Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-09-06



Knight at the Movies: Have yourself a movie little Christmas
by Richard Knight, Jr., for Windy City Times

This article shared 4651 times since Wed Dec 3, 2014
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

The primary reason I wanted to make a holiday movie was because my husband and I love them so much. And further, because It's a Wonderful Life, White Christmas, A Christmas Story, Elf and most of our other perennial holiday favorites don't have queer characters or situations, I wanted to create one that did. And whether you're a fan of our film, Scrooge & Marley—which is a modern-day variation on Dickens' A Christmas Carol—one thing about our movie ( which I co-wrote and -directed, and which Windy City Times Publisher Tracy Baim executive-produced ) is undeniable: It's blissfully, joyfully, unabashedly gay.

And for Our People that's made for a fantastic, annual Christmas present since the film's release. Sadly, a queer Christmas movie is just as much a rarity now as it was in 2012—though there are a few on the horizons. A prominent case in point: out filmmaker Rob Williams' endearing, rather sweet 2009 queer holiday movie Make the Yuletide Gay has been popular enough for Williams and his collaborators to embark on a sequel. Now in the Kickstarter fundraising phase, which is ongoing until Dec. 31, the campaign can be contributed to at Here's hoping Make the Yuletide Gay 2 appears by next Christmas ( and is joined by many more gay-themed holiday movies ).

For those wanting to get in the holiday movie spirit there are plenty of area screenings to make that happen with the Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport Ave., home to the city's favorite holiday-movie tradition—It's a Wonderful Life and White Christmas ( details below ), taking the prize for the widest assortment of Christmas movies in their December line-up. Jon Favreau's 2003 Elf, starring Will Ferrell in one of his most delightful roles, kicks off the season at the Music Box Thursday, Dec. 4, with a nighttime screening that the Lakeview Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring.

The aforementioned Scrooge & Marley screens on Saturday, Dec. 6, and Sunday, Dec. 7, at noon. The sassy a capella trio The Merry Janes will entertain pre-show on Dec. 6 and songbird Becca Kaufman ( who is featured in the film ) will do the honors preceding the Dec. 7 show. I'll be joined in introducing the film along with members of the cast, which includes gay icon Bruce Vilanch, funny ladies Rusty Schwimmer and Megan Cavanagh, and a bevy of Chicago-based actors. Among them are Out Chicago! radio host/comedian Scott Duff playing the husband of hunky David Moretti, Windy City Queercast's own Amy Matheny, the multitalented Fawzia Mirza, former SNL funnyman Tim Kazurinsky, standup comic Drew Anderson, Make Me a Supermodel's Ronnie Kroell and, last but not least, David Pevsner ( who hails from Lincolnshire ), who stars as Ebenezer Scrooge. Scrooge & Marley merchandise—perfect Christmas presents all—will be on sale. .

For fans of vintage Christmas movies, TCM and Fatham Events presents a double feature that starts with 1938's A Christmas Carol, with Reginald Owen stepping into the role of Scrooge in this lavish ( courtesy of MGM's production team ) but brief ( only 69 minutes ) adaptation of the Dickens classic. After a brief intermission, Barbara Stanwyck stars in 1945's fun-filled romantic comedy Christmas in Connecticut, in which she plays Elizabeth Lane, an urban career gal whose Martha Stewart-like column about life on the farm with husband and baby is completely fabricated. When publisher Sydney Greenstreet invites himself for the holidays, suddenly Elizabeth has to provide said husband, baby and farm, and prove she's an excellent cook. Handsome Dennis Morgan as a Navy officer provides romantic complications and croons the title song. A pre-taped special introduction by Ben Mankiewicz kicks things off. It screens Sunday, Dec. 7, at the Regal City North, 2600 N. Western Ave., and Webster Place, 1471 W. Webster Ave. .

Then it's back to the Music Box, where the 2014 Annual Music Box Christmas Show plays Dec. 12-25. This 31st edition—the double-screening of 1946's It's a Wonderful Life and 1954's White Christmas—once again features a carol sing-a-long with organ accompaniment. .

For those looking for something a bit different at the holidays, try a double feature of 1988's Die Hard, with Bruce Willis singlehandedly taking down a group of terrorists ( led by Alan Rickman ) during his wife's Christmas Eve office party ,and 1990's Home Alone. The latter stars precocious child star Macaulay Culkin, who has a blast combatting two inept ( and how ) petty housebreakers when he inadvertently gets left behind over the Christmas holidays by his distracted family. This offbeat double-header screens ( where else? ) at the Music Box Thursday, Dec. 18. Here's hoping they'll book Die Harder and Home Alone 2: Lost In New York next year!

Staying home for the holidays? Here are some favorite ( but not as well known ) Christmas movies ( in random order ):

—The Bishop's Wife ( 1947 ): Cary Grant as an angel sent to Earth? Sign me up! I especially love the unintentionally hilarious ice-skating sequence in which Grant's double is patently obvious. The debate over Grant's sexuality rages on decades after his death, unlike the gay sexuality of co-star Monty Woolley ( funny and touching as a Scrooge-like professor who tipples a bit too much and claims to hate the holidays ).

—The Man Who Came to Dinner ( 1942 ): Bette Davis tones it down while gay actor Woolley hams it up, almost chewing the tinsel off the Christmas tree in this typical '40s-era comedy based on the hit play. One can almost see the stage manager cuing the actor's entrances and exits just out of camera range—part of the movie's nostalgic charm. Also, the gay subtext is as thick as a batch of divinity. ( The character of Beverly Carlton, played by Reginald Gardiner, for example, was based on Noel Coward. )

—Christmas Eve ( 1986 ): Ditto Loretta Young in a TV Christmas weepie in which the dying Young is determined to get her squabbling family back together one more time. The gorgeous "Christmas Love Song," which is played throughout ( and which Barbra Streisand later recorded ), is a melodic bonus, as is Patrick Cassidy ( son of Shirley Jones and the late bisexual actor Jack Cassidy ), who plays one of Young's grandkids. Cassidy, who memorably played a closeted soap actor in Longtime Companion, is straight but has been a friend of the LGBT community for decades.

—The Family Stone ( 2005 ): We're here, we're queer, it's Christmas—get used to it! This is gay writer-director Thomas Bezucha's instant new holiday classic: funny, heartwarming, tragic and with Diane Keaton, Sarah Jessica Parker and a multiracial gay couple—what self-respecting gay man can resist this onslaught?

( Note: Portions of some of my capsule reviews appeared in an earlier issue of Windy City Times. )

Now available: The Best of Knight at the Movies: 2004-2014—a compilation book of more than 150 of my film reviews from a queer perspective for Windy City Times—is now available and makes a great holiday gift! .

This article shared 4651 times since Wed Dec 3, 2014
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Out and Aging
Presented By


Gay News

Three films score 10 nods each in Chicago Film Critics Association's 2023 Awards 2023-12-08
--From a press release - Chicago, IL (December 8, 2023) — The Chicago Film Critics Association (CFCA) announced nominees for their top film honors of 2023; winners will be announced at the organization's annual awards ceremony to be held in Chicago ...

Gay News

WORLD Laws and HIV/AIDS, Russia's crackdown, LGB Alliance, Olympians 2023-12-08
- A senior UN official said that anti-LGBTQ+ laws stop people from accessing life-saving health services and seriously impede progress on eliminating HIV/AIDS, The Guardian reported. Sixty-seven countries have laws that ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Former Disney star, women's sports, Latifah, Lenny Kravitz, 'Barbie' 2023-12-08
Videos below - In an essay about mental health that ran in Teen Vogue, former Disney star Karan Brar came out as bisexual, Out noted. In the essay, Brar talked about moving out of his parents' place —something that ...

Gay News

Brittney Griner strikes deal with ESPN, Disney 2023-12-07
- Two-time Olympic gold medalist and nine-time WNBA All-Star Brittney Griner will partner exclusively with ESPN and Disney Entertainment Television to share her story through various projects on their platforms, according to a press release. A documentary ...

Gay News

Trans actress, gay actors, 'Kokomo City' receive Spirit Award nominations 2023-12-06
- The nominations for the 39th annual Film Independent Spirit Awards have been announced—and LGBTQ+ actors, directors and productions definitely made their mark. Trans actress Trace Lysette was announced as one of the nominees for Best Lead ...

Gay News

MOVIES Rick Cosnett chats about 'Shoulder Dance,' Molly and Jason Momoa 2023-12-05
- In the new movie Shoulder Dance, which is out on streaming, friends Ira (played by out actor Matt Dallas, looking and sounding quite different than from his days on TV's Kyle XY) and Roger (played by ...

Gay News

New doc brings home that 'We Live Here' and everywhere 2023-12-05
- The new Hulu documentary We Live Here: The Midwest highlights the challenges faced in recent times by LGBTQ+ residents of the Midwest, giving voice to a wide representation of people struggling to simply live their lives ...

Gay News

MOVIES Director Daniel Peddle on the sequel to the classic doc 'The Aggressives' 2023-12-05
- In 2005, Daniel Peddle released The Aggressives—a groundbreaking documentary filmed during the late '90s and early '00s in New York City that profiled several masculine-presenting/transmasculine people of color. Fast-forward to ...

Gay News

May December film blossoms on Netflix 2023-12-01
- The Netflix feature film May December, directed by Todd Haynes, takes the craft of character study to a whole new level. The plot is inspired by the true story of Mary Kay Letourneau, an elementary school ...

Gay News

GLAAD marks World AIDS Day with launch of global resource hub, new HIV report 2023-12-01
--From a press release - New York, New York — Friday, Dec. 1 — GLAAD marked World AIDS Day this year by sharing the results of its fourth annual State of HIV Stigma Report, a national survey among U.S. adults measuring ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Bodyshop,' Beyonce, Ani DiFranco, Billie Jean King 2023-12-01
- The Breaking Glass Pictures film Bodyshop will be out on digital on Dec. 5, per a press release. The plot is described thusly: "The ghost of a young soldier sexually assaulted by his lieutenant says goodbye ...

Gay News

BOOKS Lucas Hilderbrand reflects on gay history in 'The Bars Are Ours' 2023-11-29
- In The Bars Are Ours (via Duke University Press), Lucas Hilderbrand, a professor of film and media studies at the University of California-Irvine, takes readers on a historical journey of gay bars, showing how the venues ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Billy Porter, queer novel, 'Tammy Faye,' queer DJ, Bella Ramsey 2023-11-24
- Billy Porter released his long-awaited new album, Black Mona Lisa, via Island Records UK/Republic Records, and it's executive-produced by Justin Tranter, a press release noted. Porter said, "So many of the songs on my album have ...

Gay News

Disney exhibition chronicles a century of entertainment history 2023-11-21
- Disney100, a large-scale traveling exhibition marking the 100th anniversary of the Walt Disney Company, has opened at the Exhibition Hub Art Center, 2367 W. Logan Blvd., in Bucktown. Hundreds of props and artifacts from the company's ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Music awards, military film, Tom of Finland, Yo-Yo Ma, 'Harley Quinn' 2023-11-17
Video below - Brothers Osborne—a duo that includes gay brother TJ Osborne—won Vocal Duo of the Year for the sixth time at the recent CMA Awards, per a media release. Backstage, TJ told reporters, "I did not expect us ...


Copyright © 2023 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives.

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 Transgender 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.






About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
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     
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.