Archive for the ‘Activism’ Category

Michael Lost and Found

June 16, 2017

To be perfectly honest, the story of Michael Glatze who spent his young adulthood helping LGBT teens feel better about themselves only to have a breakdown, break off his long-term relationship with his boyfriend Benji Nycum and resurface as a born-again Christian vilifying his former life and marrying a woman makes me feel queasy. I don’t want to watch the James Franco feature film, I Am Michael based on Glatze’s story. The story itself freaks me out. I realize people make choices every day which go against their innate nature. I get that. But when someone does it in such a public way and vilifies their former gay life (whatever that mean), it makes my skin crawl. So I reluctantly watched the 18 minute short film produced by Benjie Nycum, Michael Lost and Found which chronicles the first meeting of Benji and Michael since the feature film has been released. In the interim, Michael married a woman named Rebekah, they’ve both left their former church and are preaching at their own church where they claim they accept everyone and don’t judge. Nycum goes to visit Glatze and his wife in rural, desolate Wyoming in hopes of finding answers and finding Michael’s mental health in a better place. Benji does seem to find Michael more calm, less agitated, but he doesn’t get the answers he wants nor does the audience get to hear Michael answer any really hard questions such as does he still believe being gay is a sin. Is he now straight? Was his time with Nycum just as fulfilling as his time now with Rebekah? Glatze skirts every question.  His answers sound like he’s not speaking from his heart but from rhetoric he has adopted. In the end, it seems like Benji is grateful Michael doesn’t seem to be suffering or out of control. The audience can’t help but feel frustrated with Michael. Benji’s tenderness shows the person he is. For Michael, his life still comes born out of  a place of fear and internalized self-hatred. Glatze doesn’t talk about being sexually fluid nor does he speak of being bisexual. One day he was a gay rights advocate, the next he was a born-again converted straight preacher. Perhaps it is the extremes he is most comfortable in. 3 out of 5 for this sad story.

Orange is the New Black: Season 5

June 15, 2017

Damn ladies. Orange is the New Black just keeps getting better and better. How is that even possible? Every season builds on the previous. Not a misstep in this season. Absolute amazing acting, directing, editing, and writing. Highlights include,

Natasha Lyonne as Nicky getting clean and reaching out
Uzo Aduba as Suzanne falling apart again and again (another Emmy?)
Danielle Brooks as Taystee negotiating the deal of the century
Taylor Schilling as Piper realizing her fate and future
Lea DeLaria as Boo proving butch girls look good doing romance
Jackie Cruz and Diane Guerrero as Flaca & Maritza proving the ridiculousness of our instant fame culture
Selenis Leyva as Gloria delivering a powerhouse performance and becoming my favorite character for S5
Taryn Manning as Tiffany (Pennsyltucky) navigating the complicated waters of rape culture, forgiveness, and desire
Adrienne Moore as Black Cindy full of comfort and relief in the final episode
Yael Stone as Lorna crazy as ever
Kate Mulgrew as Red full of revenge
Laura Prepon as Alex filled with PTSD and remorse  and just wanting to stay free (of drama and violence)
Kimiko Glenn as Brook walking the long road of grief
Brad William Henke as Piscatella leading with misdirected spite and evil in the face of homophobia
Elizabeth Rodriguez as Aleida figuring out how to be free
Dascha Polanco as Dayanara facing her consequences

I’m sure I missed someone. What a roller coaster ride this season was and what a cliff hanger. All bets are off that everyone will survive the final moments of the raid. It’s Netflix after all. Unbelievable. Thank you Jenji Kohan and crew for this gift. 5 out of 5.

Frameline 41: Genre Queer

June 14, 2017

San Francisco’s amazing LGBTQIAA yearly film festival turns 41 in 2017. This line-up is as always fantastic. Information on dates and links to Frameline’s site below. I’ve also listed the film titles I’m most interested in watching when they come to a streaming service near me:

Frameline 41: Genre Queer
San Francisco, CA
June 15-25, 2017

100 Men
After Louie
Bayard & Me
Rusalka
The Colour of His Hair
Lavender Scare
Center of My World
My Friend Dahmer

Gay Hollywood – Thursdays in June (TCM)

June 4, 2017

Yikes, this graphic from TCM’s website makes the station’s Pride Month film series very white and male. Surely there could have been some pictures of Dorothy Arzner, Katherine Hepburn or Agnes Moorehead thrown into the mix. And that’s just the first three women I could think of off the top of my head.

Still it’s fun TCM openly celebrates Pride Month with a great selection of films each year.  See the full list at TCM.

RIP Robert Osborne. We miss you.

That Gay Episode: ‘Mary Tyler Moore’ Comes Out Of The Closet (Decider)

May 9, 2017

Photos: HULU ; Illustration: Dillen phelps; from Decider

Brett White over at Decider continues the series, That Gay Episode this time focusing on the famous Mary Tyler Moore episode where Phyllis finds out her brother is gay. From Decider,

Gay people worry about how they’re perceived — not for vanity reasons, but survival reasons. The period of a gay person’s life — be they minutes, months or years — between acknowledging their queer identity and proudly flying a rainbow flag are a nonstop internal Q(ueer) & A session.”Do they know I’m gay?” “Wait, does this make me seem gay?” “When do I tell them I’m gay?” It’s hard to express who you now know you are when you’re dealing with people whose perceptions of you run back decades.

These are the issues at the heart of The Mary Tyler Moore Show‘s 1973 episode “My Brother’s Keeper.” Unlike Cheers‘ “The Boys in the Bar,” which tackled machismo and gay panic by making half the cast straight-up homophobes, “My Brother’s Keeper” saved its big gay reveal for the very end. To get all meta, this is a gay episode that literally plays it straight for 24 of its 25 minutes.

Read the full article.
Read Kenneth in the 212’s blog post about how this episode and other quintessential queer moments on television personally affected him.

Sense8: Season 2 (trailer)

May 1, 2017

Are you ready? Four days until Netflix drops the entire second season of Sense8 – the global suspense mystery intersecting race, class, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality. Eight people from all over this beautiful planet awaken to their supernatural connection. Catch up with Season 1. Or if you’re ready, watch the Season 2 trailer of the only show ever created which combines car chases, tender love, spectacular worldwide locations, mysterious supernatural powers, and psychic orgies. Bring it Wachowskis!

Watch Sense8‘s Season 2 trailer on YouTube.

From my Season 1 review: Sense8 (films)… on four continents spanning Chicago, San Francisco, London, Iceland, Seoul, Mumbai, Berlin, Mexico City and Nairobi.

Roku has hired a team of lobbyists as it gears up for a net neutrality fight (Recode)

April 6, 2017

If you’re as confused about Net Neutrality as I am – what is it about this issue that makes me have to read the definition each time I look at a new article – check out where Roku stands and what they are doing to further their cause.

From Recode,

Roku appears to be arming itself for the coming net neutrality war.

The web video streaming and hardware company has plenty at stake as the Federal Communications Commission prepares to pull back rules that require internet providers to treat all web traffic equally.

For Roku and others in the business, an end to the Obama-era protections could make it harder — or, in some cases, more expensive — to offer content or services to customers at top download speeds.

That’s why Roku has hired a pair of Republican lobbyists through an outside government-affairs firm, according to a federal ethics reports filed this week, specifically to focus on net neutrality. It’s the first time the company has ever retained lobbyists in Washington, D.C.

Read the full article at Recode.
From Google definitions,

net neu·tral·i·ty
noun
noun: net neutrality; noun: network neutrality
  1. the principle that Internet service providers should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favoring or blocking particular products or websites.

 

Treme: Season 4 (take 2)

April 3, 2017

The final season of Treme brings all the stories together in one big love fest. Such honest, real characters. Click below to read Reel Charlie’s updated review of Treme: Season 4.

Hjørdis

April 1, 2017

As I recover from what hopefully will be the worst cold of my life – 2 1/2 weeks and counting, I have been watching a lot of film and television. Caught the 4-part Danish mini-series Hjørdis, a spin-off from Rita which I have yet to see. Hjørdis is a school teacher who along with a group of misfit children decides to put on a school play about bullying. Charming, silly, heartfelt. Think Glee with more realistic looking actors. My friend Barbara suggested it. I adored Hjørdis. Did you know I’d cry during the final episode? Tugged at my heartstrings. 4 out of 5 for the lovely Hjørdis.

Treme: Season 3 (take 2)

March 30, 2017

Just can’t get enough of New Awlins. Click on the image below and read my updated review of Treme: Season 3.


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