“Provincetown – The Stapleton 2014 Long Weekend Gay Guide” by Jon Stapleton— Handy with So Much That You Need to Know

provincetownStapleton, Jon. “Provincetown – The Stapleton 2014 Long Weekend Gay Guide”,  (Stapleton Gay Guides) CreateSpace, 2014.

Handy with So Much That You Need to Know

Amos Lassen

During my adult gay life, the town of Provincetown, Massachusetts has always been legendary. When I moved to Boston, I found that legend to be very true. If there is a gay heaven, it is Provincetown. This complete guide is composed of eight chapters that tell you almost all you need to know about Ptown. I say almost because the magic and spontaneity  of Provincetown have to be discovered on a one-to-one basis. The chapter divisions include:

Why Provincetown?

Getting About

Where to Stay

Where to Eat

What to See and Do

Nightlife

Shopping and Services

There is also an index and a list of other guides and books by Stapleton.

Ptown has it all– lodgings, restaurants, attractions, outdoor sports, tours and excursions, shopping and everything else you’d want to do there and this guide has been edited with an emphasis on the gay traveler.  It is short and too the point. To quote someone else, “One good thing about this handy guide is that it’s not ‘just gay. It’s got loads of listings that any gay traveler would find interesting even though they are not specifically gay-related.” 

“THE IMITATION GAME”— Alex Turing, Sexuality and Oscar Talk

 ”The Imitation Game”

Alex Turing, Sexuality and Oscar Talk

imitation-game-slideThe biopic of gay computing pioneer Alan Turing, The Imitation Game, has premiered at the Telluride Film Festival and the first reviews of the movie have arrived, which suggest both the film – and Benedict Cumberbatch in particular – are likely to get some Oscar attention.

The film is centred around how the unconventional and rather brusque Turing cracked the German Enigma code – which the Axis forces thought was completely secure – using an early computer that was able to sort through the millions upon millions of possible ciphers to decode the original messages.

In an article called ‘Imitation Game Demands Oscar’s Attention’, Variety says that the film ‘is clearly an awards contender: Complex, impeccably executed and unique. The film’s offbeat approach to an oddball character will be its greatest strength — and its challenge.’

THR adds that the film is ‘Engrossing, nicely textured and sadly tragic…’, adding that the distributor ‘has several angles it can play to build this prestige production into a considerable commercial success.’Deadline agrees, saying ‘this one just has Academy Award nominations written all over it.’

However while some believe Morten Tyldum’s film may be too ‘conventional’ for Best Picture success, all seem to agree that Cumberbatch is very impressive as Turing, with Indiewire saying, ‘It’s a reserved, almost conservative performance, and in holding so much back so much of the time, Cumberbatch makes his few outward displays of emotion far more impactful.’

In THR’s words, ‘dominating it all is Cumberbatch, whose charisma, tellingly modulated and naturalistic array of eccentricities, Sherlockian talent at indicating a mind never at rest and knack for simultaneously portraying physical oddness and attractiveness combine to create an entirely credible portrait of genius at work.’

Variety meanwhile refers to Cumberbatch’s performance as ‘masterful’, adding ‘The Imitation Game doesn’t need its banal catchphrases to show us that Turing is a savant who sees and feels the world differently than most other people, because it’s there in every inch of Cumberbatch’s performance.”

Film Freak Central is also impressed, saying ‘Benedict Cumberbatch is amazing, truly’, while Hitfix eulogises, ‘Cumberbatch does a wonderful job bringing this characterization to life and it’s often his performance that overcomes some of the film’s melodramatic tendencies’.

Many seem to believe the film could bring Benedict his first Oscar nomination.

There was worry before the film started shooting that The Imitation Game would sideline or ignore Turing’s sexuality, with suggestions that some versions of the script almost made it a romance between the computer genius and young cryptographer Joan Clarke (Keira Knightley).

However most of early reviews suggest this isn’t too much of a problem, with the entire movie framed by a key situation after the War in the early 1950s. Turing was robbed and when he told the police the culprit was likely to be a friend of his young male lover, rather than being helped by the authorities as he’d expected, he was charged and convicted of gross indecency. He was then chemically castrated (it was either that or go to prison) and his career destroyed. He later killed himself.

It was an astonishingly tragic end for a man who Churchill said made the greatest contribution to ending World War II. However his contribution to both the war effort and to computing in general was kept secret for years, both because how he broke the Engima Code was considered a state secret and because his sexuality made him an ‘undesirable’ by the social code of the time. He was eventually officially pardoned by the UK Government from the Gross Indecency charge, but not until a couple of years ago.

The reports on “The Imitation Game” from Telluride say the film includes a gay romance in Turing’s teenage years, as well as talking about the fact he’s had affairs and male lovers. While the movie does include that he proposed marriage to Joan (which did happen in real life), the reviews suggest this is put properly into the context of what he was trying to do during a time when homosexuality was illegal.

Indeed many suggest that it’s Turing’s eccentricity and his sexuality that are the overall theme of the movie, with Film Freak Central saying that ultimately the movie proposes that, ‘different is good, and you shouldn’t criminalize homosexuality, because what if a gay guy is the saviour of the free world and you just chemically-castrated him and caused him to kill himself?’, while Variety adds ‘The film ultimately celebrates anyone who is not “normal.”’

However the consensus is not universal and Hitfix comes to the opposite conclusion, feeling that the film whitewashes his sexuality far too much, saying ‘The more I ponder the ending of the film the more frustrated I become. In effect, much of Turing’s gay life is completely washed over. He says he had numerous affairs/lovers, but the film pushes the central relationship between his one-time fiance Clarke as the most prominent. That’s somewhat odd after Turing justifies the entire engagement as his way to keep her working on the secret project. Let’s be clear, Turing was one of the greatest gay men of the 20th century whose life was destroyed by an archaic charge in 1952. It’s almost head-scratching how the film could be structured to diminish this part of his life.’

“Coconut Cove Episode 1: Life’s a Beach” by Poppy Dennison and MJ O’Shea— Young and Wild

coconut grove life's a beach

Dennison, Poppy and MJ O’Shea. “Coconut Cove Episode 1: Life’s a Beach”, Wilde City Press, 2014.

Young and In Love

Amos Lassen

 Coconut Cove is the place where you’ll always find oiled beach bodies, palm trees, tropical drinks, and plenty of drama. In actuality it is a new sensation— a drama about gay teens with plenty of young sexy stars that become involved with a lot of action.

We meet a rising star, a hunky guy, a nice guy with a sordid past, a diva with lots of attitude and we learn of secret affairs and sexy demons. The closets in Coconut Cove are not for gay people but rather for how they behave.

Flynn Wright senses that he has lost his job on a movie set because of his ex who suddenly ended their relationship. Wright’s agent gets him a job on “Coconut Cove” and this enables him to leave Los Angeles and Bennett his hateful former lover. He is to play the part of Mack, a gay teen who moves to Coconut Cove with his fathers. The filming is to be in Key West and his first night there, he and some of the other cast members go out to dinner together at Pirate’s Booty. There Flynn meets  Seth, the bartender who is disgustingly rude and wonderfully sexy.

So as we find ourselves behind the scenes of the new drama, a lot happens. Bennett makes an appearance of course and Seth has some things to do and say; none of which I dare not tell you for fear of spoiling a fun read.

Prepare yourself, leave the day free when you want to read this because you will not stop reading until you have closed the covers. This is just a fun read with delightful characters, sexy escapades and a well-developed plot. You know that this is the first of a series and you will want the rest of it right away but it has yet been published. In that sense it is kind of like a soap opera that just when you get to the good parts, you have to wait for the next episode. There is heartache and lots of drama as well as catastrophes.  There is also romance and a look at some very strong life lessons.

“Death at Chinatown” by Frances McNamara— Making the Decision

death at chinatown

McNamara, Frances. “Death at Chinatown”, (Emily Cabot Mysteries: Volume 5), Allium Press of Chicago, 2014.

Making the Decision

Amos Lassen

It is 1986 in the summer and Emily Cabot, an amateur detective meets two Chinese women who have medical degrees who have had to make very difficult choices in order to pursue the career they wanted. But then one of the women was accused of murder by poisoning a Chinese herbalist. Emily soon is involved in the murder examination. Aside from that Emily has her own personal problems to deal with—she and her husband have had a quarrel, a political uprising has begun and her family has received threats. There are also those never ending issues—restrictions on immigration, the conflict between Western and Eastern medicine, and women’s struggle to balance family and work.

Even though this is fiction, there are several very real historical characters: Mary Stone and Ida Kahn are two real Chinese women doctors, and descendants of the Moy family are still in Chicago.

This is McNamara’s fifth novel in the Emily Cabot series. Cabot also has to deal with her own guilt in leaving her family to work on the case even though she has her husband’s full support. She hesitates having to leave her two children with a maid as she studies sociology and criminology. We actually feel that we are on a very real visit to 1896 America.

“For the Love of Mohammad A Memoir: With Mohammad Khordadian” by Jean Beaini— Two Young Dancers

for the love of mohammed

Beaini, Jean. “For the Love of Mohammad A Memoir: With Mohammad Khordadian”, ADS, 2014.

Two Young Dancers

Amos Lassen

The ill-fated marriage of two young dancers is the focus of “For the Love of Mohammed”. The book is set against the backdrop of the Islamic Revolution in Iran. Jean Beaini has written the true story of a journey that is dramatic and filled with complexes.

The memoir of two young dancers from vastly different cultures, tells of their ill-fated marriage during Iran’s Islamic Revolution.  The main characters are a young English girl who lives in a Middle Eastern country that is torn apart by an Islamic revolution and war and a young Iranian man struggling to come to terms with his homosexuality after being manipulated into marriage. He just happened to be in love with a man. On one hand this is not a love story and on the other hand it is a story about love as well as so much more.

 As the world continues to struggle with human rights issues, in particular the human rights of the LGBTQ communities in such countries as Iran, Uganda, Pakistan, Nigeria, India, Russia and often in our own backyard here is a story that speaks out for those who have their voices silenced. The book contributes to the awareness of their situation and carries with it a message of hope and courage by demonstrating how, with the power of love, courage and understanding, life’s adversities can be overcome.

Our characters met because of their love of dance and  their story shows  how people love one another and how this pure love can become misconstrued and tainted by the influence of religion, culture, politics and society. We see the sensitive struggle that the two face and the courage they must summon to deal with it. It is all about maintaining love in the face of both human and political conflict.

 

 

“Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh” by John Lahr—America’s Greatest Playwright

tenn

Lahr, John. “Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh”, W.W. Norton, 2014

America’s Greatest Playwright

Amos Lassen

John Lahr brings us the definitive biography of Tennessee Williams; the man many feel is America’s greatest playwright. My review copy came yesterday and I stayed up all night reading and this is not a short book—it comes in at 765 pages. Some of you know that I know Williams—my senior year at college I worked a bit for him when he was in New Orleans so I am always anxious to read a definitive biography of him. However, he was a man who was so complex that I doubt that there will ever be a “definitive biography”. There always seems to a lost page or some interesting information turning up about Williams. However this is the most complete biography I have yet to read about him and I have read them all.

Lahr takes us into the mind of the playwright. Williams was responsible for so much but I really believe that his greatest accomplishment was the way his dramas reshaped the theater of this country as well as the way Americans felt about themselves.

I have always thought of Williams as something of a contradiction. He had triumphs which were epic and he failures that were also epic, he was a gay man at a time when homosexuality was spoken of in whispers yet he managed to create some of the most wonderful female characters that the theater has ever know. He suffered great guilt and he projected some of his life into his works. He had numerous love affairs but only two real loves. His death reflected the way he lives even though it was misreported and his estate caused problems among his heirs and his non-heirs.

This biography is written through Williams’ plays and we see what he went through with each new offering. Lahr gives us an unforgettable look at the man and we learn some interesting secrets. There have been several other biographies of Williams so some of you may wonder why we need another one—the answer is simple. There is a great deal of new material here—new interpretations, new photographs (there are 80 photos in the book, new information and new ways to look at Williams output.

We have letters and interviews with Pancho Rodriguez, the man who was the model for Stanley Kowalski. There are letters from Frank Merlo, the man who shared Williams’ heart and his bed. Eddie Dowling who was in the original production (as well as produced and co-directed) of “The Glass Menagerie talks about the opening night night. We learn about Laurette Taylor and her legendary performance as Amanda Wingfield. We get to read the letters that Williams wrote while he was committed to a psychiatric ward in 1970. The facts of his death and of the craziness that went on with his estate is here as is the true story of Williams’ break-up with his long time agent, Audrey Wood. There is information on how legendary director Elia Kazan influenced the productions that he helmed. Marlon Brando has something to saw about co-star Anna Magnani. Included are previously unpublished poems and deleted passages from some of the playwright’s writing. Included are never before seen letters between Williams and Kazan, Wood, Magnani, Katherine Hepburn and Brooks Atkinson, drama critic of “The New York Times”. We learn about the autopsy performed on Williams and the medical reports of his sister, Rose, who suffered a lobotomy. There is also new information about Williams’ psychoanalysis and original interviews that John Lahr conducted with Gore Vidal, Dotson Rader, Dakin Williams (the playwrights’ brother) and with several directors including Sidney Lumet and John Hancock.

Here is Williams’ public persona and his backstage life. It reads like one of Williams’ own dramas but above else this is a compelling biography of a compelling man that is written by a compelling author.

“TRANSPARENT”— A Look at Amazon Prime’s Transgender Sitcom

“Transparent”

A Look at Amazon Prime’s Transgender Sitcom

Of course this has repursussions for his whole family, including his kids – he’s a trans parent, see what they did there?

Along w Tambor, there’s a great supporting cast including Judith Light, Gaby Hoffman, Amy Landecker, Jay Duplass, Carrie Brownstein, Kathryn Hahnand Bradley Whitford.

You can take a look at the full trailer below, to get you ready for the series’ premiere on Amazon Prime on September 26th.

The Russian Non-Gay Version of “BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN” — An Uncensored Look

The Russian Non-Gay Version of ”Brokeback Mountain”

An Uncensored Look

brokeback-mountainWith the ban of gay propaganda in Russia, I imagine a bit of editing has had to go on with some Hollywood movies over there, to ensure they don’t say suggest being gay is a-ok.

Now a fun new vid has come along which gives us a look at Russian Brokeback Mountain, where the Ang Lee tale of two cowpokes who like each other an awful lot is straightened up to be the story of two totally heterosexual guys who get naked to show how straight they are, sleep with lots of women and have straight babies.

And the only thing they want to quit is smoking.

INTERNATIONAL SAUNA GUIDE 10th Edition from Bruno Gmunder

BRUNO GMÜNDER

Spartacus Sauna Guide 2014

Unknown

INTERNATIONAL SAUNA GUIDE 10th Edition

Pages: 224
Size: 10,5x18cm/4.25x7inch
Format: Softcover
Language: English/German
ISBN 978-3-86787-796-1
September 2014
€13.99 / US$23.99 / £13.99 / C$24.99

An extensive and up-to-date overview of the gay saunas worldwide now

It’s that time of the year when the days are shorter and the nights longer, and the start of the new sauna season. Gay saunas enjoy great popularity worldwide for decades now and are an integral part of the international gay community.

In addition to the classical sauna types such as steam, Finnish or bio saunas, one can also make contacts, full of sparkling erotic and exciting encounters in saunas. As such in many countries saunas are used as a place of refuge for gay or bisexual men, who cannot have sex with men in their homes.

These possibilities and a multitude of useful details can be found in the newly published Spartacus Sauna Guide. In the 10th edition sauna fans will find information regarding size, prices and opening hours, as well as the other sauna visitors, the services offered and key features on site. With help from our user-friendly pictogram-system additional information are simple and clearly understandable. The editorial team has listed 650 saunas from 215 cities in 63 countries worldwide in two languages on 224 pages. Here everyone can find their appropriate oasis of well-being. Whether in summer or in winter – our in-depth and handy guide should always be in your suitcase!

The Bruno Gmünder Group was founded in 1981 in Berlin. Today the company, with 80 full time and numerous freelance employees, is a market leaders in the field of gay media worldwide. On offer are numerous print and an increasing number of digital products, such as eBooks apps and web sites. The company also publishes tourist guides, magazines, comics books and non-fiction books. 

HEBRO High “Homo”days Celebration

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Before you get your labor-gay weekend on, purchase your $15 High Homodays tix HERE! Sep 20 is the date to iCal with our return to Hudson Terrace!
Hosted by Jewish drag sensation Lady SinAGaGa (get it?) who will spread the guilt all night while DJ Steve Sidewalk spins your favorite pop (+jew) tunes!    
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HIGH HOMODAYS 5775
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Salon at Hudson Terrace
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(between 11/12 Ave)
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