Gay-Friendly Blu-rays

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Mark Walker, Sep 3, 2012.

  1. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Before things potentially escalate, a reminder.
    Civil discussions/debates are allowed. Encouraged, even.

    But I do NOT want to see anything but respect for each other and the viewpoints of others.

    Disagreements are fine. We will never see eye-to-eye on everything. And this would be a pretty dull place if that were so.

    Hopefully, dialogue can lead to enlightenment.
     
  2. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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    Back on topic...

    I picked up a copy of Maurice from Criterion before their rights lapsed. You can still get a few copies from Amazon, although they are in short supply.

    This was one of the first gay films I ever saw. I was living in Washington DC in 1988, still closeted, but going to their excellent gay/lesbian bookstore in Dupont Circle called "Lambda Rising"...they had Maurice on VHS, and even though it was expensive, I bought it. A year earlier, I special ordered the book from B. Daltons. They only carried "A Room With A View" (also by E.M. Forster) in their stores, and that was because that movie was such an immense hit. I still have that book and tape, and somewhere in my boxes of moldy water-damaged laserdiscs I have the laserdisc. But this is the first time I have owned the DVD.

    Set in 1910's England, Maurice is the story of a man who comes to terms with his homosexuality in an era when being caught was punishable by prison time. James Wilby plays Maurice, and Hugh Grant plays Clive, his college lover who is scared "straight" when one of his classmates is caught with a trick and put on trial. Clive eventually marries a woman, and recommends that Maurice does the same. Maurice enters into hypnosis for a cure (the hypnotist is a great part played by Ben Kingsley) but his progress is halted when Maurice has his first sexual encounter with the gamekeeper Scudder played by Rupert Graves. Scudder threatens to blackmail Maurice when Maurice ignores him. But his threats are empty. Will Maurice find true love?
    This is a 1987 R-rated movie, so the sex is not explicit, but there is full frontal and back nudity (never with Hugh Grant, who keeps his clothes on).
    In terms of sheer romance, I tend to prefer A Room With A View. Like A Room With A View, Maurice features lavish production values (shot largely on location) and period costumes.
    Highest recommendation...click fast at Amazon if you want a copy.
     
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  3. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    MODERATOR'S NOTE:

    I have removed a number of posts in this thread as the topic has recently veered wildly off the path as laid out by the thread's starter, Mark Walker in the OP:
    Anyone who continues to attempt to derail the discussions here runs the risk of membership penalties--including up to potential suspension or ban.

    Anyone who wants to discuss this matter with me should PM me privately.
     
  4. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Cinematographer
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    Thanks Steve!

    I tend to not include too much about plots because I (falsely) think folks already know about these films. My first love, a man ten years my senior, told me about how "Maurice" was quite the event when it was released theatrically.

    I saw "A Room With a View" first, and still prefer it, but that has something to do with how much more I enjoy out actor Simon Callow as Mr Beebe, along with Judy Dench, Maggie Smith, and Daniel Day-Lewis.

    The breakout performance for me with "Maurice" is Rupert Graves.

    Maurice is apparently very accurate in that upper class men in England often found it hard to connect with other upper class men sexually and they often sought companionship with "rough trade" and the working class men.

    Apparently Lady Chatterley's Lover was not a fluke or an upper class fantasy.

    There is a great photo-book of a real life "Maurice-esque" love story titled
    "A Class Apart: The Private Pictures of Montague Glover" with text by James Gardiner.
    [​IMG]
    Glover was upper class and a photographer. He photographed the rough trade that was open sexually to upper class men and also, there are lots of photos, including those of the love of his life, Ralph, a working class youth who appears on the cover; They were together more than 50 years and Ralph participated in the creation of the book even though it contains some risque photos of him. It also includes many of Monty and Ralph's love letters....all done along a backdrop of explaining how the culture worked at the start of the century.
    [​IMG]

    It is a real life Maurice story, quite romantic, and saucy, and makes a fantastic companion book to go with Maurice.

    Also, for anyone wondering (if they care) James Ivory, the director of these Merchant Ivory films, was gay, which may be why Maurice got made in the first place. The lead male in A Room With A View was set to star as the lead in Maurice but he did something to irritate Ishmael Merchant and James Ivory, hence the title role went to James Wilby.

    Now when I watch the BBC's Sherlock, I still think of Rupert Graves as he was from Maurice. :)

    Best to you!
     
  5. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    I've perused this thread and may pick up a few. Being straight I'm always asked why I watch them. I've been part of the alternate lifestyle(rope anyone??) since I was, uhm, 18...One of my best friends is a M2F. My current GF is shamelessly "greedy". We are on our 6th time living together. First was in HS when her parents moved and she stayed behind to graduate from the only school system she'd known.It is great to see these movies get proper treatment...even if my normal taste runs the gamut of Room in Rome...By the way, just bought/watched Angels of Sex. Not the greatest portrayal, but...if you have friends that "want to understand what it means"...it is a great baby steps flick.
     
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  6. Steve Tannehill

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    Has anyone checked out the Twilight Time release of Philadelphia? I watched it back in May, and found it very moving. One of the first mainstream Hollywood films to deal with AIDS features a devastating and Oscar-winning performance by Tom Hanks. Because it is Twilight Time, this blu-ray is limited to 3000 units.
     
  7. Mark-P

    Mark-P Producer

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    There are a couple of long lost made-for-TV movies I would love to be able to own in any video format. One that I've never seen and am dying to, is That Certain Summer from 1973. And another one which I have seen is Consenting Adult with Marlo Thomas and Martin Sheen.
     
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  8. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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    Ah yes, Barry Tubb. I remember Consenting Adult well.
     
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  9. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Cinematographer
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    I have it, but have not watched it yet. I decided I needed to go back and buy the special 2 disc DVD version with the bonus materials that were not ported over to the new Blu-ray. I will put them in a 3 disc Amray Blu-ray case when it arrives. I ordered it when I ordered the new Blu-ray release of Kentucky Fried Movie and Fest Selects: Best Gay Shorts, Vol 1 (2011) from Amazon, so it should arrive any day.

    For those that don't know, in Kentucky Fried Movie, there is a fake trailer for a sexplotation film, "Catholic High School Girls in Trouble." It features a sex scene in a shower...The actor in the shower with the Catholic girl was actually an openly gay porn actor, per the commentary track that I heard on the DVD a long time ago. I Google'd him, and sure enough it turned out to be Michael Kearns, a well-respected actor and acting coach in L.A. Here is the cover of his book, with Gandolf endorsing it. :)
    [​IMG]

    Funny, I see that scene so differently now. :D
     
  10. Matt Hough

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    In that same vein is Our Sons with Julie Andrews and Ann-Margret. I really loved it. And don't forget An Early Frost.
     
  11. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    Both of these have DVD versions from less-than-great sources that are still watchable, though Our Sons replaces a song (Hugh Grant, who plays Julie's son, sang Someone to Watch Over Me with the male pronouns intact) with generic music.
     
  12. SteveJKo

    SteveJKo Second Unit

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    Steve, have you ever seen a very good independent film from around 1989/90 called Longtime Companion? In some ways I found it much more moving than Philadelphia. Unfortunately the DVD seems to be out of print, with Amazon listing new copies starting at $47.89. On a positive note the DVD is available to rent from Netflix.
     
  13. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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    Yes, I saw it in the theater.
     
  14. Todd H

    Todd H Go Dawgs!

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    So no mention of Top Gun yet;)Seriously, I'm hoping that one of my favorite films, The Crying Game, gets a Blu release eventually.Sent from my iPhone 5 using Tapatalk 2
     
  15. Vincent_P

    Vincent_P Screenwriter

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    Not out yet, but indie label Synapse Films has been working on a 2K restoration and eventual Blu-ray release of the gay-themed cult classic THUNDERCRACK! for quite some time now. They've been working with the lae director's sister using the only existing element of the original director's cut, a well-worn 16mm answer print (hence the time it's been taking for the restoration effort).

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0073806/

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thundercrack

    Vincent
     
  16. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Cinematographer
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    Longtime Companion was released on DVD when MGM did a whole same day promotional launch of a set of LGBT films on DVD including Jeffrey, Longtime Companion, Torch Song Trilogy, and, I believe, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (which is now available on Blu-ray.)

    As much as I enjoy and admire Philadelphia, it was written with a heterosexual audience in mind, using Denzel Washington a mirror for the audience, starting out a nice enough person, but being unfamiliar (and uncomfortable) with LGBT people and by the end up being okay with them. Even the way Hanks' character supposedly contracts AIDS was so unrealistic (a one time visit to an adult theater where he was unsafe.), that it left me feeling like they had sanitized the Hanks character because they could not afford to spend a lot of time explaining how we acquired HIV and still keep him sympathetic.

    Real life is a bit more complicated, too complicated, and the plot needed to move it along and not spend time on that. I know the friends I went to movie with felt like we had not seen ourselves on the screen. That the film we had just seen was not meant for us.

    Longtime Companion is much more a mirror for the LGBT community at the time. Going to the theater for Longtime Companion resulted in seeing all the same folks I saw at the bars. It was great to hear an audience of gay men swoon over fuzzy later in the film, and I got a bit of thrill with Jake from 16 Candles showing up, albeit briefly. There was also a lot of silence when folks we fell in love with in the first half the film started dying in the second half.

    LC was my first time hanging out with a gay crowd en masse and having that shared experience.

    Going to Philadelphia was a much different experience.

    As for the DVDs, I would imagine those MGM titles are all out of print now that their back catalog is owned by other studios.

    For me, if any less mainstream film comes out on DVD that I might want to watch again at a later date, I pretty much buy them within the first six months of release to avoid the whole OOP issue, which in the age of streaming, is happening more and more.

    The DVD of Longtime Companion only bonus content is a trailer.
     
  17. Mark-P

    Mark-P Producer

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    A couple of corrections here. The MGM rollout of DVDs on June 3, 2003 included:
    Bent
    Jeffrey
    It's My Party
    My Beautiful Launderette
    and
    The Sum of Us

    On May 4, 2004 New Line Home Video released DVDs of
    Torch Song Trilogy
    and
    Love! Valor! Compassion!

    Longtime Companion was actually released on DVD several years earlier on January 23, 2001, and Priscilla on March 28, 2000.
     
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  18. Jason_V

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    Back when Philadelphia came out, my mother gave me a "choice" about what I wanted to see: Philadelphia or Schindler's List. Being all of 14 years old, I was picking Schindler's List. It was a Spielberg movie and it seemed like the "safe" movie for a young teenager trying to wrestle with being gay.

    So much for my opinion...my mother said the Holocaust happened in the past and Philadelphia was happening now, so we went to Philadelphia. I don't remember much of the experience or any after-viewing discussion. I just remember I was really uncomfortable the entire time. The intent may have been to "scare" me away from being gay (my parents still won't bring the subject up), but it 100% backfired.

    Here's the thing, though, no matter what you might think about the movie: it allowed mainstream audiences to put a face on AIDS by using Tom Hanks, America's sweetheart. This is a "safe" gay movie for the masses and yes, it is yet another depiction of a gay man dying and not leading a full life. But really, this kind of thing happens in fits and starts. You have to get audiences on board slowly but surely. Philadelphia brings everyone along slowly.
     
  19. Mark-P

    Mark-P Producer

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    Jason, did your parents have any inkling that you might be gay at the time, or were they just throwing it in for good measure? And if they knew, wouldn't "Philadelphia" have made them more compassionate towards gay people? After all, wasn't that the whole aim of the movie, to win over the straight people?
     
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  20. Ejanss

    Ejanss Banned

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    That was the general intent, to make the Mainstream Headline-Related AIDS Movie for the Oscars--
    Although, in the scene where Denzel gets propositioned by the one supporter rather overeagerly assuming "Well, c'mon, you're defending the AIDS case, so that means you're One Of Us, right? :) ", that also pretty well outlined the reasons why a true "mainstream" AIDS movie for straights was a little further away than hoped.
    The cause, the movie tried to take the middle road in telling us, had its Own Worst Enemies on BOTH sides. Kinda makes you wonder what Jason's parents were trying to tell him....

    (Although "Who needs to know about the Holocaust, that's all in the past!" isn't exactly free of dysfunction, either. Think learning a Spielbergian lesson about charity and self-sacrifice to ALL people, from a people who actually were persecuted, would have been more food for the soul and the road better taken.)
     

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