‘Power Of The Dog,’ ‘Flee’ Big Winners At GALECA’s Dorian Awards

The period western flick "Power of the Dog" and animated documentary "FLEE" were the big winners at the 13th annual Dorian Awards presented by GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics
“Power of the Dog” and “Flee” were big winners at 13th annual Dorian Awards

Netflix’s period western The Power of the Dog was named Best Film of 2021  as well as Best Director and Best Screenplay honors going to Jane Campion by the 13th annual Dorian Awards presented by GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics. Continue reading “‘Power Of The Dog,’ ‘Flee’ Big Winners At GALECA’s Dorian Awards”

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””

Trailer: Emotional Story Of Father’s Tribute To Son ‘Joe Bell’

Mark Wahlberg in 'Joe Bell' (all photos: Quantrell D. Colbert)
Mark Wahlberg in 'Joe Bell' (all photos: Quantrell D. Colbert)
Mark Wahlberg in ‘Joe Bell’ (all photos: Quantrell D. Colbert)

Academy Award nominee Mark Wahlberg stars in the upcoming film Joe Bell, which tells the intimate and emotional true story of an Oregonian father who pays tribute to his teenage son Jadin.

The film, written by Academy Award winners Diana Ossana & Larry McMurtry (Brokeback Mountain), is based on a true story.

In 2013, at the age of 15, Jadin Bell took his own life at a nearby elementary school playground after being bullied and ridiculed by classmates for being gay.

Following his son’s death, Joe Bell embarks on a self-reflective walk across America to speak his heart to heartland citizens about the real and terrifying costs of bullying.

Reid Miller and Mark Wahlberg in 'Joe Bell'
Reid Miller and Mark Wahlberg in ‘Joe Bell’

The film also stars Connie Britton, Reid Miller and Gary Sinise.

Joe Bell arrives in theaters July 23.

Sadly, the issue of mental health and bullying is not just a story for a dramatic film.

The Trevor Project’s 2021 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health notes that:

• 75% of LGBTQ youth reported that they had experienced discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity at least once in their lifetime.

• 42% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year, including more than half of transgender and nonbinary youth.

If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or suicidal, our trained crisis counselors are available 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386 via chat www.TheTrevorProject.org/Help, or by texting START to 678678.

LGBTQ Critics Honor The Best In 2020 Cinema

Don't miss the Dorian Film Toast 2021 this Sunday, April 19 at 8pm ET/5pm PT

Don't miss the Dorian Film Toast 2021 this Sunday, April 19 at 8pm ET/5pm PT

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has its Golden Globe Awards, the Screen Actors Guild has the SAG Awards, but now its time to find out what the queer entertainment critics thought represented the best in cinema this past year.

GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics will present its first-ever Dorians Film Toast 2021 awards special Sunday, April 18 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on the free LGBTQ+ streaming service Revry at revry.tv.

Hosted by gay entertainment and broadcasting veteran Karel, the Dorians Toast offers a queer-centric twist on the standard awards show combining tributes, interview segments, music, and comedy. Plus, members of GALECA take part in lively round-table discussions on nominees in several categories.

Those categories include Best Film, Best LGBTQ film, Best Documentary, Best LGBTQ Documentary, Best Unsung Film, Campiest Flick, ‘We’re Just Wilde About You!’ Rising Star Award, Wilde Artist Award (To a Truly Groundbreaking Force in Entertainment), as well as honors for best actor and actress in leading and featured roles.

Best Film nominees this year include First Cow, Minari, Nomadland, Promising Young Woman, and Sound of Metal.

Among those nominated for Best Director are rising Hollywood firebrand Emerald Fennell for Promising Young Woman and actress Regina King for her feature film directorial debut in One Night in Miami.

Emmy Award winner Leslie Jordan (“Will & Grace”) will receive the Society’s Timeless Star career achievement honor, and transgender writer-director-actress Isabel Sandoval accepts the inaugural GALECA Trailblazer Award.

For a full list of nominees, click here.

Presenters for the virtual event include director Lee Daniels (The United States vs. Billie Holiday), Cheyenne Jackson (Call Me Kat), Rosanna Arquette (Pulp Fiction), Gabourey Sidibe (Precious, Antebellum), Jharrel Jerome (Moonlight, Concrete Cowboy), Rafael Silva (Fluidity, 9-1-1 Lone Star), Harmony Valle-Ramirez (Room To Grow), comedian Margaret Cho, the legendary Charo, and more.

Dorians Film Toast 2021 is coproduced by Brandon Riley Miller (Life in Segments, High) and John Griffiths for GALECA. In order to be eligible for the Dorians Film Toast 2021, films were required to have a theatrical or digital theatrical release from January 1, 2020, to February 28, 2021.

Don’t miss this year’s Dorians Film Toast 2021 on Sunday, April 18 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on the free LGBTQ+ streaming service Revry at revry.tv.

Founded in 2009, GALECA (formerly known as the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association) boasts a membership of nearly 290 professional LGBTQ journalists covering film and television.

GALECA hosts two Dorian Awards events during the year – one honoring the best in film and another acknowledging the finest in TV – from mainstream to LGBTQ fare. Last September, the organization celebrated their Dorians TV Toast 2020 with appearances by Billy Porter, Dan Levy, Hugh Jackman, Shangela, Thomas Roberts, Bruce Vilanch and many more.

Note: I’m a proud voting member of GALECA.

Review: MOFFIE Scores Amid Testosterone, Tension & Toxic Masculinity

Kai Luke Brummer in 'Moffie'
Kai Luke Brummer in 'Moffie'
Kai Luke Brummer in ‘Moffie’ (images via official website)

Set in South Africa in the early 1980s, Moffie follows Nicholas (Kai Luke Brummer), who dutifully leaves home to serve a mandatory stretch of military service as required of all white men over 16-year-old at the time.

The title of the film comes from the Afrikaans derogatory term for gay men.

Nicholas is shipped off to boot camp where life is brutal, bleak, and harsh. As he and his fellow grunts prepare to defend the Apartheid regime from a conflict at the Angolian border, Nicholas contends with survival in an environment that reeks of toxic racism, homophobia and machismo.

All while quietly coming to terms with his burgeoning homosexuality.

Kai Luke Brummer in 'Moffie'
Kai Luke Brummer in ‘Moffie’

As we’ve seen in previous military movies, the new recruits’ basic training is humiliating and violent on both physical and psychological levels.

Drill Sergeant Brand (Hilton Pelser) takes the hyper-masculine environment to levels reminiscent of R. Lee Ermey in Full Metal Jacket.

The direction by Oliver Hermanus is taut and sensitive as he artfully plays elements of the film against each other.

During a barracks game of ‘spin the bottle’ where those chosen by fate must fight for the entertainment of the other soldiers, Hermanus offers a classical fugue as sonic soundscape in contrast with the bare-knuckle brawling.

A scene from 'Moffie'
A scene from ‘Moffie’

Throughout the film, Hermanus deftly balances scenes of war and brutal machismo with momentary touches of intimacy and humanity. The screenplay (by Hermanus and Jack Sidey) displays an economy of dialogue allowing the actors to express achingly tender moments of sensitivity.

In one episode where the soldiers are forced to dig (and then sleep) in trenches during a nighttime downpour, Nicholas’s fellow grunt Dylan Stassen (Ryan de Villiers) convinces him to huddle together under a blanket to keep warm. While the moment leads to a mere brush of Stassen’s hand on Nicholas’s face, the sexual tension is palpable.

Brummer is especially impressive in his first major screen role offering a compelling and continually nuanced performance.

Matthew Vey and Kai Luke Brummer in ‘Moffie’

Additionally, the riveting score by Braam du Toit and gorgeous cinematography by Jamie Ramsay become almost full-fledged characters in the film’s storytelling.

I’ll warn readers that the beginning of the film can be difficult to watch as Hermanus sets the tone and emotional scale of harsh journey ahead. Ultimately, the film – built on testosterone, tension, and trauma – resolves with a surprisingly delicate touch.

The BAFTA nominated film premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 2019 and was released in South Africa two weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic closed cinemas there.

Moffie is available in select theaters and digital streaming sites in the U.S. today.

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.