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Out on Screen

Out on Screen

Film and Television

Friday, February 05, 2016

London Spy

BBC America, which is known for hit shows like “Absolutely Fabulous,” “Doctor Who,” the “Graham Norton Show,” and “Orphan Black,” is taking a short walk on the wild side with its new import miniseries “London Spy.” This isn’t a typical James Bondian type of spy show, that’s for sure.

The late Nigel Finch’s 1995 film Stonewall, based on Martin Duberman’s acclaimed book with a screenplay by Ricki Beadle Blair, might have been flawed, but it’s a far better movie than the new Stonewall (Lionsgate / Roadside Attractions), directed by gay director Roland Emmerich, featuring a disappointing screenplay by gay playwright Jon Robin Baitz. Even before its release, the film was creating a stir because of the supposed lack of minority representation within the cast. In all honesty, that’s small potatoes in comparison to the way that the filmmaker doesn’t think that the subject of the Stonewall Inn is compelling enough on its own. Instead, it’s bogged down by the story of a gay kid escaping small-town Indiana to come to the big, bad city to be who he is. He’s cute, but he’s just not that interesting.

Friday, January 22, 2016

The Revenant: Survival and Revenge

At a time in TV and movie entertainment when the landscape is ripe with zombies, there has been a subgenre of storytelling involving folks who have been dead for days or years who suddenly return to their daily lives, sans the whole flesh eating hunger. The French television show “Les Revenants” debuted in 2012 and garnered a cult following on U.S. television. That show begat ABC’s short-lived “Resurrection” (although the producers claimed there was no connection to the French version, except for the entire premise) and A&E’s even shorter-lived authorized U.S. adaptation “The Returned.”

Friday, January 08, 2016

A Fraught Exploration of Identity

‘The Danish Girl’

To celebrate the New Year, I went to see a movie that is getting a lot of buzz and causing quite the stir in the LGBT community, The Danish Girl. Based on David Ebershoff’s biographical book, Eddie Redmayne (a straight male actor) takes on the role of Lili Elbe, a transgender Danish woman who revolutionized the conversation about gender identity in the 1920’s. Elbe, born Einar Wegener, starts the film as a man married to his wife Gerda played by Alicia Vikander. Both are bohemian artists with varying levels of success travelling between Copenhagen and Paris. One day, Gerda uses Einar as a leg and shoe model for a portrait she is completing of a ballerina. This drives the narrative of gender exploration forward, resulting in Einar’s gender reassignment surgery.

Friday, January 08, 2016

Ten Favorite Movies of 2015

The old year has passed and the New Year is just beginning, and this is the time when we look back and reflect on the highs and lows of the old year. For movie fans, we compile our lists of personal favorites and then argue with our other friends who have quite different opinions. We read the mainstream critics lists and shake our heads in disbelief most of the time, since their lists seem so out of touch with what the average person likes, if it’s got subtitles or is a documentary, you can bet it’s going to be on some highfalutin’ critic’s top ten list.

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