415 posts categorized "BOOKS "

Aug 14 2014
Judy, Judy, Judy! Comments (0)

Judy-Garland

Judy Garland never got to write her memoirs (imagine what she'd have said!), but Randy L. Schmidt has helpfully done the next best thing in gathering all of her most important and interesting interviews and encounters from throughout her short life.

Judy Garland on Judy Garland (A Cappella/Chicago Review Press, $28.95) is an invaluable collection of first-person information on Garland, including exhaustive transcriptions of interviews.

The first exchange I saw upon opening the volume:

Judy-Garland-Gypsy-Rose-LeeGypsy Rose Lee: “I was just telling Judy Garland that I wish she wouldn't diet so much and get so thin. Not that you don't look wonderful on television, but even when you put on a little weight, your legs stay lean.”

Judy Garland: “Yes, well, I just demand that they stay lean. They have to get around so much. They're a moving target.”

Gypsy Rose Lee: “You have wonderful legs!”

Judy Garland: “Yes, well, they're straight. I think that's the thing. [Laughs] They're just legs, you know!”

That's like saying this is just a book!

 
Aug 13 2014
Lana, Too Comments (0)

Lana-Turner-Laurence-OlivierWaiting for you...

That list I did regarding Madonna's “Vogue” put me in a Lana Turner mode, so I dug out this memorable shot of Turner meeting Sir Laurence Olivier at Night of 100 Stars II (1985), when she was 64 and he was 77.

Lana-Turner-Eric_root

The man with her is Eric Root (allegedly 35 then) who later wrote a dishy book about his ladyfriend, one that engendered some pretty contemptuous Amazon reviews (see above!).

Thanks to Root, we have this observation of the moment Turner met Olivier, which is loaded with insight into Turner's view of herself:

“She's waited her whole career to meet that man.”

The photo was taken by Katia Beebe and published as a full page in Life.

 
Aug 11 2014
Stoked: Help Fund This Hot New Beefcake Book Comments (0)
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Photographer Michael Stokes, renowned for his idealized portraits of beautiful men—especially his capturing of sexy Alex Minsky—is about to publish his second book of photography, Bare Strength.

He set up a Kickstarter to raise $22,500 and blew past that goal in 48 hours. Now, you can still contribute as a great way to pre-order the book.

Check out some insanely hot images from the book-to-be in the gallery above!

Michael-Stokes-Bare-StrengthNext, he'll raise some cash to buy this poor fellow some clothes.

 
Aug 06 2014
Queen Of All They Survey Comments (0)

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An entire comic about Freddie Mercury and Queen is probably as good in your hands as it is an idea. More about Killer Queen: A Comic Anthology here.

 
Aug 04 2014
I'd Still Say Yes: A Review Of Lee Grant's I SAID YES TO EVERYTHING Comments (0)

Lee-GrantGrant on CBS Sunday Morning today

“'Fuck the Pope!' I screamed in childbirth. And fuck the Taliban who behead their women for baring their heads, and fuck the crazy Orthodox Jews taking land away from a people so like themselves and for teaching nothing but myths. Fuck them for making proud Lenny Bruce crawl. Fuck them all!”—Lee Grant, I Said Yes to Everything (2014)

Lee-GrantLee Grant's (b. October 31, 1925, or maybe 1926?) new memoir I Said Yes to Everything (Blue Rider, $28.95) is as absorbing a read as I've had in years, a self-reflective, unapologetically feminist tour de force sprinkled with just enough Hollywood revelations to make you feel both enlightened and titillated without ever feeling preached to or guilty for craving gossip.

BOY CULTURE RATING: **** out of ****

Grant has always excelled at playing neurotics, so it wasn't surprising to me that she self-identifies as having...issues...in the book, but I was taken aback by just how frankly and intelligently she discusses the hang-ups that have limited her (especially her career) in several ways—her worries about her age (some sources put her at 88, others a few years younger), about looking beautiful enough for casting directors (she had a facelift in the '50s at age  31!), about being able to remember her lines (after the jump. watch her recall the incident that ended her celebrated stage career), about being a good mother, wife, person.

CHECK OUT MY ENCOUNTER WITH LEE GRANT HERE

Mulhollanddrive11Instead of being a linear cataloguing of every project she's ever done—no mention of Columbo (1971), The Spell (1977), Backstairs at the White House (1979), For Ladies Only (1981), Dr T. and the Women (2000), Mulholland Drive (2001) or her last-ever movie Going Shopping (2005)—the book instead is an intensely personal remembrance of how she Leegrantcolumbo71came to be the person she is, the things that gave her joy, the things that perplexed her about life, her embarrassingly short-sighted mistakes, her wise choices.

Most movingly, Grant reveals herself to be an expert at observing others (real people and characters on the page) and summing them up with breathtaking sincerity, sometimes humorously, sometimes unsparingly, but without cruelty.

Achingly, Grant recalls her mother, Witia, and her aunt Fremo as a pair of fun-loving kindred spirits who doted on her, who believed she was God's gift, and who taught her the beauty of being a woman, and of being herself, a lesson she would need to re-learn after a painfully restrictive early marriage to much-0lder control freak and Communist Arnie Manoff (April 25, 1914—February 10, 1965) left her ego decimated and led to her being blacklisted from working in film or on TV for a dozen years.

Lee-Grant-glamourGrant & raves

She writes glowingly of her gifted daughter, Dinah Manoff (b. January 25, 1958), but also reveals how rocky their relationship was for 15 years. Things were even worse with an adopted daughter, Belinda, whom she admits to outright buying, with her producer husband Joey Feury (b. circa 1936), in Thailand:

“The doorbell rang, and a shortish man stood in the doorway with what looked like a two-year-old boy and a two-year-old girl, one under each arm. Joey checked them out and said, 'We'll take her. Let's have lunch!' We had met our daughter...The little girl's mother met us in a park near the hotel, bringing two fair-haired, fair-skinned sons with her...I asked her about [the little girl's] father. 'I don't know,' she said. 'I don't remember.' She was Dd645865fee7af50133690df54b40ee8pleasant and ordinary and matter-of-fact. We gave her five hundred dollars; she gave me Lindah.”

And in case you're worried it's all about Grant's family, there are unforgettable speed-portraits of everyone from Elizabeth Taylor (February 27, 1932—March 23, 2011) to “cunt!” Shelley Winters (August 18, 1920—January 14, 2006) to Bruce Willis (b. March 19, 1955) to “fish-headed” David Gest (b. May 11, 1953).

BroadwaybrawlerWillis screwed Grant over—big-time—when he pulled out of her film Broadway Brawler in the '90s.

Grant sums up her work impressionistically, and almost always to underscore a life lesson learned or to ruminate on her motivations as an actor, director, artist. The book is a must-read for thesps.

Airport-Lee-GrantThe camp classic Airport '77 (1977) takes flight in just a few lines:

“My character was a brittle rich woman married to Christopher Lee (of Dracula fame); she is not someone you want around in an emergency. Olivia de Havilland is traveling with a black female companion (whom she later saves, of course). My old friend George Furth was there, too, playing a cranky person.”

She doesn't give us all the behind-the-scenes details of the making of that (or any) film, but instead uses an anecdote about de Havilland's excitement at drowning on screen to make light of her own diva attitude (Grant sheepishly admits she'd demanded a body double). Our heroine wound up doing the drowning scene herself, having been shown up by the older Hollywood legend's professionalism and curiosity, even that late in her silver-screen journey.

Still-of-sidney-poitier-and-lee-grant-in-in-the-heat-of-the-night-(1967)With good pal Sidney Poitier (b. February 20, 1927) in In the Heat of the Night

08-shampooGrant's career trajectory was offbeat, starting like gangbusters with a raved-about stage debut and an Oscar nomination for her first film [1951's Detective Story, in which she could be playing the mother of Cyndi Lauper (b. June 22, 1953)], getting sidetracked by a long stint on the Blacklist for refusing to name names to the House Un-American Activities Committee, and then a mixture of high-class classics like In the Heat of the Night (1967), The Landlord (1970), Shampoo (1975) and low-brow dreck like Charlie Chan and the Curse of the Dragon Queen (1981). Of the latter, she writes of young Michelle Pfeiffer (b. April 29, 1958) excitedly talking to a co-star about how her vegetarian diet was affecting her bowel movements.

Chan4Why did she do this offensive, inane piece of shit? She had a yen for paying her rent!

The ping-ponging from success to failure is relatable, and is related with warmth and with regret. Finding out she was still struggling financially in her fifties, post-Oscar, is illuminating, as is her recounting of how she re-invented herself whenever reality demanded it.

Most charmingly to me, Grant doesn't hesitate to say when she doesn't remember something, even things she could have Googled and pretended to remember perfectly. This is sorely lacking in so many other Hollywood memoirs. I mean, who believes that Shelley Winters remembered specific meals she had with people in the '50s? Okay, maybe.

In short, this memoir is dazzling. Don't miss it.

Keep reading for a clip of Grant talking about Peter Falk's inability to save her when she needed saving...

 Read More

 
Aug 03 2014
L'Homo Vogue: Vintage LGBT Movie Teasers Are Here, Were Queer Comments (0)

Glen-or-glenda-oGlen or Glenda or bust!

Gay-LGBT-transgender-Queens-at-Heart Glen_or_glenda_11Jenni Olson's vintage LGBT movie trailer collection is well-documented in Homo Promo (1993). You can also check out her vintage LGBT movie posters in The Queer Movie Poster Book (2004).

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After the jump, check out original, rare  trailers for 1953's I Changed My Sex (aka Glen or Glenda), Paris Is Burning (1990) and Queens at Heart (1967)...

 Read More

 
Jul 25 2014
Need To Know: Boogie Woogie Bulge Boys + REAL Cute + Not Fonda Murdoch + Comments (0)

AbsThere's so much more to him than just muscles. There's also the peen.

*widget boy cultureWhat do you see first, his bulging abs or his bulging...?

*widget boy cultureSupercute Danny Roberts from The Real World is still adorbs.

*widget boy cultureBuzzfeed's Chris Geidner is NGLJA's Journalist of the Year.

*widget boy cultureWhy would Rick Santorum want a photo op with Eric Stonestreet???

*widget boy cultureJohn McCain sad that he has no dinner invites from President Obama.

*widget boy cultureJane Fonda lashes out at Rupert Murdoch.

*widget boy cultureAngry landlord decapitated tenant while she was alive, dismembered her.

*widget boy culture50 Shades of Grey is the worst book ever. Looks to be the worst movie:

*widget boy cultureSHOCK!: Megyn Kelly has no idea what she's talking about. Amanda-Lepore

*widget boy cultureLong Island Medium's Theresa Caputo called a fraud.

*widget boy cultureAmanda Lepore inks book deal.

*widget boy cultureThe new Giovanni's Room can sell her book!

*widget boy cultureThat Madonna snippet was a re-do of “La Isla Bonita”.

*widget boy cultureJust like the dude in the first link, this one also has a lot going for him:

ShirtlessThey don't make them like this anymore. Well, they do, but it's harder to make them—they're so stuck up!

 
Jul 23 2014
Name Redacted Blanked My Blank: Travolta Can Be Sued Over Confidentiality Of MSM Affair Comments (0)

John-Travolta-gay-Douglas-Gotterba

A court has ruled that Douglas Gotterba, who worked for John Travolta for years and allegedly had a torrid affair with him (talk about overtime), has the right to sue over a confidentiality agreement that Travolta's team says should restrain him from speaking (or writing) publicly about any private dealings between Gotterba and Travolta.

He hasn't won...yet.

I hate confidentiality agreements, and I hate when people—especially gay people—reflexively protect powerful closet cases. Yes, yes, there are plenty of people, adults, who are gay and aren't ready to actually be gay, yadda yadda. But by making gayness so special among all other secrets so that we get more upset when it is discussed than anything else, we're just marginalizing ourselves and agreeing with anti-gay people that gayness is some kind of extremely awful piece of information.

I hope he wins and I hope he gets to write the same exact kind of dishy tome countless heterosexuals have written about their heterosexual lovers. It's his life and his story, too—that should not belong exclusively to Travolta forever and a day, and I don't think the contract I saw—regarding Gotterba's old employer, not even Travolta himself—should make that be the case.