My two favourite Melodifestivalen 2010 entries

Melodifestivalen 2010Well, we’re at the business end of Melodifestivalen 2010. Three three semi-finals have happened and there’s only “Andra Chansen” (2nd Chance) to go before the big night. We have six confirmed songs chosen for the final already with just the two from “Andra Chansen” to go.

This year’s Melodifestivalen has been a bit dull and uninspiring. They tried to do something different, they tried to move away from “schlager” and bring in all kinds of entries. But what they brought in was mostly crap and the telecasts themselves have been pretty dull. The hosts were okay but certainly not on the level of Petra Mede or Björn Gustaffson. I did, however, love Dolph Lundgren’s “A Little Less Conversation” – that was a hoot.

Yoda will be happy because Peter Jöback qualified for the final last night with his song “Hollow.”

Meanwhile I’ve sorted through the dross to find my two favourite entries this year. First up is Eric Saade with his infectiously catchy “Manboy.” For some reason. parts of the song remind me of “Womanizer” by Britney Spears!

Next up are those perenial favourites, Alcazar. This year they’ve gone with something that is more typically schlager than before and I think it’s quite fab. There have been a few comments about “Headlines” not being up to the standard of their previous entry “Stay The Night,” but I think that’s a churlish reaction. I give Alcazar and “Headlines” two thumbs up. They’re only through to “Andra Chansen” so I have my fingers well and truly crossed that they’ll get through to the final. Oh, I love the staging of this one – the Alcazar sign in lights is fab.


3pm in Stockholm

Stockholm at 3pm, Saturday 27 February 2010

Can James survive the cold in Sweden?

In a few days, a boy who has only ever spent time in warm environments in Australia will be experiencing this. Last night he was wearing a short sleeve casual shirt and a pair of shorts.

Can he survive Stockholm in early March? Will he hide under the blankets in his hotel room? Will his thermals be enough? Or will he freeze his gazoolies off?

We wait with bated breath for the first installment of….”James O’Brien…Frozen in Time” 😉

Leo - you should have worn your thermals!

I love this photo

He did it with Kylie!

He did it with Kylie!

(Click on image to see larger version)

This photo is soooo camp. It was taken at the Mardi Gras Pink Stiletto Race Day at Randwick. There’s a corresponding image on the back of his T-Shirt (below). But I think it isn’t needed. The single image of this older gentleman relaxing at the racecourse with his Dymock’s bag is hoot enough!

Back of the shirt

Older n Last Time – a little movie gem from Aussie-land

From the Australian movie "Older n Last Time"

There’s still one good thing about the very tarnished Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras – and that’s the Film Festival put on by Queer Screen.

As usual, this year I’d circled about 10 movies I wanted to see at the festival. And, as usual, session times, logistics and vagueness on my part saw me attend only a few of the screenings I’d circled. Sometimes you can catch up with what you’ve missed by buying the DVDs when (if) they are released, but not always. And anyway, there’s always something special about seeing a queer film with a totally queer audience.

My BFF Yoda has joined me up to Queer Screen as a Christmas present so hopefully I’ll get to attend more screenings and stuff throughout the year.

One movie I was absolutely determined to see, was “Older n Last Time.” I’d seen the trailer for the film and it just grabbed me. I now know that the trailer is the worst thing about the movie. The trailer makes the film look a bit tacky and amateur – completely opposite from the reality. “Older n Last Time” is a gem, an absolute gem.

It is a follow-up to a movie shown at last year’s festival, “Damaged Goods”, which has been shown nowhere else apart from that screening last year. It is also not available on DVD and doesn’t look like being released in the near future. Neither does “Older n Last Time” so I am so very glad I got to see it at the festival.

Look, this is a privately funded movie made as a labour of love by the writer/director (who was present at the screening). It’s sooo Australian in many ways – and that is part of its charm. It was filmed around the Surry Hills/Darlinghurst areas of Sydney and you can see locations and places you know in real life. My friend James absolutely loved that aspect of it.

Centering on an older Gay couple who have fostered two children (who are now adults) and the craziness of their day-to-day lives and those of their extended family. Of their two – now adult – foster children, one is straight and the other is Gay. They’re both going through their own dramas and throw into that, the idea that the (formerly drugged out) mother who abandoned of one of them, now wants to re-establish contact.

Of the older couple, one of them is bored and now wants to foster another child while his partner is dead against it. Reasoning that they’ve done their bit and now it is time for them to enjoy life with a world trip or similar activity, he tries to dissuade his partner with glamorous travel brochures and plans – but his partner is having none of it.

There’s a lot of activity happening in the movie – it’s a bit hard to sum up quickly. And, as I said, the trailer is not reflective at all of how special this film really is. I walked out of the cinema on a high. I loved the characters, I loved the story and I loved being part of their world for short time. The Director said that there is a possibility of a third movie to complete the trilogy and I will be hanging out for that one – I want to spend time with these characters again.

The most disappointing thing is that “Older n Last Time” and “Damaged Goods” have not been screened anywhere else – and possibly won’t be. They’ve been rejected by Gay & Lesbian film festivals around the world. Which makes me think again that we Gays are our own worst enemies these days. Oh, and it also makes me think Gay & Lesbian Film Festival Directors are a bunch of card carrying c*unts!

“Older n Last Time” deserves to be seen by a much wider audience and it certainly deserves a DVD release. When you think of some of the crappy Gay DVDs that have been spewing out from America in the last few years, then “Older n Last Time” certainly deserves to be on a DVD and sold via the usual channels.

If you get a chance to see this movie, wherever you are in the world, please take the opportunity. It’s a priceless bit of a feel-good charm from the land down under.

The Dugites….Waiting

Sometimes I just have to face up to it…I don’t agree with a lot of people a lot of the time. Rather than wimp out and change my opinion to something more “acceptable”, I’d rather just be true to myself.

And such is the case with this song. The Dugites “Waiting” (seen below from 1981). When it came out it just blew my mind. It should have sold a gazillion, bazillion copies. But did it? No. It wasn’t even a particularly big local hit. So very sad.

Maybe I’m just turning into a “Quentin Crisp” type person? Without the makeup, of course.

Last night I saw “An Englishman In New York” at the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardis Gras Film Festival closing night. It was the follow up to the mega-acclaimed “Naked Civil Servant” from the 70s.

I absolutely loved “An Englishman In New York.” I loved the fact that it didn’t try to be arty-farty and simply told Quentin Crisp’s story as it was. I loved the fact that John Hurt reprised the role he first did over three decades ago – and was even better at it this time around!

I loved the fact that, as someone who was a bit of a Quentin Crisp fan, it gave me knowledge and understanding of what happened in the post-Naked Civil Servant part of his life. I loved the fact that it gave me an insight into why he was what he was, why he thought the way he thought. It gave me some closure on Quentin Crisp and for that I’m very grateful.

The acting all around was superb. I loved the movie for it’s simplicity and linear nature. But those very things seem to be a big part of the reason why it has been dissed or dismissed by some critics and movie fans. From the research I did last night, there seems to be a feeling that “An Englishman In New York” is pretty average. I couldn’t disagree more.

And if I’m in a discussion about it with people, I won’t nod my head, look down, go “mmm, mmm” and back away from stating my opinion. Nor would I expect the people I am talking to do the same. A bit of social lubrication is always nice to help smooth relations and situations between people. But perhaps, like Quentin Crisp, I want to be authentic and true to myself in conversations and dealings with friends, family and people I meet.

It does tend to make me the odd man out a lot of the time. It does tend to cause friction from time to time. But I wonder what the alternative is for me? Taking it up the arse and agreeing with everything I disagree with just to smooth things along? I’d rather a robust discussion between parties that might have to end with “agreeing to disagree” or “totally disagreeing with your opinion but respecting your right to express it.” I prefer a truer, open and honest communication between people. I think loving a good argument is a good thing. I love to have a big slagfest with friends and then have a laugh about it with them later.

See, “An Englishman In New York”, has got me thinking about all this stuff overnight. Quentin was a true original and I think he was a particularly ballsy guy – even if he, himself didn’t think that.

The movie also makes some very important points about discrimination within the Gay community. In some ways, the Gay community has become it’s own worst oppressor.

I am going to order the movie on DVD. I do want to have it in my collection. And if you disagree, well, screw you buddy! 😉

Sometimes I just need a little “me” time

I’ve just come to tell you how fabulous I am!

There’s just the two of me
Alone at last together
We’ve got the luck so far
We are my lucky star

Deep in the heart of me
I love every part of me
All I can see in me
Is danger and ecstasy
One thing there couldn’t be
Is any more me in me

This is the me of me
Me me me

Me me
Me me me
Me me me

I am my destiny
Je croie en toujour en moi, ha ha
I’d never lie to me
I’d be willing to die for moi
I’ll pray every day to me
And here’s what I’d say to me

This is the me of me
Me me me

Me me
Me me me
Me me me
Me me me

Oh, me me
Me me me
Yeah, me me
Look at me
Moi moi

Pauline is leaving Australia…

Oh dear, Pauline Hanson is leaving Australia and moving to the U.K.

“CONTROVERSIAL political figure Pauline Hanson has decided to leave Australia for good in search of a more peaceful life.The former One Nation leader has revealed to Woman’s Day magazine that she is selling her Queensland home and moving to the UK.
“I’m going to be away indefinitely. Its pretty much goodbye forever,” she said.
“I’ve really had enough. I want peace in my life. I want contentment, and that’s what I’m aiming for,”
In an exclusive interview with Woman’s Day she said that Australia has changed too much for her liking.”

I guess you could say Pauline’s decided she “doesn’t like it” anymore.  😉

One small step forward for Australia, one giant leap backwards for the U.K.