Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Movie List

So I was tagged for this meme by Stinkylulu for Blog Cabin's Alphabetical Movie Meme, so I'm doing it. Here are the rules, copied right off his blog. I am little scared how many people have linked to this meme, so wow.

Pick one film to represent each letter of the alphabet.

2. The letter "A" and the word "The" do not count as the beginning of a film's title, unless the film is simply titled A or The, and I don't know of any films with those titles.

3. [As regards franchises and sequels,] movies are stuck with the titles their owners gave them at the time of their theatrical release. Use your better judgment to apply the above rule to any series/films not mentioned.

4. Films that start with a number are filed under the first letter of their number's word. 12 Monkeys would be filed under "T."

5. Link back to Blog Cabins in your post so that I can eventually type "alphabet meme" into Google and come up #1, then make a post where I declare that I am the King of Google.

6. If you're selected, you have to then select 5 more people.

And here's my list:

All About My Mother
Beauty and the Beast (Cocteau & Disney)
Dark Victory
The Eyes of Tammy Faye
Foul Play
The Gleaners
Hannah & Her Sisters
Ich Bin Meine Eigene Frau (I Am My Own Wife)
Judy Berlin
Kramer vs. Kramer
The Last Picture Show
Manchurian Candidate
Nights of Cabiria
The Orphanage
Private Benjamin
The Red Shoes
A Star is Born (54)
Torch Song Trilogy
Umbrellas of Cherbourg
The Vanishing (Dutch version)
The Way We Were
Yossi & Jagger
Zus & Zo

So I tag Manhatin, moroccomole , zombiestruckstop, Mattycub, and Buck


I saw Milk last night.

I am so glad it's happening now. I imagine I'd have issues with it as a movie if I were to think too long about it--pacing maybe, standard bio pic, etc--all things I've heard.

But I don't really care. Penn is amazing, amazing, and the story is the story that needs to be told right now. The screenwriter said he focussed on the politics, since there were so many stories about his life and relationships he could have focussed on, and that's 100% correct.

Milk is not perfect, as the man wasn't--he comes across as over-zealous, political, selfish at times, but funny, sweet, caring, and naive as well. But I can think of no film I have ever seen being released at exactly the right moment. Someone suggested in the audience that perhaps the film would've made a difference before the Prop 8 vote, but I think the opposite. I think the people who would have seen it then would've been a much smaller audience who would have left thinking the same as they came in. I think people in the streets and the fury directed at the vote will help more people to see it, and more people will be affected by this story of an ordinary man working in his community to make a difference--perhaps even change some minds (yes--I'm optomistic enough to believe people can change their minds). And that one voice, asking everyone to come out, is still resonating today. And 30 years later the entire landscape has changed.

I was thrilled sitting in the audience. Thrilled, and energized. I don't know what I thought of it as a film, per se, but it struck a deep chord. To me, seeing an oscar winning actor playing a real gay man, a gay man who has ideas, opinions, flaws, and complicated, nuanced relationships with other men with no apology is thrilling. As are Diego Luna, Emile Hirsch (who I couldn't place throughout the entire film he disappeared so much for me), James Franco, Denis O'Hare, Josh Brolin so many of the actors. I wouldn't be surprised if Penn, Brolin, and even possibly Luna (but that's a long shot) get noms. The design perfectly captures SF at the time--they actually filmed in the storefront that was Milk's camera store. And the inclusion of historical footage works perfectly.

I have heard some criticism from gay men that they felt the movie is made for straight people, like Philadelphia was. I can't disagree more. I didn't feel pandered to, instructed, or bored. I felt excited, emotional, and amazed. This man was all about equality. I feel like this film, for the first time in a mainstream HOllywood film, put gays on equal footing. Being gay isn't the issue in this film (see Brokeback Mountain, which is a great film), but rather what it takes to be yourself, and demand equality, the risks and the rewards.

So you'll excuse me if I don't write about it as a film as much as about it as a moment. That I could sit in a room full of all kinds of people, holding another man's hand, and see how far we've come--that's beautiful. That there were at least three out gay actors in it, a gay director, gay screenwriter, and producers--brilliant. I can't see it any other way.