Monday, February 24, 2014

on Hannibal (the series)

Hannibal is a television program made by Bryan "Pushing Daisies" Fuller.  I like Bryan Fuller.  He always seems sweet.  I like to imagine us as kindred spirits since we both wear big glasses and have trouble maintaining our figures.  He wrote for Star Trek - I was an dayplayer on Star Trek.  I once saw him at a Friday the 13th screening at the Vista and he was actually friends with Adrienne King.  They sat together and everything! Classy.

Bryan Fuller has a high-end antique/interiors shop here in Los Angeles.  Accordingly, even though I normally abhor procedural dramas, Hannibal (the series, not the 2001 film) is a sensory feast. The interiors are so lush and the camera work is so intricate I that I forget I'm watching a procedural.  I fall into a deep reverie every time Hannibal drinks from a perfectly lit and polished wine glass.  My mind wanders and I find myself wondering how I can retreat all the surfaces in my apartment in shades of matte grey and blood red.   That's really all I ask of any program.  Unlike the other noted homosexual show-runner, Ryan "friend of Julia Roberts" Murphy, Mr Fuller's programs are whimsical and consummately plotted.  Hannibal is no exception.

I had bronchitis last week so I watched the entire first series of Hannibal (British people call seasons "series").  I've never had more lucid fever dreams.  Maybe it was the codeine, maybe I'm just getting old, but I found this series genuinely frightening.  Exorcist 3 frightening.

Mads Mikkelson plays Hannibal Lecter.  He has great hair and creates an imposing silhouette.  I can't understand a word he's saying most of the time.  This is not necessarily a criticism.

Gillian Anderson play's Dr Lecter's therapist.  She's got secrets - notably, her dermatologist.  She's never looked better.

Hugh Dancy.  He left Claire Danes all alone with their baby to run around Canada filming this show that takes every opportunity to fetishize his flawless bone structure and perfect skin.  Thank God!  I wonder what he eats.  In every picture of Hugh and Claire, she's always clutching onto him and he's always looking off in the distance at something else.  I bet he's a good drunk.

Watching Hannibal, reminded me just how "queer" the whole Thomas Harris franchise is.  It's like Anne Rice without the vampires.  Focusing Hannibal's mania on a pouty, delicate Brit only accentuates the homoeroticism.  Good job, NBC - you finally made a gay show.

As this is a Bryan Fuller series, all our friends show up for cameos.  Ellen Greene.  Raul Esparaza.  Vada Sultenfuss.  I can't wait to see Kristin Chenoweth show up as Clarice Starling's concerned, musically inclined sister in season four!

Thursday, February 13, 2014


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Grown Woman

As Mary Jo Buttafuco and Twitter Queen Mia Farrow can attest, 1992 was not a banner year.  There were exceptions -  Alien 3 was a good time and Dracula is the best gay date movie ever made and Hellraiser 3 was the first time I ever copped wood to a scary movie (straight guys get an endless parade of boobs, it was about time they threw us gays a boner).

Through all this, there is one movie that still stands above the muddled fray...

The Hand That Rocks the Cradle.

Thanks to Annabella Sciorra, 1992 marks the beginning of my relationship with feminism. Annabella is a role model in every way - the kind of woman who, despite being seven months pregnant, still wakes up an hour before her family to make them fresh-squeezed orange juice, self-possessed enough to let her eyebrows grow wild and unpruned as The Goddess intended. 

In the first ten minutes of the documentary, The Hand that Rocks the Cradle, Annabella finds a wandering, mentally handicapped man stumbling around her backyard.  Unfettered, she introduces him to her husband and her daughter (just trusting that he won't spill coffee on her newborn when the time comes).  Without missing a moment of Sally Jesse Raphael, she puts him to work building a white picket fence for their gorgeous, newly restored pre-war house.  Suck a dick, Helen Hunt, that's what I call paying-it-forward.

"Don't fuck with me, r-word."

In hopes of helping other expectant mothers, Annabella allowed the cameras to follow her to her ob/gyn appointment with Dr Q on the very day he sexually molested her in the stirrups (with his BARE HANDS).  Annabelle powers through an asthma attack, presses criminal charges and still has the table set for family dinner that night.  Who run the world?  Indeed.  In fact, she's so busy building her own green house and getting her daughter into a charter school that she can't even bother changing out of her over-sized hunting jacket for weeks at a time.

Well, the lecherous Dr Q winds up killing himself (men are weak), thus setting off a chain of events that led to the miscarriage of his own child.  Always thinking of everyone but herself, Annabella takes in his widow, Rebecca DeMournay.  This was a time when Rebecca couldn't get arrested in Hollywood, and despite the protestation of Julianne Moore, Annabella still opened up her home and hired Rebecca as her Nanny to get back on her feet. Philanthropic.

Unlike Annabella and Yolanda Foster, Rebecca DeMournay has never been a "girls-girl."  She's one of those girls who makes it tougher for everyone else.  Rather than be empowered by strong women like Annabella and all she's accomplished, Rebecca is jealous.  She can't find happiness until she makes a mess of everything for everyone around her.  If she's not spilling Annabella's favorite perfume (an indulgence), she's murdering her friends and seducing her husband.  You just can't help some people.  This is why I refuse to get a housekeeper.

1992 was a hard bitch.  Diana got divorced.  10,000 Maniacs broke up.  I was still chubby - but it's always darkest before the dawn.  The next year, we moved from Gloucester to Rockport where I could skip through the square to the bookshop to buy wonderful stories of beanstalks and ogres and where I could walk to the IGA supermarket that had The Addams Family cereal boxes that came with the free flashlights.

Tomorrow, I'll tell you about that time I maybe accidentally ate horse in France and turned anorexic.