Jul 23, 2022

Saturday Morning on Streaming Services: Looking for Representation in a Heteronormative World

Sometimes, on my morning cycle of Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, I find unexpected treasures of gay subtexts or representation.  Sometimes it's a heteronormative bust.

Today I start with Netflix.  Four of the six "Recent Addition" icons feature women looking beleagered and vulnerable.  There's one group and one nuclear radiation symbol.  What happened to the men?

I'll try House of Dark Secrets, an Argentine anthology series about the various residents of a mysterious house (full of dark secrets) from the 1920s to the 2020s.  Thirteen episodes, and Argentina is one of the more gay-positive countries in Latin America; there must be some gay "secrets."  

Let's look: guy with a dead wife; performing male-female couple; mom who won't let her teenage daughters date boys; kidnapped girl; two college students want a three-way with the maid; ex-wife shows up; fleeing soldiers...

Girls' pajama party; mayor's illegitimate child shows up; kidnapped girl shows up as a 70-year old; woman finds some squatters; male-female couple take refuge from a pandemic.  

I fast-forward through the episodes with the soldiers, the squatters, and the college students (in case they're both boys).  No luck, although there are glimpses of beefcake amid the cleavage.

Well, I'll watch Bad Exorcist, a Polish series, animated with South Park-style cutouts, about an inept exorcist named Boner (presumably "inept," not "arousal").  In Episode 6: "a ghoul makes an indecent proposal."  So...he wants to have sex with Boner?  

Nope: it takes two scenes for Boner and the Ghoul to meet.  Finally, in Scene 3, the "indecent proposal": the Ghoul can't perform sexually anymore, being dead, so would Boner please have sex with his still-living wife?  I'm out.

On to Hulu, where my recommendations include endless animes.  I am drawn to one with the odd title The Irregular at Magic High School, because I've only heard "irregular" used as a noun with the group of street urchins that Sherlock Holmes hires.  Could there be some Baker Street Irregulars studying magic?

It has a length, detailed, and eminently unnecessary opening blurb; we've seen movies and tv shows about magic academies before.  Lots of them.  The gist: students at the academy are divided into the adept Blooms and the inept Weeds.  A brother and sister enroll, and get placed in different categories.  But since they're siblings, they won't fall in love, so maybe there won't be a heteronormative primary plot. 

They spend Scene 1 getting ready to matriculate, and discussing how much they love each other: "You're the most important person in the world to me.  I'd do anything for you.  I can't bear to be away from you, even for a minute.  Your smile lights up my life" and so on ad nauseam.  Way too much incest subtext!

Then Sister leaves, and Tatsuyi is stopped dead in his tracks by...The Girl of His Dreams!  I'm out.

What about Sorcerous Stabber Orphen?  Why the deliberate misspelling?  Ophen is a "powerful sorcerer" on a quest to rescue his "sis," who was turned into a dragon.  

Before I get invested, I'll check the episode guide: Orphen searches for his friend Azalia, whom he grew up with at the orphanage (that must be his "sis"); he meets "a mysterious girl," who offers to treat his wounds; he teams up with a girl named Leticia.  Lots of girls around, not many boys for subtexts.  But I check Wikipedia and do a keyword search anyway.  

This photo appeared in the keyword search for "Sorcerous Stabber Orphen" and "gay."  It doesn't appear to depict Orphen or any other character, and it's not in the same anime style.  But beefcake is beefcake.

On to Amazon Prime, which is always a wasteland of dead wives and girls of dreams.

 The first new movie is Anything's Possible, with an icon depicting a girl with a bare midriff and a guy gazing at her with Girl of His Dreams longing.  Sounds intensely heteronormative, but maybe she has a gay bff.

Whoops, according to the description, she's Kelsi, a trans girl, and the boy, Khal (Abubakr Ali), apparently comes from a conservative Muslim family, so their relationship is going to cause friction (there are Arabic subtitles, in case it's not banned in Saudi Arabia).  In the trailer, it looks like most of the friction comes from Kelsi's queer friends, who don't think that Khal is right for her.  

I probably won't watch: there are 163 beefcake photos of Abubakr online, every single one of them a .webp file, and I have other things to do today.  But at least I found some LGBTQ representation in the most unlikely place.

Jul 22, 2022

"Emergency": Three College Guys, One Dead Girl


Emergency, on Amazon Prime, sounds like a reboot of the 1970s tv series about paramedics, but actually the plot is more akin to the "dead hooker in the bathroom" comedies.  Here it's three college guys stumbling across a dead girl after a party.  They should call the police, but there's a problem: they're black, and the dead girl is white.  The police will shoot first, ask questions later.  

This is 2022, so doubtless one of the three guys will be gay.

Scene 1: Establishing shots of an elite college.  Sean (Donald Elise Watkins) encouraging Kunle (RJ Cyler) to go after a girl: "She like your big head.  Or small dick."

Kunle has been established as heterosexual from Line 1.  But Sean is rather feminine, and devotes himself to his buddy's romance, a standard "gay friend" trope.  So he must be the gay one.  

They discuss the possibility of Kunle  just having sex with her, not starting a romance.

Scene 2: Class.  The standard university lecture hall.  The professor notes that there's a trigger warning in today's reading, but the guys aren't paying attention: Sean is texting, and Kunle is gazing at the Girl of His Dreams, Bianca.  

The professor continues: "Today we're going to talk about hate speech." Suddenly her powerpoint slideshow displays the N-word.  She begins a lecture on the word's "unique space in American vernacular.," and says it!  "What makes the word so powerful?"   

Having not heard her introduction, the guys sizzle.  "She can't say that.  It ain't right!  She don't know shit!"

Professor asks them to comment, but they are saved by the bell.  Wait -- class just started!  And there are no bells in college.

Scene 3:  After class, Bianca (the Girl of Kunle's Dreams) approaches the guys to ask if they want to protest to the Student Senate.  They skip over all of that and tell her that tonight they were be going on the Legendary Tour of nine parties.  They will be the first black students to be invited to all nine, which will get them immortalized on the Wall of Fame in the Black Student Union.

She leaves.  The guys discuss the N-word again, interspliced with how much Bianca is into Kunle.

Scene 4: In the lab, Kunle examines his bacteria cultures, while Sean criticizes him for doing school work.  They're in college!  They should be partying, not studying!

Sean leaves, and approaches the third friend, Leo (Amar), for the tickets to the various parties on the Legendary Tour: "You're lucky.  I was about to give these to a cute freshman chick, but she was getting too attached.  I ain't into romance, bruh."  

Leo is identified as heterosexual in his first line, too.  What's up what that?  Oh, well, there's still Sean.

Whoops, Sean isn't paying attention -- he's busy gazing at the Girl of His Dreams!  He rushes over to flirt.

Three out of three identified as heterosexual, and it only took 10 minutes.  I'll fast-forward to see if there are any gay couples at the parties.

The dead girl -- actually just unconscious -- appears in their apartment before they can even get to a party.  They have no idea how she got there.  If they call 911, the police will come, and they'll be "shot first, arrested later."  But how can they get her to a hospital? Two black men driving a car are bound to be stopped....

The third guy is not Leo, but Kunle and Sean's other roommate, Carlos (Sebastian Chacon).  He doesn't express any heterosexual interest, at least none that I could tell from fast-forwarding.  And he almost hugs Kunle -- maybe a minimal gay subtext.  Otherwise it's the same old story -- movies can depict black characters, or gay characters, but never both.

Jul 20, 2022

Case File no. 223: Kabukicho: Sherlock Holmes, Watson, Moriarity, and Mrs. Hudson in the Red-Light District of Tokyo


The anime series Case File no. 223: Kabukicho has an unwieldy name (with an n° that's impossible to get right) because producers were worried about copyright infringement.  In Japanese it's Kabukicho Sherlock: an outrĂ© revision of the Sherlock Holmes mythos.  I've watched three episodes.

Kabukicho is the red-light district of Tokyo, a realm of "chaos and insanity," where Mrs. Hudson, Holmes' housekeeper from the original stories re-imaged as a muscular, bearded man in a wig and a dress, runs the Pipe Cat bar (along with several drag queen assistants). 

 When a case come in, she offers it to her team of six detectives, "weirdos, freaks, bozos, and loons," who compete to solve it and get paid.  

She also flirts with every man in sight, which they always find shocking and repellent, and I find distasteful, recalling the predatory gay guy who can't keep his hands off the poor, innocent straights.

There are two other gender-bending characters: Lestrade, a male police inspector in the original stories, is here a woman in male drag, and detective Mary usually presents as masculine as well.

Sherlock Holmes, a depressed, possibly suicidal failed rakugoka (comedic monologue performer), usually solves the case by noticing clues that the other detectives ignore.  

Dr. Watson (top photo) comes to Mrs. Hudson with an unusual case, but ends up hanging out at the Pipe Cat.  Eventually he moves in with Holmes (just as a roommate), and becomes one of the detectives.  The gay subtext that appears in many versions does not exist, however, as Holmes specifically states that he doesn't like Watson, and Watson begins dating a woman.

John Moriarity, a master criminal in the original stories, is here the 16-year old leader of a revision of the Baker Street Irregulars.  He seems to have a crush on Holmes: he is pleased to discover that Holmes and Watson do not share a bed, and at the bath house, when Holmes' towel falls away, he is very pleased to get a look at his penis.

Cases often reflect the plots of the original stories.  I recognized "The Red-Headed League" and "The Scarlet Band." 

At first I enjoyed looking for reflections of the Sherlock Holmes mythos, and I was pleasantly suprised by the gender-bending.  But Mrs. Hudson is so predatory, and the objects of her interest so shocked and disgusted, that it gradually became clear that this is not a gay-positive world.  Why couldn't some guys return her interest, or at least reject her politely instead of recoiling in shock and horror?

There are four major heterosexual romances and no gay relationships, just an occasional subtext.   Plus -- spoiler alert -- the Big Bad of the series, Jack the Ripper, turns out to be one of the drag queen hostesses at the Pipe Cat, a hoary stereotype of the transgender villain.  And everything is framed by the constant assertions that what we are seeing is "chaos" and "madness."  LGBTQ people belong to a sordid underworld.  

Watson is cute, though.

Addendum: A review reveals that there is a gay couple in a later episode, who the detectives treat with derision and disgust. 

Jul 19, 2022

Going to Movies in 1979-80: Captain Kirk Gushes, Peter Sellers Watches, Tim Conway Bumbles, and Richard Gere Bares All


I spent the fall quarter of 1979, my sophomore year at Augustana College,  in Regensburg, Germany, so naturally I didn't go to movie theaters very often. 

August:  Meetings with Remarkable Men.  A biography of the Russian-Armenian mystic Gurdjieff, who meets lots of remarkable men and opens an all-male commune full of gay subtexts.  Apparently the real Gurdjieff was extremely homophobic.

September:  None.

October: Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht, with Klaus Kinski as unattractive and excessively heterosexual Count Dracula.  But I was seeing a movie in German, without subtitles, and I understood most of what was going on (being familiar with the story helped).

November: None.

In December I was back in Rock Island, where I met my first boyfriend, Fred, a ministerial intern.  Our dates often involved movies.  

December: Star Trek: The Motion Picture.  The first ever -- and at the time we assumed the only -- film version of the iconic 1960s tv series.  The first 15 minutes involve Captain Kirk watching in ecstasy as his shuttle slowly approaches the big-screen Enterprise.  The plot then devolves into brash stupidity.  Plus I accidentally went with a girl.  Ugh!

December: All That Jazz: a sort-of biography of choreographer Bob Fosse, whom I had never heard of, with lots of symbolism about heart attacks and death.  Iconic because I went with my first boyfriend Fred, who taught me how to find gay subtexts.  

December: Being There.  Peter Sellers, usually a comedic actor, as a man on the autistic spectrum who perceives events in a new and "refreshing" way.  He becomes an advisor to the President of the U.S., and gets a girlfriend, although he is not interested in sex (she misunderstands his statement that "I like to watch.")

January: Windows: A woman is raped, but she is more traumatized by being the crush of the lesbian next door.  But seeing a lesbian on the big screen was a big deal, regardless of the homophobia behind her portrayal.   

:American Gigolo.  Every gay man in America went to this movie, to catch a glimpse of Richard Gere's chest, abs, butt, and penis.  We didn't get offended by the homophobic slur, or the gay villain -- straight America hated us, it was a simple fact of life, just deal with it and find joy where you can -- like in Richard Gere's penis.

February: Midnight Madness.  Five teams of college stereotypes -- jocks, nerds, evil frat boys, and so on -- play a sort of proto-LARP scavenger hunt game.  Among them are David Naughton (top photo), then known primarily for Dr. Pepper commercials, and unknown Michael J. Fox.   

Little Darlings. They are Kristy McNichol and Tatum O'Neal, fifteen-year old girls at summer camp who enter a contest to see who can get a boy to have sex with her first.  Their targets are fellow camper Matt Dillon and counselor Armand Assante, respectively.  One succeeds in having sex, the other doesn't.  Who cares which?  Teen idol Matt Dillon was much more feminine than Kristy McNichol (which is wearing more makeup in this shot?).  So everyone assumed that he was gay (he's actually straight).

March: Nijinsky.  We didn't know that the ballet superstar was gay (this was before you could buy books with lists of important LGBT people), and the movie didn't really out him.  A very restrained affair with the predatory Diaghilev pushes him into insanity, while the love of a woman is his salvation.  But we do see a lot of ballet bulges.

April: The Private Eyes.  Tim Conway and Don Knotts, comedians of the "bumbling nebbish" school whom we remembered from childhood, play bumbling private investigators who solve a murder and meet a girl. But they walk off into the sunset with each other.

The Nude Bomb.  Fred and I both watched the spy spoof Get Smart (1965-70), so of course we had to see the return of bumbling spy Maxwell Smart (Don Adams).  He must stop KAOS from exploding a bomb that will disintegrate all of the clothes in the world, leaving men naked. Presumably women, too, but we get chest and butt shots only of men.   Not that I'm complaining.

May: The Empire Strikes Back.  Fred was not a science fiction fan, and had not seen the original Star Wars.  But it didn't take much explanation to get him up to speed.

Die Laughing.  Cab driver Robby Benson and the Girl try to capture a monkey which is threatening to destroy the world, or something.  The plot was irrelevant. We went to see Robby Benson, unarguably the dreamiest teen idol of all time, in spite of his obvious deficit in the bulge department.

In June, Fred and I moved to Omaha (actually Gretna, Nebraska), so he could take a pastoral job at a church there.  He told everyone that I was his "cousin," living with him while I was in college at Creighton.   I lasted five weeks.  In July, I took an impromptu trip to California, then returned to Rock Island to enroll in my junior year at Augustana College.

June:  Urban Cowboy.  John Travolta, then known for Grease, plays a cowboy transplanted from small-town Texas to Houston, where he meets a girl and rides a mechanical bull.  

Can't Stop the MusicThe Village People were a comedy disco group whose songs ("YMCA," "In the Navy") featured obviously deliberate gay subtexts, although they always claimed ignorance.  Here they are completely heterosexual, rising to fame with the help of Steve Guttenberg, Caitlyn Jenner (still presenting as Bruce), and The Girl.

July: The Blue Lagoon.  A heterosexist fable about two kids (Christopher Atkins, Brooke Shields) who grow up alone on a desert island and discover sex.  Yuck.  But we see Christopher Atkins' penis!  Years later I would see it in real life, and he didn't even charge me. Although I did have to help his son move.

Jul 18, 2022

Lov3: Gay and Pansexual Siblings Have Sex (with Other People, Mostly)

 Amazon Prime seems primed to recommend original series with men and women gazing longingly at each other.  A surprising number have "love" in the title: Modern Love, Modern Love: Mumbai, Lovestruck High, Book of Love, Lov3., The Pursuit of Love.

The icon of Lov3 shows a man cuddling with two women, so one expects the story of a three-way.  But according to the synopsis they are adult siblings , Sofia, Ana, and Beto, who "refuse to experience love and sex like their parents."   Huh?  Why would they refuse to experience love and sex, just because their parents do?  Maybe they're asexual/ aromantic, and it's just a bad translation.   I'll review  Episode 3, in which "Luis allows Beto to bring his Curious Straight to his place."

Scene 1:  Young adult Sofia is watching a cooking show on tv and apparently masturbating to its star, Joaquin (Caio Horowicz, top photo).  Then suddenly he's in front of her, asking for help fixing his skateboard: "I'll be a certified mixologist by tomorrow.  Got a gig with a rich guy who wants to eat my ass."  That's not what mixologists do!  And why does he need a skateboard for a rimming gig?

After he leaves, Sofia goes outside to talk to Matheus (Jorge Neto), who is designing a t-shirt "for the parade." It looks blue and pink.  Bisexual pride? Asexual pride?  They hug; Sofia is turned on.  

Scene 2: Sofia taking a shower and apparently masturbating.  Isa joins her.  Sofia is turned on, yet again.  What happened to "refusing to experience love and sex"?  Neither of the boys can pay their share of the rent this month, but not to worry, Isa is taking on extra students so she can cover it.  They make a date to watch Nosferatu in the park.  Ugh -- the whole scene, they're facing the camera with their boobs showing!

Scene 3:
The second sibling, Ana, is out jogging.  She runs into Arthur (Drayson Menezzes) - literally.  He's got a thing at Osvaldo's Bar later, but it's not a date: "You look hot."  

Scene 4:  The third sibling, Beto (Joao Oliveira), and his friend, boyfriend, or roommate Luis (Samuel de Assis, left) are having breakfast in their artsy apartment.  Beto reads a text: "Last night I dreamed we were on a date.  Want to come to my place?"  Luis is hesitant, but Beto eggs him on.  So the girls get boob shots, but the boys are fully clothed.  No fair!

Scene 5: Isa, Matheus, and Joaquin, the roommates from Scene 1, are feeding each other popcorn while watching a nature show about deer having sex.  No one ever eats popcorn while watching tv in the U.S. -- that's a media myth.  But maybe they do in Brazil.  Sofia, the roommate who is turned on by all threee of them, comes in, angry because Isa never showed up for their date.

She stomps into the bedroom and texts Ana from Scene 3: "I need money for rent."  Ana: "I don't have any.  Call Arthur."  

Ana is on her way to a parking garage to make out with a guy (not identified in the Amazon Prime X-Ray).  Meanwhile, two women make out,  another woman cooks, and another woman kisses Arthur (the disgusting dog-lapping kisses that I've seen on other Brazilian tv shows). Maybe they're all Ana?  .


Scene 6:  Beto from Scene 4 preparing for his date with the Curious Heterosexual (Tatsu Carvalho).  He appears.  Beto apologizes for throwing up in the sauna on the night they met.  Not a problem.  They have sex -- Curious Heterosexual  tops Beto, forcefully, while fully clothed.  Then he leaves.  Beto is upset -- not what he was hoping for..  

Meanwhile, Isa apologizes to Sofia for not showing up for their date: "I had cramps."  Then Sofia goes to the bar and advises the bartender, Artur (who was dog-lap-kissing Ana earlier), that she wants to find someone to screw.  "Aren't you in a four-way relationship already?"  "Yes, but they exclude me from things, and they don't pay their share of the rent."

Ok, "refuse to experience love and sex like their parents" must mean "in the same way that their parents do," that is, through heterosexual monogamy.  They aren't aromantic asexual, they're polyamorous pansexual!  Well, Beto is only into men, but the two sisters are into everybody.

Scene 7: Sofia is sitting on a kitchen counter, eating cereal.  Joaquin and Matheus rush in, grab food, and rush out, leaving piles of dirty dishes for her.  Isa comes in to complain: "Joaquin is mad because I'm not going to see him play, but I have bad cramps, and Matheus wouldn't have sex with me last night."  I'm no expert, but wouldn't having bad cramps decrease a woman's sexual interest?   

Scene 8;  Ana having lunch with friends when Shion (Diego Monteiro) appears. "I haven't seen you in a long time!'  Actually, he's the one that she met in the parking garage in Scene 5. Why lie?  She explains: "He's also a chef." Ok, Ana is a chef, so Sofia must have been masturbating to her cooking show in Scene 1.

Meanwhile, Beto vents to roommate Luis from Scene 4 about his terrible date with the Curious Heterosexual.  "No dog-lap kissing!  No cuddling!  He didn't even say goodbye -- he just left!"  I had a hookup do that once.  Whoops, Curious texts and asks for another "date." 

I'm going to skip over the scenes with Ana and Sofia.  You know what's going to happen anyway -- they have sex with a variety of men and women and complain about the rent.

Cut to Beto -- he actually accepted the second "date" with Curious Heterosexual!  Another fully-clothed ramming!  "Wait -- you're leaving?  Aren't you going to ask if I liked it?" Beto asks, as if he's surprised.  "No cuddling?  I'm not a fuck toy.  I want an emotional connection!"   Curious is aghast and runs out the door.

Next Beto shows up at Curious Heterosexual's house!  He explains: "I'm not gay, so I don't go in for emotional connections very much."  Beto offers to help him come out.  "But I like women.  I just happen to like men, too."  "Maybe you're bi?"  "No such thing."  Dude, that's the definition of bi.  

Beto convinces Curious to get naked and kiss instead of just screwing, and cuddle afterwards.  Some bare chests and butts.  Whoops -- the wife and son got home early!  "Wait -- you're married? 

Out in the living room, Curious introduces Beto as the math tutor he hired for his son.  Later he explains: "This is perfect!  You can hang around all the time, and she'll never suspect!"  Beto hesitates, but...Curious is good in bed, so....  The end.

Jul 17, 2022

Going to Movies in 1978-79: Superman Flies, Mad Max Flexes, James Brolin Bulges, and Bill Murray Gets a Boyfriend

In May 1978, I graduated from high school, figured "it" out, and left the Nazarene Church.  Going to movies in the theater, previously sinful, forbidden, and exceptionally rare, suddenly became commonplace (except that I was still living at home, so I had to tell my parents that I was working, or studying at the library). During my freshman year at Augustana College, my friends kept referencing Mel Brooks, Al Pacino, Dustin Hoffman, or Woody Allen. I had never heard of any of them.  I had a lot of catching up to do!  In the end I saw 20 movies at the Showcase Cinemas, plus more in the student union on campus and through Film Club.  

August: The Eyes of Laura Mars.  Laura (Faye Dunaway, whom I had never heard of) can see through the eyes of a serial killer, and falls in love with the detective investigating the cases (Tommy Lee Jones, whom I had never heard of).  Chiefly notable for its 10-minute long trailer that played before every single move for the next three months.

September: Death on the Nile. This star-studded version of the Agatha Christie novel featured Peter Ustinov, Maggie Smith, David Niven, Mia Farrow, and Golden Age-Hollywood legend Bette Davis, some of whom I had heard of.

October: Midnight Express.  An American college student (Brad Davis) is arrested for drug possession and imprisoned in Turkey.  Not speaking Turkish, he tries to signal that he is cold, and wants a blanket, but the guard thinks that he wants sex, and rapes him.  Later he has a unstated homoerotic relationship with a fellow prisoner.  My first gay references since figuring "it" out!

October: The Wiz.  Although Dorothy (a painfully miscast Diana Ross) is pushing 30, this urban African-American version of the Wizard of Oz mythos has some of the greatest songs in the history of musical theater ("You can't win, chile, you can't break even, and you can't get out of the game.") Plus every black actor in Hollywood takes their clothes off as they are freed from Evilene's spell.

October: Halloween.  The first major psycho-slasher movie, with Michael in a scary mask slicing up all of the teens who have sex, including some hot guys, leaving the virginal Last Girl still standing.  I loved the moody, cloudy, ominous Haddonfield.  

November: Magic.  A ventriloquist (Anthony Hopkins) has a third-rate act: "Behave, or I'll hire a Mafia woodpecker." "I wish I had a wood pecker."   Until his dummy takes on a life of its own and starts murdering people.    

Paradise Alley.  I had never heard of Sylvester Stallone or Rocky (1976), so I went in fresh to this story of three boxing brothers (Stallone, Armand Assante, Lee Canalito).

November: Movie Movie. An homage to the double-features of yesteryear, starring George C. Scott and a cavalcade of  famous stars whom I had never heard of, like Harry Hamlin and Barry Bostwick.

December: Superman.  The first big-screen Superman, except for some 1940s serials, with Christopher Reeve retelling the complete origin story, and Margot Kidder as the Daily Planet reporter with the crush on him: "How big are you?  Um...I mean, how tall?"  

December: California Suite.  The movie adaption of a Neil Simon play about four bickering couples staying at a Manhattan hotel: Alan Alda/Jane Fonda, Walter Matthau/Elaine May, Bill Cosby/Sheila Frazier, and Maggie Smith/Michael Kane.  The latter has just come out as gay -- the first openly identified gay character in any movie (that I had seen!  His wife calls him a "fruit," but who cared?  A hundred people from Rock Island saw a gay man on a big screen -- and they didn't run screaming from the theater!

January: None

: The Warriors.  A very stylized youth gang led by Michael Beck (Xanadu) tries to travel through the mean streets of New York, where other gangs are out to get them.  "Come out and play-ay."

March: Phantasm.  I don't remember anything about it now, except that the plot makes no sense and the boy is probably gay, but there's a review from 2012 here.

April: Love at First Bite.  George Hamilton as a Count Dracula for the disco era. "I do not drink wine, and I do not smoke shit."

: Over the Edge, with teen idol Matt Dillon playing juvenile delinquent.  He;s all about buddy-bonding, although his friend (Vincent Spano) meets the Girl of His Dreams.

May: Alien.  "In space, no one can hear you scream."

June: The Main Event,  as heavily promoted as "The Eyes of Laura Mars" a few months ago.  Miscast superstar Barbra Streisand ("Memories...light the corners of my mind.") manages miscast boxer Ryan O'Neill ("What can you say about a girl who died?").   They fall in love, of course.

June: The Muppet Movie.  The Muppets are everywhere today, but in 1979 they appeared only on some guest spots on Sesame Street and on their own vaudeville-style Muppet Show  Here we see how the performers got together.  And Kermit sings

Meatballs.  Irreverent camp counselor Tripper (Bill Murray) and shy, gay-coded teen Rudy (Chris Makepeace) fall in love.  An astoundingly open gay subtext.  I saw this with my brother, and even he noticed.  I know some heterosexuals are going to scream and moan: "Rudy can't be gay!  He never says the word!" But I don't care; my memory, my rules.

July: Breaking Away: Working class townies clash with elitist students in Bloomington, Indiana, where I would be going to grad school in a few years. Lots of buddy bonding amid a Girl of His Dreams plotline.  Put this movie on your bucket list just for the scene where the guys are basking shirtless on some rocks at the quarry (top photo).

The Amityville Horror.  James Brolin (whom I had never heard of) and Margot Kidder (Superman) in a haunted house.  A critique of the heterosexist job-house-wife-kids trajectory that the adults had been pushing at me for all my life. I don't remember the underwear bulge.

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