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Romeo San Vicente | October 11, 2004

Ralph Fiennes - � 1999 Columbia Pictures Counting Down to The White Countess

Who doesn't love period movies about Fancy Ladies in Big Hats? The answer is no one — well, in Romeo's house, that is. The chief gay purveyors of that brand of film, Ismail Merchant and James Ivory, are back at it again with The White Countess. Set in 1930s Shanghai and starring Ralph Fiennes, Lynn Redgrave, and Vanessa Redgrave and daughter Natasha Richardson, the story follows a blind American diplomat who forms a relationship with a young Russian woman working to support her late husband's aristocratic family. Ivory is directing from a script by Kazuo Ishiguro (The Remains of the Day), and acclaimed cinematographer Christopher Doyle (In the Mood for Love) will make sure it all looks amazing. Expect class struggle aplenty and dissolute rich people in great costumes.



Matt LeBlanc Kudrow and King Stage a Comeback

Move over Joey. Matt LeBlanc isn't the only Friends alum with a new sitcom. Lisa Kudrow will be there for you soon enough with one of her own on HBO. Called The Comeback, the new show just got the green light from the cable channel for a pilot episode and is in the casting stage. Kudrow is co-executive producing and co-writing the pilot with former Sex and the City producer Michael Patrick King; she will also star as a one-time sitcom star trying to make a comeback. No timetable has been set for production or eventual air date, but HBO could use a good Sex surrogate, so hopes are high. Meanwhile, should Kudrow consider hiring Three's Company star Joyce DeWitt as a consultant?



Alan Ball Wrapped Up in Towelhead

Emmy-winning Six Feet Under creator and Oscar-winning screenwriter Alan Ball just spent some of his own hard-earned Hollywood money to option Egyptian-American author Alica Erian's Towelhead, a novel the public won't get a chance to read until April 2005. The Gulf War-era story involves a 13-year-old girl's sexual obsession with an Army reservist who's more than a bit racist – a crush further complicated by her barely pubescent age and her strict Lebanese father. Ball will write the adaptation – one that echoes the spirit of Lolita, not to mention American Beauty's cheerleader/suburban dad plotline – and hopes to make the project his feature-directing debut. If all goes as planned, look for that award-winning streak to continue.



Republican Gays on Election Day

Leave it to gay-friendly Trio, the pop-culture cable channel that's become a must-watch destination for clued-in queer audiences, to showcase electric Election Day programming like this. Gay Republicans, an hour-long documentary produced by World of Wonder's Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, will air on Nov. 2 as the returns come in. The 60-minute journey into the world of conservative gays highlights their struggle with the political party that wishes they'd just go away. Featured are members of the Log Cabin Republicans, some of whom fight the far-right-wing element in their party, and others who fully support everything about President Bush's administration – including the Federal Marriage Amendment – and level charges of "victim mentality" against the lesbian and gay community. Depending on that day's outcome, it'll either be a hoot or too depressing to watch.

  • Romeo San Vicente's has a voter's registration card and he's gonna use it.


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