Saving Graces, Cloudy Skies

Saving Graces, Cloudy Skies

Philly Film Fest, Gen Art and a Bachelor Get Divine Attention

Where there’s Sparks there’s fire… or at least flaming homosexuals. Cutie HAL SPARKS has been making the national rounds promoting the new season of Showtime’s “Queer as Folk,” but he finally got to mix with straight folk––well, some––at the Philadelphia Film Festival (

Sparks stars in “Lightning Bug,” an indie film about a teenaged aspiring monster effects creator living in religious small-town Alabama. While waiting in the lobby for a packed screening to end, Sparks—wearing chunky, funky boots and a cranberry-splashed leather jacket—admitted that he received a fair share of same-sex gropes in San Francisco while hyping “QAF.”

“I haven’t had more than six hours of sleep in weeks,” he admitted.

Sounds very rock star to us.

“If it was I would have a tour bus!”

And groupies?

“Whoa! I love my girlfriend… but…” and he was off.

Incidentally, Sparks is a rock star part time, fronting The Hal Sparks Band, for which “Lightning Bug” writer/director ROBERT HALL is bassist. Hmm. Perhaps Sparks could make beautiful music sometime with fellow uber-adorable “QAF” star HARRIS ALLAN, who also plays in a band, Square 9.

Philadelphians sang the praises of MARY-LOUISE PARKER, who was honored with an Artistic Achievement Award. During a Q&A, Parker admitted that she prefers working in low-budget films rather than big Hollywood ones––she regretted being in box office hit “Red Dragon.”

Parker, with her Virginia-based parents in tow, was more privately f&Mac246;eted at dinner in a restaurant’s wine cellar. A gaggle of kids celebrating a sweet sixteen party nearby learned that a star of some stripe was inside and swarmed, ogling through a small window.

A mother as of January, Parker told us that she isn’t scared of kids.

“Sure, I’d want to give birth to MANDY MOORE,” she said, referring to her young co-star in the fest’s closing night film, “Saved!” a zingy comedy following a Christian high school senior who finds herself pregnant after attempting to cure her boyfriend of his homosexuality.

Parker’s loopy character in HBO’s “Angels in America” married not only a homosexual boyfriend, but a homosexual Mormon boyfriend. Which would Parker prefer––a gay or a Mormon?

“I’d be more comfy with gay men,” she nodded. “We have more in common! I spend lots of time with gay people anyway, and I live close to Christopher Street. What would a Mormon bring to the table? They can baptize the dead.”

Speaking of the dead, horror film maestro TOBE HOOPER (“Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” “Poltergeist”) was also honored with a festival award and the premiere of his new film, “The Toolbox Murders.” In “Toolbox,” Hollywood showbiz wannabes are gruesomely dispatched by a twisted killer who shoots up Botox and undergoes more facelifts than Joan Rivers.

“I’ve seen people who look worse than that,” Hollywood vet Hooper admitted. “We need to ease off the cosmetic surgery when someone looks like a skeleton with skin like a prophylactic!”

Back in NYC, we sloshed our way uptown to find gawkers lined up six-deep in the pouring rain to leer at red carpet arrivals when THE ZEGNA FAMILY hosted the opening party of Fifth Avenue’s new Ermenegildo Zegna Flagship store.

HILLARY CLINTON, BILL BRADLEY, LESLIE MOONVES, DAN MARINO, BRIDGET MOYNIHAN, JOE MORGAN, HENRY SIMMONS, MICKEY BOARDMAN, DAVID ASHER, AMY SACCO, CAROL ALT, TOLAND GRINNELL, JOSEPH ABBOUD, AMANDA HEARST, LAUREN BUSH, MASSIMO FERRAGAMO, TIKI BARBER, FRED WILSON, SKY NELLOR, JOHN SEDA, ANN JONES, and CAROLYN KEPCHER from “The Apprentice” (in a skirt so short she looked like an “Apprentice” hopeful) were all on hand sipping passion fruit cocktails, nibbling on polenta, and partaking of the major posing.

FABIAN BASABE, with no Hearst or Bush beard in tow, alas, made his way twice down the red carpet with little result––is the “it boy” losing it? When not eyeing our +1, he was very attentive to a male model wannabe.

ADRIEN BRODY, the Zegna poster boy, made a less-than-Oscar-worthy entrance with girlfriend MICHELLE DUPONT, who nestled dog CIELO VICIOUS in her enhanced cleavage. An improvement – the last time we saw Michelle she was offering free feels of said cleavage to friends, as well as indulging herself. Makes us wonder – what do Brody’s mom and dad, his ever-present chaperones on the party circuit, think? Cielo Vicious copped more flash action than his owner!

However, the star of the evening was JESSE PALMER of the New York Giants, and as of late, “The Bachelor.” He had the impeccably groomed, pubescent Zegna boys in their perfectly tailored suits, you know by whom, in conniptions: “le bachelore, le bachelore!” they squealed in delighted recognition. We were equally taken. He’s having “fun” with the show, and publicists were having fun eying the hunk, barely containing the drooling, following his every step. He seemed to not notice, and kept company with his Giants homies.

The 9th Annual Gen Art Film Festival opened with the premiere of “Saved!” Guests included film’s stars Mandy Moore, JENA MALONE, PATRICK FUGIT, and EVA AMURRI. Amurri was accompanied by mom SUSAN SARANDON and TIM ROBBINS. Most pathetic moment of the evening? People desperately distributing flyers to “Embedded,” Robbins’ panned play, outside to fest goers. Surprising that Cielo Vicious isn’t a flak for the show – it would get more attention. Perhaps the Oscar truly is a curse!

“Saved!” was preceded by a short film, “Save Virgil,” an irreverent tale of a cartoon character who takes it up the bum from a monkey living in the non-animated world. The pic sports cameos by ex-porn star GINGER LYNN and GARY COLEMAN (as the devil).

Seasoned travel scribe/ book editor MICHAEL LUONGO celebrated the release of “Between The Palms: A Collection of Gay Travel Erotica” (Harrington Park Press) with a reading at Creative Visions and party at Plaid. Also present/ reading were contributors AARON KRACH (who just released his own novel, “Half-Life”), MATTHEW LINK, ROBERT STEPHENSON, and MICHAEL MELE.

Asked which travel destinations make for the best erotic encounters, Luongo praised Buenos Aires—“you trip over men who want to have sex with you. Argentina is full of really gorgeous, masculine bottoms. All of Latin America is one horny continent—except Venezuela. Its men are very handsome, they look horny and happening, but there’s a whole ‘look but don’t touch’ mentality… they’re actually mama’s boys.”

Judging FROM JULIAN HERNANDEZ’s “A Thousand Clouds of Peace,” a somber, gorgeously poetic film, Mexico is full of lovelorn boys and frisky men. Hernandez told us the film is partially culled from his own life: “I marvel at the chance to be in the domains of a sudden, mad love again.” Until then, he’s got another film in the works – with a longer title to boot. It’s as long as a novel – “So it was an Extremely Hot Day and I Looked at the Sky Only to Realize Injustice Lived Under its Robe.”

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