A Look at Joan Crawford and the Gay Icon Phenomenon

The adoption of female stars as icons by gay men isn’t a new phenomenon. Many examples spring to mind, such as Judy Garland and Barbra Streisand. But what’s the reason for their gay icon status? And why is this only bestowed on a select few? Why is Joan Crawford, like so many others, deemed a gay icon and why, in the AlterHéros “100 Best Things about Being Gay?” list, does she sit at No. 46 because gay men “viscerally understand” her?

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‘Tully’ Smashes Hollywood’s Glamorous Image of Motherhood

The cinematic duo Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody, with their previous work together on Juno and Young Adult, are back in a brilliant return to form. Tully is a ruthlessly raw, unfiltered, and intimate look at motherhood, with all of its breast pumps and diaper bags. Reitman’s lens and Cody’s thoughtfully satirical screenplay deliver the harsh truths of parenting and mental illness.

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‘The Big Lebowski’ and Pop Culture Religion

The exploration of religion is popular in all narrative media, from television, film, music, video games, and literature; many people find spiritual and religious inspirations from the products of those media, some of which have even produced their own religions. In the book Visioning New and Minority Religions: Projecting the Future, Pavol Kosnáč describes pop culture-based religion as “radically de-institutionalized, eclectic, fun, experimental, parody-and sarcasm loving.” Despite their nature, these kinds of religious movements are usually populated by people whose beliefs, membership and spirituality are as genuine as those of worshipers of traditional religions. Kosnáč explains that one example of how pop culture-based religions are created is through the interpretation of a film’s message and its impact on one’s life. In other words, the fans of the film take the message and shape it into an ethical system.

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‘In the Fade’ and the performance the Academy forgot

Director Fatih Akin is known for his cross-cultural exploration of the lives and struggles of German Turks through tales of loss and forgiveness in critically acclaimed films like Head On (2004) and The Edge of Heaven (2007). Akin’s newest drama, In the Fade, explores these themes even deeper.

Denis Moschitto and Diane Kruger in Aus dem Nichts (2017) © Warner Brothers

Set in the German-Turkish community of Akin’s hometown of Hamburg, the film follows Katja (Diane Kruger) as she struggles to cope with and comprehend the senseless act of violence committed on her husband Nuri (Numan Acar) and son Rocco (Rafael Santana).

The film is inspired by the National Socialist Underground murders that occurred between 2000-2007. These xenophobic attacks on German Turks throughout the country, at the hands of three NSU members, left ten dead.  In the film, Katja’s husband and six-year-old son are the casualties of a nail bomb by two members of a neo-Nazi terrorist group.

Divided into three parts, In the Fade is a stylish revenge thriller, but don’t expect anything like John Wick. It’s a slow-burn in the best way.

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Oscar Nominated Shorts 2018: Review


With the Oscars only a few days away, the most popular question being asked is probably about which film is going to win Best Picture. Short films often get overshadowed by their feature length partners, but despite their small size, they can often present a better narrative than most movies you see being promoted by the big Hollywood studios. This year’s batch of Animated shorts provide personal and inventive stories with some dazzling animation techniques, while the Live Action shorts explore real-world issues that hit all emotions on the scale. In the following article, each film is reviewed with the two front runners in each category clearly presented.


1. Revolting Rhymes: Part One (UK) dir. Jakob Schuh & Jan Lachauer

Based on the novel of the same name by the legendary Roald Dahl, with illustrations by Quentin Blake, Revolting Rhymes cleverly rewrites the classic fairy tales that most of us grew up with. Following the narration of the Big Bad Wolf (Dominic West), the stories of Snow White and Red Riding Hood (featuring the Three Little Pigs) intertwine in this modernized, fun, and darkly comedic adventure. The relationship between Snow White (Gemma Chan) and “Red” (Rose Leslie) provide the most charm as it’s rare we get to see some of our favourite fairy tale heroines together. The animation is beautiful in its realism, especially in terms of the modern, Parisian-style architecture surrounding the story. Originally airing as a two-part series on BBC, only the first chapter of this tale has been nominated for an Academy Award, leaving the Wolf’s cry for “patience” for the rest immediately ignored, as you scramble to find part two on Netflix.

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