The fascinating personal story of the Seattle-based singer/songwriter, poet and author featured in Macklemore & Ryan Lewis's marriage equality anthem. #JustDroppinIn
Two of gay cinema's best-known directors, John Cameron Mitchell (Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Shortbus) and Travis Mathews (I Want Your Love and Interior. Leather Bar) attended the Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival Sunday night.
Click here to view more pictures from the Q&A and after party at Mova following the screening. Photos by STEVE ROTHAUS / Miami Herald Staff.
Movie star James Franco on Saturday received the HBO Latin America Ally Award at the 15th annual Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival.
Franco, accompanied by fellow directors Travis Mathews and John Cameron Mitchell, also attended a film festival reception before the Saturday night awards ceremony and screening of the Israeli film Out in the Dark.
Mathews received HBO Latin America Vanguard Award at Gusman Center in downtown Miami; actor-screenwriter David W. Ross received the Rising Star Award. Ross' film I Do screens Wednesday at O Cinema in Miami Shores.
Interior. Leather Bar, a film by Franco and Mathews, will be screened Sunday night at the Colony Theatre in Miami Beach. Click here for more information about this year's festival films and screenings.
Click here for a complete gallery from Saturday's activities. Photos by STEVE ROTHAUS / Miami Herald Staff.
April 28, 2013 in Arts, Bisexual, Business, Current Affairs, Fashion, Film, Florida, Food and Drink, Gay, Lesbian, LGBT, Marriage, Media, Miami & Miami-Dade County, Miami Beach, Politics, Religion, South Florida, Television, Theater, Transgender, Weblogs, Workplace, Youth | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Gallery | Cast and crew of 'G.B.F.' join moviegoers at opening night of Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival
Friday night's opening of the 15th annual Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival featured personal appearances by the stars, director and producer of G.B.F, the movie screened at Gusman Cultural Center in downtown Miami.
Above, from left: G.B.F. director Darren Stein, star Michael J. Willett and producer Stephen Israel.
Before the screening, the film festival board honored previous chairman Michael Toomey.
Afterward, the cast and crew mingled with festival goers at FIFTY Ultra Lounge at the Viceroy Hotel on Brickell Avenue.
The festival continues Saturday. Movie star James Franco, whose film Interior. Leather Bar will be screened Sunday night at The Colony Theatre in Miami Beach, receives the HBO Latin America Ally Award 9 p.m. Saturday at Gusman. Click here for a full schedule of events.
Click here to view more pictures from opening night. Photos by STEVE ROTHAUS / Miami Herald Staff.
The fight for supremacy between a school’s most popular girls takes an unexpected turn when Tanner (Michael J. Willett) becomes its first openly gay student. As they race to bag the big trend in fashion accessories, the Gay Best Friend, Tanner, must choose between skyrocketing popularity and the friends he is leaving behind. Darren Stein (Jawbreaker) returns with another comic send-up of high school clique culture, including memorable cameos by Megan Mullally and Natasha Lyonne.
After the screening, a Q&A with Darren Stein, Andrea Bowen, Michael J. Willet and others in the film.
Six films will also be screened Saturday:
Let My People Go!, 3 p.m., Miami Beach Cinematheque
White Frog, 5:30 p.m., Miami Beach Cinematheque
Who's Afraid of Vagina Wolf, 6 p.m., Gusman Center
Facing Mirrors, 8 p.m., Miami Beach Cinematheque
Out in the Dark, 9:15 p.m., Gusman Center
The Invisible Men, 10:30 p.m., Miami Beach Cinematheque
April 26, 2013 in Arts, Bisexual, Business, Current Affairs, Film, Florida, Food and Drink, Gay, Lesbian, LGBT, Marriage, Media, Miami & Miami-Dade County, Miami Beach, Politics, Religion, South Florida, Television, Theater, Transgender, Weblogs, Workplace, Youth | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
BY STEVE ROTHAUS, srothaus@MiamiHerald.com
Miami pop composer Desmond Child had one of his biggest hits with Ricky Martin’s 1999 worldwide smash, Livin’ la Vida Loca. Now nearly 60, Child’s personal life has become anything but.
He and Curtis Shaw, partners for 24 years, live in suburban Nashville where they’re raising twin sons, born almost 11 years ago at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach. The boys are the subject of a new documentary, TWO: The Story of Roman and Nyro, to be premiered Tuesday at the 15th annual Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival.
“Why did we do it?” Child says rhetorically about authorizing such a personal film about their family. “We felt it was a way we could help straight people understand — and have gay people see that it is possible — that they could live and be parents and have that kind of joy in their lives.”
Child and Shaw were together about a dozen years when they decided to start a family.
“I had been watching the news,” Child recalls. “George Bush was trying to kill the gay marriages and what not. He went on TV and said, ‘I don't know why they want to get married. They can’t have children. Well people who are infertile still want to get married. Should that bar them from getting married? We’re not infertile. We can have children. We are having children. There are thousands of children being born biologically to gay parents. It’s not just about adopting children.”
Child, 59, said the argument still could be heard in March during gay-marriage hearings at the U.S. Supreme Court. “Why don’t they stop talking about procreation? We’re procreating! End of discussion America!”
Born in Gainesville and raised in Miami Beach, he has been out of the closet since 1979 when his band at the time, Desmond Child & Rouge, released its second album, Runners in the Night. A track on the album, The Truth Comes Out, “was my exuberant coming-out song,” Child said.
He soon shifted from performing to composing. He has written and produced huge hits for Martin, Bon Jovi (Livin’ on a Prayer), Cher (We All Sleep Alone) and Joan Jett (I Hate Myself for Loving You).
In 1989, Child met Shaw, then a 27-year-old aspiring actor from Columbia, Mo., working as a maitre d’ in a New York City restaurant. They became partners and Shaw moved with Child to California and later Miami Beach.
“I don’t think of myself at all as a public person,” Shaw said. “It’s mostly Desmond, but he’s not so much a recognizable person. He’ll show up and go to a red carpet. I’ve been on a couple of red carpets. We do have friends who are superstars and we’ve had a window into their world and understand the pros and cons.”
The couple briefly split in the late ‘90s and Shaw moved to Nashville. “We separated but we talked twice a day. What kind of separation is that?” Child said. “We reconciled a year later. All our friends sat us down together and said ‘We’re freaking out, we can't stand it. You have to get together again. It was like an intervention: ‘Stop this crazy midlife crisis!’ It was the first time we listened to our friends. And I’m glad we did. We’re perfect together.”
Back together, Child and Shaw decided to have children. “After the reconciliation, we said ‘Let’s do this, let’s have the family we always wanted.”
The son of Cuban singer Elena Casals, who died in 2012, Child said he himself came from “an alternative family.” At 18, he learned that his biological father was not the man married to his mother when he was born in 1953.
Child said it was “very important to me to have my own biological children.”
“I’m away a lot. I’m in New York, LA or Miami,” he said. “I needed the biological connection because I wouldn’t be the stay-at-home parent.”
Shaw, one of four sons born to a conservative Christian mother and a Missouri schools superintendent, says it didn’t matter to him whether he was biologically connected to their children.
“I just knew before it even happened, before we became parents, it wouldn't make any difference. I would love the child and he would love me,” said Shaw, who adopted the boys in California. “It’s just so pure. As soon as you hold a baby in your arms, how could you not bond? Biology doesn't make a difference. No paper would legitimize what I already felt inside. I already knew I was these kids’ parent.”
Child and Shaw selected eggs from an anonymous donor and asked their close friend, Angela Whittaker, to be gestational surrogate. On the second attempt, she became pregnant with two implanted embryos.
Roman and Nyro Child were born May 8, 2002, in Miami Beach. Child (called “Daddy”) and Shaw (“Papa”) decided to raise the boys in Tennessee — ”the belt buckle of the Bible Belt,” Shaw said.
“He’s made the sacrifice to let us be where we want to be,” Shaw says of Child. “I prefer Nashville to anywhere else we’ve lived. The kids do, too. It’s easier, people are nice. If I’m less stressed out, things run more smoothly.”
The family lives on “eight acres we’ve collected over the years,” Shaw said. “The kids share a room, they’re in the same class at school and the same soccer team. Both take guitar and piano lessons, and Spanish lessons.”
The dads and their sons remain close to Whittaker and her mother. “We believe we’re part of the same family,” Shaw said.
From the start, Child, Shaw and Whittaker documented their journey on video. These “home movies” became the basis for the documentary.
“Being handed 300 hours of footage is a daunting challenge to say the least,” said TWO director and producer Heather Winters, who also grew up in Miami Beach.
A centerpiece of the film: Superstar singer Jon Bon Jovi, one of the boys’ two godfathers, blesses the babies in 2002 by reading a poem he wrote called Two, which would become the title of the documentary.
Winters, the mother of two sons, ages 7 and 15, said she’s impressed with the Shaw and Child’s parenting skills.
“They're raising their children the way I hope all parents raise their children, the way I raised my two boys. To realize that people are different and there’s no one way to love or do things. That’s what makes life and being human so important. That’s one of the universal messages of our film.”
“It’s about a modern family, but it’s about the ultimate triumph of love,” she said. “There have been other films about gay dads. What makes it different is that I wanted to tell it from the perspective of the children.”
Nyro and Roman are bright, precocious and a bit uncomfortable promoting the film.
“Too many questions,” Nyro said. “No offense, but I don’t like being interviewed.”
Roman thinks the film is “pretty cool” and so is its message: “Everybody has rights. They should just be inspired by this movie. People say gay parents can’t have children and we proved them wrong.”
IF YOU GO
What: TWO: The Story of Roman and Nyro
When: 8 p.m. Tuesday
Where: Colony Theatre, 1040 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach
Tickets: $15 film only, $25 party only, $30 film and party
The Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival runs through May 5. www.mglff.com
April 23, 2013 in Arts, Bisexual, Business, Current Affairs, Film, Florida, Fort Lauderdale & Broward County, Gay, Lesbian, LGBT, Marriage, Media, Miami & Miami-Dade County, Miami Beach, Music, Palm Beach County, Politics, Religion, South Florida, Transgender, Weblogs, Wilton Manors, Workplace, Youth | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
BY STEVE ROTHAUS, srothaus@MiamiHerald.com
Months before anyone even saw the short film Interior. Leather Bar, tongues wagged that A-list hottie James Franco was co-producing, co-directing and co-starring in a gay porn flick.
Well, the final product reveals that in the film Franco only watches other men have sex, as he, co-director Travis Mathews and the rest “reimagine” 40 lost minutes from the controversial 1980 Al Pacino thriller, Cruising, parts of which were set in the interior of a leather bar.
“For me, it’s an exploration of how certain kinds of settings and lifestyles and acts are depicted and seen in cinema today, what the presentation of those things mean to the people doing them, watching them,” said Franco, who Saturday night will receive the HBO Latin America Ally Award presented at the 15th annual Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival.
Interior. Leather Bar (to be screened Sunday night at the festival) is mostly talk with a little hardcore action. And the talk mostly is by straight guys, including Franco, as they watch gay guys have sex in the film within a film.
“It was a project inspired by [director] William Friedkin’s Cruising. It was never going to be a recreation of Cruising, Franco says. “It was about trying to examine some of the things in Cruising presented 30 years ago through the lens of the culture today. There’s a lot of discussion in the movie, then there are some sexual scenes that are in it that go hand in hand.”
In the original film, Pacino starred as a straight undercover cop sent to find a gay serial killer terrorizing the New York bar scene.
Gay activists at the time condemned Cruising, Pacino and Friedkin for perpetuating negative stereotypes. “It was an unfortunate juxtaposition of murder mystery against a backdrop of gay nightlife,” Franco says.
Interior. Leather Bar gives the impression that it’s unscripted, with Franco, Mathews and actor Val Lauren playing themselves making the movie. In the film within the film, Lauren also plays the Pacino character.
“There was a script. It was more of an outline. It gave us a direction to go in when we filmed,” Franco says. “You wouldn’t find most of the dialogue that ended up in the final script. I knew I wanted to use Cruising as a starting point. I didn’t know exactly what aspects I wanted to explore.”
Franco says the project came together when he met Mathews, a gay director whose films “had sex, but they didn’t use pornos for titillation.”
“At that point, it really opened up everything,” Franco says. “We had the script, a route to follow. Along the way, anything and everything could be captured.”
The 60-minute film premiered in January at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. Franco’s next big feature, two months later: Oz the Great and Powerful.
Franco, 34, says there was no fallout from the folks at Walt Disney Pictures as they began to promote the PG-rated Oz, just as everyone in the industry seemed to be fixated on oral sex and Interior. Leather Bar.
“They didn’t say one thing about it,” Franco says. “I was congratulated when it got into Sundance by some of the execs at Disney, who are friends of mine.”
One notable, however, did ignore Franco amid the Interior. Leather Bar hype: Pacino.
“Pacino did not comment. I wrote him an email. It was because of some inaccurate press,” Franco says. “I wanted it to be clear to him and Friedkin that we were not using anything from Cruising. I didn’t hear back from him, so I guess he wasn’t bothered.’’
IF YOU GO
James Franco appears 9 p.m. Saturday at Gusman Center for the Performing Arts, 174 E. Flagler St., Miami. “Interior. Leather Bar” will be screened 8:30 p.m. Sunday at the Colony Theatre, 1040 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach. The Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival runs Friday through May 5. www.mglff.com
April 23, 2013 in Arts, Bisexual, Business, Current Affairs, Fashion, Film, Florida, Fort Lauderdale & Broward County, Gay, Lesbian, LGBT, Marriage, Media, Miami & Miami-Dade County, Miami Beach, Politics, Religion, Television, Theater, Transgender, Weblogs, Wilton Manors, Workplace, Youth | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Richard Chamberlain's iconic 1960s TV series, Dr. Kildare, is coming to home video.
From Warner Archive:
DR. KILDARE: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON (1961-62) Richard Chamberlain and Raymond Massey don the surgical scrubs first made famous by the film team of Lew Ayres and Lionel Barrymore for the equally successful TV incarnation in the 1960s. Richard Chamberlain’s star ascended quickly, as the show swept him from relative unknown to full-on teen idol (in a show pointed squarely at adults, no less). The show was also blessed to have the talents of a young Jerrald Goldsmith on hand to pen the shows score. Kildare’s title theme, “Three Stars Will Shine Tonight”, became a monster hit on its own, sung by Mr. Chamberlain himself. Notable guests include Lee Marvin, Ellen Burstyn, Dorothy Malone, Joseph Cotten, Mary Astor, Margaret O’Brien and more! And as an added bonus, we’ve dug up a “lost” episode — “The Eleventh Hour,” the ORIGINAL, never-aired pilot for the Wendell Corey psychiatric drama, teaming Dr. Theodore Bassett up with Drs. Gillespie and Kildare to get to the bottom of what the devil is wrong with Ann Costigan (Vera Miles). All episodes have been newly remastered especially for this DVD premiere release. Initial quantities of this release will be traditionally replicated (pressed) in anticipation of high consumer demand.
A year ago, I interviewed Chamberlain, who publicly came out of the closet years after Dr. Kildare left the air.
“The general public didn’t know I was gay,” he told me. “People in the business did. Apart from a little gossip, they didn’t talk about it. It was great. They let us have our lives.”
Click here to read the complete 2012 interview with Chamberlain, now age 79.