Thursday, January 29, 2009

GLAAD it wasn't Chuck and Larry

I never know what to make of GLAAD, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. I totally understand their raison d'etre but they've made some odd calls over the years. Remember when they totally endorsed that Adam Sandler movie? The one with the absurd and frankly damaging premise that gay men have it easy when it comes to employer benefits and insurance.

Anywayyyyy. Like every organization that has more than 1 member they give out awards. Here are their film-related nominees for the year that was...

Outstanding Film – Wide Release
Brideshead Revisited (Miramax Films)
Milk (Focus Features)
Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist (Columbia Pictures)
RocknRolla (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Vicky Cristina Barcelona (The Weinstein Company)

The new Brideshead underlined the previously gay-in-subtext-only nature of the piece so I understand why they went for it even if I didn't think much of it. Milk is a gimme. I've already mentioned how pleased I was with Nick and Norah's take on sexuality. I assume VCB is here due to the molten hotness of the Scarlett & Penélope mash session. Weren't they aware that that's too much hot for a darkroom? I mean, there are chemicals in there, ladies! I enjoyed that CruzJo tangle as much as any man would have, but it still seems like a stretch to me for this award. RocknRolla is here because...??? If you've seen it, please share in the comments. I didn't know there was anything queer about Guy Ritchie Guy Ritchie's latest.

Outstanding Film - Limited Release
The Edge of Heaven (Strand Releasing)
Noah's Arc: Jumping the Broom (New Open Door Productions)
Save Me (First Run Features)
Shelter (Regent Releasing)
XXY (Film Movement)

I'm sort of angry that everyone began to write about how great The Edge of Heaven (pictured left) was after it had already left the cinema. Why didn't anyone tell me of its worth when it was in theaters? I suppose this is a "my bad" situation since I loved Head On by the same director. I should've pounced on that one. The others I'm less familiar with beyond the Oscar submission XXY and the pleasant Shelter (which I wrote about here). But if they were going foreign here I find it hard to believe that there weren't worthier entries than a Noah's Arc film. GLAAD was into threesomes this year apparently so why not Christophe Honoré's Love Songs?

Chris & Don: A Love Story (Zeitgeist Films)
Freeheld (Cinemax)
A Jihad for Love (First Run Features)
Saving Marriage (Regent Releasing)
Sex Change Hospital (WE tv)

Freeheld was an Oscar winner last year. I've heard good things about A Jihad for Love which is about gay and lesbian muslims. Have any of you seen it? I have a Chris & Don screener. I have too many screeners. When can I watch them? If only screeners would arrive steadily throughout the year and not crush the postman with their weight during Oscar season. Poor flattened postman.

Off-Cinema I was pleased to see nominations for music artists like Jay Brannan, Magnetic Fields and Hercules and Love Affair. GLAAD's theatrical awards went very tranny. Not that there's anything wrong with that. If you ever have a chance to see Justin Bond (the total genius -- "gee-nee-uss" to quote Pené -- of Kiki & Herb fame, Dina Martina or Taylor Mac perform, you must. But approach with caution if you're the sensitive or easily frightened type.

Here's a full list of GLAAD nominees for those who are interested.


Anonymous said...

Besides the general homoerotic filming of all the hunky men in the movie, one of Gerald Butler's "cronies" - one of the young, good-looking ones - is gay. He confesses he'd like to have sex with Gerald and, at first, Gerald's reaction is "extreme" but then later, the audience is led to believe something "happened" between the two.

Since I happen to jones for Butler I greatly enjoyed the potential intrigue but it's a shame that the apparent acceptance of a friend's homosexuality by a cocky stud with homophobic tendencies is perceived as one of the top 5 positive depictions of homosexuality in the cinema this year - or is that not what this award is about?

Jason Adams said...

Yeah, I haven't seen RnR yet but I remember reading a lot of chatter about its queerness when it came out.

And Nat it's weird, I was just wondering if you'd seen The Edge of Heaven this morning for some reason I can't remember. I hadn't heard anything about it until after it was out of theaters too, but caught it on DVD; if you haven't seen it yet - and I assume from your tone you still haven't - def. do! It's awesome. And I mean "awesome" in the old fashioned, "inspires awe" sort of way, not the way say a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle might mean awesome.

Rob said...

I kind-of liked "RocknRolla," but I actually thought the film's handling of the gay material was (though debatable) mildly negative/homophobic. He ultimately accepts his friend, but it's used completely as a gag/joke, and the character is made to be a punchline.

Anonymous said...

offtopic- I saw Doubt.

I liked it a lot! I thought Meryl was good but a little unnatural (I believe Dame Judi would have been better). I liked PSH and surprisingly, I loved Amy Adams. I wasn't expecting that! And Viola Davis was exactly as great as I have been reading for so long.


Are the voters not serious or there really aren't any movies that really belong in the quality gay film category?

Guy Lodge said...

Yeah, the "gay crony" subplot in RocknRolla is pretty naive and condescending -- it's in there purely to milk laughs from the supposedly hilarious idea that a man can be both thuggish and gay.

That said, it's about the most sophisticated idea in the film. Truly one of 2008's worst.

Steven said...

Just saw Save Me the other night (you can watch it online at Netflix). Produced by and starring Chad Allen, Robert Gant, and Judith Light, it's an interesting movie about a Christian "sexual brokenness" center. Three good performances, unpredictable character arcs, and although it is about "gay conversion," it doesn't really point fingers or say that one view is right or wrong. It's kind of thought-provoking that way. Who knew hardcore Christians weren't as evil as people tend to think they are? I mean, I did, but it's nice to see a gay movie touch upon the subject in a different way.


Rich Aunt Pennybags said...

I haven't seen RocknRolla yet, but I do think it's odd that Guy Ritchie's film would be on the list so soon after Madonna's brother Christopher said that Guy was very homophobic. I'm not sure if his tell all book was just a stunt that his sister paid him to do in order to spread dirt about Ritchie without making it seem like she was the one doing it or what, but I have no trouble believing the things that Christopher Ciccone said about him. On the other hand, why Madonna chose to stay with Guy Ritchie or frankly him with her for that many years is another can of worms that I won't open.

Hayden said...

I had a thought yesterday:

Harvey Weinstein is the Dick Cheney of producers. Discuss.

Hayden said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Katey said...

I love Nick and Norah more every time I think about it, and appreciate it more having read the book, given that the book is much more in-your-face/sexual/intense than the movie, which is mostly just super-cute.

spartickes said...

I actually felt that RnR was laughing at the characters within the film who acted homophobic. (homophobically?)In a homophobic manner.

I thought the movie was making fun of the thugs that acted all douchey. There!

Anonymous said...

Oh! Oh! Oh!
Thank you so much Nat for that post!!! Thanks to you I discovered THE MAGNETIC FIELDS!!!

I have a mandolin
I play it all night long
It makes me want to kill myself

I also have a dobro
Made in some mountain range
Sounds like a mountain range in love

But when I turn up the tone
On my electric guitar
I'm afraid of the dark without you close to me

I just ordered 3 CDs from Amazon...

Thanks again! You can be really really proud of yourself now, you brought The Magnetic Fields in someone's life...

Anonymous said...

Next year is definitely Antony And The Johnson's turn to win.

Ásta said...

Les Chansons d'amour definitely deserves more love.

Sam said...

Chris and Don is compelling, touching and definitely worth seeing. Break out that screener!

Glenn Dunks said...

Speaking of Doubt... er, where is it? Surely that's more deserving than - and I haven't seen it, so I'm just guessing - RocknRolla or Brideshead Revisited. Very odd, actually.

VCB actually features an entire storyline about a bisexual relationship so there's more queerness to it than just the Johannson/Cruz pash.

In fact it was the music categories where they really proved their worth. Herculus and Love Affair, Sam Sparro, kd lang, Jay Brannon and The Magnetic Fields are all worthy contenders for any music prize.

reassurance said...

Absolutely check out XXY. It's an extremely challenging film, though I suppose its inclusion has to do with the fact that hermaphrodites fall under whatever acronym the PC homosexuals have for themselves now. But anyway, it's great.