Forbidden Love Story Set Amid The Height Of Communist Rule “Firebird”

 

The upcoming Firebird follows a handsome, soulful young soldier who embarks on a clandestine sexual affair with a charismatic fighter pilot on a Soviet Air Force Base at the height of 1970’s Communist rule.
(images via official Facebook page)

Based on a true story during the Cold War, the upcoming Firebird follows a handsome, soulful young soldier who embarks on a clandestine sexual affair with a charismatic fighter pilot on a Soviet Air Force Base at the height of 1970’s Communist rule. Continue reading “Forbidden Love Story Set Amid The Height Of Communist Rule “Firebird””

Out Movies: Friendship Turns To Romance In Gay Prison Drama ‘Luz’

Screen capture from LUZ
Screen capture from LUZ
Ruben-Ernesto Reyes in LUZ (promo photo)

What began as a friendship turns into a fierce romance in this heart-wrenching drama. LUZ is a story of survival, not only for the lives of both men, but for their relationship as it transitions to the world outside their cell.

Synopsis:

Ruben Gonzales (Ernesto Reyes) is a young latino man who’s fallen into the world of the mafiosos. When an accident leads him into incarceration, his relationship with the cartel and with his family is strained.

While in prison, he falls in the complex hierarchical system until his cellmate and eventual lover Carlos (Jesse Tayeh), comes to his side and helps him find emotional and financial stability.

When the two men are released from prison 2 years apart, they again meet on the outside and while dealing with the circumstances that had them incarcerated in the first place, they ponder whether what they once had was real or just two people hoping to seek light in a dark place.

The film is available now for streaming/digital download on iTunes, Vudu, FandangoNow, and GooglePlay.

Stanley Tucci & Colin Firth Shine Bright In ‘Supernova’

L-R Stanley Tucci, Colin Firth in Supernova (image via The Bureau)

In the upcoming romantic drama Supernova, a gay couple, together for 20 years, set out on a road trip in an attempt to revisit their past as one of the men is slowly losing the ability to remember due to early-onset dementia.

Today we get our first look at the film starring Oscar winner Colin Firth (The King’s Speech, A Single Man) as Sam and Oscar nominee Stanley Tucci (The Lovely Bones, The Devil Wears Prada) as Tusker, a loving couple who in the two years since Tusker’s diagnosis have seen their lives change.

Putting their careers on hold – Sam is a classical pianist and Tusker a celebrated novelist – they decide to travel the country in a cluttered RV reconnecting with family and friends. But soon it becomes clear the two have diverging ideas on how to face their future.

“‘Supernova’ is a deeply romantic, modern love story,” writer/director Harry Macqueen told Variety when the film was announced in October 2019. “It follows two people who are bound together by their love for each other but being pushed apart by the situation they find themselves in.”

Macqueen described the movie as “an intimate, naked portrayal of a relationship facing a fissure that threatens to cut it to its very core.”

In the trailer, Tusker stands at a family dinner to address his failing faculties, but the writer finds he’s unsure about reading his own words.  And as Sam steps up without pause, we are devastated.

We also get cute ‘longtime couple’ moments that put the two stars’ chemistry on display like when they share a narrow bed or, while traveling in the RV Tusker asks Sam is they could perhaps “explore the outer regions of 5th gear.”

In his review for Variety, Guy Lodge writes, “As a couple staring down the barrel of early-onset dementia, a peak-form Firth and Tucci give nuance and ballast to Harry Macqueen’s small but beautifully formed sophomore film.”

Writing for The Guardian, Peter Bradshaw was effusive in his praise: “The veteran pair are on magnificent form in a drama about love and mortality that is all the more powerful for its restraint.”

And noting the “two finely calibrating performances,” The Hollywood Reporter’s Stephen Dalton observed, “It is also refreshing, even in 2020, to see a drama about a gay couple that does not make sexuality a key theme or problematic plot point.

The film is premiering today at the San Sebastian International Film Festival in Spain and is also slated for its UK debut on October 11 at the BFI London Film Festival.

Expect to see the film’s release in time for the upcoming awards season as the duo (who each raise the daddy factor in the film) are already generating a lot of honors buzz.

What To Watch: Acclaimed Short Film ‘Requited’ Explores Holding On Versus Letting Go

The acclaimed gay-themed film short Requited is available to stream for free for the first time since it made a splash at film festivals in 2011.

The 20-minute short follows a 20-something gay New Yorker, Nicholas (played by Chris Damon), who’s considering whether or not to attend the wedding of his unrequited high school crush, Aaron (Matthew Watson). Complicating the equation, attending the nuptials would mean missing the departure of his current boo, Gregor (Max Rhyser), who’s relocating to San Francisco.

Shot in an intimate, unpretentious style, it’s easy to imagine Requited as a precursor of sorts of HBO’s LGBTQ series, Looking.

With the short, Sal Bardo made his debut as both writer and director of a film project. He recently told HuffPost he was inspired to pen the short due to the dearth of good LGBTQ narratives in Hollywood at the time.

“I wanted to write something for myself that depicted characters and stories I could relate to,” Bardo told HuffPost in a recent interview. Having based the story loosely on a real-life friendship he’d had as a young adult, he added, “It’s definitely a snapshot in time. Looking back, the film feels very cynical. I think maybe I’m a tiny bit less cynical now!”

Premiering at the 2011 Seattle International Film Festival, Requited was well-received on the indie film festival circuit and was honored with the Audience Award: Best First Time Filmmaker at Washington D.C.’s International LGBT Film Festival, Reel Affirmations.

Describing Requited as his “first pancake,” Bardo looks back fondly on his first film.

“The first pancake is never as good as the rest ― you have to warm up the pan,” explained Buardo. “My work has gotten much better, but I’m still really proud of ‘Requited.’”

Previously, the short was only available as part of the compilation Blue Briefs.

Following the success of Requited, Bardo’s 2015 film Pink Moon scored the Jury Prize for Best Film Short at the Big Apple Film Festival, and his music video for Paper Ring’s “Great Escape” was nominated for the Iris Prize, the world’s largest LGBT short film award.

You can watch the full 20-minute version of Requited for free below.

Movie Review: “Love, Simon”

With opening day finally upon us, hubby Michael and I ventured out last night to catch the new gay-themed romantic comedy, Love, Simon.

Directed by gay power-producer Greg Berlanti – who’s the driving force behind Flash, Riverdale, Brothers & Sisters, Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow – the film is based on the novel Simon vs. The Homo-Sapiens Agenda.

I found Berlanti’s groundbreaking film – it IS the first mainstream film to feature a teen gay front and center – to be an exuberant cross between a 1980s John Hughes teen angst film (without the overwrought angst) and a thoughtful exploration of what it’s like to come out in high school today.

The film is filled with humor – in its dialogue, characters, and situations – but never sacrifices actual emotional depth.

The first half of the movie takes its time, but that’s necessary to lay the groundwork for where we’re headed.

As a mainstream high school romantic comedy, there are some cliches here – the “parents are away, we have to throw a house party,” the vice-principal who “relates” to his students, clever voiceover from our hero, all backed by a soundtrack of catchy pop tunes.

Simon (charmingly played by Jurassic World’s Nick Robinson) tells us upfront his “huge-ass secret” – that he’s gay and he doesn’t really know how to come out. And, fearing how life could change, he’s not sure he wants to.

He also resents having to “come out” at all (which leads to a clever sequence imagining kids having to come out as heterosexual to their shocked parents). Why is “straight the default?” he asks.

His life becomes complicated when he falls in love via email with an anonymous classmate who calls himself “Blue.” His identity is the cliffhanger of the film and Berlanti keeps the suspense going in clever fashion.

To make things even more complicated, an obnoxious classmate named Martin (Logan Miller) discovers Simon’s secret and threatens to out him unless Simon helps him date one of his friends.

Eventually, the secret comes out (no, that’s not really a spoiler) and Simon copes with his new world.

As a gay man myself, I definitely felt I was reliving some of my own coming out journey.

Touching moments with his parents – played by Jennifer Garner and Josh Duhamel – are handled with thought and care.

In a one-on-one scene with Simon, Garner lovingly tells him, “You can exhale now, Simon.” And that moment felt authentic for the whole film – one big exhale for young LGBTs.

It was refreshing to see Robinson’s “Simon” delivered as a clever “every teen.” And you could definitely see hints of 1980s Matthew Broderick witticisms in our hero.

At the screening I attended, I saw practically no checking of cell phones during the film. Folks were paying attention: talking back to the screen, laughing at an over-the-top queer dance sequence, and gasping in sympathy. When Simon’s anonymous crush was finally revealed, the audience broke into euphoric applause.

Love, Simon is a warm-hearted, crowd-pleasing mainstream movie about a gay kid, and how many of those do we get?

The film appears to be doing well at the box office. According to Deadline, the flick is on track to open in 4th place at the box office to the tune of $11.7 million – more than the $10 million cost of the film.

I don’t recommend movies just because they have gay content. I have to like them. And I like Love, Simon.

I encourage you to get out and see the film. If we want to see ourselves in the art around us – TV, movies, music – we have to show up and support.

Go see Love, Simon. You’ll smile, you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll cheer.

Berlanti and company don’t necessarily reinvent the teen romantic comedy, but they do throw enough rainbow glitter around that you’ll definitely walk out with the feels.

Here’s the trailer:

Gay-Themed “Call Me By Your Name” Leads 2017 Independent Spirit Award Nominations

This year’s Independent Spirit Award nominations have been announced and the highly-anticipated gay drama Call Me By Your Name starring Armie Hammer and Timothee Chalamet received six nominations including Best Feature, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Male Lead (for Timothee Chalamet), and Best Supporting Male (for Armie Hammer).

Call Me By Your Name bows in New York City and Los Angeles this Friday before opening nationwide.

Also, Sundance favorite Beach Rats picked up two nominations, one for Best Male Lead (for Harris Dickinson) and Best Cinematography,

Additionally, French AIDS/ACT UP drama BPM (Beats Per Minute) got a nod for Best International Film, as did A Fantastic Woman from Chile, in which trans actress Daniela Vega plays a transgender singer faced with discrimination and loss when her lover dies.

Here’s the full list of nominees:

Best Feature
“Call Me by Your Name”
“The Florida Project”
“Get Out”
“Lady Bird”
“The Rider”

Best First Feature
“Columbus”
“Ingrid Goes West”
“Menashe”
“Oh Lucy!”
“Patti Cake$”

Best Director
Sean Baker, “The Florida Project”
Jonas Carpignano, “A Ciambra”
Luca Guadagnino, “Call Me by Your Name”
Jordan Peele, “Get Out”
Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie, “Good Time”
Chloé Zhao, “The Rider”

Best Screenplay
Greta Gerwig, “Lady Bird”
Azazel Jacobs, “The Lovers”
Martin McDonagh, “Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Jordan Peele, “Get Out”
Mike White, “Beatriz at Dinner”

Best First Screenplay
Kris Avedisian, Story By: Kyle Espeleta, Jesse Wakeman, “Donald Cried”
Emily V. Gordon, Kumail Nanjiani, “The Big Sick”
Ingrid Jungermann, “Women Who Kill”
Kogonada, “Columbus”
David Branson Smith, Matt Spicer, “Ingrid Goes West”

Best Cinematography
Thimios Bakatakis, “The Killing of a Sacred Deer”
Elisha Christian, “Columbus”
Hélène Louvart, “Beach Rats”
Sayombhu Mukdeeprom, “Call Me by Your Name”
Joshua James Richards, “The Rider”

Best Editing
Ronald Bronstein, Benny Safdie, “Good Time”
Walter Fasano, “Call Me by Your Name”
Alex O’Flinn, “The Rider”
Gregory Plotkin, “Get Out”
Tatiana S. Riegel, “I, Tonya”

Best Female Lead
Salma Hayek, “Beatriz at Dinner”
Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Margot Robbie, “I, Tonya”
Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird”
Shinobu Terajima, “Oh Lucy!”
Regina Williams, “Life and nothing more”

Best Male Lead
Timothée Chalamet, “Call Me by Your Name”
Harris Dickinson, “Beach Rats”
James Franco, “The Disaster Artist”
Daniel Kaluuya, “Get Out”
Robert Pattinson, “Good Time”

Best Supporting Female
Holly Hunter, “The Big Sick”
Allison Janney, “I, Tonya”
Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird”
Lois Smith, “Marjorie Prime”
Taliah Lennice Webster, “Good Time”

Best Supporting Male
Nnamdi Asomugha, “Crown Heights”
Armie Hammer, “Call Me by Your Name”
Barry Keoghan, “The Killing of a Sacred Deer”
Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Benny Safdie, “Good Time”

Robert Altman Award
“Mudbound”

Best Documentary
“The Departure”
“Faces Places”
“Last Men in Aleppo”
“Motherland”
“Quest”

Best International Film
“BPM (Beats Per Minute)” (France)
“A Fantastic Woman,” (Chile)
“I Am Not a Witch,” (Zambia)
“Lady Macbeth,” (U.K.)
“Loveless,” (Russia)