Seasonal Gaiety

It’s been said before, but it bears repeating. LGBTQ musicians are making some of the most captivating and inspiring music out there. Since the beginning of 2018, new releases by queer artists such as Jim Andralis, Lucy Dacus, HC McEntire and Sarah Shook rank among the best to be heard. Beginning with the release of her eponymous 2005 debut recording, Brandi Carlile has consistently delivered outstanding albums, including The Story and Bear Creek, that have earned her a devoted following. With a goose-bump raising vocal range and the ability to write songs with immense emotional impact, Carlile doesn’t disappoint with […]

Hello Again and Again

Filmmaker Tom Gustafson and his frequent screenwriting collaborator Cory Krueckeberg (2008’s Were the World Mine and others) definitely had their work cut out for them with their ambitious, but flawed, film adaptation of John Michael LaChiusa’s non-traditional off-Broadway musical Hello Again (The Orchard / Speak), now available on DVD. Based on Arthur Schnitzler’s 1897 play La Ronde, LaChiusa is not the first playwright to have his way, so to speak, with the original play’s overt themes of uninhibited sexuality. Opening in what looks like the near future, Hello Again begins with Ruth (Martha Plimpton) in a cozy peepshow setting where […]

Swipe Out

Living, as we do, in a post-Love, Simon (and post-Call Me By Your Name) world, gay movies with younger male lead characters may forever be judged differently. That can be both good and bad. In the case of writer/director Mike Roma’s Dating My Mother (Gravitas Ventures), it falls squarely in the middle. Twenty-three-year-old Danny (Patrick Reilly, making his feature film debut), who has ambitions of being a screenwriter, has returned to New Jersey after living in California after graduation. He’s temporarily moved in with his widowed, hairdresser mother Joan (Steppenwolf and Law & Order actress Kathryn Erbe) while supposedly working […]

Summer Lit 2018 Cool reads for hot weather

Summer’s (finally) here and the time is right for reading at the beach (or wherever your heart desires).  In Read by Strangers (Lethe, 2018), the follow-up to Washington, DC-based gay writer Phillip Dean Walker’s 2016 story collection At Danceteria and other stories, he populates the 16 pieces (one that is less a page in length, another that is 32 pages long) with gay porn stars (“Brad’s Head Revisited, ‘94”), a meth-addicted escort (“Three-Sink Sink”), fierce front-desk receptionists (“The Gargoyles”) and a mother having an affair with her daughter’s teacher (“Hester Prynne Got an A”). There’s even a spooky homage to […]

Getting Read

Have you ever started reading a book and within the first few pages you figured out everything you need to know about the characters as well as how it will end? That’s a fair description of the predictable and mildly amusing Book Club (Paramount). It’s the kind of “women of a certain age” flick that Nancy Meyers writes and direct (It’s Complicated and Something’s Gotta Give) with some degree of success. In this case, writer and co-director Bill Holderman is out of his league. Four friends – Diane (Diane Keaton), Sharon (Candice Bergen), Carol (Mary Steenburgen), and Vivian (Jane Fonda) […]

A Real Wonder Woman

Chilean filmmaker Sebastián Lelio (the acclaimed 2013 movie “Gloria”) is having quite a run. His latest film, the lesbian-themed Disobedience is now playing in theaters, just as his Best Foreign Language Film Oscar-winner A Fantastic Woman (Sony Pictures Classics) is being released on Blu-ray. Notable for the way it depicts a few days in the life of a trans woman in Santiago, A Fantastic Woman is at turns fabulous and heartbreaking. Marina (trans actress Daniela Vega) is a waitress at a restaurant in an amusement park and arcade in Santiago. Her real ambition is to be a singer and when […]