Was Salvador Dali gay?
British actor stars as Salvador Dali in controversial film account of his affair with the doomed poet Lorca
As nights out at the cinema go, it sounds almost surreal. A new film is to depict a gay love affair between Salvador Dali, the eccentric master of the avant-garde, and his fellow Spaniard Federico Garcia Lorca, the doomed dramatist and poet.
Little Ashes, a UK-Spanish production, is set in the cultural and political tumult of Twenties Madrid and follows the intense friendship of three revolutionary young artists: Dali, Lorca and the Surrealist film maker Luis Bunuel.
Described by its producers as ‘racy’ and ‘sexy’, the film will show Dali and Lorca’s feelings deepen into a love affair which the sexually repressed artist tries and fails to consummate. As a substitute, Lorca sleeps with a female friend, with Dali present as a voyeur.
The interpretation, by British screenwriter Philippa Goslett, is likely to cause controversy among biographers and historians. Although a physically intimate relationship between the men has long been rumoured, Dali told interviewers more than once that he rejected the homosexual Lorca’s attempts to seduce him.
Playing the larger-than-life Dali – painter of ants, spindly-legged elephants and melting pocket watches, creator of the Lobster Telephone and farceur instantly recognisable for his pointed moustache – is an acting Mount Everest. In Little Ashes the part has gone to Robert Pattinson, a 21-year-old London-born actor best known to cinema audiences as Cedric Diggory in the Harry Potter series. Lorca will be played by the Spanish actor Javier Beltran, while the role of Bunuel is taken by Matthew McNulty, who was in Control, the recent biopic of Joy Division singer Ian Curtis. Little Ashes, named after a Dali painting, is directed by Paul Morrison, whose credits include Solomon and Gaenor, which was nominated for an Oscar in 2000.
The film will find Dali, aged 18, arriving in Madrid, where from 1922 he lived in the university hostel, the Residencia de Estudiantes. It was there, as a bizarre exhibitionist diving into Cubism, that he became close to Bunuel and Lorca, who he later described as ‘the poetic phenomenon incarnate’ and the only person who ever made him jealous. Lorca would go on to write plays including Blood Wedding and The House of Bernarda Alba before being murdered, aged 38, by Nationalists during the Spanish civil war.
In typically vivid language, Dali, who married in 1934, denied their relationship ever became physical. He was homosexual, as everyone knows, and madly in love with me,’ he said, according to Alain Bosquet’s 1969 Conversations with Dali. ‘He tried to screw me twice… I was extremely annoyed, because I wasn’t homosexual, and I wasn’t interested in giving in. Besides, it hurts. So nothing came of it. But I felt awfully flattered vis-à-vis the prestige. Deep down I felt that he was a great poet and that I owe him a tiny bit of the Divine Dali’s asshole.’
But Goslett defended the movie’s portrayal of a love affair between them. ‘Having done a huge amount of research, it’s clear something happened, no question,’ she said. ‘When you look at the letters it’s clear something more was going on there.
‘It began as a friendship, became more intimate and moved to a physical level but Dali found it difficult and couldn’t carry on. He said they tried to have sex but it hurt, so they couldn’t consummate the relationship. Considering Dali’s massive hang-ups, it’s not surprising.’
She said their lovemaking was displaced to a third party. ‘Lorca slept with a female friend of theirs, which Dali called the ultimate sacrifice. Dali watched it and this was the start of his voyeurism. It was the construction of his mask that we are familiar with now. For me the real tragedy is Dali. He was really haunted by Lorca for the rest of his life and talked about him incessantly – more than his wife, Gala.’
The film was shot mainly in Barcelona on a modest £1.4m budget. There was a sceptical response from Ian Gibson, the Spanish-based biographer of both Dali and Lorca, and now working on a life of Bunuel. ‘It depends how you define an affair,’ he said. ‘He [Dali] was terrified of being touched by anyone, so I don’t think Lorca got far.’
October 31, 2007
Shame on the Christian Coalition that call for boycotting Gay Harry Potter
Rowling blasted for ‘encouraging homosexuality’
HARRY Potter author JK Rowling has come under fire from evangelical Christian groups in the United States after revealing that Hogwarts’ headmaster Albus Dumbledore is gay.
The Edinburgh-based writer, who made the revelation in front of young fans in New York this month, has been criticised by religious groups for “encouraging homosexuality”.
Roberta Combs, president of the Christian Coalition of America, said the author’s confession was “disappointing” and urged parents to ban their children from Harry Potter books and films.
Ms Rowling’s confession has also provoked thousands of fans to complain on the internet about Dumbledore’s sexuality.
Melissa Anelli, who runs a fan website, said she had been bombarded by disparaging e-mails after praising the author for “outing” the wizard.
Ms Rowling has previously been accused by US campaigners of glamorising the occult.
America’s largest conservative organisation has called for the banning of the Harry Potter books and films after author JK Rowling revealed that main character Albus Dumbledore was a gay wizard.
The Christian Coalition of America claims to have 2.5 millions supporters and describes its mission as “defending America’s Godly heritage.”
Its chairman, Roberta Combs, said she was disappointed that Rowling chose to out one of the most popular characters in children’s literature.
42-year-old Ms Rowling, whose seven-series saga about the boy wizard has made her an estimated £545m, sent shockwaves round the world last week when she told an audience of fans in New York that the headmaster of wizarding school Hogwarts was gay.
“It’s not a good example for our children, who really like the books and the movies. I think it encourages homosexuality,” said Ms Combs.
“I would never allow my own children or grandchildren to read the books or watch the movies, and other parents should do so too.”
Other Christians groups have never been fans of the books, because they think they promote witchcraft.
Rowling’s gay revelation has only added to their dislike of her works.
Gay equality organisation Stonewall, on the other hand, praised Rowling for outing Dumbledore
“It’s great that JK has said this,” a spokesman said last week.
“It shows that there’s no limit to what gay and lesbian people can do, even being a wizard headmaster.”
October 31, 2007
Nighclub Striptease for you
With a hot go-go boy dancing at the bar.
October 31, 2007
David Beckham has already lived the lives of ten men
David Beckham has been named Britain’s most powerful man aged 40 or under.
The list includes racing driver Lewis Hamilton (15th), Ali G and Borat creator Sacha Baron Cohen (25th), and music producer and DJ Mark Ronson (18th).
The youngest person in the top 40 is Scottish tennis player Andy Murray, 20, in 39th place.
Arena magazine compiled the Power List, of people based in Britain or Britons living abroad, by polling political journalists, politicians, film studio owners, music producers, musicians, trend consultants and financial experts.
The top ten includes Shadow Chancellor George Osborne (4th) Prince Harry (5th), Chelsea boss Roman Abramovich (6th) and Bond star Daniel Craig (10th).
Beckham, who signed a £128 million five-year deal at LA Galaxy, said of topping the list of young men in Britain and Britons abroad: “I am really honoured. To get that title for just being a footballer is quite amazing.”
Arena editor Giles Hattersley said: “Beckham has topped this year’s Arena Power List because he is arguably the most recognisable Brit on the planet.
“David is our biggest sporting export and has inspired boys of all ages to become passionate about football – and fashion.
“He boasts a formidable CV – on and off the pitch – and at 32, has already lived the lives of ten men.”
In the December issue of UK magazine Arena, David Beckham talks about Tom Cruise, scientology, his new life in Los Angeles, how paparazzi are more respectful than in the UK, fashion bien sur, and much more in a fantastic 8 page-fashion spread photographed by … guess who … Steven Klein.
October 31, 2007
A disturbing movie: the gay Christ Passion 2
More photos and trailer on Restoring Sex Blog
October 31, 2007
THe video of part of the concert here:
Justin Timberlake thrusts his way onto stage as he kicks off the Australian leg of his world “FutureSexLoveShow” tour at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre on Saturday.During the concert, Timberlake made a $100,000 donation to the Irwin family’s Australia Zoo.
“And when I came here last time, it really hit me,” he said. “I said to myself `What can I do?’ So what I did was 50 cents from every ticket sold on the Australian tour goes to Wildlife Warriors.”
The crowed went wild and then invited them to join him in a tequila toast to toast the “crazy sun-kissed beautiful Australian women”.
At one point during the concert, he complained of the heat down under and suggested he would be more comfortable naked.
“But you have to pay more for that,” he joked.
October 30, 2007
Every coming-out should be like this
with total family acceptance and encouragements…
:)more about coming-out
Gay teens coming out earlier to peers and family.
from usa today
Kate Haigh, 18, a high school senior in St. Paul, recalls attending her first meeting at the school’s Gay-Straight Alliance club when she was in the ninth grade. “I said, ‘My name is Kate, and I’m a lesbian.’ It was so liberating. I felt like something huge had been lifted off my shoulders, and finally I had people to talk to.”Zach Lundin, 16, has brought boyfriends to several dances at his high school in suburban Seattle.
Vance Smith wanted to start a club to support gay students at his rural Colorado school but says administrators balked. At age 15, Vance contacted a New York advocacy group that sent school officials a letter about students’ legal rights. Now 17, Smith has his club.
Gay teenagers are “coming out” earlier than ever, and many feel better about themselves than earlier generations of gays, youth leaders and researchers say. The change is happening in the wake of opinion polls that show growing acceptance of gays, more supportive adults and positive gay role models in popular media.
“In my generation, you definitely didn’t come out in high school. You had to move away from home to be gay,” says Kevin Jennings, 43, executive director of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, a national group that promotes a positive school climate for gay children. “Now so many are out while they’re still at home. They’re more vocal than we were.”
Still, many continue to have a tough time. The worst off, experts say, are young people in conservative rural regions and children whose parents cannot abide having gay offspring. Taunting at school is still common. Cyber-bullying is “the new big thing,” says Laura Sorensen of Affirmations Lesbian and Gay Community Center in Ferndale, Mich. “Kids are getting hate mail and taunts on MySpace or Facebook.”
But as young gays become more visible targets, they also have more sources of help, experts say. In the 11 years since Jennings founded the education network, parents have become more supportive of gay teens, he says. Also, the network has trained thousands of school officials on how to reduce gay bashing.
Schools are more likely than in the past to have openly gay staff members who can help young people, says Anthony D’Augelli, an associate dean at Pennsylvania State University. In a recent national survey, one-third of school psychologists said they had counseled students or parents about sexual orientation.
In the mid-1990s, a few dozen Gay-Straight Alliance clubs were in U.S. high schools; now 3,200 are registered with the education network, Jennings says.
The Internet also has eased isolation for gay teens, offering a place for socializing and support, says Stephanie Sanders of the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction in Bloomington, Ind.
Cultural diversity is prevalent
Teens are coming out in an era when more Americans than ever consider homosexuality acceptable. In 2006, 54% found homosexuality acceptable, compared with 38% in 1992, Gallup polls show.
Youths also swim in a cultural sea that’s far more pro-gay than ever, says Ritch Savin-Williams, a psychologist at Cornell University and author of The New Gay Teenager. From MTV’s The Real World to Will & Grace and Ellen DeGeneres hosting the Oscars, “kids can see gays in a positive light,” he says.
The news in December that Vice President Cheney’s daughter Mary is expecting a baby with her female partner has even brought gay parenthood into the Bush administration family.
By the time parenthood becomes an option, many homosexuals have known their orientations for a long time. Gay males and lesbians often feel “different” as early as grade school, Sanders says.
Vance Smith, who grew up amid cornfields in LaSalle, Colo., recalls being made fun of and called “gay” as early as first grade. “I didn’t even know what it was,” he says. “I didn’t know why I didn’t like ‘guy-type’ stuff like sports or why I was always more comfortable hanging out with girls. And I didn’t know why I should be punished for it.” By middle school, “I always had a girlfriend, hoping people wouldn’t know.” But he couldn’t make himself feel heterosexual, Smith says. And nobody was fooled, anyway.
Zach Lundin had been taught in church that homosexuality was wrong. “I spent a lot of time trying to convince myself I was straight,” says Lundin, 17, of Kenmore, Wash. At age 14 he told his parents he was attracted to boys. “I said, ‘I’m not going to lie to you anymore. This is what I’m really feeling.’ “
His father, Roy Lundin, wasn’t thrilled to hear the news. “Any parent who says his first reaction isn’t ‘Oh, no!’ probably isn’t telling the truth,” he says.
“We felt some sadness. We just assumed we’d have a daughter-in-law someday and grandchildren. It becomes your disappointment, but it’s a selfish disappointment. Now we’ve gotten past that.
“There are some parts of it that I’ll never be comfortable with,” he concedes, “but that doesn’t mean I can’t support Zach. I love him and I will support him.”
A struggle for the parents
How parents deal with such news has a huge effect on their kids’ lives, says Caitlin Ryan, a social-work researcher at San Francisco State University who is studying the families of gay young people. Families can move gradually from rejection to warm acceptance once the shock wears off, she says. Parents with strong convictions that homosexuality is always wrong find it hardest to accept their gay teens, she says.
At its most extreme, that means throwing a child out. Nobody knows exactly how many gay teens meet that fate, but a disproportionate share of homeless young people in the USA are homosexuals, a new report from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force says. Family conflict, including conflict over sexual orientation, is a key reason they’re homeless, the report says. Several cities have shelters for gay kids, but there’s less help than needed, says Carl Siciliano of the Ali Forney Center, which offers limited housing for New York youths.
Sorensen, who coordinates a drop-in program in suburban Detroit, sees teens from all kinds of families. “Kids from the suburbs drive up in new SUVs their parents bought them. But sometimes they’re afraid to come out to parents because of talk against gays they’ve heard at home. Other kids have to scrounge together bus fare to get here. They all would like to tell their parents and be accepted, but not all of them can.”
Not everyone applauds the soaring number of school-based gay/straight alliances and adult-led programs for gay teens. “Homosexuality is harmful to society, and young people have no business committing to a sexual identity until they’re adults,” says Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council, a conservative policy group. The council backs a new Georgia law, first in the nation, that requires schools to tell parents about clubs and allows them to forbid their children to participate in gay/straight alliances.
Lobbying is underway to pass similar laws in North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Alabama and Texas, says Joe Glover of the Family Policy Network, a Christian family advocacy group. “Parents shouldn’t have to check their rights at the school room door,” he says.
Researchers traditionally have emphasized that gay teens have worse mental health and higher suicide rates than straight teens. But Cornell’s Savin-Williams says these conclusions are primarily based on small, older studies skewed to troubled youths. A few newer studies suggest teens who are attracted to both sexes may have the worst problems. But most research has grouped them with homosexuals.
Gay kids are more likely than straight teens to think about or try suicide, but there’s no evidence they’re more likely to kill themselves, says sociologist Stephen Russell of the University of Arizona. He has analyzed findings from a study of 12,000 teens followed up to a decade so far. Those with same-sex attractions are more depressed and anxious, Russell says, but there’s also evidence that many who say they’re attracted to others of their sex grow up to be heterosexual. He says stigma and prejudice still prompt undue stress for gay kids.
Studies on gay boys predominate, so young lesbians are more of a mystery. Pioneering findings suggest lesbian teens may be different from gay boys in key ways. There’s more variability in the age when they realize they’re not straight, says Lisa Diamond, a University of Utah psychologist. Unlike boys, most girls also have opposite-sex attractions. And strong emotional bonds are more key in sparking girls’ sexual attractions, Diamond says.
She also has ventured into territory rarely trod in studies on gay youths: friendships and romances. “They’re adolescents first, and adolescents are obsessed with their friendship networks,” she says.
Diamond has kids weigh in on the statement: “I sometimes worry that I’ll never be able to find the kind of romantic partner I want.” Gay teens worry about this more than straight teens because best friends are usually the same sex, she says. Gays are unique in agonizing over whether to turn friendships into romances, often fearing they’ll lose a friend.
Worry about finding a partner was strongly linked to anxiety and depression. When Diamond subtracted this worry, gay teens were no more anxious or depressed than straight teens. “We have to start looking at their whole lives, not just sexual orientation. By focusing on stigma, we may be missing the bigger picture: that they’re painfully normal teenagers.”
D’Augelli, who studies homosexuality among the young, says many adults might be surprised at the secret that really lurks in the psyches of gay teens: “The remarkable fact is, most are quite conventional. They want long-term relationships. They want children.”
October 30, 2007
Prepare your Hallowwen fantasy
October 30, 2007
Jude Law and Michael Caine in a gay movie
This time last year, I was sitting around at table with the director, the screenwriter and the novelist responsible for bringing Notes on a Scandal to theatres, debating about whether or not Judi Dench’s repressed school teacher was indeed gay and harboring romantic feelings for Cate Blanchett.
I got sort of’s and maybes—I got a ‘yes, but certainly not of a sexual nature’ and ‘if you told Judi’s character Barbara she was gay, she’d vehemently deny it’. Everyone seemed to agree that Barbara Covett possessed a certain attraction for women she felt couldn’t be fulfilled by the other sex, and yet the idea that she might be gay had never once crossed her mind.
Which at once made Notes on a Scandal the must see gay film of 2006 (and don’t give me Dreamgirls, folks)—one that may or may not even have a gay character.
Well, it’s 2007 and the must see gay film of this year may or may not have a gay character in it. Sleuth, starring Michael Caine and Jude Law, is a reinterpretation on a 1970’s film of the same name, starring Caine and Sir Laurence Olivier. Obviously Caine’s switching roles this time around, and the script, done this time around by Harold Pinter from the play by Anthony Schaffer, bears almost no resemblance to the original.
So why do it?
Any number of reasons: Law, for one (who also executive produced); certainly including Pinter and director Kenneth Branagh and most surely the fact that neither Pinter nor Branagh had ever seen the original.
Which allowed the team to reinvent. In fact, Caine says, only one line from the original film is even in this picture, a cat and mouse game in which Law and Caine battle wits over Caine’s wife, who Law’s been sleeping with.
Caine lures Law to his country home with the promise of finally granting his wife the divorce she’s long been pursuing. What follows is a no holds barred war of power shifts, mind games and armed banter. But what makes this Sleuth different from the original are the all too evident homoerotic undertones that fuel this production.
First when Caine has the power, coaxing Law into a warped headgame—winner take the wife—Law begs for his life by claiming he doesn’t even like women, just the money.
Later, when Law has the leg up, Caine begs him to ditch his wife so the two of them can live together and play house—travel, share a life… it’s the ultimate sugar daddy, playboy set up—a pathetic plea, really… one Law is sure to milk with just the right caress.
Is Caine really finding himself infatuated with Law, or is it just another one of his sick mind games… one he’s all too sure Law will latch onto?
In an interview with About.com, Branagh said that’s the beauty Pinter’s writing—there are no absolutes. “I think one of the beautiful things about the script was just endless, endless interesting question marks. Not annoying ones, but ones that make you go away from the film and talk about it. And in that third act, that great twist in which Harold (Pinter) borrows the plot up until that point and says … ‘We have completely and utterly humiliated each other and that’s now made me think you are my kind of person’.”
“And suddenly that was legitimate, as weird and intensified as it was and compressed as it was. But the very compression, the very irrationality, the high temperature of this kind of revenge drama made you feel it was possible. Then it started to make me think, ‘Well, is he gay? Is this happening in the moment or is this part of a kind of provocation which will lead to an ultimate and yet to be discovered humiliation, which we don’t get a chance to see because Jude turns the tables and says, F–k off you big poof!’ We are not sure what it was, and so they play it.”
Using sexuality as a weapon is nothing new to filmmaking, but allowing actors to use it so blatantly—particularly two men—is completely foreign to American cinema. Tiring and impressive as the trick of shape shifting characters on camera may seem to pull off (consider that for 90 minutes, Caine and Law are the only two actors on screen), Caine says the trick is to take all that work and make it look simple.
“All of it is difficult because, what you’re doing is you’re trying to make it look easy,” he explains. “It’s like watching Fred Astaire dance—you think, ‘I could do that’ because he makes it look easy.”
And they do. Oscar winner Caine rips into his role with intensity—he’s at once menacing, empowered but tortured and destroyed. Across from him, Law is bumbling yet sexy, then cruel… off his rocker, even. Both men square off like we’re watching a master class in acting.
“I had a completely reliable actor who I thought was brilliant,” Caine explains. “I can’t work with bad actors—I can’t do it. If I’m with someone and he’s giving a bad performance, it’s the only time in movies that I forget my lines, because I’m going, ‘ I wonder what he’s doing’. And they’re saying, ‘It’s your next line, Michael’. Oh shit!”
Law says stumbling upon the meaty, multi-layered role of Milo was an accident. He says he approached the project as a producer, first and foremost, and it was only after seeing what Pinter brought to the script, and the many ways he could keep the audience guessing about his character, that it even occurred to him that he might be right for the part.
“I love producing,” the 34-year-old actor says. “I’ll tell you, what I love about it is putting people together. I love working with writer, think I could write one day—I know I can’t—but I love working with writers and their ability to fill a blank page with dream, imagination. I love the ability to put a great writer and a great director, a great writer and a great actor together—it’s like throwing a big party.”
And party they do—in fact, this is one of the most superb pairings of talent seen on screen since, well, Notes of a Scandal. And while the undertones might have been a bit more surface there, in Sleuth and, particularly, in the hands of Law, who’s dabbled in homosexual undertones in The Talented Mr. Ripley and Wilde before this, this time around, you feel like you’re watching a plot point come to life not even the playwright could have predicted.
“He retains probably one line from the original play… ‘It’s only a game’… but the rest of this three act piece is pure Harold Pinter and he’s very proud of, very proprietary… he really felt it was his.”
Now—to get inside Pinter’s head!
I remember saying, ‘About the ending, Harold…’, Caine remembers. “He said, ‘WHAT?’ I said, ‘Nothing’.”
Not gonna happen!
October 30, 2007
Did you know about the pink bracelet? Do you wear yours?
What is it? The PINK BRACELET is a direct way to support the mission of the Noble Beast Foundation, which is to spread the word: “It is O.K. to be Gay.” The Noble Beast Foundation runs an entertaining annual contest series, the Mr. Gay Competitions, which showcase leaders in the gay community.
October 30, 2007