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Cinekink Film Festival 2011: Kink Crusaders

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Cinekink Film Festival 2011: Kink Crusaders

“I am a role model simply because I’m here,” Mr. Leather Ottawa announces from his wheelchair in Michael Skiff’s Kink Crusaders, a documentary shot during the 2008 edition of the International Mr. Leather contest, held annually in Chicago for the past 30 years. Moving back and forth from archival footage and talking-head interviews with IML founder Chuck Renslow, past winners, and current hopefuls, to the contest itself, Skiff’s rote filmmaking is fortunately topped by his eye-opening subject matter. Within the LGBT community, leather men (and women) have always been marginalized—which, ironically, has allowed IML to slowly expand even as the gay community itself has narrowed its focus to chasing once exclusively hetero dreams. “We are inclusive. That’s one of the things that made us grow,” Renslow emphasizes, recalling the first black man to be named International Mr. Leather. Indeed, the latest incarnation of IML is a microcosm of true diversity, with a skinny WWII vet (returning soldiers were the fathers of the leather scene), a pierced German with a voice like Werner Herzog, an Asian top skilled in the rope bondage used on prisoners brought before Japanese emperors, and even guys from unlikely locales such as Iowa and Oklahoma, all duking it out with the cosmopolitan, gay white male base. When you’ve got straight guys proudly competing in a contest that started in the back of a frequently raided bar (Renslow reminisces about the early days of paying off local policemen during the earliest days of Mayor Richard M. Daley’s reign), this is progress.

And while images of butt-naked men wearing dog collars and fetching toys—set to the tune of Soft Cell’s “Sex Dwarf”—at the IML pup party no longer pack a punch in our media-saturated age (two wide-eyed Asian-American women staying at the hotel housing the competitors initially express shock before one notes that she doesn’t see a lot of “Asian representation” among the pups), Skiff offers up a photomontage that does. It’s a bit jarring to see Renslow, the wholesome-seeming businessman—who resembles Howdy Doody with a moustache and is courted every year by hotel chains seeking the almighty leather dollar—in old black-and-white photos, shaking hands with the likes of Tip O’Neill, Ted Kennedy, and Chicago’s own homeboy Barack Obama. And the wearily predictable uplifting spirit (a former IML enthuses that he once felt he had to be in the closet as a physician who was gay, HIV positive, and IML—and now it’s a selling point) and declarations of victimization (a British submissive bitches about England’s backwards legal system that criminalizes BDSM) are leavened by some refreshingly honest moments. “I give points for people who look hot,” a judge and former IML admits, forthrightly adding that whether someone’s disabled affects his scoring. (The IML contest even embraces shallow gay white men!) Though this same guy also later discloses that though he’s a lot like his Mormon dad, they have a tense relationship because he has “trouble accepting [his father’s] lifestyle.”

As in the vanilla world, the policy of separate-but-equal mainly persists in regard to gender with the women having an International Ms. Leather contest of their own. (Ms. Leather Pride Illinois notes that her interest in BDSM “started when I was eight playing with my Barbie dolls. And Ken really paid for it.”) And while the People of Color contingent includes both black men and women, Queen Cougar, the African-American Ms. San Francisco Leather, proclaims she’s comfortable playing with anyone—except maybe Republicans. As the hodgepodge of Latino, Canadian, English, and German finalists give their speeches a leather man signs from the side of the stage. “We’re different, and that’s okay to be different,” a talking head announces towards the end (something the homogenized LGBT community too often forgets), foreshadowing the poignant celebration two years later when the first wheelchair reliant, female-to-male transgender IML is crowned. It’s nothing less than a Barack Obama moment for Chicago’s lesser-known sons.

Kink Crusaders will play on March 2 as part of this year’s Cinekink Film Festival. To purchase tickets, click here.

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Watch: The Long-Awaited Deadwood Movie Gets Teaser Trailer and Premiere Date

Welcome to fucking Deadwood!

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Deadwood
Photo: HBO

At long last, we’re finally going to see more of Deadwood. Very soon after the HBO series’s cancellation in 2006, creator David Milch announced that he agreed to produce a pair of two-hour films to tie up the loose ends left after the third season. It’s been a long road since, and after many false starts over the years, production on one standalone film started in fall 2018. And today we have a glorious teaser for the film, which releases on HBO on May 31. Below is the official description of the film:

The Deadwood film follows the indelible characters of the series, who are reunited after ten years to celebrate South Dakota’s statehood. Former rivalries are reignited, alliances are tested and old wounds are reopened, as all are left to navigate the inevitable changes that modernity and time have wrought.

And below is the teaser trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAcftIUE6MQ

Deadwood: The Movie airs on HBO on May 31.

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Watch: Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Gets Teaser Trailer

When it rains, it pours.

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Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Photo: Columbia Pictures

When it rains, it pours. Four days after Quentin Tarantino once more laid into John Ford in a piece written for his Beverly Cinema website that saw the filmmaker referring to Ford’s She Wore a Yellow Ribbon as Tie a Yellow Ribbon, and two days after Columbia Pictures released poster art for QT’s ninth feature that wasn’t exactly of the highest order, the studio has released a teaser for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The film was announced early last year, with Tarantino describing it as “a story that takes place in Los Angeles in 1969, at the height of hippy Hollywood.”

Set on the eve of the Manson family murders, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood tells the story of TV actor Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his stunt double, Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt), as they try to get involved in the film industry. The film also stars Margot Robbie (as Sharon Tate), Al Pacino, the late Luke Perry, Damian Lewis, Dakota Fanning, Emile Hirsch, Timothy Olyphant, Kurt Russell, and Bruce Dern in a part originally intended for the late Burt Reynolds.

See the teaser below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Scf8nIJCvs4

Columbia Pictures will release Once Upon a Time in Hollywood on July 26.

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Watch the Stranger Things 3 Trailer, and to the Tune of Mötley Crüe and the Who

A wise woman once said that there’s no such thing as a coincidence.

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Stranger Things 3
Photo: Netflix

A wise woman once said that there’s no such thing as a coincidence. On Friday, Jeff Tremaine’s The Dirt, a biopic about Mötley Crüe’s rise to fame, drops on Netflix. Today, the streaming service has released the trailer for the third season of Stranger Things. The clip opens with the strains of Mötley Crüe’s “Home Sweet Home,” all the better to underline that the peace and quiet that returned to the fictional rural town of Hawkins, Indiana at the end of the show’s second season is just waiting to be upset again.

Little is known about the plot of the new season, and the trailer keeps things pretty vague, though the Duffer Brothers have suggested that the storyline will take place a year after the events of the last season—duh, we know when “Home Sweet Home” came out—and focus on the main characters’ puberty pangs. That said, according to Reddit sleuths who’ve obsessed over such details as the nuances of the new season’s poster art, it looks like Max and company are going to have to contend with demon rats no doubt released from the Upside Down.

See below for the new season’s trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEG3bmU_WaI

Stranger Things 3 premieres globally on July 4.

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