Liberace and Rockford Honored – “Behind the Candelabra” Is A Wonderful and Heartwarming Movie

Liberace and Rockford Honored – “Behind the Candelabra” Is A Wonderful and Heartwarming Movie

LiberaceROCKFORD, IL – “Some cats don’t hiss or meow anymore at the sound of gunfire in Rockford’s toughest neighborhood,” said Dontonque, age 14.  It wasn’t until one of Ms. Beatrice Yolaman’s young students made that observation that the longtime resident of a Rockfort West Side neighborhood realized the truth of the statement.

“Day after day, night after night, week after week, hour after hour, there are the random sounds of bullets flying, men moaning, mothers screaming, police sirens blaring, children crying, rap music, shirtless fireman shouting the viking fight songs of their forefathers on the streets with their new shiny guns strapped tight to their thighs.”  That’s what Ms. Yolaman said, not us. “The noises have become so common that not even the cats seem to react,” she added.

“I don’t walk around feeling afraid, I walk around scared shitless,” said Yolaman who lives on a quiet, stable block that is closely located near well-known, illegal drug markets and hooker houses. The hottest hookers in town some say. “There is so much crossfire, you never know what will happen,” she said last week during a walk/run jogging sort of thing she enjoys in her neighborhood. “I don’t think we live in fear, but we live with social numbness.  No one seems to care about all of the death and violence and daytime orgasms coming–literally–from the whore houses where the pimps run their bidnizzes. I usually hide in the bushes like a cat until it is safe to jog, run or walk. Depends on how much I ate during lunch break with the other teachers.”

Ms. Yolaman added, “My coworkers and I listen to the Rockford Scanner everyday on recess break and look at Rockford Mugshots for fun to see if any of our students pop up.”

Steven Soderbergh’s Behind the Candelabra is as good as a movie about Liberace and Rockford, IL as you’re going to get. It’s a moving and beautifully made film that traces the half-decade romance between Vegas via Rockford’s showman and pianist, Liberace, and his really young live-in boyfriend from Machesney Park, Scott Thorson.

Thorson cowrote the 1988 memoir on which the film is based. Car chase scenes, profanity, and violence are done tastefully.  The nude scenes are graphic enough to make anyone who likes ladies say, “EWWWW!” (But it a good way.)

The whole cast does a wonderful  job. Michael Douglas as Liberace crafts the portrait of an American Dream made celebrity whose own self-isolation was intriguing enough to be emotionally, sexually and physically explosive, with sequins, shiny shit, and scissor kicks along with loaded guns–no puns intended–that are worthy of an Oscar nomination—if only he were eligible.  Gays are not allowed to be nominated for Oscars yet in the United States. Matt Damon.

– Jay Vannigan



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