September 27, 2013

The Gays Are Getting Engaged In Primetime

This week, the broadcast networks started their traditional fall season with premieres of many shows, old and new. The premieres of two network stalwarts, ABC's MODERN FAMILY and Fox's GLEE, were notable for sharing a similar storyline; on both opening episodes, two of the main male characters were engaged as a direct result of the Supreme Court ruling this summer.

Cam and Mitchell on MF had been long rumored to be tying the knot this fact some viewers were getting impatient with the show, wondering what was taking them so long as they had already adopted a child. Cam and Mitchell's proposal was comically brilliant as they both schemed to outdo each other with the best engagement scenario, only to be foiled in a most ordinary way (no spoilers!) leading to what was actually a completely charming/moving proposal.

Over at McKinley High, Kurt and Blaine finally figured it all out and got back together after some ups and downs over 2 seasons of their relationship.  Being show kids, they did their engagement waaaay over the top with a surprise flash mob proposal scenario involving the Warblers, the Cheerios and just about every cast member of the show singing and dancing to the Beatles "All You Need Is Love". It was extravagant and insane and a little bit ridiculous--just like GLEE in general. But it was also groundbreaking television in its own way as it ended with a big, passionate kiss too. I can recall 10-15 years ago when this sort of event on primetime network television would have sent advertisers scurrying and executives panicking. And now it seemed the most natural and normal and romantic thing in the world--which it should be, obviously! :)

Anyway, big shout-outs to both of these wonderful shows for celebrating gay couples committing to one another. Until that is, the proposals get called off...after all, this is TV and they've got a whole season full of drama to fill.

September 25, 2013

A 7-Hour Documentary About FRIDAY THE 13TH

The horror film FRIDAY THE 13TH cost half a million dollars to make and grossed nearly 40 million dollars when it was released back in 1981. A success of this magnitude in Hollywood demands not only one sequel but, believe it or not, 11! That's right--there have been a total of 12 FRIDAY films over the last 30 years, one where Jason even went to space.

Given that ouvre, a fanboy/filmmaker named Daniel Ferrands decided to make an epic documentary about the FRIDAY series. His film, CRYSTAL LAKE MEMORIES, is a 7-hour exploration of the series of movies in which Jason, wearing his iconic hockey mask, slays his way through countless teenagers and even a few adults. There's an article by my friend Erik Piepenberg in todays' TIMES arts section about the doc and why that length was necessary to tell the story of Jason. Actually, it sounds like the film is 12 mini-docs (one for each FRIDAY movie) that have been strung together.

Unfortunately, Ferrands didn't get Kevin Bacon or Crispin Glover (who made appearances opposite Jason) to open up about their horror stories. But he does have lots of remembrances from other cast and crew. Apparently, there's even a gayish FRIDAY too--the seventh one in the series. I knew that NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET's sequel is infamously homoerotic but didn't know Jason swung both ways too, as it were. Will have to check that one out...and the mini-doc too.

September 5, 2013

Doc About Cantor Fitzgerald Opens, 9/6 NY and 9/10 US

For almost five years, I worked as the associate producer on a documentary about Cantor Fitzgerald, the company whose offices were at the top of the World Trade Center. OUT OF THE CLEAR BLUE SKY follows the story of Cantor from September 11th up to the 10th anniversary of the attack which killed more than 600 people who worked for the company. Theirs was the largest loss of life of any single entity that day.

The film is directed by Danielle Gardner, a mentor of mine from when I was in film school. Danielle's brother worked at Cantor so the film started as a deeply personal project. But over time it evolved into telling the remarkable story of this company that lost a majority of its employees on that one terrible day was kept in operation so that they could help support the families of those left behind. It's an incredible tale of resilience and resolve and you can see it in theatres this weekend, when it opens at the Regal Union Square on September 6th.

Additionally, for those not in NYC, there is a special screening of the film happening on September 11th at theaters across the country...for more info on that visit the ScreenVision website. There will be a live Q/A following that screening with Danielle and Howard Lutnick, the company's CEO who survived because he was taking his son to his first day of kindergarten. That's a part of the Cantor story most people know but this film tells the rest of the story. I am very proud of my work on this project and I hope you can check it out this coming week.