Home Media Magazine » Blog
Font Size: A A A

Gay/Lesbian Indie

Home Media Magazines Blog

Gay/Lesbian Indie


Insights from home entertainment industry experts. Home Media blogs give you the inside scoop on entertainment news, DVD and Blu-ray Disc releases, and the happenings at key studios and entertainment retailers. “TK's Take” analyzes and comments on home entertainment news and trends, “Agent DVD Insider” talks fanboy entertainment, “IndieFile” delivers independent film news, “Steph Sums It Up” offers pithy opinions on the state of the industry, and “Mike’s Picks” offers bite-sized recommendations of the latest DVD and Blu-ray releases.



June 01, 2010
Sharon Gless Calls Out to Gay Following With ‘Hannah Free’



Legendary TV actress Sharon Gless, perhaps best known for playing Christine Cagney in pioneering female-cop drama “Cagney & Lacey,” has long appreciated her gay following. Other than playing tough lesbian icon Cagney (who wasn’t gay, nor is Gless), she played Debbie Novotny, the overbearing mother to Hal Sparks’ Michael Novotny, in Showtime’s “Queer as Folk.”

“[“Cagney & Lacey” was] really when I first because acquainted and close to the lesbian community because they were so supportive and really kept us on the air,” Gless said. “I have tremendous appreciation for the gay community for really keeping my career going.”

Her latest role is the title character in Hannah Free, a lesbian drama now out on DVD from Wolfe Video ($24.95). In the film, based on a play by Claudia Allen, Gless plays an elderly woman whose lifetime love is near the end of her life, and whose family won’t let her see her.

“What was so timely for me, and I do make gay and lesbian causes my thing, I’m very passionate about it … what I thought was so timely and why it meant so much to me is the fact that gay couples still can’t get into a hospital room, still are not considered family,” Gless said. “I was on Rosie O’Donnell’s cruise (for gays and lesbians and their families), and there were two lesbian couples just boarding the ship, I think they’d been together 30 years. As they were boarding, one of the women had a heart attack … and her partner was not allowed in the room. And the woman died, with her partner sitting out in the hallway.”

Gless’ Hannah is a free spirit who constantly left her lover to raise her kids alone, while never failing to return to her. Gless said the final scene of the film, when Hannah is confronted with the end of her lover’s life, was particularly challenging in that she sought to underplay Hannah’s emotional state.

“When confronted with a highly emotional situation like that, you don’t usually fall apart,” Gless said. “You don’t go for the obvious.”

Gless was approached by Allen to play Hannah in the film after Gless starred in one of Allen’s plays in Chicago (her “Cagney & Lacey” co-star, Tyne Daly, also has starred in a radio play by Allen).

“She called me one day and said, ‘they’re putting one of my plays on film, do you want to be in it?’ I said, ‘absolutely,’” Gless said. “She writes women beautifully, so I knew it’d be fabulous.”

Gless now stars in TV’s “Burn Notice.” While that show and many others she has been in are available on DVD, there’s one notable exception: Other than one season and some reunion TV movies, almost all of “Cagney & Lacey” is still unavailable.

“My greatest regret is that ‘Cagney & Lacey’ never made it to DVD,” Gless said.

She hopes that if a “Cagney & Lacey” movie remake were to happen, renewed interest in the series would lead to its release on DVD.

Gless hopes that a feature film of the show would get even grittier than the series allowed when it aired during the 1980s. She said a technical advisor on the show was a female police officer who kept the show rooted in the reality of police work.

“I asked once our technical advisor, if you see something really horrible, is it really bad for a female cop to cry … in front of one of your male colleagues?” Gless said. “And she said, ‘Sharon, I’ve seen men cry, the things we see.’”

Gless on DVD


Cagney & Lacey: Season One is available on DVD — the set collects early episodes beginning with Gless’ first episodes as Cagney, who was played by Loretta Swit and Meg Foster in the show’s earliest incarnation — as are reunion sets Cagney & Lacey: The Menopause Years and Cagney & Lacey: The Return. Season sets and a complete-series set of “Queer as Folk” is available from Showtime, and the first three seasons of “Burn Notice” are out on DVD from Fox (season two is also available on Blu-ray).

By: Billy Gil


May 20, 2010
New Indie Titles, May 20: ‘Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg’ and More



Title: Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg
Genre: Documentary
Studio: New Video/Docurama
Street date: 8/24
Price/Format: $29.95 DVD
Reserve on Netflix

The popular documentary profiles Gertrude Berg, the TV pioneer who starred in the first popular sitcom, “The Goldbergs.” The two-DVD set includes interviews with such subjects as Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, actor Ed Asner and producer Norman Lear, plus more than two hours of special features. 


Title: Before & After Stonewall: 25th Anniversary Edition
Genre: Documentary/Gay/Lesbian
Studio: First Run
Street Date: 6/8
Price/Format: $39.95 DVD
Reserve for purchase


The two-DVD set includes documentaries on the gay community prior to and after the June 28, 1969 NYPD raid of Greenwich Village’s Stonewall Inn, which helped jumpstart the modern gay rights movement.


Title: Mary and Max
Genre: Animated
Studio: MPI/IFC
Street date: 6/1
Price/Format: $24.98 DVD, $29.98 Blu-ray
Reserve for purchase (DVD or Blu-ray)
Reserve on Netflix


This stop-motion animation tale of unlikely friends — the daughter of an alcoholic mother and distant father, and a 44-year-old man with Asperger’s Syndrome — features the voice talents of Philip Seymour Hoffman, Toni Collette and Eric Bana. The film was screen last October via Sundance Selects On-Demand.


Title: Sex Positive
Genre: Documentary/Gay/Lesbian
Studio: E1
Street date: 6/15
Price/Format: $19.98 DVD
Reserve on Netflix


Studios continue to line up titles for Gay and Lesbian Pride Month with such films as Sex Positive, a documentary on gay S&M-hustler-turned-AIDS activist Richard Berkowitz, who helped pioneer the idea of “safe sex” in light of the AIDS epidemic.


Title: Eclipse Series 23: The First Films of Akira Kurosawa
Genre: Foreign/Arthouse
Studio: Criterion
Street date: 8/3
Prebook: 7/6
Price/Format: $59.95 DVD


Before the legendary director created masterworks such as Rashomon and Seven Samurai, he made these four films — Sanshiro Sugata, The Most Beautiful, Sanshiro Sugata: Part Two and The Men Who Tread on the Tiger’s Tail.
 

By: Billy Gil


May 11, 2010
Wolfe Gets 4 New Films; TLA Reprices Gay Titles



With Gay and Lesbian Pride Month coming up in June, two of the big players in gay and lesbian home video, TLA Releasing and Wolfe Video, have made separate announcements.

Wolfe has acquired the distribution rights for Sundance pick 8: The Mormon Proposition, Elena Undone, My Normal and Slamdance hit The Four-Faced Liar. 8 is directed by Emmy Award-winning journalist Reed Cowan and is an indictment of the Mormon Church’s involvement in passing California’s Proposition 8, which defined marriage as only between men and women in the state; the film comes to DVD in July. Elena Undone, from director Nicole Conn (Claire of the Moon) tells the story of a pastor’s wife and a troubled female writer who are drawn to one another, and the film will screen at June’s San Francisco Lesbian & Gay Film Festival. My Normal tells of lesbian dominatrix who longs to become a filmmaker, and the film comes to DVD in late 2010. The Four-Faced Liar was written by, stars and is co-produced by Marja Lewis Ryan; the film will hit U.S. and Canadian festivals throughout the year before coming to DVD.

Meanwhile, TLA Releasing is repricing some of its gay-themed DVDs, such as Another Gay Sequel, A Four Letter Word (DVDs $19.99 each), Boy Culture, Clandestinos, Boystown, Tan Lines, Schoolboy Crush (DVDs $14.99 each), Bear Cub, Harry and Max, Naked Fame and Beautiful Boxer (DVD $9.99 each).

Additionally, prebook is today for Kino International’s Blu-ray release of Wong Kar-Wai’s gay-themed classic, Happy Together, starring Tony Leung and Leslie Cheung; the $29.95 Blu-ray streets June 8. And Water Bearer Films today announced two new titles streeting July 20 (prebook June 22) on DVD at $19.95: Crush, Michael J. Saul’s anthology of four gay love stories, and Altitude Failing, a futuristic tale in which a man inadvertently recruits his lover into a covert army suicide mission (whoa).

By: Billy Gil


May 06, 2010
New Indie Titles, May 6: ‘Shinjuku Incident’ and More



Title: Shinjuku Incident
Genre: Action
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Street date: 6/8
Prebook date: 5/6
Price/Format: $24.94 DVD
Reserve for purchase
Reserve on Netflix


What’s a Jackie Chan movie doing in IndieFile? Well, this one is a throwback to his classics and has been nominated for four Hong Kong Film Awards, including best picture. Chan stars as a Chinese immigrant to Japan who rises through the ranks of a black market mob to become the head of the infamous Shinjuku district. Special features include commentary on select scenes with Chan, as well as a behind-the-scenes featurette. 


Title: Fuel
Genre: Documentary
Studio: Cinema Libre
Street Date: 6/22
Prebook Date: 5/11
Price/Format: $24.95 DVD
Reserve on Netflix


The Sundance Audience Award-winning doc about alternative fuels features Sheryl Crow, Neil Young, Willie Nelson, Larry David, Richard Branson and Robert Kennedy Jr.


Title: For My Father
Genre: Foreign/Thriller
Studio: Film Movement
Street date: 6/1
Price/Format: $24.95 DVD
Reserve for purchase
Reserve on Netflix


For My Father is an Israeli-German drama about a young Palestinian man on a suicide mission who finds forbidden love while awaiting the completion of his mission. It was nominated for seven Israeli Academy Awards. The Film Movement short film included on this DVD is Ali & the Ball, an Australian film about a young boy in a refugee detention center who must protect his mother and sister.


Title: Dark Arc
Genre: Dark Comedy
Studio: Vanguard
Street date: 8/24
Prebook date: 7/16
Price/Format: $19.95 DVD

A strange love triangle ensues when a visual performance artist and his muse stage visual events to influence the life of a down-to-earth graphic designer. Writer-director Dan Zukovic wrote and directed the ’90s cult film The Last Big Thing.


Title: Soundless Wind Chime
Genre: Drama/Gay/Lesbian
Studio: TLA
Street date: 6/22
Prebook: 5/25
Price/Format: $19.98 DVD
Reserve for purchase
Reserve on Netflix


This dreamlike film about a Swiss pickpocket and shy Chinese man falling in love has won numerous queer film festival awards, and it’s nice to see a low-key, atypical gay love story for a change.

YouTube:

By: Billy Gil


April 29, 2010
New Indie Titles, April 29: ‘When You’re Strange’ and More



Title: When You’re Strange: A Film About The Doors
Genre: Documentary/Music
Studio: Eagle Rock Entertainment
Street date: 6/29
Prebook date: 6/4
Price/Format: $19.98 DVD or $24.98 Blu-ray
Reserve on
Netflix

This theatrical documentary uses rarely seen footage of The Doors to tell the story about the controversial rock band. The film is directed by Tom DiCillo and narrated by Johnny Depp.


Title: Don McKay
Genre: Drama
Studio: Image
Street Date: 6/29
Prebook Date: 6/1
Price/Format: $27.98 DVD $35.98 Blu-ray
Reserve for purchase (
DVD or Blu-ray)
Reserve on
Netflix

Executive produced by and starring Oscar nominee Thomas Haden Church (Sideways), the film concerns a janitor (Church) haunted by a mistake he made 25 years ago. He is pulled out of his funk by his ex-girlfriend (Elizabeth Shue), who is dying and wants to spend her final days with him but who is closely watched over by her doctor (James Rebhorn) and nurse (Melissa Leo). With Tribeca buzz, an amazing cast and critical acclaim, Don McKay is surely worth checking out. The discs come with commentary and deleted scenes.


Title: World Cup Soccer in Africa: Who Really Wins?
Genre: Documentary
Studio: Disinformation
Street date: 6/15
Prebook date: 5/18
Price/Format: $19.98 DVD
Reserve for
purchase
Reserve on
Netflix

As much as the World Cup is a globally celebrated event, South Africa serving as the host nation for the 19th FIFA World Cup raises some questions — who is uprooted by the building of new stadiums for the event? And couldn’t the money spent for those stadiums have been used to help the country’s poorest, who lack toilets or running water?


Title: Le Combat dans l’ile
Genre: Drama/Foreign/Cult
Studio: Zeitgeist
Street date: 6/22
Price/Format: $29.99 DVD
Reserve for
purchase
Reserve on
Netflix

A remastered French New Wave romantic political thriller, Alan Cavalier’s film deals with the political situation in France in the 1960s. A member of a right-wing terrorist organization is involved in an assassination attempt and hides out in his friend’s childhood home with his wife, and a love triangle ensues. Sounds like Jules et Jim meets Casablanca, count me in.


Title: Word Is Out
Genre: Documentary/Gay/Lesbian
Studio: Oscilloscope/Millarium Zero
Street date: 6/8
Prebook: 5/4
Price/Format: $29.95 DVD
Reserve for
purchase
Reserve on
Netflix

In conjunction with the 40th anniversary of the first gay pride marches comes a release of this 1977 film, a documentary of 26 gay and lesbian people of various races, ages and backgrounds. The landmark film was shown in theaters and on television released in theaters around the world and shown on prime-time television and has been restored by the UCLA Film & Television Archive. The film will be released through Millarium Zero, a sister company to Milestone Film & Video, and through a distribution deal with Oscilloscope. The DVD includes numerous special features about the filmmakers, the film’s subjects and more.
 

By: Billy Gil





Sponsor

TK’s Take is brought to you this month by

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment

NEWSLETTER

Sign up for Home Media Magazine's Daily newsletter.

Home Theater forum

POLL

Are Kiosk Rentals Hurting Sellthrough?

Submit Vote
- OR -
Click here to view results

SEND US

Send us video clips of home entertainment industry events and parties