Thursday, June 24, 2010

THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT - special pre release bash in Los Angeles

Click on image to enlarge invite - special kick off party including great giveaways from the studio including t shirts, tanks, and special advanced screening tickets - as well as DVD box sets of the new Pride Collection from Fox Studios.

We'll also be screening exclusive behind the scenes footage of the making of this film, along with advance sneak peaks at clips from the film.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A MARINE STORY Premieres in San Francisco at The Castro

We had a world premiere last night at the Castro Theatre at Frameline. Here's the photos of the entire day at the film festival, including the big premier screening of A MARINE STORY at the Castro, and the after party at Orso.
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Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Lovely Ladies of CURVE MAGAZINE and their Soiree for the Lesbian Film Makers at Frameline

The who's who of the lesbian business world appeared en masse at last evening's CURVE MAGAZINE party in San Francisco, celebrating the lesbian film makers of the Frameline International LGBT Film Festival.

I have to say, I was thrilled to finally meet face-to-face the lovely ladies who make this magazine happen every month, and they are just as smart and nice as you'd suspect!

(picture left, Frank Mastronuzzi and entourage)

Also in attendance was the Godmother of queer cinema, Kathy Wolfe of Wolfe Video with her partner Barb, the Director of Frameline Jennifer Morris, Shirin Papillon from, Frank Mastronuzzi from the lgbt dating site, Andrea Krauss from the here! gay television network/studio, and a whole gaggle of wonderfully creative film makers from the festival.

The cuisine was my favorite - french fries and champagne! Fabs darling.

(pictured left, Kathy Wolfe and partner Barb)

The talk of the day was the festival screening of THE OWLS which was to screen after the party at the Castro. OWLS stands for Older Wiser Lesbian, and the film is the new feature film from queer cinema's grand dames of the '90's Cheryl Dunye (The Watermelon Woman) and Guinevere Turner (Go Fish). It was made by The Collaborative - which is a group of creative artists and film makers that worked together to make this low budget film happen, handmade if you will, with everyone contributing.

(pictured, Andrea Krauss from here! tv loves the latest issue!)

I was also thrilled to see the star of A MARINE STORY, the lovely and charming Dreya Weber. She's been jet setting around the world with her theatre and concert endeavors and I haven't seen her in months - other than on the Grammy program in the infamous PINK aerial number (Dreya is the aerial choreographer for PINK, as well as Cher, Britany Spears, Michael Jackson's THIS IS IT and others!)

A MARINE STORY is having it's world premiere at the Castro theatre this Saturday and we're all very excited, and a bit nervous.

Managing and Associate editors Rachel Shatto and Kristin Smith from CURVE introduced me to their new set of fresh faced interns for the mag - who all started this week! (pictured left).

I offered my own advise of how I train my interns (it's a combination of the drill Sergeant from Full Metal Jacket, and Alec Baldwin from Glengary Glen Ross), but I think they're opting for a kinder, gentler approach.

I had so many lovely conversations about films, gay rights and the like - wonderful party, fabulous peeps.

Very sedate considering I suspect this evening's big party at Orson's, hosted by Dinah Shore diva Mariah Hanson is going to be OFF THE HOOK, especially since the cast and crew of A MARINE STORY is driving up and they are a wild bunch!

Tune in tomorrow for news, dish, gossip and the censored photos from our world premiere!

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Photos from Last Night's Salutes the Film Makers from Outfest 2010

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Professional photos by Brian Putnam

Lesbian Flicks Big on Circuit - Two Open Big Film Festivals

Today marks the opening kick-off at two premier film festivals - The Los Angeles Film Festival and Frameline - The San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival. Both have their Opening Night Galas this evening and - shocker alert - both gave the top festival programming spot to a LESBIAN FILM!

The LAFF kicks off with The Kids Are Alright - Lisa Cholodenko's (High Art) new flick starring Annette Bening and Julianne Moore, and Frameline has The Secret Diary of Miss Anne Lister from the BBC.

This is a little on the monumental side, since there is always a dearth of quality lesbian flicks out there to begin with, and now there's TWO and they are so good, they are nabbing that prime festival opening night slot.

These are two queer films you CAN'T miss, especially if you are a film lover, because they are both fantastic films.

The Kids Are Alright premiered at The Sundance Film Festival in January and provoked a bidding war that made it the biggest sale of the fest. The studio is banking on it sneaking in this summer between all the big blockbusters and appealing to the art house crowd.

The film is absolutely fantastic - completely polished in every way. Bening and Moore play a lesbian couple with two teenage children - both from the same sperm donor, both moms carrying one of them. When the daughter turns 18, she reluctantly is pressured by her younger brother into contacting their sperm donor - enter devil may care Mark Rufallo and as the saying goes, comedy ensues.

(pictured, director Cholodenko at premier with Moore)
With two stellar performances from the leads, lesbians will no doubt debate who steals the show in this film, but my fav was Julianne Moore. Her character is fumbling to find her own self in the shadow of her rich, doctor wife. Bening is the control freak and provider, who is shaken and stirred with the arrival of the charming donor who seems to sweep in and threaten her perfect family structure - as much as it was in needing of a little shaking up.

The directions is spot on - the film is funny and charming, and nails the lesbian family scene without falling into cliche, and still beaming with familiar sappho tendencies we'll all recognize. (and a perfect explanation/deconstruction of why lesbians like gay male porn!)

When we enter Rufallo's world, it's like porn for foodies. He owns a restaurant in Silverlake, and spends his time in the organic market or picking wine, when he's not taking his new kids out for a ride on his motorcycle!

I wanted to hate the BBC production, The Secret Diary of Miss Anne Lister - with all it's Jane Austen airs and bustles and and pick-up lines like, "So do you like Byron?", but midway in it sucked me in. One of the most anticipated queer films of the season, Lister follows the exploits of the title character as she makes her way through a man's world, while refusing to conform.

There's plenty of sex, and plenty of drama in this high gloss production, that spans decades in the author's life. She starts out in a situation that seems all too familiar to lesbians - in love with a woman who decides she must keep face by marrying a man. So it's sex, tears and lesbian drama for the first act. Then, Lister has to decide whether to continue waiting for her soul mate, or to move on with perhaps one of her many love interests, all the while battling with male land barons who try to descend on her estate.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Starting this week, I'll be previewing the films from the upcoming Los Angeles Film Festival, Frameline Film Festival and OUTFEST.

To start off, a wonderful gay film NOT playing at Outfest but at the Los Angeles Film Festival, which kicks off this Thursday evening with the screening of Lisa Cholodenko's new feature, The Kids Are Alright (check back tomorrow for a review!).

Eyes Wide Open is set in Jerusalem and involves two Orthodox Jewish men who fall in love.

Aaron is a devout father of four, and he is confused by his growing attraction to his new apprentice, Ezri. Their relationship develops into a sexual one, leading Aaron to struggle with the harsh polarity between his religious beliefs and that of his heart.

The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. Intense is putting it lightly - a deeply emotional film. Catch the trailer the below.

It plays Sunday, June 20th at 7:00 pm, and again no Thursday, June 24th at 10:00 PM. Tickets can be purchased by clicking here for the LAFF site.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Saturday - Welcome Home the Peddlers after their 7 Day Journey

What better way to celebrate Pride in SoCal than to greet the more than 1,926 riders as they arrive in Los Angeles after a grueling 545 mile bike ride from San Francisco - a journey made to raise money and awareness for The LA Gay & Lesbian Center and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation with the annual AIDS/Lifecycle 9 (ALC).

Peddlers arrive home starting at around 11 am and trickle in all day gathering at 4 pm for the Closing Ceremony.

It's been a long, 7 day journey that people describe as both inspirational and exhausting. Around 500 volunteers - or "Roadies" as they're called - are also along to provide support (and entertainment) to those who ride - which consists of a mix of LGBT and straight people from all over the country.

The ride has been going on over twenty years now, and it is a right of passage for most LGBT people in Los Angeles. The physically shredding experience, combined with the sense of a common goal and unity, along with the inspiration provided by groups like Pos Peddlers, creates an almost euphoric, community experience. All while raising much needed cash to support those living with HIV/AIDS.

Many riders tell tales of buckets of tears from both pain and from inspiration. The cyclists spend most of their days on the road, while the Roadies provide welcome rest stops along with way, and the set up and management of the Wysteria Lanes of gay tent camp sites at night, replete with hot meals, massages and doctors on call for medical checks.
(photos courtesy of the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center)

Personally, I'm waiting for the marathon LGBT fundraiser that involves sitting on a couch for days, eating bon-bons and watching back to back episodes of "The Golden Girls" - something I'm immeasurably more qualified to engage in.

To give you an idea of the mileage, the first day - Sunday - was a 79 miles ride. The second day was 108 miles. If cyclists cramp up or crash out, there are Sag Vans around to pick them up and drive them to the next rest stop. But there are plenty of cheerleaders to encourage most to "keep pushing through!"

Day 5 is red dress day - where all the cyclists don their most flowing gowns. Many of the riders indulge in fabulous outfits the entire time, but the red dress day evolved from the idea that seeing all the riders at a distance, with the winds would emulate a red ribbon (traditionally worn to show support for people living with HIV/AIDS).

The bonding that occurs and the friendships made, last a life time, as participants rave about the unconditional support and "hugs" from all around them to "keep going!"

There's a very moving Candlelight Vigil on Day 6 to remember all those we've lost to HIV/AIDS. It happens on the beach, overlooking the ocean. At this point, the end is near and emotions are high. The sense of remembering those we have lost, and also provide a loving community for those living with HIV, sends people to tears.

The Closing Ceremonies are this evening at 4 pm, follow this link for information and see you there!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Historic Event as Mayor of Los Angeles hosts "the gays" at his house to Celebrate Pride

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa hosted a Garden Party on Sunday afternoon at his home - the official Mayoral mansion The Getty - in honor of Gay Pride Month.

It is the first time a gay event has ever been held at the Mayor's house, and several hundred attendees were there including out gay actors Doug Spearman (Noah's Arc), Daniella Sea (The L Word), Jack Plotnick and Pride Parade's Grand Marshall's Sharon and Kelly Osbourne, along with Sheryl Lee Ralph, Ivy Bottini, Oscar winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black (Milk), Oscar winning producer Bruce Cohen (Milk, American Beauty) and the hosts of PRIDE here in Los Angeles, CSW (Christopher Street West), who this year are celebrating 40 Years of producing LA Pride. The event was also jammed packed with gay politicos and community leaders from all over Southern California.

The event was MC-ed by the always stunning and entertaining Momma, and produced by Chad Hudson Events.

Villaraigosa noted that this may be the first time an official gay party has been held here, but unofficially he claims all his family reunions are also big gay parties (he has several gay relatives, including State Assembly Speaker John A Perez, his cousin, who also spoke at the event).

Villaraigosa has been a strong supporter of lgbt rights in Los Angeles. He donated $30,000 to the No On Prop 8 initiative himself, and after the marriage ban passed, he was instrumental in providing vital leeway in allowing marches and protests. For eight days following the passage of Prop 8 (making marriage legal only between a man and a woman), he approved police support for the marches that occurred all over the city, so protesters would be protected, and not detained or arrested which made it possible for large and long showings of support for our community.

The Getty House is a historical site, having been built in 1921 in the Windsor Square area of Hancock Park and designed by the same architects who did Grauman's Chinese and Egyptian Theatres in Hollywood. The house became the official home of the Mayor in 1973, when Mayor Tom Bradley took residence for 16 years - which was a milestone because decades prior, African Americans were prohibited from buying property in this area (similar laws were in place all over the city which also banned Asian Americans from buying property in certain areas).

On the day of the brunch, the gay rainbow flags were proudly hung in the front along with the state and country flags.

The highlight of the event for me was the chocolate cheesecakes on a stick, and getting to meet the resident pound dog Monkey, who belongs to the Mayor's girlfriend, Lu Parker. I'm always thrilled to meet a rescue pup! Also, Kelly Osbourne complimented me on my glasses and asked the name of the place I got them (Old Focals, in Pasadena - where Johnny Depp has been getting his glasses for years!). She was a bit hit at the party since she looked particularly stunning.

Even in the sweltering heat of the Southern California sun, the attendees had an absolute blast, and it was a great honor to have official recognition of Gay Pride, thanks to the work of CSW.

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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Sneak Peak at the films of Outfest 2010

It's upon us! LGBT Film Festival season, kicking off with Frameline in San Francisco and Newfest in New York this month, then Outfest in Los Angeles next month. Then they'll all be coming to YOUR local LGBT film festival wherever you are, and here's your first sneak peak at the new crop of LGBT feature documentaries and narratives: