Pictured: #1 and #2 Two totally different takes on womanhood, now on DVD. #3 and
#4 Sabastiane and Eddie Izzard.
Music DVDs are the ideal gift for the visually oriented music lover on your holiday gift
list. Concerts are the most popular formats for the DVD and there are several from
which to choose.
Live In Barcelona (Columbia Music Video) by Bruce Springsteen & The E Street
Band, was filmed during The Rising tour in October of 2002 on location at Palau
Sant Jordi in Barcelona, Spain. The two-disc DVD set includes two dozen
career-spanning songs along with the bonus documentary 'Drop The Needle and
Pray: The Rising On Tour.' The Isle Of View (Warner Reprise Video/Rhino Home
Video) expands on the 1995 Pretenders CD of the same name with two additional
tracks. Recorded live at Jacob Street Studios in London, The Isle of View features
acoustic renditions of some of the Pretenders' biggest songs, including 'Sense of
Purpose,' 'Back On The Chain Gang,' 'Private Life,' 'Brass In Pocket,' 'Night In My
Veins,' and '2000 Miles,' to mention a few. 'A film by D.A. Pennebaker, Chris
Hedges, David Dawkins,' the double DVD set Depeche Mode 101 (Mute/Reprise)
contains the 101 documentary as well as performance footage 'from the legendary
Rose Bowl Concert,' new band interviews and other bonus features. Chicago: A&E
Network (Rhino Home Video) is the one-time only concert by Chicago as part of the
popular A&E cable series. A 2001 concert by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, as well
as a documentary and some videos, can be found on the DVD God Is In The House
Addicted To Music (Radikal/Kontor) is the DVD companion to ATB's CD of the same
name and consists of the complete video collection, interviews, a U.S. tour
documentary and much more. Both New Order 316 and New Order 511 (Rhino
Home Video) contain concert footage of the band that rose from the ashes of Joy
Division to become trendsetters in the realm of rock and electronic music. On the
combined DVDs, viewers have the opportunity to view footage covering a period of
more than 20 years. Openly gay singer/songwriter Arnold McCuller was one of The
Seriousettes, Phil Collins's back-up singers on Serious Hits … Live! In Berlin
(Warner Music Vision). Consisting of two discs in one package, this concert DVD
was filmed during Collins's 1990 Serious Tour, and, as the title suggests, contains
many of his hits.
Music video compilations on DVD are excellent gift concepts. Erasure Hits!: The
Video (Sire/Mute) improves on the CD version of the anthology in a couple of ways.
First, compared to the CD's 20 or so tracks, the video compilation includes 35 song
selections, including all four songs from the Abba-esque EP. Instead of a waste of
time remix disc (can we please call a moratorium on remixing?), the second DVD in
the set has five live performances, various non-album vids (including 'Too Darn Hot'
from Red Hot + Blue) and six 'promotional documentaries,' used to promote a
Greatest: The DVD (EMI) compiles 21 Duran Duran videos, plus a few hidden ones,
including the censored versions of 'Girls On Film' and 'Come Undone.' But let's be
honest here, you didn't buy this Duran Duran DVD compilation as a gift for someone
so they could watch the censored versions of 'Girls On Film.' No, the uncensored
version, featuring some very serious female-on-female action is the right choice for
the new wave lesbian in your life. Boasting 'The best videos of 2003!,' the single
disc DVD, Now That's What I Call Music! (Columbia Music Video) contains 15 recent
videos, by artists such as Lisa Marie Presley, Coldplay, Jane's Addiction, Ginuwine,
Snoop Dogg and Mya, to name a few.
Music also figures into three non-concert DVDs. In My Life With Morrissey (Eclectic),
mild-mannered and mousey Jackie is transformed by her Morrissey obsession.
She goes from being a devoted, but dysfunctional, employee at a TV studio to a
femme fatale to a bruising bride-to-be in this goofy comedy written and directed by
Sponge Bob Squarepants animation director Andrew Overtoom. I Am Trying To
Break Your Heart is the marvelous black-and-white documentary, directed by Sam
Jones, about the trials and tribulations of critically acclaimed Chicago-based band
Wilco as they went through the difficult process of recording their 2002 album
Yankee Foxtrot Hotel. Blues giant Howlin' Wolf is the subject of the documentary The
Howlin' Wolf Story: The Authorized Story of Chester Burnett—The Howlin' Wolf
(Bluebird/Arista Associated Labels/The Reel Factory), directed by Don McGlynn.
Some live theatrical events are more enjoyable in the intimacy of one's own home.
No one is crinkling candy wrappers next to you and there aren't cell phones ringing
in the balcony. Circle (Anti-) is the DVD concert film of cross-dressing comedian
Eddie Izzard's 2000 stage show. There is also a companion CD of Circle available
for the DVD challenged. The DVD for The Puppetry Of The Penis (WIN Media), which
is subtitled 'the ancient art of genital origami,' comes with a 'D.I.Y. Dicktricks
Documentaries with themes and story lines of interest to the LGBTQ community are
becoming more and more common all the time. Trembling Before G-d (New Yorker
Video), Sandi Simcha Dubowski's acclaimed documentary about the inner conflict
of being gay or lesbian and trying to maintain one's faith as an Orthodox or Hasidic
Jew, is especially compelling at this time in history with our heightened awareness
about religious fanaticism. The double DVD set includes Tomboychik, a short film
by Dubowski, more with openly gay orthodox rabbi Steve Greenberg and the
Trembling On The Road featurette about the film's impact worldwide. The
award-winning doc Silverlake Life: The View From Here (DocuRama) is filmmaker
Tom Joslin's groundbreaking 'video diary' of life with AIDS that, 10 years after its
release, still has the same impact. The DVD includes Elaine Mayes' previously
unseen epilogue footage.
Party Monster (Picture This!/World Of Wonder), Randy Barbato and Fenton Bailey's
1998 documentary about killer NYC club kid Michael Alig, upon which they based
their 2003 dramatization of the same name, is now available on DVD, and is just the
stocking stuffer for your favorite party monster. Looking for something for the
lesbians on your list? What about Greta Schiller's 1995 documentary Paris Was A
Woman (Zeitgeist), about the lesbian inner circle on living on the Left Bank in the
1920s. Narrated by actress Juliet Stephenson (Food Of Love, Nicholas Nickleby,
Mona Lisa Smile), the DVD extras include additional interviews and rare home
movies of Gertrude Stein, Alice B. Toklas, Colette and others.
Someone on your list is probably a fan of openly bisexual movie star Angelina Jolie
or the late Scott Plank, who both starred in the dramatic feature Without Evidence
(Artist Home Video/MTI). Jolie also stars in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider-The Cradle Of
Life (Paramount). The widescreen DVD includes special features such as director
Jan De Bont's commentary, deleted and alternate scenes, a pair of music videos,
and other treats.
Long an icon for the queer community (heck, there was even a lesbian magazine
temporarily named for her), Catherine Deneuve made her movie debut in 1957's
The Twilight Girls (First Run Features), which is now available in a collector's
edition DVD featuring a Catherine Deneuve photo gallery, the original theatrical
trailer and more. Lesbian comedian Georgia Ragsdale stars as 'buff lesbian' surfer
Sam in the comedy Wave Babes (Wolfe Video).
Other DVDs of lesbian interest include Journey To Kafiristan (Picture This!), the
Japanese feature Sugar Sweet (Wolfe Video), and The New Women (Culture Q
Connection), a sci-fi comedy starring Mary (Eating Raoul) Woronov, lesbian director
Cheryl Dunye, and lesbian fashion model Jenny Shimizu, among others.
When it comes to films with gay subject matter, the European and Asian film
communities have Hollywood beat. Among the gay titles of interest for the foreign
film fan are the late Derek Jarman's 1976 feature film debut Sebastiane (Kino
Video), the German comedy Regular Guys (TLA), the Brazilian romantic comedy
Possible Loves (TLA), the Spanish film Amore De Hombre (TLA) and Japanese
feature Bastoni: The Stick Handlers (TLA).
Queer actors, writers and directors can be found in some recent DVD releases that
would look awfully nice wrapped up in pretty paper, tied with a bow and placed
under the holiday tree. Openly gay director Charles Herman-Wurmfeld, the man who
directed Kissing Jessica Stein, was the man at the helm of the hit Reese
Witherspoon comedy Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde (MGM Home
Entertainment). The pink and totally gay LB2 DVD includes a gag reel, deleted
scenes, a music video and more. Out gay actor Sir Ian McKellan reprised his role of
Gandalf the White in The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers (New Line Home
Entertainment), which is available in a widescreen, two-DVD set with some
genuinely special features. Gay actors Craig Chester and Alexis Arquette (and
honorary queer actress Parker Posey) co-starred in Todd Verow's 1995 film
adaptation of gay novelist Dennis Cooper's book Frisk (Strand Releasing).
Javier Bardem, who played the late, gay Cuban writer Renaldo Areinas, and Victoria
Abril, who has acted in a handful of Pedro Almodovar's movies, play lovers in the
1999 Spanish film Between Your Legs (Entre Las Piernas) (TLA Releasing).
Cable network Comedy Central has established itself as the source for unique and
outrageous comedy. U.S. television viewers got their first introduction to Edina
(Jennifer Saunders) and Patsy (Joanna Lumley), in the early 1990s when Comedy
Central aired the wacky and queer BBC series Absolutely Fabulous. The DVD
Absolutely Fabulous Special (Warner Brothers/BBC Video) contains the segments
'Absolutely Fabulous: The Last Shout' and 'Absolutely Fabulous In New York,'
which featured guest performers Tom Hollander, Whoopi Goldberg and Marianne
Faithfull, among others. The first season of the Comedy Central original series
Strangers With Candy (Comedy Central Home Video), starring Amy Sedaris (David's
sister) and Stephen Colbert is also out now on DVD.