James Wilby, Hugh Grant and Rupert Graves turn in subtle and brilliant performances in Merchant Ivory's adaptation of E. M. Forster's romantic, gay love story; Maurice (1987).
Published after Forester's death and hidden for decades, it concerns the romance of a two young men at Cambridge at the turn of the century, what their love affair costs them and how they manage to find peace and happiness in a society which forbids, admonishes and punishes them for their inclinations. Gloriously photographed, meticulously directed and exceptionally cast, it is one of the greatest and most honest love stories ever filmed.Steve Hayes
(Syndication is with the kind permission of Steve Hayes.)
WHILST I WAS putting together Issue 149 of The Kaos Theory, I came across a story about Hollywood's Antebellum Gallery celebrating Black Pride with the work of artists like Tom of Finland, Belasco and JC Etheredge. In amongst those legends was a new name, whose vibrant work jumped off the screen at me: Choklit Daddy.
"I'm Black, gay, and in my 50s," Larry, the man behind Choklit Daddy, told me when I got in touch. "I'm married, legally in California since 2008, to the same man for 37 years. We live in Southern California with our Chartreux cat."
"I used to draw (pencil sketches, Beardsley-inspired pen-and-ink) as a boy - everything from Mickey Mouse to Diana Ross to (bodybuilder) Dave Draper."
Choklit Daddy's most recent works (which you can view on his excellent blog, Choklit Daddy's Sketchbook) were created entirely on his tablet computer. "I started drawing digital homoerotica in September 2011, after a friend mentioned that there were drawing apps for the iPad. For me, it was the right idea at the right time. I started out using the Inspire Pro app (briefly), then Sketchbook Pro, and currently ArtStudio."
"I love homoerotic art; from ancient Greek kouros sculptures to Michelangelo to Paul Cadmus to Tom of Finland. I have collected it for years (mostly snatched off the Internet, though I do own a couple of original pieces, by Michael Kirwan and The Hun). I met my idol, Patrick Fillion, at Bent-Con in Los Angeles, in December 2011. I had brought some of my drawings with me; he looked at them and said, 'These are good. Keep drawing'. That was when it occurred to me that I might actually get good at this. So, I kept drawing."
I wondered how the Antebellum SEXYBLACK show came about. "The SEXYBLACK show came about when I spotted a tall, beautiful, coffee-colored young man at a party at my friend John Burdick's house. The moment I laid eyes on this boy, I knew I wanted to draw him. So I introduced myself and as we were talking, he indicated the man he was there with; who turned out to be [Antebellum owner] Rick Castro. I handed Rick one of my business cards, which had one of my drawings on it, naturally. And he said, 'This is cute'. He also said he was considering putting on an exhibition of Black homoerotic art at his art gallery, Antebellum, in Hollywood; and he asked me if I might be interested. I did five new drawings especially for SEXYBLACK. One of them, Dancer - Ballet and Hip-Hop, is of Frederick, the boy I met at the party."
|||Be killed or be caged? "For gay people of colour or those from low-income backgrounds, there are seemingly two choices when faced with a violent situation: take the harm lying down, or fight back and face time behind bars."
> Trayvon Martin: How Skittles became a symbol of Trayvon Martin's innocence. "Zimmerman's 9mm Kel-Tec handgun will now be returned to him. But when the Seminole County criminal justice centre has finished with Martin's still-unopened bag of Skittles, it belongs in a museum."
|||The government wants to know why the passing of marriage equality was largely ignored by the country's major broadcasters. For example, "on the evening that same-sex marriage became law, the BBC’s flagship News at Ten featured a lengthy report about a child asking The Queen about the royal baby but it did not have time to mention the historic bill that The Queen signed into law."
|||There are still aspects of discrimination in the equal marriage bill, human rights activist Peter Tatchell warns...
> ITALY: "I love animals, but when I see her, I can't help but think of an orangutan." That's what Italian politician Roberto Calderoli said in reference to Cécile Kyenge, Italy's black minister of integration. Why do racists still flourish in multicultural Italy?
< ITALY: Vatican bank accused of "gay lobby" cover-up.
|||ITALY: Five Costa Concordia staff convicted for manslaughter, negligence.
|||ITALY: There is just one chance to refloat the stricken Costa Concordia.
> GREECE: Despair as parliament votes to fire thousands of teachers, cops.
LATIN AMERICA NEWS
|||MEXICO: Benjamin Medrano, the country's first openly gay mayor, is "not in favour" of marriage equality.
< MEXICO: Activists protest Russian anti-gay policies outside the Russian embassy in Mexico City.
|||ZAMBIA: Philip Mubiana and James Mwape will spend four months in jail before they even face trial on charges of homosexual activity; the 21-year-olds were arrested in May "after a hostile mob found them sharing a drink at a local bar".
> Keep Your Timber Limber (Works on Paper), an exhibition at London's Institute of Contemporary Arts, exploring "how artists since the 1940s to the present day have used drawing to address ideas critical and current to their time, ranging from the politics of gender and sexuality to feminist issues, war, censorship, and race". Until September.
< Film review: Fruitvale Station. "The feature debut of 27-year-old writer/director Ryan Coogler tells the true story of the death of a 22-year-old African American man named Oscar Grant, who was shot by police on New Year's Day in 2009 at the Fruitvale BART Station in San Francisco. Watching it last Friday it felt like a modest success, a solid specific slice-of-life drama if not a great or ambitious one. But context is a funny thing. The very next day it was feeling much bigger. .."
|||DVD review: Speechless. "An intriguing and well-made movie that certainly keeps you watching, even if a slightly uneven tone and tendency towards melodrama in the later stages stop it from being as great as it might have been."
|||Watch the sweet trailer for the 25th Vancouver Queer Film Festival; and Born This Way, a new film about the oppression of gay Cameroonians; Fruitvale Station; and Bashment, which is finally out on DVD in October.
> Cory Monteith: the Glee star's death is an all-too familiar teen idol plot-line.
"I would also like to take this opportunity to squash the persistent rumours about mysterious 'disappearances' and emphasize that rural and urban areas are now enjoying a life of harmony and peace. I'm sure you're glad to hear this. And I'm happy you're glad."