Friday, May 24, 2024

There’s No Place Like Home: Enjoy a Film Festival From Your Couch

Our arts blogger Kevin M. Thomas (@ReelKev) is making the best of shelter-in-place – he’s started the At Home Film Festival, showcasing a lot of wonderful films that may not originally have found an audience.

“For the most part,” Thomas says, “I’m picking movies you can stream for free or for just a few dollars.”

Thomas has found many sources for these films: Amazon, YouTube movies, Vudu, GooglePlay and iTunes. “Even local cable’s premium channels show a lot of these hidden gems,” he says. Further, he adds a lot of great gay movies are available on HereTV.

Josefina Gabrielle & Hugh Jackman in National Theatre’s Oklahoma 1999

Thomas got the idea while visiting friends the weekend before we were told to stay at home. “My friends filmed the first four episodes for me,” he says, “but I had to repurpose my limited wardrobe as I didn’t bring much with me for my weekend at their house.”

So by the time we get to episode four, Thomas laughs, you will see my pajamas tied around my neck like a scarf.

Since then, Thomas films an episode a day – picking from gay, straight, drama, musical, documentary, horror and more. “I’m not limiting this to gay movies,” he says, “but Day 8, focuses on the film ‘I Always Said Yes: The Many Lives of Wakefield Poole, which will definitely appeal to gay men as it shows how gay porn helped finance the musical ‘A Chorus Line’ and does show at least one super hot cock.”

While Thomas, of course, likes all of the films in the “festival,” he is especially proud to showcase “Waiting in the Wings” (Day 1), as it’s a musical that has Oscar winner Shirley Jones and hot men including LA’s the Perry twins and spawned a sequel and a live version (which was to debut in April but has been postponed until September). “I think this small independent movie is a must-see for all musical theatre lovers and really needs a push to find a bigger audience.”

Other musicals thus far have included “Oklahoma” with Hugh Jackman (on the BroadwayHD streaming channel), “The Idolmaker” which Thomas thinks should be on Broadway and “Stepping Out” with Liza Minnelli in a little-seen movie with Kander & Ebb songs of “Cabaret” and “Chicago” fame.

Some big names also are in movies that are seldom seen. Recently, Thomas showed “The Dressmaker” with Oscar winner Kate Winslet and the sexy hot Liam Hemsworth. Star power is also in “Warrior,” a film that got great reviews but minimal box office yet it stars Tom Hardy, Joel Edgerton and Nick Nolte.

He’s also changed his line-up as needed. The day after Tony-winning playwright Terrence McNally lost his life due to the coronavirus, Thomas thought he needed to pay tribute and screen the documentary on his life “Every Act of Life.”

Further, a lot of his movies are good for foodies as the recent weekend with friends focused on culinary cinema and many of those films stuck with him including “Paris Can Wait” and the upcoming LGBT film festival favorite “Eat With Me.”

Thomas teases a few more upcoming movies for the “festival.” 

“At some point, we’ve got to screen ‘Bear City 2: The Proposal,” Thomas says. “Sure it’s been seen by every bear and is widely known in our community but my straight friends love it so let’s find it more straight fans.”

Other gay-oriented upcoming movies include “Pushing Dead” with Danny Glover and it’s a comedy about HIV and medication. “Go figure,” Thomas says.

“Elliot Loves” is also coming soon and is a great tale of a young man whose story is told in two stages of life and involves some clever use of multi-media. 

Drag queens also get some love when Thomas posts a review of “Baby Jane?” Thomas thinks this is “perhaps the best parody film of all time…not just for independent films.” He adds that director/writer Billy Clift manages to tell the story from the famed Bette Davis/Joan Crawford film and yet it’s an hour shorter.

The festival will go on as long as Broadway is dark and we’re all required to stay home.

Keep up with the latest from the At Home Film Festival and watch segments you missed at or on social media using #AtHomeFilmFestival

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Kevin M. Thomas

Kevin M. Thomas, or @ReelKev, is an arts blogger and entertainment reporter. In addition to his own website, and ReelKev YouTube channel, Kevin used to be the LGBT arts writer for and contributes to as well as a semi-regular on San Francisco's cable TV show, "10 Percent."

Kevin M. Thomas has 157 posts and counting. See all posts by Kevin M. Thomas

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