Entertainment behind the scenes
(Reporting by Edith Honan)
“Transploitation.” Depending on your definition, it means either a) an exciting, entertaining way of celebrating transgender women, or b) a reinforcement of an unfair stereotype. Either way, one thing is for certain, the question of what “transploitation” is, has become a controversial subject at this week’s Tribeca Film Festival.
The fuss centers on a new movie, “Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives,” a revenge fantasy that is as violent as it is campy which had premiere here over the weekend. The movie tells of a group of transgender friends who seek vengeance on their attackers. The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) several weeks ago called for it to be pulled from the event that has become a key stop on the global film festival circuit. At the film’s debut, about 25 protesters passed out literature and held up signs saying the story dehumanized the transgender community. “This is not a gig for us. We are women who were born with birth challenges,” said the protest’s organizer, Ashley Love. “These people are mocking our lives.” But director Israel Luna said he hoped people would watch the entire film and give it a chance.
We were out the red carpet to ask the question and in the videos above you can watch Krystal Summers and Erica Andrews, who appear in the movie, defend it. And Stefanie Rivera, one of the protesters, explains why she thinks Tribeca should shut it down.
The Beatles probably would have gone down in history as a pretty good bar band had it not been for their producer George Martin, according to Jeff Beck. The guitar virtuoso, who worked with the studio wizard on a pair of acclaimed albums in the 1970s, said on Thursday the Beatles were “as good as George Martin allowed them to be.”
” To my ears I wasn’t hearing much,” Beck said during a Q&A at the Grammy Museum. “George put (in) all these chords and these fantastic sounds, and all the experimentation was afforded by George. He enabled it. Up to that point they were singing the Star Club (in) Hamburg and doing Gene Vincent songs.
For a woman who usually has too much to say, Courtney Love made a daring choice in favor of succinctness as the colorful rocker kicked off a U.S. concert tour in Hollywood on Thursday to promote her band Hole’s first album in 12 years.
Hole’s show at the Music Box @ Fonda theater (a 1,200-capacity venue where the band was set to play another sold-out gig on Friday) came in at an economical 51 minutes, including an admirably speedy two-minute costume change before a pair of encores. The call sheet had scheduled the band for 90 minutes.
Tuesday night’s much-hyped homage to “the most powerful woman ever to walk the face of the earth” on Fox’s breakout hit show, Glee, was all about asking, “What would Madonna do?”
(Acerbic cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester’s response: “Well, the answer to that question would normally be: date a younger man.”)
There were just two certainties on “American Idol” after inspirational theme night with mentor Alicia Keys.
1) Singing anything by Mariah Carey or Whitney Houston is going to be a no-no when Randy Jackson is on the judging panel (and singing a song that both divas have already “made their own” is just asking for trouble);
The Academy of Country Music Awards ended their three-year winning streak as Sunday’s telecast fell short of last year’s surprisingly strong haul. Maybe organizers should blame Taylor Swift.
The three-hour CBS ceremony averaged 13.1 million viewers, down from a nine-year high of 14.8 million in 2009, but up from 11.7 million in 2008 and a record low of 9.3 million in 2007. While Carrie Underwood made history at the Las Vegas bash by becoming the first woman to win the coveted entertainer of the year prize twice, it was perhaps more notable that Swift did not win a thing. The country-crossover star, who was nominated five times, has taken home hardware from every big awards show in the past year. And in each case, her victory coincided with a ratings boost.
It seems almost everyone is jumping on the “Glee” bandwagon — the TV show about singing high school misfits won a Golden Globe award this past January, viewership spiked upward on last week’s return to U.S. airwaves last week, and the program is rapidly making veteran character actor Jane Lynch (who plays cheerleader coach Sue Sylvester) a Hollywood star.
Add to the group of “Glee” admirers, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, or GLAAD. The organization dedicated to promoting positive images of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people (LGBT) in the media gave out awards on Saturday at a swanky fundraiser in Los Angeles and, perhaps it was no surprise, “Glee” was picked as best TV comedy. Series creator Ryan Murphy let slip a preview of next year’s plots. Chris, the gay member of the singing club, will get a boyfriend. “They are going to be prom kings and they are going to be popular,” he said to applause.
Scary news from the usually-closely guarded “American Idol” camp.
Seems front-runner Crystal Bowersox — the only contestant this season to get consistently rave reviews from both the judges and the viewing public — had a bit of a meltdown a couple of weeks ago and was persuaded against quitting the show only by the wisdom of “Idol” host Ryan Seacrest.
Seacrest, whose busy career also includes presenting a celebrity news TV show for E!, confirmed a TMZ report on Friday that he had talked the dreadlocked young mom into staying in the competition in a parking lot showdown after she said she hated the attention and missed her family too much to continue.
We really couldn’t resist the thought, and we know it seems silly. But it is rather funny. With 3D being all the rage at movie theaters these days, we were dreaming up ideas for special effects that the major movie studios could put into their upcoming summer flicks. And among the first we thought of was Taylor Lautner’s stomach muscles. After all, so much was made of his rock-hard six pack when “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” landed in theaters last year, and “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” hits theaters this June.
It just so happened that today we talked on the phone with one of the “Twilight” producers, and we asked about the prospect of a “Twilight” movie in 3D. He said that, so far, the producers hadn’t considered it, and that if it were to ever happen, they would shoot it in 3D and not convert the film after shooting in 2D. (You can read about that 3D/2D controversy here). Then we told him what we’d been talking about Lautner’s abs, and he wondered aloud: aren’t they in 3D, already?
“Glee” s scheming cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester’s parody of a 1990 Madonna music video got its much anticipated premiere on Tuesday night. But did it live up to its billing?
Reactions to the black-and-white remake of Madonna’s “Vogue” video have been mixed, with some fans (especially those too young to remember the 1990 original) saying they were confused as to whether it was supposed to be funny, while others raved about the subtle homage to one of the world’s most influential pop stars. The video, which will be featured again as part of next week’s Madonna-themed “Glee” episode. But here it is for those who can’t wait that long.