Liberace runs through an extensive range of coffins in this scene from The Loved One (1965):
All signs point to Behind the Candelabra, which premieres this weekend, being the greatest film ever made. The Hollywood Reporter sure seems to like it. And how about the source material! Oh, and look at Rob Lowe as Liberace’s plastic surgeon, who used to sink bottles of vodka with Lee before performing operations on anyone who happened to be present.
Dame Taylor demonstrated the correct way to get your face ready in this scene from The Driver’s Seat (1974):
Barbra Streisand, living legend, will receive an honorary doctoral degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem during her visit to Israel next month. In a statement released Monday, The Hebrew University said Streisand will be presented with the doctorate in recognition of her “professional achievements, outstanding humanitarianism, leadership in the realm of human and civil rights, and dedication to Israel and the Jewish people”.
Prof. Menahem Ben-Sasson, president of the Hebrew University, stated:
Barbra Streisand’s transcendent talent is matched by her passionate concern for equality and opportunity for people of every gender and background. Equally important, her love of Israel and her Jewish heritage are reflected in so many aspects of her life and career. We are deeply proud to honor an individual who exemplifies these values which we at the Hebrew University share and uphold.
When xanax and white wine mix:
THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS
Director: Jonathan Demme
Stars: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Scott Glenn
Misguided and counterproductive gay activists (is there any other kind?) who purport to love movies but seem to be perpetually aggravated by the cinema and know nothing about it set upon The Silence of the Lambs and made fools out of themselves as usual simplifying and misinterpreting certain elements of this flawless masterpiece.
When they insisted that Jodie Foster had to be a lesbian and that her character in this film, Clarice Starling, was probably gay too, they were diving headfirst without looking into a shallow pool of old-fashioned sexist ideas that if a woman was independent, tough and at loggerheads with the patriarchy, then her sexuality was in question, as she wasn’t behaving like a good woman should. As a letter writer to the Village Voice pointed out, “under the guise of promoting gay consciousness, they’re falling back on the same reliable weapon that men have used for centuries against women who claim a little too much for themselves – they’re calling her a dyke.”
When they expressed outrage that gay stereotypes had been attached to the film’s psycho killer, Buffalo Bill, they miss the film’s quite obvious point – something that is stated through action, theme, and even dialogue (“Billy [only] thinks he’s a transsexual”) – that the killer is struggling, just as Clarice is, to find some kind of stable identity in a world of strict, sometimes unfair and unrealistic, gender roles, a struggle which gay activists should have perhaps applauded, or at least related to. As Judith Halberstam noted, “Buffalo Bill could be another victim of the heterosexist culture which believes that anatomy is destiny.”
Furthermore, sulking at the side lines while eager moviegoers lined up around the block to see this film or Basic Instinct, they shot themselves in the foot with gusto as they isolated themselves from the cultural mood of the times by objecting to blockbuster movies about non-straight antiheroes that everyone else loved. They may have been better to have nailed their colours to the mast of Hannibal Lecter, the film’s other fey killer, a sophisticated villain of ambiguous sexuality who continues to enjoy Darth Vader level popularity with audiences of all stripes.
Anyway, Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) is an ambitious FBI trainee sent to the dungeon cell of Dr. Hannibal “The Cannibal” Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) to collect any information Lecter may have on “Buffalo Bill”, an elusive serial killer who “skins his humps”. Hoping to advance her career and put her own demons to rest, Clarice embarks on a fascinating quasi-romantic relationship with Dr. Lecter, who in turn revels in turning Clarice’s brittle psyche every which way but loose. Clarice also battles her superior, Jack Crawford (Scott Glenn), and, eventually, “Buffalo Bill” himself, Jame Gumb (Ted Levine) in a thrilling pre-finale.
The incomparable Quentin Crisp (1908-1999) shared a birthday with Jesus and was played by John Hurt in 1975’s The Naked Civil Servant, adapted from Crisp’s memoir of the same name.
The Queen of interwar Old Compton Street, he starred with Helen Mirren, among others, on the London stage before moving to the United States where his dinner parties became legendary. He played Queen Elizabeth I opposite Tilda Swinton in 1992’s Orlando and appeared as a party guest in a scene of the same year’s Philadelphia.
Imperiously disparaging about everything from AIDS (”a fad”) to Princess Diana (”vulgar”), he wrote a classic series of film reviews for Christopher Street magazine,some of which are republished here on Outrate. For more information, please visit the Quentin Crisp website, or read the anthology of Quentin Crisp film reviews, “How To Go To The Movies”, from which this essay on Greta Garbo is drawn.
Miss Garbo had eye lids like rolltop desks.
According to the boring minimum standards imposed upon us by the Greeks, this would not have made her beautiful, but the moguls of the late silent films and the early talkies did not worry. She possessed a quality more subtle than beauty; she had glamour — the mysterious glow that warns the beholder that although she appears to be offered, not all is likely to be given.
Billy Hayes spent most of the seventies in a Turkish prison after trying to smuggle hash out of the country. His experiences were made into the film Midnight Express, which starred the late Brad Davis, and he is now a happily married film maker living and working in LA.
His 2002 directorial debut was with the film Cock and Bull Story, a violent but earnest tale about a sexually confused boxer and his friendship with a guy from the wrong side of the tracks.
Billy spoke with Mark Adnum in March 2003.
MARK ADNUM: Billy, my first love was Brad Davis as yourself in the 1976 film Midnight Express. It’s a performance that’s had an impact on a lot of people. What response have you had to it, at the time of the film’s release, and over time in the almost thirty year’s since?
BILLY HAYES: I loved what Brad did because his heart was into it. He touched people, like yourself, for example, and that’s what I still want to do—affect people and change the world in whatever small or large way I can.
MA: Most people, when they think of “Billy Hayes”, imagine Davis, the sexily suicidal movie star who doesn’t resemble you physically or otherwise. Apart from your book, your profile is limited, and the film didn’t stay true to all the facts you detailed in your memoir. What’s it like to have a partly-fictionalised reputation, personified by someone else?
BH: My reputation, like all of us, is a Rashomon-like portrait. All I can do is try and stay true to my heart, which guides me. The fictionalized part is due to the film’s liberties, the book’s inability to say everything I wanted, although it’s a fairly accurate rendition of who I am, or rather, who I was. Hopefully one is constantly growing and changing…
William Friedkin’s misunderstood Cruising was actually based on the real-life “bag murders”, where dismembered parts of missing gay men washed up on the shores of the Hudson River in sealed black garbage bags.
Uncanny coincidence corner: Paul Bateson, who had worked with Friedkin on the set of The Exorcist, confessed to the murders.