By Romeo San Vicente
Best news of 2016 so far: Cynthia Nixon as Emily Dickinson.
Repeat this news aloud to yourself and get very excited: Cynthia Nixon is going to be in another movie that is not at all related to Sex and the City. That’s the first bit of glad tidings. The next is that she will play reclusive American poet Emily Dickinson. And finally, she will be doing it for the incredible British director Terence Davies (The Deep Blue Sea, Distant Voices Still Lives, The House of Mirth). A Quiet Passion, which we assume is about the poet’s later, primarily housebound years (Nixon is 48, Dickinson died at age 55, and quiet melancholy is a Davies trademark), co-stars Jennifer Ehle and Keith Carradine, and will have its world premiere at next month’s Berlinale. You’d think that by this point in her acclaimed career Nixon would have already been allowed to sink her teeth into a good period biopic of an important woman, but you’d be wrong. Well, now is that time. Introverts and literary enthusiasts, this is your Star Wars. Begin counting down to its American release.
Gaycation, all I ever wanted
It was only a matter of time before VICE made its next big leap, from the Internet to actual television. Enter the Viceland Channel (possibly not the name they’re going to keep), which launches very, very soon, with a variety of programming for people who barely sit in front of TV screens at all. But here’s a good reason to park it on the couch: Gaycation, Ellen Page’s travel show. That’s right, Ellen Page is getting her own Taradise, only this one will take its host around the world to see what LGBT life is like in other countries. We’re hoping it includes the footage of Page confronting homophobic Republican Presidential candidate (yes, we know, redundant) Ted Cruz at that state fair, because that was amazing. Perhaps even slightly more amazing than watching Tara Reid jump up and down blowing a whistle at a party in Ibiza. OK, actually, the same amount of amazing. Will watch. Sometime in late February, we hear.
Todd Haynes joins a psychedelic ’70s rock cult
For over 25 years, queer filmmaker Todd Haynes has created meticulously detailed worlds that often intersect with fantasies about rock ’n’ roll (Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story, Velvet Goldmine, I’m Not There) and the painful realities of women’s lives (Mildred Pierce, Carol, Safe and, well, Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story). This makes his next project feel like the perfect fit: a TV series based on the story of the early 1970s grooviest free-love-rock-and-roll-health-food cult, The Source Family. Led by the charismatic Father Yod, the Los Angeles-based Source Family had a band, a restaurant, astoundingly shiny outfits, and, as is often the case, internal dissension. Haynes’ TV project is in its infancy, so don’t expect anything anytime soon, but this news is, as they once said, “far out.” In the meantime, your homework assignment is waiting for you on Netflix, the documentary feature The Source Family. You need this.
They finally cast that Mapplethorpe movie
Which Mapplethorpe movie, you ask? Answer: Exactly. Can you keep track of all the people who want to make a movie about Robert Mapplethorpe and/or Patti Smith’s memoir Just Kids, which is about her and Robert Mapplethorpe? Would you believe us when we tell you that one of these projects is actually moving forward and has two lead actors? Maybe? OK, then here it is: Matt Smith, who is nerd-famous for playing Doctor Who in the BBC series Doctor Who, is taking the title role in Mapplethorpe, alongside Girls star Zosia Mamet as Patti Smith, for writer-director Ondi Timoner. Timoner is the acclaimed filmmaker behind 2004’s Dig and 2015’s Brand: A Second Coming, the somewhat controversial Russell Brand documentary (he participated in it and now dislikes it). Next questions: Will it really happen? Will someone else beat this one to the punch? Will Mariah Carey suddenly just decide to direct her own quickie version for Lifetime? We’ll be waiting. Impatiently.
Photo Credit: indiewire.com
Romeo San Vicente never realized you wrote such bloody awful poetry. He can be reached in care of this publication.