Tuesday, December 9, 2008

MILK: A Short Review

The highly-anticipated film MILK finally comes to Rochester this weekend. I attended a press screening last week and I truly believe that everyone needs to see this film. Yes, not just the LGBT community, but everyone. And I can't wait for my friends, if they truly are my friends, to agree with me.

The film details the inspiring story of Harvey Milk, the San Francisco politician who was also known as the Mayor of Castro Street -- from his life-changing decision to move from NYC to SF to his eventual assassination by fellow City Supervisor Dan White. Its timing could not be any more perfect with LGBT issues getting their fair share of national headlines nowadays. But this is also the reason why many people would consider the film too political and will easily find detractors as it opens in more theaters nationwide in the following weeks.

ImageOut audiences are fortunate to have had the opportunity to see the documentary THE TIMES OF HARVEY MILK on the big screen during our October festival. Director Gus Van Sant masterfully weaves many historical and archival footage seen in the documentary with new scenes to capture the essence, wildness, chaos, freedom, desperation, and hope of the LGBT community in the 70s. While the film depicts one man's slow and difficult rise in the SF political arena, it also unfolds the birth of gay social activism and the emergence of the Castro District as a gay mecca. What makes these stories come to life is the work of an amazing ensemble cast led by Sean Penn's unforgettable turn as Milk, proving once again that he is one of the best thespians of his generation. He simply gets lost in the character and almost convinces the viewers that they are indeed watching Milk himself. He will definitely be a leading contender for acting honors in the coming awards season.

Powerful. Poignant. Relevant. Amazing. Fabulous. Choose any of these adjectives to describe the film. But the one certain thing you would walk away with after watching it is, just as it was then, there is a necessity and urgency for change -- change that may not be easily achieved. And we need everyday heroes to rise to the occasion and champion us in our fight for this change.

~ Michael Gamilla


radioman said...

I agree with all the adjectives Michael used! Milk is a wonderful movie, and one that will serve to educate the masses, even the gay masses who might never have heard of Harvey Milk.
Young gay people should be fascinated at what this man accomplished in his all too brief life, and appreciate how his efforts helped to make our lives better today. Don't miss this film!

Scott LaForce said...

When does it come out in Rochester?

Michael G said...

Scott, it opens tomorrow, Dec. 12 at the Little. Not sure if its coming to the multiplexes.

Anonymous said...

I saw it over the weekend for the second time, and enjoyed it as much as the first. I see a best actor Oscar in Sean Penn's future come February. And...WELL deserved. His performance just amazes me on so many levels.

Chris Mc. said...

We saw the movie Tuesday
night and loved it. I totally agree with the praise that has already been heaped on this film, especially on Sean Penn's performance. Outstanding!
I was so engrossed in it I felt like I was watching the real Harvey Milk.