Tag Archive | Gay

Recommended Viewing: The Circle (Der Kreis)

The Circle Poster

Love doesn’t have to look a certain way, and it is a thoroughly compelling love story that anchors the Gay rights battle at the heart of The Circle, a new German language film from Director Stefan Haupt. In this engaging film that mixes a scripted dramatic narrative (set in 1950s Zurich) with present day documentary interview footage with film’s real-life main characters, The Circle (Der Kreis) is also the name of a gay social organization and the multi-lingual, borderline-homoerotic magazine/newsletter it publishes and distributes to an extensive international list of subscribers.

Although post WWII Switzerland has no laws banning homosexuality, The Circle’s staff members are always careful to avoid excessive censorship by keeping the publication’s nudity “artistically tasteful” and ensuring that any provocative articles are written in a language that the censors don’t speak. It’s obvious from the beginning that The Circle offers an invaluable social outlet and sanctuary for its members; one which they will go to great lengths to preserve and protect.

It’s at one of the organization’s formal dances that reserved Girls School teacher Ernst Ostertag (Matthias Hungerbuehler) meets flamboyant drag performer Robi Rapp (Sven Schelker), and Ernst is instantly smitten. While Ernst’s profession and desire to achieve tenure necessitate that he remain closeted to anyone outside of The Circle — including his ultra-repressed parents –Robi is openly gay and very comfortable inside his own skin. Robi has particularly charming relationship with his very warm and accepting mother (played by actress Marianne Sägebrecht ).

As Robi and Ernst’s relationship develops into a committed romance, Ernst becomes more self-confident and accepting of his sexual identity while also growing more passionate toward his involvement with The Circle and the cause of Gay rights.

Robi and Ernst
Sven Schelker and Matthias Hungerbuehler Portray Lovers Robi and Ernst

Both actors are brilliant in their respective roles, sharing a palpable onscreen chemistry that really brings the deeply loving relationship between Ernst and Robi to life; but it isn’t all about romance. When several friends of The Circle fall victim to a series of murders within the gay community, the formerly liberal authorities begin to crack down on suspected same-sex behavior. This leads to The Circle’s regular dances and social events being declared illegal, and police using strong arm tactics to collect the personal details of all members. With the resulting turmoil, the organization becomes impossible to maintain and must be disbanded.

A unique aspect of The Circle’s method of storytelling is the interspersing of documentary interludes, featuring present-day interviews with the real life Ernst and Robi, now in their eighties. Not only are they still happily together but, in 2003, they actually became the first legally married same-sex couple in Switzerland. Friends and family of the couple, as well as former members of The Circle also contribute their personal stories, to create a very satisfying and entertaining movie-going experience. I really loved this film.

The Circle (Der Kreis) – which is the Official submission of Switzerland to the best foreign language film category of the 87th Academy Awards 2015 – opens in NYC on November 21st and in Los Angeles on December 18th, 2014. Runtime: 102 minutes.

The Worley Gig Gives The Circle Four out of Five Stars

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Mike Weiss Gallery Presents Gymnasty By Cameron Gray

Gymnasty VideoScreen Tunnel
Photo of Gymnasty Video Screen Archway Courtesy of Mike Weiss Gallery. All Other Photos By Gail!

Sometimes, you just need to visit an art exhibit that is a bit over-the-top and, well, insane. It doesn’t even have to make much sense; as long as it embraces an energetic, inspired feel and a kind of controlled, creative chaos that assures you that you are at the Most-Happening-Art-Reception in the Chelsea Gallery District at that very moment. That is how we felt when we entered the vortex of madness that is Cameron Gray’s Gymnasty, which opened at Mike Weiss Gallery on October 30th. Seriously, what a crazy fun scene!

Video Screen Archway

Please Enter Through the Video Monitor Archway! More about that later!

Friendly Greeter
Please Meet the Friendly Greeter!

Gymnasty is a multi-sensorial pop culture experience that may or may not have something to do with working out. But if you want to follow that line of thinking, then you might consider it to be more like a gym for your mind and soul than one for your body. I don’t know. Maybe Gray just dropped some acid an made it up as he went along. Please enjoy some of my photos!

Gold Boy Go Go Dancer
Golden Boy Go Go Dancer – Very Popular!

Gold Boy Go Go Dancer

Achiever
Here he is again!

The opening reception was a ridiculous, performance art mob scene, so it was hard to get good, clear pictures of the “Art,” but nothing was really lost in that I think I captured a good deal of the energy of what had to be the best party of the night!

Hi There
“Hi There!”

Beach Tableau

Gymnasty Goes to the Beach!

Yoga Lady

Floating Gucci Logos and a Lady ready for Yoga!

Waterfall In a Slab of Marble

Look at this thing!

Waterfall In a Slab of Marble

Now, take a closer look: It is a video of a waterfall inside a slab of polished marble. I want to have it in my home.

The Universe

Also, here is a close up of The Universe expanding from inside another slab of marble. It makes you think deeply about things.

Miracles This Way

What’s behind this mysterious Black Curtain? Let’s Find Out!

Venus De Milo Aquarium

Venus De Milo Aquarium!

Diver and Fish
Dive! Dive!

Video Monitor Fire Place
Yuel Log Fireplace Video!

Video Projections

All kinds of ever changing video projections!

Video Projections

Muscle Man

Also, This Guy!

OK, Let’s take closer look at same of the pop culture images flashing across the screens in that explosively psychedelic Video Monitor Archway!

David Bowie

David Bowie, I love him.

Is This Gay

Yes, yes it is!

Lana Del Rey and Elvis

I see Lana Del Rey and, also, Elvis.

Rocky Horror

Rocky Horror: Obviously a HUGE influence.

Rick James

Rick James, Bitch!

You don’t need me to tell you that Gymnasty is totally Rad. See it while you can!

Cameron Gray’s Gymnasty will be on Exhibit Through January 3rd, 2015 at Mike Weiss Gallery, Located at 520 West 24th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Cameron Gray Gymnasty Signage

Nasty Pig Store Window Display

Nasty Pig Store Signage
All Photos By Gail

Nasty Pig is a clothing store catering to (Gay) men with hot bodies. Its slogan is “Fun Clothing That Gets you Laid” (check out their Website for evidence) — and isn’t that how many adults aspire to dress? I recently passed by the Nasty Pig one Saturday evening on my way from an art opening to dine at Elmo, a new favorite eatery of mine, and was instantly charmed by this family of what I am calling “Leather Pigs” cavorting in the store’s display window.

Leather Pigs 1

How cute are they? Answer: So Cute! But also, Stylish!

Leather Pigs 2
Squee!

Nasty Pig is located at 265A West 19th Street (Between 7th and 8th Avenues), New York City, NY 10011 if you are looking to score some snazzy threads!

Poster Child By Bruce Pavlow at Shoot The Lobster Gallery

Marilyn Manson By Bruce Pavlow
Marilyn Manson Poster By Bruce Pavlow (All Photos By Gail)

Here’s a crazy fun exhibit that Geoffrey and I literally stumbled on during our recent fall season-launch art crawl: Poster Child, a series of new photographic works by Bruce Pavlow.

Culture Club Poster By Bruce Pavlow
Culture Club Poster

Viewing Poster Child in the gallery is like walking into an imagined tween or teenagers bedroom. Pavlow has photographed various posters of popular culture icons including bands, pop star pin ups, animals, landscapes and motivational mottos – which the artist asserts have been created by fictitious characters that have enhanced and personalized the images by incorporating ready-made slogan bumper stickers and colorful icon stickers from craft and toy stores.

Boy Band Poster By Bruce Pavlow
Boy Band Poster

With the embellishment of these memes and slogans, each poster illustrates a personalized narrative and context, reflecting the thoughts and desires of the fictitious characters as well as the culture at large.

Britney Spears Poster By Bruce Pavlow
Britney Spears Poster

Sex Pistols Poster By Bruce Pavlow
Sex Pistols Poster

The re-created posters are then photographed (no Photoshop was used) and digitally printed at near actual size on watercolor paper, giving them a photo-realist quality that amplifies the subsequent transformation. The humor, as you can see is quite sardonic and subversive. Check out Poster Child before it closes!

Drugs Poster By Bruce Pavlow
Drug Enhanced Nirvana Poster

Poster Child By Bruce Pavlow will be on Exhibit Through October 12, 2013 at Shoot The Lobster Gallery, Located at 540 West 29th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District, New York City.

Shoot the Lobster Gallery Signage

Romance Poster By Bruce Pavlow
Romance Poster

Must See Film: Jobriath A.D.

Jobriath Pink Glam Photo by Dagmar
Jobriath Photo By Dagmar (All Photos Courtesy of Jobriath The Movie Dot Com)

Timing is everything. While being an openly gay singer or actor is absolutely no big deal at all today, it wasn’t that long ago that a gay entertainer stayed in the closet for the sake of his or her career. Rock fans who were around in the late 1970s may recall that Elton John went from being indisputably the Biggest Rock Star in the World to a virtual non-entity once he came out of the closet. His career eventually rebounded, but it took years. Even Freddie Mercury, the most famous flamboyantly gay musician in modern rock history didn’t officially come out of the closet until the day before he died. Because in the macho Rock Arena of that era, it may have been okay for the glam rockers to wear make-up and dress in drag, or for Bowie and Jagger to spin rumors about shagging each other, but to actually admit to being gay and to live the out lifestyle was career suicide. It just wasn’t done.

It is a fact that those artists who break ground rarely get to reap the rewards of their efforts. In many ways, the unique and deeply engaging new documentary, Jobriath A.D. is a heartbreaking cautionary tale about a genuinely talented and groundbreaking entertainer who woefully misjudged the commercial climate. Directed by Kieran Turner, Jobriath A.D. is the little known, true story of the short life and career of Jobriath Boone, the first openly gay Rock Star to be signed to a major label. We attended a screening of the film last Friday as part of 2012 New Fest, New York’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Film Festival, at the very comfy Walter Reade Theater in Lincoln Center. The screening was sponsored by SAGE.

Jobriath Debut Album Bus Sign

Jobriath Salisbury (real: name Bruce Campbell; Salisbury being his mother’s maiden name) got his professional break in the mid-1960s, playing the part of Woof in the Los Angeles production of Hair. He eventually relocated to New York City, recorded one album with the band Pidgeon, earned a cache of artistic credibility, and embarked on a solo career. Jobriath teamed up with a Svengali-like manager, Jerry Brandt, who fancied himself a reinvention of Col. Tom Parker to Jobriath’s Elvis Presley, and the hype machine kicked into high gear as Jobriath’s advance marketing campaign saw the artist’s semi-nude likeness plastered across a massive billboard in Times Square and on the sides of buses from New York and LA to London.

Jobriath Red

Jobriath was actively marketed as a “True Fairy” – an openly gay American counterpart to David Bowie. By the time Jobriath’s debut for Elektra records dropped, everyone knew who he was, but no one was interested in buying his music. The in-your-face gay image had turned off straight audiences and genuinely frightened gay would-be fans as well. The backlash was absolutely brutal. Although Elektra allowed Jobriath to record a sophomore album, neither of his records sold or charted. Despite mostly positive critical reviews and highly praised live performances, Jobriath was dropped from Elektra and quickly slipped into obscurity. After working as a piano playing lounge singer and sometime prostitute, Jobriath died of AIDS in August of 1983 at age 36.

As an astoundingly gifted musician, singer, composer and actor, it seems obvious that Jobriath was ideally suited for success on the Broadway stage. But Jobriath wanted to be a Rock Star, and he paid the ultimate price for a tragic miscalculation of just what the record-buying public was, and wasn’t, ready for. While the filmmaker doesn’t editorialize or point any fingers, an easy conclusion to draw is that Jerry Brandt’s megalomania helped to steer Jobriath off course, and eventually to ruin his life. I wonder how Brandt sleeps at night, to be honest.

As sad as Jobriath’s story ultimately is, Jobriath A.D. is a beautiful and inspirational film. Kieran Turner – who took on this project as a labor of love – was able to locate high quality archival photos of the artist’s life, from childhood, and footage of Jobriath performing on stage in Hair, recording in the studio and performing on TV’s The Midnight Special to a clearly perplexed audience. The action also maintains a compelling forward trajectory through many interviews with Jobriath’s half-brother Willie Fogle, his personal friends such as actress Ann Magnuson and actor Dennis Christopher, and professional associates such as Rock Journalist Jim Farber, Studio Legend Eddie Kramer and music industry insiders like Jim Fouratt and Dick Christian (who, notably, cut his teeth in the music business as a member of the entourage and crew for the original Alice Cooper Band). Jobriath’s enduring musical legacy is also elucidated by artists such as Marc Almond, Joey Arias, Jayne County, Def Leppard’s Joe Elliott and Jake Shears of The Scissor Sisters, who all count Jobriath among their primary influences.

Jobriath A.D. is a flawlessly constructed documentary, and it’s obvious that director Kieran Turner was 100% emotionally invested in the final product. I cannot recommend this film highly enough. For more information and to find screenings in your area visit Jobriath The Movie Dot Com. Jobriath’s music is available on iTunes.

Grade: A+

Jobriath AD Movie Poster