Mark Simpson’s take on Magic Mike:
Magic Mike just doesn’t deliver the goods. The junk stays in the trunks. It’s a 110 minute prick-tease without any pricks and very little tease. Most unforgivably of all, this male stripper movie – starring Channing Tatum – wants to be taken seriously. It thinks it has a plot.
And the plot is… another fucking Hollywood morality tale. Will Tatum manage to escape the sleazy, druggy, boys-together world of male stripping and Alex Pettyfer’s winsome smile and end up with his judgey, bossy sister, Olivia Munn?
UN CHANT D’AMOUR
Director: Jean Genet
Available on DVD - order here
Review by Mark Simpson
I had already wondered what would become of the meeting of a handsome young guard and a handsome young criminal,” wrote Jean Genet in his 1943 debut prison novel, Our Lady of the Flowers, penned while he was himself serving a life sentence as a persistent petty criminal, one that would only end when he received a State Pardon arranged by Jean Cocteau’s lawyer. “I took delight in the following two images: a bloody and moral shock, or a sparkling embrace in a riot of spunk and panting…”.
Well, you would Jean.…
Mark Simpson is the editor of this indispensable essay collection, published just in time, in the late 1990s, to plug the dyke of politically correct gay academic sludge that had flooded the market for ten years prior.
Included are essays by Simpson, Paul Burston, Peter Tatchell and Bruce La Bruce.
Review by Mark Simpson
‘If a bullet should enter my brain, let it destroy ever closet door.’ So says Sean Penn as Harvey Milk, the gay activist who became California’s first openly gay public official. Any concern that this may be a slightly melodramatic statement is quelled of course by the knowledge that Milk was famously killed by a bullet to the head in 1978 by a disgruntled, possibly anti-gay colleague. So instead it becomes an epitaph.
Lauded by critics, laden with no less than 8 Academy Film Award nominations, including Best Film, and Best Actor, lavished with praise from editorials in straight and gay newspapers, director Gus Van Sant’s Milk, recently released in the UK, is, everyone agrees, that avenging ricochet from Harvey’s skull shooting down prejudice, fearfulness and dishonesty.
There’s only one small problem, however. It isn’t. With award-winning hypocrisy, Milk actually bundles Milk’s sexuality out of sight. This movie, far from ‘destroying every closet door’, builds a brand new bullet-proof one around it’s subject’s sex-life. Milk you see is living a lie.
MARK ADNUM: Why do you think Elton John’s been so narky lately?
MARK SIMPSON: I could be nasty and say it’s down to The Change. But I think it’s probably more to do with the fact that he’s fed up playing the Queen Mum role. It got him what he wanted - acceptability and even a certain amount of respectability - but I think the penny’s finally dropped that he doesn’t really want those things after all, or at least that they’re not what they’re cracked up to be. Especially when they come at the cost of being regarded as some kind of perfoming penisless penguin.
Written by Mark Simpson and originally published at Mark Simpson’s blog.
The Naked Civil Servant is the best and funniest TV drama ever made. And I’m sorry, but it’s a scientific fact.
And like its subject it could only have been made in the UK. Even if Quentin Crisp said he hated England –and he did, over and over again –only England could have made Crisp and The Naked Civil Servant.
So many lines in Philip Mackie’s superb screenplay for the Thames TV adaptation glitter like, well, the icy aphorisms that Crisp filled his eponymous autobiography with. But it was Hurt’s breakthrough performance as Crisp which is most historic: rendering Crisp, as Quentin himself acknowledged — and welcomed — something of an understudy to Hurt’s Crisp for the rest of his life.