January 6th, 2012

andrew potter

The Palisade by George Seaton

Even if it’s presented as a collection of short stories with the common thread of being all about the men living inside the Palisade, an apartment complex gathered to gays in the 1981’s Denver, I think this is also like a journal of the author himself; one of the men is the “writer” and his partner David, and in the little bio we found at the end of the novel, it says that George Seaton shares his life with his partner of twenty-eight years, David… 2011 minus 28 and we arrives to 1983… but maybe the author wrote this collection some years ago?

It’s not long but George Seaton managed to have me caring for all the men we briefly met, all of them, even the one who are clearly fated to tragedy, actually maybe even more for them. Michael Cardona, the barman, always searching for a good lay, not really caring for names and faces; 51 years old Maynard and 21 years old Brad, Daddy and kept boy, a relationship not destined to last; Jack O’Hayre, who I think, is only needing to find the right man, someone who can really take care of him; Jaime Guzman, the drag queen; Richard Smith, the nurse with a big heart (wouldn’t be he right for Jack?); Ronnie Jensen, the Vietnam veteran, who is searching in an horse, Joe, the way to put all his love in a place where it’s safe, where it cannot be taken by him; and then two of my favourite, college kids Matt and Shawn, so young and in love, so much into each other that I have hope for them it will be different, since there is no danger lurking for them outside, there is no “outside” in their relationship.

We know (or at least I think I know) that, even if the writer and David hadn’t it easy, and they went through some very bad situations, they managed to have their happily ever after; we also know, from the words of the writer, that many who were living in the Palisade where not so lucky, but the writer is not ready, or willing, to share the names of who didn’t make it. What of Ronnie, Matt, Shawn, Richard? They seemed to be the luckier, they seemed to have, even if from different ages and experiences, found the meaning of life. Did they manage to fully live that meaning?

The Palisade is like a metaphor of life in the ’80: gay people managed to build inner circle, closed environment where they could be safe and live as they felt they wanted to live. It wasn’t the real world, the real world scared them, and the real world was scared by them. But they were happy inside closed door. But then AIDS entered their safe haven, and at the beginning they didn’t know the danger was among them. After AIDS there weren’t safe havens nor more, on the contrary, sometime it was right those close environments that were even more dangerous than the real world, sometime, going outside seemed less scaring than staying inside.

http://www.mlrbooks.com/ShowBook.php?book=GS_PALIS

Amazon Kindle: The Palisade
Publisher: MLR Press,LLC (August 26, 2011)

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
andrew potter

Coming Soon: Private Romeo directed by Alan Brown

When eight cadets are left behind at an isolated military high school, the greatest romantic drama ever written seeps out of the classroom and permeates their lives. Incorporating the original text of Romeo and Juliet, YouTube videos, and lip-synched Indie rock music, PRIVATE ROMEO takes us to a mysterious and tender place that only Shakespeare could have inspired.

Private Romeo, a new take on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet that stars War Horse actors Seth Numrich and Matt Doyle as the ill-fated lovers, will premiere in NYC beginning Feb. 10 at Cinema Village. The project, by writer-director Alan Brown, features Numrich as Sam Singleton—the film's Romeo—opposite Doyle, who plays Glenn Mangan. Private Romeo will screen through Feb. 16... Numrich, who created the role of Albert Narracott in War Horse, has also been seen on Broadway in The Merchant of Venice. Doyle, who plays Billy Narracott, has also appeared in Spring Awakening and Bye Bye Birdie.

For more information and to watch the trailer, visit http://www.privateromeothemovie.com.

andrew potter

Coming Soon: What Happens Next directed by Jay Arnold

What Happens Next (2012)
Actors: Wendie Malick, Jon Lindstrom, Chris Murrah
Directors: Jay Arnold
Studio: Wolfe Video
DVD Release Date: February 7, 2012
Run Time: 100 minutes
Amazon: What Happens Next (2012)

Handsome daytime lead Jon Lindstrom (As the World Turns, General Hospital and Port Charles) stars as Paul Greco, an unmarried billionaire socialite who seems to have it all. Or does he? After Paul sells his business and retires he suddenly has more money and time than he knows what to do with. His overbearing (but well-meaning) sister Elise (the fabulous Wendie Malick — Just Shoot Me, Hot In Cleveland, All My Children) decides giving Paul a dog would be the perfect start. With little else to do, Paul assumes the daily dog walking routine in the park. There he encounters Andy Chance (Chris Murrah), a young gay self-employed advertising whiz, who happens to walk his dog on the very same schedule. What starts as a casual daily meeting in the park, eventually develops into something a bit more questionable.

andrew potter

Coming Soon: @SuicideRoom by Jan Komasa

@SuicideRoom (2012)
Directors: Jan Komasa
Language: Polish
Subtitles: English
Studio: Wolfe Video
DVD Release Date: March 13, 2012
Amazon: @SuicideRoom (2012)

“A stunning examination of life and finding the will to live it.” —MetroWeekly

Moody, dark and handsome Dominik (Jakub Gierszal) is tormented by his classmates after video footage of his drunken kiss with bully Alex is spread across the Internet. Grappling with the public humiliation Dominik seeks solace in an avatar based “suicide room” where the pink-haired rebel Sylvia consoles him. “We’re freaks, weirdos, outside the norm. You’re different. Treasure that,” she tells him. As Dominik’s depression worsens, and his wealthy, inattentive parents fail to deal with the problem, @SuicideRoom follows Dominik as his online adventures (in stunning animated sequences) begin to dangerously bleed into his real life.

andrew potter

Coming Soon: 3 directed by Tom Tykwer

3 (2012)
Actors: Sophie Rois, Sebastian Schipper, Devid Striesow
Directors: Tom Tykwer
Language: German
Subtitles: English
Studio: Strand Releasing
DVD Release Date: February 7, 2012
Run Time: 119 minutes
Amazon: 3 (2012)

As loving couple Hanna and Simon approach their 20th anniversary they each begin an affair with a younger man. When they discover they are both sleeping with the same man, an arrangement evolves — and Adam joins their relationship. A sleek drama from Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run).

andrew potter

The Affair of the Porcelain Dog by Jess Faraday

I really, really liked this historical adventure/mystery novel, despite all the ugliness it dealt with it managed to be also sweet and romantic, but I cannot avoid to think the author was a little too severe with one of her characters and I hope she will come back to these men and time.

Former whore Ira Adler is now well nestled with crime lord Cain Goddard. Ira knows Cain’s affair are probably against the law, it was the reason why he ended up with him: Cain was one of Ira’s usual customers, and when the young man came to one of their appointment beaten up by a constable, Cain took care of him and of the constable, only that the output was very different. Cain offered to Ira the role of confidential secretary, teaching him the job, sure, but matching it with other special tasks, tasks that Ira is more than willing to complete.

Aside for being a crime lord, Cain is a perfect romance hero, he is always careful of Ira’s well-being, he never questions him, even when Ira’s word is against that of one of Cain’s oldest employee; Cain is the first to speak the word love, and even if he is aware that Ira is not meeting his feelings, he is also willing to wait for the young man to be ready (of course we are speaking of emotion, on a physical level they are already sharing a life like a married couple and probably more, considering the custom of the time); when time is passing, and Ira is not yet ready, instead of being impatient, Cain is willing to again open his heart and gifting Ira with a tangible sign of his love. I think that, if Ira doesn’t want him, I’m ready to fall in love for him myself.

I understand Ira’s integrity, he hasn’t never had one and now that he has found that being honest is giving him an independency he didn’t know, he is not willing to let it go. And to think that all is due to the only mistake that Cain commits, i.e. to ask to his lover, former pickpocketing thief, to retrieve an object from a man that is blackmailing him. A simple task, something that a former whore like Ira could do blinded, but an event that will also cause Ira to go out from Cain’s umbrella, to go back to his old life for the first time in two years. As I said, that is Cain’s only mistake, he had Ira in a golden cage, a wonderful paradise bird who was singing only for him, but he let it go, and now it will be difficult to convince him to come back.

Ira in his way, feels for Cain, but he is not in love with the man. Ira is probably stronger than Cain, and a little harder to fall in love. Actually, the reader will learn that all of Cain’s trouble, past and present, are always due to his tendency of falling in love, and that is a situation when you are weaker. Again you will understand that, even if I really like Ira, my favourite is Cain, and I hope that, in the end, Ira will see that with love, you can change even the most devil of the crime lords, and Cain is far from being the worst.

http://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/products.php?product=Affair-of-the-Porcelain-Dog%2C-The-%252d-by-Jess-Faraday

Amazon: The Affair of the Porcelain Dog
Amazon Kindle: The Affair of the Porcelain Dog
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (June 14, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1602822301
ISBN-13: 978-1602822306

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle