Goldie Hawn, Todd Haynes, We Were Here, Degrassi and the AFA
Goldie Hawn sneaks a peak at The Viagra Diaries
Who sits down to watch TV instead of getting online or playing a video game? Baby boomers, that’s who, and their sitcom needs are, more and more, getting the attention of Hollywood with shows like Hot In Cleveland and Men of a Certain Age. And if all goes as planned another player called The Viagra Diaries (based on the novel by Barbara Rose Brooker) will be joining the team. HBO is behind the show, which will feature Goldie Hawn in her first acting job in a decade, as is Sex and the City creator Darren Star. The concept involves Hawn’s character facing the single life again when, after 35 years of marriage, her 65-year-old husband abruptly leaves. Of course, if Goldie simply moved to Cougar Town she wouldn’t have to worry about her dating life involving Viagra at all. But then there’d be no show.
Mildred Pierce director Todd Haynes’s next conservative move
If you haven’t yet seen Todd Haynes’s five-and-a-half-hour, book-faithful miniseries masterpiece Mildred Pierce, you still have your chance when the DVD release happens and plenty of time after that before his next movie takes shape. That project, as current and full of possibilities as it can be given the subject matter, will concern “contemporary conservative politics in America.” Haynes’s collaborator is Jon Raymond, whose critically impressive body of work so far includes episodes of Mildred Pierce and the acclaimed indie films Wendy and Lucy and Meek’s Cutoff. In fact, Pierce, Wendy and _ Meek’s_ explored contemporary politics in their own subtle ways, never directly addressing problems like the battered economy or wartime paranoia, but infusing the action and language with those themes all the same. In other words, when this film, whatever it turns out to be, comes to your local arthouse cinema, expect no broad, obvious attacks on the right. These guys are too smart for that.
We Were Here’s mournful history lesson
Thirty years ago, when mysterious illnesses began taking the lives of urban gay men, it was beyond imagining what would transpire over the course of the next decade and beyond. And though there have been documentaries on the subject as well as emotionally powerful fictional narratives like The Normal Heart, Angels In America and Longtime Companion, the current place of AIDS in the media is solidly centered on the back burner. That’s why it feels like exactly the right time for We Were Here, the new film from documentarians David Weissman and Bill Weber (_The Cockettes_). Focusing on the response to AIDS in San Francisco, the film lets the generation who lived through it tell their stories as well as the stories of those who died. Already screening at film festivals, the powerfully moving documentary comes to theaters in September. Don’t miss it.
It’s the American Family Association vs. Degrassi: The Next Generation
Any younger queer person who grew up watching DeGrassi: The Next Generation knows that the Canadian high-school-themed drama has always been the leader of the pack where depicting a variety of LGBT characters and themes is concerned. And currently, the very long-running series which, under several different names, has been on and off the air since 1979, features both a gay football jock (yep, before Glee got around to it) and an FTM trans character. Which is why it’s more than a little funny to note that the American Family Association is only now taking notice of the sinful ways of Canadian kids. They’ve launched a boycott of the series – so far unsuccessful – and are doing their part to discourage advertisers from sponsoring a show that they’ve now deemed “irresponsible.” Based on quotes from AFA spokespeople, the argument seems to be that there’s no such thing as gay teenage jocks or trans teenagers. Anywhere. So not only are they bigots but they also don’t know what they’re talking about. And it’s all taking place on cable channel Teen Nick, in case you want to put it in your DVR. Go Degrassi!