Thursday, September 03, 2015

Legacy of Lady Lovers

Fire up the Lesbian Bat Signal. Did you know there’s a Lifetime movie that stars both Teri Polo and Anna Silk? Did you know such a wondrous combination of ladies we love who play ladies who love ladies exists in this world. Did you know Stef Foster and Bo Dennis were like totally BFFs in an alternate universe? That 2006 movie is called “Legacy of Fear” and available for you viewing pleasure for free On Demand from Lifetime RIGHT NOW. What are you waiting for? Did I mention Teri plays a cop? Did I mention Anna plays a TV reporter? Hey, didn’t you see the Lesbian Bat Signal? This is not a drill.

p.s. Is that the origins of Boobs O’Clock I see there, Anna?

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Tasty Danish

So, I think we can all agree that this trailer is pretty impressive. The obligatory asterisk to this statement being, of course, that it would have been better to have a trans actor in the role. But instead now trans roles are what gay roles were for straight actors not that long ago – guaranteed Oscar bait. I know, Le Sigh. With all that said, this film still looks quite good. And Eddie Redmayne looks quite amazing in these clips. In fact the whole thing looks quite intriguing. Granted, I still would have liked to see this movie with its first rumored cast – Nicole Kidman as Lili and Charlize Theron as her wife Gerda.

Also, I sincerely hope the movie delves some into Gerda’s life, too, because have you seen her naughty illustrations? (More at the previous link but, hello, NSFW.)

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Be Present

Ooof, man, have I been bad at getting posts up in a timely fashion of late. And I know sometimes being too busy turns me into this person while talking with my loved ones. Of course, I only wish I could be as funny as Tig here. This bit, by the way, wasn't scripted out. She just told her fiancee she would call at a certain time. If you haven't checked out her documentary on Netflix, what are you waiting for?

Monday, August 31, 2015

Don't Be a Drag

So my new Women & Hollywood column should come out today. And this time I’m writing about some of the most significant trans women characters in film. Now, I’d like to note that “significant” does not mean “great,” “best” or “positive.” It means significant, as in worthy of attention for one reason or another. It’s a list of 10 film, dating back 40 years. But, unfortunately, I was not able to squeeze in Judy from “Better Than Chocolate.” I always thought it was a rather well-written role for a film that was – let’s admit it – a little uneven. And it was one of the first films I’ve seen that showed a trans woman in the lesbian community. Sure, it was not perfect, and not casting an actual trans woman in the role was one of its biggest shortcomings. (Though, hey, did you know Judy was played by Peter Outerbridge who you may recognize from a little show called “Orphan Black” as the leader of the Prolethean brotherhood?) Anyway, this song was always a favorite because it was a very clear declaration of self. So here it is again for your viewing enjoyment.

And, if you have a chance, pop on over to Women & Hollywood later today and tell me what you think.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

My Weekend Crush

Well, my apologies for this beyond tardy weekend crush. It has been another classically busy week/weekend. But something this song always makes me feel strangely serene. Mazzy Star also made me feel a tad melancholy, but it was always that good kind of ache. Of course when I tell you it had been 21 years since this song came out, it might be another kind of ache. Happy what is left of your weekend, all.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Evan Rachel Would Dubsmash

First we had the Haley Atwell vs. Agents of SHIELD Dubsmash wars, and it was good. And now we have Evan Rachel Wood vs. Classic Movie Lines, and it was very, very good. Yes, yes, I know e’ryone (that’s how the kids are saying it today, right?) is doing them these days. But there’s something very charming about out and proud bi actress Evan’s Dubsmashes. And they also prove how good she is at her job because, you know, acting. She has all the emotions, people. All of them.

One of my favorite things is guessing the movie some of these smashes are from. Like here:

Answer: ʎɹoʇɔɐɟ ǝʇɐןoɔoɥɔ ǝɥʇ & ǝıןɹɐɥɔ

And here:
Answer: ssǝןǝnןɔ

And again here:
Answer: sʎɐʍǝpıs

Of course, sometimes you don’t have to guess.

Hocus Pocus:

A Fish Called Wanda:

Risky Business:

Fine, this one I’m just including because of the suit:

She can also be sorta scary:

OK, a lot of scary:

But then she sings to her cat and it’s all OK:

But, seriously, get this gal on “Lip Sync Battle” immediately:

Come on, how can you not love a girl who Dubsmashes Howard Dean?

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Domo Arigato, Mr. Robot

So I got into “Mr. Robot” late in the game. So late that tonight is the season finale. While binge-watching the show over the weekend I went through the cliché “roller coast of emotions.” The new series about a mad genius hacker/socially awkward malcontent named Elliott with dreams/delusions/both of saving the world is at times brilliant and at times confounding. Like at first I was confused, and then I was in love and still confused, and then I was really, really in love and confused, and then I was disappointed and confused, and then I forgave it a little and was confused.

SPOILER ALERT: I’m going to be discussing the first season plot in full. So if you don’t want to be spoiled stop reading or just don’t yell at me when you get spoiled.

I won’t lie, I figured out most of The Big Twist revealed late in the season relatively early on. Mr. Robot isn’t real, duh. He is a figment of Elliot’s troubled imagination (and also his late father). I did not, however, piece together the bit about Danielle being his sister, though in retrospect it totally makes sense.

So, it would be easy to say that “Mr. Robot” is a hodge-podge of fairly iconic films and characters. “Fight Club” comes to mind first, obviously. A bit of “American Psycho” sneaks in there. And pinch of “V for Vendetta.” Yet it manages to feel fascinating and original, even with the Tyler Durden-shaped elephant in the room.

But then, in the sixth episode, something went rather wrong. Instead of being this bold, unique look at hacker culture, millennial angst and corporate avarice, it veered into tired trope territory – particularly when it came to its portrayal of women.

In fact the whole episode felt like a big, clunky misstep. The drug dealer subplot, the damsel in distress dilemma, and – worst of all – the women in refrigerators ending. The entire episode was, to put it bluntly, unnecessary. But the writers fell back on the idea that the male leading character needed some emotional depth at the expense of one of the female characters.

Having Shayla turn up dead with her throat slip in the trunk of a car was a cheap, ugly plot device to move our hero Elliot’s story forward. Female characters aren’t just props to help bolster the male character’s agency, people. This show is better than this and, afterward, luckily bounced back admirably. So I continue to have high hopes for the finale.

Dumb sexist lemon aside, what really makes this show stand out is its smart writing and strong acting. Rami Malek is uncomfortably good as always uncomfortable Elliot. And I let out an honest-to-God squeal when I realized the actress who plays Darlene, Carly Chaikin, was Dalia Royce from “Suburgatory.” Also I can’t be the only one who thinks Portia Doubleday (who plays Angela) is a doppelganger for Amanda Seyfried, right?

For all of its strengths one of the very best things about “Mr. Robot” is its masterful use of music. From reimaginings of pop-rock classics to electro-synth beats and even classical scores, the music is a critical supporting character. Each week I anticipate what new musical wonders await. Like last week’s use of the Pixie’s “Where Is My Mind?” Fucking amazing.

So, thoughts? Are you watching. If you haven’t watched, damn, did I ruin everything for you. But, still, it’s pretty worth it.

p.s. Though, hey, where’s the lesbian character we were promised? That quick bathroom kiss does not count, guys. Nope, do better.

p.p.s. Well, damn. Real-life disturbing events have postponed the finale until next week. Nothing like the reality of how horrible things can be butting into a fictional show about how horrible things can be. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Head West, Young Rizzles

This is, quite literally, how I see every single episode. So now as we head into the (almost) summer finale tonight, please join me in watching one more time through rainbow-colored glasses. Looks like this week our Boston married couple will be headed out my way, to California. Cue Jane and Maura’s romantic stroll on the beach.

p.s. Don’t forget to catch up on the entire season with my Gayzzoli Recaps on Afterellen.

p.p.s. Oops. I could have sworn this was the finale. They're always mixing up the schedule on this show. 

Monday, August 24, 2015

Political Page

Well, now. In case you haven’t already seen this clip, everyone’s favorite tiny Canadian, Ellen Page, confronted Republic presidential hopeful/professional hatemonger Ted Cruz on his support of continued LGBT discrimination. Cruz, of course, changed the subject to “liberal intolerance” and that old religious liberty canard. When Ellen astutely noted that people used the same tired excuse when defending segregation, he had nothing. Instead he did some prime-grade mansplaining to shut her down by saying, “Now I’m happy to answer your question, but not to have a back-and-forth debate.” You can practically hear the implied “little lady” after he said that.

The thing about this whole “religious freedom” defense is there is a very, very big difference when a not-for-profit church asserts its rights and when a for-profit business tries to say who it will and won’t serve based on personal beliefs. Big surprise, in Cruz’s example of the religious group he said was discriminated against and fined $5,000 for not accepting a same-sex wedding was in fact a for-profit business, not a church as he described it. Businesses have to follow the law. Businesses are not religions.

The political blossoming of Ellen Page as an LGBT activist and champion has been one of the most enjoyable things I’ve witnessed in the last few years. And it’s also an important reminder that coming out has wider implications, often including the desire to fight that much harder for our full and total equal rights.

Look, I know she is Canadian, but Ellen Page for President.

p.s. Here is another view in case the ABC video does not work for you.

Friday, August 21, 2015

My Weekend Crush

Aw, man, now I want to be at a Brandi Carlile concert. After watching her family-style video for her new song “Wherever Is Your Heart” I’m dying for a little more. And, I just realized that it has been almost exactly two years since I last saw her in concert. Too long, universe, too long. Also, goodness, how adorable is this behind-the-scenes look at Brandi, her wife, their new baby and all the rest of the traveling band? So adorable. Happy weekend, all.