Steven Soderbergh, director of this month’s movie, Behind the Candelabra (2013), can boast an impressive resume. He has spun out movie-making magic with Sex, Lies and Videotape (1989), Traffic (2000), the Ocean’s Eleven series (2001), and Magic Mike (2012). His movie Erin Brockovich (2000) won him a much-deserved Oscar.
Entertainers, musicians, movies, and all popular cultural items come and go, but some manage to keep their profiles high across multiple generations: Elvis, The Beatles, Star Wars are examples among many. It is a safe bet that our great-great grandchildren will be reading books on a certain boy wizard named Harry.
Gender differences are suddenly a front-burner concern for citizens of Mississippi, North Carolina, and Georgia — possibly frightened because of the Supreme Court decision last year that gave same-sex couples the right to marry (Liptak, 2015). Their particular concerns about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people have led to passing laws that have drawn reactions nationwide (Mele, 2016), Continue reading Gender Differences: Why the Sudden Concern?→
The Danish Girl is an proper choice to continue Movies on My Mind’s LGBT theme, as transgenders are prominent in the news of late. This movie, directed by Tom Hooper and starring the accomplished actor Eddie Redmayne, was released in November 2015 and was later nominated for four Oscars. Alicia Vikander won Best Supporting Actress for her role as Gerda Wegener in this film.
On June, 26, 2015, the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage, and the world erupted in joy to celebrate gay rights. Rainbow flags flew with pride, the White House lit up in rainbow colors, and millions of Facebook users commemorated the occasion by adding a rainbow to their profile pictures. However, in the midst of the euphoria, there was not one mention of Vito Russo that I remember. That is akin to Americans forgetting Martin Luther King, Jr. while appreciating what the Civil Rights Movement has achieved for African-Americans. Continue reading The Celluloid Closet: Viva Vito’s Gay Rights Legacy!→
It seems strange that our understanding of human diversity is still so shallow in 2016, especially about our gender differences. Shouldn’t this particular human difference be one that we all know a lot about by now? It’s often the case however that we cover our ignorance or discomfort with certain topics by laughing about them. Continue reading Human Diversity: Are You Still Blissfully Ignorant?→
We teach people how to remember, we never teach them how to grow.
–Oscar Wilde, 1907
My dear boy, people who love once in their lives are really shallow people. What they call their loyalty and their fidelity is either the lethargy of custom or lack of imagination. Faithfulness is to the emotional life is what constance is to the intellectual life, simply a confession of failure.
–Oscar Wilde, 1890
Oscar Wilde was a witty, prolific, and very successful literary figure who suffered imprisonment for refusing to deny his gay behavior. However, when one’s livelihood requires popularity and acceptance, revolution is a stance that should require thoughtful consideration of its risks. Thus, his story is a conspicuous example where the rules of society, which reflect a society’s conception of moral behavior and its conception (or misconception) of humanity, dictated that a person of enormous talent and intellect must be disguised, marginalized, and/or extinguished. Continue reading Wilde vs. Public Morality→
I recently attended a memorial service for a lifelong friend. One of the speakers stated in a remembrance that a person dies three times; he dies physically, he dies again when he is memorialized then buried, and he dies a third death when nobody on Earth remembers him or mentions his name again.
It has been well over a century since Oscar Wilde’s death, yet his name keeps popping up in enough cultural references to the point that it seems every educated person today knows this renowned playwright by name and famous works Continue reading Wilde: The Rise and Ruin of Oscar Wilde→
Insight for film groups, critics, scholars, and fans