A gay twist to Hitchcock biography

Posted on 09 Feb 2006 at 11:56pm

BBC America’s hit sketch comedy series “Little Britain” has seen its co-creator Matt Lucas become a star in the U.K. and a cable TV cult celebrity in the United States.

And soon the gay comedian will take on his first major big-screen role (he appeared briefly in the horror comedy “Shaun of the Dead”) as the legendary Alfred Hitchcock.

The biographical film starring Lucas whose physical similarities to the director alone make him a nearly perfect choice is scheduled to begin shooting later in 2006. Currently untitled, the movie will focus on Hitchcock’s early years and will co-star Ewan McGregor in an as-yet-unknown role.
Hitchcock devotees will probably see the finished product sometime in late 2007.

Maggenti makes music with “‘Puccini’

Bisexual director Maria Maggenti scored big in 1995 with “The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love.” What followed was a screenplay (“The Love Letter”) and TV work (“Without a Trace”), but no follow-up feature.

Until now.

“Puccini for Beginners” marks Maggenti’s return to big-screen romantic comedy, this time with adult lesbian and bisexual women finding themselves in an only-in-the-movies love triangle.

It stars Elizabeth Reaser (“The Family Stone”) as a lesbian who finds herself involved with both a man (HBO’s “Angels in America” star Justin Kirk) and a woman (Gretchen Mol) who coincidentally happen to be ex-lovers themselves.

The urban screwball comedy recently premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and should be landing in theaters later this year. Feel free to take dates of both genders.

Crafting “‘Kinky Boots’

The feel-good, root-for-the-downtrodden-characters movie has been a consistently successful British import since “The Full Monty” stormed the box office. After those on-the-dole dancers, all manner of scrappy, “Billy Elliot”-ish underdogs have begged for ticket sales in American theaters.

The latest entry is “Kinky Boots,” the story of a man named Lola (acclaimed up-and-comer Chiwetel Ejiofor) who convinces the son of a shoe-factory owner (Joel Edgerton of “Star Wars: Episode III”) to save the bankrupt company by turning it into a manufacturer of shoes for drag queens.

Drag queens have become cinema’s most cuddly ambassadors of queer culture, thanks to “Priscilla” and “To Wong Foo,” so look for these “Boots” to be made for walkin’ all the way to the bank when it opens later this spring.

Scissor Sisters shake up “‘Glastonbury’

Britain’s Glastonbury music festival is the longest-running annual outdoor fest in the world. Happening almost yearly since the early 1970s, the phenomenon regularly attracts gigantic crowds, the coolest names in pop music, and, more recently, the cameras of acclaimed British director Julien Temple (“The Filth and the Fury,” “Absolute Beginners”).

For several years, Temple turned up at the fest to shoot bands and fans making rock history. The result is a documentary film, “Glastonbury,” due in theaters in April in Britain and later in the United States.

Not simply a concert on film, the movie explores the history, sociology, and meaning of the annual phenomenon. And crowd-pleasing performances by queer-inclusive bands like Scissor Sisters and gay audience favorites like David Bowie, Bjork, Coldplay, and Radiohead will make sure rock fans in other countries feel like they were actually there.

In a family way?

Adam Sandler and Kevin James are reportedly are in talks to play a pair of firefighters who pose as a married gay couple in order to receive domestic partner benefits.

The project, tentatively titled “I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry,” has been kicking around at Universal for about a decade. Word now is that “Wedding Crashers” director David Dobkin has been tapped to helm the movie.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition of February 10, 2006.

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