By Romeo San Vicente
Michael Pitt Is ‘Jailbait’
A sign that things are slowly changing in Hollywood: young actors who just don’t care if they’re seen in “too many” gay-themed projects. Take Michael Pitt, co-star of “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” and this year’s homoerotic Bernardo Bertolucci film, “The Dreamers.” The pretty, blond 22-year-old with the bee-stung lips is now co-starring in “Jailbait,” the debut feature from writer/director Brett C. Leonard. Like its provocative title suggests, “Jailbait” is an intense two-man drama concerning the sexual friction between a prison-hardened lifer (newcomer Stephen Adly-Guirgis) and a younger, more innocent inmate (Pitt). It’s the stuff of heterosexual male nightmares – in other words, it sounds hot. Currently on parole from the film festival circuit, the movie is set for a theatrical release later in the year.
Lindsay Lohan tries on ‘Fashionistas’
Teen star Lindsay Lohan is earning herself a Reese Witherspoon-esque gay following thanks to her recent turn in the queer-friendly “Mean Girls,” and her next project ought to cement the deal. “Fashionistas,” based on Lynn Messina’s frothy novel, follows the adventures of a young designer (Lohan) toiling as an assistant to a cruel female fashion magazine editor. Lohan’s character plans an elaborate revenge scheme, and things get wacky – but not so wacky that she doesn’t make time to fall in love with the only straight man in the business. Leave it to Hollywood to focus on the needle in “that” haystack. All the same, the movie will undoubtedly have lots of queer window-dressing. No word yet on shooting dates or who’ll play Lohan’s beau, but it’s a good bet he’ll upstage the movie’s outfits in the eye-candy department.
A queer ‘Candidate’ or two
The gay-inclusive reality shows don’t stop coming. Next up is “American Candidate,” a mock-election series hosted by Montel Williams, in which 10 “candidates” will be put to an entirely different kind of presidential fitness test. They’ll endure a grueling campaign-trail schedule, participate in rallies and debates, and, best of all, have their personal lives dissected by the media. Each week, in the tradition of “American Idol” and “Survivor,” a candidate will be voted off, with the winner receiving $200,000. So far, two of the candidates are openly gay: Chrissy Gephardt, lesbian daughter of former presidential candidate Dick Gephardt, and gay activist and author Keith Boykin, a former special assistant to President Clinton and president of the National Black Justice Coalition. Boykin’s partner is his “campaign manager,” meaning that they’ll be the first gay African-American couple featured on a reality series. “American Candidate” premieres August 1 on Showtime.
Supersizing equal rights
Equal rights receives the big-screen documentary treatment this fall in “Tying the Knot,” a feature from director Jim De Seve. The film focuses less on the giddy celebrations common to TV news coverage and more on the consequences of the systematic denial of marriage rights to lesbians and gay men – it follows two longtime couples whose relationships have been tested to the breaking point by their inability to marry legally. “Knot” is set to have a wider reach than most documentaries thanks to Roadside Attractions, the hot film distributor responsible for the documentary “Supersize Me,” now appearing on so many suburban multiplex marquees. Look for it in October – just in time for it to be topic of election squabbling.