In 1959, three Tulane frat boys “rolled” a gay man – meaning they beat him to death in an alley. They were acquitted of the murder charges. This incident caused the gay men of New Orleans to decide that the revolution would be…costumed. In an era when a man touching another man’s leg in a bar could get both arrested, the gay community began to throw drag balls under the guise of Mardi Gras celebrations. The first ball was raided by the police, but it wasn’t long before these parties became the place to be. Through modern interviews and archival footage, The Sons of Tennessee Williams explores the question, “Is it really a civil rights accomplishment for a man to wear a dress at the civic auditorium?”
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The first weekend of September more than 5,000 people swarmed Chicago for the 70th World Science Fiction Convention, otherwise known as WorldCon. Beyond hosting authors, artists, and fans from more than 30 countries, WorldCon announced the winners of the 2012 Hugo Awards.
For a complete listing of winners, click here. For highlights, see below.
Best Novel: Among Others by Jo Walton
Best Novella: “The Man who Bridged the Mist” by Kij Johnson
Best Novelette: “Six Months, Three Days” by Charlie Jane Anders
Best Short Story: “The Paper Menagerie” by Ken Liu
Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form): Game of Thrones (Season 1)
Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form): “The Doctor’s Wife” (Doctor Who)
Best Fan Writer: Jim C. Hines
With talks stalled and a NHL lockout looming, the only hockey we might see for a while is on DVD. Remember Patrick Kane’s brilliant overtime goal? Relive the glory of the Blackhawks 2010 Stanley Cup victory with the five disc set Chicago Blackhawks: 2010 Stanley Cup Champions.
Sometimes a prickly exterior hides true refinement, and young Paloma suspects this may be true of Madame Michel, the concierge of her family’s luxury apartment building. This intrigues Paloma, and that’s unusual, especially since she is already weary of life’s pretensions and thinking of ending her life on her twelfth birthday. While she documents her final weeks and the empty hypocrisy of those around her, she realizes that Madame Michel may be a kindred spirit. The arrival of a new tenant, a Japanese gentleman, surprises both with new possibilities and deeper understanding. Based on the exquisite novel The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery, The Hedgehog is a gentle, bittersweet ode to the treasures of the soul.
Hunter S. Thompson was known to shoot typewriters. Dorothy Parker drank more than she wrote. Henry Miller and Anaïs Nin’s relationship was equal parts eros and literature. There are even rumors that the Marquis de Sade wrote a manuscript in blood.
Click here for movies on the strange and passionate lives of famous writers.
It’s L.A. and everyone’s an aspiring something. In the meantime, they cater. Six struggling artists wear pink bow ties for Party Down, a catering company. Party Down, the show, is two seasons of hilarious catering malaise, romance, rivalries, and the mishaps of being close to, but not quite invited to the party.
Punk rockers aren’t exactly known for responsible life decisions. You know the drill – live fast, die young. The Other F Word examines what happens when subculture rock stars have to readjust their raucous lifestyles as they become parents. Lars Frederiksen of Rancid, Tim McIlrath of Rise Against, Fat Mike of NOFX, Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, famed skateboarder Tony Hawk, and many others are interviewed in a documentary that is profanity-laden, but heartfelt. For most of the men, punk rock became a surrogate family, something to take the place of bad or nonexistent parents. These men are now charged with being the parents they wish they had, without losing themselves in the process.
From the early 1970s through the mid-to-late 1980s, Australian movies surged in popularity, especially in America. Movies like My Brilliant Career and Mad Max, resuscitated the declining Australian movie market with worldwide audience attention.
Click here to explore Australian New Wave cinema.
The late-60s/early-70s cycle of existential road movies yielded a number of interesting films, but perhaps the most overlooked is Monte Hellman’s minimalist masterpiece, Two-Lane Blacktop. “The Driver” and “The Mechanic” have simplified their lives to exist almost solely as extensions of the ‘55 Chevy they race from town to town.
Miss Helene Hanff loved books – old, beautiful, rare books. Unfortunately, she was a struggling New York writer and couldn’t afford to buy any. That is, until she found Marks and Company through an ad in the Saturday Review of Literature. 84, Charing Cross Road is a collection of the correspondence between Helene Hanff and the employees of the London antiquarian bookshop Marks and Company, especially Frank Doel, the shop’s manager. What starts with a single letter of Hanff’s, requesting out-of-print but affordable books, turns into a twenty-year friendship across the Atlantic. When you finish this true, charming, and fast read, watch the lovely movie adaptation starring Anthony Hopkins and Anne Bancroft.