January 2007March 2007 

 

58 posts from February 2007

Feb 28 2007
CoverBoy Comments (1)

Some amazing cover stories in advance of the March 23 release of Boy Culture:

I'm absolutely in love with the March 27 cover of The Advocate. Derek Magyar is "X," a character I dreamed up in college, and to see X staring out at the gay world on the cover of The Advocate gives me chills. I can't wait to read it, but with a cover like this, who needs words? (You do? Okay. Every Friday in March, I'll post a lengthy original interview I did with Derek, Darryl Stephens, Jonathon Trent and director Allan Brocka.)

Adv_2

And all three guys are on display courtesy of Frontiers, with a terrific interview by Greg Hernandez (readable on his blog Out In Hollywood).

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And finally, I've already blogged about Jonathon Trent's cover of Envy, but here is a better look:

Envymancover1_1

It's not only about covers, it's also about coverage. Check out this rave review from FilmCritic.com, which I understand has not often been so enamored with a TLA Releasing film (3.5/5 seems low based on the actual review itself, but I think the site is like Rolling Stone—stingy with stars. The Queen only got 4. So what I'm saying is, "Wow, this review rocks.") Click on the image to read it here, or visit the site.

Boy_filmcriticdotcom

 
 
Boy's Shorts Comments (1)

Boycultureunderwear1

Boy Culture has inspired a line of underwear by Ginch Gonch that will only be available promotionally at Gglogowesternmyspace_2Rblogomyspace_2a select few events, including those hosted by Rentboy.com in San Francisco (March 16 @ The EndUp), in New York (March 21 @ Barracuda) and in Los Angeles (March 21 @ Micky's).

I'm the last to make any cracks about this ass-backwards form of promotion...it takes balls. (Which is a punny way of saying, "Cool. I love it.")

 
 
Times Scare Comments (0)

Expl_1Look before you Gawk.

I know Gawker isn't CNN, but sheesh—they put up kind of an alarming headline considering there was nothing to back it up. Some commenters to Gawker later said they thought it was a manhole. If it was even that, I'd be surprised. I went over there at 2PM and saw, as you can see, zilch. Blogs are not infallible—just because you saw digital cum drooling out of Jake Gyllenhaal's mouth on Perez isn't the only reason doesn't mean he's gay. But when bombs could easily start going off a block from where I work, I really don't dig false alarms.

Img_0246_1All quiet on the W. 42nd St. front.

 
 
Degenerate Artifact Comments (2)

It's chilling to think this eBay find could be real and so easily available. People think it could never happen again, but it happened quite recently in the grand scheme of history and the desire for it to happen again is certainly out there.

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(Title for this post from here.)

 
 
Feb 27 2007
Even Playing Safe Has It Dangers Comments (5)

Hearts will break even if condoms don't. The difference? You still have your health.

I got this from the director of Boy Culture. I suppose it could be called trite, but for some reason it won me over, I watched every second of it and I think it's extremely effective in advocating condoms and also in painting a bracingly realistic yet ultimately positive picture of being gay. I don't know...I just loved it.

Click here, as YouTube keeps deleting it.

 
 
Feb 26 2007
Global Cooling Comments (4)

Lorenz_oscar_julia_grave_markerYou can't take it with you.

Ccm00010I used to care about the Oscars—deeply care about them. When I was a teenager, I hadn't even seen most of the nominees, and yet I somehow had passionate favorites to win. It was based on my knowledge of Oscar history, gleaned from countless awards-show books. I had absorbed Oscar's genetic code, so that even as a kid from Michigan with no connection to the industry, I was confident I could judge whether it was time for a long-overlooked nominee to go home with the gold or when a young hotshot needed to win in deference to the box office and the next generation.

Even in my twenties, I would try to predict the winners in all the categories. A group of friends and I would prepare lists of every film we saw during the year and score them on a 1-to-10 scale, rank them and then rate their Oscar chances. Guess the winner, get 5 points. In a more complicated maneuver, we would list our five choices in each category from most likely (5) to least likely (1) to win. That way, if you didn't guess the winner outright, you still got points for coming close.

Oscar_levant_3Just before I was seduced by the Internet and started a much more demanding job, I stopped caring about the Oscars. At least, I didn't care about them in such detail. I've had my picks over the years and have jumped up and down on the night-of for some deserving winners. But I lost the fascination I had for the ceremony.

I didn't think last night's Oscars were bad at all. I even thought they were kind of good. Ellen was not a laugh-riot, but she was amusing and amiable. I don't understand why so many commentators have snarked about it so viciously—for example, every sentence of Nikki Finke's analysis is a strangulated effort to top her own venomous zinger in the previous line. I just don't believe most viewers felt this telecast was a lowpoint. I remember when David Letterman tanked—everybody knew it. But I don't believe that was the case this year. Sure, I am always open to political jokes and topical barbs, but the latter can degenerate into insult comedy at the expense of the big star whose presence is employing the host. Not a fan of that.

OscarpeckgravestoneWithin the classic format of the Oscars, the things I'd change are simple: I wouldn't play music to get people off the stage (Ellen had promised not to...what happened?) and I would not allow any self-congratulatory packages devoted to the history of how writers have been shown on screen (I've never seen an Oscar montage that didn't feel like a random collection of clips that could have been directed by any dedicated YouTuber). The rest will sort itself out.

For me, the most unbearable aspect of the Oscars is the red carpet, where nobody has personal style, only personal stylists. I felt almost everybody (well, not Sally Kirkland) looked beautiful and most of the gowns made me flash back to dressing in my mother's clothes as a kid. But knowing that 99% of the attendees are wearing borrowed clothes or clothes chosen for them by others as free advertising kills it for me. And how disgusting is it watching a human turd like Ryan Seacrest chatting with haggard hacks Giuliana Depandi and Debbie Matenopolous about how fugly Anne Hathaway's dress is literally one second after he's just greeted her warmly. What's next? "Hi, welcome to the Oscars—what were you thinking???" I just think celebrities have become so inhuman in our minds that even other celebrities think nothing of treating them like stray dogs with foamy muzzles.

I'm happy or satisfied about most of the wins (and still think Eddie Murphy's loss is karma) and the show didn't put me to sleep. There were surprises and there were vindications. What more do you want?

I think that's the problem. The declining ratings of telecasts such as these do not mean they're badly done, it just means we're less interested in well-done versions of these kinds of shows as we're used to seeing them. I think in the same way I stopped caring about the Oscars, the rest of the world is slowly coming around to that same feeling. Maybe I got sick of them sooner because I was so intensely into them to begin with and burned out, but regardless, I think the Oscars are suffering from a big, international chill because they are a throwback in a world where we'd rather look forward most of the time.

So while I give credit to Ellen and to last night's team, I think the powers that be need to look hard at the format and consider casting aside some of our preconceived notions about what makes the Oscars the Oscars—before they lose their power completely.

Whalan_oscar_1Oprah...Uma...who cares?

 
 
Best Original Comments (3)

Backug4_1Their back.

Madonna updated her style to look more her age at the Vanity Fair Oscars party (pix from here), after working the eternally youthful clubkid look for a year and a half. Absolutely love it. If this hair, makeup and dress is not pleasing, face it—you're just never going to like her.

Like the Academy, which semi-snubbed her by denying her a Best Actress nomination for Evita (any other actress would have had it, even though I personally felt Madonna was very good but not Oscar-worthy in the part) and full-on-snubbed her by never nominating her for Best Original Song for any of the following (only listing the ones truly deserving for either artistic or Oscar-mindset reasons—she's had plenty more contenders): "Into The Groove," "Crazy For You," "Live To Tell," "Who's That Girl," "This Used To Be My Playground," "I'll Remember," "Beautiful Stranger" or "Die Another Day." You'd think she was Beyoncé or something.

More pictures after the jump, including Madonna with...Faye Dunaway! Swoon.

PastPrecursor looks to this year's Oscars party look, all 15+ years ago.

33mpppt_1I are classy.

Dressww3_1I guess aging isn't so bad when you have the body of a 14-year-old gymnast.

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Mother Beyond Comments (0)

Madonna's Japan-only TV commercial for Brillia Mare Ariake.

"Beyond race. Beyond gender. Beyond religion. Beyond gender. Beyond tomorrow. Just perfect. Brillia Mare Ariake."—Madonna, 2007

TONS and TONS of Madonna's previous TV ads after the jump.

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Feb 25 2007
One Word Why He Lost: Norbit Comments (0)

I guess Hollywood has made abundantly clear that it does NOT care for Dreamgirls. Period.

OscarzLosing unexpectedly could not have happened to a nicer guy...even though he rocked in Dreamgirls.

 
 
Life's Work: An Interview With Beefcake Photographer Lon Of New York Comments (6)

Ten years ago, I received a review copy of a new book published by Janssen Verlag called American Photography Of The Male Nude: 1940—1970: Lon of New York. It was the second in the series of three, sandwiched between Bruce of L.A. and Dave Martin, both photographers with whom I was very familiar. (There have since been four more published—Douglas of Detroit, Pat Milo Al Urban and Bob Mizer.) I'd never heard of Alonzo Hanagan, but the book was beautiful, full of classic male nudes in a variety of shades. I’d always wondered about that period of photography—and of gay history—considering that so many of the muscle-bound posers were ostensibly straight (or what passed for it back before gay rights drew a necessary line in the sand). If it was terrifying to be gay back in the day, what drew so many men who probably did not i.d. as gay first and foremost to pose nearly or totally nude for gay mens’ lenses and eyeballs?

When I realized Lon was still alive and residing in New York (in Mae West's old digs...get her!), I requested an interview, never dreaming he’d say yes. He said yes and I dutifully showed up at his brownstone, where I found him to be somewhat the worse for wear but still kicking—and with the memory of an elephant. Lon was in boxers and a robe and not terribly mobile. I was scared to death taping him because in those days I had an analog tape recorder that worked on sound, so as a small voice drifted out of the large man I was desperately hoping I would not lose his words.

Lon’s caretaker/peer/friend told me he was going back to photography, and in fact he did show at Wessel + O’Connor. I can’t imagine his 1990s works could truly be attributed to him—he just didn’t exhibit a coherent, creative spark when I spoke with him—but he was certainly indomitable.

I published the interview in an issue of Torso, and I understand Lon was very pleased with how I’d framed his story. Chatting with him felt like a rare opportunity to get some insight into a lost time about which I’d had a lot of faulty assumptions—for one thing, he was not at all enthusiastic about “gay libbers.” Hmmm. I guess the gay-rights advocates alienated all the trade. But he was nonetheless heroic as an artist and as a gay man in that he openly practiced his art and his commerce, dealing with prison and harassment.

Since then, I’ve acquired some of Lon’s work, and I cherish the few pieces I have—after all, Lon himself had very, very few prints and negatives of his own work, some of which he’d kept in one storage trunk for decades. The bulk of his work was destroyed as pornography and no longer exists, and Lon himself died in December of 1999, so any time I see any of his creations still floating around I’m relieved.

Here is my original piece with no editing and its original title. I’d forgotten how much fun it was to write this.

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