boys on film

“Harvey gave me his story and it saved my life, and I just thought it’s time to pass it on. The only thing I really knew I wanted to say was to tell those kids out there that they’re gonna be all right.”

Milk is good. I was drawn in more and moved by the telling of Harvey Milk’s story than i had expected to be. There was a good deal about what happened in his achieving election and then his death that i’d not known – and virtually nothing about his character and charisma, at least as it’s depicted in the film.

But what has just now blown me away and made me cry are the words of Dustin Lance Black and Sean Penn in their Oscar acceptance speeches and after in their press conferences. I hadn’t been aware of Lance, who he is, that he had written the script, and not known his history. He spoke with charming gentleness, but in words that convey so much that young gay men, and others, need to see and hear being said. Sean with an equal but different civil force, mocked selfish bigotry into its proper place and challenged the reluctant.


I’ve had in mind that i wanted to write about gay boys in the movies for some months. And this isn’t quite what i had intended but it fits and is fitting. Though what i most wished to say was how satisfying the appearance of gay guys has been recently. A better take and window on reality even if in movie or televisual fiction. Jack cares  for Ianto, and they are allowed to hold and kiss and exchange in-jokes. Maxxie is cared for by Tony when Anwar is too preoccupied and is then in due course allowed to score brilliantly in the boyfriend business.

Also, and though not the movies but definitely now, Josh writes with astonishing verve in his blog, Always hard. If this is genuinely the work of an adolescent gay boy it is amazingly accomplished writing. The selection and construction of the posts plus the controlled self revelation, detail and wit are remarkable. I find myself wondering quite often if this is the work of a much older professional writer [amongst other things i can’t quite fathom how his mates haven’t made the connection – someone in his group must read teen blogs], but i hope it’s not and that Josh really is Josh.

So we’re not there yet, not where we really need to be [tho’ to be just a little pessimistic, will the world’s economic gloom foster increasing intolerance again as a diversion when people find their situations less expansive?] but we do seem to have been getting a lot lot closer to live and let live.

~ by crisargos on Friday, 27 February, 2009.

2 Responses to “boys on film”

  1. Milk was an excellent movie… although I must confess it set a number of facts straight in my head. I would have sworn black and blue that his store was a book store – but it turns out it was a camera store.
    I also thought that one of his campaigns was for the state assembly – which I don’t recall the movie covering (a quick wikipdeia search told me that the truth was some blend of what was in my head and what wasn’t shown in the movie).

    Milk has to be one of the more enjoyable movies I’ve seen in the last while.

  2. I’ve been waiting, perhaps in vain, for Milk to appear in the cinema here. This, and your entry leads me into a rather melancholy reflection on the notion of ‘how far we’ve come’. Perhaps I went too far too fast and somehow overshot, but I don’t feel much different to 25 years ago except for the fact I don’t seem to have anything particularly concrete to blame…

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