Saturday, July 18, 2009
Attention students! If you must complete an internship before graduating, I highly recommend doing it with a film festival. And if you can find a LGBTQ festival, then I highly, highly recommend it! I've been cocktail partying, late night wine and cheesing, dancing, queer karokeing, learning the gayborhood and of course seeing films. (Oh, and yes, I have actually done some work, even some using html; so I'm in the clear in case my school internship advisor gets a hold of my blog).
Chica Busca Chica (Girl Seeks Girl) is so fabulous! In some ways, because you're getting a peek into these women's lesbian lifestyle, it makes it more fabulous than Sex and the City (No offense, Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda). Chica Busca Chica is actually a web series produced in Spain. QFest screened all the episodes as a 2 part film. The 4 principal actresses (Celia Freijeiro pictured above, Cristina Pons, Sandra Collantes and Alicia Borrachero) are friends and some lovers, who hang out mostly in the one girl's apartment and also at a bar named Chica Busca Chica.
The show(film) also has a very Entourage feel to it. The writer/director, Sonia Sebastian (pictured above) and star of the show Nines (Celia Freijeiro) were present at both screenings. Their excitement and appreciation at being apart of QFest was heartwarmingly evident, even without the translator. They talked of needing $400,000 in order to do another web season and the difficulties of trying to get the show pick up on Spain's broadcast TV, due to the content.
I think Showtime, HBO, Lifetime ... needs to pick this show up in the States! Rating: Pretty Index Toe
Day 9 - I'll tell you what doesn't mix well at all, partying at Knock (Queer Karaoke till 1am, and then trying to code "if statements" and "for loops" in PHP at 8am.
But by 5pm, time for the screening of Friends & Lovers: The Ski Trip 2, my head was surprisingly clear. Friends & Lovers is another series turned film in order to show at festivals. Hey, I'm not hating, anyway you can get your product out there, makes sense to me!
The original film Ski Trip premiered in 2004, starring the writer/director, Maurice Jamal. The premise, Corey (Jamal) a 30 year old, gay, black, male struggling writer, gets dumped by his boyfriend and his friends take him on a ski trip to take his mind off his troubles. During the ski trip, a romancee develops between Corey and friend, Omar (John Rankin). 2 years later (Friends & Lovers) they are still together although having problems and moving from NY to LA, where we meet a host of multi-racial, gay and lesbian characters all with minor story lines of their own. There's a lot of potential here for episodic television, however, it needs a really good producer and director to take it in hand and give it polish. Wonder if Kelsey Grammer has time? I think that's what he did as Executive Producer of Girlfriends.
Maurice Jamal was available for the Q&A and of course as a VH1 Reality TV fool, I had to ask him how Saaphyri (Flavor of Love 1 and I Love Money 2) came to be cast as Lisa (who used to be a man, only her "ballin" basketball star boyfriend has no clue). He said she came up to him at Sundance and was just so very persistent that he finally agreed to give her an audition. She blew him away, and was an amazing actress to work with, in fact, he expanded her role - You go girl!
Rating: Pretty Middle Toe
After which, I moved across the hall to the next screening of An Englishman in New York. I really hadn't planned on seeing this film, until I met a dapper gentlemen in a seersucker suit at the VIP party for Chad Allen, who told me that Quentin Crisp was his gay icon and that he'd had the pleasure of meeting him years ago. I had no idea who the hell he was talking about at the time, but now, I'm not only glad to have gotten to see this film, but wish I had had the pleasure of meeting the one and only, Quentin Crisp!
Here's the wikipedia: Quentin Crisp ( December 1908 – November 1999)(1908-12-25), born Denis Charles Pratt, was an English writer and raconteur. He became a gay icon in the 1970s after publication of his memoir, The Naked Civil Servant, brought to the attention of the general public his defiant exhibitionism and long standing refusal to remain in the closet.
The film begins in the late 70's, and Crisp, played brilliantly by John Hurt, has been asked to do a series of Q & A's in New York City. Picture an even wittier, laconic, Noel Coward, sitting on a stage in a regal chair, dressed as a 17th century balladeer, doling out words of wisdom, candor, humor and love. His best advice (to paraphrase) - "embrace your style with conviction, don't complain that you should have been a ballet dancer, but you somehow ended up being a pig farmer for 30 years, because by then, your style is being a pig farmer".
The film takes us through the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, in which one of Crisps statements, taken slightly out of context, lands him as persona non-grata for a time. He is later befriended by performance artist, Penny Arcade, (Cynthia Nixon) who brings him back to the stage. By the way, Cynthia Nixon is truly a chameleon.
Crisp also develops a close almost father son relationship with a gay magazine editor, Philip Steele, played by the doleful eyed, Denis O'Hare. However, sadly, Crisp never seemed to have had a partner, saying he didn't believe in love for himself because he'd want a real man, and a real man would never fall for a man.
Which brings up an interesting side to homosexuality. I've always felt that the majority of gays and lesbians have a far easier time of finding romance, than the majority of us heterosexuals. Now this makes me wonder, how many gay men wanted Rock Hudson, until they found out he was playing on their team? Or how many lesbians thought Lindsay Lohan was hot, until she showed up with Samantha?
As I've mentioned before, I'm big on biopics, and this one is done with so much style and love for this character of characters.
Rating: Pretty Index Toe