For several weeks during the last days of summer in 2009, I occupied a cafe's window seat while waves of gays streamed by glass walls situated like a ship's prow on Santa Monica Boulevard and Robertson. Reading Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore's So Many Ways to Sleep Badly, I was...
When the opportunity to interview Ezra Miller came up for the Feb. 12 DVD release of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, I immediately said yes. As would have anyone who saw Miller co-star with Tilda Swinton in Lynne Ramsay's We Need to Talk About Kevin,...
I throw up in my mouth whenever I hear entitled millionaires like Leon Cooperman make insane statements. (In an interview in last week's The New Yorker Cooperman "warned" his fellow rich people that President Obama is reminiscent of Hitler. Newsflash, Mr. Cooperman: He's not.) Normally I would ignore...
When OUTFest tapped producing partners Neil Meron and Craig Zadan (executive producers of Chicago, 2002 winner of the Best Picture award) to receive the 2012 Legacy Award, nobody could have anticipated the irony of asking Darren Criss -- who had made...
(photo by Austin Young, make-up by Travis Pates)
Fran Lebovitz's Interview Magazine column, "I Cover the Waterfront," could describe the unique career of actress and chanteuse, Ann Magnuson. A key figure in...
When I heard about Mommy is Coming, the collaboration between filmmaker Cheryl Dunye (Watermelon Women, The Owls) and writer-activist Sarah Schulman (The Child, Mere Future, The Gentrification of the Mind), I was intrigued. Mommy is Coming promised a new spin: S&M lesbian porn by way of FIfty Shades of Gray and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? I invited Misha D. Fisher, writer, performer & former NBC page to share this (potentially) exciting experience. Settling in with take out food from Franklin & Company (a restaurant so confident about their food and service, they added another four dollars to my eight dollar tip), we recorded our running commentary while watching Mommy is Coming and scarfing duck fat fries, molten cake, and vegetarian gyros. Currently in release, OUTFest screens Mommy is Coming Sunday, July 15th at 8:30 p.m., in the Redcat Theater.
TOMAS MOURNIAN: I want to eat a little bit.
MISHA D. FISHER: This is kind of amazing.
(MOVIE STARTS: German children's song)
MISHA D. FISHER: It's not a kid's movie is it?
TOMAS MOURNIAN: Or, a movie starring Judy Tenuda. What's lesbian about it though?
BOTH: OHHHH! A vibrator. The question's been answered.
TOMAS MOURNIAN: A blond woman who's got a gun in her bag.
MISHA D. FISHER: Lesbians love espionage.
TOMAS MOURNIAN: And a penis in the purse.
MISHA D. FISHER: A dildo of a penis.
(Loud moaning sounds during "Fake" rape sequence in back of cab driven by English speaking cab driver who is fingering herself while looking in the rear view mirror.)
MISHA D. FISHER: This is actually like a really low grade porn and -- as I say that -
(The "assailant" pulls out a gun covered in a condom, and proceeds to "rape" the passenger while the driver looks on passively, and "keeps driving.")
BOTH: WHOA!!! Oh!!!!
MISHA D. FISHER: Can we please acknowledge, aside from the obvious fact of what's going on, there's a condom on the gun? Did you notice that. Because if it shoots while inside of you, the condom will surely protect you from the bullet.
TOMAS MOURNIAN: You're not buying the idea that it would be "hot" to have someone jump in a cab, pull out a gun, and massage your genitals?
MISHA D. FISHER: Of course, I think about that everyday.
TOMAS MOURNIAN: I like that the cabdriver's (played by the film's director, Cheryl Dunye) into it.
MISHA D. FISHER: One fact: from watching Cheryl Dunye's Watermelon Woman, I had assumed this would be the follow-up.
(Loud music cuts to Heavy Breathing and dialogue.)
TOMAS MOURNIAN: Still confused about the condom on the gun.
MISHA D. FISHER: To protect them from Tetanus.
(EXTREME CLOSE UP OF VAYJAY)
(iPhone rings, while young lesbian gets "petulant.")
MISHA D. FISHER: Lesbians love iPhones.
TOMAS MOURNIAN: These fries are so good.
MISHA D. FISHERMISHA D. FISHER They feel like unicorns to me. I know they're somewhere.
TOMAS MOURNIAN: Well, in L.A, they tend to be indistinguishable from straight women. What's with their love of short blond hair do'.
MISHA D. FISHER: I think Robyn might have paved the way for that.
(MOVIE DIALOGUE: Mother character promises, "Mommy is coming" to visit her daughter, Dylan, in Berlin.)
BOTH: Ohhhhhhh. That's the point of the film.
TOMAS MOURNIAN: That "Mommy is coming" sounds like foreshadowing?
MISHA D. FISHER: Is this like, Somebody's coming to dinner but instead it's mommy? I always thought "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" would have been so much better if it had started with a gun being shoved up Katherine Hepburn's pussy.
(MOVIE DIALOGUE: "I want fireworks, I want nothing.")
TOMAS MOURNIAN: You might want to take an acting class.
MISHA D. FISHER: This is going to be a long movie.
(MOVIE BREAKS FOR DOCUMENTARY TYPE STATEMENTS BY PARTICIPANTS ABOUT THE MOVIE.)
TOMAS MOURNIAN: This is the first movie I've seen that comes with a built-in EPK.
MISHA D. FISHER: EPK?
TOMAS MOURNIAN: Electronic press kit. Do you want some onions?
MISHA D. FISHER: You don't like them.
TOMAS MOURNIAN: No. Knock yourself out. Cue: the drag queen.
MISHA D. FISHER: I bet she'll be the best actor in the whole movie.
(RESUME EATING TAKE OUT WHILE MOVIE PLAYS I.E., MORE GRAPHIC LESBIAN SEX SCENES)
TOMAS MOURNIAN: How are those potatoes?
MISHA D. FISHER: Good.
TOMAS MOURNIAN: May I have one?
MISHA D. FISHER: Of course.
TOMAS MOURNIAN: These potatoes are amazing.
(MOVIE DIALOGUE: "Something like that." .... "There are a of similarities between Berlin and San Francisco.")
MISHA D. FISHER: Berlin's actually one of the only big European cities I've never been to.
TOMAS MOURNIAN: There's a lot of Turks there with smelly, uncut cocks.
MISHA D. FISHER: Is that a selling point?
TOMAS MOURNIAN: Oh, yeah, totally.
MISHA D. FISHER: I'm afraid if I went to Berlin -
TOMAS MOURNIAN: You'd never leave?
MISHA D. FISHER: I would just end up in a sling somewhere.
TOMAS MOURNIAN: But would that be such a bad thing. Look Dylan's girlfriend is putting a fake moustache. Plot development: a black Hitler?
MISHA D. FISHER: Or, Don Cheadle.
(SECOND CLUB SCENE WITH THROBBING HOUSE MUSIC AND BARECHESTED FEMALE DJ, AND SOMAMBULENT CLUBGOERS. MULTIPLE SEX SCENES: SLINGS, FLINGS, ETC.)
TOMAS MOURNIAN: Could you pause and let me get a closer look at -
MISHA D. FISHER: Oh my G-D! Is that a micro-penis? Oh my G-D, that is a micro penis.
TOMAS MOURNIAN: A micro-penis featured under the subtitle, "THIS IS FOR PREVIEW ONLY."
MISHA D. FISHER: He looks like he's happy. That's all that matters.
(MOVIE SHOWS WOMAN GIVING FELLATIO TO A DILDO)
TOMAS MOURNIAN: What's the point of giving head to a dildo?
MISHA D. FISHER: That feels like a confusion about what lesbians like.
TOMAS MOURNIAN: It's a symbol of .. what?
MISHA D. FISHER: Most lesbians I know will never incorporate anything phallic into their lovemaking.
TOMAS MOURNIAN: Can we pause and discuss what this movie's about?
MISHA D. FISHER: At this point, sex. Really, raunchy, German sex.
TOMAS MOURNIAN: I really have to try your dessert. There's a vaguely pedagogical quality to this narrative. I predict the characters end up in a library.
MISHA D. FISHER: Instead of using bananas in sex ed classes, they could use guns. They could teach safety, and safe sex at the same time.
TOMAS MOURNIAN: They're taking their shirts off. Lots of breasts now. And they break out the cat o' nine tails.
MISHA D. FISHER: I just want to be clear, we're twenty minutes into this movie, and fifteen minutes of it has been lesbian sex.
TOMAS MOURNIAN: And a lesbian Don Cheadle. Actually, this feels like a Bruce la Bruce movie. But for ladies. Instead of zombies, they're sex-ons. Okay, now I wish I had a vagina.
MISHA D. FISHER: I wish I had a vagina because then my ass would be off the hook which would be great.
TOMAS MOURNIAN: Have you ever thought about sealing it with concrete? Or, rubber cement?
MISHA D. FISHER: I want it to be like Santa Claus, where if you don't believe in it, then it doesn't exist.
TOMAS MOURNIAN: But would you be willing to go the distance and wear a colostomy bag?
MISHA D. FISHER: I would just never poop again.
TOMAS MOURNIAN: You know what happens then: it comes up through your throat.
MISHA D. FISHER: If I never had to bottom again, I would poop through my mouth.
(DIALOGUE: "Berlin is where dreams come true ...")
TOMAS MOURNIAN: Yeah, if you're Adolf Hitler.
MISHA D. FISHER: Or, Don Cheadle. I feel in my bones that Mommy is going to end up having sex with the cab driver.
TOMAS MOURNIAN: That is gross.
MISHA D. FISHER: After all of this?!?
(MOMMY REACHES INTO HER BAG, PULLS OUT A FRAMED PHOTOGRAPH AND PLACES IT ON THE NIGHTSTAND NEXT TO HER HOTEL BED.)
MISHA FISHER: Her daughter kind of looks like Twilight's Kristin Stewart.
TOMAS MOURNIAN: It wouldn't be such a huge leap: from Bella to Bella. What's with all the condoms?
MISHA D. FISHER: They're promoting safe sex.
TOMAS MOURNIAN: Yet in the process they're showing a lot of insertion when really it's about stimulating the clitoris. Even I know that.
MISHA D. FISHER: Even you know that. I feel like gay porn doesn't even have this many insertion shots. Please tell me she's not -
TOMAS MOURNIAN: Yes, she is, she is -
MISHA D. FISHER: Getting fisted.
TOMAS MOURNIAN: I'm ready for desert.
MISHA D. FISHER: We've hit a point in the movie where you can say, "Oh, she's just getting fisted."
(SOUNDS OF HEAVY BREATHING)
TOMAS MOURNIAN: Don Cheadle walks into the hotel room, and looks befuddled. "I hear moaning."
MISHA D. FISHER: "I hear moaning. I have to sulk." And, "I'll find some other cab with someone in the back that I can jump into the back and rape with a gun. I'll show her."
(MOVIE DIALOGUE, Mommy, "Only a foolish girl would leave a man like you unsatisfied.")
MISHA D. FISHER: But that's clearly not a man.
TOMAS MOURNIAN: But everyone in this movie is a sex addict so gender is vaporized.
(DIALOGUE: "Can I buy you a drink?")
MISHA D. FISHER: So I guess, "Mommy is Coming" is literal. "Mommy's a Cougar."
(CLOSE UP SHOT OF OLDER OLDER LADY PARTS)
BOTH: Wow, really old pie.
TOMAS MOURNIAN: Not watching, not watching, not watching. Sounds like Mommy loves it; does she love it?
MISHA D. FISHER: What else would you expect? Somebody's touching her vayjay.
TOMAS MOURNIAN: Compared to her daughter, she's actually grateful to be having sex with Don Cheadle.
(DIALOGUE, MOMMY: "What can I do for you, darling?")
MISHA D. FISHER: "Touch my giant penis." Oh... that's why she brought the picture: so Don Cheadle could see that she slept with her girlfriend's mother.
TOMAS MOURNIAN: Acceptable horrified to realize what she's just done.
MISHA D. FISHER: But sneaking out's not going to undo what you've just done.
(DIALOGUE: "Holy shit.")
TOMAS MOURNIAN: Why is shit always holy?
MISHA D. FISHER: You would think the phrase would be, "Unholy shit!"
(DIALOGUE BETWEEN DON CHEADLE AND OTHER EMPLOYEE; DON BLAMES UDER KIER LOOK-A-LIKE FOR SENDING HER TO A "MAGICAL" SEX CLUB.)
MISHA D. FISHER: "Magical" sex club? So on the back of the box, the description would say, "After a night at a magical sex club ..."
TOMAS MOURNIAN: Which begs the question, what do you think of Magic Mike?
MISHA D. FISHER: I'm afraid Magic Mike will upset me. The ratio of gay male strippers to straight male strippers in this country, it's like making a movie about slavery, but making a movie about white slavery.
(DIALOGUE: Mommy wears cucumbers on her eyes and calls her husband, a hot Daddy.)
MISHA FISHER: Do people really wear cucumbers on their eyes?
TOMAS MOURNIAN: Only in movies.
(DIALOGUE between Mommy and daughter, Dylan.)
MISHA D. FISHER: This stops being a porn, and starts being a real movie if the next scene has dialogue. That was a whole scene without sex. Just one more, and two in a row, we can say this is a real movie.
TOMAS MOURNIAN: And they're ... going back to the sex club. In this movie, the sex club is every else's grocery store.
(DIALOGUE: "I just want to get my mind off.")
MISHA D. FISHER: I think that's a really good summary to say that it's an art film about the conceptualization of power. Is that what you said?
TOMAS MOURNIAN: Something like that.
MISHA D. FISHER: I was really worried about writing something about this, and accidentally giving away the plot but I realize now, I have nothing to worry about. SPOILER! Everyone gets fucked! SPOILER: Fisting! SPOILER: More penis' than you'd expect to see.
TOMAS MOURNIAN: So vagina does nothing for you?
MISHA D. FISHER: I could actually fall asleep watching this. I don't even like penises that much. Genitalia in general. I always get upset about how gay men are stereotyped about being disgusted by vaginas. I like when people ask me, 'So are gay men disgusted by vaginas?' And I say, 'It's kind of how I would respond to watching an episode of 2 1/2 Men. Where it's just kind of like, bored, and after a while, looking around and being like, 'People like this?' And accepting that, and changing the channel. That's probably how I would respond to a vagina in my face.
(DIALOGUE, Mommy, "This is not how I wanted to spend our last night together." ... "I'll be back with some champagne.")
TOMAS MOURNIAN: Are you falling asleep?
MISHA D. FISHER: I'm so soothed by all these close-ups of vaginas that I feel like I'm back in the womb, and I want to lay my head back.
(DIALOGUE: Angry lesbians.)
TOMAS MOURNIAN: It would be interesting if she had sex with the daughter and her mommy.
MISHA D. FISHER: That will probably be the climax of the movie.
TOMAS MOURNIAN: You keep falling asleep. Is it that you can't relate to any of it?
MISHA D. FISHER: You mean, the "dynamic" storytelling?
TOMAS MOURNIAN: Your dessert looks better. I got the molten cake. Oh, look, another dildo.
(MOVIE DIALOGUE: Mommy, "Claude, what kind of game is this?" Claude, "It's called, 'In a minute!'")
TOMAS MOURNIAN: This feeds into the idea that people think about sex every ten seconds. Which is so false. I think about my career every ten seconds.
MISHA D. FISHER: I think about hating men every ten seconds.
TOMAS MOURNIAN: The German clown music you were -
MISHA D. FISHER: She's - NO! She's fucking her MOM!
(DIALOGUE: Mommy: "Claude?" Daughter: "Mommy?")
I had no intention of watching Katherine (Kat) Brooks' new documentary, Face 2 Face. I'd requested a different screener (preview) from OUTFest but soon figured out they'd misburned the DVD. Watching it, I thought, "Wait, this isn't the...
When the San Francisco Bay Guardian published "Hiding Out" in the late '90s, I never imagined that an article about gay teens who escaped from reparative-therapy "schools" would eventually evolve into my first novel or a documentary produced by George Michael that was shown at JFK Stadium...
When I was in high school, I wrote a one-act play that won the Scholastic Writing Award, in a category that was judged by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright (The Effect of Gamma Ray on May-in-the-Moon Marigolds) Paul Zindel. I don't know what Zindel's play is actually about...
Gary Indiana, Lizzie Borden, John Burdett, and Lee Houck -- none of these artists was on my mind when I embarked on raising funds to produce a play, Konrad Product's Natural-Born Hooker. Nor did I have any idea that a Kickstarter campaign would becomes its own education, a...
If you're gay, you're a hooker -- historically, that is. Long before Prop 8 and Don't Ask Don't Tell, "gay" was what they called hookers at the end of the 19th century in the demimonde. The more things change, the more they stay the same: these days, from...
Recently, I was asked by Scholastic, Inc. to judge their upcoming writing awards. Many years ago I won that award with my play, Coming to Terms. A narrative about a teenage boy struggling to come out, the characters weren't ripped from the headlines so much as dictated by life --...
For LGBT teens who are in high school right now, my first piece of romantic advice is unapologetically superficial and cosmetic: don't pick your zits. You'll get scars.
Secondly, bullies. You know, those people who have a sixth sense about your difference, and feel obliged to tell everyone? They're...