Role models of greatness.

Here you will discover the back stories of kings, titans of industry, stellar athletes, giants of the entertainment field, scientists, politicians, artists and heroes – all of them gay or bisexual men. If their lives can serve as role models to young men who have been bullied or taught to think less of themselves for their sexual orientation, all the better. The sexual orientation of those featured here did not stand in the way of their achievements.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Joshua Tree 1951: A Portrait of James Dean

James Preston as film icon James Dean.

A full-length trailer for a new film that focuses on screen icon James Dean’s homosexual relationships has been released. The biopic comes from queer director/screenwriter Matthew Mishory, who says, “I did a lot of research, and found sources that were interesting to me. I stepped back and found the elements that inspired me. I found a few literary texts that framed the world and framed the story that inspired James Dean, and I sat down and constructed the story.”

Joshua Tree 1951: A Portrait of James Dean tackles its approach head-on. One scene shows James Dean making love to his male roommate in a corridor. Another shows him indulging in a tryst with another male, this time on top of a mountain.

Dean's first biographer was close friend William Bast, who had a intimate relationship with the actor. Dean was also described as homosexual by screenwriter Gavin Lambert and Nicholas Ray, who directed Rebel Without A Cause. Dean avoided being drafted into the war by registering as a homosexual, which was classified as a mental disorder by the US government.

However, when questioned about being gay, Dean famously stated, “I am not a homosexual. But, I'm also not going to go through life with one hand tied behind my back.” He was known to have sexual relations with both men and women. Dean died in a car crash in 1955, aged 24, one month before the release of Rebel Without A Cause.

Dean is played by actor James Preston, who is most famous for his role as a werewolf in the supernatural ABC TV drama The Gates. Also starring, in the role of a film director, is Robert Gant of Showtime’s Queer as Folk fame. Preston was recommended to Mishory by another actor already cast in a different role; they had taken an acting class together. Preston had been discovered by filmmaker David DeCoteau and subsequently cast in the movie The Brotherhood 6: Initiation (2009), a beyond cheesy grade D horror movie in which the male “stars” appear in only boxer briefs 90% of their on-screen time. Oops. Preston will have huge shoes to fill when the inevitable comparisons to James Franco’s turn in TNT’s TV film, James Dean (2001), come to light.

Cinematographer Michael Marius Pessah shot the black-and-white sequences on Fuji color film, removing the color in the transfer to create the glossy yet contrasted look. Film locations include Joshua Tree National Park, Laguna Beach and Hollywood. IMDB shows a release date of August, 2012.

Iconoclastic Features was co-founded by Matthew Mishory and actor/producer Edward Singletary, Jr. The company launched at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival.

JOSHUA TREE, 1951 Full-Length Trailer from Iconoclastic Features on Vimeo.

1 comment:

  1. I thought that this film was downright awful! The writing, acting and directing were simply terrible! Preston is a real looker, and he at times looked like Dean, but it was not enough to elevate this boring film beyond the pedestrian movie it is.