Apr. 5th, 2018

Review: Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert

I'm posting this hastily, while NBC continues to show the rock opera on the web and on its app. Alternatively, you can watch the individual songs at YouTube or listen to the album, but this is definitely a video worth watching when it is eventually released.

Warning: References to biblical Christian figures )

Jun. 4th, 2017

Video review: Pride (2014)

Clip 1, near the beginning of the movie. Clip 2, with no major spoilers but not safe for work.

I watched this British movie - which I had never heard of before I happened upon a fanvid of it - for three reasons:

1) It features miners. I researched miners last year for an upcoming story.

2) It's set in Britain in 1984-85. I lived in Britain in 1982.

3) It features the gay and lesbian community (as it was called in those days) in 1984-85. I joined the gay and lesbian community on October 2, 1985.

I know the exact date I joined because, on the evening of the day that I walked (with great trepidation) into the quarters of the University of Maryland's gay and lesbian student club, I ended up sitting with the other members of the club in front of the student union, holding a vigil in honor of the passing of Rock Hudson. The next morning, my picture - along with the pictures of other vigil-holders who had given their permission - was on the front page of the university paper.

I mentioned this incident a few years ago to a college-aged reader, and she asked, "Who was Rock Hudson?" Boy, did that make me feel old. "Pride" made me feel young again, because it begins with a wet-behind-the-ears college student being swept into the gay and lesbian community at a time of police hostility, gay bashing, and AIDS.

Based on my own experiences, I'd say that the movie captures perfectly the blend of darkness and joy that was the gay and lesbian community in 1984-85. But this is not your typical gay pride movie. Miners, remember? This is about a meeting of two very different cultures, and the most extraordinary thing about this comedy-drama is that it's based on a true story.

The story is beautifully told: very funny and very moving at the same time. "Heartwarming" is a much overused word to describe films like this, but the word is applicable in this case.

What I most appreciate about this movie is its restraint and its diversity. The original story that the movie is inspired by featured violence, yet only some profanity and some brief mentions of sexuality propelled the movie into an R rating; otherwise, the movie would have deserved a PG rating. As for diversity, we aren't presented with a stereotypical group of gays and lesbians, or a stereotypical group of miners and miners' wives; instead, what we encounter are a wide variety of people, each with their own story. This gives the film added depth.

This is the best movie I've seen for several years. I highly recommend it.

Historical resources for after you've seen the movie (because the website has a major spoiler on the home page).

May. 29th, 2017

Daily life: Anniversary, stubborn Muses, rebellious characters, and "Star Trek Beyond"

"There are certain pitfalls you might fall into [when writing m/m fiction], especially [if] you decide to write historicals, but don't panic, I'm here to help. . . .

"When creating a historical character, it's vital to give him morals and sensibilities that the 21st reader will easily comprehend. He must eschew slavery, be entirely politically correct (for the 21st century, remember, not the times in which he lives) and fight to correct injustice like a historical superhero. He will be outwardly proud of being gay and will not attempt to hide it. He will - if he can - marry his beloved in church."

"Whatever you do, don't get bogged down in the era where your hero lives. Don't hesitate to call him Lance, or Calico or Lennon. There's nothing nicer than having a really unusual aristocrat, like Lord Amber or Baron Damocles."

--"Spare Us the Details, Please!" by Erastes, who goes on to note the value of using weather names like Frost or Storm or Zephyr or . . .

(Um. Well. At least I didn't foist my nickname on any of my characters.)

What I've been up to )

May. 21st, 2017

Review: Rogue One (with mild spoilers)

The review )

Mar. 2nd, 2015

What I read and watched in January and February 2014

"I went on to wonder what it really would be like to share a house with one of the heroes from some of my favourite gay books? . . .

"Laurie from The Charioteer . . . is far too intellectual for me. It'd be all 'But Aeschylus said . . .' Sod Aeschylus. Have another gin and tonic, for gawd's sake.

"Sebastian Flyte from Brideshead Revisted. Argh! No no no no no no no. He'd turn up, pissed as a fart, having left his family and he'd stay for some indeterminate time, taking up the best bedroom, making me make tea and quails eggs (you try and get them in Great Yarmouth, I just challenge you) for him and Aloysius and inviting his bitchy friends over to eat me out of house and home."

Erastes: You Like the Book - But Could You Live With Him?

The goodies )

June 2018




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