News Round-Up: September 16, 2020

(promotional photo from the acclaimed film ‘Call Me By Your Name’)

Some news items you might have missed:

The Independent: In a new interview, Luca Guadagnino, who directed the Oscar-nominated coming-of-age film Call Me By Your Name, defended casting straight actors Timothee Chalamet and Armie Hammer in gay roles.

Washington Blade: Gay Democratic activist Eric Morrison defeated a six-term incumbent by a decisive margin in Delaware’s Democratic primary on Tuesday for a seat in the state House of Representatives. Morrison is considered the strong favorite to win in the Nov. 3 general election in a heavily Democratic district. If elected, he will emerge as Delaware’s first openly gay man to serve in the Delaware State Legislature.

•  Washington Post: The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicted Wednesday that most of the American public will not have access to a vaccine against the novel coronavirus until late spring or summer of next year. Redfield said the vaccine will be provided first to people most vulnerable to covid-19 with Americans who are considered at lower risk offered the shot more gradually.

AARP: The venerable seniors’ organization takes a look at sacrifices Americans made out of patriotism during World War II. But, today, wearing a face mask is ‘tyranny…’

CNN: Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s former personal attorney, on the Donald’s biggest concerns about releasing his tax returns: “His biggest fear is, if that tax return was released, there’s a whole slew of accountants and forensic accountants that will rip through it and he will end up with a massive tax bill, penalties, fines, and possibly even tax fraud.”

Oscar Nominee Sufjan Stevens Drops New Music For Pride Month

Sufjan Stevens

Singer/songwriter Sufjan Stevens has released two new songs for Pride month – “Love Yourself” and “With My Whole Heart.”

Stevens is probably most famous today for his songs he contributed to last year’s queer coming-of-age movie, Call Me By Your Name. The track “Mystery of Love” garnered an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song and a Grammy Award nod as well.

The new tracks are available now on all digital platforms and will be released in late June as a limited-edition vinyl.

The 43-year-old artist says “Love Yourself,” a euphoric synth-pop bop, is based on a musical sketch he wrote 20 years ago. Stevens plans on including the 1996 demo on the vinyl release as well as a short reprise.

“With My Whole Heart” is an entirely new song that came from a personal challenge: “to write an upbeat and sincere love song without conflict, anxiety, or self-deprecation.” Definitely more bouncy, the track is a retro, lo-fi affair with lots of layered vocals leading to a vibe-y, chill guitar solo.

In addition to the two tracks, Stevens has also designed a limited edition t-shirt for Pride month.

In addition to buying music you enjoy, purchasing the tracks will also aid two organizations that help LGBTQ homeless youth. A portion of the proceeds will go to both the Ali Forney Center in New York City and the Ruth Ellis Center in Detroit, Michigan.

A post shared by M A R I A N A 🌊 (@marianbuschmann) on May 29, 2019 at 6:40am PDT

Book Sequel Announced, But Will There Be A Film Sequel To ‘Call Me By Your Name?’

Timothee Chalamet and Armie Hammer

While fans may be jonesing for a sequel to the 2017 hit movie Call Me By Your Name, one of the stars of the film isn’t so sure the same magic can be recreated.

In a wide-ranging interview with Vulture, Armie Hammer says he’s “coming around to the idea that the first one was so special for everyone who made it, and so many people who watched it felt like it really touched them, or spoke to them.”

Calling the coming-of-age film “a really perfect storm,” Hammer wonders if a sequel is “setting ourselves up for disappointment.”

He added, “I don’t know that anything will match up to the first, you know?”

The talk of a sequel has continued for some time now.

Back in March, director Luca Guadagnino told USA Today the sequel to Call Me By Your Name was being developed with the two stars in mind, but the new film would broaden the setting to a global adventure.

“I’m already conceiving the story with (original novel author) André Aciman, and it’s gonna happen five or six years afterwards,” said Guadagnino.“It’s gonna be a new movie, a different tone.”

Aciman tweeted in December that he’s was in the process of penning a sequel to his original book ahead of a sequel to the critically-acclaimed film.

“I would actually love a sequel to Call Me by Your Name. In fact I am writing one.”

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Aciman’s follow-up novel will be titled, Find Me, and will be released October 29 this year.

The sequel, titled Find Me, will pick up after Elio’s father, Samuel, has divorced. He travels from Florence to Rome to visit Elio, who has become a respected classical pianist. (Viewers of the first film will recall Michael Stuhlbarg’s Samuel delivering an emotional speech that suggested he had “come close” to a relationship like Elio and Oliver’s.) The book will see Samuel have a “chance encounter” on a train that provokes changes in his life, Elio moving to Paris and having a “consequential affair” and Oliver, now a professor in New England, considering returning to Europe after his sons are grown.

In the Vulture interview, though, Hammer makes a point to say he wouldn’t shut the door completely on the idea of returning to the world of CMBYN.

“If we end up with an incredible script, and Timmy’s in, and Luca’s in, I’d be an asshole to say no,” said the 32-year-old actor. “But at the same time, I’m like, That was such a special thing, why don’t we just leave that alone?”

Will young Elio and Oliver ever find peaches and true happiness together? We shall see.

“Call Me By Your Name” Director Says Sequel Is In The Works

Timothée Chalamet (L) and Armie Hammer (R) in Call Me By Your Name


USA Today is reporting that Call Me By Your Name director Luca Guadagnino is already planning the film’s sequel.

“I’m already conceiving the story with André Aciman, and it’s gonna happen five or six years afterwards,” Guadagnino told reporter Carly Mallenbaum. “It’s gonna be a new movie, a different tone.”

The director also revealed the sequel will star Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet but will have a different backdrop. “They’re gonna go around the world,” he said.

In January, Guadagnino told The Hollywood Reporter the sequel would also find the AIDS epidemic central to the new storyline.

The disease, however, will be tackled head-on in the sequel, says Guadagnino, who hopes the awards contender is the first installment of a decades-long Before Sunrise-like series. “I think it’s going to be a very relevant part of the story,” he told THR at Jan. 13’s Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards.

“I think Elio [Timothee Chalamet] will be a cinephile, and I’d like him to be in a movie theater watching Paul Vecchiali’s Once More,” a 1988 film about a man who falls in love with a man after he leaves his wife, which was the first French movie to deal with AIDS. “That,” said Guadagnino, “could be the first scene [in the sequel].”

“The novel has 40 pages at the end that goes through the next 20 years of the lives of Elio and Oliver, so there is some sort of indication through the intention of author Andre Aciman that the story can continue,” Guadagnino added.

Maybe it’s just me, but sometimes you find lightning in a bottle. My take on CMBYN is that the delicate, thoughtful exploration of first love made the film so charming.

Two words: Grease 2.

BAFTA Nominations Have Good News For LGBT-Themed Films

The British Academy Film and Television Awards (BAFTA) released its list of nominees today and there’s good news for several LGBT-themed films.

Call Me By Your Name received 4 nominations (Best Film, Best Director, Adapted Screenplay, Leading Actor for Timothée Chalamet). Chalamet was also nominated for the public-voted EE Rising Star Award.

God’s Own Country received a nod for Best British film. Last month, the gay rural romance was a big winner at the British Independent Film Awards taking home best British independent film, best actor for Josh O’Connor, and best debut screenwiter for Francis Lee, who also directed the England-set gay romance.

Lady Bird earned three nominations for Best Actress in a Leading Role for Saoirse Ronan, Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Laurie Metcalf and Best Original Screenplay. (Call Me By Your Name‘s Timothée Chalamet also co-stars as “Kyle Scheible.”)

The awards will be held on February 18 at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

News Round-Up: January 5, 2018

Joss Mooney (via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

• Shoutout/woof to total thirst trap Joss Mooney who recently joined MTV’s The Challenge. The former Ex on the Beach star and online trainer is giving you his best moody-muscle gaze via Instagram.    #Dang

• Twitter says they don’t want to block the tweets of world leaders (we’re looking at you, Donald Trump) because “people should be able to see and debate” important information those leaders may share.

• A transgender cab driver in the UK, who was snubbed by her kids when she came out, will not be sharing her $5.4 million lottery winnings with the hideous offspring.

• The groundbreaking Freeform (formerly ABC Family) series The Fosters will come to an end this Spring. The series, about a lesbian couple raising their adopted and biological children, will see the beginning of the end when the current season picks up January 9.

• Washington state has added a third gender option – “X” – to birth certificates. Additionally, the state has streamlined the process of updating gender identity on state-issued documents.

• Colorado prison guards “smiled” as a gay prisoner begged not to be housed with a rapist. Over the course of three days, the 21-year-old was repeatedly raped and beaten. He has filed suit against the federal government.

• Check out the new music video for “Mystery of Love” by Sufjan Stevens from the soundtrack for the acclaimed feature film, Call Me By Your Name, featuring footage from the film.

I’m thinking Oscar nomination for “Best Song” here.

Podcast: SCOTUS Refuses Houston Same-Sex Marriage Benefits Review; “Call Me By Your Name” Racks Up More Awards; Tom Goss Has A Musical Message For Christmas

In this week’s podcast:

• The US Supreme Court denied the city of Houston’s request to review a court decision saying marriage equality doesn’t mean equal benefits.

• Bermuda is the first nation to legalize then repeal marriage equality.

• Gay coming of age movie “Call Me By Your Name” continues to rack up awards and nominations

• My suggestions for end of the year charitable donations.

• New music from Tom Goss “Gay Christmas”

All that and more in this episode of The Randy Report

ELLEN: “Call Me By Your Name” Stars Share Backstory Of Their First Kiss

Call Me by Your Name stars Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet sat down with Ellen DeGeneres today sharing behind-the-scenes stories of making the award-winning film including their first rehearsal which apparently consisted of rolling around in the grass making out.

Chalamet also noted the new-found dangers of “razor burn” making out with the handsome Hammer.

“That’s a real thing that people deal with,” shared Chalamet.

Ellen concurred, “Oh yes. Yes. I don’t anymore, but I did….”

Hilarity ensues.

The two actors clearly have great chemistry together. Can’t wait to see the film.

Watch the interview below.

Queer Cinema: “Call Me By Your Name” Wins At Gotham Independent Film Awards

Timothée Chalamet (L) and Armie Hammer (R) in Call Me By Your Name

Acclaimed gay coming-of-age film Call Me By Your Name had a great start on the awards season last night at the Gotham Independent Film Awards picking up “Best Feature” and “Breakthrough Actor.”

I predict it’s going to be a fun couple of months for Timothée Chalamet, who plays the young male lead in the highly anticipated film.

Click over to The Hollywood Reporter for a full list of winners.

Podcast: Chile Begins Debate On Marriage Equality; Pink & Channing Tatum Challenge Gender-Norms In “Beautiful Trauma;” LGBT Hate Crimes Double In Russia

In this week’s podcast:

• Chile begins debate on same-sex marriage

• Hate crimes against LGBTs have doubled in five years in Russia

• Democratic senators introduce the LGBT Elder Americans Act

• A growing number of millennial men are more prone to identify as the more fluid “mostly straight” than use the term “bisexual”

• The highly anticipated gay-themed film, “Call Me By Your Name,” leads the 2017 Independent Spirit Awards with six nominations and does great box office in its first week in domestic release.

• Pink and Channing Tatum challenge gender-norms in her new music video, “Beautiful Trauma.”

All that and more on this episode of The Randy Report.

Listen below.