Mixtapes for Hookers

The Ten Best Movies (Of The Ten I Saw This Year), Part 1

The Master

Okay, so I only saw ten movies this year, so this list isn’t by any means a list of the ten best movies of the year. (In fact, this might be the first year since maybe high school that I actually went to a movie theater ten times.) And I actually liked all ten of them! Meaning either that I’ve got a really good sense of what to see, or else I’m getting soft and uncritical. Anyway, here’s some thoughts. I tried not to spoil anything although I probably did.

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Priests, Murderers, And Other Important Moments In Gay Cinema
March 19, 2012, 10:40 am
Filed under: gay, movies | Tags: , , , ,

This New York Times article from the other day about important gay movies–and specifically the gay movies deemed important by celebrated gay New Yorkers–got me wondering which gay movie has been the most important to me, and I’m slightly at a loss. As a teenager I watched basically every movie released on VHS, and some of them were pretty gay. The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert was a lot of fun, and Priest was pretty sad, and the Isaac Mizrahi documentary Unzipped was my favorite movie of 1996, according to a hand-written list that I found a few months ago. I’ve mentioned here before my love for Robert Altman’s Prêt-a-Porter, and Bound is just generally a really awesome movie, complete with Jennifer Tilly’s voice and lesbian sex scenes choreographed by Susie Bright.

But how important are these films, in the grand scheme of what it means to be gay and what it means for me personally to be a gay movie-lover?

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Can We Cut The Shit With This Bully Movie, Please?
March 5, 2012, 5:23 pm
Filed under: movies | Tags: , , , ,

My Twitter feed and Tumblr stream have been totally agog lately with grown adults who are horrified–horrified!–that Bully, the simply-titled documentary about bullying, got an R Rating from the MPAA. There fully-grown adult people whose opinions I normally find reasonable all seem to want everyone to sign a petition asking the MPAA to change the rating to a PG-13, so that this documentary can be shown in public schools across America, where bullying is apparently a rampant disease that can be easily cured by the consumption of Hollywood-financed documentaries.

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The Shame Monster
December 28, 2011, 7:11 pm
Filed under: heterosexuals, movies | Tags: , , , ,

Shame was basically made for me. It’s intensely slow-moving, there’s full-frontal male nudity within the first two minutes, there aren’t very many characters, and more attention is made to arty cinematography than to keeping the audience happy. I like all of those things. We also get to watch the man who played both Magneto and Mr. Rochester this year fucks a bunch of people, which is not a small thing, either. As with the Marvel antagonist and the Bronte character, we are attracted to his charms even though we’re constantly reminded that he’s kind of a dickbag.

Or is he?

The beautiful Michael Fassbender plays Brandon, a successful New York businessman. Society and economics and Michael Douglas movies have all trained me to understand that New York businessmen are all kind of jerks. But Brandon’s not a bad guy, or at least he’s better than his young boss, a married lecher who wears expensive hoodies under his sportcoats and hits on women like a tenth-grader would. Just because Brandon has a fancy apartment and a delightfully long penis and a suave ability to nail roughly 50% of the women he sets his eyes on doesn’t make him evil, or even particularly troubled. He’s single, happy that way, and consensually doing what he wants to do with women who also seem to like what he’s doing.

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A Royal Anniversary
October 14, 2011, 3:52 pm
Filed under: movies | Tags: , ,

Last night Wes Anderson reunited with (some of) the cast of The Royal Tenenbaums, to mark the tenth anniversary of its 2001 premiere at the New York Film Festival.

For me, The Royal Tenenbaums is probably the most important movie of the past ten years.  I could go back and forth about whether it’s actually the best movie, but tempting though it may be it’s probably counterproductive to spend the rest of my day debating the pros and cons of whether it’s a “better” movie than, say, Morvern Callar.

What makes certain movies really great, I think, is their ability to elicit different emotions at different times.  I first saw The Royal Tenenbaums in a movie theater with a good friend, and we both laughed a lot.  The second time, I watched it at home with my mother; she fell asleep after five minutes and I cried for an hour and a half.

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On Monday It’s Tonio…
August 6, 2011, 4:21 pm
Filed under: hookers, movies | Tags: , , , ,

I first encountered the melody to “Never On Sunday,” without realizing it, as the base for late-nineties cheesefest “No Tengo Dinero,” a tinny sort of mariachi-inspired Shaggy-lite number that hit pop radio around my junior year of high school.  Years later, I’d encounter the song again as the lead track on Petula Clark’s truly fabulous 1965 album The World’s Greatest International Hits!  In the song, Clark tells a man how he can kiss her on any day of the week except Sunday, because by that point of the week she’s worn out from all the kissing.

I didn’t realize until much, much later that the song (which was originally performed in Greek with completely different lyrics) was the theme to Never On Sunday, an Oscar-nominated film from 1960 that’s part light-hearted Mediterranean comedy and part social drama about a prostitutes’ rebellion in Greece’s largest port city.

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All Style, No Substance, And I’m Okay With That
March 6, 2011, 1:28 pm
Filed under: hot, movies | Tags: , , , ,

In one early episode of the unappreciated 1968 season of The Avengers, Steed and Tara King (the oft-forgotten Mrs. Peel replacement) stumble upon a nefarious gang of window-washers who freeze time and brainwash an entire office.  It’s a really good episode, and one I saw very recently.  Probably why I kept thinking about it during The Adjustment Bureau, the movie in which Matt Damon stumbles upon a group of well-dressed indivuduals who are, uh, freezing time and brainwashing his office.

I like this movie.  I like it because it’s pretty stylish, and because it’s going in about fifty different directions at any given moment.  If you’ve seen the trailers, some of which emphasize the love story and some of which emphasize that it’s a thriller about a gang of old men in hats, then maybe you get the idea.

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