FOF #725 – Movies Every Gay Man Must See

Mar 18, 2008 · 79288 views

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Since the early days of film, making and watching movies has been a very gay pastime. Check out this early “Kinestoscope” movie of two men dancing made by William Dickson at Thomas Edison’s “Black Maria” […]

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  1. Teddy says:

    Great show. There were a few movies I hadn\’t heard of so i can\’t wait to check them out. And I agree, Female Trouble stands in a league of it\’s own. I remember the first time I saw that film being absolutely shocked but loving every moment of it. What a great film.

    And for those who haven\’t seen Hedwig, it\’s wonderful.

  2. DCRyan says:

    Dear Peaches,

    Just want to shoot a big kiss and hug to you for making sure that these great treasures of gay/camp/queer culture are not allowed to disappear. I find that sometimes a lot of my older (no I am not calling you old Ms. Christ 🙂 friends just assume that I would have been exposed to these movies, even though I never heard of them. When they finally did let me borrow these movies I felt like a torch was being passed. I finally understood all those jokes about wirehangers people would be screaming about. It may seem like a small milestone, but to me it was the next step to being inducted into my community.

    More broadly to all the drag queens/kings/queers/club kids, Marc, Fausto,

    I know i\’ve probably said this in the forums but as I finished listening to the show today I was struck with the gratitude I feel toward the \”culture-makers\” of our queer past and future. I remember as I was moving past my baptist self-loathing upbringing, where I apologized to myself everyday about being gay, that seeing such unabashed non-conformists helped me to finally stop apologizing for who I am, to become proud of it. \”This is MY community,\” I would think, \”How fucking cool is it that this is my community.\” I stopped apologizing at that point, and I became downright militant in supporting and defending our culture.

    It was through experiencing the amazingly diverse, colorful, and astoundingly creative sub-culture that I found my own voice – politically, intellectually, creatively. I think you show every closeted person out there what they will miss out on A LOT if they are not willing to participate in, to contribute to, to support this culture.

    You are truly the post-post-modern revolutionaries of this era; thank you for all of your work!!

  3. Teddy says:

    i\’ll admit i\’m a softy, but that made me tear up a bit. Ryan, I couldn\’t have said it better.

    -Teddy

  4. Pete says:

    Fausto and Marc should have their own FOF Midnight Film Series at the Music Box in Chicago. The management is very open to groups coming in and presenting films. That would be so much fun, guys.

    I really enjoyed the teaches of Peaches Christ, Superstar. She has some great movie recommendations and I will check out the few I haven’t seen…As touched upon during the interview, it seems that many gay men enjoy films in which the “female” protagonist is a victim and exploited in a male-dominated society, but I’m sure not all gay men feel marginalized to the point where they identify with murderous, derelict female figures. Though these films certainly have a place in the annals of film history, many are also guilty pleasures.

    DCRyan has the kind of comments that makes me want to be a better person instead of the self-centered brat I am.

  5. PupDon says:

    What an awesome show. You guys are top notch. And Peaches Christ, enthralling as ever.

    Did you guys know that Patty McCormack played the next door neighbor on the short lived Three\’s Company spin-off The Ropers??? I looked her up on IMDB and she had been in a ton of stuff. And the movie that Peaches mentioned where she plays the psycho mommy (an unofficial sequel to The Bad Seed) is actually called \”Mommy\” and is on Netflix, as well as the sequel \”Mommy\’s Day\”.

  6. gabe says:

    i can\’t wait to listen to the rest of the podcast! \”whatever happened to baby jane\” is one of my favorite movies of all time. \”but ya are blanche, ya are!\”

    i\’ve always wondered – what do people think of the ending?

    SPOILER ALERT!

    SPOILER ALERT!

    SPOILER ALERT!

    it\’s never been clear from watching – do you guys think blanche lived or died at the end of the movie? it\’s clear she\’s near death, but then you never actually see if she survives or not since the movie pans out as the cops come to blanche\’s side. i\’ve always felt like the way the movie plays out, they want to leave you wondering…i\’d like to think she lived, as peaches points out – her character is very sympathetic and kind.

  7. gabe says:

    and some great \”baby jane\” trivia, courtesy of wiki!

    * The wig Bette Davis wears throughout the film had, unbeknownst to both leads, been worn by Joan Crawford in an earlier MGM movie. Because it had been re-groomed, Crawford didn\’t recognize it.

    * During production, Bette Davis had a Coca-Cola machine installed on the set to anger Joan Crawford, whose late husband had been CEO of rival Pepsi-Cola and who herself was on the board of directors of that company.

    * During the kicking scene, Bette Davis kicked Joan Crawford in the head, and the resulting wound required stitches. In retaliation, Crawford put weights in her pockets so that when Davis had to drag Crawford\’s near-lifeless body, she strained her back.

    * Because she was then a member of the Pepsi-Cola board of directors, Joan Crawford managed to see that product placement shots of the soft drinks appeared in all of her later films. Although nearly imperceptible, Pepsi does show up in this one. During the last sequence, a man runs up to the refreshment stand on the beach and tries to collect the deposit on some empty Pepsi bottles–a transaction that would only happen in a store.

    * At the beginning of the movie, when Blanche buzzes for Jane, who is downstairs, we can hear Davis saying angrily: \”You miserable …!\” However, if one looks at Davis\’s lips, it is clear that she is saying: \”You miserable bitch!\” The last word has been censored in the soundtrack by the \”buzz\” of the buzzer Blanche is using.

  8. Hey Guys I just want to say that this was a \”Top Drawer\” show. Peaches my dear you are simply divine to listen to.

  9. kennidi says:

    Peaches already knows how much I love her! Girl u fucking rock and ur nothing but a Tranny Mess! LOL! I loved the show and was falling out on the train today when you brought up Tracy and I! I wasn\’t expecting that! I am a huge John Waters fan too and I agree with what you say his older stuff was better than the newer things. But I do love the original Hairspray!!! But I look at the original and the musical as two different pieces as I see when I read Devil Wears Prada and watched the movie…two different things. I was totally upset with the new movie of Hairspray combining the two characters, and I hated it not being a carnival in there! LOL! But u were discussing about guy movies like Crybaby, which another one I love, but I think what Divine did back in those days was so much better than the way drag is seen in movies now. Like for example Too Wong Foo is so not like what Priscilla was. I think now that we are so more accepting of seeing men in drag we just put anyone in the role. I totally hated Seeing a woman playing a trans in Transamerica, but hey they didnt want a Trans girl like me to play it cuz it wouldnt sale…Who Cares! LOL!

    As for Hedwig, I was in my late teens when that came out and I got a chance to see it way before it came out at a Gay Film Festival in Houston. I remember being wowed and having goose bumps. At that point in my life I was still a gay boy struggling with my identity and that movie so helped me! I even did Hedwig in my shows…I love the music and everything. Its a show every person needs to see! No matter gay, str8, bi, trans, etc!

    Loved the show! Love u Peaches, Marc, Faulsto!!!

    Much Love,
    Kennidi

  10. Wow! Thanks for all the excellent comments. I was worried I\’d be Christ on a Cross and get crucified here for not including someone\’s favorite movie. There are just so many movies still to talk about! I\’ll just have to come back on.

    Teddy, I completely agree that Female Trouble is just the best of the entire Waters filmography and a little bit of trivia is that it\’s John\’s favorite as well. I think my favorite line of all time is when Taffy Davenport\’s (Mink Stole) stepfather Gator suggests that lil\’ Taffy suck his dick. She snorts and crumples her face before spitting out \”I WOULDN\’T SUCK YOUR LOUSY DICK IF I WERE SUFFOCATING AND THERE WAS OXYGEN IN YOUR BAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLSSSSSS!!!!\” Is that not brilliant?

    DCRyan, I too teared up a bit reading your sweet and sincere comment and now my makeup is running all down my fat face. Thanks bitch! Yes, my face is sorta chunky right now. I\’m working on it.

    Pete, there\’s a chance I\’ll come to Chicago and do my own Midnight Mass show someday. The company that produces my show (Landmark) has two theatres in Chicago (Century Centre and Renaissance Place – which would be the better venue?). As for you guys starting a midnight movie series there, I say GO FOR IT! We need more midnight movies being screened around the country. The children need it! Do it for the children.

    PupDon, I had no idea there was a sequel to Mommy but if it\’s as bad as the first one then I\’ll probably love it! Thanks for the heads up.

    Gabe, that is some GREAT trivia! I guess I was wrong about the whole stitches in the head thing. I didn\’t know that was like a fact. Also, I think Joan probably dies at the end of the movie but who knows? In our parody \”Whatever Happened To Peaches Christ?\”, Martiny as Joan delivers a really fucked up line to me before her eyes glaze over and she, well, dies. We shot the scene on the hottest friggin\’ day in SF that year (no lie) and we\’re on the beach with literally throngs of people standing behind the camera watching us act all that out in full drag. Our make-up was literally melting off our faces. You can see it dripping!

    Crystal my dear: You\’re obviously of above average intelligence and there\’s nothing I appreciate more than a smart queen.

    Ohmygod Kennidi! I love you! I totally get what you mean about Hairspray and the carnival. I mean that is just such a fun setting and that\’s where Divine is again seen out-of-drag in a JW film! Too Wong Foo was pretty terrible, but you kinda knew it was going to blow. I\’m glad you love Hedwig too!

    Also Kennidi, the next time y\’all go to Target I\’ve asked Tracy to show more than just a boob. Let me know how that goes!!!

  11. kennidi says:

    Peaches, Of course, I know to let Tracy do her thing! I\’ll just laugh it off! THat day was stressful! I know shes good at making a statement! Hedwig is something Ill love to my grave, I can listen to the broadway soundtrack over and over and never get tired of it!!! U rock sista! I know im going to San Fran this summer, probably ur opening wkend, looking at tixs and stuff! I never been to West Coast and want to go!!! Check out my new site http://www.trannytalk101.com still undergoing the transformation! But, ur Midnight Mass thing would be amazing to document!

    Love ya! Keep it going!!!

  12. I think the ending to Baby Jane is an ambiguous ending, but I would like to thing that the nightmare for these two women is over. It probably was like that for them when they finished shooting the film.

  13. I love the idea of doing a midnight screening at the Music Box- I\’m interested! Want to help me organize it?

  14. Pete says:

    Peaches – The Music Box is the perfect venue for the type of show I imagine you do since they did this big Showgirls DVD release party once but since you work with Landmark, perform at the Century Centre. It\’s in a neat shopping complex (where my gym is!) and near the center of the gayborhood…the other Landmark theater you mentioned is in the burbs.

    I\’m so glad you like the FOF midnight movie idea. With the right film selections that appeal to the existing fanbase and FOF listeners, plus promoting the hell out of it, it would be a huge success…I\’d be glad to help in anyway possible.

  15. RcktMan says:

    I love the midnight screening idea too– whatever I can do to help, I\’m in!

    This was a really fun, informative and insightful interview. I heartily concur with everything DC Ryan said — thank you for continually pushing to keep the vibrant and exciting parts of our culture alive. This show, as I\’ve said zillions of times before, is so much more than just a podcast — it\’s a community, and it\’s that community that is working to keep such things alive and going. Peaches, you\’re a treat — I look forward to your return visit(s)! 🙂

  16. pokeymoan says:

    This show is an amazing one!!! Love the post mortem of the movies, love the drag insults, love everything really!!

    PS do you guys know that you can watch the whole of Female Trouble from http://www.youtube.com/user/arcadesfire ?

    The whole movie is in 10 parts, so watch from 1/10 till 10/10. Literally 10/10 in campiness!!

  17. Geostud says:

    Yeah, Peaches Christ is coming to Louisiana! Damn, too bad I\’m only 19 🙁

  18. We need to get Geostud a Louisiana fake I.D. Can anyone out there help us out with that? Seriously!

  19. TrickyToro says:

    I want to be a cultural terrorist like Peaches Christ! To borrow a phrase, you really struck podcast gold with this guest. Please please please have Peaches on more and often. She\’s amazingly informative, captivating, and really really funny. Really excellent show guys. Thank you!

  20. MouseGirl says:

    I want to see some of these movies! Which would you (anyone) recommend as the top pick?

  21. Kaleb says:

    YaY! Thank you Peaches, I really enjoyed your list, I plan to watch most of them soon. I\’ve seen the Bad Seed though… it\’s an awesome movie and I highly recommend it!

    Come back soon Peaches!

  22. BrettC says:

    Well… I\’ve seen all the movies. Worse than that, I own them all on DVD. Yes, I\’m a movie freak! My DVD collection would make even Peaches Christ nervous enough to take her own name in vain (it\’s over 4,000 but who\’s counting?).

    By the way, great show. Peaches is always one of my favorite guests. Anybody who has read all the John Waters books, and hung out with him earns my love.

    Movies I would also add to the ever-growing list of ones I would kill to see at MIDNIGHT MASS:
    ROPE – Alfred Hitchcock\’s adaptation of a play where two gay guys give a dinner party and invite the parents and teacher of the man they just killed.
    VELVET GOLDMINE – Loose version of the life of David Bowie, and a chance to see Ewan \”Obi Wan Kenobi\’s\” MacGregor\’s lightsaber.
    JAWBREAKER – Sort of a sequel or remake of HEATHERS that isn\’t as smart, but the popular girls dress like transvestite hookers out of GREASE.

  23. Rope! Of course… GREAT film. Single shot camera. Brilliant.

  24. Ohmygod Brett! It\’s as if you\’re reading my mind!!!

    I can confirm that we are in fact screening JAWBREAKER at this summer\’s Midnight Mass. The writer / director of the film, Darren Stein, is actually producing my first feature film and he\’s agreed to come up and be at Midnight Mass for the screening. We\’re also working on getting some of the girls from the movie to attend. You have to come too!!!

    Darren has made a bunch of great movies. I think he\’d be a great guest on the Feast of Fools someday!

  25. Andrew J says:

    Great show! Can\’t wait to watch some of those films (the ones I haven\’t already seen anyway).

    Also, I just found out about this upcoming performance of Hedwig in Philadelphia:

    http://azukatheatre.org/show.php?prod=21&mnu=shows

    Looks like it could be fun. Anyone want to go with me?

  26. Great Show! I hope Peaches Christ comes back to teach us not-so-knowledgeable boys about our history in film. I remember seeing Heathers (The only movie you guys talked about that I had seen before) for the first time and feeling good about the part where they kill the two football players and make it look like they were gay lovers. REVENGE!!!

    Best lines – \”I love my dead gay son.\”
    \”Fuck me gently with a chain-saw, Heather!\”

  27. StevenvanL. says:

    Two buses full of drag queens! I want to see them remake Jeepers Creepers, with an evil entity stalking them, which wants to put together the perfect dress every 50 years and steals bits and pieces of the costumes, causing the drag queens to blame eachother and have major catfights!

  28. Steven L; Brilliant!!! That is a movie I would like to see!! LOL 😉 Almost like real life…… Wait that does happen…….. EVERYWHERE… LOL

  29. BrettC says:

    If JAWBREAKER is at MIDNIGHT MASS then so am I. I love Darren Stein. Great! I\’m doing the Snoopy happy dance as we type.

    And I think you guys totally need to make a documentary out of the bus trip… sort of an on the road version of PARIS IS BURNING.

    I\’m still reeling from picturing JEEPERS CREEPERS reworked as a drag/stalker slasher film. Steven, you better write that screenplay quickly. You know some aspiring GLBT filmmaker is out there just waiting for you. And looks like Crystal has to be your lead.

  30. Brett, It\’s a done deal. I even sent Darren your unsolicited comment about JAWBREAKER and we both loved it. So, you better get ready for your trip to SF this summer!!! It\’s going to be an epic show including never before seen \”behind-the-scenes\” footage that Darren has on video-tape and even some surprise guests are going to appear. Really great surprise guests!!!

    It\’s funny because absolutely none of the 2008 line-up has been revealed until now, right here on the Feast of Fools message board. How could I not tell you that we\’re doing JAWBREAKER when you mention the title literally two days after I had confirmed things with Darren?!?

  31. StevenvanL. says:

    Well – I am not sure if I will have time to pen a script for \”Jeepers Creepers III: High Danger, High Heels\” in time – but if the ladies could improvise a movie trailer during their weekend I am sure a YouTube hit and funds for a movie could not be far behind!

  32. Jonzu says:

    Great show! Next time we\’re down in the bay area I hope we will be lucky enough to time it with a Midnight Mass.

    One of my favorite lines from the Bad Seed is a clunky one: it goes something like this:

    \”No mother, I did not set fire to the excelsior.\”

    The word \”excelsior\” is one of those clunky words that I had to go look up just to see what it was ( I would have just called it \”packing\” or \”stuffing\”; but the word is used 2 or 3 times in the dialog. It just makes me laugh. It\’s like saying \”Mother, may I have a dime to get a confection at the confectionary?\” Is it a just a word that has fallen out of common usage or was the writer just plain tired and couldn\’t think of a better word?

    Everyone, try to say it and make it sound innocent but evocutive:

    \”Excelsior.\” Hmmmm….rolls off the tongue just like a hair ball.

  33. Curtis says:

    Peaches is a national treasure. Fantastic show, great list of films. I had never heard of \”Sleepaway Camp\”, adding it to my Netflix. The rest I have seen or own. I do recommend doing a Queer 101 : The Camp Classics episode. I\’m constantly shocked by how many young queers have never seen the basic camp cannon (which I actually would put \”What Ever Happened to Baby Jane\” in) or are not even aware of these films.

    There was a documentary about Joan Crawford on Turner Classic Movies yesterday and they presented the Baby Jane stitches stories as fact. However their version of Joan\’s heavy lifting revenge is that Bette had told Joan and the director that she had a bad back and needed Joan to not go completely limp during the bed lifting scene. Joan made herself a dead weight and Bette was hospitalized for two days herself following the scene. Bette also tied Joan\’s hands very tight to the handles over the bed in one scene and then dragged out the shooting of the scene so that Joan was stuck with her hands tightly bound above her body for an uncomfortably long time.

    I almost think all this antagonism on the set contributed to the great performances in the film. Both of them are literally in pain and literally hate each other.

    Marc you posed the question about why Blanche would put up with Jane\’s abuse. Don\’t you think it was very simply her guilt at what she had done to Jane. That she knew that Jane was really the prisoner of her own horrible actions toward Jane. Do you think maybe even though Jane\’s actions were overtly abusive (and deliciously awful to watch), that Blanche\’s abuse of Jane was ironically almost more sinister? To me that was what gave the film such amazing dramatic depth.

  34. I wasn\’t able to film the Jeepers Creepers parody on this year\’s Reno trip. Maybe next year? I do love the idea! However, I put a bunch of pics up on my My Space page and thought I\’d share them with you. If any of us aren\’t friends yet on My Space- well, lez do it. Also, I\’d love it if some Feast of Fools folks joined us in Reno next year. Miss P from Missouri flew into SF this year just so she could join us on our trip to Reno. She ended up winning \”Best In Show\” on her bus!

    Click on the Trannyshack Reno 2008 album
    RIGHT HERE!!!

  35. OK, that didn\’t work for some reason. My My Space page is http://www.myspace.com/peacheschrist and the album is in my pics section.

  36. Marc Felion says:

    I had to look up Excelsior because my mom\’s family comes from Excelsior, Minnesota.

    Wikipedia says \”Excelsior (wood wool) an Aspen-fiber material similar to wood shavings, used for packaging and for stuffing Teddy Bears, and for cooling pads in evaporative air conditioners\”

    I don\’t think its a clunky word, but rather dramatic. It is a Latin word meaning \”higher\”, \”superior\”, \”lordly\” So it think they tried to infuse it with a certain grandness as though she was burning down some kind of lofty ideal. Also, I don\’t remember what she burned. Was it the inside of her Teddy?

    Curtis, you are spot on. It was guilt that kept them together.

    Peaches, your in our top friends!

  37. Wolfsburg03 says:

    Peaches – What was the name of that movie that you would use to \”screen\” your potential mates with? You said that you would judge their reaction to the movie on weather or not they could handle you as Peaches Christ. I was like, \”I have to see this movie.\”

  38. Wolfsburg03 says:

    Oh yeah I forgot to mention. Peaches, if you do a midnight mass in DC I will totally be there. I\’m in Southeastern VA and it\’s not often that good talent comes close to our neck of the woods!

  39. DCRyan says:

    My deal breaker movie is Shortbus. It is an unusual movie and so overtly sexual that if a guy doesn\’t get the deeper meaning, I think he generally won\’t get my strange sensibilities.

  40. Wolf, the movie I was talking about is called HAPPINESS and it\’s certainly an uncomfortable film. It was written and directed by Todd Solondz (Welcome To The Dollhouse) and it\’s just really sick and wonderful and keys into disturbing yet hilarious qualities about people we all know (or are ourselves). Check it out and let me know what you think!

    Also, I grew up in MD and would love to come do a show in DC sometime. I shot footage there years and years ago when I had a cable access show of myself and Squeaky Blonde getting a tour of the Washington Monuments and people were quite simply horrified by us. We got great footage for that episode!

    Shortbus makes total sense to me. My ghoul-friend Justin Bond is in the movie and I simply adore her!

    Marc- you guys are in my Top Friends!

    Curtis- thanks for the Sisters Vid! I hate that I miss the Sisters Easter in the park every year cuz I\’m on a bus returning from Reno. Fuh-lawed!

  41. kennidi says:

    LOVE SHORTBUS!!! Such a great movie, and ur right DCRYAN if u cant look past the sex then u suck! I love it!

  42. I’ve been gone for so long due to real life and ive been trying to play catch up. I love this one! And when I heard Marc snort…it was like the good ol times. 😀

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