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EVERYTHING GAY IN THE UK

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By The Gay UK, Oct 24 2014 09:45AM

Frankie Valenti aka Johnny Hazard is the latest gay porn star to go legit and act in a movie where he keeps his clothes on (nearly) the entire time.




It’s a path that many have trodden and failed so miserably i.e. think François Sagat's leaden performance in the dreadful Man In Bath that we reviewed recently. When you think that the few lines that porn performers are forced to trot out just consist of stunners like ‘I’m here to fix your plumbing’ or ‘Give it to me big boy’, they really don’t need to be actors per se.


Frankie, following in the recent successful movie debut of Sean Paul Lockhart aka Brent Corrigan in TRUTH (reviewed in The Gay UK), has put in a surprising good performance playing one of two estranged gay brothers struggling to connect after the recent death of their father in ‘TIGER ORANGE’. Chet is an introvert who has never ‘come out’ or even left his small hometown, whereas rebellious Todd left for LA at the age of 18 and is out and proud and very loud. Easy to guess which one Frankie played.




It won’t win him any Oscars but is should get him more roles in independent moves such as this as he has more talent than just his larger member that has endeared him to so many gay men already. We will publish our full review when the movie gets released next year, but meanwhile here is a sneak preview of Frankie in action in Wade Gasque’s TIGER ORANGE.





By The Gay UK, Oct 21 2014 01:34PM

When 60-year-old Alice comes to Toronto six months after becoming a widow, her daughter Suzanne a lawyer is too busy at work to be home to greet her mother.

★★★★



She asks her unemployed friend Tru to step in at the last minute to look after Alice but then is shocked when she later arrives home and find that the two women have very quickly bonded. When Suzanne goes back to the office again that night, Alice takes Tru out to dinner to thank her, and the conversation soon takes a very personal turn.


Alice is fascinated to learn about 30-something-year-old Tru's life as a commitment phobic serial-bed-hopping lesbian's seemingly carefree life. She admits to having similar feelings when she was young, but confessed that back in those days one had either to get married or join a nunnery. This provokes Tru into joking that the latter would have been the same as being a lesbian. There is obviously an attraction between the two women, but both are afraid to act upon it.


The relationship between Alice and Suzanne is however is tenuous to say the least as if neither can deal with the other's grief for the departed husband/father. When it is clear that Alice's spirits are so lifted by just spending time with Tru, Suzanne steps in and meddles to try and ensure that she puts a stop to their budding relationship. It appears at first she is in denial that Alice could possibly be a lesbian, but it soon turns out that this lonely partner less woman has another reason to resent Tru making her mother so happy.



Tru on the other hand slowly realizes that with this welcoming older woman she is capable of loving someone after all. Alice never doubts her feelings but in some wonderful scenes talking to her late husband (seen on screen) she does question if this invalidates her life to date as she has not been true to her own feelings.


This very touching story is very much about the two women's quite chaste love but also equally about Alice's relationship with her own daughter which seems to have reached a very low point. It's unexpected and sudden ending was not the best way to finish the story as it didn’t really seem to give closure to all of them, well, at least to the two younger women.


It's an entertaining spirited movie about a delightful May/December relationship. Shauna MacDonald who co-wrote and co-directed as well as playing Tru gave herself a part that could/should have done more, but she did at least enable Kate Trotter who superbly played Alice and was a sheer joy as so convincingly conveyed the spirit of a woman finally discovering herself.











By The Gay UK, Oct 20 2014 10:49AM

There have been openly gay writers, directors and actors that have won Oscars, but never ever a Gay Themed Best Picture Oscar.




In 2005 BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN came close getting 8 nominations, the most of any film that year, and then winning 3 of them, but being pipped at the post for the ultimate award despite it being the hot favourite. Will 2015 be the year this all changes? Four countries have ‘officially submitted’ gay movies for BEST FOREIGN PICTURE nominations and we think they all have a good chance of winning. Here they are :-


SAINT LAURENT from France. At last an un-sanitised version of the great French designer and somewhat tortured genius. Directed and co-written by Bertrand Bonello and starring hunky Gaspard Ulliel, its been wowing wowing audiences in France, and we cannot wait to see it.




DER KRIES aka The Circle from Switzerland. This stunning and emotional account of gay life in Zurich post WW2 is part documentary and part fiction and will have you reaching for your tissues. Winner of a TEDDY AWARD at the Berlinale (which is the nearest thing to an LGBT Oscar).






THE WAY HE LOOKS from Brazil. We have just published our 5 Star review of this film that opens in UK cinemas on October 24th. We unashamedly LOVE this touching tale of a blind gay teenager’s coming-out story which also won a TEDDY AWARD at this year’s Berlinale. We talked with Director Daniel Ribeiro when he was in London recently, so look out for our exclusive interview coming soon.





MOMMY from Canada.This is technically not a gay film but we have included it as it is the work of gay wunderkin director/writer/editor/actor/composer/costume designer XAVIER DOLAN. This is his 5th award winning feature film at the ripe old age of 25 years old and it received an unprecedented 15 minute standing ovation when it premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. In this film Dolan re-visits the tumultious mother-son relationship theme of his very first movie ‘I Killed My Mother’.





All OSCAR NOMINATIONS are announced on Thursday 15th January, and the WINNERS on Sunday February 22nd 2015.




By Roger Walker-Dack






By The Gay UK, Oct 19 2014 11:42AM

The opening sequence of French writer/director Yann Gonzalez debut feature starts with confusion that never really eases up through this avant-garde art-house film.


Les Rencontres D’Après Minuit
Les Rencontres D’Après Minuit

Ali and her young handsome beau Mathias (who may or may not be a zombie) are waiting with their transvestite maid Udo for their invited guests to arrive for an orgy. They include The Slut, The Teen, The Star and The Slut and before the proceedings can begin each of this group of misfits shares a potted version of their life story.


It's an excuse for some lengthy monologues on life, love, death and sex. Actually they are mainly about sex. As eloquent as this talented band of actors try to make them, they nonetheless fluctuate between being tedious and pretentious. Often they are both. For a group on the brink of an orgy, it is surprisingly a completely un-erotic experience. The only thing remotely sexual is the sight of The Stud's monster penis, but sadly that is not the real thing either.

Gonzalez has assembled a great cast for this project including Xavier Dolan's favorite actor Niels Schneider, plus Fabienne Babe, Kate Moran, Alain Deloin's youngest son (and spitting image of his dad) Alain-Fabien Delon and ex footballer Eric Cantona. However poor Eric who got to show off his giant prosthetic attachment had this bemused look on his face throughout the whole proceedings as if he was really unaware of what he had got himself into. Mr Gonzales did have the benefit of tapping up his older brother who is part of M83 so it at least had a great electro-score for the soundtrack.


The danger with experimental cinema is that there is a fine line between suceeding and not, and maybe with a more experienced pair of hands steering this odd piece, the result would have been more better. It certainly would have benefitted from input from someone with a sense of humor. 'Variety' Magazine reported that when the movie debuted at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year it started with a standing room only crowd, but by halfway 95% of the audience had left.


Let's hope for Mr Gonzalez's sake it fares better when it opens in UK cinemas shortly.


By Roger Walker-Dack




By The Gay UK, Oct 19 2014 11:23AM

This new gay love story from a married couple of newbie filmmakers Daniel and Richard Mansfield is quite unique.

★★★




Essentially a two-hander, its the story of a pair of lovers in their late 20s who are on the run having deserted the British Navy in the early 1800s. Having come ashore near the rather lush grounds of the estate of an abandoned country house, the two men live 'rough' during the day whilst at night they dig up dead bodies to sell and get some funds to move on.


In a script that is full of more holes than any net these ex-Mariners may have found at sea, we are never too sure why they do little beyond walking around in circles or just lying on the grass cuddling each other.


They make out occasionally in a manner that one can only suggest that their clumsiness is due to being new to man-on-man sex, or that they are used to doing it on rough seas which gave them a natural rhythm. What is for sure is that the whole place is haunted, and in this supernatural thriller where Theo alone keeps seeing dead people, we know that it cannot possible end well for him or for his lover Frank.


It's a bold move making a gay period drama, especially on a micro-budget, and these two Brit filmmakers should be applauded for their valiant effort. The combination of the jerky hand-held cameras and an ominously eerie soundtrack go a long way to making this wee movie more watchable. The two very likeable actors, Darren Bransford & Henry Regan, do well with their parts but they, like the script could have so benefited with both more substance and better direction. The whole thin plot was far too stretched out and made one's attention wander a little too often in the middle section in particular.


This new movie is due to be premiered at the GayWise Festival in London in November but before that will be available on VOD/DVD at Amazon.




By The Gay UK, Oct 18 2014 01:00PM

The lazy summer is over and Leo and his best friend Giovana are back in High School for the new term when curly headed new boy Gabriel joins the class for the first time.

by Roger Walker-Dack

★★★★★



Suddenly the cosy closeness of the two old friends is threatened when Giovana discovers that the newcomer will not be her longed-for first romance, and that in fact he will usurp her major role in Leo's life. Leo has been blind from birth and lives with his overprotective parents in their very comfortable middle-class home in suburb of Rio, and Giovana has played the part of his 'seeing eyes' for years. His mother almost suffocates him by insisting on controlling his every movement and she is reluctant to leave him alone for one single moment.


Gabriel's arrival seems to coincide with Leo's quest to finally break free and see if the school-exchange problem will also accept him so that he can live and study in another country. The news of this sends his mother into a fit, but his more amenable father is at least open to considering the idea which he tells Leo in one of the most touching of scenes in this very gentle coming of age story.


Leo's quest for independence is part of his journey about discovering who he really is, and he seems totally surprised when he realizes that part of this is his attraction for Gabriel. As the boy’s friendship grows into something much deeper, neither of them can trust their judgments in revealing their feelings to each other, even after a stolen peck on the cheek after a drunken party.


There is nothing at all extraordinary in the plot lines of this wee movie, but somehow it has the most endearing quality that makes it so immensely enjoyable. There is a remarkable innocence to this group of young people who all seem never to have even been kissed, and even the inclusion of Leo's taunting by the bullies in his class has no hint of any real hatred. There are some really nice touches of humor and tenderness, none more so than when Gabriel insists that Leo learns how to dance. What does make it all so compelling is the captivating performances of the three young lead actors, particularly Ghilherme Lobo who was so pitch perfect as the blind boy.


This very cute debut feature from Brazilian writer/director Daniel Ribeiro was based on his award-winning short 'Eu Não Quero Voltar Sozinho' with the same actors, and has gone on to, quite rightly, win two major accolades from the Berlinale : the FIPRESCI Prize and The TEDDY for Best LGBT Feature. It is about to open in cinemas here where it will so easily win over a lot of hearts too. Especially in the closing scenes.





In Cinemas 24th October 2014







By The Gay UK, Oct 18 2014 10:00AM

Like most Therapists who spend their working day advising people how to get their act together, Corey was not that hot at getting his own life on the right track. When he finally proposed to his muscle-bound airhead personal trainer boyfriend, Jon just freaked out and ran off into the arms (and bed) of the nearest woman. He had finally come of out of his gay closet to discover that he was bisexual, or maybe straight even.

by Roger Walker-Dack

★★★




Corey crying his eyes poured out his woes to his best friend who was his lesbian sister Kelsey, who insisted that there was only one way forward for him viz. Grindr. And soon as she had taught her brother how to use this Gay dating app. the first man he spotted was the Pizza delivery guy. Pete is hotter than hell: handsome, intelligent, articulate and is running the pizza store whilst caring for his sick Uncle the owner. He's a saint and too perfect to be true, but this is the movies after all.





The two men have a very successful date and geeky Corey now has another muscle-bound super-fit boyfriend, but before they can even think about even living happily ever after, they must get through a couple of melodramas first. It turns out that Melissa, the woman who the newly proclaimed bisexual Jon is dating, is also a client of Corey's and she insists on telling him every intimate detail of her new relationship not knowing that he was her predecessor. Eventually he tells her that his appointment book is full and she should go find another therapist.


Meanwhile Jon decides he really prefers Corey after all so he comes back and they immediately jump in to bed only to be caught in flagrento by saint Pete. Before they can even get their underwear back on, in storms Melissa who had given Jon a lift and had been waiting in the car outside. And just before they can all say scream 'How could you ? etc', then into this now rather packed house comes Kelsey to say that she is broke and her coffee shop business is in Foreclosure and she's leaving town.


It's a romantic comedy so you know that in this very lightweight fluffy piece it will work out in the end so everyone will have big smiles on the faces and a hot body to share their beds. Well most of them anyway. This one is cute, thanks mainly to a good cast, and not just the ex-underwear models who play two of the leads.


As fun as it is you and perfect for a date night, you may still cynical just opt for the 'whatever' rather than 'love'!








By The Gay UK, Oct 18 2014 08:20AM

Diana Vreeland the ‘Anna Wintour’ of the 1940’s –1960’s once very archly declared ‘the best thing about London is Paris!’.

© Roger Walker Dack
© Roger Walker Dack

Art lovers would definitely agree with her this week as the French Capital hosts the 40th Edition of The International Contemporary Art Fair (FIAC) which after Art Basel is THE leading exhibition in the World. Based in the Palais Grand and in venues all over the city and for several days it becomes the meeting place between artists, collectors, gallerists, curators, museum directors and stars from the world of international contemporary art.


We know that Ms Vreeland would thoroughly approve of such a stylish gathering, but we are a little unsure of what she would have thought of American artist Paul McCarthy’s piece called ‘ Tree’ an 80ft inflatable sculpture ‘erected’ in the heart of the Place de Vendome.


It kind of reminds us of something BUTT we are not quite sure what!








By The Gay UK, Oct 15 2014 06:00PM

The 'leaving' in the title of this rather frenetic comedy refers to death and divorce and a few other departures in between. Everybody in the Altman family has both issues and secrets and the set up for us (and them) to discover them all is when the patriarch dies and his widow (their mother) insists that they must all sit the traditional Jewish Shiva even though none of them have been inside a synagogue for decades.

by Roger Walker-Dack | 15th October 2014

★★




Shiva means sitting there together for 7 days without exception or excuse and talking about life and death, and this family have a lot of it on their minds. Four days prior Judd just discovered his wife in bed with his boss and had walked out on both his marriage and his job. Judd's eldest brother Paul has been trying to get his wife Annie pregnant for sometime now and maybe firing blanks, so she looks for an alternative 'donor' in her ex-boyfriend, who just happens to be Judd. The youngest brother Phillip who is still just a big kid at heart shows up with his older cougar girlfriend/future fiancé who he met when she was his therapist. The 4th sibling is Wendy, the mother of two, and whose workaholic husband has a cellphone attached to his ear permanently, whilst she is still carrying a torch over Hoory the man next door who was her childhood sweetheart and who she dumped after a serious car accident which left him with brain damaged.


The only one who seems prepared to talk openly and frankly is the mother who proudly flaunts her new breast implants and incessantly hawks the best-selling book that she wrote some years ago based on all her children's secrets. Naturally it turns out that she has a big secret too, but this, the most surprising one is not revealed until almost the end.


It's all a little too much with an over-abundance of clichéd plot strands that are at best mildly amusing but in reality give the overall feeling of a ill-conceived TV situation-comedy that is too eager to please. Its one big saving grace is the stunning array of talented actors that make up the cast and do the very best with the script that they have been served up. Jason Bateman as Judd stoically takes most of the heavy load as the main character, and Adam Driver, Corey Stoll and the wonderful Tina Fey play his siblings. Timothy Oliphant is the man next door, Dax Shepherd bares all as the cheating Boss, Kathryn Hann is the motherless sister in law, and Connie Britton as the put-upon cougar girlfriend. Mother is played by the great (and elegant looking) Jane Fonda but there are moments when you are convinced that she has just phoned her performance in.




It's one of those movies you will be happy to watch on a wet Winter evening when there is nothing else that grabs you on the TV, as its really not bad. It's just that it could/should have been so much better



Opens on the 24th October 2014




By The Gay UK, Oct 15 2014 04:55PM

When the movie opens on a quiet July morning in a small Missouri town there is no visible indication we are looking at a man who has fallen on hard times.

by Roger Walker-Dack | 15th October 2014

★★★★★



It turns out that Nick Frost has been been virtually unemployed since being laid off from his job on a magazine in NY and is now penniless. He and his wife live in a large ugly suburban house that they lease using the remains of her depleted trust fund, and this morning on his 5th wedding anniversary he is feeling sorry for himself and sipping a shot of Bourbon in the small empty bar he owns with his sister. As he sounds off about the stale state of his marriage the telephone rings. It’s his neighbour telling him that the front door of his house is wide open.


That's not the only thing he discovers when goes back home, as the house is totally deserted and furniture is turned over and broken as if there has been a struggle of sorts. When the police check it out they find signs of blood and enough clues to be concerned for Amy's safety and decide to mount a Press Conference the next day to appeal for help. Nick is joined for this by Amy's psychiatrist parents who are famous authors having once made a fortune on a series of books called Amazing Amy that ruthless exploited their daughter's childhood.



Initially there is an overwhelming abundance of sympathy and support for Nick from both the police and local community but as Detective Rhonda Boney keeps uncovering further clues that indicate that Nick may be responsible for his wife's disappearance, the mood rapidly changes. Egged on by local TV pundits who have already declared that Nick is guilty of killing his wife, everybody turns against him. When his young mistress goes public about their affair it seems like now that a motive has been establish, they can be no further doubt about his guilt.


Things are far from what they seem in this latest movie from the master of suspense director David Fincher who excels at complicated thrillers such as this. By using a series of flashbacks he has shown that this once fairytale romance is now on the rocks, but even so it's impossible to comprehend the depths that Amy will go to resolve it in a manner that will try and exact such diabolical revenge on her unfaithful husband.


It is one of those movies that is best enjoyed knowing little beyond these bare bones of the plot, because what follows is so astonishing it will certainly stupefy you. Just when you think you have it all worked out, the story will twist another 360 degrees to confound you yet once again. It is however unquestionably one of the BEST movies of 2014.


Ben Affleck is superb as put-upon Nick who you may dislike for wanting his own way, but even he doesn't deserve the punishment Amy wants to exact on him. The movie however belongs to the British actress Rosamund Pike who, in an Oscar worthy performance, is nothing less than outstanding as Amy. It's a amazing revelation to see her being so brilliantly devious, manipulative, demented and stunningly seductive when she wants her own way. She is such a sheer joy to watch (apart from all the bloody bits naturally).


Lest I should forget, there are also some great supporting turns that deserve mention too. Kim Dickens (TV's Sons of Anarchy) as the Detective, Carrie Coon (TV's The Leftovers) as Nick's sister Margo, Neil Patrick Harris as Amy's stalker boyfriend, and Tyler Perry for once playing it straight as a Nick's hot shot lawyer.




The script, the first ever written by Gillian Flynn, and adapted from her own novel gave Fincher a great canvass to work with, but it is his superb attention to the most minute detail that make it such the spectacular roller-coaster ride that it is.






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