Peter Sarsgaard, no stranger to starring in films with queer storylines, is returning to the screen in another gay-inclusive feature, an adaptation of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon’s first novel, “The Mysteries of Pittsburgh.”
The project has been kicking around for almost as long as the 1988 novel has existed. But now the big-screen treatment is in the casting stage.
Sarsgaard, who played queer in “Kinsey” and “The Dying Gaul,” has signed on in a co-starring role, as has British up-and-comer Sienna Miller. The lead role of Art, a young man who has relationships with both a man and a woman, has not been cast yet.
Also not cast yet is Pittsburgh, where Chabon’s “Wonder Boys” (2000) was filmed. The city was the fictional setting of “Queer as Folk,” but for that series, Toronto stood in for the former steel town.
Production expenses may find “The Mysteries of Pittsburgh” actually being filmed in Louisiana.
“‘Boy Culture’ ready for its close-up
Q. Allan Brocka is picking up speed. The filmmaker who began his career with LEGOs (“Rick & Steve: The Happiest Gay Couple in All the World”) has now finished his second live-action feature, “Boy Culture.”
Starring newcomer Derek Magyar (UPN’s “Enterprise”), the plot revolves around a handsome young escort and the complicated relationships he finds himself in. He has a boyfriend, a second “sort of” boyfriend and an older client who may or may not be all he seems and each of them fall in and out of bed with the hot young sex worker.
Co-written by Brocka with Philip Pierce and adapted from the Matthew Rettenmund novel, it premieres at the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival with queer film festival notoriety sure to follow.
Queer indie film plays by new rules
Queer film in theaters and on TV at the same time? That’s the upshot of a small revolution that’s taking place right under Hollywood’s nose.
The days of gay film fans having to wait endlessly for queer-themed films to arrive in their mid-size cities or for those in small towns at DVD rental outlets near them is all but over. Current gay features playing in big-city art-houses like “Guys and Balls,” “Summer Storm,” “Freshman Orientation” and “Dorian Blues” have all been picked up by Here TV for on-demand viewing.
Earlier this year Steven Soderbergh experimented with the concept of
simultaneous theatrical and DVD release with his film “Bubble,” to limited success. But the closing of the gap between theatrical and home viewing for queer independent cinema is happening right now, with simultaneous releases and downloads almost certainly right around the corner.
Next stop: the queering of your video iPod.
Queer films kick off at Cannes
John Cameron Mitchell’s cinematic follow-up to “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” has finally arrived.
The filmmaker’s much-discussed, controversial-before-it’s-even-seen feature, “Shortbus,” has its world premiere in the Midnight section of this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
The film will feature explicit, non-simulated sex as part of its storyline, something few modern filmmakers have dared.
Other new queer features and shorts screening at the 59th annual festival are Francois Ozon’s short, “Un lever de rideau,” and the anthology film “Paris, je t’aime,” featuring contributions from Gus Van Sant, Alexander Payne, Wes Craven, Gurinder Chadha, Joel and Ethan Coen and Alfonso Cuaron.
Meanwhile Pedro Almodovar’s latest, “Volver (Return),” will screen in competition, and director Paul Greengrass’ “United 93,” a real-time recreation of the Sept. 11, 2001 hijacking that claimed the life of, among others, gay businessman Mark Bingham, will screen out of competition.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, April 28, 2006.