Wednesday, November 30, 2011
The IFC Center's Queer/Art/Film series - and generous sponsor Michael Musto - presented a dazzling World Premiere on Monday night:
PAY IT NO MIND: MARSHA P. JOHNSON
After the screening, a panel of Marsha's friends and colleagues sang her praises, according to my spies in the "Big Apple".
Marsha P. Johnson was a revolutionary trans activist, Stonewall instigator, Andy Warhol model, drag queen, prostitute, starving actress, and Saint (and all 'round downtown NYC fixture from the 1960’s through her demise in 1992).
As legend would have it, Johnson persevered through a life embodied by her middle initial P, which stood for “Pay It No Mind.”
And, eventually, a documentary was able to set the record - um - straight.
A message from Antony Hegarty about Marsha P. Johnson
Marsha P. Johnson, the namesake of my band, was a gay activist who started the seminal organization S.T.A.R. (Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries) in the early 70s with her friend Sylvia Rivera (sp?).
They founded the "STAR house"on the lower East side in an attempt to provide shelter for homeless gay youth; Marsha and Sylvia paid the rent with money they made as street prostitutes. Among the legends about Marsha is that she threw the first bottle at the Stonewall riots; she was certainly among the faces at the forefront of the gay civil rights movement for over 2 decades, representing the community's most marginalized contingent. "Saint Marsha," as she was widely known, was also the kind of person who would give the shirt off her back to a stranger in need, and was once sighted giving all the money she had panhandled that day to another homeless person.
Marsha starred in performances by The Hot Peaches, and she sometimes did impromptu quick changes on Christopher Street, whipping out wigs and feathers that she had hidden in the garbage cans along the stroll to the piers.
During Marsha's final years, she was taken in by lamp shop owner and activist Randy Wickers.
Her body was found in the Hudson River in the Summer of 1992; the cause of her death was never properly determined. She has been sorely missed since.
Tattler readers may recall that I reported on my early off-off-Broadway stint with the "Hot Peaches" in the production of "The Magic Hype".
It was during that outrageous period of my life that I struck up friendships with a handful of the notorious local characters in the lower east side - including, but not limited to - Jackie Curtis!
Is it almost that time again?
It seems that just yesterday I started up my first "10 Best & 10 Worst Dressed List" for Men & Women" as a tribute to that cheeky fashion legend Mr. Blackwell.
Just last year, in fact, I tossed together the 3rd Annual lists amidst a storm of hits, controversy, and "you betcha's"!
Come December 31st, fashionistras who made the grade this year, will be posted once again on The Tattler!
In the meantime, I will be scouring the red carpets, titillating TMZ broadcasts - even people magazine - for likely candidates for 2011.
Was Justine Bieber's recent peacock wonder at the MTV Video Awards worthy of the Best-Dressed or Worst-Dressed nod?
How 'bout Michelle Obama?
Will the 1st Lady make the fashion spotlight - in spite of the Target bargain specials she keeps turning out in (where's the fashion police?L) on quick jaunts out on the hill?
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Though it was Thanksgiving - and a smattering of networks and ballsy cable outlets were slated to broadcast top-notch programming for the holiday weekend - sigh - I was doomed from the get-go
I fess up.
Since the lighthearted naughty comedy - Pretty Woman - was first released many moons ago, I have plunked myself down on the couch at least five-or-six times to catch the flick again-and-again.
For good reason!
The chemistry between the two lead actors is fascinating to screen throughout.
One-line zingers, splashy visuals, and fast-pacing have buttressed the flick up - enough so - that that it has also become a perennial holiday favorite.
Julia's quirky small-town persona works well here alongside the sexy one Gere rustled up of - a standoffish studly businessman slightly full of himself - out to make in the lofty climbs of high business and finance.
When the well-dressed out-of-towner cruises curbside to ask for directions from a pedestrian (Roberts) the fireworks erupt!
Before you can say "hand job", sexily-clad-character is firmly ensconced in a high-end auto, teaching the silver fox a thing or two.
Essentially, Roberts plays a hooker with a heart of gold (without any), without any indication she has plans to settle down into domestic bliss.
Meanwhile, Gere's shell of a soul is bent on tearing down the "Old Guard and Kingpins in the "Captains of Industry", to spite the memory of an overbearing father.
Roberts may just be the heady distraction lover-boy needs to bolster his ego during the tricky negotiations?
Ralph Bellamy shines in the role of a "Gentleman Businessman" (as usual) out to expose the corruption and ugly underbelly of a rapidly-expanding shipyard industry.
I met Mr. Bellamy once on a shoot for - "The Disorderlies" - at the old Beverly Hillbilly's Mansion in Beverly Hills.
I found the seasoned actor to be kind, down-to-earth, and an all 'round good fellow.
Gere (who personifies the notion that salt 'n pepper men get better with age) displays just enough cockiness to pull this role off.
The surprise star turn didn't hurt his longevity in the film industry (that's for sure) - and most certainly - cemented Julia Roberts' image as a good-time girl worth banking on!
Catch it if you can!
2 1/2 stars.
Saturday, November 19, 2011
San Franciscans did not let the "Occupy San Francisco" protesters dampen their holiday spirits last night at the Embarcadero Center in the downtown core of the bustling west coast city.
In fact, tourists, locals - and City Officials alike - cast a blind eye to the scourge that is tent city and elected to jump into the joyous spirit of the annual Winter Carnival Festivities which kicked-off yesterday afternoon.
Onlookers were delighted to catch excerpts from "Disney on Ice" at 4 p.m. rink-side, then later at 6 p.m., ooh and aah over the lighting of the downtown buildings framing the plaza and park across the street from the Ferry Building (at the foot of Market).
Although a storm swept in, the upbeat throngs were able to participate in events slated indoors, without the necessity of opening up a ubiquitous umbrella.
In Embarcadero Center, merchants handed out samples and courted shoppers at booths, while the young ones squealed with delight for a photo opportunity with Santa.
At the Hyatt next-door, a tree-lighting ceremony warmed the hearts of everyone present, too.
A dazzling fireworks display crowned the festive night!
By the way, Macy's will present their Official Tree-lighting event on November 25th at Union Square (6 p.m.).
At press time, it was announced that ice-skater John Weir, the San Francisco School of the Arts, the Glide Ensemble, and the UC Men's Octet will be on hand to entertain.
See 'ya there!
'Ya know the festive holiday season is upon us when the silky tones of a Johnny Mathis Christmas Carol croon across the radio airwaves and in retail outlets 'round the country.
Friday, November 18, 2011
If you're one of those film buffs who relies on movie reviews to determine whether to screen a flick or not - chances are - you'd pass on the latest installment of the just-released Twilight saga (Breaking Dawn) which opened last night at midnight in select Theatres around the country.
Critics have basically panned the big-budget "soaper" and written it off as a lot of mindless convoluted fluff!
In spite of that, die-hard (!) fans have - not only pooh-poohed the barbs - but flocked to the theatre in droves.
In fact, those who couldn't get a jump on the flick last night at the Vampire hour, queued up at the AMC in downtown San Francisco bright-and-early this morning to catch a 10 a.m. screening.
Were they chomping at-the-bit to drool over Robert Pattinson in the latest franchise offering, or was the discounted ticket ($6.00 before noon) what lured 'em in?
"Breaking Dawn" started off slow and was a bit talky - many of the one-liners fell flat - but picked up speed when the vampire juices and testosterone kicked in (a tad, anyway!).
I wouldn't be spoiling it for tattler readers if I noted that Edward and Bella finally tie-the-knot in this slick glossy studio production; after all, that plot line leaked out many moons ago.
In addition, there was a major twist which has triggered a spanking-new scenario, which signals upcoming sequels down the bumpy roads of the picturesque Pacific Northwest in the future.
By the way, if movie-goers exit before the end of the credit crawl, they'll miss a telling scene that sheds a bit of moonlight on that little inevitability!
As for the performances, well, Pattinson's acting is pretty minimalist (boring?) this time out.
In contrast, Kristen Stewart gives it her best shot, as she writhes in pain throughout!
At the close of the flick a close-up of her reveals what a great beauty she is.
That Pattinson's a lucky dude, eh?
2 1/2 Stars
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Residents of the trendy "Pines" at Fire Island were quite devastated when the crown jewel in their gay social hub - the Pavillion Club - went up in a poof of smoke earlier this week.
Talk about a flaming Queen!
The spectacular blaze (it lit up the whole eastern horizon on the opposite side of Long Island) triggered alarms at 43 fire-fighting companies - at which point - a gang of heroic firemen roared in and toiled away 'til dawn to contain it.
The infamous Pavillion was host to the wildest "high teas" (dance parties) in recent years and catered to a predominantly gay clientele.
High profile celebs - such as Madonna, Tom Ford (fashion designer), and Calvin Klein - often got down 'n dirty at the popular watering hole (which was part of its heady allure to the locals).
Fire Island is particularly appreciated for its quaint boardwalks, picturesque scenery, and cozy little get-a-ways in the wilds just right for two in a romantic mood (if you get my drift!).
Andrew Kintzman, a major partner in the business, intended to turn the "Pines" into a gay mecca.
Now, he'll have to start from scratch.
Oh well, Rome was not built in a day, eh?
Harry Potter Marathon @ Castro Theatre goes hogwild...all wizardly-flicks screened! November 19th & 20th!
The Castro Theatre is screening a "Harry Potter Marathon" to feature the entire franchise offerings to date (in sequence) sure to delight die-hard fans this upcoming weekend.
Here is the run-down of the wizardly schedule:
SATURDAY NOVEMBER 19th
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
Directed by Chris Columbus
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Directed by Chris Columbus
30 MINUTE INTERMISSION
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Directed by Alfonso Cuarón
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Directed by Mike Newell
SUNDAY NOVEMBER 20th
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Directed by David Yates
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Directed by David Yates
30 MINUTE INTERMISSION
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Directed by David Yates
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Part 2 in 3D
Directed by David Yates
Wonder how many fans will turn up in costume?
See 'ya there!
And so, the arguments go 'round and 'round, at "Occupy Oakland"!
In spite of the fact protesters were informed that they were welcome to rally and exercise their right to free speech by lamenting their political and social concerns, one stickling point appears to be a stumbling block when it comes to resolving the issue of their unlawful tent city frustrating City Officials.
For example, the upstarts from the alleged 99% have take the position that they are legally entitled to let their voices be heard in the plaza (and camp overnight in shelters in the interim until their arguments are fully addressed) in front of City Hall on the basis of "freedom of speech".
A line from the successful feature - "Cool Hand Luke" - springs to mind:
"What we have here is a failure to communicate!"
Can't the "occupiers" get it through their thick skulls?
City ordinances outlaw tent encampments on public property overnight.
Notwithstanding, the protesters don't appear to realize (or care) that they are also "denying" other citizens their right to walk freely in a public park and City Plaza (which is their inalienable right, also).
Grow up, kids!
Peaceable assembly within the confines of the law may guarantee the movement success eventually.
But disobey the laws of the land, and neglect to smell the coffee, and you're doomed!
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
A police motorcade with lights flashing - consisting of forty-to- fifty motorcycle cops - inched down Market Street, the roar of "Occupy San Francisco" protesters could be heard chanting slogans a block away from my perch at Powell Street, and tourists dashed to the crowded curb to snap photographs of the class uprising erupting before them.
Angered over their recent ouster from tent city across from the Ferry Building at the waterfront bright-and-early at the crack-of-dawn - once again - a highly-vocal rag-tag gang of upstarts took their mighty cause to the picturesque climbs of San Francisco.
The signs they vigorously waved said it all:
"Tax the Rich!"
"Make Banks Pay!"
"We are the 99 %!"
Some overzealous individuals reached into the throngs on the sidelines - and urged folks to join - in a bold-faced effort to swell the ranks.
"You should be in this parade," one boisterous lad bellowed at me.
"Because they busted about thirty people earlier down the street."
Another, singled out Leslie Tang Shilling (UC Regent & Director of Union Square Investments Company), as one of the privileged 1%.
A flyer he thrust into my hand alleged that Union Square Investments Company has more than $133 million in assets under management - and thus - is a likely target for their allegations of "greed".
Others were encouraged to show up at a People's Regents/Trustee meeting (at the State Building) to protest the high cost of education and escalating tuition fees.
Stay posted for updates!
For car enthusiasts, the San Francisco International Auto Show is a great distraction from the doldrums when it roars into town.
This year will be no exception!
At press time, upwards of 38 manufacturers have given the nod to display their pristine showcase vehicles at the Moscone Center (November 18 - November 27).
Expect a "wow" factor as nifty designers introduce futuristic "concept' roadsters - in addition to - a myriad of alternate fuel hybrids with high-mileage features.
The following installations will be great crowd-pleasers, too:
* Academy of Art University Classic Car Collection
* Hot rods from the Dominator Street Rods
* Ferrari Club of America Exhibition
* Aftermarket Alley (tricked-out vehicles & aftermarket products)
* Auto Accessory Fair and Simulators
AutoTrader.com is also sponsoring an exciting "Driver's Choice Challenge" where motorists will have the golden opportunity to test their skills at the wheel.
A definite highlight for many will be the opportunity to get up-close-and-personal with the dazzling 1938 Talbot-Lago (pictured above) which was named "Best in Show" nominee and named "First Class" at the prestigious Pebble Beach Concours D'Elegance 2011.
See 'ya there!
Things do not appear to be so rosy at Starbucks these days, at least not at the cafe outlet in the financial district in downtown San Francisco across from Staples on California Street.
Regular patrons are grumbling over a broken toaster (!), for starters, which has curtailed sales of the Seattle-based company's scrumptious breakfast sandwiches, toasted whole-grain bagels, and what-have-you.
Oatmeal doesn't always cut it as an early-morning energy pick-me-up, after all!
Worse that that - to some - is the combative behaviour of a middle-aged female cashier which smacks of downright rudeness (and a display of very bad manners).
The hefty woman with the bad dye job is better suited to slinging hash in a dive in the tenderloin!
An elderly gent preparing the orders behind the counter often appears to be put-out at having to fix the offerings, too.
When one customer politely requested an "ice" water - and a glass of plain water was set on the counter - he went on the rag when the long-time customer requested a bit of ice.
It makes me wonder.
Do execs at Starbucks ever conduct any quality control?
News at 11!
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Mayor Quan's tendency to flip-flop on the "Occupy Oakland" gang (and the political and social issues involved) - camped out in recent days at tent city - have earned her a nick-name among the locals.
Notwithstanding, Quan has established she is also a mighty risk to the City from an economic standpoint.
For example, by the time the dust has settled - and the load of excrement has been hauled off (among other things) - the Oakland City coffers may suffer upwards of 2 1/2 million dollars in losses.
Is a recall (or resignation) on the horizon???
News at 11!
Just one of the boys, folks!
Jerry Sandusky - the assistant Football coach charged with sexually abusing male youths over a fifteen-year span - publicly spoke out in his own defense last night on NBC.
In a frank interview, Sandusky admitted to showering with pre-teen boys, but insisted that it all amounted to harmless "horseplay".
"I've tried to play a significant role in "people's" lives to make them feel good about themselves," he noted, in a few carefully-chosen words on the record.
If his genitals brushed up against one boy's body - it was not intentional - he explained to the probing interviewer who was unrelenting in his search for the truth.
Personally, I've always felt that children (male & female) should be taught to be comfortable in their "skin" (whether naked in the shower or fully-clothed in the school yard or at a recreational facility).
In my opinion, it should be impressed upon children that they should not be ashamed of their bodies.
However, adults must also use common sense in that regard.
Of course, eyebrows will raise - and accusations will fly - when a man or woman is not mindful of the potential consequences of their so-called "innocent" actions which are questionable to others.
The Michael Jackson child molestation case underscored that reality crystal clear.
To most folks in middle America, it is not normal for an adult to invite young children into their bed.
After all, it always begs the question.
What were you thinking (or what were your intentions)?
Pajama Boy Michael Jackson faced child molestation charges
Monday, November 14, 2011
In spite of the fact Thanksgiving has yet to pop up on the Calendar, San Franciscans are dumping their blues and the city doldrums to jump into the festive Christmas Holiday spirit.
When I strolled through Union Square (rife with bustling tourists) on the weekend, for example, ice skaters were making merry on the rink underneath a majestic Christmas Tree decorated in eye-catching gold and red baubles!
As the season of good will approaches, and unfolds all around us, remember that the gifts in life are God's gifts to us.
The tabloid-style San Francisco Examiner - a free daily that San Franciscans warm up to daily at the crack-of-dawn on the West Coast - has been sold (lock, stock, and barrel) to Black Press.
The conglomerate - boasting dozens of media outlets throughout North America - is based out of picturesque British Columbia (Canada).
Will the Canuck "slant" on the news of the world - arts, sports, culture - impact the staid old-money elite in the San Francisco Bay Area?
A Chief U.S. District Court Judge - James Ware of San Francisco - has ruled amidst foul outcries that a School Official acted reasonably and did not violate the right to "Free Speech" when he instructed Anglo students to turn their shirts (bearing the American Flag) inside-out or "go home".
His Honor duly noted past clashes between Mexican-Americans and Anglo students were sufficient cause for teachers to issue the ultimatum.
Judge Ware reasoned that teachers - and the like - did not have to wait until a disruption occurred to act.
A lawyer for the students who filed suit was quick to bemoan what he construed as a lunatic ruling that flew in the face of the right to "Freedom of Speech".
"The court found that the rights of students promoting their Mexican heritage trumped the rights of the students expressing their patriotism," Bill Becker, counsel for the Anglo Students argued.
The litigation arose from an ugly incident which went down at a local Morgan Hill High School on the day of Cinco de Mayo.
When white students showed up at the event with U.S. flag images etched on their face, an Ass. Principal ordered the youths to remove the potentially offending attire or - at a minimum - turn them inside out.
When the "patriots" refused, they were sent home.
Meanwhile, the school allowed the Mexican-American students to wear colors of their flag that day without issue.
The case is expected to be appealed.
Sunday, November 13, 2011
In recent days, you may have spied David Beckham (soccer-stud extraordinaire) sporting a diamond tie clip as he sauntered into the spotlight to chat on afternoon talk shows around the country.
Jaws also dropped when heartthrob - Justin Bieber - turned up at the MTV Awards with a fanciful gem-encrusted broach gracing his lapel.
The male animal on the prowl is prone to flaunt his peacock colors now that he's been liberated from the shackles of less confident men in his midst once victims of stalwart Men's Fashion House haberdasheries.
Designers - like Monique Pean - have obviously taken a cue!
Pean, for starters, has created an eclectic collection of jewellery for the discerning stud that boasts cuff links, tie bars, and key chains crafted from fossilized walrus ivory, recycled gold, and woolly-mammoth tooth roots.
Though forward in design, the body adornments are couched in tribal rituals of the past, though.
Dazzling diamond sparklers say it all for moi!
Pean's offerings may be scoffed up at Barney's New York outlet.
"Two-and-a-Half" man of-the-hour - popchips president of pop culture (?) - is canvassing the Internet for a VP (a veritable side-kick) to help forecast and launch venture interests in the near future.
If you've got your little pinky on the pulse of a generation or two, then Kutcher may be on the look-out for YOU!
In a recent posting at Monster, the sexy actor was pretty specific about the duties of prospective applicants pining for the job (any job, please!).
And, what a plum vacancy Kutcher has to fill!
The official popchips VP will be rubbing shoulders with the former top model, creating cool digital content, jetting off to report on-location from the hottest marquee events (like music festivals, award shows and fashion events), helping to discover what pops, and weighing in on all the important issues around the Nation.
(search for pop culture entry)
Break a leg!
But, don't get punk'd, eh?
Dear Tattler Readers:
Please note that I received the attached info from a representative of Mr. Kutcher this afternoon. Apparently, the job opportunity I was referring to was reprinted in error in the San Francsico Examiner.
My apologies in the event any of you got excited over the prospect (or thought you were being punk'd).
From: Michael Berry
Cc: "White, Eric"
Sent: Monday, November 14, 2011 11:37 AM
Subject: Ashton Kutcher Pop Chips Promo
Julian Ayres -- I was forwarded a link to your blog, The Tattler, in which you mention the PopChips contest involving Ashton Kutcher and the search for a vice president of pop culture. Unfortunately, that promotion ended earlier this summer, and the recent ad in the San Francisco Chronicle appeared in error.
Saturday, November 12, 2011
The decor may not be fabulous, darlings, but the bill-of-fare - mostly consisting of hearty homemade soups and beefed-up sandwiches - is just scrumptious.
Soup Freaks has wisely zeroed in on an oft-neglected menu item or two savored by folks pining for nutritious oompf on their lunch-hour breaks.
I sprang for a sirloin steak sandwich stacked high on wheat bread and was knocked out by how tasty and filling it was.
In spite of the fact, Soup Freaks just threw its doors opens on Castro Street a few weeks ago, the staff have managed to rustle up regulars queuing up for more of the same daily!
The offerings are reasonably-priced, too.
By the way, don't bother trying to reach for a Coke or a Sprite if 'ya want to quench your thirst.
The coolers in the trendy in-spot are only stocked with beverages not normally found elsewhere.
Soup Freaks is obviously on their way to establishing their distinctive "foody" style.