Thursday, October 3, 2013

Universal closes Focus Features, art house division which made Brokeback Mountain, Milk

From Band of Thebes:
     Hideous news for art house lovers: In a terrible corporate reorg, Universal has folded the gay-friendly powerhouse Focus Features into the commercial unit Film District and replaced arty James Schamus with ex-Sony exec Peter Schlessel...
     Film District began releasing crap in April 2011. Their six most recent are: Insidious 2, Evil Dead, Olympus Has Fallen, Dead Man Down, Parker, and the rom-com flop Playing for Keeps. They did release Drive, Looper, and Safety Not Guaranteed but nothing smart since 2012 and nothing gay, ever.
     Of course Schamus oversaw the degayed ad campaigns for Brokeback and Milk then ludicrously denied they were degayed, but that seems minor compared to today's annihilation.
     Below, the remarkable scene from Focus Films' Taking Woodstock (a big subplot is the protagonist's coming-out journey) in which Elliot Tiber goes into a VW Microbus with a girl and a bisexual dude, and comes out... a hippie!

From YouTube description of the video above:
     Tiber is gay, and he lived what he describes as a double life, pretending to be straight during his weekends helping his parents in Bethel, while living an openly gay life in New York City. The book describes the difficulties and traumas experienced by gays in the 1950s and 1960s. He describes being beaten up and robbed by youths who targeted him because of his homosexuality. He also describes encounters with celebrities, including Marlon Brando, Wally Cox, Rock Hudson, Truman Capote and Tennessee Williams. Hudson is described as lying nude and comatose at an upscale party, where he was subjected to sexual acts by guests.
     The book describes how the El Monaco became the headquarters for the Woodstock organizers, and how Tiber became the exclusive ticket agent for the festival and held a press conference at the motel. He describes in detail the strong opposition to the festival from local residents, some of whom created a human wall to try to stop young people from coming to the festival.
     Tiber claims in the book that he was approached on several occasions by underworld characters, some of whom made threats, and that he and his parents had to physically fend them off, with the help of a transvestite named Velma (see below.) He also describes rowing out into the middle of White Lake, near the festival site, to pay off underworld characters.

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