entertainmentawardevent:academy award

  • Facebook isn’t a tech company — let’s stop calling it that - CNN

    Sometimes it takes an old guy to call out a youngster. Hatch knew that it was time for us to stop referring to Facebook as a tech company. As his spokesman reportedly noted later, Hatch was just using “a common tactic used in Congressional hearings to make a point.”
    Facebook runs ads based on the information it has collected about you. And it has used the imprimatur of “technology” to shift our attention so it — as well as Google — can operate under a different set of rules than all the other media companies that run ads. By clinging to its definition of being a technology company, Facebook and other social media companies enjoy protections under the Communications Decency Act that immunize them from being held liable for hate and other objectionable speech, libel and falsehoods in news stories and advertising that media companies do not.

    To be sure, Facebook utilizes technology, but that doesn’t make it a tech company any more than Exxon Mobil (because it uses instruments to find oil) or Burlington Northern (because it’s based on the invention of the steam engine)."

    David Dodson

    For media companies that run ads, especially ones that use public networks, we tell them that they can’t lie or mislead, that it’s not okay to advertise cigarettes to children or push prescription drugs without including the risks. We have laws governing deceptive advertisements and Truth in Advertising laws. Companies that run ads can’t say a car gets 40 miles per gallon unless it’s true. They can’t say a movie won an Academy Award unless it did. If you say the wool comes from New Zealand, it must.
    Technology companies invent cars that drive themselves, satellites that can identify a license plate from miles away, phones that can guide us through traffic jams, and machines that see inside our bodies. That’s what tech companies do.

    To be sure, Facebook utilizes technology, but that doesn’t make it a tech company any more than Exxon Mobil (because it uses instruments to find oil) or Burlington Northern (because it’s based on the invention of the steam engine).
    Zuckerberg’s genius was harnessing an already existing network and previously developed computer code to allow people to share words and pictures with one another. In return, he runs ads.

    When nearly half of Americans get their news from Facebook, its newsfeed should be subjected to the same standards of fairness, decency and accuracy as newspapers, television and other media outlets.

    For decades, CBS sold beer during weekend football games and toys during Saturday morning cartoons. Long before the internet, folks figured out that by targeting the right audience, they could charge a higher price for running ads. Facebook just does it better.

    #Facebook #Médias_sociaux

  • Tales From The Hood 2 (2018)

    Horror is back in the hood! The sequel to the ground-breaking original film Tales From the Hood reunites Executive Producer Spike Lee (Honorary Academy Award® winner) and Writers/Directors/Producers Rusty Cundieff and Darin Scott for an all-new gripping, horrifying and oftentimes devilishly comical anthology. Keith David stars as a contemporary Mr. Simms to tell bloodcurdling stories about lust, greed, pride and politics through tales with demonic dolls, possessed psychics, vengeful vixens and historical ghosts. Mr. Simms’s haunting stories will make you laugh...while you scream.


  • JetBrains C++ team at CppCon 2018 : Trip report—Anastasia Kazakova

    CppCon 2018 is now over. While our memories are still fresh, we’d like to share our impressions of this year’s installment of CppCon.

    JetBrains C++ team about CppCon 2018 by Anastasia Kazakova

    This year’s edition was unique and exceptional for many reasons:

    Highly technical keynotes on Concepts, Lifetime, Spectre issues and more. C++ developers on stage accepting an Academy Award! A whole selection of great talks, some are covered in the trip report. New Lightning Challenge format (our team was glad to take it and shared the impression in the report).

    Our team is also running a survey at CppCon on a regular basis, no exception this year. Find the results on most popular standard and compiler inside.


  • CppCon 2018: Patterns and Techniques Used in the Houdini 3D Graphics Application—Mark Elendt

    The CppCon 2018 Tuesday keynote is now on YouTube:

    Patterns and Techniques Used in the Houdini 3D Graphics Application by Mark Elendt, SideFX

    Mark Elendt has been an active practitioner at SideFX software for over 25 years. He works primarily on low level libraries for Houdini but also is the chief author of the mantra production rendering engine. He was honored to receive the Scientific and Technical Academy Award of Merit for his contributions to Houdini.

    From the description:

    Earlier this year, Mark Elendt and SideFX were awarded the Scientific and Technical Award of Merit for their continued work and innovation on the Houdini Visual Effects software package. Not only has Houdini been used in all of the Visual Effects Academy Award winning films of the past 10 (...)


  • Vanessa Redgrave backs ’Zionist hoodlums’ comment made during 1978 Oscar speech
    Haaretz - Aug 31, 2018 7:03 PM

    Vanessa Redgrave is unapologetic for referring to “Zionist hoodlums” during her Academy Award acceptance speech 40 years ago.

    On Thursday, the veteran actress told the Hollywood Reporter in an interview ahead of receiving a lifetime achievement Golden Lion Award from the Vienna Film Festival that she felt a responsibility to speak out no matter the consequences.

    Redgrave, 81, was referring in her remarks at the 1978 Oscars to the members of the Jewish Defense League who objected to her funding and narrating “The Palestinian,” a 1977 documentary about the Palestinians’ situation and the activities of the Palestinian Liberation Organization.

    She received the best supporting actress Oscar for her performance in the 1977 film “Julia,” in which Redgrave played the title role — a woman murdered by Nazis prior to World War II for her anti-fascist activism.

    Following her nomination, members of the JDL burned her in effigy and allegedly offered a bounty on her head. There was a firebombing at one of the theaters that screened the documentary. The JDL also picketed the Academy Awards ceremony where she received her Oscar opposite pro-PLO demonstrators.

    “In the last few weeks you have stood firm and you have refused to be intimidated by the threat of a small bunch of Zionist hoodlums, whose behavior is an insult to the stature of Jews all over the world, and to their great and heroic record of struggle against fascism and oppression,” Redgrave told her supporters during her acceptance speech.

    She concluded the speech by pledging “to fight anti-Semitism and fascism for as long as I live.”

    The controversial statement about “Zionist hoodlums” reportedly cost her many roles over the years.

    “I didn’t realize pledging to fight anti-Semitism and fascism was controversial. I’m learning that it is,” she told the Hollywood Reporter this week. (...)

    • En 2018, dénoncer l’organisation raciste, fasciste et classée comme terroriste aux États-Unis de Meir Kahane, est toujours un « controversial statement ». Même pour le Haaretz.

  • CppCon keynote: Patterns and Techniques Used in the Houdini 3D Graphics Application (Mark Elendt)

    Note: Three days left to register for CppCon 2018 at the Early Bird discounted rate.

    In 2018, the ISO C++ committee and C++11 were thanked on camera from the Oscars stage. The shout out was by this Academy Award winner, who will be keynoting CppCon this September:

    CppCon 2018 Plenary: Patterns and Techniques Used in the Houdini 3D Graphics Application (Mark Elendt)

    From the announcement:

    Not only has Houdini been used in all of the Visual Effects Academy Award winning films of the past 10 years, but it has also been used for television shows like Game of Thrones and Stranger Things as well as content creation for many AAA video games, and even for scientific visualization. Houdini artists are tasked with creating amazing, never before seen visual effects. They constantly (...)


  • All of the Soviet Union’s Academy Award-Winning Films Are Legally and Freely Available Online · Global Voices


    Although the communist Soviet Union’s (1922-1992) official ideology derided America’s capitalist film industry, it submitted films to their Academy Award (also known as the ‘Oscars’) competition for Best Foreign Language Film between 1963 and 1991. Three films actually won the award.

    In 2011, Mosfilm, the biggest production company in USSR, which continues to dominate the industry in independent Russia, opened ‘a treasure trove of Soviet films’ by uploading a collection of dozens of classics on YouTube for anyone to watch for free.

    #urss #mosfilm #cinéma_soviétique

  • Un père horrible - le fils de Hunter S. Thompson raconte

    Who Was Hunter S. Thompson? His Private Life - Biography (2016)

    Hunter Stockton Thompson (July 18, 1937 – February 20, 2005) was an American journalist and author, and the founder of the gonzo journalism movement.

    Hunter Stockton Thompson (July 18, 1937 – February 20, 2005) was an American journalist and author, and the founder of the gonzo journalism movement. About the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/030... The film Where the Buffalo Roam (1980) depicts heavily fictionalized attempts by Thompson to cover the Super Bowl and the 1972 U.S. presidential election. It stars Bill Murray as Thompson and Peter Boyle as Thompson’s attorney Oscar Zeta Acosta, referred to in the movie as Carl Lazlo, Esq. The 1998 film adaptation of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas was directed by Monty Python veteran Terry Gilliam, and starred Johnny Depp (who moved into Thompson’s basement to “study” Thompson’s persona before assuming his role in the film) as Raoul Duke and Benicio del Toro as Dr. Gonzo. The film has achieved something of a cult following. The film adaptation of Thompson’s novel The Rum Diary was released in October 2011, also starring Johnny Depp as the main character, Paul Kemp. The novel’s premise was inspired by Thompson’s own experiences in Puerto Rico. The film was written and directed by Bruce Robinson.[77] At a press junket for The Rum Diary shortly before the film’s release, Depp said that he would like to adapt The Curse of Lono, “The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved”, and Hell’s Angels for the big screen: “I’d just keep playing Hunter. There’s a great comfort in it for me, because I get a great visit with my old friend who I miss dearly.”[78] Fear and Loathing in Gonzovision (1978) is an extended television profile by the BBC. It can be found on disc 2 of The Criterion Collection edition of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. The Mitchell brothers, owners of the O’Farrell Theatre in San Francisco, made a documentary about Thompson in 1988 called Hunter S. Thompson: The Crazy Never Die. Wayne Ewing created three documentaries about Thompson. The film Breakfast with Hunter (2003) was directed and edited by Ewing. It documents Thompson’s work on the movie Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, his arrest for drunk driving, and his subsequent fight with the court system. When I Die (2005) is a video chronicle of making Thompson’s final farewell wishes a reality, and documents the send-off itself. Free Lisl: Fear and Loathing in Denver (2006) chronicles Thompson’s efforts in helping to free Lisl Auman, who was sentenced to life in prison without parole for the shooting of a police officer, a crime she didn’t commit. All three films are only available online.[79] In Come on Down: Searching for the American Dream[80] (2004) Thompson gives director Adamm Liley insight into the nature of the American Dream over drinks at the Woody Creek Tavern. Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride: Hunter S. Thompson on Film (2006) was directed by Tom Thurman, written by Tom Marksbury, and produced by the Starz Entertainment Group. The original documentary features interviews with Thompson’s inner circle of family and friends, but the thrust of the film focuses on the manner in which his life often overlapped with numerous Hollywood celebrities who became his close friends, such as Johnny Depp, Benicio del Toro, Bill Murray, Sean Penn, John Cusack, Thompson’s wife Anita, son Juan, former Senators George McGovern and Gary Hart, writers Tom Wolfe and William F. Buckley, actors Gary Busey and Harry Dean Stanton, and the illustrator Ralph Steadman among others. Blasted!!! The Gonzo Patriots of Hunter S. Thompson (2006), produced, directed, photographed and edited by Blue Kraning, is a documentary about the scores of fans who volunteered their privately owned artillery to fire the ashes of the late author, Hunter S. Thompson. Blasted!!! premiered at the 2006 Starz Denver International Film Festival, part of a tribute series to Hunter S. Thompson held at the Denver Press Club. In 2008, Academy Award-winning documentarian Alex Gibney (Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, Taxi to the Dark Side) wrote and directed a documentary on Thompson, titled Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. The film premiered on January 20, 2008, at the Sundance Film Festival. Gibney uses intimate, never-before-seen home videos, interviews with friends, enemies and lovers, and clips from films adapted from Thompson’s material to document his turbulent life.

    #USA #littérature #journalisme #famille #violence

  • Laura Poitras reveals her own life under surveillance
    (Andy Greenberg, February 2016)


    “After returning to the United States [from Iraq] I was placed on a government watchlist and detained and searched every time I crossed the US border. It took me ten years to find out why.”


    She sleeps badly, plagued with nightmares about the American government. She reads Cory Doctorow’s Homeland and re-reads 1984, finding too many parallels with her own life. She notes her computer glitching and “going pink” during her interviews with NSA whistleblower William Binney, and that it tells her its hard drive is full despite seeming to have 16 gigabytes free. Eventually she moves to a new apartment that she attempts to keep “off the radar” by avoiding all cell phones and only accessing the Internet over the anonymity software Tor.

    When Snowden contacts her in January of 2013, Poitras has lived with the specter of spying long enough that she initially wonders if he might be part of a plan to entrap her or her contacts like Julian Assange or Jacob Appelbaum, an activist and Tor developer. “Is C4 a trap?” she asks herself, using an abbreviation of Snowden’s codename. [Citizenfour] “Will he put me in prison?”


    In the end, Poitras has not only escaped the arrest or indictment she feared, but has become a kind of privacy folk hero: Her work has helped to noticeably shift the world’s view of government spying, led to legislation, and won both a Pulitzer and an Academy Award. But if her ultimate fear was to “become the story,” her latest revelations show that’s a fate she can no longer escape–and one she’s come to accept.

    #Snowden #Edward_Snowden
    #Poitras #Laura_Poitras

  • New Vangelis album inspired by ESA’s #Rosetta mission

    Legendary composer and pioneer of electronic #music Vangelis has produced a brand new album, ‘Rosetta’, inspired by ESA’s #rosetta mission. The release of the album by Decca Records on 23 September coincides with the culmination of Rosetta’s 12-year mission to orbit and land its #Philae probe on #comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Rosetta is set to complete its journey in a controlled descent to the surface of the comet on 30 September. The story of this mission fuelled Vangelis’ long-held passion for space and inspired him to create his first new studio album in 18 years. Vangelis’ music is often linked to themes of science, history and exploration. Alongside his Academy Award-winning score for ‘Chariots of Fire’, he has written for the films including ‘Antarctica’, ‘1492: Conquest of Paradise’, (...)

    #Comets_and_culture #Fun_stuff ##CometLanding ##perihelion2015 #lander #philae

  • SNOWDEN - Official Trailer

    Academy Award®-winning director Oliver Stone, who brought Platoon, Born on the Fourth of July, Wall Street and JFK to the big screen, tackles the most important and fascinating true story of the 21st century. Snowden, the politically-charged, pulse-pounding thriller starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Shailene Woodley, reveals the incredible untold personal story of Edward Snowden, the polarizing figure who exposed shocking illegal surveillance activities by the NSA and became one of the most wanted men in the world. He is considered a hero by some, and a traitor by others. No matter which you believe, the epic story of why he did it, who he left behind, and how he pulled it off makes for one of the most compelling films of the year.

    The american process.

    #Biopic #Cinéma #Edward_Snowden #Oliver_Stone #Révélations_d'Edward_Snowden #États-Unis

  • Leonard Bernstein : The Making of West Side Story | Medici


    In 1985, Leonard Bernstein conducts and records his most popular work, the 1950’s musical West Side Story, for the first time! This multi-prizes winning video leads you behind the scenes during the whole rehearsal and recording process with the Maestro and such iconic singers as José Carreras and Kiri Te Kanawa.

    West Side Story is perhaps Leonard Bernstein’s best-known work, and one of the most popular musicals of the entire repertoire. The story is based on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, adapted to the post-war America, where ethnic conflicts grow stronger every day. The musical contains songs that have achieved enormous popularity throughout the world: the “Jet Song,” "America," “Tonight” and “I Feel Pretty.” While the 1985 recording of the score won one Grammy Award, the movie adaptation won no less than ten Academy Awards.

    #music #west_side_story #bernstein

  • U.S. Arabs, Muslims concerned ’American Sniper’ provokes violent threats, hateful language
    The film is a box office hit and has been nominated for six Academy Awards, including best picture.
    By Mark Guarino Jan. 26, 2015 | Haaretz

    REUTERS - An Arab-American civil rights organization has asked “American Sniper” director Clint Eastwood and actor Bradley Cooper to denounce hateful language directed at U.S. Arabs and Muslims after the release of the film about a Navy marksman.

    The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) said in a letter to Eastwood and Cooper that its members had become targets of “violent threats” since early last week, before “American Sniper” went into general release. The letter said Eastwood and Cooper, the film’s producer and star, could bolster the ADC’s message of tolerance.

    “It is our opinion that you could play a significant role in assisting us in alleviating the danger we are facing,” said the letter, dated Jan. 21. Reuters was provided a copy on Saturday.

    The film is a box office hit and has been nominated for six Academy Awards, including best picture.

    The ADC said it was working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and police to assess the threats.

    The film tells the story of Chris Kyle, a Navy SEAL sniper. His 160 kills in Iraq is considered the highest count in U.S. military history. Some critics have said the film glorifies war and sanitizes Kyle, who called Muslims “savages” in his memoir.

    Kyle was killed by a disgruntled U.S. veteran at a Texas gun range in 2013.

    ADC President Samer Khalaf said on Saturday that it did not make sense to call for a boycott given the film’s box office success.

    “If we boycott it, it will only cause people to want to see it more,” he said.

    The Washington-based ADC asked Arabs and Muslims to send them copies of threatening messages they had received. More than 100 have been collected, all from social media.

    “Nice to see a movie where the Arabs are portrayed for who they really are - vermin scum intent on destroying us,” said one Twitter post collected by the ADC.

    Jack Horner, a spokesman for Warner Bros., the studio releasing the film, said in a statement that the company, a unit of Time Warner Co, “denounces any violent, anti-Muslim rhetoric, including that which has been attributed to viewers” of the film.

    He added, “Hate and bigotry have no place in the important dialogue that this picture has generated about the veteran experience.”

    Spokesmen for Eastwood and Cooper had no immediate response to requests for comment.

  • Review : #The_Square by #Jehane_Noujaim

    The 16th Encounters South African International Documentary Festival opened on Wednesday with The Square, Jehane Noujaim’s documentary about the Egyptian Revolution. The #FILM (available in the US on Netflix) holds the title of being the first Egyptian film to be nominated for an Academy Award. It is a filmic triumph and an apt portrayal of […]

    #POLITICS #Egypt #Muslim_Brotherhood

  • Why We Like to Watch Rich People - Room for Debate - NYTimes.com

    Several Academy Award contenders like “The Wolf of Wall Street” and “American Hustle” glorify white-collar criminals and scammers, and many reality TV shows embrace the wealthy, too. A new series, “#RichKids of Beverly Hills,” is the latest example of our enthusiasm for “ogling the filthy rich.”

    Why are we so obsessed with watching the antics of the 1 percent?



  • 5 Beautiful Films That Finally Give Middle Eastern Women the Voice They Deserve - PolicyMic

    The 86th Annual Academy Awards could be a milestone for Middle Eastern cinema. The region has put out some incredible films recently, many of which have garnered international attention. Saudi Arabia has entered its first film ever for Oscar consideration: Wadjda. The directorial debut of Haifaa al-Mansour tells the story of a young girl named Wadjda who desperately wants a bicycle, but can’t because traditionally bike riding is a boys-only activity. The feisty, upbeat Wadjda is not so easily deterred and quickly looks for an alternative way to get the green bike she’s longing for.

    1. ’Circumstance’ (2011) / Iranian-American director Maryam Keshavarz

    2. ’The Patience Stone’ (2012) / by Afghan writer and director Atiq Rahimi

    3. ’Where Do We Go Now?’ (2011) / Lebanese comedy-drama, directed by and starring Nadine Labaki

    4. ’When I Saw You’ (2012) / Palestinian director Annemarie Jacir

    5. ’Wajma, An Afghan Love Story’ (2013) / directed by Barmak Akram

    #cinéma_Iran #cinéma_Afghanistan #cinéma_Liban #cinéma_Palestine #Annemarie_Jacir

  • Argo fuck yourself: Ben Affleck’s Iran hostage movie is the worst. - Slate Magazine

    Perhaps my disgust wouldn’t be as intense if it weren’t for the potentially great film suggested by Argo’s opening sequence: a history of pre-revolutionary Iran told through eye-catching storyboards. The sequence gives a compelling (if sensationalized) account of how the CIA’s meddling with Iran’s government over three decades led to a corrupt and oppressive regime, eventually inciting the 1979 revolution. The sequence even humanizes the Iranian people as victims of these abuses. This opening may very well be the reason why critics have given the film credit for being insightful and progressive—because nothing that follows comes close, and the rest of the movie actually undoes what this opening achieves.

    Instead of keeping its eye on the big picture of revolutionary Iran, the film settles into a retrograde “white Americans in peril” storyline. It recasts those oppressed Iranians as a raging, zombie-like horde, the same dark-faced demons from countless other movies— still a surefire dramatic device for instilling fear in an American audience. After the opening makes a big fuss about how Iranians were victimized for decades, the film marginalizes them from their own story, shunting them into the role of villains. Yet this irony is overshadowed by a larger one: The heroes of the film, the CIA, helped create this mess in the first place. And their triumph is executed through one more ruse at the expense of the ever-dupable Iranians to cap off three decades of deception and manipulation.

    • http://www.wideasleepinamerica.com/2013/02/oscar-prints-the-legend-argo.html

      In an interview with The Huffington Post, Affleck went so far as to say, “I tried to make a movie that is absolutely just factual. And that’s another reason why I tried to be as true to the story as possible — because I didn’t want it to be used by either side. I didn’t want it to be politicized internationally or domestically in a partisan way. I just wanted to tell a story that was about the facts as I understood them.”

      For Affleck, these facts apparently don’t include understanding why the American Embassy in Tehran was overrun and occupied on November 4, 1979. “There was no rhyme or reason to this action,” Affleck has insisted, claiming that the takeover “wasn’t about us,” that is, the American government (despite the fact that his own film is introduced by a fleeting - though frequently inaccurate1 - review of American complicity in the Shah’s dictatorship).

      Wrong, Ben. One reason was the fear of another CIA-engineered coup d’etat like the one perpetrated in 1953 from the very same Embassy. Another reason was the admission of the deposed Shah into the United States for medical treatment and asylum rather than extradition to Iran to face charge and trial for his quarter century of crimes against the Iranian people, bankrolled and supported by the U.S. government. One doesn’t have to agree with the reasons, of course, but they certainly existed.

    • L’Oscar décerné à « Argo » : « Un succès politique et immérité », selon des Iraniens | Nouvelles d’Iran

      Nous l’avons bien compris : les politiques iraniens et les médias proches du régime sont en colère contre l’Academy Awards américaine qu’ils accusent d’avoir couronné le film « anti-iranien » Argo, de Ben Affleck. Mais qu’en pensent des intellectuels, réalisateurs et militants qui ne sont pas proches du régime ?

    • CIA’s Work With Filmmakers Puts All Media Workers at Risk | FAIR


      Vice’s Jason Leopold (4/6/16) has uncovered documents showing the CIA had a role in producing up to 22 entertainment “projects,” including History Channel documentary Air America: The CIA’s Secret Airline, Bravo‘s Top Chef: Covert Cuisine, the USA Network series Covert Affairs and the BBC documentary The Secret War on Terror—along with two fictional feature films about the CIA that both came out in 2012.

      The CIA’s involvement in the production of Zero Dark Thirty (effectively exchanging “insider” access for a two-hour-long torture commercial) has already been well-established, but the agency’s role in the production of Argo—which won the Best Picture Oscar for 2012—was heretofore unknown. The extent of the CIA’s involvement in the projects is still largely classified, as Leopold notes, quoting an Agency audit report:

  • Oliver Stone: ‘US has become an Orwellian state’ | Global Research

    Americans are living in an Orwellian state argue Academy Award-winning director Oliver Stone and historian Peter Kuznick, as they sit down with RT to discuss US foreign policy and the Obama administration’s disregard for the rule of law.

    ­Both argue that Obama is a wolf in sheep’s clothing and that people have forgiven him a lot because of the “nightmare of the Bush presidency that preceded him.”

    “He has taken all the Bush changes he basically put them into the establishment, he has codified them,” Stone told RT. “It is an Orwellian state. It might not be oppressive on the surface, but there is no place to hide. Some part of you is going to end up in the database somewhere.”

    According to Kuznick, American citizens live in a fish tank where their government intercepts more than 1.7 billion messages a day. “That is email, telephone calls, other forms of communication.”

  • This Weekend In Gay History FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2 « MasterAdrian’s Weblog

    This Weekend In Gay History
    FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2012

    1868 - WASSILY SAPELLNIKOFF, Russian pianist, born (d: 1941); Sapelnikov, who became one of the foremost Russian pianists of his day, knew a good thing when he saw it. His teacher was the renowned composer Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, twenty-eight years his senior, who was known to enjoy performing duets with his students. Natural talent notwithstanding, young Sapelnikov made his way to the composer’s bed and to instant patronage.

    1906 – on this date LUCHINO VISCONTI, the Italian director and Duke of Modrone was born (d. 1976). The Italian theater and cinema director and writer was best known for films such as The Leopard (1963). It was not until his 1969 film, The Damned, that Visconti received a nomination for an Academy Award, for “Best Screenplay”. He did not win. The film, one of Visconti’s best-known works, is about a German industrialist family that slowly begins to disintegrate during World War II. The decadence and lavish beauty were archetypes of Visconti’s aesthetic. Visconti’s final film wasThe Innocent (1976), which has the recurring theme of infidelity and betrayal.

    Visconti made no secret of his sexuality. His last partner was the Austrian actor Helmut Berger, who played Martin in The Damned. Berger also appeared in Visconti’s Ludwig in 1972 andConversation Piece in 1974 along with Burt Lancaster. Other lovers included Franco Zeffirelli.

    1916 – on this date JOHN LYON BURNSIDE, inventor and Gay American activist was born (d: 2008). John, or as he was known in Faerie circles “n’John” for his longterm relationship with Harry Hay – as in “Harry n’John”, was the inventor of the Teleidoscope and the Symmetricon, and was the partner of Mattachine and Radical Faerie founder, Harry Hay for 39 years.

    Burnside was sent to an orphanage while still a child because he was caught in sexual play with another little boy. He served briefly in the Navy, and settled in Los Angeles in the 1940s. He married, but had no children. Burnside met Harry in 1962 at ONE Incorporated. They fell in love and became life partners. They formed a group in the early 1960s called the Circle of Loving Companions that promoted Gay rights and Gay love. In 1966 they were major planners of one of the first Gay parades, a protest against exclusion of Gays in the military, held in Los Angeles. In 1967, they appeared as a couple on the Joe Pyne television show. In the late 1970s, they were instrumental in founding the Radical Faeries.

    John died of brain cancer in San Francisco, where he had been tended to by members of the Circle of Loving Companions that had taken care of Harry in his final days.

    1942 – on this date CASEY DONOVAN, the American Gay porno star, was born John Calvin Culver (d: 1987). In 1971, Cal played a supporting role in a low budget sexploitation thriller film, Ginger. This in turn led to an offer to appear in Casey, a Gay porn film in which Cal played the title role, a Gay man who is visited by his fairy godmother Wanda (Cal playing a dual role in drag), and is granted a series of wishes which make him sexually irresistible to other men. Cal later took the character’s name, Casey, and that of the popular singer (Donovan) to create the pseudonym under which he would appear in all his other erotic roles.

    Cal first appeared as Casey Donovan in Boys in the Sand, directed by Wakefield Poole, in 1972. The film was an instant success, with even big name mainstream celebrities going to the premiere. Today the film is considered one of the great classics of male erotic cinema, although stricter obscenity guidelines in some states forced a change of the title to Men in the Sand. He was also the star of Score (1972), The Back Row, with George Payne, LA Tool & Die, with Bob Blount and Richard Locke, The Other Side of Aspen, with Al Parker and Dick Fisk, Boys in the Sand II, and Inevitable Love, with Jon King and Jamie Wingo. He also featured in a number of heterosexual porn films, notably The Opening of Misty Beethoven (1975).

    Outside his adult film career, Casey Donovan had a successful off-Broadway run in the play Tubstrip, written and directed by director Jerry Douglas. He had an intimate relationship with actor/writer Tom Tryon. He also tried, unsuccessfully, to run a bed and breakfast, Casa Donovan, in Key West. By 1985, Casey had contracted HIV. He worked with many HIV/AIDS charities and counseled his fans to practice safe sex and get tested for HIV. He performed in a safe sex film for the Gay Men’s Health Crisis, although he himself lived in denial that he had the syndrome, even as his health got worse. Donovan died from an AIDS-related pulmonary infection in Inverness, Florida, aged 43.

    1948 - today’s the birthday of fantastic Gay rights advocate and activist MANDY CARTER.

    Worked with War Resister’s League, beginning c. 1969; North Carolina Lesbian and Gay Pride marches, served on planning committees, 1986-91; March on Washington for Lesbians and Gays, national steering committee, 1987, 1993; Rhythm Fest (musical festival for southern women), coproducer; North Carolina Senate Vote ’90 and North Carolina Mobilization ’96 (initiatives to defeat N.C. senator Jesse Helms), director; Our Own Place (a lesbian center), founding member; UMOJA (black gay and lesbian organization), founding member; Stonewall 25, executive committee; Black Gay and Lesbian Leadership Forum, board of governors; Human Rights Campaign Fund, board of directors; member-at-large of the Democratic National Committee, serving on both the DNC Gay and Lesbian Caucus and DNC Black Caucus; member of the boards of the International Federation of Black Prides, the National Stonewall Democratic Federation, the Triangle Foundation, Equal Partners in Faith and Ladyslipper Music.

    Her latest work is in spearheading a commemoration of this year’s birth centennial of Civil Rights hero Bayard Rustin.

    1960 – on this date Penguin Books is found not guilty of obscenity in the Lady Chatterley’s Lovercase

    1961 – K.D. LANG, Canadian musician, born; Lang won the Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance for her 1989 album, Absolute Torch and Twang. The single “Full Moon of Love” that stemmed from that album became a modest hit in the United States in the summer of 1989 and a number 1 hit on the RPM Country chart in Canada. Her cover of Cole Porter’s “So In Love” appears on the Red Hot + Blue compilation album and video from 1990, a benefit for AIDS research and relief.

    The album Ingénue in 1992, a set of adult contemporary pop songs that showed comparatively little country influence, contained her most popular song, “Constant Craving”. That song brought her multi-million sales, much critical acclaim, and the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. Another top ten single from the record was “Miss Chatelaine”. The salsa-inspired track was ironic; Chatelaine is a Canadian women’s magazine which once chose Lang as its “Woman of the Year”, and the song’s video depicted Lang in an exaggeratedly feminine manner, surrounded by bright pastel colours and a profusion of bubbles reminiscent of a performance on the Lawrence Welk show.

    Lang contributed much of the music towards Gus Van Sant’s soundtrack of the film Even Cowgirls Get the Blues (1993), and also did a cover of “Skylark” for the 1997 film adaptation of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. She also performed “Surrender” for the closing titles of the James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies, having previously worked with Bond composer David Arnold on his album Shaken and Stirred: The David Arnold James Bond Project.

    In addition to her well-known musical talents, k.d. lang, who came out as a Lesbian in a 1992 article in The Advocate, has actively championed Gay rights causes. She has performed and supported many causes over the years, including HIV/AIDS care and research. In 1996, she was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. She performed Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” live at the opening ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada. Previously, she had performed at the closing ceremony of the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary. Lang possesses the vocal range of a mezzo-soprano.

    1975 - on this date PIER PAOLO PASOLINI, Italian film director, died (b. 1922); Pasolini distinguished himself as a philosopher, linguist, novelist, playwright, filmmaker, newspaper and magazine columnist, actor, painter and political figure. He demonstrated a unique and extraordinary cultural versatility, in the process becoming a highly controversial figure. Though openly Gay from the very start of his career (thanks to a sex scandal that sent him packing from his provincial hometown to live and work in Rome), Pasolini rarely dealt with homosexuality in his movies. The subject is featured prominently in Teorema (1968), where Terence Stamp’s mysterious God-like visitor seduces the son of an upper-middle-class family; passingly in Arabian Nights (1974), in an idyll between a king and a commoner that ends in death; and, most darkly of all, in Salò (1975), his infamous rendition of the Marquis de Sade’s compendium of sexual horrors, The 120 Days of Sodom.

    2006 - on this date former megachurch pastor, counselor to American Presidents (George W. Bush) and president of the National Association of Evangelicals TED “I Am Not a Homosexual” HAGGARD stepped down amid sex allegations.


    1500 - on this date the Italian goldsmith, sculptor, painter, soldier and musician BENVENUTO CELLINI was born (d. 1571). Cellini may be best remembered for his autobiography (translated by the Victorian Uranian scholar John Addington Symonds). Cellini was a superb goldsmith and sculptor, whose artistic creations, like his “Perseus Holding the Head of Medusa” brought him acclaim and the patronage of popes and cardinals. He worked for the Vatican Mint under Popes Leo X, Clement VII and Paul III. During Cellini’s long life, these friendships were of great value, protecting him in many misadventures with the law. Cellini was constantly hounded by authorities on complaints of sexual misconduct and stealing from his clients. Three times he was accused of murder, and in 1557 he received a four year prison sentence for sodomy, which was commuted to be served under house arrest, so the artist would be able to continue his work on a sculpture of the Crucifixion. A great saying of his is worth remembering and noting here: “Men who want to do things in their own way had better make a world in their own way, because in this world things are not done like this.”

    1933 - On this date the English actor JEREMY BRETT was born (d. 1995). Although Brett appeared in many different roles during his 40-year career, he is now best remembered for his performance as Sherlock Holmes in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, a series of Granada Television films made between 1984 and 1994. These were adapted by John Hawkesworth and other writers from the original stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Even though he reportedly feared being typecast, Brett appeared in 41 episodes of the Granada series, alongside David Burke and, latterly, Edward Hardwicke as Dr. Watson. After taking on the demanding role, Brett made few other acting appearances, and he is now widely considered to be the definitive Holmes of his era, just as Basil Rathbone was during the 1940s.

    Brett was briefly considered by Harry Saltzman and Albert R. Broccoli for the role of James Bond in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service after Sean Connery quit the series in 1967, but the role went to Australian George Lazenby instead. Lazenby lasted a whole film. So much for that selection. A second audition for the role of 007 for Live and Let Die was also unsuccessful, and Roger Moore won the coveted part. One can wonder what would’ve happened if…

    Brett was intensely private about his personal life. In 1958 he married his first wife, the actress Anna Massey (daughter of Raymond Massey), but they divorced in 1962 after she claimed he left her for another man. Brett was then married to Joan Sullivan Wilson from 1976 until her death from cancer in 1985. Brett also enjoyed a close relationship with the actor Gary Bond [Bond died exactly one month after Brett’s death].

    Brett died in 1995 at his home in Clapham, London, from heart failure. His heart valves had been scarred by rheumatic fever contracted as a child. Mel Gussow wrote in a New York Times obituary that “Mr. Brett was regarded as the quintessential Holmes: breathtakingly analytical, given to outrageous disguises and the blackest moods and relentless in his enthusiasm for solving the most intricate crimes.” One of Brett’s dearest possessions on the set was his 77-page “Baker Street File” on everything from Holmes’ mannerisms to his eating and drinking habits. Brett once explained that “some actors are becomers — they try to become their characters. When it works, the actor is like a sponge, squeezing himself dry to remove his own personality, then absorbing the character’s like a liquid.”

    1939 - the four time Tony-winning playright TERRANCE McNALLY was born on this date. Born in St. Petersburg, Florida and raised in Corpus Christi, Texas, McNally moved to New York City in 1956 to attend Columbia University. In his early years in New York, he was a protégé and lover of the noted playwright Edward Albee. He would become truly successful with works such as his off-Broadway play Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune.

    His many brilliant plays include Lips Together, Teeth Apart, Kiss of the Spider Woman (based on the novel by Manuel Puig), Love! Valour! Compassion!, Master Class, and the controversial Corpus Christi. In March 2010, the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC presented three of McNally’s plays that focus on his works involving opera. The pieces included a new play, Golden Age, Master Class(starring Tyne Daly), and The Lisbon Traviata starring Malcolm Gets and John Glover.

    He has been a member of the Council of the Dramatists Guild since 1970 and has served as vice-president since 1981. McNally was partnered to Thomas Kirdahy following a civil union ceremony in Vermont in 2003, and they subsequently married in Washington, D.C. in 2010

    2006 - on this date “Doogie Howser” and “How I Met Your Mother” star NEIL PATRICK HARRIS came out as a “content Gay man.” His career has simply soared!

    SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2012
    1896 - the influential BBC arts editor J.R. ACKERLEY was born on this date. Openly Gay at a dangerous time for open homosexuality in Great Britain. Born in London, Ackerley was educated at Rossall School, a public and preparatory school in Fleetwood, Lancashire. While at this school he discovered he was attracted to other boys. His striking good looks earned him the nickname “Girlie” but he was not sexually active, or only very intermittently, as a schoolboy.
    Failing his entrance examinations for Cambridge University, Ackerley applied for a commission in the Army, and as World War I was in full swing, he was accepted immediately as a Second Lieutenant and assigned to the 8th Battalion of the East Surrey Regiment, part of the 18th Division, then stationed in East Anglia. In June 1915 he was sent over to France. The following summer he was wounded at the Battle of the Somme on July 1, 1916. He was shot in the arm and an explosion caused shards of a whiskey bottle in his bag to be imbedded in his side. He lay wounded in a shell-hole for six hours but was eventually rescued by British troops and sent home for a period of sick-leave. He soon volunteered to go back to the front. He had been promoted to captain by now and so, in December 1916, when his older brother Peter arrived in France, Ackerley was his superior officer. Reportedly the cheerful and kind-hearted Peter was not resentful and saluted his brother “gladly and conscientiously.” In February, 1917, Peter was wounded in action on a dangerous assignment, heading into No man’s land from a dangerous ditch (where Ackerley said goodbye to him) ominously called the “Boom Ravine.” Though Peter managed to get back to the British lines, Ackerley never saw him again. In May 1917 Ackerley led an attack in the Arras region where he was again wounded, this time in the buttock and thigh. Again he was obliged to wait for help in a shell-hole, but this time the Germans arrived first and he was taken prisoner. Being an officer, his internment camp was located in neutral Switzerland and was rather comfortable. Here he began his play, The Prisoners of War, which deals with the cabin fever of captivity and the frustrated longings he experienced for another English prisoner. He was not repatriated to England until after the war ended.
    On August 7, 1918, two months before the end of hostilities, Peter Ackerly was killed in battle. His brother’s death haunted Ackerley his entire life. Ackerley suffered from survivor’s guilt and thought his father might have preferred his death to his brother’s. One result of Peter’s death was that Roger and Netta got married in 1919, reportedly because Peter had died “a bastard.”
    After the war Ackerley returned to England and attended Cambridge. Scant evidence remains from this time in his life as Ackerley wrote little about it. He moved to London and continued to write and enjoy the cosmopolitan delights of the capital. He met E. M. Forster and other literary bright lights, but was lonely despite a plethora of sexual partners. With his play having trouble finding a producer, and feeling generally adrift and distant from his family, Ackerley turned to Forster for guidance. Forster got him a position as secretary to a Maharaja he knew from writing A Passage to India. Ackerley spent about five months in India, still under British rule, and met a number of Anglo-Indians for whom he developed a strong distaste. The recollections of this time are the basis for his comic memoir Hindoo Holiday. The Maharaja was also a homosexual, and His Majesty’s obsessions and dalliances, along with Ackerley’s observations about Anglo-Indians, account for much of the humor of the work.
    Back in England, Prisoners of War was finally produced to some acclaim. Its run began at The Three Hundred Club on July 5, 1925, then transferred to The Playhouse on August 31. Ackerley capitalized on his success, carousing with London’s theatrical crowd, and through Cambridge friends met the actor John Gielgud, and other rising stars of the stage. In 1928, Ackerley joined the staff of the BBC, then only a year old, in the “Talks” Department, where prominent personalities gave lectures over the radio. Eventually he moved on to edit the BBC’s magazine The Listener, where he worked from 1935 to 1959, discovering and promoting many young writers, including Philip Larkin, W. H. Auden, Stephen Spender, and Christopher Isherwood.
    Ackerley worked hard to plumb the depths of his sexuality in his writings. He was openly Gay, at least after his parents’ deaths, and belonged to a circle of notable literary homosexuals that railed against the homophobia that kept Gay men in the closet or exposed openly Gay men to persecution. While he never found the “Ideal Friend” he wrote of so often, he had a number of long-term relationships. Ackerley was a “twank,” a term used by sailors and guardsmen to describe a man who paid for their sexual services, and he describes in detail the ritual of picking up and entertaining a young guardsman, sailor or laborer. My Father and Myself serves as a guide to the understanding of the sexuality of a Gay man of Ackerley’s generation. W. H. Auden, in his review of My Father and Myself, speculates that Ackerley enjoyed the “brotherly” sexual act of mutual masturbation rather than penetration. (Ackerley described himself as “quite impenetrable.”)
    His sister Nancy found him dead in his bed on the morning of June 4, 1967. Ackerley’s biographer Peter Parker gives the cause of death as coronary thrombosis.
    Toward the end of his life, Ackerley sold 1075 letters that Forster had sent him since 1922, receiving some £6000, “a sum of money which will enable Nancy and me to drink ourselves carelessly into our graves,” as he put it. Ackerley did not live long enough to enjoy the money from these letters, but the sum, plus the royalties from Ackerley’s existing works and several published posthumously, allowed Nancy to live on in relative comfort until her death in 1979. The annual J. R. Ackerley Prize for Autobiography was endowed by funds from Nancy, starting in 1982
    Read him.
    1918 – on this date the English poet and soldier WILFRED OWEN died (b. 1893). One of the leading poets of the First World War, Owen’s shocking, realistic war poetry on the horrors of trenches and gas warfare was heavily influenced by his friend Siegfried Sassoon and sat in stark contrast to both the public perception of war at the time, and to the confidently patriotic verse written earlier by war poets such as Rupert Brooke. Some of his best-known works—most of which were published posthumously—include “Dulce et Decorum Est,” “Insensibility”, “Anthem for Doomed Youth”, “Futility” and “Strange Meeting”. His preface intended for a book of poems to be published in 1919 contains numerous well-known phrases, especially “War, and the pity of War”, and “the Poetry is in the pity”.
    He was killed in action at the Battle of the Sambre a week before the war ended. Ironically, the telegram from the War Office announcing his death was delivered to his mother’s home as her town’s church bells were ringing in celebration of the Armistice when the war ended.
    Robert Graves and Sacheverell Sitwell (who also personally knew him) have stated Owen was homosexual, and homoeroticism is a central element in much of Owen’s poetry. Through Sassoon, Owen was introduced to a sophisticated homosexual literary circle which included Oscar Wilde’s friend Robbie Ross, writer and poet Osbert Sitwell, and Scottish writer C. K. Scott-Moncrieff, the translator of Proust. This contact broadened Owen’s outlook, and increased his confidence in incorporating homoerotic elements into his work. Historians have debated whether Owen had an affair with Scott-Moncrieff in May 1918; Scott-Moncrieff had dedicated various works to a “Mr W.O.”, but Owen never responded. The account of Owen’s sexual development has been somewhat obscured because his brother, Harold Owen, removed what he considered discreditable passages in Owen’s letters and diaries after the death of their mother. Owen also requested that his mother burn a sack of his personal papers in the event of his death, which she did.
    1946 – ROBERT MAPPLETHORPE, American photographer was born on this date (d. 1989); Known for large-scale, highly stylized black & white portraits, photos of flowers and male nudes, the frank, erotic nature of some of the work of his middle period triggered a more general controversy about the public funding of artworks. He attended (but did not graduate from) Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, where he majored in graphic arts.
    Mapplethorpe took his first photographs soon thereafter, using a Polaroid camera. In the mid-1970s, he acquired a large-format press camera and began taking photographs of a wide circle of friends and acquaintances, including artists, composers, socialites, but it wasn’t until he met porn star Benjamin Green that he truly became inspired to push the envelope of sexuality and photographing the human body. Mapplethorpe was once quoted as saying, “Of all the men and women that I had the pleasure of photographing, Ben Green was the apple of my eye, my unicorn if you will. I could shoot him for hours and hours and no matter the position, each print captured the complete essence of human perfection” (New York Times). It was this relationship that inspired him during the 1980s, to refine his photographs with an emphasis on formal beauty. He concentrated on statuesque male and female nudes, delicate flower still lifes, and formal portraits of artists and celebrities.
    Longtime lovers (and sexual adventurer) with curator, Sam Wagstaff, of the Wadsworth Atheneum of Art in Hartford Connecticut, the two cut an erotic and artistic swath through the New York glitterati and art scene in the 1970s and 80s the likes of which have rarely been seen before or since. Wagstaff was Mapplethorpe’s senior by precisely 25 years, having been born on exactly the same day in 1921. Both Mr. Wagstaff and Mr. Mapplethorpe died of AIDS, Mr. Wagstaff in 1987 and Mr. Mapplethorpe in 1989.
    1961 - today’s the birthday of JON ROBIN BAITZ, the American playwright, screenwriter, television producer and actor. Perhaps most recently well known as the creator and executive producer of the ABC drama Brothers & Sisters, which premiered in September 2006 and ran for five seasons, ending in May 2011.
    Baitz was raised in Brazil and South Africa before the family returned to California, where he attended Beverly Hills High School. After graduation, he worked as a bookstore clerk and assistant to two producers, and the experiences became the basis for his first play, a one-acter entitled Mizlansky/Zilinsky. He drew on his own background for his first two-act play, The Film Society, about the staff of a prep school in South Africa. Its 1987 success in L.A. led to an off-Broadway production with Nathan Lane the following year, which earned him a Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding New Play. This was followed by The End of the Day starring Roger Rees, and the Substance of Fire with Ron Rifkin and Sarah Jessica Parker.
    In 1991, Baitz wrote and directed the two-character play Three Hotels, based on his parents, for a presentation of PBS’s “American Playhouse”, then reworked the material for the stage, earning another Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding New Play for his efforts. In 1993, he co-scripted (with Howard A. Rodman) The Frightening Frammis, which was directed by Tom Cruise and aired as an episode of the Showtime anthology series Fallen Angels. Two years later, Henry Jaglom cast him as a gay playwright who achieves success at an early age – a character inspired by Baitz himself – in the film Last Summer in the Hamptons; the following year he appeared as Michelle Pfeiffer’s business associate in the screen comedy One Fine Day. In 1996, he was one of the three finalists for the Pulitzer Prize for his semi-autobiographical play A Fair Country.
    Subsequent stage works include Mizlansky/Zilinsky or “Schmucks”, a revised version of Mizlansky/Zilinsky directed by Baitz’s then-life partner JOE MANTELLO (1998), a new adaptation of Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler (at L.A.’s Geffen Playhouse with Annette Bening in 1999, then at Long Island’s Bay Street Theater with Kate Burton in 2000, followed by a Broadway production with the same star the following year), Ten Unknowns (2001), starring Donald Sutherland and Juliana Margulies and The Paris Letter (2005) with Ron Rifkin and John Glover. His screenplays include the adaptation of his own Substance of Fire (1996), with Tony Goldwyn and Timothy Hutton joining original cast members Rifkin and Parker, and People I Know (2003), which starred Al Pacino.
    Baitz was the New School for Drama’s’s artist in residence for the 2009-2010 school year. Recent plays include Other Desert Cities, which opened at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater in New York on January 13, 2011, starring Stockard Channing, Linda Lavin and Stacy Keach. As of 2011 Baitz is reportedly set to pen the stage adaptation of film producer Robert Evans’ memoirs, The Kid Stays in the Picture and its sequel, The Fat Lady Sang, with award-winning Sir Richard Eyre set to direct.
    2001 - on this date the openly Lesbian comedienne ELLEN DEGENERES hosted the Emmy Awards-TV show. It was the first awards show after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. DeGeneres received several standing ovations for her performance that evening which included the line: “We’re told to go on living our lives as usual, because to do otherwise is to let the terrorists win, and really, what would upset the Taliban more than a Gay woman wearing a suit in front of a room full of Jews?”
    2008 – on this date California’s PROPOSITION 8 passes, representing the first ever elimination of an existing right to marry for LGBT couples in the United States. The vote and the proposition is winding its way through the courts still four years later.