Good luck to Matt Lippiatt whose short film G.R.U.N.T.S about homophobia in the armed forces (performed with Action Men) is showing tonight in Duckie. I met Matt recently, and we had an interesting conversation about gay cinema, his fear of watching Beautiful Thing (I suggest it's remade as Ugly Thing), and how films with bad actors are somehow better. I kept forgetting that he's 22 and as a result I made a number of cultural references that showed my advancing age. Oh dear.
I have a new favourite movie, which is annoying because it's unlikely to come out on general release. Some of My Best Friends Are... is set in the Blue Jar bar in New York, in the early 1970s. It features a bizarre cast - Rue McClachlan (slutty Blanche from the Golden Girls) plays a vicious fag hag. There's also Candy Darling (of the Warhol/Morrissey films), playing a drag queen who gets assaulted by a spaced-out male hustler. But best of all is Gil Gerad (who went on to find mainstream success as Buck Rogers in the 25th century). Here Gil's a butch airplane pilot who everyone wants a piece of. The film's got lots of quick one-liners - one character has a Bloody Mary spilt all over his lap. Shrieking with laughter he cries "Oh good! I'm not pregnant." But the best line goes to Candy Darling - after the attack on her, she creeps out of the men's room, while the cast await in horror to see what sort of state she's going to be in. Quickly gathering her composure she asks "Has anyone seen a contact lens?" and makes for her seat like nothing happened. Good old Candy.
Another good film I've seen recently is Girls Will Be Girls - starring a trio of drag queens - Miss Coco Peru, Jack Plotnick and Dana Gould. It's a kind of parody of Valley of the Dolls, Sunset Boulevard and Whatever Happened to Baby Jane all rolled into one film. I have been obsessed with Miss Coco since she appeared in Trick - "have you ever had someone come in your eye?" she asks. "It BURNS!" She's on top form in this film too. In one flashback scene Coco explains that when she had an abortion she fell in love with the doctor who performed it. "Our souls touched!" Later she tries to find out his address but the hospital won't give it to her. Undefeated, Coco resolves to get pregnant so she can have an abortion all over again, just so she can get close to the hunky doctor. However, weighed down with guilt, the aborted fetus pays her a visit in the middle of the night, during a dream sequence. It's the kind of humour that only drag queens can get away with, just. I think.