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LGBTQ critics on TCM in June

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When the June 2020 schedule was first made available, there were two nights not filled in and marked as TBA.

But now they've been updated, and the theme is LGBTQ critics. I am guessing this means a few high profile "out" movie critics will be introducing these selections.

On Friday June 12th:

Screen Shot 2020-05-02 at 1.57.59 PM.png

NOTE: There is an open slot from 12 a.m. to 2 a.m. So when we have another update, I will post a screen shot of the other title for this evening.

On Friday June 26th:

Screen Shot 2020-05-02 at 1.56.04 PM.png

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Thanks for this. I'm not overwhelmed by the line-up but I'm definitely interested in who TCM will have as commentators and what they have to say.  It seems as though at least some of the films have been chosen in order to provide talking points rather than for the excellence of the films themselves. Victim is excellent but it's been around enough times now that its showing isn't particularly groundbreaking. The one which stands out for me is Word Is Out, an early "homegrown" look at the lives of gay people at a time when some extremely bigoted public figures were sucking all the air out of the room. Anyway, congrats to TCM for what has become somewhat of a June tradition.

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Thanks Dougie. It looks like the missing slot on the 12th will be filled by a broadcast of WORD IS OUT, which had originally been scheduled for the 26th.

Incidentally they are now calling this special theme "Cinematic Pride."

Friday June 12th:

Screen Shot 2020-05-30 at 6.55.14 AM

Friday June 26th:

Screen Shot 2020-05-30 at 6.58.04 AM

As you can see WORD IS OUT on the 26th has been replaced by THE WATERMELON WOMAN. And they dropped DESERT HEARTS and will instead be airing ORLANDO.

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I appreciate the update. I'm cautiously excited by the addition of Orlando, which I've never seen in its entirety. It was a complicated novel and appeared to be a somewhat complicated film, but I'm definitely up for a viewing. Do you know anything about the J. Edgar Hoover film? At first I was thinking that 1977 coincided with the disclosure that he's done drag, but now I'm thinking that it may have more to do with the fact that his agency was literally the blackmailer of so many gay Americans for so many years. 

P.S. Just checked and it's a dramatization with Broderick Crawford and a fairly distinguished cast, so I guess it's wait-and-see on that one. 

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On 5/30/2020 at 7:18 AM, DougieB said:

I appreciate the update. I'm cautiously excited by the addition of Orlando, which I've never seen in its entirety. It was a complicated novel and appeared to be a somewhat complicated film, but I'm definitely up for a viewing. Do you know anything about the J. Edgar Hoover film? At first I was thinking that 1977 coincided with the disclosure that he's done drag, but now I'm thinking that it may have more to do with the fact that his agency was literally the blackmailer of so many gay Americans for so many years. 

P.S. Just checked and it's a dramatization with Broderick Crawford and a fairly distinguished cast, so I guess it's wait-and-see on that one. 

No idea why they picked the film on Hoover.

I do like the fact they included a precode, so they cover several different eras of filmmaking with this special theme.

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"Word Is Out" is a wonderful documentary and one of the first times I saw positive gay images on film.   I do wish they would have gotten better movies for the series.

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6 hours ago, jaragon said:

"Word Is Out" is a wonderful documentary and one of the first times I saw positive gay images on film.   I do wish they would have gotten better movies for the series.

But some of these titles are quite good. What would you have chosen?

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It's only 20 years old now so maybe not "classic", but I'd love to hear a discussion about The Broken Hearts Club (2000). It's a fairly modest indie but it represents really well the kind of non-traditional "family" units gay people make when left to their own devices.  There's no obvious social or political overlay, which makes it somewhat unusual, and there's plenty of charm to the characters, which makes it extremely watchable. Really good performances by established actors John Mahoney and Dean Cain, as well as by actors who later became more established, like Zach Braff, Billy Porter and Timothy Olyphant. It really caught lightning in a bottle as far as realistic representation of gay people on the screen goes, in my opinion. 

Mostly because it's almost never shown, I'd like to see Something For Everyone (1970), a very black comedy in an other-worldly fairy tale setting. Michael York isn't so much gay as an ambi-sexual predator beneath his mild manners, capable of seduction and homicide in order to achieve his end of acquiring a castle like the one of his childhood dreams. He seduces the entire family, male and female, but is eventually caught in a compromise he didn't anticipate. It's also one of the last of Angela Lansbury's hard-edged film characters before she softened her persona for television. 

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5 hours ago, DougieB said:

It's only 20 years old now so maybe not "classic", but I'd love to hear a discussion about The Broken Hearts Club (2000). It's a fairly modest indie but it represents really well the kind of non-traditional "family" units gay people make when left to their own devices.  There's no obvious social or political overlay, which makes it somewhat unusual, and there's plenty of charm to the characters, which makes it extremely watchable. Really good performances by established actors John Mahoney and Dean Cain, as well as by actors who later became more established, like Zach Braff, Billy Porter and Timothy Olyphant. It really caught lightning in a bottle as far as realistic representation of gay people on the screen goes, in my opinion. 

Mostly because it's almost never shown, I'd like to see Something For Everyone (1970), a very black comedy in an other-worldly fairy tale setting. Michael York isn't so much gay as an ambi-sexual predator beneath his mild manners, capable of seduction and homicide in order to achieve his end of acquiring a castle like the one of his childhood dreams. He seduces the entire family, male and female, but is eventually caught in a compromise he didn't anticipate. It's also one of the last of Angela Lansbury's hard-edged film characters before she softened her persona for television. 

Two good choices

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22 hours ago, TopBilled said:

But some of these titles are quite good. What would you have chosen?

"Shelter" (2007) this movie is a nice gay romance. 

 

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On 6/1/2020 at 5:26 AM, DougieB said:

Thanks. That answers a lot of questions. 

The article does not discuss why the two hosts selected these particular titles.

I am quite curious to know why OUR BETTERS was chosen since I don't particularly see it as having a very gay text.

I suppose we'll find out more when the wraparounds air next month.

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19 hours ago, TopBilled said:

The article does not discuss why the two hosts selected these particular titles.

I am quite curious to know why OUR BETTERS was chosen since I don't particularly see it as having a very gay text.

I suppose we'll find out more when the wraparounds air next month.

It's been quite a while since I've seen it but if there's anything gay going on I'm sure George Cukor will send up a red flag. I think she surrounds herself with "artistic" types at one point, so there may be some gay stereotypes the hosts want to discuss. I'm also a fan of Charles Starrett, who reminds me a lot of the young Joel McCrea. He later did westerns as The Durango Kid and I remember searching out as many of those as I could find. 

 

Charles Starrett 042132.jpg

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2 hours ago, DougieB said:

It's been quite a while since I've seen it but if there's anything gay going on I'm sure George Cukor will send up a red flag. I think she surrounds herself with "artistic" types at one point, so there may be some gay stereotypes the hosts want to discuss. I'm also a fan of Charles Starrett, who reminds me a lot of the young Joel McCrea. He later did westerns as The Durango Kid and I remember searching out as many of those as I could find. 

Yes, I'm sure the fact that Maugham was gay, and Cukor was gay, will probably be discussed. But I still don't think the story contains much in the way of LGBTQ themes. Maybe the "artistic types" you mention will be the focal point...? But still that doesn't seem very substantial.

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You're right. If they're just going to discuss stereotypes that any modern viewer would instantly recognize, what's the point? I'm not really familiar with Duralde or Rich so I'm not sure what to expect from them. 

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54 minutes ago, DougieB said:

You're right. If they're just going to discuss stereotypes that any modern viewer would instantly recognize, what's the point? I'm not really familiar with Duralde or Rich so I'm not sure what to expect from them. 

I am wondering if OUR BETTERS was selected because it's more of a favorite film by a gay writer and gay director, instead of a film that really addresses LGBTQ themes. 

I'd never heard of these hosts before, but I am sure they're qualified to lead the series and discussions.

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8 hours ago, DougieB said:

You're right. If they're just going to discuss stereotypes that any modern viewer would instantly recognize, what's the point? I'm not really familiar with Duralde or Rich so I'm not sure what to expect from them. 

I've been digging into this a bit.  I haven't seen this film before, but from what I've read, there is indeed a character that shows up in the latter part of the film that would be considered a stereotype.  It's a pretty thin offering for Pride Month, IMO, but there aren't a lot of choices from that era.

 

OurBetters37-650x490.jpg

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52 minutes ago, txfilmfan said:

I've been digging into this a bit.  I haven't seen this film before, but from what I've read, there is indeed a character that shows up in the latter part of the film that would be considered a stereotype.  It's a pretty thin offering for Pride Month, IMO, but there aren't a lot of choices from that era.

 

OurBetters37-650x490.jpg

Well the other host did pick MADCHEN IN UNIFORM (1931). So we do have something from the era.

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Reminder:

First part of the series airs tonight on TCM.

 

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I realized I did know Alonso Duralde after all; he's been featured as a commentator in a few documentaries I've seen over the years. I was confused by the photo in the header to the TCM article in the link posted above, which featured the couple arm-in-arm, who I assumed to be Duralde and Rich.  Last night Duralde was a guest of the overall host, Dave Karger, which I wasn't expecting but which made perfect sense. 

It seems as though Our Betters was chosen for the reason we suspected, the stereotype who appeared only in the last five minutes of the film (and who was uncedited). Duralde said the character was universally treated with respect and wasn't shamed in any way by the other characters, but it seemed to me that he interacted only with the women and that they treated him as some kind of exotic pet, which I wouldn't call an indicator of respect. Anyway, our suspicion was confirmed that it was a stretch to include Our Betters in a program of only seven films when worthier alternatives exist. However, the hosts speculated what portrayals of gay characters may have been like in following decades if the Production Code hadn't intervened, Our Betters having been a Pre-Code film. I found that to be a very good point since The Code made it impossible for gay characters to be treated matter-of-factly. An interesting "what if" scenario.

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On 6/13/2020 at 10:02 AM, DougieB said:

I realized I did know Alonso Duralde after all; he's been featured as a commentator in a few documentaries I've seen over the years. I was confused by the photo in the header to the TCM article in the link posted above, which featured the couple arm-in-arm, who I assumed to be Duralde and Rich.  Last night Duralde was a guest of the overall host, Dave Karger, which I wasn't expecting but which made perfect sense. 

It seems as though Our Betters was chosen for the reason we suspected, the stereotype who appeared only in the last five minutes of the film (and who was uncedited). Duralde said the character was universally treated with respect and wasn't shamed in any way by the other characters, but it seemed to me that he interacted only with the women and that they treated him as some kind of exotic pet, which I wouldn't call an indicator of respect. Anyway, our suspicion was confirmed that it was a stretch to include Our Betters in a program of only seven films when worthier alternatives exist. However, the hosts speculated what portrayals of gay characters may have been like in following decades if the Production Code hadn't intervened, Our Betters having been a Pre-Code film. I found that to be a very good point since The Code made it impossible for gay characters to be treated matter-of-factly. An interesting "what if" scenario.

I likes Alonso  Duralde who I was not familiar with and will probably listen to his podcast. I have no problem with Dave Krager hosting everything.   "Out Betters" was ok - it was well directed by Cukor, had a good cast, witty script but sometimes it felt a bit like a play. The gay character is amusing- but he is in the sissy tradition of the period- and acts like a pre code version of "Queer Eye" or the magical gay man who makes straight people's live more interesting by teaching them be more stylish. The actor who really caught my attention was the young Gilbert Roland  . Roland whose real name was Luis Antonio Damaso de Alonso) was a very handsome hombre

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Roland caught my attention as well. It was fun seeing him this young, even though he kept that magnetism throughout his later career. TCM showed Underwater! a couple of times recently and he was still robust and attractive a couple of decades after Our Betters.

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5 hours ago, DougieB said:

Roland caught my attention as well. It was fun seeing him this young, even though he kept that magnetism throughout his later career. TCM showed Underwater! a couple of times recently and he was still robust and attractive a couple of decades after Our Betters.

I've seen him older too as in 'The Bad and The Beautiful" but was really something when he was young- have to see the photo of him and Ramon Novarro?

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