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Thick As A Brick

Finally, here’s a film for everyone who wishes Raymond Chandler wrote a novel set in high school! “Brick” has absolutely nothing going for it besides a gimmick—film noir played by teenagers. Its script is highly stylized and full of invented slang, set in a world where the police are “bulls.” It would probably be more enjoyable to read than watch. Comment

Spontaneous Procreation as Pretext

The office of New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, who has said he will introduce legislation allowing same-sex couples to marry if elected governor, argued in court this week that the current statute limiting marriage to man-woman couples was rational because the state has an interest in channeling relationships that can produce “spontaneous procreation” into stable unions. Comment

Song Sung Blue

Forty-five-year-old child-man Daniel Johnston—bipolar singer/ songwriter and visual artist, brand name of a family-run cultural cottage industry, frowzy idol to a far-flung coterie—is the mercurial object of Jeff Feuerzeig’s absorbing nonfiction portrait “The Devil and Daniel Johnston.” Comment

Queer Musicality

“I’ve been called musical,” said Mark Morris in a BAM pre-show talk on March 22. “I think that’s secret code for homosexual.” Whatever the source of his aural touch, tonight’s program of four dances puts his reputation to the test. March marks MMDC’s 25 years and the choreographer reflects, “Everything I do is because of music.” Comment

Persian Gulf Squatting

An oil tanker in the Persian Gulf is a crucible for life in the stunning Iranian film, “Iron Island.” Written, directed, and produced by Mohammad Rasoulof, the film eschews a conventional narrative by introducing an interesting cast of characters and letting the complex relationships between them unfold slowly. Comment

Ohio Domestic Violence Law At Risk

A three-judge panel of the Ohio 2nd District Court of Appeals ruled by a 2-1 vote on March 24 that the state’s domestic violence law could not be applied to a non-marital household as a result of the anti-gay marriage amendment adopted by voters in 2004. Comment

Nothing to Fight Over

Lost jobs, lost opportunities, and lost souls It happens so infrequently, that when a new and exciting young voice emerges in the theater, it’s almost impossible to resist shouting it from the rooftops. […] Comment

New Briefs

New Combo May Prevent HIV Infection Comment

Mayor-ESPA Face-Off: What’s Next?

Fulfilling a commitment he first made in an interview with Gay City News this past December, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg convened a breakfast for gay and lesbian leaders March 24 at Gracie Mansion to discuss how he can contribute to the community’s efforts to win same-sex marriage rights in New York State. Comment

Little Priests: Gay Men and Old Habits

I haven’t taken any oaths of poverty, chastity, or obedience, but for all intents and purposes, I life a life very much in the tradition of those of my Irish forebears who spent their days as Roman Catholic priests. Comment

Letters to the Editor

Please address letters to the editor to Comment

Next Steps Toward the Altar

In dramatic fashion, Republican Mayor Michael Bloomberg last Friday convened a two-hour working breakfast at Gracie Mansion that brought together LGBT leaders—from City Council Speaker Christine Quinn to grassroots activist Ron Zacchi, co-executive director of Marriage Equality New York—to share ideas and strategies for moving the gay marriage issue forward, both in the court of public opinion and, if the courts of law fail us this summer, in the state Legislature. Comment

Guilty Verdict in Dwan Prince Hate Assault

“I think justice has been served,” said Thomas C. Ridges, a senior assistant district attorney in the Brooklyn prosecutor’s office, who handled the case. “The investigation is still continuing with regards to the other individual or individuals who were involved in this... Yesterday’s verdict will bring a modicum of closure to Dwan Prince.” Comment

Goofballs And Scientists

A recent scientific study found that regular attendance at “DANCEOFF!”—the freewheeling showcase of works by emergent choreographers—enhances brain functioning, keeping neural cells and synapses youthful even into advanced age. Okay, I made up the part about the study, but I bet the rest is true. Comment

Going Grassroots Against Don’t Ask

It is a testament to the changing times that those seeking to repeal the U.S. military’s ban on open service by gays and lesbians are saying things couldn’t be much better. Comment

George W. Bush’s Inferno

Eileen Myles has been hailed as the “rock star of modern poetry” by Bust Magazine and “a cult figure to a generation of post-punk females” by The New York Times, but her latest project promises to cast the queer poet, performance artist, and author in a significantly different musical light. Comment

Florida Amendment Wording Okayed

The Florida Supreme Court has advised Attorney General Charles J. Crist Jr. that none of the objections raised against the proposed Florida Marriage Protection Amendment has any merit. Comment

Everyday Immobility

Among the expanse of methods and agendas available to artists today remain some sturdy long-standing genres. “Available (A Still Life Show)” at Monya Rowe Gallery takes a good look at one of them. Rowe and artist Angela Dufresne have gathered 21works that look to the still life as practice, subject, and lens. It’s a smart, playful exhibition that allows us to take pleasure in this humble genre, even while stretching its limits. Comment

Ducking on Partnership

The insurance trust funds that administer health insurance benefits for police and firefighters in Miami Beach notified the city in January that they would stop accepting contributions on behalf of domestic partners of employees on advice of their accountant, who believes that providing such benefits “would jeopardize the tax-exempt status of the funds.” Comment

Communist Propaganda Revisited

During China’s Cultural Revolution, which lasted from 1967 until 1976, all art was intended as propaganda. More than 13 Maoist operas were written, but the eight most popular become known as the “yang ban xi,” or “eight model works.” Madame Mao, a frustrated actress, was responsible for banning traditional opera and placing the yang ban xi in its place. Once they were filmed, their actors became celebrities. Then Mao died, and his widow was indicted and blamed for all the ills of the Cultural Revolution. The yang ban xi were banned. Comment

Christopher Street Pier Rules Unchanged

A proposal to address late night crowds and noise in the West Village that was approved by Manhattan’s Community Board 2 left some residents of that neighborhood angry and the queer youth of color who for years have congregated on the Hudson River pier at the end of Christopher Street cheering. Comment

Barney Goes Shinto

The IFC center has, up until this point in its existence, prided itself on showing low-budget independent features. In fact, they are so proud of being the place for low-budget independent films—despite the fact that they are owned by Cablevision—that they have displayed them without much regard for their quality. Budget and high quality production were not the issues facing their newest acquisition, “Drawing Restraint 9”—but other questions emerge. Comment

A Polish Stonewall?

BREAKING NEWS UPDATE FROM WARSAW Comment

Algorithmic Culture

There’s something about innate intelligence that makes people stop and reflect. Whether it’s an envious desire to obtain their knowledge or a trusting wonder about how their brain works, gifted minds attract an audience. The trick for these select few is to figure out a way to integrate their intellectual impulses into an effective avenue, to figure out a way to channel their ideas so that at the end of the day, there is, in some way, an advance that wasn’t there before. Although these channels tend to be the usual suspects—science, academia, law, etc.—the art of new media has become a harbor to innovators and provocative thought. Comment

A Harlem Thumbs Down for Frieden

Ophelia Barrios, a staff member of the Harlem Directors Group, a consortium of AIDS services groups in Upper Manhattan and one of the panelists at the March 27 event, opened the discussion by saying, “We would like to ask the commissioner how the department will ensure that individual rights will not be sacrificed,” and then specifically said her group is concerned that the legislation could lead to positive sero-status being “criminalized.” Comment

AG Hopefuls Square Off at Center

In spirited presentations March 28 at the LGBT Community Center, five of the six Democratic candidates for state attorney general offered their visions for the office and the background they bring to the task. Comment

7 Days of readings

Recently Noted. Comment

7 Days in cinema

AMERICAN GUN Interesting and somewhat contrived, “American Gun,” Aric Avelino’s directorial debut, is a decent, if small-scale example of a relatively new trend in American cinema—the episodic drama. The film, which intersperses three stories of gun violence in America, has already been compared to other similar such films as “Crash” and “Traffic,” but it falls short in comparison to both. (Nick Feitel) Comment

7 Days and 7 Nights

Schoolhouse Roxx Comment

7 Days in dance

Volume 5, Number 13 | March 30 - April 5, 2006 Comment

A Polish Stonewall?

This week saw dramatic new evidence of the ultra-conservative and homophobic atmosphere reigning in Poland since the election last October of a new hard-right government led by the reactionary, gay-baiting President Lech Kaczynski and his equally queer-bashing twin brother Jaroslav, who controls the Polish Parliament. Comment

Shia Death Squads Target Iraqi Gays

Following a death-to-gays fatwa issued last October by Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, death squads of the Badr Corps have been systematically targeting gay Iraqis for persecution and execution, gay Iraqis say. But when they ask for help and protection from U.S. occupying authorities in the Green Zone, the secure area officialdom has carved out within Baghdad, gays Iraqis are met with indifference and derision. Comment

Pols Don’t Rain on Bigot’s Parade

Despite Dunleavy’s insistence that this is a Catholic parade that must uphold sexual morality, some of the biggest cheers from the spectators were reserved for Rudy Giuliani and his third wife Judy, despite the fact that in the eyes of the Catholic Church he is still married to Donna Hanover. While Giuliani had his first marriage annulled, he dissolved his marriage to Hanover through civil divorce—something his church does not recognize. Comment

New Briefs

This is the big one. The New York State Court of Appeals, the state’s highest, will hear the appeals of Lambda Legal, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the NYCLU on behalf of same-sex couples seeking the right to marry on May 31. A decision is expected this summer. Comment

Maloney First to Hit the Air in AG Race

In a television advertising buy due to be announced on March 23, Sean Patrick Maloney, a gay man and a former top aide to President Bill Clinton in the White House, will be the first of six Democratic candidates for state attorney general to hit the airwaves—almost six months in advance of the September 12 primary. Comment

Quinn Must Draw A Firm Emerald Line

Volume 5, Number 12 | March 23 - 29, 2006 Comment

John Ollom’s Women

Choreographer John Ollom developed three new pieces at Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project, which will have their world premiere at The Clark Studio Theater on March 30 (prismaticproductions.com). Titled “Anatomy of Woman,” Ollom described them as “a celebration and reverence for the feminine within men and women. In doing research on hate crimes against the LGBT community, I found that there was more of a hatred of feminine men than masculine women. I realized that this hatred was not because of what they do sexually, but a perception of men becoming women. This is considered to be a step ‘down’ on the social scale, and, therefore, is misogyny.” Comment

Frieden Faces Tough Bronx Reaction

“We have some very strong concerns about this bill,” said Lisa Winters, executive director of the Bronx Consortium, a queer community center. “It seems that this bill embodies some very extreme provisions.” Comment

7 Days of readings

Recently Noted. Comment

7 Days in cinema

BALLETS RUSSES This documentary usefully renovates a neglected eminence, chronicling the company’s history 1909 as the inspiration of Sergei Diaghilev, the polymath Russian expatriate, who drew Matisse, Picasso, and Stravinsky into orbit around the nucleus of choreographers Mikhail Fokine, Léonide Massine, and dancer Vaslav Nijinksy. The highly wrought script manages the feat of compressing an 80-year history into exactly two vacuum-packed hours. Yet, it would have been more valuable still had it accurately conveyed the company’s uniquely progressive queer reality. IFC Center. (Ioannis Mookas) Comment

7 Days and 7 Nights

I Had An Abortion Comment

7 Days in dance

Volume 5, Number 12 | March 23 - 29, 2006 Comment

Shia Death Squads Target Iraqi Gays

Following a death-to-gays fatwa issued last October by Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, death squads of the Badr Corps have been systematically targeting gay Iraqis for persecution and execution, gay Iraqis say. But when they ask for help and protection from U.S. occupying authorities in the Green Zone, the secure area officialdom has carved out within Baghdad, gays Iraqis are met with indifference and derision. Comment

Woman Wielding A Baton

Lucy Arner, the expertly gifted, drolly engaging Cuban-born, Midwest-educated, Barcelona-honed maestra—an assistant conductor at the Met and an increasing presence on international podiums—has actually never hidden that she is the suavely deadpan drag king accompanist Sergio Zawa to Ira Siff’s wondrous creation, Madame Vera Galupe-Borszkh. Arner recently sat down for a conversation with this reporter while readying what are billed as Madame Vera’s really, truly farewell concerts, March 22, 24, and 25 at the Nimoy/Thalia. Comment

When the Other Team is Gay

The plot of the coming out film is pretty standard. A teenager thinks he or she is queer and goes through the five stages of grief—denial, anger, fear, hope, and acceptance—eventually coming to terms with homosexuality. There are people who embrace it, and others who reject it. Life, in the end, goes on—usually with the promise that it will be better being out than being in the closet. Comment

Trial in Brutal Bklyn. Attack Underway

“I lost everything that night,” Prince said in a slightly slurred voice during his March 22 testimony. “I’m paralyzed the entire left side of my body, even my face... I can barely walk now. I used to be able to run fast.” Comment

Top Suozzi Aide Lobbies Bklyn. Gays

Speaking to the Lambda Independent Democrats, a surrogate for Thomas R. Suozzi, a candidate for the Democratic nomination for governor, said that Suozzi opposes same-sex marriage, but that gay and lesbian couples should be granted all the rights of marriage. Comment

This is Not A Dance Review

Yvonne Meier’s pink ponies and other party games It was a welcome sight at The Kitchen—Yvonne Meier, returning from an eight-year break from making dances, with a fresh batch of improvisation-based […] Comment

The Nation Fears Finley?

What a dump! But this isn’t the circumspect Ivy League living room, late one night, of a professor of English and his rowdy wife. This, as another George and Martha enter for a one-night stand, is a bedroom in a sleazy hotel just off Times Square where through a dirty window you see the neon proclamation: COLOR TV… AIR-CONDITIONED. Comment

The Artful Lodger

Joe Orton burst onto the London theater scene in 1964 with his subversive farce, “Entertaining Mr. Sloane,” which features a brutal bludgeoning that’s largely forgotten before the body has grown cold. Comment

Tenderness And Roughness

Susan Marshall is mature enough she can let her roots show—and they are gorgeous. Her latest creation, “Cloudless,” presented at DTW, recycled some of her older, more intimate and gestural work, and, now, with a company of outstanding dancers on which to arrange her movement, her genius is on display more clearly than in previous, larger scale productions. These tender, clever, thoughtful, beautifully performed vignettes are precious and delicious, a river of alternately riotous and quiet nature. The integration of video is effective, shifting perceptions of real and mediated at the onset using screen, projection, and sculpture, and later between live and recorded, birdseye and eye level. Comment

Stuck At Home

Crazy ladies trapped in big houses are the emergent theme this year. Since the sublime “Grey Gardens,” we have been treated to the movie star Cate Blanchett in a new production of “Hedda Gabler” and one-time sitcom star Phylicia Rashad in a musical based on Lorca’s sexualized allegory, “The House of Bernarda Alba.” While both of the latter pieces are showy and earnest, they never approach the honesty and artistry of the former and, quite frankly, make for two dull evenings in the theater. Comment

Bloomberg Gay Meeting Snubs Pride Agneda

Volume 5, Number 12 | March 23 - 28, 2006 Comment

Sappho Sings

Mezzo-soprano Jennifer Roderer, mainstay of the New York City Opera, is readying the part of Sappho in the first New York production of Mark Adamo’s “Lysistrata”—premiered in Houston last year—and enjoying the process. Comment

Rashawn Brazell Murder Progress Discounted

“They didn’t get that from us,” a spokesman for the NYPD’s deputy commissioner for public information said of a story Monday in the New York Post. “We are not saying that we are looking for somebody with whom the victim was acquainted.” Comment

Queer Theater Legend on Celluloid

Under the tresses and over the moon with leading lady Charles Busch No one would dream of calling the aristocratic Charles Busch a drag queen. In a career spanning more than 20 years he has been a stand-up […] Comment

Lesbian’s Clinic Bias Claim Muddled

A California intermediate appellate court has ruled that the 2005 statute that made “marital status” an express prohibited ground for discrimination under the state’s public accommodations law should not be applied retroactively to a San Diego clinic’s refusal to perform intrauterine insemination for a lesbian patient based on the religious objections of staff members. Comment

Cruising For Self Destruction

“Sinner” cracks open the mind of a homophobe In “Sinner,” two guys who look like they just walked out of an English pub, as my friend from Gravesend, U.K. remarked, tell the story […] Comment

Court Protects Nazi Harassers

U.S. District Judge Steven McAuliffe ruled on March 15 that school administrators in New Hampshire did not violate the constitutional rights of Paul Hendrickson Jr., an 18-year-old, openly gay student at Kingswood Regional High School, when they suspended him for refusing to remove a “tolerance patch” from his clothing. Comment

Collaborative Spirit, Fresh Blood

City Ballet principal Benjamin Millepied wisely chose not to do it alone. His debut Joyce season March 14-19 fomented in the experimental atmosphere of the Morriss Center Dance Institute in Bridgehampton where he serves as creative director. He scouted for choreographers and offered a limited residency with no pressure to show. The artists worked closely and busily creating their own vision. Comment

Celebratory And Introspective

In a dense installation, Lucky DeBellevue surprises by adding a series of paintings to accompany his signature pipe cleaner sculptures. With a wonderful sense of color, DeBellevue creates whimsical constructions made of non-precious materials that move between the celebratory and the introspective. Using craft techniques, the works can have a childlike and naïve quality. Comment

Bang And A Whimper

Interesting and somewhat contrived, “American Gun,” Aric Avelino’s directorial debut, is a decent, if small-scale example of a relatively new trend in American cinema—the episodic drama. The film, which intersperses three stories of gun violence in America, has already been compared to other similar such films as “Crash” and “Traffic,” but it falls short in comparison to both. Comment

A Rose By Another Name

This is the second show of work by ChanSchatz, a collaborative effort between Heather Schatz and Eric Chan, who are also husband and wife. The large abstract work, almost epic in feel, is also a collaborative effort with others—specifically, in the present show, U.S. Army soldiers stationed in Iraq and neighbors in the Meat Packing District where the ChanSchaatz studio is. Comment

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