Author Archives: Amos

“L’INNOCENTE”— Visconti’s Last Film

“L’INNOCENTE”

Visconti’s Last Film

Amos Lassen

Luchino Visconti, the great Italian film director, brought the world his final film in 1976, and it just happens to be one of the auteur’s very best. “L’Innocente” (1976) is an intricately woven study of a marriage coming undone, coming together and coming undone again. It is is a portrait of power that shows how jealousy can be a defining characteristic for a person. Tullio Hermil (Giancarlo Giannini) is a well-to-do man in 19th-century Italy who enjoys fencing and deciding which of his inherited estates to reside in. His wife Giuliana (Laura Antonelli) lives the good life as well. She goes to recitals and stands by her husband’s side. Tullio may have loved Giuliana at some point, but when the audience first meets him, he is having a tryst with mistress, Teresa Raffo (Jennifer O’Neill). He falls so madly in love with her, and how different she is from his wife, that he decides to come clean and propose an open marriage. What surprises him is that Giuliana is not simply going to play the part of the scorned woman; she has an affair with the novelist Filippo d’Arborio (Marc Porel), Tullio’s fencing partner.

Tullio refuses to end his marriage to Giuliana, especially when he finds out that his wife is pregnant with Filippo’s child. His jealousy overcomes him, and he falls back in love with his wife and  obsesses about her living a life without him.

This quite easily could have become a melodrama but instead Visconti’s film goes for something deeper. On an elemental level, this is a deconstruction of power dynamics. Tullio believes he has the upper hand at all times, even though reality would seem to say otherwise. It is impossible to control how life will evolve but he’s willing to try.

There’s a lot of romance in the film with real sensuality to Tullio and Giuliana’s on-again-off-again relationship, and they have fascinating conversations before and after making love. Through these discussions and fights, we see that the marriage is not one of equality. Giuliana must face the discrimination of the times (her husband can have an affair, but she cannot) and the  mad antics of Tullio. As he takes his obsession to some dark places, she is seemingly stuck, unable to get a divorce and unable to recognize her own husband anymore.

The costumes and set design are exquisite and. The women’s dresses are intricate and colorful; the men’s suits are stylish. The estates where Visconti has the action play out are wonderfully filled with detail and authenticity.

The performances are uniformly excellent, with Giannini and Antonelli having the juiciest characters. He has an intensity and rage that can be frightening, yet he’s also tender and loving. He is like a chameleon that makes his moves uncertain and potentially dangerous. She is strong and independent, but stuck in a societal and religious prison, with her husband dictating decisions.

“L’Innocente” shows Visconti’s directorial dedication and his artistry. This familial drama is captivating and shows qualities far the  word  “innocent.” The film is based on the controversial 1892 novel by Gabriele d’Annunzio, who flirted with Fascism when it arose in its early stages and was co-written by Visconti, Suso Cecchi D’Amico and Enrico Medioli. This is a  tragic film about sexual double standards and was the inspiration behind Scorsese’s “The Age of Innocence.” 

Visconti directed the film from a wheelchair, following two strokes and a broken leg. He remained as painstaking as ever, spending hours getting everything in the film just right. It is available on Blu-ray for the very first time in North America. Bonus programming includes a video essay and 16-page collectible booklet.

 About Film Movement

 Founded in 2002 as one of the first-ever subscription film services with its DVD-of-the-Month club, Film Movement is now a North American distributor of award-winning independent and foreign films based in New York City. It has released more than 250 feature films and shorts culled from prestigious film festivals worldwide.  Film Movement’s theatrical releases include American independent films, documentaries, and foreign art house titles. Its catalog includes titles by directors such as Hirokazu Kore-eda, Maren Ade, Jessica Hausner, Andrei Konchalovsky, Andrzej Wajda, Diane Kurys, Ciro Guerra and Melanie Laurent. In 2015, Film Movement launched its reissue label Film Movement Classics, featuring new restorations released theatrically as well as on Blu-ray and DVD, including films by such noted directors as Eric Rohmer, Peter Greenaway, Bille August, Marleen Gorris, Takeshi Kitano, Arturo Ripstein, King Hu, Sergio Corbucci and Ettore Scola. For more information, please visit www.filmmovement.com. Visit www.filmmovementplus.com for more information about Film Movement Plus, the new subscription streaming service from Film Movement.

“LAUREL AND HARDY: THE DEFINITIVE RESTORATIONS”— New Restorations

 

“LAUREL AND HARDY: THE DEFINITIVE RESTORATIONS”

New Restorations

Amos Lassen

New 2K and 4K digital restorations from original 35mm nitrate,  we get Laurel and Hardy’s classic comedies in the best quality since their first release. The DVDs consists of two features and 17 shorts, including the legendary pie-fight silent film “The Battle of the Century” which makes its video debut for the first time in over 90 years! 

Restorations ae by Jeff Joseph/SabuCat in conjunction with the UCLA Film & Television Archive and the Library of Congress. Using careful photochemical and digital techniques, these classic films are restored to pristine condition. In these stunning new transfers, they look and sound as beautiful as they did when they were first released.

FEATURE FILMS:

  Sons of the Desert 

  Way Out West 

CLASSIC SHORT FILMS:

  Berth Marks

  The Battle of the Century (with new music track by Donald Sosin and virtually complete and restored)

  Brats

  Busy Bodies

  The Chimp

  Come Clean

  County Hospital

  Helpmates

  Hog Wild

  Me and My Pal

  Midnight Patrol

  The Music Box

  One Good Turn

  Scram! 

  Their First Mistake

  Towed in a Hole

  Twice Two

SPECIAL FEATURES:

  L&H off-camera pix from Hardy’s collection

  That’s That (restored/first time on video) 

  Tree in a Test Tube (restored from 16mm Kodachrome) 

  Ships Reporter Oliver Hardy Interview (restored) 

  Alternate Soundtracks

  Huge collection of rare photos, stills, posters, scripts and studio files

  Commentaries by Randy Skretvedt and Richard W. Bann

  Never before seen video interviews as well as audio interviews with L&H co-workers

  Restored Trailers and more!

  English Subtitles

“STREET SURVIVORS”— The Legend Continues

“STREET SURVIVORS”

The Legend Continues

Amos Lassen

The impressive new edition of “Street Survivors” comes to us as a three-disc set— Blu-ray, DVD and soundtrack CD. The story of Lynyrd  Skynyrd has come to us over the years in various documentaries but this is something new and different. It is not only the story of the plane crash which broke the bad apart, it is also the story of Artimus Pyle and his personal relationship with Ronnie Van Zant and how the two men loved each other like brothers. Withdrama period-correct costuming by Lisa Norcia and set design by Eve McCarney along  with strong performances by its cast of unknown actors, we go beyond documentaries and talking heads. We are inside the plane and watch the story unfold—and this is much different than being told what happened. Emotionally, this is a rough movie to watch. Ian Michael Shultis as Artimus Pyle is excellent and  Taylor Clift as Ronnie Van Zant (who does his own vocals on the classics) is amazing as is the rest of the cast.

Following a concert at the Greenville Memorial Auditorium in Greenville, South Carolina, the band boarded a two-prop plane bound for Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where they were scheduled to appear at LSU the following night. The crashed just three days after the release of their fifth album, “Street Survivors.”  Pyle not only survived the crash that claimed the life of the band’s founder and frontman Ronnie Van Zant (along with guitarist Steve Gaines and his sister, back-up singer Cassie Gaines), he also physically pulled the remaining survivors out of the wreckage before struggling to get to the nearest farmhouse to seek help.

The aftermath of the crash became typical of the rock ‘n’ roll business: Artimus had joined the band upon the recording of their third album and wasn’t “under contract” with the record company and therefore he was responsible for his own medical bills. When the FAA discovered “drugs” (proved to be vials of legal ginseng extract) in Pyle’s recovered luggage, they called in the DEA and threatened to charge Pyle with drug trafficking.

I knew about the crash but I didn’t know what life was like for the group, their music and what happened after the crash to the members left behind. Here is that story as told by Artimus Pyle. We see his passion for music, what it was like for him to join the talented group and the antics that were a part of life on the road. We also see the passion for the fans and the connection the band shared through music. We really see the heart of someone who was part of something that seemed to be bigger than life. The film gives us a new layer of understanding why the group’s music continues to live on.

“WHAT SHE SAID: THE ART OF PAULINE KAEL”— A Controversial Reviewer

“WHAT SHE SAID: THE ART OF PAULINE KAEL”

A Controversial Reviewer

Amos Lassen

Rob Garver’s “What She Said” is an in-depth look at film reviewer, Pauline Kael. Kael was not a household name but from the late 1960s into the 1980s, while writing for The New Yorker, she held a “position of authority and dominance in the world of American film criticism.” Her was really famous for two of her reviews— that of “Bonnie and Clyde” and “Last Tango in Paris”. It was a vital time for films and film criticism, and Garver sublimely catches this here.  The interviews we see are now six years old yet we see how important Kael was to the world of cinema. Included is very sharp and very opinionated commentary from Kael.

Kael was known for both her likes and dislikes. There were directors such as Robert Altman, Brian De Palma, Philip Kaufman and Sam Peckinpah could do no wrong in her book, and there were a number of other directors during the New Hollywood 1970s that Kael promoted. She did not seem to like British directors and she trashed Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” (which, by the way, I never understood why this film has been so loved). She really got under the skin of English directors: and her reviews of their works upset many. Her takedown of David Lean’s “Ryan’s Daughter” so bothered the director that he quit filmmaking for 14 years. Why these directors let her remarks bother them so much is an enigma but they did.

Jerry Lewis put it best: “She’s never said a good thing about me yet, the dirty old broad,” he’s seen saying on a talk show. “But she’s probably the most qualified critic in the world.”

During her final decade as a critic (she retired in 1991, with the onset of Parkinson’s disease and died ten years later at 82), her only important review was of Claude Lanzmann’s landmark Holocaust documentary, “Shoah” which she dismissed.

“What She Said” engages the viewer immediately as it gives a personal look to Kael’s criticism. Kael’s driving force was always her love for movies  and we certainly see that here. The documentary is  illustrated by countless movie scenes spanning the entire history of cinema, much of the 95-minute runtime is dedicated to her writing (read in voiceover by Sarah Jessica Parker). Kael’s writing style was conversational rather than academic and she made film criticism into an expressive art form.

Kael became a defining voice for American cinema, both “funny and lethal”, and often went against the stream. She could make a film a box-office hit or she could make it a flop. When “Bonnie and Clyde” was first released it was considered so bad that it disappeared and then Kael took it on and it went on to be a milestone film.  

The impact of Kael’s work is reflected in the number of important directors, actors, and critics who speak of their own varied experiences with her. While her personality was divisive, she left behind quite a legacy.

 Kael’s  review  of “Shoah” was good for the practice of film criticism, even though her critiques were way off target. It is rather refreshing to revisit a time when movie reviews could inspire such heated reactions. It is not entirely clear why she became the critic many readers loved to hate, because so many of her pieces were essentially biographical writing in the guise informed analysis.

Bonus Features: 

Quentin Tarantino Interview Excerpts
Paul Schrader Interview Excerpts
Deleted Scenes
Never before released interview of Pauline Kael with Alfred Hitchcock.

“HANDS OF GOD”— To Become Olympic Champions

“HANDS OF GOD”

To Become Olympic Champions

Amos Lassen

Riccardo Romani’s “Hands of God” is a beautiful documentary about the Iraqi boxing teams who suffered through thirteen years of war, dozens of bombings each and every month, but who remain focused on their goal of becoming Olympic champions. Here is theirjourney from desperation to the edge of an historic qualification. We follow a group of young men — Waheed, Jafaar, and Saadi are determined to fight for their Nation while they defend their lives on the battlefields. When their gym is devastated by a bomb attack, they continue to train outside.   Even with living under the constant threat of ISIS, the men redefine commitment and sacrifice as they strive to fulfill their dreams.

They face other problems as well— is there enough time to train while on army duty? Can they maintain their focus while living in dangerous areas during the time of war? Will those on the front lines return home? Their story is one of hope and redemption.

“STARFISH”— A Funeral

“STARFISH”

A Funeral

Amos Lassen

Aubrey Parker (Virginia Gardner) has come home for the funeral of her best friend, Grace, whose death makes her feel tremendously guilty for her. She has many regrets and wallows in her misery. When she breaks into Grace’s apartment, her descent into depression is interrupted by something monstrous.

Without giving away spoilers about what happens, this is almost an impossible film to summarize. “Starfish” is filled with uncertainty and it works very well  works surprisingly well in this case. It seems there is some kind of signal occurring from a source beyond our comprehension. Grace though that a signal had been recorded and played back in a corrupted form causing caused her hideous state of things.

She was well aware of whatever theories regarding the signal. It seems that Grace had stashed recordings of it in seven locations that held tremendous personal significance for her and Parker. Collecting and compiling those mixtapes could be the key to everything, but the process will sends Parker spiraling down into her memory and subconscious.

Director AT White keeps us disoriented, but completely locked in every step of the way. His command of mood and texture, along with the otherworldly cinematography keep us involved with what we see. Christina Masterson  who only appears briefly as Grace, is also acutely felt throughout the film.

Much of the film involves intangibles in this melancholy film moves between the genres of science fiction and horror. We have ideas around signaling and communication between dimensions yet this remains an under-explored area of science fiction. “Starfish” mixes this with the experience of grief and, while we can see the entire film as Aubrey’s hallucinatory response to loss, her attempt to make sense of the innately unreasonable business of death. There are images of starfish throughout that remind us of the strangeness of the world and causes us to think about what else might be possible.

Focus is kept on Aubrey’s emotional response to what’s happening around her. Aubrey’s conscious efforts to manage her emotional experience reflect her journey through grief. We feel Grace’s presence as a character and as an influence Aubrey cannot escape. Grace had discovered something, says the voice on the radio. It’s up to Aubrey to try and make sense of it.

Aubrey has her own legacy of guilt to deal with and we are kept guessing and cheering her on. When she enters Grace’s apartment, she promptly retreats from the world and immerses herself in what’s left of Grace’s by going through her property and listening to her music.

Then extra-dimensional creatures invade Earth and Aubrey is surprised to discover that her childhood pal’s ephemera might contain the clues to help her save humanity … if she can get over her grief long enough to get up and so something.

Not everything in “Starfish” works. The many frequent flashbacks and dream sequences seem arbitrary and the way the long shots of Aubrey looking sad often seem bothersome. Nonetheless, Gardner is excellent throughout; and perhaps the best thing about “Starfish” is that it’s so hard to figure out what kind of film it really is.

This Deluxe Blu-ray Edition contains nearly 3 hours of brand new bonus features, 2 commentary tracks, and a CD of STARFISH’s beautiful score.
 
Special Features:

  • Bonus CD with STARFISH’s Score.
  • Reversible Cover Art
  • 2 Audio Commentaries:
  • – Director A.T. White and Director of Photography Alberto Bañares.
  • – Director A.T. White and ‘We Are Geeks’
  • Making-Of Featurette. (59 minutes)
  • Deleted Scenes (22 minutes).
  • 2 Q&As at the Alamo Drafthouse (69 minutes).
  • ‘The Tortoises’ Featurette.
  • Music Video: Ghostlight – “Racehorse”.
  • Starfish Test Sizzle.
  • Aminated Comparison
  • Director Introduction.
  • Blu-ray Trailer.
  • Festival Teaser Trailer.
  • Other Trailers.

“THE WILD GOOSE LAKE”— Societal Ills in China

“THE WILD GOOSE LAKE”

Societal Ills in China

Amos Lassen

Diao Yinan’s “The Wild Goose Lake” is a prime example of the new generation of Chinese films that are concerned with both a sociopolitical and aesthetic context. The film opens with pouring rain and neon lights, shadowy figures meeting at a rendezvous point, a man checking his watch, and a woman sashaying into position, whispering, “Hey, got a light?” Right away, we know that this is a noir film. The man, Zhou Zenong (Hu Ge), had been waiting for his estranged wife, but instead, the mysterious Liu Aiai (Gwei Lun-mei) appears, a sex worker who demands that Zenong prove that he is who he says he is. In a long flashback beginning two nights earlier, it’s revealed that Zenong is a recently released convict involved with a gang that steals and resells motorbikes. He’s put in charge of a group of men, one of whom has problems with another high-ranking mobster. A contest is set up to resolve the matter, but the outcome is rigged, and soon Zenong is the target of a massive manhunt.

Zenong and two comrades who he brings with him on the run negotiate discreet meet-ups, call in favors with their few remaining friends, and find a way around the cops, while, Aiai lingers in the periphery, her motivations and intentions keep us guessing right up until the end. Dynamic camera movement, suspense-building close-ups, and beautiful choreography fill the film.

Diao uses sprawling geography of what’s essentially a chase film to enter into the sordid underbelly of a Chinese society where lawlessness rules over order. The fugitive antiheroes are framed by an environment that reflects their criminal lives back at them wherever they turn.

One of the film’s major themes is a critical attitude toward ruthless and incompetent Chinese police. In one scene, Zenong’s comrade (Zhang Yicong) is accidentally killed by police fire, after he raises his hands in surrender. In another scene, a team of eager cops pose over the body of a man they just killed and they take selfies. We also see that when the police inspector asks who in his squad doesn’t know how to use their guns, almost every hand goes up. This is a very rare depiction of police on mainland China.

The film’s best moments are the chase scenes by the police showing China to still be a police state in need of further reform. The film is beautiful to watch and the actors’ performances are excellent all around.


BONUS FEATURES 

  • Diao Yinan Behind-the-Scenes Featurette
  • Interview with stars Hu Ge and Gwei Lun Mei
  • Bonus Short Film— The Goddess (Directed by Renkai Tan | United States, China | Chinese with English subtitles| 7 minutes) — A young woman decides to take justice into her own hands after a traumatic assault. Based on a true story. 

 About Film Movement

Founded in 2002, Film Movement is a North American distributor of award-winning independent and foreign films based in New York City. It has released more than 250 feature films and shorts culled from prestigious film festivals worldwide including the Oscar-nominated films Theeb (2016) and Corpus Christi (2020). Film Movement’s theatrical releases include American independent films, documentaries, and foreign art house titles. Its catalog includes titles by directors such as Hirokazu Kore-eda, Maren Ade, Jessica Hausner, Andrei Konchalovsky, Andrzej Wajda, Diane Kurys, Ciro Guerra and Melanie Laurent. In 2015, Film Movement launched its reissue label Film Movement Classics, featuring new restorations released theatrically as well as on Blu-ray and DVD, including films by such noted directors as Eric Rohmer, Peter Greenaway, Bille August, Marleen Gorris, Takeshi Kitano, Arturo Ripstein, King Hu, Sergio Corbucci, Ettore Scola and Luchino Visconti. For more information, please visit www.filmmovement.com. Visit www.filmmovementplus.com for more information about Film Movement Plus, the new subscription streaming service from Film Movement.

“TESLA”— An Unconventional Biopic

“TESLA”

An Unconventional Biopic

Amos Lassen

Nikola Tesla is the subject of Michael Almereyda’s unconventional biopic of the inventor. It is concretely based on Tesla’s life, but there conventionality ends. Almereyda covers all the major parts of Tesla’s life including his early years in Croatia, his brief tenure at Edison’s workshop, his success in developing alternating current, his difficult relationships with the Morgan family, and his experiments in Colorado Springs and at Wardenclyffe Tower. Almereyda leaves behind all narrative restraints and instead uses surreal stylization.

Rear-screen projections disorient effect and torch-carrying Anne Morgan (Eve Hewson)  is the narrator. The film freely skips around the Tesla timeline and often gives us long hoped-for incidents that never happened in life, much like a fantasy film..

Almereyda achieves a hyper-real effect throughout “Tesla” and this becomes the kind of film that we have to roll with. The film is a visual feat even when it is crazy at times. The film works well because of the performances of Ethan Hawke as Tesla and Kyle MacLachlan as Einstein. They are perfect in the ways that they contrast their differences. Hawke’s Tesla is a brooders who feels contempt for the success he chases. He introverted man and uncomfortable in his own skin. In contrast, Edison is a brash striver and even with this quality, MacLachlan conveys all his insecurities and fears of failure. He is Tesla’s rival.

This is a director’s film rather which makes it interesting that the characters are memorable in positive ways. Rebecca Dayan is sultry and magnetic as Sarah Bernhardt and Ebon Moss-Bachrach’s brief but poignant work as Tesla’s aspiring inventor friend Szigeti encapsulates the spirit of the film.

The director is a consistently daring filmmaker and he consistently spurs all the tried and true clichés of biographical narratives. If you are curious to see the boundaries of filmmaking become stretched, it is suggested that you must watch Almereyda’s films and his work with indie-cinematographer Sean Price Williams. “Tesla” is sometimes eccentric, occasionally over-the-top, but it always amazing. 

Nikola Tesla  was an enigmatic visionary Eastern European Serbian immigrant (born in 1856 in Smiljan, Croatia) who was ignored during his lifetime but it was proven over time to be correct over his one-time employer and rival Thomas Edison when he came up with his breakthrough practical application for delivering an ‘alternating current’ electrical. Tesla was ignored and the more business-minded Edison used his model. The Tesla died in 1943 in a New York hotel after a long penniless life and was unrecognized by the public. 

Michael Almereyda now gives him his due with this idiosyncratic character study that tells the misunderstood genius’ story in a peculiar way that might displease some viewers as much as delight others.

Anne Morgan is the philanthropist daughter of one of Tesla’s  sponsors, JP Morgan (Donnie Keshawarz) and she is a woman whose perceptive take on the inventor is right-on as far as his great accomplishments and desire for self-destruction.  She remains true to him as a longtime friend even though she is disappointed that he cannot return her love. 

We get a picture of Tesla as too idealistic and ambitious for his own good. He foolishly gives up a royalty deal for his genius invention for a relatively small price to greedy corporate entrepreneurs who do not have his humanistic concerns and i he begins work on a wireless power system with a huge potential for everything aside from making a profit. As his radical ideas frighten investors who see him as as weird, his fortunes dwindle and he dies as a lonely old man who never saw his visions used.

We do not learn about finer technical details of the inventor’s work, but we enjoy the film and are okay with  what makes Tesla such an important inventor  and why he should not be forgotten.

First LGBTQ+ Virtual Reality Channel Launches First Pride Event in VR

First LGBTQ+ Virtual Reality Channel Launches First Pride Event in VR

Revry Partners with VR Platform, Littlstar, for First Queer VR Channel and First VR Global Pride

Global Pride Ad | 15 Sec

Los Angeles, CA – June 23rd.. Revry, the first LGBTQ+ virtual cable network, has teamed up with Littlstar, the premier livestreaming platform on the PlayStation®4, PlayStation® VR, and Android TV, to launch the first VR streaming channel for the queer community in time for this season of Pride.

The announcement comes as Revry continues a major distribution expansion across virtual cable and OTT both domestically and internationally. Revry’s new channel on the Littlstar platform ups the game by giving viewers an exclusive and unparalleled way to engage with content–in virtual reality.

“Littlstar is excited to partner with Revry to redefine how LGBTQ+ audiences view content. Viewers can now interact with each other remotely in virtual reality, or if there is no VR headset available they can live stream it directly to their TV via PlayStation®4 which currently reaches over 100M homes,” said Tony Mugavero, CEO & Co-Founder of Littlstar.

As one of the official streaming partners for the June 27th and 28th Global Pride 2020, Revry will livestream for 24 hours event on the Revry Now channel (available on the Revry apps) as well as on the Littlstar platform–creating a first-of-its-kind VR Pride Festival experience!

Interpride, the organization producing the Global Pride 2020, is excited about what Revry is bringing to the global event. “We’re thrilled to have Revry as one of our official streaming partners,” says Julian Sanjivan, Co-President of Interpride. “Partnering with Revry gives Global Pride 2020 an opportunity to access audiences and community members who may not otherwise be able to participate in the programming, especially where our other platforms are not accessible or allowed. Revry’s new live VR Channel on the LittleStar app brings our event live on PlayStations across the globe and universally available to anyone with an internet connection.”

More than 500 Pride organizations around the world have submitted more than 1,000 pieces of content for Global Pride which will include messages from former US Vice-President Joe Biden, Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar and artists Laverne Cox, Adam Lambert, Kesha and Todrick Hall amongst many more. (See full line up here)

“At a time when the world is hungry for real life interactions, we could not be happier to use our global network–with a reach of over 250 million–to create a virtual pride experience,” said Revry’s Chief Product Officer and Co-Founder LaShawn McGhee. “Community is so important to our mission at Revry; and now, through our partnership with Interpride and Littlstar, we can expand our world of queer movies, shows, music, news, podcasts, and orignals with this historical, first-of-its-kind live virtual reality Pride event!”

“On the heels of a landmark Supreme Court ruling in the US, and in the heart of Pride Month, Littlstar is proud to partner with Revry to stream Global Pride live for 24 hours in Virtual Reality,” said Tony Mugavero, CEO of Littlstar. “This moment and movement are more important now than ever, and we are thrilled to be adding our voice to the chorus of unity and celebration of the right to be yourself.”

Viewers with a PlayStation VR will be able to watch the stream in a custom virtual world, and viewers without VR headsets can view the stream on billions of mobile devices at live.littlstar.com. The normal 2D livestream broadcast can also be viewed on the Revry Now channel on the Revry network available online (watch.revry.tv) and in all major app stores.

About Revry

Watch Queer TV 24/7 with the first LGBTQ+ virtual cable network. Revry offers free live TV channels and On-Demand viewing of its global library featuring LGBTQ+ movies, shows, music, podcasts, news, and exclusive originals all in one place! Revry is currently available in over 225+ million households and devices, and available globally on over nine OTT, Mobile, Connected TV and Desktop platforms. Revry can also be found on Comcast Xfinity X1, XUMO TV, Zapping TV, STIRR (Sinclair Broadcast Group), TiVo+, Samsung TV Plus, and The Roku Channel. The company–an inaugural member of the Goldman Sachs Black and LatinX Cohort–is headquartered in Los Angeles and led by a diverse founding team who bring decades of experience in the fields of tech, digital media, and LGBTQ+ advocacy. Follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @revrytv.

Revry.tv

About Little Star Media, Inc.

Littlstar is a cutting edge streaming platform working with only the best premium content partners and next generation stars in live and on-demand Music, Comedy, Lifestyle, and Sports/ESports. Littlstar’s innovative platform puts viewers at the center of the content, where you can simply watch and enjoy your favorite shows and live streams, or engage in immersive mixed reality experiences. You can subscribe to the premium offering or watch ad supported free content, and you can also earn Ara rewards which can be used for purchases and unlocking other premium perks. For more info, visit https://littlstar.com.

Queer Dating Apps Come Together for Fighting Online Stigma in NiceAF Campaign

Queer Dating Apps Come Together for Fighting Online Stigma in NiceAF Campaign

In the first ever cross-site collaboration of this kind, Building Healthy Online Communities (BHOC) and dating platforms for gay and bisexual men (Adam4AdamBro AppDaddyhunt,GrindrPOZ PersonalsSCRUFF and Jack’d) have teamed up to make their online communities nicer ﹘and kinder for everyone ﹘ with the NiceAF.org campaign.

“Racism and other kinds of bigotry and stigma have no place in our society, whether it’s on the streets or online,” said Jen Hecht, director of BHOC, a partnership of dating apps and HIV/STD prevention organizations working together to support gay, bi and trans men’s health.

“Many minority men find themselves either objectified and stereotyped with phrases such as ‘white guys only – just a preference’. Where’s the community? Where’s the respect? 53% of our users are non-white,” said Adam4Adam’s David Lesage. “Adam4Adam is for everybody.”

“It’s more important than ever that we come together as one community to address these issues of abuse and discrimination online, and we are proud to stand alongside other leaders in this coalition,” said Grindr’s Global Health Projects Manager, Emmett Patterson. “We want to encourage a thoughtful dialogue in the queer community around how we can be more respectful and inclusive, both online and in-person.”

The team behind NiceAF.org has compiled a number of videos featuring men telling stories of how they keep the online experience NiceAF. Starting June 3rd, the collaborating apps will invite their users to vote for the video that does the best job of embodying NiceAF’s mission of promoting nicer, kinder interactions between users.

On social media, in news websites, and in nearly every comments section on the internet, people often say things they would never say to each other in person. The anonymity, and the fact that they may never meet, makes it easy for people to leave their real-world manners behind once they go online.

The problem is the insults can often have profound, lasting effects. This kind of behavior is too common in dating sites, when people are often at their most vulnerable. Among gay men, these same dynamics can have an even stronger impact. John Pachankis, a Yale psychiatrist who has done extensive research on gay men’s mental health, says “The data are clear. When gay men experience stigma coming from other members of their own community, it can have even worse effects than when it comes from the outside.”

Seeing messages like “no fats, no femmes, no Blacks or Asians, white guys only,” when you open a dating app can turn what should be a playful, hopeful experience into a stressful one. “It takes a toll on your health,” says Hecht. “We’re excited to bring the apps together to help their users find the partners they want, while encouraging them to treat everyone respectfully, whether or not they’re a match.”

“As a community we’ve made giant strides in addressing the way the outside world treats us,” said Hecht. “Now, we have a great opportunity to change how we treat each other.”

“POZ has long fought HIV stigma in all its forms and is thrilled to be a partner with NiceAF.org with the shared goal to make the online dating world a more welcoming place for everyone,” says Ian Anderson, president of Smart + Strong, the parent of POZ Personals.

Adam4Adam, Daddyhunt, Grindr, POZ Personals, and SCRUFF/Jack’d all joined BHOC and will each put out messages encouraging their users to go to the NiceAF.org site and vote for the video that does the best job of embodying NiceAF’s mission.

Carl Sandler, CEO of Daddyhunt, says, “When we launched Daddyhunt in 2005, we implemented the ‘Daddyhunt Code.’ One of the code’s principles is that members treat members with mutual respect. We’re participating in NiceAF because we believe that shaming people for their HIV status, use of PrEP, age or race is not something we want to see happening on Daddyhunt nor in the gay community at large.”

“The queer community has overcome many challenges throughout history,” said Hecht. “We’re confident we can address this challenge as well.”