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Entries in Milk (3)

Friday
Mar012019

Blueprints: Standout sequences in Original Screenplay winners

by Jorge Molina

Last Sunday, in a ceremony filled with joyful surprises, heartbreaking disappointments, and Emma Stone’s shocked tearsGreen Book won Best Original Screenplay.  Instead of driving into Peter Farrelly, Brian Currie and Nick Vallelonga’s screenplay, let’s take a look at the last ten years of winners of Best Original Screenplay (2008-2017), and a standout sequence in each. Because somehow Viggo Mortensen folding a pizza in half and Mahershala Ali learning how to eat fried chicken are now among their peers.

The King's Speech, Django Unchained, Her, Birdman and more are after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Nov292018

10th Anniversary: Milk (2008) is Aging Beautifully

by Eric Blume

This month marked the tenth anniversary of the release of Gus Van Sant’s semi-biopic Milk, chronicling the last eight years of the life of gay politician Harvey Milk.  If you’ve never seen Milk, get ye post haste to it, if for no other reason than to be fully immersed in this crucial window of history.  If you saw Milk when it was released a decade ago and haven’t seen it since (which was true for me), watch it again:  it’s aging beautifully.

Olympic diver Tom Daley’s husband, Dustin Lance Black, won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for this movie, and the trophy was richly deserved.  Black not only manages to avoid almost every biopic cliché, he captures the beginning of the gay rights movement with precision, pain, and most importantly, humor.  Black’s script starts when Harvey Milk turns forty, had been mostly closeted, and was not politically aware. He chronicles his consciousness-raising without a hint of clumsiness or fake nobility.  And while Black keeps his focus squarely on Milk, his real achievement is in casting a wider net: he gives Milk’s real-life contemporaries a vivid presence, and shows us a full community within the Castro neighborhood in San Francisco.  This script manages to be both macro and micro, and throughout you can see Black’s gigantic heart and passion for this story...

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Saturday
May212016

National Gay Killers Day. What? Ewww!

Because we're having fun with this little feature we'll continue. On this day in history as it relates to the movies...

1881 Ahead of her time Clara Barton founds the American Red Cross. She doesn't get a biopic because Hollywood is only interested in "Great Man" biopics
1916
Happy Centennial to author Harold Robbins who penned 25 best-sellers some of which became famous movies like The Carpetbaggers (1964), the Elvis flick King Creole (1958), and the notorious Pia Zadora Razzie winner The Lonely Lady (1983)

Rope (1949) and Swoon (1992) - two great movies inspired by the Leopold & Loeb case

1924 Chicago college students Leopold & Loeb murder a teenage boy in a "thrill killing." Their crime inspires the story of the gay deviants in Alfred Hitchcock's Rope (1949), the Cannes Best Actor winning Compulsion (1958) and is recreated in the New Queer Cinema classic Swoon (1992)
1926 Kay Kendall of Les Girls (1957) fame is born
1952 Two time Oscar nominee John Garfield (best known for The Postman Always Rings Twice and Gentlemen's Agreement though those were not his nominated films) dies unexpectedly at the age of 39. The stress from the blacklist and Communist witch hunts (he'd refused to name names) were said to cause his heart attack.
1959 Gypsy opens on Broadway starring Ethel Merman. Mama Rose becomes the defining female role of musical theater, as Hamlet is to male drama thespians. Dozens of divas play her thereafter on stage, tv, and film. The best of them is Imelda Staunton, no joke. 

1960 Jeffrey Dahmer is born in Wisconsin. Becomes an infamous gay serial killer in the early 90s just in time for America's obsession with serial killers to go truly perverse and mainstream. Within a decade or two they're the heroes on television shows for f***'s sake (This has always bothered me about showbiz - assassins and serial killers are professions as popular as being a doctor or a waitress.) Jeremy Renner plays Dahmer in the eponymous movie which yours truly has never seen. Have you? the general critical consensus is that Renner was very very good in it. But nobody was annoyed by his total franchise sellout-ness back then because it hadn't happened yet.

1970 FINALLY some role-model gayness for May 22nd, redeeming the day from infamy. Harvey Milk picks up Scott Smith in a subway station as a 40th birthday present to himself, as lovingly reenacted by Sean Penn & James Franco in Milk (2008)
1974 Fairuza Balk is born. As soon as she can speak she calls the four corners to insure that no other actresses gets her signature role in The Craft years 22 years later. 
1979 "White Night Riots" in San Francisco because the gays are rightfully furious about the "manslaughter" conviction in the assassination of Harvey Milk
1980 Star War: The Empire Strikes Back (1980) released in theaters. It's still the best one.


1992 Johnny Carson welcomes his last guest on "The Tonight Show," Bette Midler, after 30 seasons on air. She wins the Outstanding Individual Performance Emmy for this performance. Two years later she is nominated for Gypsy and loses. 
1999 Susan Lucci spoils her fame-boosting status as the ultimate awards show loser by winning on her 19th consecutive Daytime Emmy nomination