Friday, June 28, 2013

Reverend’s Reviews: World War Won

Zombies have replaced vampires as the monster du jour, and I couldn’t be more appreciative. I’ve long been intrigued by the metaphorical resilience of the walking dead that leads them to be resurrected in force by filmmakers every 20-30 years, depending on what war, plague or political view is dominating at the time. However, zombies have tended to inhabit a low-budget, independent cinematic domain. Well, that’s not the case anymore thanks to the current success of World War Z, Brad Pitt’s $200 million apocalyptic saga very loosely based on the bestselling book by Max Brooks.

Pitt produced the movie and stars as Gerry Lane, a retired United Nations investigator living with his wife (Mireille Enos) and two young daughters in domestic bliss. The family’s happiness is all too quickly shattered approximately ten minutes in when a devastating, rabies-like virus begins ravaging not only their native Philadelphia but every other major city around the world. Transmitted within seconds from a bite from one of the infected, the virus quickly kills and then resurrects its victims. Already physically dead, the infected can’t be put down by conventional means and soon grow into an overwhelming, leaping, teeth-gnashing horde.

Lane and his family are spirited away from the carnage in the nick of time to a naval battleship, where his former boss at the UN assigns Lane to accompany the world’s leading virologist on a quest to find the zombie-making contagion’s origins. When the virologist is soon dispatched, Lane must single-handedly continue their task. He gains some help in Jerusalem from a young female soldier (memorably portrayed by Israeli actress Daniella Kertesz), who unfortunately finds herself single-handed in the wake of being bitten by one of the infected. The pair survives a harrowing, zombie-besieged flight on a commercial jet and makes their way to a supposedly shuttered World Health Organization lab in Wales, where a throng of undead researchers lay in wait.

Headlining a large-scale adventure movie for the first time since 2004’s Troy, Pitt is suitably world-weary yet heroic here if somewhat dull. His supporting cast is comprised of more serious, internationally-renown actors — including Ludi Boeken (Q), Fana Mokoena (Hotel Rwanda) and Peter Capaldi (so great in 2009’s In the Loop) — than are typically found in summer movie fare, especially in this genre. Director Marc Forster, pegged by many press early on as the likely fall guy should World War Z fail, proves himself more than efficient at orchestrating pulse-pounding zombie mayhem. Forster and Pitt also deserve kudos for eschewing the graphic violence found in most of their film’s predecessors, although gorehounds may disagree. Here, the suggested rather than literal gore actually makes the horrific dilemma seem less jokey and more believable. Even the otherwise serious tone of TV’s popular The Walking Dead can’t withstand viewers’ guffaws after the umpteenth zombie beheading or brain-bashing.

I didn’t find the fast-moving creatures’ speed in World War Z all that frightening in the wake of 28 Days Later and the 2004 version of Dawn of the Dead, but their insect-like ability to pile on top of one another in order to scale tall buildings and walls is truly innovative as well as unnerving. The film’s intense final half-hour, reportedly written by Damon Lindelof (Prometheus, Star Trek Into Darkness) and filmed at considerable additional cost after primary production had wrapped, is terrific and leaves the door open for at least one sequel. As both an epic of the undead and an escapist yet politically-relevant summer blockbuster, World War Z is a winner.

If you are gay and like your zombies to have more community-specific, satirical bite (ahem), you must check out 2009’s ZMD: Zombies of Mass Destruction. A horror-comedy for our terrorism-haunted times, it centers on a gay couple (played by the cute and funny Doug Fahl and Cooper Hopkins) who are forced to battle an undead uprising in addition to a psychotic, anti-gay pastor (is there any other kind?) during a weekend visit to one partner’s hometown.

If you are gay and just aren’t into zombies at all, there are several new home video releases that might prove more satisfying to you. The acclaimed In the Family, now available, was written by, directed by and starring Patrick Wang, the film details a man’s fight for custody of his late partner’s young son. It is a bit too long at nearly three hours but I appreciated Wang’s performance and mannered, Ingmar Bergman-esque approach. Meanwhile, outré gay filmmaker Todd Verow’s The Endless Possibility of Sky is a well-directed, sexually graphic but far from erotic glimpse into the lives of several self-proclaimed “sexual outlaws” that includes some arresting animated interludes by Katie Armstrong. Finally, the thoroughly enjoyable gay-French-Jewish-Finnish comedy Let My People Go! is now on DVD and VOD courtesy of Zeitgeist Films.

Reverend’s Ratings:
World War Z: B+
ZMD: Zombies of Mass Destruction: A-
In the Family: B
The Endless Possibility of Sky: C+
Let My People Go!: B

Review by Rev. Chris Carpenter, resident film critic of Movie Dearest and Rage Monthly Magazine.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Reverend’s Reviews: So-So Superman

We film critics and viewers “of a certain age” who came to cinema-blockbuster awareness 30 or so years ago will likely recall that 1978’s Superman and 1981’s Superman II were initially shot as one movie. However, producers Alexander and Ilya Salkind — sensing not one but two potential hits on their hands — decided to split their 3-hour+ opus into two films (they had taken a similar road with their earlier 1970’s productions The Three Musketeers and The Four Musketeers, with considerable success). But in order to pad the shorter sequel into a fuller feature length, they replaced original director Richard Donner with Richard Lester and re-shot much of what would become Superman II. Donner’s original cut of the sequel was more recently released on home video and is well worth comparing and contrasting with Lester’s version.

Man of Steel, Superman’s just-released return to the big screen after a 7-year hiatus, struck me upon viewing as nothing so much as a higher-tech remake of the original Superman/Superman II combo. Director Zack Snyder and screenwriter David S. Goyer again recount the hero’s brief infancy on the doomed planet Krypton, his upbringing on Earth (now depicted in generally effective flashback sequences rather than as a straightforward narrative) and his eventual showdown with a fellow Kryptonian survivor, the villainous General Zod. I was surprised as well as disappointed that the new movie didn’t take more risks in the plot department, especially given the much-ballyhooed involvement of executive producer Christopher Nolan. A brief-less Superman costume, some briefly-glimpsed Kryptonian critters, a somewhat tougher Lois Lane (played by perpetually-perky Amy Adams) and an absent Jimmy Olson are the filmmakers’ chief innovations.

Who knew Superman was a muscle bear?

So yes, baby Kal-El is once again spared Krypton’s destruction by his scientist father, Jor-El (Russell Crowe, subbing for Marlon Brando), while Zod and his rebellious compatriots are banished to the Phantom Zone. Henry Cavill is physically and dramatically impressive, if a bit dour, as the grown-up incarnation of Kal-El; I hope he will be permitted to bring a lighter touch to the inevitable sequel. Michael Shannon, meanwhile, makes an imposing nemesis as Zod and gets to show off his own spandex-appropriate physique during his final battle with Superman. (Snyder, though straight, can always be counted on to highlight his male actors’ gym-honed attributes as he previously did in 300 and Watchmen.)

In reflecting on the film a few days after seeing it, it crossed my mind that a nervier approach to re-introducing Superman to today’s more pessimistic moviegoers might have been ditching the all-knowing, God-like ghost of Jor-El (whose historical explanations to his son get very tiresome here, despite a cool art deco-ish visual montage at one point) and, instead, making Zod the long-lost fellow citizen who tracks a lonely Kal-El and mentors him deceitfully until the burgeoning hero gets wise. With potential echoes of religious-fundamentalist conditioning, such a plot would definitely be timely and resonant. Too bad Goyer cops out in this regard, or didn’t have me as a muse while he was writing the script.

Despite Man of Steel’s darker tone and hues as well as its epic running time, kids will likely adore it and will eat up the over-the-top, video game-like fight scenes, which were generally too fast-moving and confusing to me. If you’ll forgive me for once again comparing it to the older Superman films, there are no special effects in Man of Steel that top Superman II’s climactic fight wherein the actual actors playing the Kryptonian villains hold a full-sized city bus over their heads and then proceed to throw it. Pre-CGI, the older movie’s special effects hold up as truly innovative.

Judging Man of Steel on its own terms, it is an occasionally exciting, intelligent and visually impressive sci-fi adventure with a fine cast (Kevin Costner, Diane Lane and Laurence Fishburne shine in well-known supporting roles). It is also frequently excessive and over-produced but then what else should one expect from a summer blockbuster, whether released 30+ years ago or today?

Reverend’s Rating: B-

Review by Rev. Chris Carpenter, resident film critic of Movie Dearest and Rage Monthly Magazine.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Reverend's Preview: Palm Springs ShortFest

It is said that good things can come in small packages, and that is the case with many of the mini-movies that will be screened during the 19th annual Palm Springs International ShortFest & Film Market. Running at the Camelot Theatres in downtown Palm Springs from June 18th-24th, more than 300 short films from around the world will be screened. A good ten percent of them feature GLBT storylines.

According to Darryl Macdonald, Festival Director for the last ten years, the fest "is now the largest and most prestigious short film festival in North America and the only official short film market in North America." It is also officially sanctioned by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, meaning short films in four of the festival's award categories are automatically eligible for Oscar submission. "In the course of the last 18 years," Macdonald said, "we've had 95 ShortFest films go on to receive Oscar nominations in the short film categories."

Alaska is a Drag

More than 3,000 submissions are received by festival programmers each year, which can make determining the final lineup of films very challenging. "Storytelling excellence is really our overriding criteria," Macdonald noted, "which boils down to whether a short film is telling its story in an original and entertaining way. Is it inventive, either in form or content?" He indicated neither length nor technical quality are so much an issue "as long as the filmmaker evinces a strong voice and vision." The films to be shown this year run anywhere from 30 seconds to 40 minutes. At least 400 short filmmakers from around the world make the trek to Palm Springs to participate in the weeklong event.

I asked Macdonald, who previously served as Director of Programming for the Seattle International Film Festival, whether festival programmers use any unique criteria when it comes to deciding which GLBT-themed films are selected. "Our criteria for GLBT films are no different than our overall criteria," he replied, "though our programmers who are GLB or T have first say in what gets selected for our GLBT and other general interest programs from among the GLBT-themed films." 31 community-oriented shorts will be shown this June, several of them World, North American or US premieres.

I'm Not Gay

Macdonald continued: "Palm Springs has a huge GLBT populace — roughly 50 % by some counts — so virtually all of our GLBT short film programs sell out at our largest theater (540 seats), but the GLBT community is among our largest support group for all film programming at ShortFest."

While he asserts the festival has received "nothing but praise and support from the community and GLBT media," Macdonald also admitted that "there will always be viewers who want nothing but crowd-pleasing films, happy endings and lots of sex. You can't please everyone all of the time; hell, you can't even please yourself all of the time."

A full schedule of ShortFest films and pass/ticket sales are available online at the Palm Springs International Film Festival website.

A World for Raúl

Having had the opportunity to preview a number of the GLBT-interest films included in this year's ShortFest, I highly recommend the following:

Alaska is a Drag (USA): Although it ends up feeling more like a teaser for a feature film than a fully-realized story, this tale of a new employee in an Alaska cannery who befriends his out, bullied co-worker is a gem. The two lead performances are excellent.

The Blue Dress (France/Spain): An Almodóvar-esque study of a lonely supermarket cashier in Madrid who pines for a son of her own. A chance stop in a local drag queen's clothing store leads to a surprising revelation and opportunity.

I'm Not Gay (USA): A hilarious music video in which a closeted rapper sings a bit too enthusiastically about his secret yearnings for his hot, seemingly straight friends. Cute actor Jesse Pepe, who also appears in the bisexual ShortFest entry Toeing the Line, is one to watch.

On Suffocation

On Suffocation (Sweden): Hard to watch but very powerful. Two gay lovers are sentenced to death by hanging in an unnamed, authoritarian state. There is no dialogue in this moving, 7-minute film by Jenifer Malmqvist. Have Kleenex handy.

The Pride of Palm Springs (USA): A home-grown documentary about the Palm Springs High School marching band's controversial fight to perform in the annual PS Pride parade. It overreaches a bit by incorporating references to DOMA, DADT and California's Prop 8 but the kids are absolutely inspiring.

The Swimming Trunks (France): Speaking of courageous kids, this short focuses on a precocious boy at a seaside campground with his family who becomes obsessed with the hunky father of a fellow camper. The title object becomes the boy's passport to sexual awakening.

A World for Raúl (Mexico/Switzerland): An intense depiction of both sexual and class distinctions in rural Mexico. Raul is the teenaged son of a poor farmer who makes a fateful visit to their landowner's estate, where the landowner's own son lies in wait. The experience ultimately proves empowering for Raul.

Review by Rev. Chris Carpenter, resident film critic of Movie Dearest and Rage Monthly Magazine.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Reverend’s Preview: Laffs at LAFF

The 2013 LA Film Fest (LAFF), once again presented by venerable Film Independent, kicks off tonight with the Los Angeles premiere of I’m SoExcited, Pedro Almodóvar’s slight but delightful return to early, campy form (it will open in US theaters beginning June 28.)  The Oscar-winning Spanish filmmaker is obviously using the Airport disaster movie series of the 1970’s as his template, but instead of singing nuns, little old lady stowaways and George Kennedy he employs flamingly-gay flight attendants, bisexual pilots, horny newlyweds, a virgin psychic, and Almodovar regular Cecilia Roth as a middle-aged dominatrix with political ties.

Following a pre-flight mishap perpetrated by an inept runway attendee (a funny cameo by Antonio Banderas, distracted by his pregnant girlfriend played by Penelope Cruz), the crew of Peninsula Airlines flight 2549 discovers that their landing gear has been crippled.  In anticipation of an emergency landing, the plane is forced to repeatedly circle a remote airport and burn off fuel until a vacant landing strip becomes available.

Ever stalwart in the face of danger, flight attendants Joserra (Javier Camara), Fajas (Carlos Areces) and Ulloa (Raul Arevalo) take to drugging the passengers in coach as well as their female co-workers, mixing excessive amounts of cocktails for themselves and those guests in first class, and performing a show-stopping rendition — complete with full, hilarious choreography by Blanca Li of the title Pointer Sisters hit.  As one of the stewards tellingly declares to their leader at one point: “When you act the heroine, you scare me.”  Meanwhile, passenger and soap opera actor Ricardo Galan (Guillermo Toledo, giving one of the few understated performances in the film) has to deal with his suicidal ex-girlfriend via non-private phone calls from 35,000 feet, and Blanca Suarez’s psychic sniffs out an on-board assassin.  Will anyone survive???

Some critics, perhaps younger ones unfamiliar with the director’s early 1980’s fare, are grousing about how low the openly gay Almodovar has “sunk” in the wake of his more recent, masterful dramatic films such as All About My Mother, Talk to Her and The Skin I Live In.  I thoroughly enjoyed I’m So Excited!, though, both on its own merits and as an over-the-top take on those silly old Airport movies.  It may well turn out to be the most deliriously funny movie for adults, and definitely the gayest, to come out this summer.

There aren’t many other specifically GLBT-interest films screening during LAFF’s ten days and nights from June 13-23.  This weekend’s world premiere of Yoruba Richen’s gay politics documentary The New Black is one notable exception, as are the lesbian drama Concussion (screening June 19 and 21), out director Sebastián Silva’s Crystal Fairy (June 14 and 18) and the short films Alaska is a Drag, F to 7th - Interchangeable and She Said, She Said.  For the full festival schedule and to purchase passes or tickets, visit the LA Film Fest website.

Call Me Kuchu, an eye-opening documentary that had its US premiere at LAFF last year, is opening theatrically in New York this Friday and in Los Angeles on June 21.  It is a must-see for GLBT Americans and all those concerned about international human rights.  Co-directed by Katherine Fairfax Wright and Malika Zouhali-Worrall, the powerful film focuses on the late David Kato and other openly gay citizens of Uganda who have been enduring incredible persecution by the African nation’s government (Kato was brutally murdered in 2011 for his activism).  Anti-gay American religious leaders are revealed to be among the primary instigators of Uganda’s homophobic political policies.  Don’t even think of not seeing it.

Reverend’s Ratings:
I’m So Excited: B
Call Me Kuchu: A-

Review by Rev. Chris Carpenter, resident film critic of Movie Dearest and Rage Monthly Magazine.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Reverend’s Reviews: Fests of the West

June is busting out all over and film festival season has begun in Los Angeles.  Dances With Films (DWF), celebrating its “Sweet 16” edition, is running now through June 9 and will dovetail this weekend with the annual Los Angeles Greek Film Festival.  Next week brings the LA FilmFestival, which will run June 13-23 and will be followed in early July by Outfest, the LA Gay & Lesbian Film Festival.

While DWF is a bit deficient with GLBT-themed movies this year, it does feature the LA premiere tonight of a romantic-comedy starring one of gaydom’s favorite actors.  Cheyenne Jackson, Broadway’s hunky leading man as well as a regular on 30 Rock and other TV series, is the biggest name among the ensemble cast in Matthew Watts’ Mutual Friends.  Gay fans may be disappointed to see the openly-gay Jackson play straight here but he impresses as usual with his turn as Christophe, an engaged man celebrating his 30th birthday.  After making his entrance shirtless and in bed (thumbs up for that), the sweet but clueless Christophe is dispatched with for a while as his fiancée plans a surprise birthday party for him.

The party preparations end up serving as a catalyst for various tensions, explorations and revelations by the angst-ridden New Yorkers who are Christophe’s friends.  His fiancée even realizes, quite predictably, by the party’s start that she is in love with another man.  No less than seven screenwriters are credited for the film’s multiple storylines dealing with people “afraid of making a real connection.”  While it is perfectly acceptable for Jackson to play a heterosexual man, I did find it odd that there are neither GLBT characters nor people of color among Mutual Friends’ fairly large cast of characters.  They do live in NYC after all.

There are a number of very good, naturalistic performances rendered by the movie’s largely theatre-trained players, as well as some funny lines of dialogue in the script (example: Upon discovering Christophe’s initial, accidentally penis-shaped birthday cake, one party planner remarks “I hope it doesn’t taste like cock”).  Mutual Friends is pleasurable enough in the watching but left me wanting more, especially more of Jackson.

A few other intriguing films screening during DWF are the world premiere of Automotive, a piece of modern noir told through “the eyes” of a 1964 Mercury car; Forever’s End, also a world premiere, in which the presumed last woman on earth following an apocalyptic event suddenly meets a strange man; the 1980’s-set, John Hughes-inspired Murt Ramirez Wants to Kick My Ass; and John V. Knowles’ Chastity Bites, a horror-comedy based on the real-life vampiress, Countess Elizabeth Bathory.

Meanwhile, over at the Writers’ Guild of America this Friday night will be the US premiere of Panagiotis Evangelidis’ provocative They Glow in the Dark.  Though part of the LA Greek Film Festival due to the director’s national heritage, the documentary is a New Orleans-based examination of two gay longtime friends who have forged a threadbare life together in the wake of Hurricane Katrina’s devastation.  It recently won the prestigious FIPRESCI Award at the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival.

Jim Baysinger and Michael Glaab moved to the Big Easy together from Illinois in late 2005 expecting to take part in an anticipated post-hurricane “renaissance” that, according to them, has yet to happen.  They live in a formerly waterlogged house along with a number of stray cats and a dog they have taken in.  Both men are HIV+ and “basically are partners,” according to Jim, although they no longer sleep together or have sex.  They eke out a living selling luminescent figurines made by Jim of New Orleans’ legendary underworld guide Baron Samedi as well as bags of “ghost poop” to tourists.

They Glow in the Dark, well shot in verite style by Evangelidis himself, turns an unblinking eye on both the harsh reality of the men’s existence and the palpable devotion they share.  “I wish I could take his pain away,” Jim says at one point regarding Michael’s AIDS-related neuropathy.  Both Jim and Michael share their grief over past loves who have either died or weren’t meant to be had in the first place, but they often do so with a sense of humor.  Attractive in their youth (Jim was even a frequent centerfold in gay men’s magazines), age, HIV and poverty have taken their toll.  “I’ve got Nureyev’s butt and Golda Meir’s face,” bemoans Michael.  “It’s just not fair.”

As Jim insightfully observes, “a lot of people come (to New Orleans) to either initiate or complete their self-destruction.”  It seems clear by the film’s end, though, that he and Michael have gained a new lease on life as well as an enduring — and endearingbond since they moved there.  They Glow in the Dark serves as a memorable testament to love, regret and hope in the city of broken levees and dreams.

Not film fest-related but new on home videois this year’s hit comedy Identity Thief, starring Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy.  I avoided the movie when it played in theaters due to the involvement of director Seth Gordon, whose last film was 2011’s inexplicably successful, truly horrible Horrible Bosses.  Sent an advance copy of the Blu-ray, however, I did my critical duty and watched it… and was pleasantly surprised.  Identity Thief is no classic but McCarthy’s vivid performance may well become one.  Playing the title character, a gleefully morality-free Florida woman who nearly bankrupts Bateman’s family man, McCarthy is hilarious but brings a welcome, surprising poignancy to her role.  Although it threatens to do so at one point, Craig Mazin’s script wisely avoids explaining how McCarthy’s Diana became the destructive force she is.  Bateman serves as a great foil, even if his financial-minded character comes across as way too naïve initially.  Identity Thief and, especially, McCarthy may well steal your heart.

Reverend’s Ratings:
Mutual Friends: B-
They Glow in the Dark: B+
Identity Thief: B

Review by Rev. Chris Carpenter, resident film critic of Movie Dearest, Rage Monthly Magazine and Echo Magazine.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Reverend’s Review: Let’s Hear It for the Boys


Three years after its brief but acclaimed Broadway run, The Scottsboro Boys is finally having its Los Angeles premiere at the Ahmanson Theatre now through June 30.  The last musical jointly penned by gay duo John Kander and Fred Ebb of Cabaret and Chicago fame (Ebb passed away in 2004), it takes on a true, 20th  century saga of racism and injustice via a decidedly controversial approach: a vaudevillian minstrel show.  The predominantly African-American cast members play white as well as black characters, with the Caucasians more often than not presented as broad caricatures.  Hal Linden — yes, old Barney Miller himselfis the one exception as The Interlocutor, an Old South narrator figure who also plays an array of white supporting characters.

In 1931, nine young black men riding a freight train through Alabama were detained in the town of Scottsboro after being falsely accused of rape by two white, female passengers.  They were found guilty at the end of the first of several trials held over as many years and were initially sentenced to death in the electric chair.  A New York attorney, Samuel Leibowitz, intervened and demanded a second trial for the men.  They were again found guilty, even though one of their accusers told the court that she and her friend had lied about the rape.  Other appeals followed, with the men repeatedly found guilty.  Finally, charges were dropped against four of them in 1937 due to their youth at the time of the alleged rape.  Four others were paroled between 1946 and 1950 but Haywood Patterson, who steadfastly maintained his innocence, died in prison in 1952.  Shockingly, the so-called Scottsboro Boys were only officially pardoned by the state of Alabama last month, more than 80 years later.

Given this tortured history, the bold approach taken for the musical by Kander, Ebb, book author David Thompson and director-choreographer Susan Stroman that essentially points a raised middle finger toward the racist South certainly seems justified.  Some viewers, however, may well find it challenging or possibly in bad taste; a middle-aged white couple sitting next to me fled the theater after about 30 minutes.  For black actors to portray whites as buffoons in the show’s inverted-minstrel style is unquestionably confrontational.  It’s also pretty damn brilliant.  Linden’s character certainly doesn’t provide any comfort for white theatregoers, intent as The Interlocutor is on keeping the ol’ Southern cake walk alive and having “the boys” perform for the crowd’s perceived amusement.

I found the book disjointed in spots, with the finale in particular announced without much immediate momentum.  The show’s finale does play two great wild cards, one involving the men’s attire and the other a reveal of the sole female performer’s character.  As always, though, Kander & Ebb’s songs ring with their trademarked brand of political commentary, incisive humor and emotional truth.  Standouts include the catchy opener “Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey!”; the longing “Go Back Home”; “Financial Advice,” in which Alabama’s Attorney General excoriates the Jewish Leibowitz; and the church-appropriate “Shout!”  Haywood, played by the dramatically- and physically-stunning Joshua Henry (reprising his Tony-nominated turn from the original Broadway production), has two affecting solos: “Nothin” and the climactic “You Can’t Do Me.”  While the entire cast is uniformly excellent, Trent Armand Kendall and JC Montgomery are also particular standouts as respectively Mr. Bones and Mr. Tambo, the show’s chief minstrel players.

The Scottsboro Boys is polarizing, to be sure, but it is nonetheless a tuneful and educational must-see in LA and wherever it plays in the future.

Reverend’s Rating: B+

Review by Rev. Chris Carpenter, resident film critic of Movie Dearest, Rage Monthly Magazine and Echo Magazine.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Monthly Wallpaper - June 2013: The Celluloid Closet

In celebration of Gay Pride month, Movie Dearest once again offers up a special calendar wallpaper for June paying tribute to some of the best in queer cinema... with a twist this year.

We're taking a peek inside The Celluloid Closet, the seminal book (by Vito Russo) and documentary (by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman) that shone a light on all the not-so-hidden gay subtext and homoeroticism in classic films from the early silent era through the Hollywood Production Code years to the modern day. From Cary Grant in a nightie to Marlene Dietrich in a tuxedo to Jack Lemmon in a dress to Jane Russell in a roomful of half-naked men, we have collected some of our favorite images from these classics, now out of the closet for us to enjoy even more.

Just click on the picture above to enlarge it to its 1024 x 768 size, then right click your mouse and select "Set as Background", and you're all set.