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#309: Tough (Brotherly) Love

December 15, 2008

Notes from the Manager

Related Strips: #259: Here He Goes Again

You can see the trailer for Milk over at Apple. The film has been in limited release for a couple of weeks, but should in a relatively wide release across North America now.

We’ll be talking about it a bit tonight at 9PM Central on The Triple Feature (as well as a few other movies, including — I think — Doubt and The Day the Earth Stood Still), but the short version of my opinion of the film is that I felt it did a terrific job of balancing the story of the life of Harvey Milk with enough historical context to make it understandable — yet without ever feeling like a history book, either. To the filmmakers’ credit, they also managed to avoid whitewashing Milk as a human and glorifying him to the point of some sort of mythological hero, as well.

The cast is superb and director Gus Van Sant’s use of archival footage throughout the film, rather than just at the end as in many other biopics, really helps to set the film in its time and place (and, presumably, to keep the budget down). Much more than just a cookie-cutter biopic or an “issue” movie, Milk is a fantastic movie: smart, funny, and, of course, heartbreaking, but never too sentimental for its own good.

(If you’re wondering why Chase not knowing who Harvey Milk is is a big deal, I recommend Steven Petrow's recent editorial, “Remembering the Lessons of Harvey Milk: What It Means to Be Gay,” for The Huffington Post.)


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