Thursday, July 24, 2014

A Quickie with Michael Lucas: The Gay Porn Mogul Discusses Campaign of Hate: Russia and Gay Propaganda

“Michael Lucas is the most mainstreamed, provocative, and controversial figure in gay adult entertainment” according to his website, and it’s hard not to believe the hype. A sort of David O. Selznick of gay porn – if Selznick had also directed and starred in his lavish talkies – the Russian √©migr√© lawyer turned porn emperor is the founder of Lucas Entertainment, one of the biggest studios in the blue movie game. Back in 2006 that NYC-based company produced Michael Lucas’ La Dolce Vita, a record-setting adult remake of the Fellini masterpiece that took home all 14 of its AVN nominations. (In comparison, Gone with the Wind only nabbed 10 of 13 nominations at the vanilla Oscars in 1940. Take that, Selznick International Pictures!)

But recently the GayVN Hall of Famer returned to the motherland to set his sights on a less sexy subject. Co-directed with longtime TV news producer Scott Stern, Campaign of Hate: Russia and Gay Propaganda is Lucas’s latest film, a thoughtful examination of Russia’s heinous, anti-LGBT propaganda laws via one-on-one interviews with those most affected by them (including the noted activist and anti-Putin journalist Masha Gessen).

Lucas took time out of his notoriously busy schedule to speak with Global Comment shortly after the doc’s release on iTunes and DVD.

To read my interview visit Global Comment.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Czech Dream: The 49th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival

Though the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival bills itself as “the most important film event in Central and Eastern Europe,” such a bold declaration belies the fact that KVIFF is anything but snobby and self-serious. Back in 2011 I covered the prestigious fest, located in a fairytale scenic, spa city – once frequented by Beethoven and Goethe – about an hour-and-a-half from Prague by car. (That would be a BMW, the “official car” of KVIFF, the company having its own “BMW Zone” where you can check out the latest models nearby the ultra-chic Grandhotel Pupp.) Returning three years later I still find myself surprised by how young this nearly 50-year-old festival feels.

To read the rest of my coverage visit Filmmaker magazine.