WBEZ | pride http://www.wbez.org/tags/pride Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Take 'Pride' in gay cinema http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-06/take-pride-gay-cinema-107890 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/weekend.jpg" style="height: 455px; width: 610px; " title="Tom Cullen and Chris New play lovers in the 2011 British film &quot;Weekend.&quot; (Sundance Selects)" /></p><div class="image-insert-image ">This week, the U.S. Supreme Court declared a key part of DOMA <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/06/26/read-the-supreme-court-declares-doma-unconstitutional/" target="_blank">unconstitutional</a>, and also struck down Prop 8 to allow <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/26/supreme-court-prop-8_n_3434854.html" target="_blank">full marriage rights</a> to gay couples in the state of California.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><p>To celebrate this momentous victory (and gear up for the 44th <a href="http://chicagopride.gopride.com" target="_blank">Annual Chicago Pride Parade</a> on Sunday, June 30), why not have a movie marathon of the greatest LGBTQ films of all time?</p><p>Here&#39;s my top 15:</p><p><strong>15. <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0960730/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1" target="_blank">Beautiful Darling</a></strong></p><p>A captivating documentary about the colorful and ultimately tragic life of Andy Warhol superstar (and one of the most beautiful transgender women to emerge from any era) Candy Darling.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>14. <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0318997/?ref_=sr_1" target="_blank">Angels in America</a></strong></p><p>Though technically a television miniseries, this filmed adaptation of a <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angels_in_america" target="_blank">Pulitzer-Prize winning play</a>&nbsp;earns a spot on this list because of the exceptional acting (especially Al Pacino as the fiercely closeted, AIDS-stricken attorney Ray Cohn) and a powerful story about the shifting social and political climate of the 1980s that still resonates today.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>13. <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0171804/?ref_=sr_1" target="_blank">Boys Don&#39;t Cry</a></strong></p><p>Hilary Swank gives a stunning, Oscar-winning performance as Brandon Teena, a real-life transgender teen who was raped and murdered in 1993 rural Nebraska after a group of men discovered his secret.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>12. <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1714210/?ref_=sr_3" target="_blank">Weekend</a></strong></p><p>This 2011 British drama about two men who meet and begin a sexual relationship the week before one of them plans to leave the country is reminiscent of <em>Before Sunrise</em>: a smart and perceptive take on star-crossed lovers that feels achingly, intimately real.</p><p><strong>11. <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0112651/?ref_=sr_1" target="_blank">The Celluloid Closet</a></strong></p><p>If you are intrigued by the depiction of homosexuals on film&mdash;from the heavily-censored Golden Age of Hollywood through the renaissance of the early 1990s&mdash; then this documentary (featuring interviews with Tony Curtis, Shirley Maclaine, Tom Hanks and Harvey Fierstein) is a must-see.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>10. <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1315981/?ref_=sr_1" target="_blank">A Single Man</a></strong></p><p>Directed by fashion designer Tom Ford, this artful and exquisite film tells the story of a college professor (Colin Firth) secretly grieving the death of his male partner in 1960s Los Angeles.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>9. <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0248845/?ref_=sr_1" target="_blank">Hedwig and the Angry Inch</a></strong></p><p>Writer/director/star James Cameron Mitchell is a lightning rod of camp and innovation, turning his groundbreaking off-Broadway musical about an <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hedwig_and_the_Angry_Inch_(musical)" target="_blank">angry transgender rock star</a>&nbsp;into a movie that both satisfies the show&#39;s cult following and invites a new audience into Hedwig&#39;s irresistably bizzaro world.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>8. <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0842926/?ref_=sr_1" target="_blank">The Kids Are All Right</a></strong></p><p>Some people hate this movie; I love it. The family dynamic, especially the committed yet complex relationship between long term partners Nic (Annette Bening) and Jules (Julianne Moore), is a breath of fresh air in modern filmmaking: a remarkable story that portrays gay parents and their children like any other &quot;normal&quot; (loving, devoted and slightly dysfunctional) family on the block.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>7. <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0275491/?ref_=sr_1" target="_blank">Bad Education</a></strong></p><p>Pedro Almódovar is one of my favorite directors, and this film is one of his most ingenious masterpieces to date. The effect of religious schooling and sexual abuse on the lives of two men&mdash;estranged friends who grow up with a wealth of secrets and lies between them&mdash;is told with eye-popping color, frenzied edits and a story so full of shocking twists and turns that it must be seen to be believed.</p><p><strong>6. <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1013753/?ref_=sr_1" target="_blank">Milk</a></strong></p><p>Sean Penn&#39;s Oscar-winning performance as gay rights hero&nbsp;<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvey_Milk" target="_blank">Harvey Milk</a>&nbsp;is a triumph, and director Gus Van Sant also does a fine job in bringing Milk&#39;s inspiring true story to richly cinematic life. &nbsp;</p><p><strong>5. <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0388795/?ref_=sr_1" target="_blank">Brokeback Mountain</a></strong></p><p>In 2005, this beautiful and heartwrenching film about the forbidden love between two cowboys (played by A-listers Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger) not only changed the way that typically conservative audiences perceived gay romances onscreen, but also broke down the barriers for films featuring homosexual love interests to enjoy mainstream success.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>4. <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119590/?ref_=sr_1" target="_blank">Ma Vie en Rose</a></strong></p><p>As another film that changed the dialogue about LGBTQ issues in the U.S. and around the world, 1997&#39;s&nbsp;<em>Ma Vie En Rose</em> (&quot;My Life in Pink&quot;) should be required viewing for every parent or peer of a transgendered child. The story of a little boy named Ludovic who dresses like a princess and dreams of becoming a girl was revolutionary at the time, and continues to ring true for any family learning to accept their child for who they are.</p><p><strong>3. <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0109045/?ref_=sr_6" target="_blank">The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert</a></strong></p><p>This 1985 Australian comedy was a huge hit overseas, and it&#39;s not difficult to see why. Two drag queens and a transsexual (an endlessly delightful trio played by Guy Pierce, Hugo Weaving and Terrance Stamp) put on a cabaret in the middle of the desert. Hilarity ensues.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>2. <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0102494/?ref_=sr_1" target="_blank">My Own Private Idaho</a></strong></p><p>Take the perfect casting of River Phoenix and Keanu Reeves as gay hustlers, combine with the surrealist direction of Gus Van Sant and add a non-linear storyline set against the backdrop of early &#39;90s Portland for a film that re-defined &quot;indie&quot; for a new generation.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>1. <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0100332/?ref_=sr_1" target="_blank">Paris is Burning</a></strong></p><p>In my opinion, this chronicle of New York City&#39;s drag scene in the late 1980s (including the vivacious, voguing performers who dream of becoming something more) is one of the most important and influential documentaries ever made. Do yourself a favor and see it&mdash;because if your experience watching this film is anything like mine, then it will change your life forever.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Honorable Mentions </strong>(not so much because I love them, but because they are beloved): <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0089015/?ref_=sr_1" target="_blank">Desert Hearts</a> (1985),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0115736/?ref_=sr_3" target="_blank">Bound</a>&nbsp;(1996), <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0069089/?ref_=sr_1" target="_blank">Pink Flamingos</a>&nbsp;(1972), <a href="http://wiki" target="_blank">But I&#39;m a Cheerleader</a>&nbsp;(1999)&nbsp;and <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0073629/" target="_blank">The Rocky Horror Picture Show</a>&nbsp;(1975).&nbsp;</p><p>What are your favorite LGBTQ films?</p><p><em>Leah writes about popular culture for WBEZ. Follow her on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/leahkristinepickett" target="_blank">Facebook</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/leahkpickett" target="_blank">Twitter</a> or <a href="http://hermionehall.tumblr.com" target="_blank">Tumblr</a>.</em></p></p> Fri, 28 Jun 2013 08:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-06/take-pride-gay-cinema-107890 Leadership as Selflessness http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2013-01/leadership-selflessness-104910 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/2939395454_678f6829ee_z.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>With the upcoming second inauguration of Barack Obama, I&rsquo;ve been thinking a lot about the general phenomenon of leadership.&nbsp; I am convinced that ethical leaders display deep selflessness and an absence of the two deadliest of Pope Gregory the Great&rsquo;s &ldquo;seven deadly sins&rdquo; &ndash; pride and envy.&nbsp;</p><p>The Jewish philosopher and mystic, Spinoza, claims that pride is a &ldquo;species of madness&rdquo; because it leads us to think that we can accomplish all things.&nbsp; The fundamental psychology of pride is that it produces a distorted view of self and the world.&nbsp; Pride is about self-absorption, excessive self-esteem, inordinate self-love, and egregious self-evaluation. The Oxford English Dictionary defines pride as &ldquo;an unreasonable conceit of superiority&hellip; and overweening opinion of one&rsquo;s qualities, talents, and abilities.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p><p>In effect, what pride does is to strip the ability of a person to be objective, to make sound judgments, to be critical. Pride is an excuse for excess, a roadblock to moderation, and a stairway to arrogance.&nbsp; Pride, says poet and Trappist monk Thomas Menton, robs us of our humility and our basic concern for objectivity, because we are constantly focused on self.&nbsp; For Thomas Aquinas, pride is more than narcissism; it is the &ldquo;distorted desire to be exalted.&rdquo;&nbsp; This desire, suggests Aquinas, leads to an exaggeration of our ability and rights and contempt for the ability and rights of others.&nbsp; For Aquinas, pride is the beginning of every sin, and, by his reckoning, the &ldquo;queen of them all.&rdquo;&nbsp; Pride leads to complete &ldquo;selfishness,&rdquo; and to the total abandonment of the concept of &ldquo;selflessness.&rdquo;</p><p>If pride is the queen of the seven deadly sins, clearly envy is her lady-in-waiting.&nbsp; Envy may be the most pervasive of all the sins. Envy is both a positive and a negative part of the human condition.&nbsp; It figures in all of our interactions with others.&nbsp; It is a part of our competitive nature as well as of our contemptuous feelings toward those who seem to be or to do better than us.</p><p>Envy is not just about wanting, desiring what others have. Envy is about resenting the good things others have.&nbsp; Envy is not just desire.&nbsp; It is the inordinate desire for that which belongs to another &ndash; whatever that might be.&nbsp; To be envious is to covet, to be deeply angry, and to harbor hostility, malice, and hatred.&nbsp; In effect, when the envious person sees someone of greater good fortune, his or her response is: &ldquo;Why not me?&nbsp; Why this person, instead?&rdquo;&nbsp; To deeply envy another means: &ldquo;I want your life!&rdquo;&nbsp; &ndash; and &ndash; &ldquo;I hate you for having it.&rdquo;&nbsp; Immanuel Kant argues that envy is an &ldquo;abominable vice, a passion not only distressing and tormenting to the subject, but intent on the destruction of the happiness of others.&rdquo;&nbsp; Building on Kant, philosopher John Rawls argues that envy is an antirational sentiment that is socially dangerous because it diminishes the possibility of achieving fairness and justice between individuals. Envy, says Rawls, &ldquo;is a form of rancor that tends to harm both its object and its subject.&rdquo;</p><p>I believe that &ldquo;genuine&rdquo; leaders display deep selflessness and an absence of overweening pride and envy. &nbsp;Genuine leaders put their cause, their purpose, their calling, before themselves.&nbsp; They live, as Ignatius of Loyola suggested, &ldquo;a life for others.&rdquo;&nbsp; However, this does not mean that they are saints.&nbsp; Their lives, like those of all of us, display flaws, momentary lapses, and episodes of self-indulgence.&nbsp; Despite this, however, their focus remains fixed on concepts, issues or communities beyond themselves.&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 17 Jan 2013 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2013-01/leadership-selflessness-104910