106 posts categorized "DOCUMENTARIES"

Nov 17 2015
Those Were The Gays, My Friend: A Review Of REEL IN THE CLOSET Comments (0)


On Saturday, I was excited to be able to catch an NYC screening of Stu Maddux's documentary Reel in the Closet, which presents dozens of rare clips from home movies (including footage shot from TV, some of which is the only copy of such newscasts known to exist) that show queer people living queer lives.

Framed by a narrative of preservation—we meet several prominent archivists who have devoted themselves to the painstaking task of transferring one-of-a-kind home movies to the digital medium—the film is itself a one-of-a-kind document, a hub that shows images never meant to be shared outside a small circle of intimates, but that must now be shared in order to create a historical record of queer living. 

Among the most amazing finds would be a short piece of film from inside a lesbian nightclub 65 years ago, including incredible footage (with sound) of women singing to butch/femme couples. We have to wait until the end to get some erotica (well-off white gay dudes sunbathing), but it's worth the wait.

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There is also a wealth of raw footage provided by a sneaky film editor who took it from the stations for which he worked in San Francisco, which means that truly unique footage from the White Night Riots is forever preserved.

Framegrabrotatormaster2xcnx1-375x275_cBut as interesting as these unusual bits are, just as compelling is the footage that shows gay people in their day-to-day existences, being goofy, showing off and playing to the camera. Many are people who are unknown to us now, while some—including a wealthy dentist who documented decades of his life—seem to have succeeded in achieving a slice of immortality.

DSC06479Me (L) with the blogger from Kenneth in the (212) (R), sandwiching filmmaker Stu Maddux.

Due to the resources required, most of the footage comes from privileged white men (cameras were expensive!), but Maddux makes sure to reflect people of color and women and drag queens/genderqueer individuals. One part of the movie that sort of leapt out to me was when a trans woman (perhaps she would have been called a transvestite back then) spoke about how drag queens started Stonewall—and this footage was from the '70s, so the recent controversy about whether that impression is true has to take into account the fact that it was widely believed from shortly after the event.

Don't miss Maddux's scrupulously assembled, deeply respectful documentary, and visit his site if you have what you think might be unique footage showing gay life in home movies.

Keep reading for Maddux's remarks before and after the NYC screening ...

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Nov 04 2015
To Be Reel: New, Old Gay Documentary Comments (0)

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Reel In the Closet sounds great—a feature-length doc made of queer home movies from the past (all the way back to the '30s) and gay-themed news footage rescued from attics and closets internationally.

Check out why the filmmaker, Stu Maddux, made the film:

This film screens at the IFC Center (323 Sixth Ave., NYC) on November 14 at 2:15 p.m. with cast (!) and crew in attendance.

Get your tickets here!

Nov 02 2015
Confidentially Speaking: An Interview With Tab Hunter Comments (0)

Tumblr_mafi8v3ARU1r48hglo1_500Tab is proud of his strength ... of character.

My blog is dangerously close to 10 years old. As this realization has sunk in of late, I've thought long and hard about the variety of opportunities it has brought—and denied—me. Most interesting have been those times when I've been able to meet and sometimes interview gay people with experiences similar to and dissimilar from my own, whose stories have broadened my understanding of who I am.

4768068216_3596ba2994_bHunter claims he never really discussed being gay with beard Natalie Wood.

6a00d8341c2ca253ef01b7c7dd9165970b-600wiMeeting Tab Hunter (and his partner Allan Glaser) recently was a bit surreal. To think that someone who at one point was the #1 heartthrob in the country at the same time he was secretly gay was now casually sprawled out before me in a swanky hotel antechamber six decades later was mind-blowing. The fact that he was navigating what it meant to be gay before most of my readers were born, and before the word “gay” was even firmly entrenched, made it extra-special.

Tab—still handsome at 84—and Allan were promoting their joint effort Tab Hunter Confidential, the entertaining and earnest new documentary directed by Jeffrey Schwarz that is in limited release.

The movie, based on Tab's tell-some bio from a few years ago, is perhaps most noteworthy for containing the candid eyewitness account of a gay man who was a major player in the studio system in Hollywood at the end of the industry's Golden Age. We've all heard about who was and who wasn't gay, but how many of those gay actor and actresses—working in the '50s and before—have gone on the record to share a bit about the experience?

It's an oral history that can't be missed, even if—like some jackasses apparently asked when Tab's career was on the skids—you can't help asking, “What's a Tab Hunter?”

Screen Shot 2015-10-31 at 11.19.43 PMThe conservative Hunter does FOX News recently.

Tab is happy to tell you what a Tab Hunter is, even if he is still rather reluctant to dish the kind of dirt that we live for these days. He's not into dishing dirt; he prefers his prized horses, telling me, “I'd rather shovel the real stuff.”

Some highlights from our chat:

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Oct 30 2015
Need To Know: Altar Boy Lovers + Taking Swift Action + Hillary On Houston + Bernie Evolved, Too + HOT & Short + Balls Of The Ball + MORE! Comments (0)

Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 4.38.13 PMForgive me, father, for I have sinned.

*widget boy cultureNew doc exposes (literally) gay priests who are anti-gay in public. Images

*widget boy cultureFormer H.S. football jock wants to help other LGBT people with depression. Unnamed

*widget boy cultureKygo's U.S. TV debut. Images

*widget boy cultureTaylor Swift counter-sues radio dude for groping her ass.

*widget boy cultureMore sex charges for Jerry Sandusky?

*widget boy cultureHillary Clinton tweets for gay rights in Houston.

*widget boy cultureChina won't make you have just 1 kid anymore! (Try 2.)

*widget boy cultureCheck out this hot, evocative short—In a Minor Lustrum. Images

Minor Lustrum still 2015Don't watch the short film if you're squeamish about watching this boy play with himself.

*widget boy cultureSexxxy new Nathan Sykes music video.

*widget boy cultureCruz, Huckabee, Jindal A-okay with U.S. kill-the-gays loony.

*widget boy cultureBernie Sanders was not always pro-marriage equality. Mw yum1

*widget boy cultureEM20 on Gaydar & Divine.

*widget boy cultureNewFest LGBT film fest winners announced!

*widget boy culture100s of sexy dudes, many bearded, all horny-making. Images

*widget boy cultureEU ♥ Edward Snowden.

*widget boy cultureInside a big Belgian fetish ball. Images

MG_2611-1-446x670Balls to the wall at the ball

Oct 14 2015
Success Didn't Spoil Tab Hunter: A Review Of TAB HUNTER CONFIDENTIAL Comments (0)
  12270161_2 15cd13129b5581d552373e46a15a3e52 Annex - Hunter, Tab (Battle Cry)_01 Annex - Hunter, Tab_01 Annex - Hunter, Tab_NRFPT_05 Film1-framelineweekone-86a41a807837e9cd Tabhunterconfidential_001_Tab_Against_Blue Tumblr_nihrc8VdN51syq9k7o1_1280

Above, a gallery of proof that Tab Hunter is a hot, hot piece!

A few weeks back, my buddy John invited me to see Tab Hunter at a screening of the Jeffrey Schwarz-directed documentary on his life, Tab Hunter Confidential. I'd already been trying to get tickets to no avail (the Film Forum Web site was touting the movie, but not allowing a ticket to be bought), so was happy when he snagged us seats. (If you're a jealous Long Islander, see Tab tonight at the Cinema Arts Centre!)


I, of course, always forget I am a media outlet and buy tickets to stuff like this. In fast, last week, I was invited to interview Hunter and his longtime partner and business partner Allan Glaser (I'll post that this week), so it seems I could've had a free ticket.

TabTab Hunter and Allan Glaser at the October 12, 2015, screening of Tab Hunter Confidential in NYC

However, I do like paying for things that need the money, and small documentaries need the money; I want more of them to be made, especially the ones made by Schwarz, who has fulfilled many a gay fantasy by giving us in-depth looks at Jack Wrangler, Vito Russo, Divine and—next!—Allan Carr.

Look at the range of men among Schwarz's subjects: a gay (for pay?) pornstar, a firebrand activist, a pioneering drag queen and, in Hunter, an obsessively private teen heartthrob with a gigantic secret. This is a filmmaker I am happy to support.

The screening was a blast.

8235340John's hubby Sheldon had actually been a fan of Tab's back in the day—rank amateurs such as myself first became aware of him once he had what've-I-got-to-lost himself in the John Waters masterpiece Polyester (1981), and then worked our way backward—and had seen Tab on Broadway in the ill-fated production of Tennessee Williams's The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore, in which the blond heartthrob had starred with Tallulah Bankhead. That only ran three performances, so you can imagine how many people on earth can claim to have caught one.

The place was packed with people like Sheldon who had a legit interest in Tab, and in showbiz. For example, I sat next to a charming man who barely hinted at his résumé, which I later discovered included directing 100+ TV shows ... even one of my favorite Twilight Zone episodes. He said he knew Tab in passing but knew Tony Perkins—one of Tab's loves—“better.” I'm looking forward to lunch with this guy!

I do hope the director is a bit more gossipy than Tab is. Though he has become far more open with the 2006 publication of his memoir Tab Hunter Confidential: The Making of a Movie Star (Algonquin Books) with writer Eddie Muller, and now with this film, Tab is old-school—he doesn't enjoy dishing the dirt. That's both an admirable and a frustrating trait.

The film itself is a solid work that at times feels like a sunny recitation of Tab's good qualities—he is sincere, he is hard-working, he seems never to have let fame go to his head (think of him as a saner, better-looking Bieber), he is loyal, he is beautiful. Because Hunter and Glaser (who produced the film, and who produced Hunter's flicks Lust in the Dust in 1985 and Dark Horse in 1992) had such control over this project, it was always going to have a distinctly “authorized” quality.

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Oct 09 2015
Good Causes Comments (0)

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Donate here to help Sylvia's Place Homeless Youth Services, and be sure to check out History in the Making, a great doc featuring the Marriage Equality New York (MENY) Archives 2007-2015. It follows the progress as we achieved equality in New York State, and it's up now to help raise cash for the very deserving charity.

Watch the movie below ...

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Jul 27 2015
Friendly Persuasion: Matt Shepard Doc On Logo TV Tonight Comments (0)

Tonight, Logo TV will be premiering the second documentary in its Logo Documentary Films division, Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine

Filmmaker Michele Josue interviews many of Shepard's intimates and others associated with his life and death.

Jul 15 2015
Sibilant: The True Story Of A Gay Man Possessed By 2 Separate Voices—A Review Of DO I SOUND GAY? Comments (0)

David-ThorpeThorpe looks butch in his film's opening ... but he worries that when he opens his mouth, a purse falls out.

BOY CULTURE REVIEW: **1/2 out of ****

In a documentary that's currently the buzz of the industry, filmmaker David Thorpe sets out to get some answers—and there is invariably more than one—to the age-old question: Do I Sound Gay? The casual, at times distressingly personal film raises questions about masculinity, sexual identity and self-image that are applicable to many gay men by chronicling his own personal struggle with how he sounds ... and how he thinks he sounds.

Do%20I%20Sound%20Gay%20Pic.jpg?g=1433856522569Thorpe has thought he sounds very gay for decades, and his friends agree. Where they're less agreeable is when he begins a mini-odyssey to change the timbre of his voice. We are not really used to gay stories being put forth with self-doubting gay heroes ... our community's message has been defiantly self-accepting for even longer than Thorpe has leaned on his sibilant S.

Visiting a voice coach, he's told people code-switch—raise or lower tones to communicate things like authority or affection—but all he cares about is not sounding like a “braying ninny.” Probably not fair, then, that one of the words on a list he reads to practice not sounding gay is “dynasty.” He's the right age that he probably couldn't help envisioning Joan Collins as he tried to utter it as someone, well, less gay might.

Thorpe's fragile ego is put forth to us the way you extend your hand to a dog—friends?—and for many viewers, I think his honesty will work. For me, it worked until it didn't, which was when the aggregate of his open-and-honest exclamations regarding his troubling voice made him come off as kind of on the verge of aspiration ally ex-gay. He's not ex-gay, but he wants his tongue to be.

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