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XENIA

 

 

 

Xemia

 

GREECE’S OFFICIAL ENTRY
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
88th ACADEMY AWARDS
®

XENIA

A FILM BY PANOS H. KOUTRAS

Starring Kostas Nikouli, Nikos Gelia and Aggelos Papadimitriou

Official Selection:
Cannes Film Festival, Un Certain Regard
Toronto International Film Festival
Winner, Chicago International Film Festival, Gold Hugo Best Film
Miami and Fort Lauderdale Gay and Lesbian Film Festival
Seattle International Film Festival
Frameline Film Festival
XENIA follows two young brothers in search of their birth father across the colorful landscape of Greece. Dany, 16, leaves Crete to find his brother Odysseus who lives in Athens and they journey to Thessaloniki where they think their father is living. When the handsome Odysseus isn’t protecting his daydreaming, gay younger brother, he auditions for the television talent show “Greek Star” where he pursues his fantasy of becoming a singing star. A comic and touching road trip of two brothers connecting and searching for their dreams.
128 Minutes • Drama • Not Rated • In Greek with English Subtitles

Only Kyle Chandler Was Man Enough To Play Cate Blanchett's Husband In 'Carol'

 

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Todd Haynes: “He can hold his own with her. That’s not always easy.”

MIKE PONT VIA GETTY IMAGES

Festival crowds have extolled Cate Blanchett’s and Rooney Mara’s performances in “Carol,” the 1950s-set story of a demure retail worker who begins a romance with an older, married woman. Blanchett and Mara have been at the forefront of next year’s Oscar talk since the movie premiered at Cannes in May. But a third performance has received quieter kudos: Kyle Chandler in the role of Blanchett’s husband.

Chandler’s feat is full of resolve, his character struggling to reconcile the love he still feels for his wife while recognizing that she does not share the same desire. His screen time is a fraction of Blanchett’s and Mara’s, but it turns out Coach Taylor has just the brooding masculinity and underlying sweetness to capture the sexual stifle of ’50s suburbia — and Todd Haynes knew that from the start.

The director, whose previous movies include “I’m Not There” and “Far From Heaven,” participated in an hourlong Q&A on Saturday as part of the New York Film Festival’s Directors Dialogue series. There, he dissected his “Carol” influences — namely the 1945 British drama “Brief Encounter” — and explained his casting choices.

<span class='image-component__caption' itemprop="caption">Todd Haynes, left, speaks with New York Film Festival director of programming Kent Jones on Oct. 10, 2015.</span>ROB KIM VIA GETTY IMAGESTodd Haynes, left, speaks with New York Film Festival director of programming Kent Jones on Oct. 10, 2015.

Blanchett had signed on before Haynes was involved, when “Brooklyn” director John Crowley was attached to the project. When Mia Wasikowska dropped out due to scheduling conflicts, Haynes selected Mara based on the eclectic body of work she’s established in less than a decade, which includes “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and “Her.” But for Chandler, the director knew he needed one thing in particular: “You have to cast, without sounding sexist, a real man opposite Cate Blanchett.”

“You need a guy who’s grown up, and a lot of actors don’t seem grown up, no matter how old they get,” he said. “They just seem like juveniles with gray hair or something, and he seems like a grown-up. He can hold his own with her. That’s not always easy.”

Haynes, who worked with Blanchett on her Oscar-nominated turn as Bob Dylan in “I’m Not There,” said he’d seen enough of “Friday Night Lights” to be “so impressed” with Chandler.

“That guy is so gifted, and he’s made for the ’50s, too,” he said. “As soon as he got into those clothes, it was like, ‘Oh, my God.’

“Carol” opens in November 2015

Trailer:

 

Disney Star Cast As Brent Corrigan In Retelling Of Gay Adult Film Industry’s Most Notorious Murder

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Update: “Pretty Little Liars” Star Joins Gay Porn Murder Flick, Strips Down To Nasty Pigs With James Franco

It’s becoming more and more mainstream for LGBTQ stories to find their way onto the big screen — Milk, critical kocissuspectsflub StonewallThe Imitation Game and the upcoming The Danish Girl just to name a few. These films aim to uplift and inspire, shining a light on the great contributions our community has offered the world

 The recently announced Christian Slater/Molly Ringwald film King Cobra, though it also plans to dramatize a piece of gay history, will likely offer no such inspiration.

That’s because it will tell the story of gay porn studio Cobra Video owner Bryan Kocis’ murder by two of his stars, Harlow Cuadra and Joseph Kerekes (pictured above right), in 2007. Naturally, James Franco is involved, taking a producing and acting credit.

Both killers were sentenced to life in prison, and the gruesome details of the story inspired the bookCobra Killer: Gay Porn Murder. 

According to the investigating coroner, Kocis was stabbed 28 times and his throat was cut, nearly decapitating him. His body was left in his house before it was set on fire. Officials had to use dental records to identify Kocis because his body was burned beyond recognition.

Kocis’ involvement and subsequent legal battle with a then-underage Brent Corrigan, aka Sean Lockhart, added an unhealthy dose of scandal to the already-insane story.

And now the whole sordid mess is coming to a theater near you! It’s kind of like Brokeback Mountain with few more twists and turns. Except not at all. It’s all fairly horrifying.

Slater has signed on to play Kocis, and Ringwald has been cast as Kocis’ sister.

She recently Tweeted this photo of the onscreen siblinghood:

New Movie Brother

Playing the part of Corrigan will be Disney Channel star Garrett Clayton, who will bring some twinky fire to the unseemly universe:

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h/t: QueerClick (NSFW)

James Franco Strips Down On The Set Of His Gay Porn Biopic

 

The “127 Hours” star can’t seem to stay away from LGBT themes — and we love him for it.

If his Instagram is to be believed, James Franco will soon be playing gay once again.

The 37-year-old actor, who has explored gay themes onscreen in “Milk,” “I Am Michael” and behind the camera with “Interior. Leather Bar,” shared a snapshot of himself posing shirtless with actor Keegan Allen on his Instagram account. Allen, meanwhile, is wearing only a skimpy pair of briefs.

The photo is evidently from the set of “King Cobra,” which is based on the 2007 murder of gayadult film impresario Bryan Kocis. Franco’s production company, Event Films, is producing the film. No release date has been set.

Although few details of “King Cobra” have been made public, the photo could be the first indication that Franco will appear alongside Allen, Christian Slater and Molly Ringwald in the movie. Earlier this week, Disney Channel veteran Garrett Clayton reportedly signed on to play gay porn star Brent Corrigan, who became involved in a legal battle with Kocis after it was revealed that he’d shot his first adult scenes while he was still underage.

If the steamy snapshot is reflective of the rest of the movie, we won’t be missing this one!

Iris Prize Festival: Welsh Rugby Union throws full support behind LGBT short film festival

As excitement about the Rugby World Cup reaches fever pitch in Cardiff, the organisers of an LGBT short film festival feare their event would be left in the shadows.

Instead they find themselves “hand in hand” with the sport’s biggest competition after the Welsh Rugby Union threw its full support behind the Iris Prize Festival, saying it was “right and proper” that the two events were celebrated in the Welsh capital at the same time.

The festival, which offers a £30,000 prize, the largest award for a short film festival, has embraced its sporting rival. It opened on Wednesday with the documentary Scrum, which is about competitors in the Bingham Cup, the international gay rugby world cup.

About 50 rugby players, including sportsmen from Australia and Canada, attended the Iris opening night. John Williams, Welsh Rugby Union’s head of communications, joined festival director Berwyn Rowlands and chairman Andrew Pierce for the start of the five-day event which closes today, when the prize is handed to one of 30 competing films.

“If feels right, it is right, it should be right and both of these events are going to be massively successful,” Mr Williams said. “We believe in the cause that’s represented by the Iris Prize Festival in Cardiff. We understand its importance; inclusivity is a must.”

Mr Pierce, a columnist and consultant editor for the Daily Mail, described Mr Williams’s address as “a very powerful, charming heartfelt” speech. He also hailed the influence of rugby role models such as referee Nigel Owens, who is gay, and former Wales captain Gareth Thomas, who came out as gay in 2009.

“Having the Welsh Rugby Union at the opening was fantastic. Here we are in our ninth prize with the blessing of the Welsh Rugby Union, and the city is full of rugby fans.”

Mr Rowlands will today also announce a £247,000 grant from the Big Lottery that will allow the organisation to expand all over Wales in a three-year project, working with local communities to fight homophobia.

Cooper's gay dads both want to be Darth Vader in an adorably geeky new ad

By

Patrick Kulp

When both of your parents are men, it’s only natural that there be the occasional bout of friendly fatherly competition.

That’s what happens in a new ad for a Star Wars-themed line of Campbell’s soups in which two dads each make the case to their toddler son that they can do a better Darth Vader impression than the other.

“Cooper, I am your father,” says one dad before his partner interjects: “No, no, no I am your father.”

Cooper doesn’t seem to care much one way or the other, and one of his two dads eventually settles for the role of wookiee sidekick.

It’s a clever conceit, and the soup giant’s “Made for Real, Real Life” tagline drives the spot home with the message that none of this should be considered at all out of the ordinary (except for perhaps even more “real”?).

Now that gay marriage is the law of the land and market research dispatches have declared that prized millennials generally like diversity, brands are eager to flaunt their tolerance, and the interplay of same-sex couples and their kids makes for lots of aww-inducing ways to do so.

Honeymaid, DirectTV, Cheerios, Esurance and plenty of other big corporations have all featured gay couples prominently in the past few years.

It seems advertisers have even become comfortable enough with the diversity of American families to begin mapping out the distinct foibles and gag opportunities inherent to everyday life in a same-sex households.

It’s a far cry from just two decades ago, when the first-ever U.S. TV spot depicting a gay couple — innocuously shopping at Ikea — attracted boycotts, crowds of protesters, hundreds of fuming letters and phone calls and even a false bomb threat at a Hicksville, New York store.

The new Campbell’s ad is naturally not without its share of ideological detractors, but, in a sign of progress, it seems that more people were offended by the terrible imitations of Darth Vader rather than seeing two gay dads, having a nice morning with their son.

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments

Fulboy

Big Gay Picture Show

Reviewer: Tim Isaac

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Starring: Tomás Farina, Jorge Luis Medina, Gonzalo Peralta Director: Martín Farina Running Time: 82 mins Certificate: 15 Release Date: September 28th 2015 (UK)

Fulboy is a sports documentary that I’d be willing to bet is unlike any other you’ve ever seen. For a start it’s about a group of professional soccer players but you never actually see them on the pitch, and there’s also the fact that nearly every write-up of the movie mentions the word ‘voyeurism’.

Director Martín Farina goes on the road with an Argentinian football team, getting access because his brother, Tomas, plays for them. Initially the players are suspicious of him and how he’s going to show them – afraid that the film will play into the image of players being lazy, spending more time smoking and playing poker than honing their sport skills.

However, he slowly gains more access to their lives, such as their fascination with how they look (which it’s suggested is a response to the fact they’re playing on TV), how much time they spend talking about their career and contracts – with a hierarchy amongst the players that acts almost like a union – and their worries about what will happen when they can’t play any longer.

None of that is particularly unique in the world of sports documentaries, but what separates Fulboy is the view of Farina’s camera. The director’s slightly pretentious narration talks about how he decided to stay off camera, but that you’ll learn about him through the gaze of his camera lens. If that’s true, it suggests a fascination with the men’s bodies and their casual nudity around one another. Farina films them extensively in the shower and locker room, with the camera often following their groin area around, so you’re not even sure which one of them it is, as their face isn’t in the shot. Indeed, you have to wonder whether the men knew this was going to be a strong aspect of the film, and also whether they noticed that Farina was following their genitals (both covered and uncovered) around with his camera.

That sort of question is a deliberate part of the film, with Farina inviting the audience to view the film in a self-reflexive way. For example, you’re aware that on the men’s side it’s both about how they are in private, as well as how they want to be seen (as they know the camera is there). Farina also wants you to question how you’re being shown it, so that you wonder whether the fact the camera is often placed at the bottom of a hotel bed looking up the body of one of the players, was merely the most convenient place to shoot from, or whether there’s a sexual, almost lustful aspect to it.

It gets to the point where you even question Farina’s motives, and whether the chance to be around sexy guys who spend a lot of time naked was more interesting to him than the supposed mission to tell us more about their lives.

Click here to watch the Fulboy trailer.

It’s a film where objectively there is no gay content – beyond the homoerotic edge to the camaraderie between the players – but yet it is an incredibly gay movie, purely due to the way it’s filmed. The ‘voyeuristic’ aspect is prevalent enough that there are moments where you wonder whether you should be watching. While Farina’s narration is a little pretentious, it’s also effective at getting you thinking about what you’re seeing, as well as bringing you inside his point of view, to the point where when the camera is viewing his brother naked in the same way it’s slightly leered at some of the other men, you almost feel like you should look away.

It’s sexy, but in a way where you’re not sure whether it ought to be sexy or not, and whether the director’s view is exploitative of the participants. For example, how aware are the players of how they’re being viewed, and if they aren’t, is that unfair to them? They know they’re being filmed, but do they know ‘how’ they’re being filmed. While the players talk of their worries about how they’ll be seen in the documentary, none of them even seem to consider a level of sexual objectification/desire. It certainly adds a level of interest to Fulboy that it would otherwise lack, to the point where sport almost becomes a subplot to the film’s self-reflexive questioning of what this documentary actually is.

Overall Verdict: Most documentaries are as much about how they’re filmed and what they decide to show you as they are about its subject, but they try to hide that. Fulboy faces it head on, taking a look at the lives of a football team, while questioning how we’re seeing it due to its voyeuristic edge.

 

The Tribe

 

 

One of the most audacious and acclaimed debut films of recent years, Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy’s astounding drama – sensationally told in unsubtitled sign language – follows Sergey, a new arrival at a school for young deaf people. Light years away from the kinds of benevolent institutions we usually see on screen, this school is a nightmarish world of ruthless cliques, gangs and hard currencies, where authority is entirely absent and chaos and criminality reign. Despite his early savvy, Sergey oversteps the mark when he falls for a young prostitute he’s assigned to pimp.

Slaboshpytskiy’s daring eschewal of subtitles ensures we’re plunged completely into this unforgiving world from the outset. The use of long, unbroken and expertly staged long takes is also highly accomplished for a debut filmmaker. Although The Tribe is an uncompromising work, it is a highly rewarding one with unexpected moments of tenderness; a film which posits Slaboshpytskiy as a significant new voice in world cinema.

Joshua Tree, 1951: A Portrait of James Dean (2012)

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Joshua Tree, 1951: A Portrait of James Dean (2012), is a  gorgeous biopic which depicts the years before James Dean (played by James Preston, a former Abercrombie & Fitch model) became a cinema idol, imagining his affair with an unnamed male roommate and other men and women in his life.

It’s a very queer (in both content and gaze) and poetic portrait of young man willing to compromise to meet his ambitions (“if they want me, they’re gonna have to pay”).

Find it and watch it, you won’t regret it.