Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-09-01
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Knight at the Movies: Alexander, Testosterone and Callas Forever
by Richard Knight, Jr.
2004-11-24

This article shared 5634 times since Wed Nov 24, 2004
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


This is a big week for gay movies—both overt ( Testosterone ) , coincidental ( Callas Forever ) and disguised ( Alexander ) —though none of them are likely to make the queer top ten anytime soon.

The much anticipated, overheated Alexander, director Oliver Stone's rambling, unfocused take on the life of the gay warrior, is finally here. The question of how graphically Stone gets into the gay stuff can be answered this way: the movie's a prick tease. Why would a studio green light a project about a historical figure as widely known for his sexuality as for his amazing exploits and not expect to deal with it head on in our age of heightened 'gay awareness?' And knowing that the core audience for a picture like this would be the make-or-break 20-something heterosexual 'dude don't touch me you big fag' demographic it seems disingenuous, to say the least, to not realize that the issue of Alexander's gay preferences would need to be addressed from the outset.

Regardless of whether or not Stone fought for a more explicit view of Alexander's sexuality ( and a Director's Cut DVD may answer that question ) , the end result decides to pander to the 'sensitive' straight boys and play coy with it. Therefore, scene after scene between Colin Farrell ( in the title role ) and Jared Leto ( as Hephaestion, Alexander's 'special friend' ) lead up to the bedroom ( in fact, most of them take place IN the bedroom ) but we never get more than smoldering looks and 'meaningful' hugs between them. Alexander's relationship with Bagoas the eunuch, the infamous Persian boy, also suffers from cinematic coitus interruptus—at one point we see a naked Farrell hop beneath the goat skins and give a come hither look to Bagoas ( played by Francisco Bosch, who never speaks ) before Stone blushingly cuts away.

We do get a supposed-to-be steamy wedding copulation between Alexander and his Asian 'Barbarian' wife Roxanne ( Rosario Dawson ) , who he marries to 'begat' a son. But Roxanne's as much of a hellcat as Alex's mother ( the snake-obsessed Angelina Jolie ) and looks like a cover girl for the next issue of Chicks With Dicks. It doesn't take Alexander long, we are told by Old Ptolemy the narrator ( Anthony Hopkins ) , to stop visiting her tent and head back to the arms of Bagoas and Hephastion.

Hopkins as the narrator is the framing device for the movie and though he intones on and on about Alexander's campaigns and how great he was for 173 minutes, unless you're a historian it's pretty confusing stuff and the movie ends up giving the impression that Alexander's conquests were the result of his trying to get away from his mad-as-a-hatter mother. The film has occasional set pieces that show Stone's verve, like the final battle scene with the blood-stained film and Alexander and his men wandering through the palace at Babylon and discovering the harem like kids in a candy store. On the plus side are also excellent performances from Farrell and Jolie, Val Kilmer as Alexander's father, and Leto looking fetchingly pumped up and sporting more eye liner than Michael Jackson. True to all these sword-and-sandal epics, the actors speak with a variety of accents, with Irish getting the preference here, nice for comic relief.

In the end, this messy picture, dripping with a retro '80s music score courtesy of Vangelis, isn't going to really satisfy any audience completely, though confirmed heterosexual Farrell does get honorary membership into the gay movie hall of fame for playing Alexander and Bobby earlier this year in A Home At The End Of The World ( just out on DVD ) . But Oliver Stone is going to have to submit another application. Sorry.

_____

Pablo ( Antonio Sabato, Jr. ) goes out for cigarettes one night and doesn't return, leaving his comic book artist lover Dean ( David Sutcliffe ) in the lurch. Dean is bereft and can't focus on the deadline that his agent, Louise ( the foul-mouthed Jennifer Coolidge ) keeps reminding him of. A chance encounter with Pablo's mother ( the exquisite, fiery Sonia Braga ) convinces him that Pablo has returned to Argentina. Without another thought, Dean hops on a plane and heads for Buenos Aries to bring back his true love.

This is the set-up for Testosterone, which begins as a sorta screwball comedy but abruptly shifts into Fatal Attraction territory when Dean's heartbreak turns into anger and a desire for revenge. It sounds much more plausible written down than it does on the screen and the picture suffers from attention deficit disorder—constantly switching tones from scene to scene. One idea that does resonate: the thought ( reinforced by Dean's memories of making love with Pablo ) that someone would go through hell to have another go with the eerie physical beauty that is Sabato, Jr.

It might even make sitting through Testosterone a second time worth it.

Opens Friday at the Music Box. www.musicboxtheatre.com

_____

Jeremy Irons plays the gay Larry Kelly, a concert producer in Franco Zeffirelli's Callas Forever, which opens this Friday at the Century. It's 1977 and Larry's in Paris to produce a concert but he's still got time for a little romance with the much younger Michael ( Jay Rodan ) , a cute abstract painter, and to try to convince old friend Maria Callas ( Fanny Ardant ) to make a film lip-synching to her old recordings. After an artistic tussle, the voice-ravaged Callas agrees to Carmen, which she recorded but never played. Ardant, the essence of French sensuality ( witness her performances in Elizabeth and 8 Women ) , looks smashing in the Chanel clothes but doesn't have the crazed intensity of the legendarily difficult opera singer who brought new meaning to the word 'diva.' Still, like Zeffirelli's previous film outing, Tea With Mussolini, there's an agreeable assemblage of talent, sumptuous photography and sets and lots of male eye candy on display. This fictional, amiable paean to diva worship and its consequences is easily the best of this lot of semi-queer films and offers the reward of ample doses of That Voice—and this from someone who's not an Opera Queen. www.landmarktheatres.com


This article shared 5634 times since Wed Nov 24, 2004
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

8th Annual Black Alphabet Film Festival on Nov. 5-7 2021-09-17
- The 8th Annual Black Alphabet Film Festival (BAFF) will take place Nov. 5-7 at the University of Chicago's Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th St. One of the longest running Black ...


Gay News

Brittany Devon meets a 'Platonic Girlfriend' 2021-09-15
- Queer, genderfluid actor Brittany Devon has created a brand new project to explore with Platonic Girlfriend. It is the story of a relationship between straight woman Alice and a queer, nonbinary person named Dev. Devon stars ...


Gay News

THEATER Out actor Dan Butler to be in 'When Harry Met Rehab' 2021-09-15
- Don Clark, a Chicago-based film/theater producer as well as co-owner of the Chicago Magic Lounge, will present the world premiere of When Harry Met Rehab—a comedy that takes sobriety seriously and is based loosely on the ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Boy Meets Boy,' Jennifer Hudson, 'SVU,' tennis honor, ABBA 2021-09-12
- Ariztical Entertainment is releasing the German movie Boy Meets Boy on DVD and VOD on Oct. 26. According to a press release, the plot of the 70-minute movie is as follows: "Harry has been partying for ...


Gay News

MOVES Talking about 'Everybody's Talking About Jamie' 2021-09-08
- The new movie Everybody's Talking About Jamie tells the inspiring story of Jamie New, a young drag artist who overcomes hardship and homophobia in Sheffield, England. Out actor Max Harwood stars as New, who gets by ...


Gay News

Survivor shares the story of trauma and thriving in 'Untold' 2021-09-07
- WARNING: This article contains material of a graphic nature. Gina M. Garcia is finally sharing her story of thriving after trauma in her new docu-drama biography, Untold: This is My Story, which premieres Sept. 6 at ...


Gay News

MOVIES Fall films harvest famous names for LGBTQ+ stories 2021-09-01
- The film industry is featuring world-renowned names like Lady Gaga, Truman Capote and Tammy Faye on the big screen this fall season. Award-winning musicals, true-life stories and far-out fiction are all part of the fun in ...


Gay News

MOVIES 'On Broadway' to open Sept. 10 in Highland Park 2021-09-01
- As theatergoers prepare for the return of Broadway after an unprecedented absence of 18 months, Kino Lorber is releasing Academy Award nominee Oren Jacoby's documentary On Broadway. The tribute to one of the most vibrant ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Billy Porter, 'Death Drop,' Brandi Carlile, vintage films, Gaga 2021-08-29
- Billy Porter will direct a queer teen comedy feature titled To Be Real for Amazon Studios, which is being helmed by Gabrielle Union's I'll Have Another Productions, NME.com noted. Porter, who is currently working on his ...


Gay News

EVENTS Celebrity attendees named for Wizard World Chicago 2021-08-28
- William Shatner (Star Trek; TV's Boston Legal), Michael Rooker (Guardians of the Galaxy, TV's The Walking Dead), Matthew Lewis (All Creatures Great and Small), James Marsters (TV series Buffy the ...


Gay News

TV Netflix animated series 'Chicago Party Aunt' debuts Sept. 17 2021-08-27
- The LGBTQ-inclusive series Chicago Party Aunt will debut on Netflix on Friday, Sept. 17. Inspired by the popular Twitter account Chicago Party Aunt, this eight-episode adult animated comedy follows Diane Dunbrowski and nephew Daniel as they ...


Gay News

Reeling: The Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival announces full slate 2021-08-25
--From a press release - CHICAGO, Illinois — Reeling: The Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival today announced the full slate of programming for 2021, opening September 23, 2021 at the Music Box Theatre (3733 N. Southport Ave.) and running September 24 ...


Gay News

MOVIES 'Mr. SOUL!' looks at groundbreaking '60s show and Black, gay host 2021-08-23
- Al Green, Stevie Wonder, Patti LaBelle, Gladys Knight, Nikki Giovanni, James Baldwin, Cicely Tyson, Harry Belafonte, Muhammad Ali, The Last Poets, Earth, Wind & Fire, Sidney Poitier, Mavis Staples and even a teenaged Arsenio Hall were ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ RuPaul, GALECA toast, Elliot Page, 'Chippendales,' bi model 2021-08-22
- RuPaul revealed a new wax figure at Madame Tussauds Las Vegas, a press release noted. The all-new Rainbow Runway experience invites guests to "meet" and take cues from the most commercially successful drag queen of all ...


Gay News

MUSIC Lyric Opera of Chicago's 'Pagliacci' on film 2021-08-18
- Lyric Opera of Chicago announced that registration is now open for audiences to secure a free link to screen the new, original film production of Leoncavallo's Pagliacci, filmed at the Lyric Opera House. Audiences can now ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.