'BE­HIND THE CAN­DE­LABRA' TOPS SPRING FILMS

Spring films mostly eye candy in the­aters; more LGBT fare on TV, DVD

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If you’re go­ing to the movies in the next cou­ple of months you’ll find LGBT con­tent se­verely limited, al­though gay men in par­tic­u­lar will find even more eye candy than usual (if you like the mus­cu­lar type) in the “sum­mer” block­busters. (Hol­ly­wood’s sum­mer be­gins ear­lier ev­ery year. Last week’s Tom Cruiser, “Obliv­ion,” ar­guably kicked off Sum­mer 2013.)

The gayest movie of the sea­son, and pos­si­bly the year, is “Be­hind the Can­de­labra,” which premieres on HBO May 26. Di­rected by Steven Soder­bergh (whose les­bian noir “Side

Ef­fects” comes to DVD May 21), it stars Michael Dou­glas as Lib­er­ace and Matt Da­mon as his young lover, Scott Thor­son (we didn’t have “part­ners,” let alone hus­bands, in those days).

In the days be­fore Stonewall, flam­boy­ant pi­anist Lib­er­ace was the first celebrity the word “queer” brought to mind, even though he de­nied be­ing gay to avoid scar­ing off his fan base of lit­tle old ladies. With a style of dress that El­ton John later adopted in a toned-down fash­ion, he made Paul Lynde look butch! Speak­ing of dress, fash­ion­istas will flock to

“Scat­ter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s,” a doc­u­men­tary about New York’s in­flu­en­tial depart­ment store Bergdorf-Good­man, which should open some­time in May. Isaac Mizrahi and Tom Ford are among the gay de­sign­ers rep­re­sented, and Joan Rivers and Candice Ber­gen are among the celebrity clien­tele on hand.

Fans of Baz Luhrmann’s “Moulin Rouge” will want to see his ver­sion of “The Great

Gatsby” (May 10), which prom­ises even more overblown op­u­lence and anachro­nis­tic mu­sic (Bey­oncé and An­dré 3000, Florence and the Ma­chine, Lana Del Rey, etc. in the 1920s). Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mul­li­gan and Tobey Maguire star.

The his­toric Plaza Theatre will try to get your old seats in their new seats with a Gay

Film Se­ries in June to mark Pride Month or Pride Lite or what­ever we’re call­ing it this year.

Their lineup of Cana­dian oldies in­cludes Pa­tri­cia Rozema’s les­bian ro­mance “When Night

Is Fall­ing,” in which a hereto­fore straight pro­fes­sor falls in love with an ac­ro­bat; and two by Lau­rie Lynd: “Break­fast with Scot,” about a gay cou­ple, one of them a clos­eted sports­caster, get­ting tem­po­rary cus­tody of a flam­boy­ant boy; and the short “RSVP,” about a man deal­ing with his part­ner’s AIDS death.

In Michel Gondry’s “The We and the I,” open­ing to­day at the Land­mark Mid­town Art Cin­ema, the in­ner city stu­dents rid­ing the bus home from school – where the whole film takes place – in­clude a gay cou­ple hav­ing a lovers quar­rel and two girls who were in­volved in a drunken make­out ses­sion at a party.

EX­TREME EYE CANDY

The eye candy also be­gins to­day with a pumped up Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne John­son and An­thony Mackie as per­sonal train­ers pulling off a scam in “Pain & Gain,” based on a true Mi­ami in­ci­dent.

Next week it’s Robert Downey Jr. let­ting the suit do the fight­ing in

“Iron Man 3” (May 3), with Ben Kings­ley as the prin­ci­pal op­po­nent from whom he must save the world. On May 17 “Star Trek Into

Dark­ness” re-teams Chris Pine as Kirk and out ac­tor Zachary Quinto as Spock, a dream team for those of us who like our men hu­man-sized. And if your fan­tasies ex­tend to three-ways, Bene­dict Cum­ber­batch is the prin­ci­pal op­po­nent from whom they must save the uni­verse.

Me­mo­rial Day week­end brings three big movies. “Fast & Furious 6” adds Dwayne John­son to the testos­terone mix of Vin Diesel and Paul Walker, and les­bians can ap­pre­ci­ate Michelle Ro­driguez, back in the role of Letty. Un­like “F&F 5,” none of this was filmed in At­lanta.

“The Hang­over Part III” con­cludes the out­ra­geous comic tril­ogy (un­less it makes as much money as the first two and they find a way to ex­tend it). I don’t know what’s left af­ter the trans­gen­der en­coun­ters our straight heroes had in the first two films, but Ken Jeong is back as the flam­boy­ant (but pos­si­bly straight) Mr. Chow. Melissa McCarthy (the fe­male equiv­a­lent of Dwayne John­son in terms of ubiq­uity this year) joins the cast.

MORE TO WATCH FOR

A movie with­out a num­ber in its ti­tle (!),

“Epic” is an an­i­mated teen fan­tasy with voices in­clud­ing Amanda Seyfried, Josh Hutch­er­son, Bey­oncé and Steven Tyler.

“Af­ter Earth” (May 31) teams Will and Jaden Smith as fa­ther and son in a fu­tur­is­tic sci-fi epic. You’d think a 13-year-old would

have more im­por­tant things to do than save the uni­verse!

“Now You See Me” (May 31) sounds orig­i­nal, which is un­usual for a sum­mer movie. It’s said to be about the FBI track­ing a gang of ma­gi­cians who steal money in their act and dis­trib­ute it to the au­di­ence. Jesse Eisen­berg and Mor­gan Free­man star.

Henry Cav­ill is the “Man of Steel” (June 14) in the lat­est Su­per­man re­boot, with Rus­sell Crowe as his (non-singing) fa­ther. Di­rec­tor Zack Sny­der gave us “300” so we can ex­pect Clark Kent’s al­ter ego to be built.

“World War Z” (June 21) finds Brad Pitt try­ing to save the planet from zom­bies, while the same week­end brings the pre­quel “Mon­sters

Univer­sity,” about the col­lege days of an­i­mated char­ac­ters voiced by Billy Crys­tal, John Good­man, etc.

The lat­est from out di­rec­tor Roland Em­merich, “White House Down” (June 28) sounds sim­i­lar to “Olym­pus Has Fallen,” with Chan­ning Ta­tum in the hero role and Jamie Foxx as the Pres­i­dent.

LGBT ON THE SMALL SCREEN

If you want to stay home and watch mov-

ies in­stead, you’ll have a bet­ter chance of find­ing LGBT char­ac­ters and sto­ry­lines.

Sev­eral alumni from Out on Film 2012

will be re­leased soon, in­clud­ing “Four­play” (May 14), “Yossi” (May 21) and “Joshua Tree, 1951: A Por­trait of James Dean” (June 4). Some oth­ers are al­ready in re­lease: “Sassy Pants,” “Gayby,” “Love Free or Die,” “North Sea Texas,” “A Per­fect End­ing,” “Keep the Lights On,” “El­liot Loves,” “Kiss Me” and “Bad Boy Street.” This Tues­day, April 30, sees the re­lease of

“The Guilt Trip,” star­ring Bar­bra Streisand as Seth Ro­gen’s Jewish mother. She plays 20 years younger than her­self and if you didn’t know bet­ter you could be­lieve it. It’s bet­ter than Bette Mi­dler’s “Parental Guid­ance,” which also opened for the De­cem­ber hol­i­days and is al­ready out. “Vito,” the bi­og­ra­phy of LGBT film his­to­rian Vito Russo (“The Cel­lu­loid Closet”) also hits stores and screens April 30.

“Cloud At­las” (May 14), a com­plex fail­ure by Tom Tyk­wer, Lana and Andy Wa­chowski, fea­tures a gay ro­mance among its con­vo­luted sto­ry­lines.

Yes, there’s a lot more queer en­ter­tain­ment on the small screen than the big screen this sea­son. Not that size mat­ters.

The gayest movie of the sea­son, and pos­si­bly the year, is ‘Be­hind the Can­de­labra,’ a bi­og­ra­phy of flam­boy­ant pi­anist Lib­er­ace ( Michael Dou­glas) and his lover Scott Thor­ton ( Matt Da­mon), which premieres on HBO May 26. (Photo by Claudette Bar­ius)

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