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Author Topic: Movie to sweep Dusty Springfield's lesbian past under the carpet
Hephaestion
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posted 05 September 2005 07:04 PM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
That's Hollywood... telling it like it wasn't...

quote:
In the 60s and 70 Dusty Springfield was a lesbian icon - the first big name rocker to come out publicly. But, a new biopic on Dusty won't have a single mention of her sexuality.

The movie is being produced by Universal and will trace her career from the early days with her brother Dion in the folk group the Springfields to 1969 when she struck out on her own and recorded the hit Dusty in Memphis album.

Her biggest singles were "Anyone Who Had a Heart" and "You Don¹t Have to Say You Love Me."


Somehow they missed mentioning "Son of a Preacher Man", which I always thought was her biggest hit of all...

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skdadl
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posted 05 September 2005 07:16 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Oh, that is so utterly totally wrong.

What they should have done was to hire Carole Pope as a consultant on the film. As an actor, in fact. When Dusty died, Pope wrote the most stunning memoir of her, of the times they'd had together -- not sure whether that was Toronto Life or ... ??? Not sure. We should be able to find it.

But it was beautiful, beautiful because you could tell it was true, very on-the-pulse.

Och, I remember Dusty, those first songs. She was one of the invaders who just blew us all away as soon as we heard her. Compelling, driving voice, from the throat, from the heart.

If they have made a bad movie of her, that is very bad. *grr*


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Screaming Lord Byron
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posted 05 September 2005 07:43 PM      Profile for Screaming Lord Byron     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Hephaestion:
That's Hollywood... telling it like it wasn't...

Somehow they missed mentioning "Son of a Preacher Man", which I always thought was her biggest hit of all...


I dunno - those were her two biggest hits in the UK - along with her greatest moment, The Look of Love plus What Have I Done To Deserve This. Preacher Man was the biggest hit on this side of the pond, certainly.

[ 05 September 2005: Message edited by: Screaming Lord Byron ]


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deBeauxOs
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posted 05 September 2005 08:10 PM      Profile for deBeauxOs     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Cynthia Nixon would be my choice to play Springfield, if the studio had the courage to be faithful to Dusty's real life story. Cate Blanchett as Carol Pope, only for the early part of their meeting and shared lives, of course.

Dusty:

Source of above photo and excellent biography.

Cynthia:

Now living with her same-sex education activist partner.

[ 05 September 2005: Message edited by: deBeauxOs ]


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Hinterland
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posted 05 September 2005 08:18 PM      Profile for Hinterland        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I had never even heard of Dusty Sprinfield until her hit with the Pet Shop boys. Of course, where I lived, we got news of the '60's round about 1976.

You know, if she were alive today, she wouldn't let a sanitised version of her life go uncritised. This is just another form of grave-robbing.


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'lance
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posted 05 September 2005 08:26 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I had never even heard of Dusty Sprinfield until her hit with the Pet Shop boys. Of course, where I lived, we got news of the '60's round about 1976.

Ha.

Looxury.

At least you got t' hear of t' nineteen-sixties.

Why, when I were a lad...


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al-Qa'bong
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posted 05 September 2005 08:45 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I was all prepared to say something profound aboot Ms. Springfield, until I read 'lance's post.

Now I can't stop giggling.


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gopi
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posted 06 September 2005 02:26 PM      Profile for gopi     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
a new biopic on Dusty won't have a single mention of her sexuality.

Since the early 1980's, most gender-bending rock stars from the 1960's/70's have seen their public personas rewritten as staunchly heterosexual. Lou Reed, David Bowie, Mick Jagger and Bette Midler all aggressively participated in their own heterosexualization.

At least Dusty wasn't complicit in her own sanitization.


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deBeauxOs
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posted 10 September 2005 01:27 AM      Profile for deBeauxOs     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
posted by gopi: ... most gender-bending rock stars from the 1960's/70's have seen their public personas rewritten as staunchly heterosexual. Lou Reed, David Bowie, Mick Jagger and Bette Midler all aggressively participated in their own heterosexualization.
Doncha think, though, that Mick carried on a bit too far? How many kids has he spawned, that are known?
quote:
At least Dusty wasn't complicit in her own sanitization.
True, but the price of being marginalized, in physical and mental anguish, probably shortened her life.

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Boom Boom
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posted 10 September 2005 02:02 AM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Mick is quite the ladie's man - starting with Chrissie Shrimpton, his main squeeze until the mid-'60's; then Marianne Faithful; Anita Pallenburg; Marsha Hunt (mother of Jagger's first child); first wife Bianca (have daughter named Jade); 2nd wife Jerry Hall (four children); Lucianna - mother of Jagger's youngest child; Mick is now dating L'Wren Scott (not sure of the last name).
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Lard Tunderin' Jeezus
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posted 10 September 2005 05:32 AM      Profile for Lard Tunderin' Jeezus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
And wasn't Bette Midler always known as a 'fag hag' rather than for her lesbian liasons?
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Crippled_Newsie
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posted 10 September 2005 11:03 AM      Profile for Crippled_Newsie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Lard tunderin' jeesus:
And wasn't Bette Midler always known as a 'fag hag' rather than for her lesbian liasons?

Bette Midler transcends fag-hagdom, in my view. I'd consider her practically an honorary gay man. (Apologies if that's not PC-- it's meant in a good way.) As most people know, she spent part of her early career singing in bathhouses, and has seemingly never forgotten where she came from.


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Hinterland
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posted 10 September 2005 11:23 AM      Profile for Hinterland        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yeah, fag-hag's a tricky term. It's most negative when it describes a woman who has problems relating to men (and other women) in general, and relies on a gay man's natural instinct to be nice to women (because most gay men naturally identify with female powerlessness). It's not a healthy relationship, and fag-to-fag-hag relationships are short-lived.

Bette Midler (and Margaret Cho, among others) are just people with good senses of humour, or at least, appreciate the type of humour (..bitter, sardonic, self-deprecating) that is characteristic of a lot of gay men.


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gopi
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posted 10 September 2005 01:41 PM      Profile for gopi     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Mick is quite the ladie's man

And any sexual incidents in his biography with other men (such as the famous backstage closet anecdote with Bowie and Midler) were probably fleeting experiments, and it is a stretch of the imagination to even consider him bisexual. Still, I think it is unfortunate that he refuses to acknowledge that these incidents occurred. I guess the abusive imagery of Black and Blue sells more records.


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CMOT Dibbler
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posted 10 September 2005 03:04 PM      Profile for CMOT Dibbler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
It's not a healthy relationship, and fag-to-fag-hag relationships are short-lived.

Not healthy? Why?


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CMOT Dibbler
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posted 10 September 2005 03:25 PM      Profile for CMOT Dibbler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Oh and...

Bette Middler is gay!?
Where have I been?


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Hephaestion
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posted 10 September 2005 05:44 PM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by CMOT Dibbler:
Oh and...

Bette Middler is gay!?
Where have I been?


I believe "The Divine Miss M" fits more in the "Q" part of "LGBTQ"... as in "Questioning". (But I am willing to be corrected if anyone out there knows better than I about that.)


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deBeauxOs
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posted 10 September 2005 07:38 PM      Profile for deBeauxOs     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
posted by Lard tunderin' jeesus:
And wasn't Bette Midler always known as a 'fag hag' rather than for her lesbian liasons?
"What I want is to be a bisexual fantasy. I want to be the most loved, the most desired woman on this earth," says Bette ... (at the age of 27, in 1973) source: here. In the early 70's she performed in gay bathhouses in NYC with Barry Manilow on the piano.

In 1979 she played the lead role in the movie The Rose which was inspired by Janis Joplin. Her queer-positive approach, as well as her comfort portraying a bisexual rock'n'roll performer does not, IMHO, qualify her as a 'fag-hag'(I really hate that epithet).

In fact, I would suggest that her stage persona is very much based on performing as a very good drag queen - one which replicates that whole raunchy glam diva scene, without any misogynistic notes.

[ 10 September 2005: Message edited by: deBeauxOs ]


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raccunk
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posted 10 September 2005 07:50 PM      Profile for raccunk     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Hephaestion:

I believe "The Divine Miss M" fits more in the "Q" part of "LGBTQ"... as in "Questioning". (But I am willing to be corrected if anyone out there knows better than I about that.)


I always thought the Q in LGBTQ meant 'queer'. Boy do I need to get more...


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raccunk
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posted 10 September 2005 07:51 PM      Profile for raccunk     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
whoops! That is I need to get out more. NOt get more...

Freudian slip anyone!


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CMOT Dibbler
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posted 10 September 2005 09:04 PM      Profile for CMOT Dibbler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
In fact, I would suggest that her stage persona is very much based on performing as a very good drag queen...

Don't you mean drag king?


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Hephaestion
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posted 10 September 2005 10:08 PM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by CMOT Dibbler:

Don't you mean drag king?

No, that would involve her dressing up as a male...


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deBeauxOs
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posted 10 September 2005 10:10 PM      Profile for deBeauxOs     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
posted by CMOT Dibbler: Don't you mean drag king?
Have you EVER seen a drag king perform? Usually it is a woman, butch or tranny-boy assuming the clothing and style of a known artist, for example: Elvis or Sly (of the Family Stone).

"Drag kings are (seemingly) much more into performing than just showing off. However, be aware, there is quite an actual difference between [drag kings and drag queens]. Performing generally requires talent, whereas showing off is best left to runway models..." source

More often, a drag king is a complete creation, an inspired and humourous parody of a hyper macho archetype. You can often tell from their names - Boise Studley, Pat Riarch, Ramses Ravino, Lustvicious, and others gender benders (go here) what they are spoofing. Mary Walsh did drag king when she played Dekey Dunn on "This Hour Has 22 Minutes".

In the late 70's, a 'girl' group called The Clichettes interpreted Paul Anka's signature song "Having My Baby" as a trio of greasy lounge lizards smirking their way through the lyrics and flirting with the female audience members in a most odiously delightful manner.

So no, Bette Midler is NOT a drag king. If you want to get your head around the notion of women playing drag queens, check out the movie Connie and Carla.

[ 10 September 2005: Message edited by: deBeauxOs ]


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deBeauxOs
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posted 11 September 2005 09:20 PM      Profile for deBeauxOs     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Kristin Chenoweth is attached to star as Dusty Springfield for a Universal Pictures biopic of the soul singer. Jessica Sharzer will write and direct the movie ... (which) will focus primarily on Springfield's life in the '60s, culminating with the making of "Dusty in Memphis."

from this source.

So, following the success of Ray, movie studios are frantic to make biopics about iconic singers and performers. At least they picked someone who can really sing.


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'lance
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posted 11 September 2005 11:18 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
So no, Bette Midler is NOT a drag king. If you want to get your head around the notion of women playing drag queens, check out the movie Connie and Carla.

Because of her over-the-top screen persona, it's been argued that the first drag queen in the modern sense was Mae West.


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deBeauxOs
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posted 12 September 2005 01:32 PM      Profile for deBeauxOs     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by 'lance: Because of her over-the-top screen persona, it's been argued that the first drag queen in the modern sense was Mae West.
Absolutely!! And she has given zaftig guys (meant to be an inclusive term for men, women and trannies) opportunities to do drag, with her style and bon mots as inspiration!!

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Hephaestion
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posted 12 September 2005 03:04 PM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by deBeauxOs:

...she has given zaftig guys (meant to be an inclusive term for men, women and trannies)...



Interesting. First time I've run across this. Can you give a definition/explanation of where the term comes from? I might adopt it...

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deBeauxOs
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posted 12 September 2005 04:59 PM      Profile for deBeauxOs     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
posted by Hephaestion: Interesting. First time I've run across this. Can you give a definition/explanation of where the term comes from? I might adopt it...
What ... zaftig? It is a yiddish word for voluptuous, big-boned, fleshy, built like a ...., well you get the idea. As for "guys", well I use it as a passe-partout term for y'all concerned or involved.

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Hephaestion
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posted 12 September 2005 05:19 PM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by deBeauxOs:

It is a yiddish word for voluptuous, big-boned, fleshy, built like a ...., well you get the idea.



Heh... then again, maybe I *won't* adopt it -- some folks might take issue with that term being used to describe them. Much obliged for the information, nevertheless.

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deBeauxOs
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posted 12 September 2005 05:52 PM      Profile for deBeauxOs     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
posted by Hephaestion: Heh... then again, maybe I *won't* adopt it -- some folks might take issue with that term being used to describe them.
Although I never got the sense that it was a pejorative term, quite the contrary - Bette Midler is proud of her zaftig body - truthfully, I have not heard it used to describe a manly man. But try it, and let us know how it goes.

[ 12 September 2005: Message edited by: deBeauxOs ]


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Boom Boom
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posted 12 September 2005 09:18 PM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Quote: In the 60s and 70 Dusty Springfield was a lesbian icon - the first big name rocker to come out publicly. But, a new biopic on Dusty won't have a single mention of her sexuality.

Question: Isn't there a legal means whereby Dusty's family or friends can force the truth of her life to be told, or else shut down the production entirely?


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'lance
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posted 12 September 2005 09:26 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
IANAL and all, but so far as I know, the usual legal principle has been that the dead have no rights -- you can't be held liable for libelling them (har, har).

Though this has begun to change -- the estate of Elvis Presley, for example, claims far-reaching powers over the use and reproduction of his image. And the courts, I think, have been backing them up on this.

But I don't know if they could sue you were you to make an "inaccurate" or "incomplete" (by their lights) movie about his life.

You in the house, jeff house?


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Boom Boom
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posted 12 September 2005 09:37 PM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yes - I should have used "Dusty's estate" rather than "her family and friends". I wonder if they're taking action as we speak?
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deBeauxOs
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posted 12 September 2005 10:27 PM      Profile for deBeauxOs     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
posted by Boom Boom: Question: Isn't there a legal means whereby Dusty's family or friends can force the truth of her life to be told, or else shut down the production entirely?
For many years, Janis Joplin's family refused to cooperate with anyone who approached them for their participation in her biopic. "The Rose" may have been inspired by Janis but it did not claim to be her life story.

Finally in 1974 Janis' family gave permission to Howard Alk, in partnership with Ottawa-based Crawley Films to produce a documentary and they provided a lot of material.

The problem with trying to control what is selected to be used in a biopic about Dusty Springfield, or anyone, really, is that information can be excluded, as long as nothing defamatory is said. I mentioned in an earlier post in this thread that the movie will only focus on one part of her life. As long as the actual facts used are correct, and all legal permissions/releases obtained, her family members or friends or her legal estate cannot force the production company to include specific information about her sexual orientation.

In fact, the soon-to-be-released movie about Domino Harvey was denounced by the subject herself because the eponymous character is blatantly heterosexual while the real Domino was a lesbian.

[ 12 September 2005: Message edited by: deBeauxOs ]


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