Spring Preview: Big screen light on gay fare

The Madonna-directed “W.E.,” the love story of Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson seen through the eyes of a contemporary researcher, won a Golden Globe and was nominated for an Oscar but has not found favor with critics or audiences where it has opened. 

“The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye” (April 6, Tara) documents the ultimate performance art, as Genesis P-Orridge (Throbbing Gristle) has a series of sex reassignment surgeries in order to more closely resemble his wife and artistic partner, Lady Jaye.

“Musical Chairs” (TBA) is a straight love story set in the world of wheelchair ballroom dancing.  One of the dancers, Chantelle, is a transgender paraplegic, played by transgender actress Laverne Cox.  Susan Seidelman (“Desperately Seeking Susan”) directs.

“First Position” (May 18, Midtown) follows four girls and two boys through an international ballet competition for young people.  The boys are 11 and 16 but if they’re ballet dancers, what are the odds?

Terence Davies, England’s Todd Haynes, has adapted and directed a new version of Terence Rattigan’s melodramatic play “The Deep Blue Sea” (April 20, Midtown).  Rachel Weisz has the role Vivien Leigh played in 1955, of a woman torn between the man she married and the man she loves.

In “Bernie” (probably May) Jack Black plays a gay funeral director who may be involved in the death of bitchy old widow, Shirley MacLaine, in a small Texas town.  Matthew McConaughey apparently keeps his shirt on.

Out actor Sean Hayes (“Will & Grace”) can’t exactly be called a straight man as Larry, one of “The Three Stooges: The Movie” (April 13).  Jane Lynch is in it, too.

I’m told there’s a queer twist to “Jeff, Who Lives at Home” (today, Midtown), but it would be a spoiler to reveal it.

Two dates to watch are March 30, when it’s camp (“Mirror Mirror” with Julia Roberts as Snow White’s Evil Queen) vs. beefcake (“Wrath of the Titans”), and April 11, when it’s camp (Sacha Baron Cohen as “The Dictator”) vs. camp (Johnny Depp as Barnabas Collins in “Dark Shadows”).  Snow White will be more of an action heroine in “Snow White and the Huntsman” (June 1), but Charlize Theron may still be a campy Queen.

Finally, because it’s based on a Broadway musical,

albeit a heavy metal one, there’s “Rock of Ages” (June 15).  It stars Tom Cruise so there can’t be anything gay about it.

DVD Delights

With so little to go out to the movies for, you may want to stay home and watch new DVD releases.  Three premiered last year at Out on Film:

“Eating Out: The Open Weekend” (March 20): The fifth film in the series finds a gay couple experimenting during the gayest “Palm Springs Weekend” since Troy Donahue’s in 1963.

“eCupid” (May 22): The title app promises true love.  It brings our hero all the men he wants but not the man he needs.  Morgan Fairchild plays a small but pivotal role.

“This Is What Love in Action Looks Like” (June 12): Documentary about a gay 16-year-old whose parents sent him to be “cured” and the protest movement that sprang up to get him released.

Other Spring Releases:

“The Broken Tower” (March 27): James Franco wrote, produced, directed and stars in the tragic biography of gay poet Hart Crane.

“Jitters” (March 27): An Icelandic coming-of-age drama about a boy who realizes he’s gay when he kisses a boy in England, but has trouble acting on it when he returns home.

“The Seminarian” (March 27): A closeted student finds it hard to practice what he’s taught to preach in a homophobic seminary.

“Del Shores: My Sordid Life” (April 3):  The creator of “Sordid Lives” separates fact from fiction in his autobiographical one man show.

“American Translation” (April 17): See the Atlanta Film Festival article for more about this French tale of a murderous bisexual.

“Domain” (April 17): This French import about an alcoholic and her gay nephew’s coming out advertises John Waters’ seal of approval.

“Pariah” (April 24): Dee Rees’ low-budget wonder about a 17-year-old lesbian trying to come out to her conservative family in Brooklyn.

“Kawa” (May 8):  In New Zealand a middle-aged businessman, husband and father, makes the difficult decision to come out, in a drama by the author of “Whale Rider.”

“Albert Nobbs” (May 15):  Glenn Close and Janet McTeer were both Oscar-nominated for playing women masquerading as men in late 19th-century Ireland.

Top photo: “Bully” (publicity photo)