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Author Topic: Milk - The Movie  (Read 121121 times)

Offline dahlia

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Re: Milk - The Movie
« Reply #45 on: November 24, 2008, 02:40:38 PM »

Sean Penn as Harvey Milk

Not to be released in Italy until (at best) next spring  >:(

Guess I'll have to  downl ehm...wait.

Offline michaelflanagansf

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Re: Milk - The Movie
« Reply #46 on: November 24, 2008, 04:41:38 PM »
Oh, I just caught that 'Music by Danny Elfman' bit on the card!  That should be interesting too....
I do my thing, & you do your thing. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other - it is beautiful. If not it can't be helped.

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Offline michaelflanagansf

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Re: Milk - The Movie
« Reply #47 on: November 24, 2008, 09:13:01 PM »
YEA HA!!!!  The little man is jumping up and down in his seat!


MOVIE REVIEW
His time. Our story.
Penn disappears into Harvey Milk, shown as the leader of an epic, historic struggle for civil rights - and a completely liberated man
Mick LaSalle, Chronicle Movie Critic
Monday, November 24, 2008

With "Milk," a great San Francisco story becomes a great American story.

Director Gus Van Sant uses the account of one of the country's first openly gay public officials, who was assassinated in 1978, to invest the gay rights movement with mythic grandeur, as a successor to all the heroic social protest movements in American history. Van Sant's point of view may be a matter of politics, outside the scope of a review, but his success in putting over his point of view is a question of art.

His success is complete. His shaping of the material is seamless, and the images he evokes are inspiring.

At the center of everything is Sean Penn, who disappears into the title role. Gone are his familiar facial expressions. Gone are the pursed lips and the covered, compressed quality. He has Harvey Milk's hair, and from some angles - particularly when Milk is in the public arena - the physical resemblance is uncanny. But what's more striking is the spiritual transformation. Penn gives us a man who was once closeted and now, as if in response, lives his life completely in the open. He's spontaneous as Penn has never been spontaneous. He's emotional, vulnerable and generous with his laughter. Penn plays him as an utterly liberated man, and this liberates Penn as an actor.

Milk's openness, which makes him an endearing figure, gives the movie latitude to paint a complex portrait without losing the audience's interest or affection. The Milk who emerges is at times vain and frivolous. His personal life is often messy and sometimes downright farcical, and his Machiavellian streak isn't becoming, even if impressive. He's no saint, but he has courage and self-knowledge, and you get the feeling that both qualities were hard earned. Van Sant's Milk is essentially an average man who gets the call. By chance, by accident of history, by some strange meeting of disposition and location, Harvey Milk, in the 1970s, finds himself to be the one person best suited to lead the gay rights movement.

The movie begins with him in 1978, making a tape recording to be played in the event of his assassination. We then flash back to 1970, when Milk, at 40 years old, decides to throw off his closeted life and move from New York to San Francisco with his new lover, Scott Smith (James Franco).

Van Sant mixes archival footage with new footage - at times, it's impossible to tell one from the other - and it's fascinating to see San Francisco in the '70s. There's color and beauty, but also coarseness; excitement and hope, but with a feeling that something - or everything - just might spin out of control. The depiction looks accurate, but maybe it looks that way only to people, like me, who never saw San Francisco in that era. No matter. Van Sant captures something, either the city as it was or the San Francisco of legend.

continues:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/11/24/DDJ91489PF.DTL
I do my thing, & you do your thing. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other - it is beautiful. If not it can't be helped.

Fritz Perls - A Gestalt Prayer

Offline michaelflanagansf

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Re: Milk - The Movie
« Reply #48 on: November 24, 2008, 09:17:41 PM »
By the way, we're discussing reading 'The Mayor of Castro Street: the life and times of Harvey Milk' by Randy Shilts over in the Book Club thread here:

http://www.davecullen.com/forum/index.php?topic=8585.msg1445716#msg1445716

I'm unsure if there is anyone here who hasn't already been over there, but if you haven't considered reading the book perhaps you'd like to share your thoughts.
I do my thing, & you do your thing. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other - it is beautiful. If not it can't be helped.

Fritz Perls - A Gestalt Prayer

Offline michaelflanagansf

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Re: Milk - The Movie
« Reply #49 on: November 24, 2008, 09:43:21 PM »
I do my thing, & you do your thing. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other - it is beautiful. If not it can't be helped.

Fritz Perls - A Gestalt Prayer

Offline Lyle (Mooska)

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Re: Milk - The Movie
« Reply #50 on: November 24, 2008, 09:58:41 PM »
I wrote this on the films thread a couple days ago.

James Franco was on David Letterman Friday to promote Milk.
I hope the interview shows and press don't start (again!)
what David Letterman did--start talking about how much
men kissing each other there is in the film and asking the
actors about it.  Grow up, please! 

I thought if reviewers keep doing this I am going to write
to each one of them if I am able and tell them to get over
that!

Then I read this review you just posted:

With "Milk," a great San Francisco story becomes a great American story.
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/11/24/DDJ91489PF.DTL

And Mr. LaSalle says:

"Milk" contains a second remarkable performance (unless you also count James Franco's, for looking totally OK about having Sean Penn kissing him like he means it).

So I wrote to him.

Ugh!

Offline michaelflanagansf

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Re: Milk - The Movie
« Reply #51 on: November 24, 2008, 10:59:26 PM »
And here's the review from the 'Oakland Tribune' (which gives the movie an 'A'):

Review: Penn's portrayal helps 'Milk' soar
By Barry Caine
Oakland Tribune
Posted: 11/24/2008 05:41:50 PM PST

The past is never far away. Consider the 1970s, which seem like they happened only yesterday. Earlier this month, it was nearly impossible to escape the tragic memories of Jonestown. Now, "Milk" arrives in the wake of controversy over Proposition 8, reminding us yet again of San Francisco's history as a hub for social change.

Sensitively directed by Gus Van Sant, "Milk" is a moving biopic about the late Harvey Milk, who, in 1977, became the first openly gay man elected to a major public office in the United States.

As the late gay activist, Sean Penn is the perfect actor in the perfect role. Revealing his tender side for the first time since "I Am Sam," he delivers an Oscar-caliber performance. Penn (wearing a prosthesis that elongates his nose) imbues the charismatic Milk with warmth, wit and vulnerability which, combined with the compassionate Van Sant at the helm, lends the film an intimacy lacking in other biopics. Given "Milk's" personal, social and political complexities, that closeness comes as a surprise.

Eschewing the experimental for once, Van Sant accomplishes this in part by seamlessly melding real footage with his movie: images of gay-rights protests and marches, of the Castro District — dressed up here to resemble the area in the '70s — and of then-supervisor Dianne Feinstein struggling to harness her emotions as she announces the murders of Mayor George Moscone and Milk, only 48 at the time, by former supervisor Dan White in 1978

continues:

http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_11065218?source=rss
I do my thing, & you do your thing. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other - it is beautiful. If not it can't be helped.

Fritz Perls - A Gestalt Prayer

Offline michaelflanagansf

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Re: Milk - The Movie
« Reply #52 on: November 24, 2008, 11:02:00 PM »
Harvey Milk: Gay icon's message lives on
Prop. 8 makes new film bio, 'Milk,' timely, 30 years after his killing

By PAULA NECHAK
SPECIAL TO THE P-I

Thirty years ago, San Francisco City Supervisor Harvey Milk, eerily predicting his death, said, "If a bullet should enter my brain, let that bullet destroy every closet door." Soon after, he was gunned down by a disgruntled political adversary, but his words have proven prophetic as Milk has become a hero to thousands of oppressed and frightened Americans -- a man many consider their "gay Martin Luther King."

Milk, an activist and Castro Street businessman, was the nation's first openly gay elected official. He refused to back down in the face of a tidal wave of adversity that included the failed 1978 California ballot measure Proposition 6, which would have mandated firing gay teachers in public schools, and Anita Bryant's 1977 anti-gay "Save Our Children" crusade.

Randy Shilts wrote about Milk's life in his uncompromising 1982 biography, "The Mayor of Castro Street," and the 1984 Oscar-winner for best documentary, "The Times of Harvey Milk," was heralded for its unbiased look at Milk's quest for equal rights.

Now, Portland-based filmmaker Gus Van Sant has again brought Harvey Milk's political life front and center with "Milk," his stirring and humane new film -- and it has arrived at another tumultuous time for gay rights. Two decades after Prop. 6, Californians this month were faced with another contentious ballot issue to curb gay rights. But this time it passed. Proposition 8, which was approved by voters 52 to 48 percent, changes the state's constitution to ban same-sex marriage (at the time, California was only the second state in the nation, after Massachusetts, to permit it).

Though the measure is now the focus of a legal battle in the state Supreme Court, it and several similar propositions that were approved across the country portend a new culture war over gay rights. In the 30 years since Milk was killed, those rights have ebbed and waned and even stood still. Television viewers embraced such popular fare as "Will & Grace," "Queer as Folk" and "The L Word," and gays were mollified and able to say "at least we're not in the closet anymore." In cinema, "Brokeback Mountain" broke out of the art houses three years ago to become a mainstream hit -- demonstrating that a love story between two men could have universal appeal. But Prop. 8 showed that even with widespread tolerance in the U.S., gay rights can hit a roadblock with issues such as same-sex marriage.

continues:

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/movies/389229_milkfeature25.html?source=rss
I do my thing, & you do your thing. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other - it is beautiful. If not it can't be helped.

Fritz Perls - A Gestalt Prayer

Offline michaelflanagansf

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Re: Milk - The Movie
« Reply #53 on: November 24, 2008, 11:05:33 PM »
Review: Penn mesmerizes in Van Sant's `Milk'
 By CHRISTY LEMIRE - AP Movie Critic 



Gus Van Sant has spent the past few years making dreamy, amorphous meditations on life and death that seemingly were intended for his hardcore fans, himself, and no one else.

"Gerry," "Elephant," "Last Days," "Paranoid Park" - all beautifully, defiantly languid works of art that most audiences would dismiss for their pretensions.

With "Milk," though, Van Sant boldly returns to mainstream filmmaking with a story that, on its surface, could have been shamelessly mawkish. Instead, he presents the last eight years in the life of Harvey Milk, the slain San Francisco politician and gay rights activist, with a mix of vivid details and nuanced heart.

He's also drawn from Sean Penn one of the most glorious performances ever in the actor's long and varied career. Van Sant and Penn could have deified this man, who did so much for so many and worked so tirelessly for so long, and paid the ultimate price. And yes, we see all that - the sacrifice and the struggle and the infinite wellspring of hope in the face of failure. But we also see Milk's all-consuming drive, often at the expense of his personal life. We see the way he could manipulate and cajole, even if it was for the greater good.

Penn depicts Milk as a man defined by a charming persistence. He had a way with words and a love of the spotlight and an infinite sense of inclusiveness. He was, in short, a jumble of contradictions, all of which Penn captures gracefully and effortlessly - there's nothing mannerly about his performance, just a deeply engaging immersion.

continues:

http://www.bradenton.com/entertainment/movies/story/1054874.html
I do my thing, & you do your thing. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other - it is beautiful. If not it can't be helped.

Fritz Perls - A Gestalt Prayer

Offline michaelflanagansf

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Re: Milk - The Movie
« Reply #54 on: November 24, 2008, 11:44:55 PM »
From the collection of the San Francisco Public Library:

Letters From Harvey Milk to Joe Campbell

Joe Campbell, nineteen, met Harvey Milk, twenty-six, at Riis Park Beach in Queens, New York in July of 1956 and shortly thereafter moved from his parents' home into Harvey's suburban Rego Park apartment. Their time together included gushy love poems, impromptu gifts, and letters with "-san" suffixes to both their names. After a rocky relationship, Harvey asked Joe to move out in late 1962. It would be the longest relationship in either of their lives. Harvey later moved to San Francisco where he was the first gay man elected to the Board of Supervisors. He and Mayor George Moscone were assassinated in November 1978. These letters, written from New York, Miami Beach and Puerto Rico, document Harvey's feelings for Joe during the period between 1961 and 1964. They were donated by Joe Campbell to the Gay and Lesbian Center in 1993.

http://sfpl.org/librarylocations/main/glc/hmilkltrs.htm
I do my thing, & you do your thing. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other - it is beautiful. If not it can't be helped.

Fritz Perls - A Gestalt Prayer

Offline michaelflanagansf

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Re: Milk - The Movie
« Reply #55 on: November 24, 2008, 11:49:58 PM »
Here's a bit more about Joe Campbell - the 'Sugar Plum Fairy' from Lou Reed's song 'Walk On The Wild Side':

http://everything2.com/e2node/Joe%2520Campbell

http://www.factorymade.org/sociogram/campbell.html

I do my thing, & you do your thing. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other - it is beautiful. If not it can't be helped.

Fritz Perls - A Gestalt Prayer

Offline BayCityJohn

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Re: Milk - The Movie
« Reply #56 on: November 25, 2008, 03:54:23 PM »
Need Equality? Get ’Milk’: Gay Activists Anchor Anti-Prop 8 Message in New Film

Quote
Need equality? Get Milk.

That might be one way of summing up how some gays and lesbians regard the new Gus Van Sant film, a biopic named after openly gay San Francisco City Supervisor Harvey Milk, an openly gay politician who was gunned down thirty years ago.

The film revolves in part around a fight to fend off the so-called Briggs Initiative, which would have outlawed gay teachers in the public schools, along with any and all sympathetic or positive expression for gays and lesbians.

How times change... or not: like Proposition 8, the ballot initiative that voters approved earlier this month, the Briggs initiative targeted gays for exclusion from a realm in which heterosexuals are welcome.



Quote
The film comes from the same studio that produced 2005’s grassroots hit Brokeback Mountain. That film did unexpectedly well across the nation, despite predictions that only urban audiences would want to see a film about two Wyoming ranch hands secretly in love with one another, even if the cowboys in question were played by Jake Gyllenhaal and the late Heath Ledger.

But for gay activists looking for a new avenue to express their anguish and alarm over the precedent set by the passage of Proposition 8, Milk means more than a chance to see a gay drama get the A-list treatment at the Cineplex.

The San Francisco Chronicle quoted Rea Carey, the director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, who posed the question, "What changes any one of our lives?"

Said Carey, "It can be a media image.

"I certainly hope Milk does that."


Wyoming newspaper the Casper Star Tribune carried a Los Angeles Times story on Nov. 24 in which doubts were raised about the ability of Milk to draw the same sort of audience response as Brokeback Mountain did three years ago.

Brokeback Mountain, the article noted, was produced for $14 million, and earned $178 million world-wide. Milk cost the studio $20 million--bargain basement, by big film standards, a budget made possible by the commitment of the talent who came together and demanded less than their usual fees to help get the movie made--but its appeal may be more limited, especially in those same states where naysayers predicted audiences would snub the movie about gay ranch hands.

Or maybe not: with anti-Proposition 8 rallies having already taken place in 300 American cities, the Zeitgeist may well carry a cultural charge that could make a movie about gay civil rights into a hit, given the real-life debate that rages in the wake of the amendment’s high-cost marketing and its subsequent success at the ballot box.

http://www.edgeboston.com/index.php?ch=news&sc=&sc2=news&sc3=&id=83885
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Offline Lyle (Mooska)

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Re: Milk - The Movie
« Reply #57 on: November 25, 2008, 10:48:40 PM »
According to the screenwriter, people who knew Harvey thought Penn was
very accurate in his portrayal.  I disagree with this reviewer's assessment of
Penn's performance.

Quote
Mr. Penn is sure to garner his fifth Oscar nomination for his performance here, even though its over-the-top flamboyance is better suited to a "Saturday Night Live" skit. Even if the actor's histrionics accurately reflect those of Harvey, it comes across on-screen as hopelessly stereotypical. Mr. Penn would have been better off moderating his performance slightly, a la Tom Hanks in "Philadelphia."

http://washingtontimes.com/news/2008/nov/26/milk-man/

As of tonight on Rotten Tomatoes, there's 37 reviews with a FRESH score
of 97% and ROTTEN just 3% (one review!).

Offline michaelflanagansf

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Re: Milk - The Movie
« Reply #58 on: November 25, 2008, 11:50:15 PM »
^^^  That's the first bad review I've read.  People I know who knew Harvey think Penn did a great job.  Figures that it would be the Washington Times.
I do my thing, & you do your thing. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other - it is beautiful. If not it can't be helped.

Fritz Perls - A Gestalt Prayer

Offline Lyle (Mooska)

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Re: Milk - The Movie
« Reply #59 on: November 26, 2008, 12:04:37 AM »
^^^  That's the first bad review I've read.  People I know who knew Harvey think Penn did a great job.  Figures that it would be the Washington Times.

Even though the review itself is a bit odd he gives it *** out of ****
so it's not considered a bad review, I guess.