Archive for the ‘Activism’ Category

Queer as Folk: Season 3 (take >3)

May 13, 2018

Click on the image for an updated review of the iconic Queer as Folk: Season 3. Thumpa, thumpa.




“Lines Got Blurred”: Jeffrey Tambor and an Up-Close Look at Harassment Claims on ‘Transparent’ (Hollywood Reporter)

May 8, 2018

I’m so sad about Transparent. I hope creator Jill Soloway, cast, and crew can transform the final season into a tribute to the remaining characters. For what it’s worth, Jeffrey Tambor did an interview with The Hollywood Reporter to tell his side of the story. He is the first accused man to do so since the #MeToo era began. From The Hollywood Reporter,

Where Tambor is right now is uncharted territory. He is about to become the first high-profile subject of the sweeping #MeToo movement to sit for an in-depth interview about his alleged sexual harassment scandal. His is a dizzying tale entangled in Rashomon-like perspectives and political trip wires. And at the center of it all stand three figures: Tambor and his two accusers, Van Barnes, Tambor’s former assistant, and Trace Lysette, an actress on the series.

That Barnes and Lysette are both transgender women is not insignificant. After all, Transparent — led by Tambor’s twice Emmy-winning performance as Maura Pfefferman — was only recently being held up as a beacon of social progressivism, lauded by activist groups like GLAAD for igniting a global transgender movement. In the blink of an eye, however, all that has changed, as Tambor — who admits to having lifelong anger issues but denies sexually harassing his accusers — watched his image go from that of LGBTQ folk hero to fugitive.

Read the full article on The Hollywood Reporter.
Check out Reel Charlie’s glowing reviews of Transparent Seasons 1, 2, 3, and 4.


Gabriel Sherman to Write Trump Movie ‘The Apprentice’ (Hollywood Reporter)

May 6, 2018

I’ve often reminded myself there is one thing we need to remember about Donald Trump. Only one thing. His mentor in the 1980’s was Roy Cohn, That’s all you need to know. If you are unfamiliar with Roy Cohn, Vanity Fair and New York (magazine) both have pieces on him and his relationship with Trump. It’s frightening. To quote Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, Cohn was “the polestar of human evil… the worst human being who ever lived … the most evil, twisted, vicious bastard ever to snort coke at Studio 54.”

From Hollywood Reporter,

Donald Trump is getting the big-screen treatment in a film called The Apprentice that will dramatize his rise to power, focusing on his early influences like attorney Roy Cohn.

Gabriel Sherman, special correspondent to Vanity Fair, who also authored a book about late Fox News founder Roger Ailes, The Loudest Voice in the Room, has been tapped to write the original screenplay for Amy Baer, who is producing the pic through her Gidden Media.

Fasten your seatbelts.

Mercury 13

May 4, 2018

Outstanding Netflix documentary Mercury 13 focuses on the women who tested for the 1960’s Mercury space program and were eliminated by the government’s misogyny. The subject of the film coupled with the high quality of the documentary itself make Mercury 13 a must-see. The film presents the viewer with facts and first person accounts from the many remaining survivors. Brave, intelligent women who were cut from a program due to nothing more than sexism. The women actually scored not equal but higher than the men. The reason given for them not being considered for the program had to do with jet pilot flight experience. Guess what? Women weren’t allowed to be jet pilots. That error could have been corrected with time in flight prep while they prepared for the space missions. Yes, the film makes the viewer angry, but ends on a very positive note. There’s hope in this film. And we all know #TimesUp so Mercury 13 just isn’t outstanding, it’s topical and necessary. 5 out of 5.

100 Men

May 2, 2018

Fascinating documentary currently streaming on Netflix, 100 Men chronicles the ever-changing way gay men look at sex and love through the eyes of filmmaker Paul Oremland’s (Like It Is) list of favorite men. The personal becomes political and historical as Oremland tracks down as many former partners as he can attempting to interview these men about what sex and love has meant to them and how it has evolved with the advent of various political strides during their lifetimes in first world countries around the globe. From the innocence of his experiences as a young man, to the horror of the Thatcher era in Britain coupled with the AIDS crisis, to falling in love for the first time, to finding a long-term partner, to navigating monogamy vs open relationships, to strides in battling HIV and equality for LGBT people, 100 Men takes an intimate look at the life of one man and how that microcosm mirrors the world we live in. At times simple and unsophisticated, Oremland creates an accessible and deeply honest portrayal of an openly gay man and the men he has loved and lusted after during the entirety of his life. Beautiful, celebratory, and kind, 100 Men acts as an archive for a generation of gay men living through the best of times and the worst of times and finding a way to follow their bliss. 5 out of 5.

Watch the trailer for 100 Men on YouTube.

Dancing with the Stars 2018

April 16, 2018

A long time ago when Dancing with the Stars was the bomb, I spent a family dinner in Pennsylvania struggling to explain how heterocentric the show was and continues to be. Most of my family didn’t understand how caustic it was to pair openly lesbian and gay celebrities with opposite sex partners. The consensus was that it’s just plain fun. And of course it can be fun, especially if you occasionally see yourself on-screen. The list of openly lesbian and gay contestants have been:

Lance Bass
Carson Kressley
Martina Navratilova
Diana Nyad
Michael Sam

I didn’t count Chaz Bono (trans), Andy Dick (bi), or Nyle DiMarco (sexually fluid) because their options in real life include opposite sex partners.

In 2015,

An openly gay singer, Who Is Fancy, performed his new song, “Boys Like You,”… the singer’s choreographer wanted to have two men dancing with each other in the performance. (Business Insider)

The ABC execs said the only way they would allow two men dancing on the stage together is what they called “near dancing,” which is basically no homo athletic bro dancing. This was 2015, not 1955.

So this year in 2018, Adam Rippon the openly gay athlete from the Winter Olympics who challenged Mike Pence to an equality duel has signed up for the 26th season of Dancing with the Stars. And as you can see from the photo above, he’s paired with a scantily clad babealicious professional dance partner. Someone I’m sure Martina or Diana would have been happy to have danced with in earlier seasons.

Two things. First you might remind me there’s already been a same-sex dance number on Dancing with the Stars with Nyle DiMarco. I disagree. It was a pansexual, bicurious, partner swapping dance number. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. There’s not. But we’re still waiting for two women or two men to dance a full dance together without the need for hetero safety backup. Second, you might be thinking to yourself, but ballroom dancing is for opposite sex couples. Not true. Nearly every major city in the first world has same-sex ballroom dance studios and competitions. There’s even been a documentary made about the world of same-sex dance, Hot to Trot.

So my point? Aside from the fact I can’t be mad at Adam Rippon? He’s young. He stood up to the Vice President of the United States. And he’s probably got massive debt from training. I am mad at ABC. I’m mad at the judges and the professional dancers who must have some power after 26 seasons. And I’m mad at the producers of this silly show which continues to enter into American homes each year reminding viewers LGBT people are fine as long as they remember their place in the world. Don’t ask, don’t tell.

The Hollywood Masters: Jane Fonda

April 15, 2018

Netflix has two seasons of Loyola Marymount University School of Film and Television’s The Hollywood Masters, hosted by The Hollywood Reporter’s executive editor, features, Stephen Galloway. I watched the Jane Fonda episode. Galloway packs a lot into the 30 minute format. He dove into Jane’s family life, her activism, her acting, her varied careers which she calls three acts. I love Fonda so for me, it was a great half hour. I noticed however, out of 24 episodes on Netflix only 4 are women. Glad to see the ninth season will include filmmaker Ava DuVernay and editor Carol Littleton. Wondering if they are even near 50%? Still the episodes are easy to digest and if the guest is a personal favorite, you’re sure to love the experience. 3.5 out of 5.

Seeing Allred

April 9, 2018

I’ve been strongly attracted to the documentary, Seeing Allred since it first appeared on Netflix in February. Watching it this past weekend, I was not disappointed. The film effortlessly blends part history lesson, part resume, part call to action as Gloria Allred’s life and passion merge to remind us of the many women who came of age during second-wave feminism. Gloria’s steadfast march to justice and freedom for all women and minority populations and the sheer volume of work she’s accomplished in her life is nothing short of inspiring. Many know of Allred’s current focus on the Bill Cosby sexual abuse cases. The documentary traces her entire life starting with college and a baby at 20, through her early legal cases and into the present high-profile moment. Seeing Allred comes at a perfect time. She’s one of the main reasons #MeToo and #TimesUp happened this past year. Inspiring and remarkable, this is a must-see for anyone interested in the legal side of social justice and anyone who needs a refresher on who paved the way to get us here where we are today. Brava to Ms. Allred. 4 out of 5.

LGBT Film & Television History (updated for 2018)

April 6, 2018

Yesterday I spoke at my friend, Dr. Sally O’Driscoll’s EN 291: Gender & Sexuality in Film & Literature class at Fairfield University. This was my second year invited to do a unit on LGBT Film & Television History. The queer film dork in me gets so excited putting together this program. I literally spent hours and hours tweaking my presentation. This year, I tried to shift the focus from a decades’ march through the 100 years of film (students eyes glazing…) to themes and conversations with the decades briefly discussed for historical purpose. I hope this presentation captured their attention and piqued their interest on the importance of diversity in film and television. I’m happy to share this information via LinkedIn and SlideShare.

Discover the presentation on SlideShare:
LGBT Film & Television History (updated for 2018).

Strong Island

April 5, 2018

Oscar-nominated documentary, Strong Island packs a mean social justice punch in all the right places. Filmmaker Yance Ford takes us on her family’s 20 year journey of grief over the murder of her brother William. Through Ford’s clear, calm, and gentle eye, we witness her mother’s grief, her sister’s grief, her brother’s grief, and her own questioning of a world where black men are expendable and best forgotten. Strong Island can be hard to watch, but it’s message is crucial reminding us of how much work is left to make the world safe and available to every human being. The intimacy queer filmmaker Ford creates becomes a testament to her continual attempt to make sense of her brother’s death. Or perhaps simply to discover understanding in the details. Heart breaking and necessary. 5 out of 5 for Strong Island.

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