Hedwig and the Angry Inch: escaping the dungeon of gender, Hart House and rock n roll
"Who thought this beautiful space would be in this old dungeon?" quips Hedwig as she comments on the admittedly Gothic environs of the Hart House Theatre. One-liners? This Hedwig has hundreds of them and James King which he fires off with the precision of a seasoned drag queen.
Drew Rowsome- MGT Stage - Sep 24
The Seat Next to the King: gay interracial sex is more powerful than fear
There are few things more gratifying than a specifically political play that is also wildly entertaining. Add two actors at the top of their game and The Seat Next to the King is a must see
Drew Rowsome- MGT Stage - Sep 23
BACK2SCHOOL: Gender, Sexuality and Support
Going back to school can be an exciting time for students, yet for others a source of anxiety. Youth who fall under the LGBTQ rainbow are prone to abuse and bullying at a far greater rate than their heterosexual counterparts.
Raymond Helkio - Rays Anatomy- Sep 24
Volta: the magic of the circus thrives With Volta, Cirque du Soleil continues their quest to push the frontiers...
MGT STAGE Drew Rowsome
How To Get An A . . . While Giving A Little A
Are you having a hard time this semester?
Deeper DIAH Rolyn Chambers
Nuit Blanche: Resistance, Revolution & Drag!
Ray's Anatomy Raymond Helkio
YOUTH: Here's How To Turn Your Straight and Cisgender Peers Into Allies
Ray's Anatomy Raymond Helkio
The AAA Girls: a drag dream team
BELLINI's 8 1/2 Paul Bellini
The ULCC model comes to Canada with Flair
and Canadian Jetlines
HOT TOCIS Drew Rowsome
Circus Awesomeus -- Not So Awesomean
effeminate gay man who sings with a foul-mouthed redneck gay puppet
TIDBITS Sky Gilbert
Antonio FaFrado: MGT's cover photographer
likes it natural and naked
SPOTLIGHT Drew Rowsome
Not So Good a Gay Man Frank M Robinson's Astounding journey from sci-fi to Playboy to Harvey Milk
We recommend Drew Rowsome
Dance as a Factory Michael Caldwell and Louis Laberge-Côté are partners in life, and in dance
Bellini's 8 1/2 Paul Bellini
Reset Fashion Event The demise of Toronto Fashion Week
DEEPER DISH Rolyn Chambers
Salvador Dali Gala at Hazelton Lanes I've always appreciated the works or Spanish surrealist artist Salvador Dali
The Lesbian Online Dating Scene in Toronto modern technology has allowed the lonely hearts overcome obstacle...
Werking Toronto's Halloween:
Detox, Kim Chi
and Alyssa MGT Exclusive
It's that I can not necessarily say that I disagree with body shaming. In fact, I think a little of it is a good thing...
BELLINI's 8 1/2
Recipes From Your Favourite Drag Queens Andre Gardens is a cooking show combining drag, food and conversation
Kitchen Tidbits: The Ten Minute Key Lime Pie The ultimate dessert: sweet, sour, soft, crunchy.
Fallible historical fallacies We are literally moving into a world that completely lacks context.
WILDsound FEEDBACK Film Festival see some brilliant films for cheap
Snowbird Advisor we want a place which is "gay-friendly
Hot Topic Jill Wykes
TIFFmania Films that look promising aren't, films that don't appeal are hits
HOT TOPIC Drew Rowsome
Atomic blonde...Oh Dear I wish I could be as terribly modern as everyone else and say that it's a step in the right direction
MOVING PICTURES Sky Gilbert
Hot Clowns VI: It, Ellen Degeneres, and combatting coulrophobia
HOT TOPIC Drew Rowsome
To sleep, perchance to... Ever been raped in your sleep?
TIFFmania is upon us. Two weeks from now the cineastes will emerge bleary-eyed, satiated from gorging on as many films as they can cram in. Celebriwhores will tally their selfies with stars, sightings and, if really lucky or persistent, belt notches. And those of us without the time or financial resources to invest in a feast of films, will rue what we missed and plan on what we will see when, if, the films go into general release.
Navigating TIFF is a matter of personal choices. Films that look promising aren't, films that don't appeal are hits, it is impossible to tell until one is parked in a seat and the titles roll. I was lucky enough to receive some advance screeners of films of particular gay interest and also couldn't help resist skimming through the website for a few dream screenings to attend.
The Wavelengths series at TIFF showcases up and coming international filmmakers and there is a strong gay contingent this year. Strangely Ordinary This Devotion is a determinedly artsy narrative-free sci-fi depiction of a group of lesbians conducting rituals and semi-scientific experiments in order to produce eco-friendly babies that do not require water. Those rituals involve menstrual blood, lots of nudity and sex, rocks, flowers, flossing, Prince, cranial surgery (or scarification?), and vaguely BDSM chains inserted into vaginas.
Occidental concerns the mysterious and murky goings-on in a Parisian boutique hotel. Like the hotel it is extremely stylish with a mise-en-scene that drenches Sirkian motifs in neon. Everyone is passionate and no-one is what they seem. A gay (or are they?) couple book into the honeymoon suite and somehow upend the unnatural natural order of the hotels functioning. While a protest march - all smoke and battle-ready police - storms outside, the hotel staff and guests seethe in a hotbed of distrust, racism, homophobia and sexuality. It is as if Almodovar and Samuel Beckett collaborated on a satirical dissection of our fraught times.
Flores is billed as "lavender-tinged" and it literally is. Another sketch for a sci-fi epic, Flores posits that the Azores islands have been over-run by hydrangeas (Madonna was on to something). The shots of the purple and blue flowers towering and shifting in the breeze are gorgeous and oddly unsettling, the intense close-ups of the Portuguese soldiers remaining on the islands are even more gorgeous and not at all unsettling. Shot in faux-documentary style, not a lot happens but the sexual tension is as fragrant as a hydrangea.
The world premiere of Luk'Luk'l is a harrowing experience transformed by two luminous performances by unlikely actors with star presence: Angel Gates and Ken Harrower. Storylines interwine among a cast that lives and struggles in Vancouver's East Side. Presented as documentary but apparently fictionalized versions of the actors/subjects real lives, there is addiction, sex work, celebrity worship, racism, ableism, karaoke, a flying saucer, and more broken dreams that one film can reasonably be expected to contain. The fantasy segments are extraordinary with the theme of the Canadian dream equalling skating (whether hockey or figure or roller) tying everything together.
Director Wayne Wapeemukwa and a quite extraordinary cast manage to walk the line between horror and dignity without slipping and it is so compelling that one daren't look away. Harrower's storyline in particular is gutwrenching and powerful. I hadn't realized how intensely I was praying for a happy ending until the ambiguous finale of Harrower's story occurred. I cried.
The big gay aiming-for-the-mainstream film of this year's TIFF is Call Me By Your Name. Heartthrob Armie Hammer is a doctoral student who falls for the professor's son amidst a sun and suppressed passion drenched Italian landscape. It is expected to get a widespread commercial release.
Also very gay are two documentaries focussing on diva musicians. And both artists are scheduled to make appearances and possibly perform if Ms Jones makes it on time and Gaga recovers her voice in time. Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami is a must-see, it was filmed over a decade including a staged concert just for the camera, but face it: Jones could, as the cliché goes, read the phone book and be riveting. Lady Gaga is also fascinating and Gaga: Five Foot Two is bound to be entertaining if probably not as psychologically revealing as billed - however it is already scheduled for its Netflix début so there is no urgency attached.
And that leads to the entire debate over what importance a film festival has when it is screening a Netflix production as a cornerstone gala, even when there is a major celebrity attached. Every year there is a film, usually from the US/Hollywood, whose bonafides are questionable, but if it shines a spotlight reflection on less sellable films like Luk'Luk'l, let the diva do her pseudo-soul baring. And the profits from that screening can be put towards projects like the full 3D restoration of Canada's first horror film, The Mask (Eyes of Hell). Now that is a must-see.
And of course, all of the Midnight Madness films appeal to campy connoisseurs as us gays are rumoured to be. Nicholas Cage is a rampaging murderous father in Mom and Dad; wannabe-queen James Franco's The Disaster Artist is rumoured to be the Ed Wood of this generation; the gore, suspense and eye candy of Downrange is promising; and The Ritual where cult horror author Adam Nevill finally gets to the silver screen puts a horror spin on male bonding in the woods. And that is just skimming through the website.
So for two weeks the news will be full of celebrity sightings and incidental film reviews, some bars will be open late, there will be parties worth scrounging an invite to (Bruce LaBruce's Sour Grapes. Annual TIFF Bash! at the Bovine Sex Club is a good bet), and more films than it would be possible to view even if one had the stamina and the wherewithal. TIFFmania is highly communicable, like it or not, we will all succumb.