By Jeff Walsh
A lot of times, when reviewing gay movies, I think that I am judging them far more critically than they may have been intended. Usually this frame of reference occurs when I think of the number of movies I have enjoyed in packed theaters of gay audiences, where every sassy comment and sexual remark was met with roaring laughter and people yelling back at the screen.
When I'm writing a critical review of a movie, I often wonder, would I have enjoyed this movie if I had watched it in that setting, as opposed to just popping in a DVD at home, myself, after work? It doesn't mean the movie would be any better, of course, but just shows how much the power of community can inform the experience.
On Sunday, I had the opposite experience watching an almost-completed print of "We Were Here: Voices from the AIDS Years in San Francisco." I knew it was going to be a heavy movie, given the subject matter, but I had no idea just how palpable the depths of sorrow flowing through the audience would be.
By Jeff Walsh
When we last caught up with Robin De Jesus, he was nominated for a Tony for the role of Sonny in In The Heights. He didn't win, but the show did win Best New Musical. De Jesus ended up performing that role on Broadway for two full years. Then, with just a two week break, he went to the new revival of the La Cage Aux Folles musical.
(If you want to read our earlier interviews first, we first chatted with him the day In The Heights was first opening Off-Broadway, and then nearly a year and a half later, when the show was on Broadway, and De Jesus was nominated for a Tony Award)
You may know La Cage Aux Folles better as The Birdcage, the movie with Robin Williams and Nathan Lane as a long-time gay couple who run a nightclub with a nightly drag show. There's a lot of twists and turns in the plot that I won't go into (but, if you're so inclined, they're detailed on Wikipedia). The main differences are that this is the musical version with a book by one of my heroes, Harvey Fierstein, and music by Jerry Herman. And, in this revival, the Robin Williams role is played by Kelsey Grammer, aka Frasier.
De Jesus plays Jacob, the supposed maid to the couple who desperately wants to prove to Zaza (the Nathan Lane role), that he's ready to be in the drag show. As you can see from the photo, De Jesus does a good amount of drag in the show. Not that he's a stranger to drag, as he performed as Angel in Rent on Broadway before.
And, to stick with tradition, De Jesus is once again Tony-nominated for his role in La Cage, and I'll certainly be rooting for him on June 13. He is always such a generous, positive spirit, it's always great to catch up with him.
Here's what we said:
By Jeff Walsh
Watching "8: The Mormon Proposition," it's hard to get past the central irony of the Mormon church fighting against alternative marriage, given the church's polygamist roots. But this documentary covering the Mormon's church's fight against gay marriage does make you almost sorry for people who can put such questionable religious teachings above their own family members, friends, and loved ones.
The documentary sheds light on one of the core problems the Mormon church has with gay marriage, which is related to their concept of an afterlife. I will write it out without editorial comment for the sake of brevity. In a nutshell, when you die, you go to your own planet, are reunited with your spouse, and you then have babies and repopulate your planet. I can't watch such nonsense twice to see if I'm missing any details here, but suffice it to say if they allow gay marriage, then their afterlife doesn't work because you have two guys sitting on a planet alone, OK?
View and listen to what a group of young gays and their supporters have done in South Korea:
Oasis is back up again. Figure it's easier for me to post something new so you know rather than having to sort it out...
So, this has been one hell of a roller coaster of a week. literally.
Firstly, there was the family drama with the mom and the sister and the moving of things from my dad's house in MT back to Washington, which was a fucking logistical nightmare...three households worth of crap to move in four days, sort through, consign, take to the dump, etc...
Yesterday was our big date. "Texting and scones," and all. A picnic in the Arboretum. With scones.
Also with lots of snogging.
of fantastic snogging.
As she would say - it's cute how words fail her so often even though she's an English major - "So, that's a thing."
'Perpetually single' has been a major part of who I am for so long - in a way this feels kind of unreal... but not really. Maybe that she's not real but I'm not either and we both inhabit almost the same plane of not-reality? I don't know...
I saw two movies recently. Last night I watched a Serbian film called A Serbian Film. It's my new favorite movie. It has a great soundtrack, too.
Today I watched a movie called John Dies at the End. It was how I imagine doing acid would be like. Which is kind of relevant, since I checked out the Silk Road a couple days ago and found some cheap drugs. Now I want to do acid.
I’m starting to wonder if I’m just an outsider by nature, and if that’s ever going to change. I was sort of hanging out with friends today, but I felt kind of invisible because I wasn’t participating in the conversation. I’m just really introverted and live in my head a lot. If I could just get the hang of finding some common interests and carrying conversations. Unfortunately, this made me think of Beth, because I could always talk to Beth about anything so easily.
After watching what Chase and Jake did I was equally disgusted and curious about what I had seen. It was really all I could think about sometimes, and it bothered me.
What troubled me even more was sneaking peeks at the magazine hidden under Chase's mattress, seeing the biggest penis I had ever seen deeply stuck in the other guy and the expression on his face. I couldn't decide if it was a look of pain or pleasure, but I know Chase and Jake seemed to like what was happening. As disgusted as I was it was something I needed to try.