29 November 2008

Thirty years after Harvey Milk

Here it is, thirty years after Harvey Milk was assassinated and the Californians approved Proposal 8 to their constitution which makes same-sex marriage illegal. I went to see the new movie "Milk," directed by Gus Van Sant and starring Sean Penn. There's a significant section about Prop 6, the Briggs Amendment, which would have made it illegal to be a gay teacher or even to support gay teachers. The circle will, indeed, be unbroken, that is, the circle of prejudice. On the other hand, there was also a lot in the movie about hope and change. Maybe Obama's administration will turn things around.

After the movie, I went over to 26th Street and visited some galleries. At Sara Meltzer, I found Nina Katchadourian's CD entitled "The Marfa jingles." A stranger to Marfa and West Texas, Nina decided that she would invite people to suggest the theme for jingles. Nina would write a jingle and they played on the Marfa NPR station. I haven't listened yet but the combination of Marfa and Nina Katchadourian should be refreshing.


Ilaria said...

Hi Sherman, what did you think of the Milk movie? Was it good? Some people have suggested to me that Milk himself was so universally attractive that Sean Penn is not the best actor to play him. What do you think?

Sherman Clarke said...

Milk universally attractive? I'm surprised that you've heard that. He was brash and very Jewish East Coast in laid back California. Of course, those were brash times. Sean Penn does inhabit the character and I think he might become Harvey Milk similar to Faye Dunaway becoming Joan Crawford. The closing credits are very good in that they tell what has happened to the leading characters; as they tell those stories, they shift from the actor to the person. I thought that was a very effective way of shifting your attention back to the "real" people.

Sherman Clarke said...

Oh, the first questions: the movie was very good, a good compelling story, no weak links such as characters that annoyed or underplayed, nor overplayed.