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The Daily Agenda for Thursday, March 28

Jim Burroway

March 28th, 2013

Events This Weekend: BEARcelona, Barcelona, Spain; AIDS Walk, Ft. Worth, TX; White Party, Palm Springs, CA; European Snow Pride, Tignes, France.

Dirk Bogarde: 1921. He was born Derek Jules Gaspard Ulric Niven van den Bogaerde, but his friends and fans called him Dirk. After serving in the Queen’s Royal Regiment in World War II as an intelligence officer, he became one of Britain’s top matinee idols in the 1950s. In the 1960s he decided to do away with his heart-throb image with more challenging roles, including that of the closeted Melville Farr in 1961’s Victim, who resolves to break up an extortion racket that targets gay men.  Time magazine was scathing in its review of Victim, denouncing it as “a plea for perversion.” “Everybody in the picture who disapproves of homosexuals proves to be an ass, a dolt or a sadist,” Time fumed. “Nowhere does the film suggest that homosexuality is a serious (but often curable) neurosis that attacks the biological basis of life itself.”

Bogarde won critical acclaim playing the sinister Hugo Barrett in 1963’s The Servant, and he took on the gay lead in the 1971 art house film Death in Venice. Warner Brothers tried to drop the distribution of Death in Venice because they feared it would be banned for obscenity. They relented after Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Anne attended the premiere in London.

If it was brave for a popular actor to take on gay roles like that, it was doubly brave of Bogarde because he never officially came out. And yet he remained dedicated to his lifelong partner Anthony Forwood, whose death in 1988 after a long struggle with Parkinson’s disease and liver cancer led Bogarde to become an advocate for assisted suicide. Bogarde died in 1999. It wasn’t until 2004 when his brother Gareth van den Bogaerde finally acknowledged publicly that Dirk was gay.

If you know of something that belongs on the agenda, please send it here. Don’t forget to include the basics: who, what, when, where, and URL (if available).

This your open thread for the day. What’s happening in your world?



G.I. Joe
March 28th, 2013 | LINK

There’s an interview with Bogarde about Victim, just after its release, with Bogarde’s entertaining a journalist in his own home.

The home is perfectly decorated, and Bogarde seems so OBVIOUSLY gay. And yet, apparently everybody was fooled. And you see him answering questions about “those people” as if he wasn’t concerned. It’s surreal.

March 28th, 2013 | LINK

Can we add a collective stress-relieving deep breath following the last two days of Supreme Court arguments? Tomorrow, we should include start bracing ourselves for the rulings.

March 28th, 2013 | LINK

How times have changed: In this article Time Magazine attacks gay people as something against life and at top of the site is Time’s cover of gay couples being affectionate with each other. We just have to keep fighting! It is far from over!

March 29th, 2013 | LINK

Dirk Bogarde, whose birthday I share, also wrote: three damn good autobiographical volumes (so I thought)and a novel.

However, checking further, I find that he wrote SEVEN memoirs, so I now have four more to read – as well as additional novels, essays, and collected pieces. And for the birthday gift of “more Dirk Bogardes to read,” I thank you.

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