'BEHIND THE CANDELABRA' TOPS SPRING FILMS
Spring films mostly eye candy in theaters; more LGBT fare on TV, DVD
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)