BLOOMINGTON DemandJune 02, 2011
On Demand Weekly provides new movie reviews of movies on demand from the POV of watching from the comfort of your home. Today’s review: BLOOMINGTON (FilmBuff).
By Amy Slotnick
BLOOMINGTON is a coming of age drama about Jackie, a former child actress (played by Sarah Stouffer) who attends college in the mid-west to find independence from her acting career in Los Angeles. However blending in with the student body proves to be more difficult than Jackie expects. Her peers seem to only be interested in her as a celebrity but don’t show much genuine interest in being her friend.
At a meeting for the psychology department Jackie meets Professor Catherine Stark (played by Allison McAtee), a beautiful teacher in her 30s who is rumored to seduce her students. Despite warnings from others, Jackie is quickly enamored with Catherine and without any hesitation, they begin an intense and sexual romance. Jackie leaves school for a job in LA and the distance from Catherine, complicates their relationship.
MAKING THE BOYS About THE BOYS IN THE BAND Is Now On DemandSeptember 07, 2011
On Demand Weekly provides new movie reviews of hot movies on demand from the POV of watching from the comfort of your home. Today’s review: MAKING THE BOYS (Gravitas).
MAKING THE BOYS About THE BOYS IN THE BAND
By Kris Scheifele
MAKING THE BOYS traces the development of the off-Broadway play THE BOYS IN THE BAND and its subsequent transformation into the Hollywood film by the same name. Not such an unusual trajectory except THE BOYS IN THE BAND, written by Mart Crowley, was the first of its kind: it depicted openly gay men. Amidst the oppressive homophobia of the sixties, this was a revelation, a point underscored by the doc's inclusion of clips from anti-gay propaganda films.
This doc also maps the historical framework intimately linked to the artist and his work through interviews with writers, historians, theater folk, actors, and activists. Among these pundits, playwright Edward Albee points out that even The New York Times was unapologetically biased against gays at the time with their chief drama critic, Stanley Kauffmann, accusing gay playwrights of disguising gay characters in their work. In so doing, Kauffmann inadvertently inspired Crowley to "let it all hang out," forgoing straight stand-ins for the real McCoy.
When the play came out in 1968 it was a smash hit. MAKING THE BOYS, however, is a reminder that timing is everything. When the film was released in 1970, the intervening Stonewall Riots had fueled the burgeoning gay rights movement creating the expectation that art mirror life. What was groundbreaking bravery one year, seemed retrograde to some the next. That's a lot of baggage to carry for a story about a birthday party.
Well, there's more to the plot than that. Witty quips become lacerating barbs when a tightly knit group of friends get their interpersonal dysfunction on. It's Drama (with a capital D), but if everyone got along in a magnanimous embrace of gay solidarity, it wouldn't be very interesting. The doc suggests that this sort of modern conversational skirmishing owed something to Albee's WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF. This correlation provides the best line in the doc when Carson Kressley, of "Queer Eye" fame, says of THE BOYS, "It makes WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF look like an Olsen Twins' movie." Oh Carson, it hurts so good!
Tags:lgbt, queer cinema, william friedkin, mart crowley, carson kressley, stanley kauffmann, edward albee, making the boys, stonewall riots, robert wagner, gay playwrights, natalie wood, gay rights movement, the boys in the band, sixties hollywood, who's afraid of virginia woolf, who's afraid of virginia woolf, who's afraid of virginia woolf, who's afraid of virginia woolf, who's afraid of virginia woolf,
On Demand Weekly provides new movie reviews of hot movies on demand from the POV of watching from the comfort of your home. Today’s review: THE TOPP TWINS: UNTOUCHABLE GIRLS (Gravitas).
THE TOPP TWINS: UNTOUCHABLE GIRLS - The Hilarious Lightness Of Being
By Kris Scheifele
There's something irresistible about people who genuinely love what they do, love who they are, and consequently, love the world they live in. Few among us can embody this kind of joie de vivre like the lesbian–twin sister, country western–comedy duo, Jools and Lynda Topp. Raised on a New Zealand farm, these two down-home gals possess an infectious glee that touches everything they do, and I'd guess, everyone they meet.
This must have been the case when seasoned filmmaker, Leanne Pooley, entered their lives to tell their story in the affectionately crafted documentary THE TOPP TWINS: UNTOUCHABLE GIRLS. The twins are definitely not camera shy and participate on more than one level.
Now middle-aged, Jools and Lynda put on a special concert written and performed especially for the film during which they tell stories and sing songs about the landmark moments in their lives. This concert footage provides an effortless structure, woven throughout the film's narrative, which doesn't linger too long on the songs. The pacing is lively!
Other collaborative moments in the film include interviews with the alter ego send-ups the twins have been dressing as for years as part of their stage performance. They have a drag act, the two Kens, a couple of cheeseball, beer-guzzling fellas in bad suits as well as a variety of busty matrons and high-waisted stereotypes such as Camp Mother and Camp Leader and the socialites, Prue and Dilly Ramsbottom. The twins claim, “We’re not really comedians; we're singers that're funny!" but this array of characters became so popular, they even had a TV show.
The Topp twins aren't just a mercilessly wacky good time. They bring the same zest for life to political activism having stood up for everything from no nukes and Maori land rights, to apartheid and the legalization of homosexuality in New Zealand.
They claim they won the gay rights battle simply by being fun because that stood in such stark contrast to the opposition's sturm und drang. Who would you rather hang out with, a squadron of fist-shaking, finger-pointing grumps or the ebullient Topp twins? I know my answer; you get more flies with honey—funny honey.
When it comes to digital distribution, niche is the word. And on June 7th, Wolfe Video, distributor of gay and lesbian films, announced the launch of a new Video On Demand (VOD) service, WolfeOnDemand.com.
The new platform for distributing LGBT movies debuts with an initial slate of 30 films with intentions to offer the entire Wolfe library of more than 100 gay and lesbian features and documentaries.
“This opens up an incredible opportunity for Wolfe to introduce a dazzling array of films and filmmakers to an even wider audience,” said Wolfe President Maria Lynn.
Current highlights on the groundbreaking worldwide LGBT movie-watching platform include recent hits: Celine Sciama's Tomboy (Berlin Panorama Teddy Award winner) and Sundance award winner Undertow (Contracorriente), alongside popular classics such as the gay teen musical Were The World Mine, controversial lesbian drama Loving Annabelle, Jamie Babbit’s hit lesbian drama Itty Bitty Titty Committee and many others.
Designed to fight online piracy and maximize the commercial sharing of legal authorized films online, WolfeOnDemand.com features a built-in affiliate revenue program allowing fans to reap commissions when they direct others to watch movies as their strategy for fighting illegal movie file sharing and online piracy.
“This launch helps Wolfe meet the needs of our customers on a global scale,” said Wolfe Founder Kathy Wolfe. “While fighting online piracy, I had the opportunity to connect with many of our fans outside the US, who indicated that they would not pirate films if we provided reasonably priced access to our library. With the launch of WolfeOnDemand.com, we’re meeting that great need.”
WolfeOnDemand films are available to rent or to own, and fans can earn affiliate commissions when they share their favorite films. For more information visit WolfeOnDemand at http://www.wolfeondemand.com.
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CHELY WRIGHT: WISH ME AWAY - On DemandJune 12, 2012
On Demand Weekly provides new movie reviews of hot movies on demand from the POV of watching from the comfort of your home. Today’s review: CHELY WRIGHT: WISH ME AWAY (Gravitas).
CHELY WRIGHT: WISH ME AWAY
By Cynthia Kane
As a little girl growing up in Kansas’ heartland, Chely Wright used to pray to God, “Please don’t let me be gay.” She also dreamed of one day going to Nashville, performing at the Grand Ole Opry and becoming a Country Music star. She achieved her childhood dreams. Yet even as she developed a loyal audience, earned accolades - including the Academy of Country Music's 1995 prize for top new female vocalist- and climbed the charts with popular singles, she was tormented by guilt and fear caused by hiding and denying her sexual orientation.
CHELY WRIGHT: WISH ME AWAY (Gravitas)
We think we live in modern times, but this is the tragic story of a beautiful, talented woman who closeted herself for most of her life, finally deciding in 2007, it was time to be true to herself and honest with her friends, family and fans. She decided to come out. It took three years. In fact, she is the first Country-Western Music star to do just that. She proves there’s still a great divide in the United States – and it’s not only to do with gay marriage. For many in conservative areas of the nation, it’s still daunting to be out if you identify with being homosexual.
When I first heard about the doc, CHELY WRIGHT: WISH ME AWAY, I had no idea who Chely Wright was – I like Country Music alright, although I am the first to claim I don’t always know who I am listening to. And I being a former New Yorker now living in the Bay Area, I did wonder what all the fuss was about. After all, hasn’t k.d. lang been opening gay all along and doesn’t she sing Country? Then again, it’s not all she sings – and she is Canadian. What’s shocking in this very courageous and moving documentary is that it is not at all acceptable within the Country Western-Nashville scene to be openly LGBT and to identify as a lesbian.
Coming out for Wright had the threat
of committing career suicide.
That career she so carefully built and that she dreamed of since she was a little girl growing up in a conservative Christian household.
Filmmakers Bobbie Birleffi and Beverly Knopf follow Wright for the three years as she leaves Nashville for New York and works on her autobiography, “Like Me”. The doc is straightforward and is structured more or less in the countdown up to the day she publically outed herself on The Today Show on May 4, 2010. Her book was published the same day.
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