Amoeblog

Milk: "If a Bullet Should Enter My Brain, Let That Bullet Destroy Every Closet Door in the Country.”

Posted by Miss Ess, December 5, 2008 12:38pm | Post a Comment
This past weekend both Brad and I had the chance to see Milk in theaters. It opened nationwide this week. We wanted to share our post-film conversation here for you, and hopefully start more conversations about this film and its much loved and admired subject.

harvey milk on castro street

Miss Ess: Tell me about your movie-going experience seeing Milk! Where did you see the film? Was it a crowded screening? Did the audience react at all? What did you think of the film overall?
gus van sant
Brad: I am still recovering from this movie watching experience. Seeing movies in theaters is for sure one of my all time favorite things to do. I can't imagine my life without it -- and it is movies like this that continue my obsession. Every once in a while I worry that I have already seen all the great movies of my lifetime -- like I will never see a film again as good as the ones that I have already seen. And I had really high hopes for this film. Gus Van Sant is one of my favorite directors. My Own Private Idaho is probably one of my favorite films of all time. I am staring at the poster in my bedroom right now. I saw this movie when I was 17 and it had a really powerful impact on me. River Phoenix died two years later, so I have those two events forever tied together in my memory. The film became even more powerful and tragic because of his death. It is as if his character has died with the actual actor. Even though he made a couple of films after Idaho this is the film I will always remember him for. And of course Heath Ledger died a couple of years after he made Brokeback Mountain. It is too weird how similar his life and career was to River Phoenix. It is also sort of like James Dean and Rebel Without Ariver phoenix my own private idaho Cause. Rebel was the My Own Private Idaho of its time. That is about as much of a gay story as you were going to get in 1955. It is sort of perfect that James Franco played James Dean in that James Dean movie and is now in the Milk movie. I just started thinking about this because of Milk too. Milk obviously ends with a real life tragedy and death. But hopefully Sean Penn will be around for many more decades to bring us many more fantastic films, both in acting and directing.

(In which Job clarifies the difference between the gay community and lunch.)

Posted by Job O Brother, July 15, 2007 01:08pm | Post a Comment

Thursday night, after a sexy and glorious workday at Amoeba Music Hollywood, my boyfriend Corey picked me up and whisked me away to the premiere party for Outfest, held at the historic Orpheum Theatre in downtown LA.

Outfest is LA’s most popular film festival for the GLBT community. (GLBT stands for Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender and should never be confused with the BLT, a popular sandwich.)


Know the difference - Bacon, lettuce, tomato vs. gay actor, Montgomery Clift

"Outfest is the only nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring that the extensive but threatened LGBT film heritage is preserved. Since the beginning of the struggle for LGBT equality, visionary filmmakers have recorded their lives, challenges and triumphs on film. Outfest is committed to saving, preserving and providing access to that precious, affirming heritage for generations to come." - quote from their website

Put another way, this is a chance to see lots of muscle hunks come to terms with bullies and remakes of “Pretty Woman” that could be called “Pretty Women”.

If I sound cynical, it’s because I am, a bit. But that’s not a reflection of Outfest, rather, a problem I often have with queer cinema. I’ve never been a fan of romantic comedies, and because the definition of gay is indicative of sex, so many gay films are “romantic”.

That’s just one issue I have. On the whole, queer cinema suffers from the same things that mainstream films do. Clichés and what-not. It’s particularly discouraging to see gay films that mimic straight films but, you know, with gay people in ‘em. It’s rare to find a film that is distinctively “gay” outside of the love scenes.