Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Pride Month: LGBT-Themed Movies (Part two)

C.R.A.Z.Y. is a 2005 French-language Canadian coming-of-age drama film directed by Jean-Marc Vallée and co-written by Vallée and François Boulay. It tells the story of Zac, a young gay man dealing with homophobia while growing up with four brothers and a conservative father in Quebec during the 1960s and 1970s. The film employs an extensive soundtrack, featuring artists such as Pink Floyd, Patsy Cline and The Rolling Stones.

A popular piece in the Cinema of Quebec, C.R.A.Z.Y. was one of the highest-grossing films of the year in the province. The film won numerous honours, among them 11 Genie Awards, including Best Motion Picture. In 2015, Toronto International Film Festival critics ranked it among the Top 10 Canadian Films of All Time.

The Crying Game is a 1992 British-Irish-Japanese thriller film written and directed by Neil Jordan. The film explores themes of race, gender, nationality, and sexuality against the backdrop of the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

The film is about the experiences of the main character, Fergus (Stephen Rea), a member of the IRA, his brief but meaningful encounter with Jody (Forest Whitaker) who is held prisoner by the group, and his unexpected romantic relationship with Jody's girlfriend, Dil (Jaye Davidson) whom Fergus promised Jody he would protect. However, unexpected events force Fergus to decide what he wants for the future, and ultimately what his nature dictates he must do.

A critical and commercial success, The Crying Game won the BAFTA Award for Best British Film as well as the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, alongside Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor for Rea, Best Supporting Actor for Davidson, and Best Film Editing. In 1999, the British Film Institute named it the 26th greatest British film of all time.

A Single Man is a 2009 American drama film based on the novel of the same name by Christopher Isherwood. It is directed by Tom Ford in his directorial debut and stars Colin Firth, who was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of George Falconer, a depressed gay British university professor living in Southern California in 1962.

The film premiered on September 11, 2009 at the 66th Venice International Film Festival, and went on the film festival circuit. After it screened at the 34th Toronto International Film Festival, The Weinstein Company picked it up for distribution in the United States and Germany. An initial limited run in the United States commenced on December 11, 2009, to qualify it for the 82nd Academy Awards with a wider release in early 2010.

Milk is a 2008 American biographical film based on the life of gay rights activist and politician Harvey Milk, who was the first openly gay person to be elected to public office in California, as a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Directed by Gus Van Sant and written by Dustin Lance Black, the film stars Sean Penn as Milk and Josh Brolin as Dan White, a city supervisor who assassinated Milk and Mayor George Moscone. The film was released to much acclaim and earned numerous accolades from film critics and guilds. Ultimately, it received eight Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, winning two for Best Actor in a Leading Role for Penn and Best Original Screenplay for Black.

Attempts to put Milk's life to film followed a 1984 documentary of his life and the aftermath of his assassination, titled The Times of Harvey Milk, which was loosely based upon Randy Shilts's biography, The Mayor of Castro Street (the film won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature for 1984, and was awarded Special Jury Prize at the first Sundance Film Festival, among other awards). Various scripts were considered in the early 1990s, but projects fell through for different reasons, until 2007. Much of Milk was filmed on Castro Street and other locations in San Francisco, including Milk's former storefront, Castro Camera.

Milk begins on Harvey Milk's 40th birthday (in 1970), when he was living in New York City and had not yet settled in San Francisco. It chronicles his foray into city politics, and the various battles he waged in the Castro neighborhood as well as throughout the city, and political campaigns to limit the rights of gay people in 1977 and 1978 run by Anita Bryant and John Briggs. His romantic and political relationships are also addressed, as is his tenuous affiliation with troubled Supervisor Dan White; the film ends with White's double homicide of Milk and Mayor George Moscone. The film's release was tied to the 2008 California voter referendum on gay marriage, Proposition 8, when it made its premiere at the Castro Theatre two weeks before election day.

All About My Mother (Spanish: Todo sobre mi madre) is a 1999 Spanish drama film written and directed by Pedro Almodóvar, and starring Cecilia Roth, Marisa Paredes, Antonia San Juan, Penélope Cruz and Candela Peña.

The plot originates in Almodóvar's earlier film The Flower of My Secret (1995) which shows student doctors being trained in how to persuade grieving relatives to allow organs to be used for transplant, focusing on the mother of a teenager killed in a road accident. The film deals with complex issues such as AIDS, homosexuality, transsexualism, faith, and existentialism.

The film was a commercial and critical success internationally, winning the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language in addition to the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film and the BAFTA Awards for Best Film Not in the English Language and Best Direction (Almodóvar). The film also won 6 Goya Awards including Best Film, Best Director (Almodóvar), Best Actress (Roth).

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