“Everybody made me feel like part of the family,” he said.
So it was a no-brainer for the California-based filmmaker, co-founder of Guest House Films, to use Tampa, rather than Los Angeles, as the backdrop for his seventh feature-length film, the gay murder mystery Out to Kill.
Fueled by this rejection, Moote embarked on a globetrotting quest to answer two questions that are fundamental to masculine identity: 1. Does penis size really matter?, and 2. Are there any safe methods for increasing your penis size? The "cockumentary" of Moote's misadventures follows him from porn conventions to uncomfortable encounters with "dick doctors" in Third World motel rooms. Along the way Moote talks cocks with a wide range of experts, including doctors, anthropologists, penis pump pitch-men, and sexperts like Carol Queen, Dan Savage, and Annie Sprinkle. He also gets the opinions of a few porn stars like Ron Jeremy, Andy San Dimas, Allie Haze, and Axel Braun, and discovers what the man with the world's largest penis, Jonah Falcon, thinks about size.
I caught up with the UnHung Hero just before his cockumentary was unleashed on DVD, December, 10.
The rise of the craft cocktail has been no accident; bartenders across the country (and world) have worked to build a new liquid consciousness, drink by drink. Hey Bartender, a new documentary, gets up close and personal with some of the best bartenders. Tampa Theatre will host a one-night-only screening of the film on Wednesday, Oct. 2, at 7:30 p.m. I recently had the opportunity to speak with the film's director, Douglas Tirola, about why bartending, like art, has its own cultural movements.
"I was about 15 and got a job as a dishwasher at a restaurant/nightlife bar," Tirola said. "It turned into the town's big nightlife spot, all New York-style with velvet ropes and a huge bar. One night, the barback doesn't show up and I'm the barback."
Then one night the bartender didn't show up and Tirola took over.
"I was making sea breezes and Long Island Iced Teas then," he said. "The bartender is the official mayor for communities. There's a special relationship between regulars and bartenders and I always noticed that."
Today, Tirola makes documentary films at 4th Row Films in New York. But the bartending scene always fascinated him and the idea for a documentary about corner bars stuck in his head — but it still wasn't the exact story he wanted tell. Then, while staying at the Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles, the drinks made at the library bar caught his eye.
"This bartender was doing a lot with cocktails, fruits and vegetables," Tirola said. "He was going to the Santa Monica farmers market, a renown farmers market, for all these ingredients."
Back home in New York, Tirola discovered the Spring Lounge, then Employees Only — both New York bars taking risks with spirits.
The institute will offer college level classes with currently established educators and working professionals (Curtis Graham, Tom Hammond and Tony Armer to name a few). It will also have online classes, which will give an opportunity for working adults, interested in film.
Time to load up the beach bag for summer reading. Here’s what I have so far, with some new additions:
Give Me Everything You Have by James Lasdun (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $25). This is a real-life horror story rooted in that sometimes odd and obsessive relationship between teacher and student. “Relationship” is not quite the right word to describe the fantasies and imaginings of an obsessive student who creates an alternate universe in which she and her mentor have an affair. Lasdun tells us how he rebuffed the student, who then launched an assault on his character. Reads like a thriller, though this story is true.Springsteen on Springsteen by Jeff Burger (Chicago Review Press, $27.95). Think you have enough Springsteen books? Think again, Bubba. Until the boss writes an autobiography, this is the next-closest thing: a collection of interviews, speeches and the occasional letter to the editor by Bruce. A highlight: his beautiful speech inducting Bob Dylan into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988. It’s a superb collection.
That’s Not Funny, That’s Sick by Ellin Stein (W.W. Norton, $27.95). This is a terrific narrative of the comic revolution at the dawn of the 1970s. The book focuses on the epicenter of this comedy, National Lampoon, and its stars, Doug Kenney, Michael O’Donoghue and P.J. O’Rouke. The Lampoon was wickedly funny then and this well-crafted saga ought to help you appreciate the breakthroughs. One complaint: no illustrations. What’s up with that?
Lee Marvin Point Blank by Dwayne Epstein (Schaffner Press, @27.95). It’s time to revisit this movie tough guy, who’s been gone now for a quarter century. Epstein covers Marvin’s early life, his war record, and his steady rise from tough-guy and heavy roles to brutal leading man. Seems that Marvin excelled in every role he attempted, even as a singer in “Paint Your Wagon.”
Shah is the man who got the process rolling back in January, when he presented the idea to Higginbotham unsolicited during "a five-minute window" in the commissioner's schedule. Shah made the most of it, describing how big a deal landing the event could be for the Bay area. Tampa made its bid after plans for the original 2014 host city were canceled. (That locale was never revealed to the public.) His hard work paid off last Friday, when IIFA made the announcement in Macau, China, that Tampa had beaten a number of American cities (New York, Chicago and San Francisco among them) and would host the event.
"The credit goes to everyone. I'm not the only one who can take any of this credit," Shah said today.