This time it’s women who are wearing the towels. Their misdirected lives intersect at the local sauna, where one unexpectedly finds love. Ruby Dee, Ally Sheedy, Kate Siegel, and Chelsea Handler (yes, Chelsea Handler!) star, with Kyle Schickner directing. 2007. Wolfe (wolfevideo.com). by Nancy Ford
The seemingly diametrically opposed worlds of duct tape and mix tapes intersect in this behind-the-scenes look at the Miss Gay America female impersonators competition. Winner last year of NewFest’s Best New Feature and Frameline’s Best Doc. Ron Davis and Stewart Halpern-Fingerhut direct. 2008. Oct. 20. Wolfe Video (wolfevideo.com).
Fresh from his gay turn in Taking Woodstock, the comedian shows off
his adorable lesbian haircut in the freshman season of his quirky cable series. Guests stars David Cross, Amanda Peet, John Oliver, and others pop up to help the law school dropout with single-focus episodes. Comedy Central (comedycentral.com).
Becoming known as “the female Tyler Perry,” Jade Jenise Dixon writes, produces, directs, and stars in this comedy about a group of women, once college classmates, who reunite years after graduation and reflect on the changes that have taken place. But, needless to say, some things never change. Image Entertainment (image-entertainment.com).
There have been a handful of incidents in the annals of lesbian pop history that cheesed off women in a big way: Ellen DeGeneres and Jodie Foster’s long, long time refusals to come out of the closet. Pink marrying a man. Personal Best.
Sure, it’s entertainment of the highest caliber. Even more, this intro to the legendary performer whose death is said to have helped spark the modern gay rights movement is a remarkable slice of history. Here are the first two episodes of the frail powerhouse’s 26-episode television season, circa 1963–64, with guests Count Basie, Mel Torme, and a teenaged Liza. Infinity Entertainment Group (infinity-entertainmentgroup.com). —Review: N.F.
As we approach the 54th anniversary of James Dean’s tragic death behind the wheel of his Porsche Spyder on a California highway, it’s harder than ever to separate the legend from the artist. One way to do it, though, is to go back to his art, particularly his contributions to three iconic films of the mid-1950s: East of Eden, Rebel Without a Cause, and Giant. Less familiar are his stage and television appearances. Unfortunately, we can only read about the stage work, but 10 of his television appearances are collected in a new two-disc set, James Dean: The Fast Lane. You’ll need a certain amount of patience, or perhaps obsessive interest, to sit through some of these rather moldy-looking antiques, but if you’re a true Dean fan, it’s worth it. The set doesn’t include the three Dean film classics, but it does contain a rather dreary (if still essential) 1957 documentary, The James Dean Story, directed by none other than Robert Altman. Infinity Entertainment Group (infinity-entertainmentgroup.com). —Review: Jack Varsi
This grouping of five short films for and about gay Asian males includes works from South Korea, Indonesia, the USA, and, from the UK, Yellow Fever, the acclaimed 1998 comedy about self-esteem by director Raymond Yeung. Strand Releasing (strandreleasing.com). —Preview: Nancy Ford
Does what comes come from what came? Oliver Martineau and Jacques Ducastel appear to answer this question in the affirmative in their nearly three-hour epic tale of two generations of French gentle folk whose lives span the 40 years from the Paris riots of 1968 to the election of Nicolas Sarkozy.
Oprah and Angelina may jockey for top spots on the annual Forbes list, but make no mistake, Vogue editor Anna Wintour is the most powerful woman in the world. And if you doubt it, The September Issue will tell you so. A lot. With the pack of camera dogs flashbulbing her every move, experts singing her praises, and even the head of Neiman Marcus begging her for shipping assistance, there is no shortage of back-patting going on here. But the reasons for Wintour’s agreement to do this doc are sorta suspect. Did one-time assistant Lauren Weisberger’s thinly veiled vivisection of a novel (The Devil Wears Prada) piss her off that much she just had to tell her side of the story? Is the Internet squeezing magazine media dollars so brutally, she needed to cast herself in what is, basically, a 90-minute corporate video on the relevance of mag ads? Or, even weirder, is this Mother Wintour’s desperate attempt to convince her level-headed daughter to ditch charitable legal aspirations and instead sail into the sunset, hoisting the mast(head) of the most influential fashion document on the planet?