By Tim Parks
A Single Man tells the tale of gay British import George Falconer’s (Colin Firth) case of love’s labour’s lost after his longtime companion, Jim (Matthew Goode), dies in 1962 Los Angeles.
The movie, directed by Tom Ford and adapted from a Christopher Isherwood novel, follows Falconer on a single day in his life, as he seeks solace from his grief with his gal pal Charley (Julianne Moore). However, the duo is in the same boat and adrift upon a sea of confusion, as they attempt to forget their collective pasts and beach themselves on the unknown shores of the future.
Firth received an Oscar nomination for his work in this tale about the complexities of the human spirit. Available July 6.
While the documentary Fagbug does center on a very colorful VW, it is most definitely not Herbie Reloaded. The film stems from the unfortunate events that Erin Davies encountered at the 11th Annual National Day of Silence in Albany, New York. Her VW Beetle was vandalized with the graffiti words “u r gay” and “fag” left on the driver’s side and hood, because it sported a rainbow sticker.
Rather than give into the pettiness of the perpetrators hate crime, Davies literally takes the high road. She drove with the words intact, and added her own personal touches with a rainbow color makeover and the word Fagbug written on the door, on a 58-day trip through the U.S. and Canada. Available July 13.
8: The Mormon Proposition has been described as “a vital, important cry for an open dialogue” by the Salt Lake Tribune. The look inside of the Mormon Church’s association with the support and passage of the dreaded Proposition 8, which banned gay marriages in our state, ironically outs the Church’s crusade against gay rights.
The 80 minute documentary is narrated by Academy Award winning-screenwriter Dustin Lance Black (Milk) and directed by Reed Cowan. Cowan grew up gay in Utah as a Mormon and initially set out to make a film about gay homeless teens and suicide in the region. He instead turned his sharp focus onto the Church’s indictment “to damage gay people and their causes.” Available July 13.
Ben Stiller stars as Greenberg, a down-on-his-luck type of New York City guy. Unsure of what direction his life is taking him in, he decides to become a full-time housesitter for his younger and more successful brother in Los Angeles.
During his free tenure in La La Land, the title character sets out to re-establish his ties with former acquaintances. After it is made abundantly clear that his former bff’s have outgrown him, he happens upon an unlikely love affair with his brother’s personal assistant (Greta Gerwig). This dramedy, which is directed by Noah Baumbach (The Squid and the Whale), is based on a story by co-star Jennifer Jason Leigh (Fast Times at Ridgemont High). Available July 13.
The premise of the 1948 British film, The Red Shoes, incorporates backstage existence coupled with the ecstasy of performance, and finds young ballerina Vicky Page (Moira Shearer) joining a prestigious dance troupe. She snags the lead role in a production of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale of the same name, and becomes torn between a composer (Marius Goring) and the impresario (Anton Walbrook), who is bent on turning her into the greatest dancer.
This Technicolor triumph has inspired many modern day filmmakers, such as Martin Scorsese, who offers up his insights on the audio commentary portion of this release. Available July 20.
TV on DVD
By name recognition alone, you might suspect “The Mothers-in-Laws” to be a television show along the lines of “Brothers & Sisters.” However, it is an all-out comedy, minus the dramatic moments.
The sitcom starred funny ladies Eve Arden (Grease and “Our Miss Brooks”) and Kaye Ballard (“The Doris Day Show”) as next door neighbors whose children wed each other. The show had them bickering with each other and their spouses. Naturally, they meddled into their children’s lives – they are “The Mothers-in-Laws.”
Behind-the-scenes, this 1967-1969 NBC comedy was produced by Desilu Productions (Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz’s production company), and Arnaz utilized “I Love Lucy” writers Madelyn Pugh Davis and Bob Carroll, Jr., to flesh out the comedy in the situations-at-hand. Available July 27.