Culture

'Dallas Buyers Club' Backlash: 'The Help' for Gay People

Jared Leto and Matthew McConaughey in ‘Dallas Buyers Club’/Image © Focus Features

Editor's Note: From Dallas Buyers Club to deplorable animal rights news, and from the esoteric to the ridiculous, we're touching on plenty in today's roundup.

There's a bit of backlash brewing toward "Dallas Buyer's Club" -- which Slant Magazine's R. Kurt Osenlund describes as "'The Help' for Gay People," in terms of its reliance on a straight white hero to champion the rights of the oppressed. There's no doubt the movie's heart is in the right place, but Osenlund lists plenty of reasons why the story and the casting may not be nearly as progressive as they seem at first glance.

The Hollywood Reporter lowered the boom this week with a detailed feature revealing how meaningless that little "No animals were harmed" onscreen disclaimer has become. Documents they've recovered indicate, for example, that a live tiger nearly drowned during the filming of "The Life of Pi";  the death of a horse on the set of "War Horse" was covered up to preserve director Steven Spielberg's reputation; a dog was punched repeatedly on the set of Disney's "Eight Below." All of these productions (and many more) were being monitored by the American Humane Association, which in most cases still awarded its stamp of approval, presumably under pressure from studios. The whole mess is heading to court in March;  you can bet there will be many more disclosures as fingers keep pointing back and forth.

Shall we clear the air with a little living history? Listen as three-time Oscar winner Thelma Schoonmaker comments on scenes from several of the Martin Scorsese films she's edited, including "The Aviator," "Goodfellas," and "Raging Bull." Her impression of today's editing standards, in a nutshell? "Food-blender."

Leave it to James Franco and Seth Rogen to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. In response to the internet's near-unanimous rejection of Kanye West's latest video "Bound 2," the two comedians have re-created the offending bit of film shot-for-shot. Franco plays West's part, and Rogen delivers his best Kim Kardashian-esque artistic nudity. The lyrics are NSFW, but you know your boss is totally watching this too.

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