (Sampson McCormick) appears in this funny video.

January 20, 2015

Billy Crystal's gay discomfort

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(Photo courtesy RAYE34 fansshare.com #5406WW10813299)

Pink News reports:

Billy Crystal has claimed that modern gay storylines on TV shows are “pushing too far”.

Crystal played one of the first regularly openly gay characters, Jodie Dallas, on 1970s comedy ‘Soap’.

Speaking to the Television Critics Association, the star claimed that he doesn’t want TV to “shove it in our face” with regards to gay issues.

He said: “Sometimes I think, ‘Ah that’s too much for me.’

Dear Billy, I assume this means you are locked in a dungeon, tied down with your eyes forced open like in "A Clockwork Orange," with a giant tv showing gay programs in a loop. I admit it does sound like torture. Maybe if it's a good boy, its tormenters will untie it and give it a remote control.

Now Billy says his comments were taken out of context. Well that's dreadful, of course.

Noah Michelson at HuffPost Gay Voices comments.

Jon Stewart takes on Mike Huckabee over culture-clash hypocrisy

Score one for Jon Stewart. Notice that Huckabee manages to put his anti-elitism in the nicest possible light, though Stewart isn't having it. Huckabee is a lot more likeable than the other whackjobs.

A gay-friendlier Vatican, or window dressing?

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(Photo Illustration by Emil Lendof/The Daily Beast)

This article by Justin Jones at The Daily Beast, on unofficial gay-themed art tours at the Vatican, overstates the degree of the Vatican's and the Pope's pro-gayness, as became clear the other day when Francis spoke in the Philippines and called same-sex marriage a threat to the family. That should not be a surprise to anyone, nor does it mean we should not continue to engage the Church on a range of issues. But the welcome contrast with Benedict (whom I regard as a classic vicious closet case) is not everything.

Still, I will be interested in the Vatican's reaction to gay-themed art tours, as I am curious about their reaction to Michael Sam's twitpic of his proposal to Vito atop the dome of St. Peter's. While doctrine and policy are my main focus, symbolic gestures have their value, as do simple courtesy and respect. The latter, however, are not advanced by calling us a threat to the family. We must remember that the Curia remains powerful.

January 19, 2015

BeBe Winans - I have a dream

A lovely song inspired by Dr. King's most famous speech.

(Hat tip: Mark Thompson)

January 12, 2015

More helpful comments from Bill Donohue

Bill Donohue of the Catholic League offers another display of his Christlike forgiveness of those who give him offense.

(Hat tip: Right Wing Watch)

Fey, Poehler, a roomful of stars, and alcohol

Yes, the Golden Globes were on TV last night. Above is the opening by hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Their targets included George Clooney (who was there) and Bill Cosby (who was not). Below, Transparent wins for best TV series - comedy or musical. Actor Jeffrey Tambor also won for his role, and dedicated his performance and award to the transgender community.

December 31, 2014

Tony Bennett, Lady Gaga - The Lady is a Tramp

To help you get into a festive mood, here's a great duet between Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga. I have always loved this song, and they have fun with it.

December 27, 2014

Joe Califano whitesplains it all for you

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(Photo by Yoichi R. Okamoto/LBJ Library)

Joseph Califano, who served as President Johnson's top domestic affairs assistant, slams the new Selma movie in WaPo. He actually claims that "Selma was LBJ’s idea."

Lauren Victoria Burke responds at Crew of 42:

What? In an interesting column in the Washington Post, former LBJ aid Joe Califano claims that it was LBJ who came up with the Selma march. What in the world Califano is talking about is anyone’s guess. Below is the Selma episode of Eyes on the Prize.

December 25, 2014

Addams Family Christmas

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Thanks to Denise Van de Weigel for sharing this classic cartoon by Charles Addams for The New Yorker. Now it's time to head to the roof to greet the Christmas carolers.

Addams_Xmas_carolers

Eminem kills in The Interview

Rapper Eminem has a cameo in the action comedy The Interview in which he is interviewed by James Franco's character and comes out as gay. This is very funny, enhanced by his deadpan delivery as mayhem erupts in the studio. Seth Rogen and his assistant dancing in gleeful celebration of their scoop is a nice touch.

December 23, 2014

The Marquis of Hollywood visits Downton Abbey

It's Christmas at Downton Abbey, and Lord Grantham loses the family fortune again. He decides it would be better had he never been born. An angel appears and shows him an alternate reality in which the Marquis of Hollywood has taken his place. It's a spoof for a charity called Text Santa, and George Clooney makes the Dowager Countess swoon. Part 1 above, Part 2 below.

December 21, 2014

Hobbitses on top

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies earned more than $90 million from Wednesday through Sunday.

TLC to Air ‘My Husband’s Not Gay’ Special in January

December 19, 2014

Selfie with Fearless Leader

December 13, 2014

Johnny Gill takes lie detector test

Those rumors about a gay affair with Eddie Murphy were affecting Johnny Gill's love life, so he took a lie detector test to put his girlfriend's mind to rest.

December 07, 2014

Night Watch

Night_Watch

A group of teenagers checking their cell phones beside Rembrandt's "Night Watch."

(Hat tip: William B. Kelley, who isn't sure it's not photoshopped, but likes it anyway.)

December 06, 2014

Dancing under Bedford Avenue

Last month, a group called Coyote & Crow performed a cover of "Me & My Uncle" by the Grateful Dead on the Bedford Avenue subway platform in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. A little girl danced. This video has gone viral. Maybe you could use some cheering up.

November 29, 2014

New York, November twilight

November 20, 2014

Director Mike Nichols dies at 83

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Director Mike Nichols died on Wednesday at age 83. He was born in Germany and moved to the United States at age 7. He was a member of the comedy duo Nichols and May with Elaine May. In his long directing career, which encompassed stage, film, and television, he won about every award that could be won in his profession: Oscar, Emmy, Tony, Drama Desk, Golden Globe, Grammy, and Britain's BAFTA. He received the Kennedy Center Honors in 2003, and an American Film Institute Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010.

Nichols seemed eternally young, always with another project. He was working on a production of "Master Class" with Meryl Streep for HBO when he died. Fortunately, much of his work remains available for viewing. I remember seeing "The Real Thing" in 1984 in Broadway, featuring Jeremy Irons and Glenn Close. That he was adept in so many media put him in rare company. The partial lists of his work below convey his incredible range and output. At the bottom is a famous scene from "The Graduate" featuring Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft. He is survived by his wife Diane Sawyer and his children Max, Jenny, and Daisy. May he rest in peace.

On Broadway: Barefoot in the Park (1963), The Odd Couple (1965), Plaza Suite (1968), The Prisoner of Second Avenue (1971), Uncle Vanya (1973), Streamers (1976), Annie (1977), The Real Thing (1984), Hurlyburly (1984), The Seagull (2001), Spamalot (2005), Death of a Salesman (2012), and Betrayal (2013).

On film: Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966), The Graduate (1967), Catch-22 (1970), Carnal Knowledge (1971), The Day of the Dolphin (1973), Silkwood (1983), Heartburn (1986), Biloxi Blues (1988), Working Girl (1988), Postcards from the Edge (1990), Regarding Henry (1991), The Birdcage (1996), Primary Colors (1998), Angels in America (2003), Closer (2004), and Charlie Wilson's War (2007).

November 18, 2014

On Bill Cosby

Bill Cosby
(Photo by Evan Vucci, The Associated Press)

Bill Cosby has entertained generations of Americans with his comedy. He is an educator and has created memorable children's programming. His creation "Little Bill" always says "Hello friend" because that's what Ennis, his murdered son, always said. Cosby is a great philanthropist. One does not want to believe that such a beloved and respected figure is a serial rapist. But 14 alleged victims, one of whom he settled with out of court, coupled with his silence, make it hard to credit his lawyer's dismissals. Sadness is all over this; but the seriousness of the accusations raises troubling questions about wealth and fame putting someone above the law. I sure could have done without this news.

Here are several relevant items:

Update: A thoughtful essay from Katie McDonough at Salon.

November 07, 2014

Into the Woods - new trailer

The enchanting 1987 Sondheim musical based on Grimm's fairy tales appears from these glimpses to have received a beautiful film adaptation. In cinemas December 25.

October 30, 2014

Coffee Frenemies

A Starbucks commercial, no less.

There are no illegal aliens

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The incomparable Sigourney Weaver and friend.

This is your neighbor speaking...

This came to mind for perfectly arbitrary reasons. Jason Robards, Jr. addressing his neighbors in A Thousand Clowns, 1965.

Is Nick Jonas queerbaiting?

Yeah, sort of, says Towleroad.

I confess I am having trouble caring. But it appears to be a thing.

October 29, 2014

What's Scarier than Halloween? The Bible!

The latest from Mrs. Betty Bowers, America's Best Christian.

World Series moment

October 24, 2014

Great performances: Jeffrey Wright at Belize in Angels

I was looking for something else, and came upon this clip from the HBO version of Tony Kushner's Angels in America. Justin Kirk as Prior Walter, hospitalized with AIDS, tells his friend Belize, played by Jeffrey Wright, about the angels who are visiting him. Prior and Belize are former lovers and dear friends.

I saw both parts of Angels on a Saturday in 1994 on Broadway. I vividly remember Wright delivering the line, "My jaw aches at the memory." Wright's performance in that production won him a Tony, and his HBO reprise won him an Emmy. I appreciate having the TV version (though it lacks another Tony winner, Kathleen Chalfant, whose roles were given to Meryl Streep), because in 1994 I was in the balcony. TV gives you a front-row seat. This landmark drama was the first time I saw Wright. He has played a wide range of characters since, from MLK in HBO's Boycott to a CIA agent in the James Bond movies, to a Dominican drug lord in the Shaft remake, to the dangerous Dr. Valentin Narcisse in Boardwalk Empire. He is always compelling. If you know of a more gifted actor currently working, do tell.

Another clip, this one facing off with the dying Roy Cohn, played by the man whose performance in Dog Day Afternoon convinced Wright he must be an actor. Imagine Wright's thrill at this collaboration. If you are unfamiliar with Angels (something which you ought to correct), the ghost standing next to Belize at the end (when he says "I am the shadow on your grave") is that of Ethel Rosenberg.

October 17, 2014

In celebration of hermaphroditic snails

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("Snail Shell on Keys" by Garry Gay)

In an update on my earlier post regarding the new snail species Aegista diversifamilia, Manon Verchot at Treehugger.com quotes me, including my new lyrics channeling Cole Porter:

Bi-curious whales do it, quails do it,
New hermaphroditic snails do it.
Let's do it, let's fall in love.

Below, though sadly without benefit of my special lyrics, Billie Holiday gives her rendition. Use your imagination.

Tim Hauser of Manhattan Transfer dies

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Tim Hauser, founder of famed close harmony group Manhattan Transfer, has died at age 72. As a fellow former member of the Villanova Singers and Spires (though I never had the pleasure of meeting him), I tip my hat to our illustrious alum. Well done! I expect he is meeting another alum, Jim Croce, on the other side.

October 07, 2014

Geoffrey Holder, 1930 - 2014

NYT reports:

Geoffrey Holder, the dancer, choreographer, actor, composer, designer and painter who used his manifold talents to infuse the arts with the flavor of his native West Indies and to put a singular stamp on the American cultural scene, not least with his outsize personality, died on Sunday in Manhattan. He was 84.

Charles M. Mirotznik, a spokesman for the family, said the cause was complications of pneumonia.

Few cultural figures of the last half of the 20th century were as multifaceted as Mr. Holder, and few had a public presence as unmistakable as his, with his gleaming pate atop a 6-foot-6 frame, full-bodied laugh and bassoon of a voice laced with the lilting cadences of the Caribbean.

In the clip above, Holder dances with the original Scarecrow as he receives his Tony for directing The Wiz. Below, a glimpse of his work for Alvin Ailey. May this great artist rest in peace.

October 03, 2014

Key & Peele - Gay Wedding Advice

Very funny.

September 24, 2014

Who says there's no good news?

I am delighted to hear this news of a sequel. On the other hand, what could possibly outdo this reading by Samuel L. Jackson?

Trust me on this one

Very funny.

(Hat tip: Joel Lawson)

September 23, 2014

Artie Raslich, whale photographer

Whale in NY waters

Ian Frazier in the Sep. 29 issue of The New Yorker writes about photographer Artie Raslich of East Rockaway, who took the wonderful photo above.

Tel Aviv party organizers slammed for ISIS spoof

Ynet News reports:

Drek – one of Tel Aviv's most popular gay party organizers – has inspired a massive wave of criticism and anger online after using imagery inspired by the Islamic State group's executions on a number of posters promoting the club's parties.

Here are a couple of the offending images.

Drek poster 1

Drek poster 2

It does seem in dreadful taste. But dark humor generally is. As I do not live in the Middle East, I am not inclined to judge the Drek promoters too harshly.

September 04, 2014

R.I.P. Joan Rivers

Comedian Joan Rivers has died at age 81. Here is a 1986 appearance on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, her trademark style on full display. May she rest in peace.

August 29, 2014

Daily Show mocks ESPN focus on Michael Sam's showering habits

Samantha Bee normally annoys me, but this is funny. Michael Sam outclasses the people who persist in trying to marginalize him with their locker room fantasies. Rooting for you, Mike.

As for Mike's performance as a football player and his chances of making the final roster cut Saturday, more coverage here and here.

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