Showing posts with label Gay Cinema. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gay Cinema. Show all posts

November 30, 2016

Star Trek{Discovery} Adds Gay Character and Other Surprises

The lock on the secrecy surrounding Star Trek: Discovery is finally starting to loosen, and new casting and character announcements have started hitting the web. In addition to confirmation of Michelle Yeoh's casting, two new cast members have been added to the highly anticipated show, one of whom will be making franchise history. Star Trek Discovery has cast Anthony Rapp as the first originally conceived gay character is the history of Star Trek in TV or film.

Anthony Rapp, star of films like Dazed and Confused and Rent, will be playing Lieutenant Stamets, an "astromycologist, fungus expert, and Starfleet Science Officer" aboard the titular starship Discovery. Stamets will also be an openly gay character, a first for the 50-year-old franchise. Former showrunner Bryan Fuller,who still holds executive producer duties, had previously said that there would "absolutely be a gay character on the show," and had expressed how far gay rights had come since his days working on Star Trek: Voyager.
While Rapp will be playing the first gay character to be originally conceived that way, he will not be the first gay character ever. Star Trek Beyond made headlines earlier this year when it revealed that its iteration of the classic Trek character Sulu is gay. This proved to be a controversial move with some franchise vets happy with the decision, while others didn't like changes being made to an established character. Original Sulu actor George Takei, who is gay himself, was of the latter opinion, believing that it would be "more impactful" to introduce an all new gay character who could be "fleshed out from scratch." Enter Lieutenant Stamets.
doug jones
Lieutenant Stamets won't be the only officer on board the Starship Discovery, as character actor Doug Jones was also announced to be joining the show. Jones will be playing Lieutenant Saru, an alien official whose species will be all new to the Star Trek universe. Jones is no stranger to disguising himself on set. He's held a number of makeup heavy roles such as HellboyPan's Labyrinth, and Falling Skies, to name just a few.
It was also confirmed that Michelle Yeoh has joined the cast, having previously been rumored to be playing a high-ranking officer. That is indeed the case, as Yeoh will be playing Captain Georgiou, the Starfleet Captain aboard the Starship Shenzhou, and not the Discovery leader that some were hoping.
These are just three characters, and there are plenty of more positions to be filled aboard the Starship Discovery and other ships. The show still hasn't announced the lead character, reported to be a female lieutenant, so plenty of more casting news is sure to come. Stick with CinemaBlend for all your Star Trek: Discovery news as we wait for the show’s 2017 premiere on CBS All Access.

Matt Wood
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Cinema Blend

October 25, 2016

“U little bitches” Slater Competes f0r th0Se Sex SceneS with Franc0

                                           U little bitches!

James Franco is arguably the hardest working man in Hollywood. Not only is he regularly appearing as an actor in other people's work but he's writing, directing, and producing seven projects that are in various stages of production, too. So when Christian Slater was cast to star opposite James Franco in the crime thriller King Cobra, which revolves around the rise and fall of gay porn star Brent Corrigan, he knew that he'd have his work cut out matching his fellow actor. But this only brought out the competitive side of Slater, especially when it came to the more intimate scenes in the movie.
According to Page Six, Christian Slater made this admission at a Q&A before the recent premiere of King Cobra, revealing that he decided to improvise while filming some of the gay sex scenes so that he could have his moment, and to stop James Franco from usurping him. Christian Slater recalled:  
James was going to be doing the lion's share of the sexual aspects [of the film] and then I got competitive... We even improv'd some stuff. OK, I'll stop --- but yeah, great direction!

Justin Kelly, who wrote and directed King Cobra, which is based on Andrew E. Stoner and Peter A. Conway's novel Cobra Killer, found the time to elaborate on Christian Slater's improvisation during some of the film's more intimate scenes. During one particular moment between Slater and Garrett Clayton, who plays gay porn star Brent Corrigan in King Cobra, Kelly explained that Slater "pushes him up against the closet door" in a scene that wasn't written or planned. In King CobraSlater can even be seen wearing a facial to prepare for his scene. Not that kind of facial you sexual minded reprobate. This kind:
Christian Slater
King Cobra sees Christian Slater star as Stephen, a gay porn producer who discovers the young stud Brent Corrigan (Garrett Clayton), and looks to turn him into a bona-fide gay porn star. However aspiring producers Joe (James Franco) and Harlow (Keegan Allen) try to buy Brent's contract so that they can make their own movies with the actor, which is obviously something that Stephen is against. This, as you probably guessed, leads to some issues between the group.
King Cobra is based on real-life events that if you research will give away some of the pivotal points of the film. Instead, just take a look at its trailer below, which suggests that it's a merging of Boogie Nights and _Spring Breakers.
         Gregory Wakeman
         Cinema Blend

November 10, 2015

Actor Playing Aaron in Walking Dead, Shocked at Negative Reaction to Gay Character


Aaron was introduced to viewers as the first gay character to appear in The Walking Dead but actor Ross Marquand reveals he was shocked by the abundance of negative responses he received over the role. However, the TV star admits he was "grateful" for the opportunity to bring attention to the issue.

Marquand, 34, began playing the Alexandrian resident in season five and the character has become a good friend to other survivors including Rick Grimes and Daryl Dixon. Explaining the public response to his role as a gay man, Marquand told the IBTimes UK: "It's been a bit mixed. On one hand, we've had very negative [responses]. But for as many negative responses, there were just as many, if not more, fans who were coming to the defence of not only Aaron but the LGBT community in general, which is really lovely to see."

He continued: "I think at first I was really shocked by the response and kind of baffled as to why people would be writing such vitriolic comments, but as time went on I was actually grateful because it sparked a debate. I think when people can talk openly about social issues, you never think your work is going to have a great social impact and then it does. It's nice to see that."

So far in season six of the hit zombie series, viewers have seen Ross discover that he may have been responsible for the Wolves finding the Alexandria safe zone, which resulted in a brutal attack on the community. Addressing his character's guilt, Marquand said: "There's a distinct possibility that even though Aaron didn't draw up the directions to Alexandria, somehow the Wolves managed to put the pieces together by looking at those photos.
"That ultimately drove them to the community in the first place. There's a massive responsibility that he feels squarely placed on his shoulders and the guilt will drive him throughout the season and the responsibility for what he's done indirectly or directly. He wants to make amends."

Viewers were thrilled with the action when the Wolves attacked Alexandria in episode two and Marquand admits it was pretty chaotic on set. The actor revealed: "I only had a few days on that episode, but even for those few episodes that I was there, it was insane. We had so many moving parts and this ever-present horn blaring first until he gets taken off the wheel when Morgan dispatches that walker, but it was insane.

"It was just utter chaos and of course, people don't know this, but Alexandria is a working community already so there's people who live there in real life. Often times we'd be shooting these crazy fight sequences and the PA will get a call and they'd have to stop production so someone could drive through and get their groceries. It was nuts but you just have all of these insanely talented stunt people falling around, leaping and doing insane stuff.”

December 5, 2014

Gay Cinema still stuck and fixated in the past } WHY?


The director Stefan Haupt was born in Zürich. “I always thought I knew the history of my city quite well,” he says. “But it turns out I didn’t know this story at all. It isn’t really known in Switzerland.” This story is about an early gay-rights group called the Circle, which is also the title of Haupt’s new film – one of a growing number of features putting stories from the LGBTQ archives up on the big screen.
The Circle (or Der Kreis in German) was one of the world’s first organisations dedicated to lesbian and gay rights. Originating in 1932, it aimed to offer reassurance, support and education to homosexuals – first through its magazine, then through a social club – as well as gently lobbying for reform. Unusually for a European country, Switzerland did not outlaw homosexuality, and its neutrality ensured that the Circle, unlike other European gay groups, survived the war. By 1956, when Haupt’s film begins, it had around 2,000 subscribers, and an international membership of about 700, making it the biggest organisation of its kind worldwide.
The film introduces us to the world of the Circle through the character of Ernst Ostertag (Matthias Hungerbühler), a middle-class trainee teacher, who attends one of the group’s legendary costume balls. There, he meets teenage drag queen Röbi Rapp (Sven Schelker). As the pair begin a tentative romance, Ernst grows more politically active; meanwhile, a murder draws attention to gay subculture in general and the Circle in particular, sparking a reactionary social, media and police backlash.

The film evocatively recreates this true story through the conventional trappings of period drama, such as judicious production design and appropriate music. But it adds an extra dimension by intercutting these scenes with documentary material, most notably – spoiler alert! – interviews with Ernst and Röbi, who remain happily partnered to this day. It was a strategy spurred by financial necessity – the film’s producers couldn’t secure funding to complete an entirely dramatic feature as planned – but the resulting hybrid is a powerful document of a neglected period of gay history with much to tell us about today.
In some ways, it is not surprising that the story of the Circle is unfamiliar. “At that time, most of the members were happy if it was not well known,” Haupt says. Even if homosexuality was technically legal in Switzerland, “they had to be undercover. They had to be discreet. Then they were in the newspapers but hated it, then time went on and the flower power generation came and it got forgotten. Later, being gay became a huge subject with Aids – but that was the subject, not looking back in history. Then registered partnerships and being accepted into society was a big question. Now I get the feeling many younger gay people in Zürich really love to party but not think about the past so much.”
Films such as The Circle redress that sense of collective amnesia. There has recently been something of a backward turn in LGBTQ film-making – a surge of interest in stories about the past, realised through period dramas, documentaries about queer subjects, or on-screen depiction of older LGBTQ people. (The Circle combines all three approaches.) As Haupt suggests, gay art and activism have often focused on crisis management and the pursuit of legal equality. Those battles aren’t over, but significant progress has been made, and now there also seems to be room to take a breath and look back.

Director Stefan Haupt
 Director Stefan Haupt with his film’s subjects, Ernst Ostertag (left) and Röbi Rapp. Photograph: Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images

This can offer a chance to celebrate hard-won victories in accessible ways. Gus Van Sant’s 2008 feature Milk lovingly canonised activist politician Harvey Milk through the universal language of the mainstream biopic, while this year’s Pridetold the distinctly queer story of the 1980s alliance between LGBTQ campaigners and striking miners through that most British of forms, the sleeves-up, in-it-together social comedy. Such approaches affirm the idea that gay and lesbian progress is part of the universal story of our nations’ social history. This might well be the approach taken by Roland Emmerich in his forthcoming feature Stonewall, about the notorious 1969 riot, expected next year. 
For all their heartache, then, these films generally leave us with the reassuring sense that things have got better – and, of course, with a richer, more informed understanding of how that change has come about. But dangers remain. Many stories remain unacknowledged; all the titles above focus on white men, for instance. And even within those bounds, there is the risk that, even if mainstream hostility to alternative sexualities declines, they are still seen as fundamentally other. Haupt, who is straight, is “disappointed to see how many of my friends tell me: ‘You know, I heard very     good things about your film but I don’t know if I need to see it. After all, it’s about a gay subject, isn’t it?’ As if gay people would never watch a love story between a man and a woman. There’s still a big difference between tolerance and acceptance.”
Of course, those who are still considered alien are particularly vulnerable when a weakened society starts looking for scapegoats. As well as encouraging universal empathy and informing younger LGBTQ generations of their heritage, period stories such as The Circle – or the recent film Tattoo Nation, about a queer performance collective crushed by conservative authorities in 70s Brazil, or indeed the classic Weimar-set musical Cabaret – remind us that social change is not always progressive.
Not that LGBTQ-themed period dramas are simply feelgood celebrations. Far from it – most have a bittersweet tone at best. Milk ends in its hero’s martyrdom, while our knowledge of the unions’ defeat and the advent of Aids casts a shadow over Pride. Pictures such as 1987’s Maurice, 1998’s Wilde, 2005’s Brokeback Mountain or 2009’s A Single Man, meanwhile, invite us to empathise with the crushing social repression under which their gay protagonists labour even as they imply the easing of such burdens in recent years
 A Single Man, meanwhile, invite us to empathise with the crushing social repression under which their gay protagonists labour even as they imply the easing of such burdens in recent years.

The Circle club scene
 In the club: a scene from The Circle.

In the Zürich of The Circle, snooping landladies, bigoted employers, social prejudice and the risk of blackmail and violence are endemic even when legal tolerance is in place. When the situation deteriorates, the group struggles: tensions develop between younger, more militant members and an old guard committed to a gently-gently approach that proves (to quote Malcolm Tucker) as useless as a marzipan dildo. Reactionary crackdowns often take vulnerable groups by surprise – especially if they don’t know their own past.
“This film reminds gays of today that they have a history worth knowing about, that they have roots down to generations before,” the real-life Ostertag and Rapp tell me by email. “The knowledge of such roots helps keep up today the same demand for equal rights and protection from discrimination. See what has happened in Putin’s Russia and is getting worse. See what is going on in various African states. We homosexuals will always be a minority. Our freedom and acceptance is never guaranteed. We cannot rest. It is a good fight. The whole society is a better society when its minorities are not forgotten and suppressed. That is one of the messages of the film.” What other message does it have? “Love
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