NYC-based bibliophile, film fanatic, and nerd. Interests include Doctor Who, Star Wars, Star Trek (all TV series and JJ's reboot), Sherlock Holmes (every iteration, though Jeremy Brett is my favorite), Hannibal Lecter (ditto every iteration), Supernatural, TRON, Welcome to Night Vale, White Collar, Disney, Pixar, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings (books and the Peter Jackson film adaptations), Mythbusters, Project Runway, Face Off (the Syfy show about SFX makeup artists), Buster Keaton, Lon Chaney, silent films in general, Werner Herzog, David Lynch, Guillermo del Toro, the Beatles, They Might Be Giants, Daft Punk, Douglas Adams, G.K. Chesterton, Neil Gaiman, H.P. Lovecraft, Terry Pratchett, Sax Rohmer, Rafael Sabatini, Dorothy L. Sayers, P.G. Wodehouse...
First trailer for the new Wachowski movie, “Jupiter Ascending.”
IT BASICALLY LOOKS LIKE A STAR WARS MOVIE WITH MILA KUNIS AS A JANITOR WHO BECOMES A SPACE PRINCESS?? PLUS CHANNING TATUM IN RIDONKULOUS EYELINER WITH A DYED GOATEE? AND SEAN BEAN. AND *EDDIE REDMAYNE* AS SOME KIND OF HILARIOUS BRITISH-ALIEN GOTH SUPERVILLAIN.
Directed by Amma Asante. Starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Miranda Richardson, Emily Watson Tom Wilkinson, Sarah Gadon, Sam Claflin, James Norton, Penelope Wilton, Tom Felton, Sam Reid and Matthew Goode. Premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival last month.
First, this looks pretty solid. Second, I have been wanting a “Black Girl Period Piece” as my friend Cameron calls for it forever. Third, why do I have to wait until May?
The trailer starts off with a riff on the “The following motion picture has been approved for all audiences” tag that starts off most trailers. Instead of the calming lime green background, though, this is black-and-white and says “The following motion picture has not been approved for all audiences by the Walt Disney Company.” In other words: it’s on.
For the next minute, we’re treated to black-and-white images from Walt Disney World (although it was also filmed at Disneyland) while characters in voice over say stuff like “Bad things can happen anywhere.” At about the halfway point, the surrealism starts to kick in: a child’s eyes turn an inky black, a fireball ascends towards the sky, fairies hover above the Florida park’s Contemporary Resort, and a man appears with a head shaped like EPCOT’s iconic geodesic sphere Spaceship Earth (aka the giant golf ball). At the end of the trailer, a small child says, “Daddy, can we go home?”
When I went to SXSW this year I had the opportunity to see the film Before You Know It. Even though I was able to see a lot of gay documentaries (like this one, and this one, and this one), I would say that Before You Know Itwas the most important one I watched. I’m 21 years old and gay, and I don’t have any older gay role models in my life to learn from. I don’t have any gay men to look at as an indication of where I’ll end up at 60, 70, or beyond. In the straight world when you get old your family takes care of you. Before You KnowItexplores what happens when you don’t have those options.
One of the major themes of the movie is how the elderly are forgotten by younger generations, and PJ Raval explores this subject wonderfully though Dennis (the tennis player, if you watched the trailer*). Dennis was my favorite character to watch because his sexuality had been so repressed; Dennis was married (heterosexually) for years, and during filming lived alone and forgotten in Florida. He has children, but isn’t out to them. Dennis dabbles in drag, goes to gay cruises and nightclubs and even hooks up, however he only does this from the safety of a gay retirement home where he lives part time. The contrast between Dennis’ two lives is pretty sad to see; you root for him the whole entire time.
The other subjects of the film are Ty, a senior gay activist, and Robert, who owns a small town gay bar. As a drag queen in the trailer mentions, Robert has given “43 years of gay service,” and I really liked that phrasing. Both Ty and Robert have spent their lives giving back to the gay community, creating spaces for gay people in their local areas. As a young gay dude it’s comforting to see two men who have built queer families of their own. It’s interesting that because this older generation hasn’t been had access the same rights a lot of the younger generations have now, they’ve created their own families. Both Robert and Ty have amazing stories that I think every gay man would benefit from learning, but neither have the same personal battle with their sexuality that Dennis does. Through the film we are able to see how the differences between Dennis’ sexuality and straight society have blocked (and continue to block) Dennis from making true connections. Through Dennis we’re able to see what happens when queer people don’t form families of their own.
Despite all of this, the film is uplifting. Its subjects continually try to engage with the world around them and create a life for themselves. They continue to put in their “gay service.” At one point in the film Dennis admits that he doesn’t think his life will have made a difference in the world.
After the screening of the film was over, I had the opportunity to tell him differently. The crew and the subjects of the documentary did a meet and greet a nearby bar, and I was able to tell Dennis how much seeing his story meant to me. Before I left, I asked him why he dressed in women’s clothing and he told me it was because it made him feel free, like he could do whatever he wanted. Before You Know It had a similar effect for me. It let me know that despite the ubiquity of the heterosexual narrative, I could still carve out a place for myself in the world.
*If you don’t read the article (or watch the movie), please just watch the trailer.