The Birdcage
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10 items from 2009


Birthday Suits, Well Directed

30 November 2009 6:05 AM, PST | FilmExperience | See recent FilmExperience news »

Lights. Cameras. Birthday Action (for this, the 30th of November). Only one month left to go and it's 2010. How crazy is that?

Ridley, Terrence (in the 70s) and Marc

1835 Mark Twain's books have been adapted into movies ever since the movies began. Most notably The Prince and the Pauper and any tale of Huck Finn or Tom Sawyer

1920 Virginia Mayo 40s and 50s star, frequent Danny Kaye foil

1926 Richard Crenna, character actor

1927 Robert Guillaume, "Benson"

1929 Dick Clark, seemingly immortal creature who may finally be destroyed by the rise of his spiritual offspring Ryan Seacrest. It's all very Cronos vs. Zeus, only without the thunderbolts

1937 Ridley Scott, manly director whose movies are usually way better when they're shot through with a strong female presence. Consider the three classics: Blade Runner, Thelma & Louise, Alien. The rest of the filmography surely has its moments but that's the trinity right there.

1943 Terence Malick, »

- NATHANIEL R

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Mike Nichols Has Achieved Much in His Lifetime, Says AFI

12 October 2009 11:51 AM, PDT | FilmSchoolRejects.com | See recent FilmSchoolRejects news »

Hear ye, hear ye! Variety has reported that Sir Howard Stringer -- an actual knight who, when he is not rescuing distressed damsels and fighting what we can only imagine would be rather incendiary dragons, serves as chair of the American Film Institute's board -- announced  that director Mike Nichols will receive AFI's Life Achievement Award in a ceremony next summer. Here's 7 reasons why we're not surprised: 1. Nichols was honored at the Kennedy Center a few years back. (Some of our favorite Fsr readers were there.) 2. He's getting old. Like, really old. Keith Richards old. 3. Nichols is is one of only 10 people ever to win the statuette trifecta: Oscar, Tony, and Emmy. (Fyi? He's also won a Grammy. Others that have won all four include (but are not limited to) Whoopi Goldberg, Audrey Hepburn, and Mel Brooks.) 4. I love, love, love Elaine May. 5. His stage productions and movies have run the gamut from profound (Angels in America, Wit »

- Bethany Perryman

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Robin Williams Joins 'Wedding Banned'

28 August 2009 8:03 AM, PDT | Cinematical | See recent Cinematical news »

The insanity. The epically hairy arms. The alien ways. As a child of the 80s, it's hard not to love Robin Williams. Popeye, Mork, Garp, The Frog Prince ... his Add comedy left an indelible impact on so many of us.

Unfortunately, it's been a good long while since I, for one, have been eager and anxious for a Williams film. In fact, I remember my last fan twinges clearly -- it was 1996 with The Birdcage. Soon after, Willims busied himself with drama and thrills, and they never held the same appeal. Sure, he headed back for the laughs a handful of years ago, but mainly with incomparable family films and side gigs. Now, however ... now it looks like we might get a Robin Williams comedic renaissance.

World's Greatest Dad is in limited release with great reviews, and The Hollywood Reporter posts that he will also play Dad in Touchstone's Wedding Banned. »

- Monika Bartyzel

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Iconic Gay Movie Roles

18 August 2009 6:59 PM, PDT | The Backlot | See recent The Backlot news »

It’s not exactly news that as a mass medium, cinema has the power to dramatically influence and change public attitudes toward minority groups, often making them accessible and relatable to the mainstream.

Unfortunately, that power works the opposite way as well and the movie industry, under a strict legion of ‘so-called’ decency laws commonly referred to as the Hays Code enacted in the 1930s, tended to frown upon positive representations of the gay community up until the 1960s. Gays were still present on screen, but more often than not, they were limited to stereotypes such as the drag queen/transvestite, the degenerate, the depraved killer and so forth.

As The Celluloid Closet (1995) brilliantly revealed, many gay and bisexual men had their motivations buried in subtext – virile characters like Ben Hur, for instance, were blatantly bisexual, but had to be inconspicuous about their love for the boys.

As the years rolled on, »

- mohassan

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Mike Nichols Dives Into "Deep Water"

17 August 2009 3:29 PM, PDT | www.ohmygore.com/ | See recent OhMyGore news »

Mike Nichols ("The Graduate", "The Birdcage") is set to direct a film adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's 1957 novel "Deep Water" for Fox 2000 reports Variety. The story follows a small town wealthy socialite Victor Van Allen, and his flirtatious wife who has had a string of lovers on the side. When one of her ex-lovers is murdered, the jealous Victor hints to her latest conquest he may have done it to ward him off. As rumor of his nasty streak begins to spread, fiction and reality begin to converge and it's only a matter of time before Vic really does have blood on his hands. Joe Penhall ("The Road") will adapt the script. Highsmith also penned the Tom Ripley novels and "Strangers On A Train" which Alfred Hitchcock famously adapted. »

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Ask the Flying Monkey! (May 14, 2009)

13 May 2009 5:36 PM, PDT | The Backlot | See recent The Backlot news »

Have a question about gay male entertainment? Ask the Monkey! (Please include your city and state and/or country.)

Q: Regarding that, um, interesting scene of Kirk (Chris Pine) in his underwear in the new Star Trek: since the movie supposedly takes place in the 22nd century, that's presumably what men will be wearing then, right? So where can I get the underwear of the future ... today? -- Steve, Philadelphia, Pa

A: Personally, the Flying Monkey is holding out hope that the not-so-distant future will see a return to the simple beauty that is a pair of tighty-whities, but I suppose I should just be thankful that the new Smokin' Hot Kirk wasn't wearing saggy, baggy boxers.

Unfortunately, the undies worn by Smokin' Hot Kirk in the movie were made of pure Romulan silk and were created by the Edoian designer Rakop in the year 2250. In other words, they don't actually exist yet. »

- dennis

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Gay roles by straight actors we could've lived without

13 May 2009 11:02 AM, PDT | The Backlot | See recent The Backlot news »

*Note: This list originally ran on July 9th, 2007

For a straight actor to successfully play a gay character is not as easy as one might think. Not everyone can pull a Heath Ledger in Brokeback Mountain, a River Phoenix in Private Idaho, or even a Robin Williams in The Birdcage. When I see a movie about gays with a straight lead and director and it fails, I often wonder how the voice would have been different with a gay director or gay actor. Would Cruising be the same film if the director were gay? Here are just a few gay characters played by straight actors that we all could’ve lived without.

Will Smith in Six Degrees of Separation

Will Smith wasn't a terrible actor in the 1993 film Six Degrees of Separation; however, it was obvious he was a little green for the role. Smith played the role of Paul, »

- claycane

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Best. Gay. Week. Ever. (March 13, 2009)

12 March 2009 7:16 PM, PDT | The Backlot | See recent The Backlot news »

I Heart Camp! No, Not The Kind With Tents!

I have no taste. That's the general consensus from my friends, who are by turns bewitched, bothered, and bewildered by my obsession with camp, especially when it comes to films and 80's pop culture. Things came to a head last week when I invited some of them to a special screening in my house of the 2006 remake of The Wicker Man. For those unfamiliar with it, here's a clip of some the movie's greatest scenes. Enjoy!

"How'd it get burned? How'd it get burned? How did the Bees in my eyes get Burned?

There is absolutely nothing better than Nic Cage at his most spastic. The Wicker Man had Nic in full looney-tunes mode, along with the most unintentionally hilarious script to come along in many a moon. Plus it also had the great Ellen Burstyn looking like Braveheart's crazy grandma. »

- michael

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Best. Gay. Week. Ever. (February 27, 2009)

27 February 2009 7:22 AM, PST | The Backlot | See recent The Backlot news »

It's The Best.Gay.Week.Ever! But In Designer Clothes!

Oh, the irony of having me write a fashion-themed Bgwe! Why so ironic? How about because it's 5 Pm and I'm currently wearing Target slippers, Target lounge pants and a ratty sweathshirt. Did I mention these are my good clothes?

Not fair! I actually shower every single day! Mostly...

Why the sudden interest in fashion? Well, there was Fashion Week having taken place last week in New York and the Oscars in L.A. on Sunday, but I was really inspired by last week's episode of Ugly Betty which ended with Betty finally "getting" that fashion isn't just about expensive clothes but is actually "art" and about taking what's on the inside emotionally, spiritually, etc. and putting it on the outside. 

 I guess she's feeling wing-y on the inside?

I found that an interesting way to look at fashion and thusly »

- michael

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A straight actor's gay education: Scott Bailey on his "Prayers for Bobby" experience

23 January 2009 9:47 AM, PST | The Backlot | See recent The Backlot news »

Scott Bailey

Being as how our hearts are about as soft as cashew brittle, it's not often that something comes along that warms us up enough to tease a gentle "Awwww..." from our lips.

But when actor Scott Bailey's publicist sent us an essay that he'd written about his experience playing the boyfriend of Bobby Griffith in the true-life tearjerker Prayers for Bobby, that's pretty much what happened.

I was originally going to excerpt the essay here for you to read, but I'm actually posting it in its entirety below, because it's kinda too precious for words.

Prayers For Bobby: A Once In A Lifetime Experience.

Yes, Prayers for Bobby will air on Lifetime starting Jan 24th but the title is more than just clever wordplay: it is my heartfelt truth!   It feels like a miracle that such a timely and meaningful film has come to fruition and »

- brian

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10 items from 2009


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