Friday, September 22, 2006

Misc. Recent Film and Book News

Haven't seen Superman Returns, but I watched some DVDs of the first season of the old Superman tv show not long ago and found Jack Larson, the actor playing Jimmie Olson, rather handsome. I also found the relationship between him and Superman to be somewhat gay, at least on Jimmie's side. I'd read somewhere that Larson had once turned down a proposition from James Dean, and then recently I read that actor is, in fact, gay:
After a particularly humiliating encounter with the producer Mervyn LeRoy in 1961 — “He started castigating the casting director right in front of me, saying, “I can’t have him in my film! He’s Jimmy Olsen!’ ” — Mr. Larson sought advice from his onetime lover, the actor Montgomery Clift. He remembers the meeting at the Bel Air Hotel.

“Monty said, ‘This is going to continue,’ ” Mr. Larson recalled. “ ‘Don’t put yourself in these situations anymore. You need to leave this behind.’ And that’s when I decided to quit acting.”

He focused instead on his writing, becoming an award-winning playwright and librettist, receiving the first Rockefeller Foundation grant ever awarded to a playwright. He collaborated with composers including Virgil Thomson, Irving Fine and Ned Rorem, and his rhymed verse plays were performed all over the world. He was also a producer on films like “The Paper Chase,” “Urban Cowboy” and “Bright Lights, Big City,” often working with his domestic partner, the director James Bridges, with whom he lived for 35 years before Mr. Bridges’s death in 1993.

Also, the Chicago Tribune recently asked Jack Larson and Noel Neill their opinions of the movie Hollywoodland.

Publishers Weekly recently asked Andrew Holleran an interesting question:
"Why was it so hard to get an author photo from Hyperion?

[Holleran:]"I never wanted photos from the beginning. It's just a privacy issue. When Dancer came out, I thought: "I'm a gay man, I've written a gay book, I'm living in New York. If I go out to the baths or to the bars I don't want people to say, "Oh, that's so-and-so." Writing is being anonymous, it's being the voyeur. I need the cover."

PW's look at the state of gay publishing includes a profile of several interesting books.

One of my favorite reporters for the Chicago Tribune, Patrick T. Reardon, recently came across a book that got his attention (as it did mine--I bought it a couple months ago) and was inspired to make a list of "Ten-Plus-One Novels I Like That You Might Like."

New Directions = Nude Erections? Well done, Ezra Pound. The venerable publisher turns 70.



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