Thursday, December 11, 2008


An Existential Thursday for the history books. MILK was an exceptional movie! Emile Hirsh doing sit-ups was absolutely awesome. Everybody was awesome. Sean Penn and James Franco making out? Kind of creepy (especially that wig Penn was wearing), but still awesome.

The story was told in a pretty conventional way, predictable I should say, but the acting was top notch. Even Franco was not bad. The photography was dark and grainy and if you absolutely love 35mm film, it was mesmerizing to watch. The scene outside Milk's birthday party with the wallpaper? Flourescent light mashing up the color temperatures and casting a flicker over the kitchen in Harvey's apartment? Realistic lighting. Large format. Super-wide lenses. Film cannot die. Gus Van Sant is a true believer.

Watching this film was a very emotional experience. The victory over Prop. 6 in the movie felt extremely bittersweet given the current political climate. But, I can't imagine better timing for a film like this. I think it will stand a monument for better gay political films to come. Brokeback Mountain was an important film as far as creating empathy for closeted gay men in the hearts of a larger straight audience. MILK celebrates victory, tenacity, and hope. Its not just about staying alive. Its about kicking some fucking ass. Its about coming out and acting out despite how society may retaliate. There's no sense of victimization. There is a clear sense that victory comes to the bold, hard-won as it may be. That is the kind of film we need.

I am interested in what films can be considered as real predecessors to a film like MILK. Was it just a conventional protest film repackaged for the GLBT movement? Is it really any kind of first in gay film? It is certainly one of the best of its kind, but these are the natural questions that come to mind after seeing MILK. There must be others like it, if not already out there, soon to come in the future.

On that note, I am off to write some really disturbing letters to Emile Hirsh.

No comments: