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American Gigola: Olnek’s Hilarious Sophomore Film Reinvents the Masculine Realm of Hustler Bonding
Few filmmakers are able to successfully create a distinctly unique universe of off-kilter comedy both consistent in tone and unwavering quality, especially if it also happens to be cobbled together from a mixture of limited resources. But you can add director Madeleine Olnek to a shortlist of such names with her sophomore film, The Foxy Merkins, an inspired ode to male-hustler buddy films from the vintage 1970s, transposed to modern day and removed from the arena of the heteronormative. Perhaps scrappy and episodic, which only adds to its infectious charm, this is an unfailingly funny film, proving Olnek to be a refreshing voice to behold in an era of repetitive storytelling and mediocre beats within the realm of independent film.
In what appears to be a bid to reconnect with her mother, Margaret (Lisa Haas) takes off to New York City, »
- Nicholas Bell
If you still have an affinity for books, there can be few more choice summer reads than Edmund White's 2005 autobiography, My Lives. Divided into nonlinear sections devoted to his relationships with his parents, his hustlers, and his female entanglements, there's also a chapter entitled "My Europe." Herein White notes how while in the Paris of the 1980s, he became aware that petite green beans are tastier than their larger cousins. He also recounts how the social theorist Michel Foucault, a pal of his, noted that while "'gay philosophy' and 'gay paintings' were meaningless notions...writing gay fiction was legitimate since it enabled us to imagine how gay men should live together."
Foucault apparently "felt that relationships between gay men were tenuous, undefined, still to be invented, and that gay fiction was the place where a vision of association could be worked out in concrete detail."
The same could be said of Lgbt cinema, »
- Brandon Judell
A glob of stray semen is slathered on as impromptu hair gel. A high school flutist describes all the graphic details of her "one time at band camp." A slobbering frat boy climbs a ladder for a close look at disrobing co-eds — a glimpse so revelatory that he plummets backward without batting an eye. Raunch-comedy history is littered with off-color climaxes, and the genre hasn't blown its load quite yet.
Barely Legal: 30 Nearly Pornographic Films
From full-blown sex romps to softcore substitutes spruced up with gags, Hollywood's history of »
The late larger-than-life, cross-dressing extraordinaire who ushered in the now-established world of theatrical drag (simultaneously bringing queer performance art to the mainstream) is given the documentary treatment in the warmly nostalgic and playful tribute, I Am Divine.
The alter-ego of shy suburban boy Harris Glenn Milstead, Divine was the muse of “Pope of Trash” filmmaker John Waters (the biggest contributor here, offering up some deliciously trashy anecdotes). Described by her best friend as a “cinematic terrorist”, the duo were childhood friends in 60′s Baltimore, and Divine’s trajectory, from early transgressive dog poop-eating infamy to full-blown stardom, is exhaustively covered by director Jeffrey Schwarz.
Fully ‘out’ before being gay was even recognised as an alternative lifestyle, Divine managed to tap into the uninhibited more accepting culture which emerged during the seventies, and her popularity surged as her NY stage performances gaining prominence around the time Studio 54 and the world of disco exploded. »
- Adam Lowes
★★★★★Divine shot to fame in the late seventies thanks to the bizarre directorial demands of John Waters and his cult cinema classic Pink Flamingos (1978). After consuming a heap of freshly produced dog faeces on camera, she turned the collective stomach of a worldwide audience and became the talking point she always strived to be. However, years down the line all anyone wanted to talk about was dog mess and misconceived transvestism. Neither of the two had any relevance in the furthered career of Harris Glenn Milstead, the man behind the eye make-up - a character-actor who strived to be taken seriously in his profession, but just as Hollywood studios began to open their hearts to him, his stopped beating.
- CineVue UK
This week sees the release of documentary I Am Divine, which explores the life of one of cinema’s most unforgettable stars. Mink Stole, who is featured in the documentary, worked with Divine on several occasions as part of John Waters’ Dreamlander ensemble, making films like Multiple Maniacs and Pink Flamingos, and she agreed to talk to me about those experiences.
“There are times when it is sad for me to remember but also times when it is not sad,” she says of the late star. “What we did was fun. Recollecting good days is a pleasure.”
They met “rather coincidentally,” she says, through their mutual friendship with John Waters, and her professional respect for Divine is immediately apparent. “He was an incredibly generous performer,” she tells me, though she acknowledges that, though hhe never intentionally upstaged other people, it could be difficult to make an impression alongside him. »
- Jennie Kermode
Both Matthew Gray Gubler and Kat Dennings find most of their time occupied with their TV gigs, the former on "Criminal Minds," the latter on "2 Broke Girls." So one would wager that they'd be picky about the movies they make during their downtime. But as the trailer for "Surburban Gothic" suggests, perhaps that's not necessarily so. Co-written and directed by Richard Bates Jr. ("Excision," which also starred Gubler), the horror comedy adds Ray Wise and Barbara Niven in supporting roles, and follows college graduate Raymond, who is having trouble getting his life on track and moves back in with his parents. But things go from bad to worse when supernatural weirdness begins to follow him around, but luckily he finds an ally in a quirky local bartender. Basically, it's pretty broad (and low budget) stuff with everything pitched toward camp but perhaps not quite working. At least not in trailer form. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Sneak Peek 'red-band' restricted footage from the new horror comedy feature "Suburban Gothic", directed and co-written by Richard Bates Jr., starring Matthew Gray Gubler, Kat Dennings, Ray Wise, Barbara Niven, Sally Kirkland, Jeffrey Combs, John Waters and Muse Watson:
"...quirky young 'Raymond' (Gubler) has been having a tough couple of months. Even with his recent college degree, he can't find work in the big city — and he’s realizing that it's time to swallow his pride and move back in with his overbearing, suburban parents. Little does he realize, however, that this temporary layover in Middle America is going to be anything but mundane.
"Haunted by otherworldly visions since childhood, Raymond soon finds himself beset upon by spirits intent on making his time at home as miserable as possible. His only outlet for sanity seems to be local bartender 'Becca' (Dennings) who, aside from chasing off the same bullies »
- Michael Stevens
Playing as part of this year's Fantasia Film Festival is the new film from Excision director Richard Bates, Jr., entitled Suburban Gothic, and right now we have the red band trailer courtesy of Deadline. Check it out!
Raymond has a prestigious Mba, but he can’t find work. He can channel the paranormal, but chatting with a cute girl mystifies him. Kicked out of his big city apartment, Raymond returns home to his overbearing mother, ex-jock father, and beer-bellied classmates. But when a vengeful ghost terrorizes the small town, the city boy recruits Becca, a badass local bartender, to solve the mystery of the spirit threatening everyone’s lives.
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- Steve Barton
Richard Bates made a big bloody mess on the genre scene with Excision. He's been away for far too long, but he's back now with Suburban Gothic, a film that is premiering at the Fantasia Film Festival this month in Montreal. Bates has, once again, pulled in an eclectic cast that includes: Matthew Gray Gubler, Kat Dennings, Ray Wise, Barbara Niven, Sally Kirkland, Jeffrey Combs, John Waters and Muse Watson.
- Ryan Turek
While everyone was raving about the Soska sisters’ body horror film American Mary back in 2012, I was strongly supporting Richard Bates Jr.’s Excision with more passion. My review for American Mary states all the problems I found with Katharine Isabelle’s body-modification obsession, and compared to AnnaLynne McCord’s surgical-nurse-in-training character there’s just no competition. Bates showed so much promise with his short-film-adapted first feature that I couldn’t wait to see what twisted project would come from his mind next – and it looks like I won’t have to wait much longer.
Starting to build its festival run is Suburban Gothic, a twisted little paranormal tale about Raymond – your typical hipster forced to move back home with his lame parents. With no ambition or drive, a bartender/old acquaintance named Becca suggests Raymond start a business using his only odd talent, which happens to be connecting with the dead. »
- Matt Donato
Moviefone's Top DVD of the Week
"Like Father, Like Son"
What's It About? Two families are thrown into upheaval when it's discovered there was a mistake at the hospital where their respective sons were born. Ryota (Masaharu Fukuyama) has to decide what's more important to him, the relationship he's developed with the six-year-old child he thought was his biological son or his "real" son. Hirokazu Kore-eda explores what it means to be a family and a father in this intimate drama.
Why We're In: Kore-eda's a critically acclaimed filmmaker and beloved arthouse auteur whose work deserves to be seen on a wider scale. Don't let the subtitles scare you -- check it out!
Moviefone's Top Blu-ray of the Week
- Jenni Miller
The Austin Film Series is wrapping up its "Rebel Rebel" series this weekend with a 35mm print of Female Trouble, the raunchy 1974 comedy from enfant terrible John Waters. It screens tonight and Sunday afternoon at the Marchesa. That's also the place to be on Thursday night as a new Essential Cinema series launches featuring some of the best collaborations of Liv Ullman and Ingmar Bergman. The first film of the series is 1966's Persona, screening in a 35mm print. Look for an article about the series on Monday by programmer Chale Nafus.
The Alamo Drafthouse Ritz has another eclectic week ahead of specialty screenings. On Saturday afternoon, you can view the late-era Marx Bros. classic, 1946's A Night In Casablanca. Also this week, there's a Bill & Ted double feature on Sunday that will include two new Mondo posters available for purchase, Russ Meyer's Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls »
- Matt Shiverdecker
The Montreal-based Fantasia International Film Festival is gearing up to run again this year from July 17th-August 5th, and having already boasted a very impressive first wave of films (including a special presentation of James Gunn’s Guardians Of The Galaxy), the second wave of films has now been announced, making the festival sounds like an even more impressive place to be next month. We’ve combined the two announcements into one, just to give you fright fiends a glimpse at the awesome list of titles coming to festival goers next month.
Fantasia 2014 will launch with the Canadian premiere of Jacky In The Kingdom Of Women (Jacky au royaume des filles), a sharp political satire from comic book genius Riad Sattouf (Les Beaux Gosses) that took the Rotterdam Film Festival by storm.
Set in »
- Jerry Smith
The 18th annual Fantasia International Film Festival will be taking place once again in Montreal and the first wave of programming has been announced, revealing an eclectic mix of genre films from around the world:
“Montreal, June 19, 2014 – The 18th annual Fantasia International Film Festival is gearing up to take Montreal by storm with three weeks of inspiration and excitement starting July 17 until August 5, 2014. Our full 2014 lineup of programming and special events will be revealed shortly, but in the meantime, here’s an early First Wave Announcement of several selected highlights and info to whet your appetite.
Unveiling Our 2014 Poster Art: Fantasia Pays Tribute To Three Legendary Figures Of The Fantastic
On May 7 of last year, Ray Harryhausen, filmmaker and stop-motion special effects pioneer, passed away at the age of 92. Mr. Harryhausen created some of the most beloved and innovative fantastic film imagery of all time in such classics as The 7th Voyage Of Sinbad »
- Jonathan James
The grandaddy of all film fests, Fantasia 2014, is set to kick off on July 17th, and we have this year's artwork to share along with the first wave of event and film announcements.
From the Press Release:
The 18th annual Fantasia International Film Festival is gearing up to take Montreal by storm with three weeks of inspiration and excitement starting July 17 until August 5, 2014. Our full 2014 lineup of programming and special events will be revealed shortly, but in the meantime here’s an early First Wave Announcement of several selected highlights and info to whet your appetite.
For this year’s edition and onwards, Fantasia will be returning to the freshly renovated Concordia Hall Cinema as its main base, which now features an even larger screen, new seating, and upgraded projection and sound.
Unveiling Our 2014 Poster Art: Fantasia Pays Tribute To Three Legendary Figures Of The Fantastic
On May 7 of last year, »
- Debi Moore
It is that time of the year again in which we start preparing for our favourite film festival in the world. For the unfamiliar, Sound On Sight has delivered some of the best coverage of the Fantasia Film Festival since we first launched back in 2008. In the past we’ve published up to 55 reviews, dozens of features and recorded six podcasts dedicated entirely to the three and a half week long event. So be sure to come visit us again and again throughout the months of July and August, as we will surely be all over the 2014 edition. The 18th annual Fantasia International Film Festival is taking Montreal by storm, starting July 17 until August 5, 2014. They’ve just released their new poster and along with the first wave of films, and as expected, Fantasia’s programmers aren’t disappointing. Here’s the press release. Enjoy!
Montreal, June 19, 2014 – The 18th annual Fantasia »
TVLine reports that Major Crimes producers hope they can book Kyra Sedgwick and Billy Burke for Philip Stroh‘s trial. The show tried to get Burke to appear for Stroh’s last appearance but he couldn’t fit it in his Revolution filming schedule.
History has announced an impressive cast for its upcoming mini-series Sons of Liberty. It includes Michael Raymond-James (as Paul Revere), Henry Thomas (as John Adams), Ben Barnes (as Sam Adams), Ryan Eggold (as Joseph Warren) and Breaking Bad vet Dean Norris playing Ben Franklin.
Lifetime has ordered four reality series including Threads, a competition series featuring young fashion designers who will eventually face judge Christian Siriano.
The Bechdel Test was in the spotlight again, thanks to a study asking how well Doctor Who treats its female characters. io9 explains why the Bechdel Test matters and how it’s effective. Even better, it takes »
- Lyle Masaki
Pennsylvania Rep and all around hunk Brian Sims has no problem being known as the openly gay representative, because soon it won’t matter. “It doesn’t bother me that people label me as the ‘gay elected representative of Pennsylvania. In 50 years, it won’t be an issue anymore. Looking at the current trend in the American opinion, we’ll have a gay president in 10 years.” Perhaps you, Mr. Sims?
TVLine has some typically vague spoilers about the premiere of Teen Wolf. Read them and be confused, but also remember your grain of salt.
Florida Circuit Court Judge Sarah Zabel has denied the petition of three anti-gay groups including the infamous Florida Family Association to intervene in the marriage equality case there. And her reasoning is golden, »
- Ed Kennedy
Fashion's finest descended on Lincoln Center in NYC on Monday evening for the Cfda Fashion Awards. Stars like Lupita Nyong'o, Blake Lively, Olivia Wilde, and Marion Cotillard walked the red carpet in gorgeous outfits by their respective designer dates for the annual event, which was hosted by film director and screenwriter John Waters. Lupita, who presented the womenswear designer of the year award during the ceremony, made her Cfda debut in a printed top and matching shorts, while Blake kept things short and sweet in a beaded Michael Kors minidress and '60s-inspired beauty look. It was Rihanna, though, who may have stolen the show; she hit the scene in a revealing sheer beaded gown for her big night. She was honored with the fashion icon award this evening and showed off her signature edgy style while posing for photos with a fur stole all night long (don't worry, »
- Brittney Stephens
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