2012 QUEER FILM BLOGATHON

Ho. Lee. Crap. Can you even handle this gorgeous My Favorite Wife artwork done for me by the amaaaaaaaazing Mollybot? I think I love it even more than last year’s Rebel Without a Cause piece. THANK YOU MOLLY. I’M GOING TO TATTOO IT ON MY FACE.

Alright, folks! This is the place! Comment below with a link to your post(s) and I will put them all up here as official contributions to the Queer Film Blogathon 2012, co-hosted of course by the lovely Pussy Goes Grrr. (Why do I feel like I’m going to get a lot of misplaced traffic from putting that adjective next to the first word of that site name?) Remember, you can also enter our raffles for a copy of The Celluloid Closet (from me) and Celluloid Gaze (from PGG).

If you’re wondering where my contributions are, honey, they all happened last week: Dracula’s Daughter (1936), My Favorite Wife (1940), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), Victim (1961), and Together Brothers (1974). Give ‘em a gander if you’re so inclined.

Without further self-promotion ado, let the blogathon begin!!! If you run into any problems with leaving a comment, or if I missed your post, don’t hesitate to send me an email at Garbo.Laughs.Blog@gmail.com or tweet me at @GarboLaughsBlog.

Friday, June 22 (Day 5)

Stacia of the world-famous She Blogged By Night (is it world-famous? it should be) joins us on this final blogathon day asking some tough questions about the cultural endurance of Freebie and the Bean (1974).

The Filmatelist compares Beautiful Thing (1996) and Happy Together (1997).

Christianne tells us about a fascinating documentary about gays and lesbians in Uganda in her review of Call Me Kuchu (2012).

Yvette from in so many words… holds our hands through the heartbreak of Brokeback Mountain (2005).

Joseph over at the Queer Film Blog (you mean you get to do this kinda fun stuff all year ’round?!?) provides us with a delightful queer interpretation of Ridley Scott’s Prometheus (2012).

Mary tells us why Todd Haynes’ glam rock extravaganza Velvet Goldmine (1998) is one of her favorite films.

Margaret is back to share with us 5 Films That Changed the Way We View Sexuality.

Brandie returns to ruin enhance all our childhoods by queering Disney!

Thursday, June 21 (Day 4)

Peter Nellhaus joins us one more time with his review of the 2009 Japanese drama Kakera: A Piece of Our Lives.

Christianne also returns (and is definitely a shoe-in for the Most Prolific Blogathoner Award) to share her impressions of The Wise Kids (2011).

My brilliant partner Molly (who is also responsible for our official Queer Film Blogathon artwork above) just saw Psycho (1960) for the first time and writes about why reading Norman Bates as queer is homophobic. THANK YOU MOLLY!

Chris Edwards over at Silent Volume re-posts his review of Wilhelm Dieterle’s Sex in Chains (1928).

Jesse Ataide of Memories of the Future provides us with an excellent queer re-imagining of His Kind of Woman (1951)!

The lovely Lê is back with a look at “devious” queer characters in the cinema of the 1950s.

The incomparable Brandie of True Classics reviews Barbara Stanwyck’s turn as a female prison inmate in Ladies They Talk About (1933).

Good friend Ivan of Thrilling Days of Yesteryear contributes a review of the quirky romantic comedy Different for Girls (1996).

Wednesday, June 20 (Day 3)

Sam has got us covered with his Top 5 LGBT Themed Films over at A World of Gods and Monsters (itself a hat tip to gay director James Whale and his brilliantly-camp Bride of Frankenstein).

Christianne continues her excellent series of contributions with a look at several trans documentary features, what they get right and what they get embarrassingly wrong.

The wonderfully insightful Stephanie Hammer at Magically Real shares with us her reminiscences of John Schlesinger’s Sunday Bloody Sunday (1971).

Wednesday’s Child joins the party with a review of Heaven’s a Drag (1994), a gay-themed supernatural romance.

What Happened to Hollywood tucks us into bed with a worrying question: did homophobic bullying contribute to Rudolph Valentino’s untimely death?

Tuesday, June 19 (Day 2)

Joseph starts off Day 2 with a bang as he explores Susan Sontag’s infamous “Notes on ‘Camp'” in relation to Marlene Dietrich and Josef von Sternberg.

Peter Nellhaus of the awesomely-named Coffee coffee and more coffee takes us to Thailand with his review of Yes or No? (2010), touted as that country’s “first lesbian romance.”

Jake Cole from Not Just Movies is back for another round as he looks at Fassbinder’s In a Year of 13 Moons (1978).

Christianne Benedict again graces us with her presence and a review of Bernie (2012) starring Shirley MacLaine and Jack Black.

The fabulous Angela over at The Hollywood Revue takes us all the way back to 1914 with the silent gender-bending comedy A Florida Enchantment.

Monday, June 18 (Day 1)

The always-insightful Christianne over at Krell Laboratories has started the celebration early by sharing her musings on Tomboy (2011), Bound (1996), The King and the Clown (2005), Open (2010), and Weekend (2011).

My dear friend Lara over at Backlots explores the queer side of our beloved Greta Garbo in her review of Queen Christina (1933).

Rich of Wide Screen World takes a look at director George Cukor and five notable women he made shine on the screen.

The Lady Eve joins us with an excellent profile of movie songwriter Jack Lawrence.

Sarah, the newest member of the True Classics crew, kicks things off by comparing and contrasting Lillian Hellman’s controversial play The Children’s Hour with two big-screen adaptations.

Richard Finch writes about Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s Fox and His Friends (1975) on his fantastic blog The Movie Projector, where the William Wyler Blogathon begins June 24.

Jake Cole at Not Just Movies join us with his analysis of Todd Haynes’ feature film debut Poison (1991).

Margaret Perry of The Great Katharine Hepburn jumps into her very first blogathon (welcome to the cult, Margaret!) with her post on Sylvia Scarlett (1935).

Kevyn Knox of The Most Beautiful Fraud in the World re-posts a “retro review” of Brokeback Mountain (2005) written right after the film’s release.

Lê of Crítica Retrô graces us with a post on Sylvia Scarlett (1935) and Yentl (1983) — em Português! Just click on the handy translator widget in the sidebar to transform the post into the language of your choice using the magic of Google.

Marc Heuck writes about By Hook or By Crook (2001) on his blog The Projector Has Been Drinking.

From The Depths of DVD Hell come C.R.A.Z.Y. (2005), Nowhere (1997), The Doom Generation (1995), and Kaboom (2010), all by Elwood Jones.

ARE YOU RRREADY TO RRRAFFLE??

Here it is, kiddos! The OFFICIAL Queer Film Blogathon Raffle Post! (Not the place where you submit links to your blogathon contributions. That’ll go up in the morning.)

As I’ve already explained, both Garbo Laughs and Pussy Goes Grrr are running two separate raffles for two separate prizes. My prize is:

The Celluloid Closet (1981) (Revised Edition) by Vito Russo

“A colorful and fascinating treasure trove of trivia, some of it delightful, some of it appalling, all of it irresistibly intriguing.” – Philadelphia Gay News

“A definitive, masterful book.” – San Francisco Sentinel

“The best researched and illustrated book on its subject — entertaining and intelligently written. . . . It deserves to be considered a significant reference point and a source of reference in the years to come.” – Soho News

If you’d like to get your hands on a copy of this ground-breaking book, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post. The raffle entry period ends Friday, June 22, 11:59PM PST. To enter Pussy Goes Grrr’s raffle for Boze Hadleigh’s Celluloid Gaze, comment here.

Remember, if you also make a contribution to the blogathon, you’ll be entered into the raffle twice. Double your chances of winning! (However, only one comment and one post will be counted per person, so nobody can enter more than two times.) Good luck and happy queering!

My Interview with The Cinementals!

Check me out! I was this week’s guest on The Cinementals podcast (which can also be found on iTunes here), talking about the Queer Film Blogathon, my TCM Picks for the week, the ambiguous relationship between Cary Grant and Randolph Scott, my bizarre obsession with Sal Mineo, how classic movies help us cross the political aisle, and a lot of other juicy things! Thank you so much to Will and Kellee for having me on. SUCH a fun show! I had a great time and hope to do it again in the near future.

Blogathon! Tomorrow! PRIZES!

The much-anticipated Queer Film Blogathon starts tomorrow! Are you excited?!? I’M EXCITED!!!!!

And just to further entice you, today we (meaning blogathon co-host Pussy Goes Grrr and I) are announcing the raffle prizes we will be giving away to two lucky winners!


Yes indeedy! We are giving you the chance to win one of two bona fide classics in the genre of queer film theory!

My prize is the 1981 (revised 1987) tome The Celluloid Closet by historian Vito Russo, a thoroughly-researched and provocative look at cinematic portrayals of LGBT life which was adapted into the ground-breaking 1995 documentary film of the same name.

Andreas’ prize is the 1986 book Celluloid Gaze (originally published as Conversations with My Elders) by journalist Boze Hadleigh, featuring juicy interviews with six gay men in the film industry, including Rock Hudson, Sal Mineo, and George Cukor.

How exactly you can win these prizes will be announced a little later today, just as soon as I smooth out some details with Andreas (and finish a few hours of that nasty little thing I call “my real job”). You can also follow me and Andreas on Twitter for the latest updates!

Together Brothers (1974)


Image Source: MovieGoods

Synopsis: Local policeman Mr. Kool (Ed Bernard) is everyone’s favorite neighborhood cop in a poor black community in Galveston, Texas. So it comes as a heartbreaking shock when he turns up shot to death in cold blood one night near the playground. The only witness was five-year-old Tommy (Anthony Wilson), who was so traumatized by the incident that he’s refusing to say a word. When the local police seem slow on the tail of the killer, Tommy’s big brother H.J. (Ahmad Nurradin) and his friends take it upon themselves to gather a list of suspects. Soon, the trail leads them to the mysterious Billy Most (Lincoln Kilpatrick), just out of prison on an arrest made by Mr. Kool himself.

Say, folks! If you’re interested in the topic of queer images in film, have I got an event for YOU! From June 18-22, Garbo Laughs (that’s me) and Pussy Goes Grrr will be hosting the Queer Film Blogathon. Check it out now to find out how you can contribute and even win prizes. The party simply won’t be the same without you!

Although I’ve mentioned several times on this blog that I’m not a real big fan of the cinema of the 1970s, I felt it was important for this particular series to go outside of my classic comfort zone and include a review of a film from the first post-Code decade. That’s because I simply do not feel right holding an LGBT blogathon and only covering decades in which the T (trans or transgender) portion of that acronym was essentially nonexistent on the silver screen. I mean sure, if you throw cross-dressing and drag under the trans umbrella, you’ve got material dating back to the very foundation of the medium of film. But the transgender identity doesn’t stop at gender performativity the way drag and cross-dressing do (if you’ll pardon me for the gross oversimplification); being transgender means that one’s internal gender identity differs from the gender one was assigned at birth, an assignment usually made based on one’s biological sex. To be as inclusive as possible, I wanted to seek out and highlight a depiction of a transgender individual fitting this definition. That was nigh on impossible to do if I limited myself to films made before 1970.

Unfortunately, though not surprisingly, transgender individuals have not been represented accurately or positively in film… well, ever, really. Yes, there are of course exceptions, but they are few and far between, and even the current norm is nowhere near exemplary. One of the first and still most pervasive utilizations of transgender characters in film has been the trope of the “transgender killer,” an antagonist whose “confused” gender identity/expression is typically used as a metaphor for a deeper, more dangerous psychological disturbance. Think Psycho, Homicidal, Dressed to Kill, Sleepaway Camp, and the most egregious offender, Silence of the Lambs. Needless to say, continually portraying transgender people as crazed serial murderers is neither accurate nor positive. Unfortunately, Together Brothers, directed for 20th Century Fox by William A. Graham, is yet another example of this trope in use.

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