As a child of the ’90s who learned about HIV in elementary school (from a puppet, I believe), sometimes it’s difficult to imagine a world where HIV/AIDS was so misunderstood. There was once a time when people used the word “quarantine” when talking about this public health crisis. And it’s painful to remember that in my own lifetime, gay men and women — in New York City, of all places — were deeply in the closet because they feared for their lives. HBO has released its trailer for “The Normal Heart,” the Ryan Murphy-directed film based on the play by Larry Kramer, which tells the story of an activist (Mark Ruffalo) and a doctor (Julia Roberts) from 1981 until 1984 as they try to draw attention to a mysterious disease in New York City that seems to be targeting gay men. While the government ignores them — because who cares about gay men? — lives are being lost. The film debuts on May 25th on HBO. I’ll be watching. [YouTube]
Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer is available on HBO Go and select HBO viewings.
HBO Go and HBO are currently airing a film I’d eagerly been anticipating all year: the Pussy Riot documentary. “Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer” follows the arrest, trial and incarceration of three members of the Russian feminist punk band who made shockwaves around the world last year for one of their public protests.
Pussy Riot formed in response to the third term of President Vladmir Putin. It’s an anonymous collective who stage guerrilla performances/protests while wearing colorful balaclavas over their faces to hide their identities. Their most famous protest was in February 2012, when several members stormed the altar of Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savoir — a space where only the church patriarch is allowed — and briefly performed punk music. The women sang about sexism and spoke out against about President Putin (a major no-no) before getting yanked off stage. The protest lasted a mere 40 seconds long. Keep reading »
Lena Dunham’s Vogue spread has sparked all kinds of feelings and conversations. But this cute video from the magazine is likely something we can all agree on. In this adorable clip, Lena seeks out the help of Hamish Bowles, Vogue‘s European editor-at-large, in preparing how to pose for the her photoshoot. No matter what you think about “Girls” or glossy magazines, this one is pretty much guaranteed to make you smile. [Fashionista]
Last night was John Oliver’s last episode on “The Daily Show” as he gears up to host an HBO comedy series next year. He spent over seven years with the show, and even stepped in as host this summer. Jon Stewart refreshed audiences on some of Oliver’s best moments and made for a teary farewell. I couldn’t watch it without tearing up myself. Best of luck, John! [NYMag.com]
I’m something of an HBO fanatic, so I can’t wait to see what’s around the corner for the network in 2014. The final season of “True Blood”? Season three of “Girls”? Yes, please! Check out this teaser HBO released with clips of “Game of Thrones,” “The Normal Heart” and all the other shows and movies to get excited about. It even recaps the best of 2013 — Beyoncé’s documentary “Life Is But A Dream,” anyone? — for your pop culture nostalgia pleasure. See you on the couch. [Huffington Post]