2009 Oscar Winners

Winners! A Complete List From the 2009 Oscars

Best Picture: Slumdog Millionaire

Actor in a Leading Role: Sean Penn, Milk

Actress in a Leading Role: Kate Winslet, The Reader

Actor in a Supporting Role:
Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight

Actress in a Supporting Role: Penélope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Director: Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire

Original Screenplay
: Dustin Lance Black, Milk

Adapted Screenplay: Simon Beaufoy, Slumdog Millionaire

Animated Feature Film: WALL-E

Foreign Language Film: Departures (Japan)

Original Score: A.R. Rahman, Slumdog Millionaire

Original Song: “Jai Ho,” A.R. Rahman and Gulzar; Slumdog Millionaire

Art Direction: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Cinematography: Slumdog Millionaire

Costume Design: The Duchess

Makeup: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Film Editing: Slumdog Millionaire

Documentary Feature:
Man on Wire

Documentary Short Subject: Smile Pinki

Animated Short Film: La Maison en Petits Cubes

Live Action Short Film:
Spielzeugland (Toyland)

Sound Editing: The Dark Knight

Sound Mixing: Slumdog Millionaire

Visual Effects: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award: Jerry Lewis

Oscar Predictions By Ineeda Award

Miss Ideeda Ward

Best Actor
Richard Jenkins, The Visitor
Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon
Sean Penn, Milk (my wish)
Brad Pitt, Benjamin Button
Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler

Best Supporting Actor

Josh Brolin, Milk
Robert Downey Jr., Tropic Thunder
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Doubt
Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
Michael Shannon, Revolutionary Road

Best Actress
Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married
Angelina Jolie, Changeling
Melissa Leo, Frozen River
Meryl Streep, Doubt (my wish)
Kate Winslet, The Reader

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams, Doubt
Penelope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Viola Davis, Doubt
Taraji P. Henson, Benjamin Button
Marisa Tomei, The Wrestler

Best Picture
Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire

Best Director
David Fincher, Benjamin Button
Ron Howard, Frost/Nixon
Gus Van Sant, Milk
Stephen Daldry, The Reader
Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire

Best Foreign Film
Baader Meinhof Complex
The Class
Waltz with Bashir

Best Animated Film

Kung Fu Panda

Achievement in Art Direction
Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
The Duchess
Revolutionary Road

Achievement in Cinematography

Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire

Achievement in Costume Design
Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Duchess
Revolutionary Road

Best Documentary

The Betrayal
Encounters at the End of the World
The Garden
Man on Wire
Trouble the Water

Best Documentary Short
The Conscience of Nhem En
The Final Inch
Smile Pinki
The Witness

Achievement in Film Editing
Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Slumdog Millionaire

Achievement in Makeup

Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Hellboy II: The Golden Army

Best Original Score
Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Slumdog Millionaire

Best Original Song
Down to Earth, WALL-E
Jai Ho, Slumdog Millionaire
O Saya, Slumdog Millionaire

Best Animated Short
La Maison en Petits Cubes
Lavatory – Lovestory
This Way Up

Best Live Action Short
Auf der Strecke (On the Line)
Manon on the Asphalt
New Boy
The Pig
Spielzeugland (Toyland)

Achievement in Sound Editing
The Dark Knight
Iron Man
Slumdog Millionaire

Achievement in Sound Mixing
Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Slumdog Millionaire

Best Visual Effects
Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Iron Man

Best Adapted Screenplay

Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire

Best Original Screenplay
In Bruges

Independent Spirit Award Winners

Best Feature
The Wrestler
Producers: Darren Aronofsky, Scott Franklin

Best Director
Thomas McCarthy, The Visitor

Best First Feature
Synecdoche, New York
Director: Charlie Kaufman
Producers: Anthony Bregman, Spike Jonze, Charlie Kaufman, Sidney Kimmel

John Cassavetes Award
In Search of a Midnight Kiss
Writer/Director: Alex Holdridge
Producers: Seth Caplan and Scoot McNairy

Best First Screenplay
Dustin Lance Black, Milk

Best Screenplay
Woody Allen, Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Best Female Lead
Melissa Leo, Frozen River

Best Male Lead
Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler

Best Supporting Female
Penelope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Best Supporting Male
James Franco, Milk

Best Cinematography
Maryse Alberti, The Wrestler

Best Documentary
Man on Wire
Director: James Marsh

Best Foreign Film
The Class (France)
Director: Laurent Cantet

Robert Altman Award
Synecdoche, New York
Director: Charlie Kaufman
Casting Director: Jeanne McCarthy
Ensemble Cast: Hope Davis, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Catherine Keener, Samantha Morton, Tom Noonan, Dianne Wiest, Michelle Williams

Someone to Watch Award
Lynn Shelton, My Effortless Brilliance

Truer Than Fiction Award
Margaret Brown, The Order of Myths

Producers Award
Heather Rae, Frozen River and Ibid

Brit Music Award Winners

Duffy Wins Three Brits
February 18, 2009 – Global | Rock and Pop

By Andre Paine, London

Welsh vocalist Duffy was the big winner at the 2009 BRIT Awards, taking home three trophies tonight (Feb. 18) at London’s Earls Court. Duffy, whose debut album, “Rockferry” (A&M/Universal), was the U.K’s top seller in 2008, won BRITS for British female, British breakthrough act and British album.

Collecting her first award for British female, she commented, “It’s a good job my mother didn’t have a boy.” She beat rivals M.I.A., Adele, Beth Rowley and Estelle in that category.

For her final award, for British album, Duffy was tearful as she accepted it from fellow Welsh singer Sir Tom Jones. She also performed “Warwick Avenue” at the ceremony.

The awards show, aired live on ITV1, was opened by U2 performing its new single “Get on Your Boots.” Bono sang on a platform in front of a giant screen showing images of the British union flag and the Irish flag.

Nashville rock band Kings Of Leon won the international group award as well as the international album BRIT for “Only by the Night” (Hand Me Down/Sony Music Entertainment). The current Billboard cover stars acknowledged the importance of the British market to their success.

“Thank you, God, thank you, mom, thank you U.K.,” drummer Nathan Followill told the audience. “Without y’all, we would be nothing.” “If it weren’t for England, Kings Of Leon wouldn’t be a band right now,” added singer and guitarist Caleb Followill.

Elbow was something of a surprise in the British group category, beating Coldplay, whose “Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends” (Parlophone/EMI) was the biggest global seller of 2008, according to the IFPI, with sales of 6.8 million.

Katy Perry beat Beyonce, Gabriella Cilmi, Pink and Santigold for the international female award. The Virgin/EMI recording artist also hinted that she had been tipped off about her win. “I’m so sick right now,” she told the cheering crowd. “But they said I should show up to the BRITS because something special might happen.”

The British single award, decided by phone voting, was won by girl group Girls Aloud for “The Promise” (Fascination/Polydor).

The ceremony was presented by Australian pop singer Kylie Minogue and comedy actor James Corden. Reformed boy band Take That performed on a UFO-style platform above the crowd, which then descended into the middle of the room. Other performers included Girls Aloud, Coldplay (who went home empty-handed) and rock duo the Ting Tings with Estelle.

The Pet Shop Boys received the outstanding contribution to music honor, and were duo was joined by Lady GaGa and the Killers’ Brandon Flowers during their closing performance.

Full list of Brit Awards winners:

British Female
Duffy (A&M/Universal)

International Female

Katy Perry (Virgin/EMI)

British Breakthrough Act

Duffy (A&M/Universal)

International Group
Kings Of Leon (Hand Me Down/Sony Music Entertainment)

British Male
Paul Weller (Island/Universal)

International Album
Kings Of Leon – “Only By The Night” (Hand Me Down/Sony Music Entertainment)

British Live Act
Iron Maiden (EMI)

British Group
Elbow (Fiction/Polydor)

Critics’ Choice
Florence And The Machine (Island/Universal)

International Male
Kanye West (Mercury/Universal)

British Single
Girls Aloud – “The Promise” (Fascination/Polydor).

British Album
Duffy “Rockferry” (A&M/Universal)

Outstanding Contribution To Music

Pet Shop Boys (Parlophone/EMI)

The Brits voting academy decided most of the awards winners, with the exception of public votes for the British single award (in association with commercial radio and the Sun newspaper), the breakthrough award (in association with Radio 1) and the live award (in association with Radio 2). A panel of critics picked the critics’ choice winner, and U.K. trade body the BPI’s council chose Pet Shop Boys for the outstanding contribution award.

2009 ACM Nominations

ACM Nominees Announced
Brad Paisley and Heidi Newfield lead the list of nominees for the upcoming Academy of Country Music Awards.

The nominations were revealed Wednesday morning, Feb. 11, at a news conference in Nashville. Brad’s six nominations include Entertainer of the Year and Top Male Vocalist, which he has won the past two years. Heidi scored five nominations, including Top Female Vocalist. Kenny Chesney, George Strait and rising star Jamey Johnson each received four ACM nominations. For the first time ever, the three newcomer categories for the Annual Academy of Country Music Awards—Top New Female Vocalist, Top New Male Vocalist and Top New Vocal Duo or Group—will be opened up to interactive fan voting on gactv.com, beginning Friday, Feb. 13. The winners will then move on to compete in a new category, Top New Artist.

For the second year, fans will also select the winner of the Academy’s most prestigious honor, Entertainer of the Year. Online voting will be available at voteacm.com, and this year fans will also be able to text their votes for Entertainer of the Year during the broadcast. The 44th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards will air live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Sunday, April 5, at 8 p.m. ET on CBS-TV.

Here is a list of the ACM nominees. Nominations for Album of the Year will be announced in March.

Entertainer of the Year

* Kenny Chesney
* Brad Paisley
* George Strait
* Keith Urban
* Carrie Underwood

Top Male Vocalist

* Kenny Chesney
* Toby Keith
* Brad Paisley
* George Strait
* Keith Urban

Top Female Vocalist

* Miranda Lambert
* Heidi Newfield
* Taylor Swift
* Carrie Underwood
* Lee Ann Womack

Top Vocal Group

* Lady Antebellum
* Little Big Town
* Rascal Flatts
* Randy Rogers Band
* The Lost Trailers

Top Vocal Duo

* Big & Rich
* Brooks & Dunn
* Joey + Rory
* Montgomery Gentry
* Sugarland

Top New Male Vocalist

* Jamey Johnson
* James Otto
* Jake Owen

Top New Female Vocalist

* Sarah Buxton
* Julianne Hough
* Ashton Shepherd

Top New Vocal Duo or Group

* Eli Young Band
* The Lost Trailers
* Zac Brown Band

Single Record of the Year
[Award to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company]

“Gunpowder & Lead” Miranda Lambert
Produced by Frank Liddell and Mike Wrucke
“In Color” Jamey Johnson
Produced by The Ken Hardley Playboys
“Johnny & June” Heidi Newfield
Produced by Tony Brown
“Waitin’ on a Woman” Brad Paisley
Produced by Frank Rogers
Arista Nashville
“You’re Gonna Miss This” Trace Adkins
Produced by Frank Rogers
Capitol Nashville

Song of the Year
[Award to Composer(s)/Publisher(s)/Artist(s)]

“I Saw God Today” George Strait
Composers: Rodney Clawson, Monty Criswell, Wade Kirby
Publishers: Big Red Toe Music (BMI), Blind Mule Music (BMI), Extremely Loud Music (BMI), Steel Wheels Music (BMI)
“In Color” Jamey Johnson
Composers: Jamey Johnson, Lee Thomas Miller, James Otto
Publishers: Big Gassed Hitties (BMI), Eldorotto Music Publishing (BMI), EMI Blackwood Music, Inc., Lucky Thumb Music (BMI), New Song of Sea Gayle (BMI), Noah’s Little Boat Music (BMI)
“Johnny & June” Heidi Newfield
Composers: Deanna Bryant, Heidi Newfield, Stephony Smith
Publishers: Amylase Music (ASCAP), Big Hit Makers Music (BMI), Rainy Graham Publishing LLC (BMI), Souljet Music Tell Texas Tune III (ASCAP)
“Waitin’ on a Woman” Brad Paisley
Composers: Don Sampson, Wynn Varble
Publishers: EMI April Music, Inc. (ASCAP), Sea Gayle Music LLC (ASCAP), Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp. (BMI)
“You’re Gonna Miss This” Trace Adkins
Composers: Ashley Gorley and Lee Thomas Miller
Publishers: EMI Blackwood Music, Inc. (BMI), Music of Windswept (ASCAP), Noah’s Little Boat Music (BMI), Song of Combustion (ASCAP), Songs of Sea Gayle (BMI)

Video of the Year

[Award to Producer(s)/Director(s)/Artist(s)]

“Johnny & June” Heidi Newfield
Producer: Karen Martin
Director: Eric Welch
“Just A Dream” Carrie Underwood
Producer: Randy Brewer
Director: Roman White
“Love Story” Taylor Swift
Producer: Trent Hardville
Director: Trey Fanjoy
“Troubadour” George Strait
Producer: Dominic Cancilla
Director: Trey Fanjoy
“Waitin’ on a Woman” Brad Paisley
Producer: Mark Kalbfeld, Jim Shea
Director: Jim Shea, Peter Tilden

Vocal Event of the Year
[Award to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company]

“Another Try” Josh Turner Featuring Trisha Yearwood
Produced by: Frank Rogers
MCA Nashville
“Cowgirls Don’t Cry” Brooks & Dunn Featuring Reba McEntire
Produced by: Kix Brooks, Tony Brown, Ronnie Dunn
Arista Nashville
“Down the Road” Kenny Chesney With Mac McAnally
Produced by: Buddy Cannon, Kenny Chesney
Blue Chair/BNA
“Life in a Northern Town” Sugarland Featuring Little Big Town & Jake Owen
“Start A Band” Brad Paisley Duet With Keith Urban
Produced by: Frank Rogers
Arista Nashville

Request My Friend Becky On This Radio Station Please (Atlanta)

Just wanted to remind everyone I am on regular rotation now on a radio show in Atlanta Ga, those in Atl, can tune in 1690 AM or you can log in to the web and listen online, not sure when I’ll be played but I will be played between the hours 10:00 to 1:00 it’s a great show with diverse music, if you have the opportunity please have it in the background and listen for me :o) feel free to contact the radio station and request my song “Roll Over” you can phone or email the info is on the site.


The 30 Best-Reviewed Albums of the Year 2008

The 30 Best-Reviewed Albums of the Year

1 Welcome To Mali by Amadou & Mariam
2 London Zoo by The Bug
3 Fed by Plush
4 Dear Science, by TV On The Radio
5 Exit by Shugo Tokumaru
6 For Emma, Forever Ago by Bon Iver
7 Fleet Foxes by Fleet Foxes
8 Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!! by Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds
9 Hercules And Love Affair by Hercules And Love Affair
10 Robyn by Robyn
11 What Does It All Mean? 1983-2006 Retrospective by Steinski
12 Harps And Angels by Randy Newman
13 Fortress by Protest The Hero
14 Tell Tale Signs: The Bootleg Series Vol. 8 by Bob Dylan
15 Rook by Shearwater
16 Life…The Best Game In Town by Harvey Milk
17 Third by Portishead
18 Stay Positive by The Hold Steady
19 Chemistry Of Common Life by Fucked Up
20 In The 7th Moon, The Chief Turned Into A Swimming Fish And Ate The Head Of His Enemy By Magic by Kasai Allstars
21 Laulu Laakson Kukista by Paavoharju
22 Emeritus by Scarface
23 Music Tapes for Clouds & Tornadoes by The Music Tapes
24 Sugar Mountain: Live At Canterbury House 1968 by Neil Young
25 The Airing Of Grievances by Titus Andronicus
26 Tronic by Black Milk
27 A Piece Of What You Need by Teddy Thompson
28 Don’t Do Anything by Sam Phillips
29 One Kind Favor by B.B. King
30 Real Animal by Alejandro Escovedo

Where Have All The Drag Queens Gone?

Where have all the drag queens gone?
The campy spectacle has lost favor with a generation of young gay men. Can RuPaul’s new reality show bring it back?
Salon Magazine
By Thomas Rogers
Jan. 31, 2009 |

As a child of the ’90s, I was taught by popular culture to expect several things from my future life as a gay man: shirtless dancing in large nightclubs, a disconcerting number of flamboyantly patterned shirts and, of course, drag queens. And by drag queens, I meant RuPaul.

During my early teens, RuPaul seemed to be everywhere. She had a hit single in 1993, “Supermodel (You Better Work),” her own VH1 talk show and, as the face of MAC Cosmetics, she popped up in ads everywhere. Her gentle brand of bitchiness and Caesar’s Palace-meets-“Dallas” aesthetic helped turn drag into a mainstream pop cultural phenomenon.

By 1994, Terence Stamp was slipping on high heels for “The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert,” followed one year later by Patrick Swayze, Wesley Snipes and John Leguizamo in “To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar.” The same year, “Wigstock: The Movie” documented the popular New York drag festival of the same name, drag queens were a fixture on the daytime talk show circuit and, in 1996, Nathan Lane seduced a Republican senator in “The Birdcage” dressed as an uptight housewife.

But something funny happened on my way to the gay ghetto: The drag queen disappeared not only from mainstream popular culture, but also, to a large extent, from the gay culture of my generation. Most young gay men I know are far more likely to head to a gay-friendly straight bar than take in a drag show, and while drag queens remain a fixture in many bars and clubs, especially those catering to older gay men, those venues appear to be dwindling.

Nearly all of New York’s mammoth gay dance clubs have shut their doors since the ’80s, and demographics suggest that gay men are increasingly leaving behind gay neighborhoods, like the Castro in San Francisco. Half of Boston’s gay bars closed between 1993 and 2007. New York’s Wigstock and San Francisco’s Trannyshack, the two best-known drag revues in the country, have ended their runs. Most conspicuously, RuPaul has disappeared from view without anybody to take her place.

On Feb. 2, however, she will be making a comeback with (what else?) a reality show. Airing on Logo, “RuPaul’s Drag Race” is a “Project Runway”-style competition hosted by the former “Supermodel of the World,” in which nine queens — with names like Ongina and Rebecca Glasscock — compete to become America’s next “drag superstar.” RuPaul hopes the show will return the drag queen to her pop culture pedestal, although, given the generational shifts that have taken place since drag’s heyday, that may be easier said than done.

The first time I wandered into a drag show, it was 2002, and I was 19 years old. While the exact details of the show remain a blur (my attention, as a teenager in a gay bar, being largely focused on other things), I remember an applause meter, some very intimidating heels, one Dolly Parton and a multitude of Celine Dions. By the end of the night I had accomplished two important things: 1) awkwardly hit on a very stoned real estate agent with a keen interest in all things Suze Orman, and 2) confirmed that drag shows had very little to do with my experience of being gay.

It’s not that I didn’t respect the hard work that went into transforming middle-aged men into French-Canadian pop stars, but watching them perform didn’t feel particularly liberating, either. While generations of gay men before me spent their teenage years yearning to escape to big cities — and discover what urban gay life was about — I had Sally Jessy Raphael, reality television and Internet search engines as a guide since my early teens. Not only had they taught me there was nothing wrong with being gay, but by eighth grade I also knew where the gay bars were in most major cities in North America and the difference between a twink, a circuit queen and a bear.

By the time I began coming out of the closet, in my final year of high school, the most shocking parts of gay culture had stopped being very shocking, and, furthermore, nobody seemed to think that my sexuality was all that big a deal. When I left for college, I knew who I was, that being gay didn’t mean I had to conform to any stereotypes, and that there was little novelty in watching a man dressed as a woman lip-syncing to the theme song from “Titanic.”

While my positive experience as a gay teenager is not a universal one, by any means, it’s one that’s becoming more and more common. In the 1970s, the average coming-out age was 21; in 2007, it was closer to 13. Gay teens are coming out earlier to increasingly accepting parents, and the cocoon-to-butterfly narrative that has shaped much of gay culture — and drag in particular — is no longer as universal. For many men of my generation, coming out registered on the personal trauma scale somewhere between our first pimple and the pain of our first breakup.

Which is somewhat at odds with the message of the drag queen. A drag queen is sassy, glittery and fabulous — “a punk rock reaction to our masculine culture,” as RuPaul told me, when I spoke to her over the phone. Drag is a way of taking what has often been held against gay men — our effeminacy, our outspokenness, our passion for ABBA — and celebrating it with style. Drag queens imitate women like Judy Garland, Dolly Parton and Cher because they overcame insult and hardship on their path to success, and because their narratives mirror the pain that many gay men suffer on their way out of the closet. These women didn’t become drag icons because they had a mildly awkward sex talk with their parents.

According to Lady Bunny, the founder of New York’s now-defunct Wigstock Festival, drag faded from pop culture at the end of the ’90s because “people got used to the idea of the drag queen.” Mainstream audiences — and gay audiences — simply stopped being shocked by the idea of a man dressed as a woman. “We’ve had an entire generation grow up seeing drag queens play basketball on daytime talk shows,” she says, “and I don’t think it’s that freeing for gay people anymore.”

It also raises a bigger question: Without the trauma of oppression, how will future generations of gay men define themselves? Through promiscuity? Party drugs? A flair for dinner parties? “With more and more teenagers coming out of the closet earlier, and parents being more supportive, the whole dynamic has changed,” says Sean Mullens, the director of “Filthy Gorgeous: The Trannyshack Story.” “The explosive party scene doesn’t really have a place anymore.”

“All of us associate a gay bar with female impersonation, which you associate with gay culture,” says Terry Eason, the co-owner of the Miss Gay America pageant, the country’s largest drag competition. “Twenty years ago, the only way to meet other gay people was in the bars. Now you’ve got Web sites, and it’s much easier to find a partner without going to the bars.”

The tragic and outsize divas that have long inspired drag queens are also becoming harder to find in the manufactured pop landscape: The Bette Midlers and Whitney Houstons have been replaced by Katy Perry and the Pussycat Dolls. “The sad thing is, the pop stars that were popularly impersonated in my day all had personality,” says Lady Bunny. “How are you going to impersonate Rihanna? What is her personality? You don’t know, because she’s just a product.”

Meanwhile, the man in a dress has become a minor staple of family-friendly Hollywood comedies. In the past few years, John Travolta appeared as Edna Turnblad in “Hairspray,” and Tyler Perry’s turn as the tough-love granny Madea has made him millions. Neither of those performances has anything to with gay or drag culture. At the same time, the rise in prominence of the transgendered character (like Felicity Huffman in “Transamerica” and Katelynn, the male-to-female transsexual from this season of “The Real World”) suggests that Americans are becoming more comfortable with the much more radical notion of gender dimorphism. “Drag is a costume,” says Lady Bunny. “Transsexualism is still more taboo. It’s the costume that can not come off.”

It’s in this cultural context that Logo launches “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” a show that aims to recapture drag’s glory years — and doesn’t quite pull it off. That’s not to say RuPaul and the show’s competitors aren’t game for the cause. RuPaul manages to be both warm and bitchy in her hosting duties and spouts off some memorable catchphrases (“Prepare to lip-sync for your life,” and, more succinctly, “Don’t fuck it up”). Its flamboyant characters include Shannel, who shows up on the first day wearing buttless pants, and Tammie Brown, who looks like Lucille Ball on a crack binge. (Another contestant calls Tammie “creepy” when she won’t stop winking.)

“Drag Race” aims for high camp, but, unfortunately, with the show’s low production values and sloppy execution, it lands somewhere closer to pathos. The prizes are meager (at one point, a contestant wins a basket of chocolates and sparkling wine), and the challenges are astonishingly unimaginative (“Strike a pose and take a picture of yourself”). More tragically, with its haphazard production design and awkward camerawork, the show robs the queens and their performances of all of their glamour. The appeal of drag has always been its over-the-top fabulousness, but there’s little that’s fabulous about performing on a cheap set under dull lighting in front of Santino from “Project Runway.”

That’s not to say drag is dead. There will always be an audience, albeit likely a small one, for female impersonation. Underground balls and pageants continue to play a large part of African-American gay urban culture (as documented in “Paris Is Burning”). While Eason has noticed a decline in pageant interest in some parts of the country, there’s been an upswing in conservative states like Missouri, Louisiana and Texas, and everybody I spoke with acknowledged that, while mainstream gay culture may have changed, pop culture works in cycles: You never know when things will come back in style.

If a drag queen is to emerge as the next RuPaul, however, she’ll have to reinvent drag for the sensibilities of a generation that thinks it’s seen it all. She’ll have to make us want to turn off our computers, put on an outfit and head to the clubs. So whatever she does, it’s going to have to be pretty damn fabulous.

Face To Face

Portrait of Michael J. Fox by Steve Pyke
© Steve Pyke

Every Thursday evening, the National Portrait Gallery presents “Face-to-Face,” a talk about a selected portrait on view in the gallery. As part of this regular series, Ann Shumard, who is the curator of photographs at NPG, discussed this portrait of Michael J. Fox by Steve Pyke. The portrait is on display on the museum’s first floor, in the exhibition “Portraiture Now: Feature Photography.”

Interviewed by Esquire magazine for its popular “What I’ve Learned” column, actor and medical research advocate Michael J. Fox spoke candidly about living with Parkinson’s disease: “If I let it affect everything, it’s gonna own everything. I don’t deny it or pretend it’s not there, but if I don’t allow it to be bigger than it is, I can do everything else.” Published with the interview, Steve Pyke’s portrait mirrors the determination of the man whose Michael J. Fox Foundation has funded more than $120 million in Parkinson’s research.

Steve Pyke readily admits that his life in photography has been propelled largely by his fascination with the face. Born in England and now based in New York, Pyke first won notice for his distinctive close-up portrait style in the 1980s, with editorial work for the music press and magazines such as Britain’s popular “style bible,” The Face. In the intervening decades, Pyke’s photographs have reached a wide audience through their publication in major magazines around the world and their exhibition in museums and commercial galleries.

In 2004, Steve Pyke joined the New Yorker. “Working as a staff photographer at the New Yorker magazine gives me the immediacy of making portraits and seeing them appear in an editorial context,” Pyke explains, “and this has always surprised and stimulated me.” In tandem with his career in editorial photography, he has maintained a strong commitment to personally driven projects, including his portrait series documenting the world’s leading thinkers and philosophers.

A common thread running through both Pyke’s editorial and personal work is his abiding interest in what a face can tell us. “The way we live our lives is etched into the landscape of our faces,” Pyke observes. “We create the face with which we live.”


Listen to Ann Shumard’s Face-to-Face talk on Michael J. Fox (24:37)

To view more works by Steve Pyke and the other artists featured in “Portraiture Now: Feature Photography,” be sure to see the online exhibition. And listen to Steve Pyke in this audio slideshow from the New Yorker.

The next Face-to-Face talk is this Thursday, February 5, when researcher Maya Foo speaks about the portrait of Bette Midler by Richard Amsel in the exhibition “Ballyhoo: Posters as Portraiture.” The talk runs from 6:00 to 6:30 p.m. Visitors meet the presenter in the museum’s F Street lobby and then walk to the appropriate gallery.

HBO Unleashes The Queen Of Mean, Lisa Lampanelli, Jan 31, 2009


Make a date with LL and HBO for the airing of Lisa’s first ever one-hour HBO special on Saturday, January 31, at 10 p.m. EST! Share in Lisa’s joy over this momentous event when she joins the ranks of comic greats George Carlin, Chris Rock, and legendary others.

If you call yourself an LL loyalist, you can’t miss this momentous occasion! So, watch “Long Live the Queen” and see why HBO is the network that takes comedy seriously.

For more information and additional airing times, please visit HBO’s site at:



To get a sneak peek at Lisa’s HBO special, visit LL’s MySpace page to see brand new clips from the yet-to-premiere special:


Men, Politics, & Entertainment