Tuesday, March 10, 2015


Lots of movies deserve second viewings.  My list of them is long.  "Steel Magnolias" is one of them.  "The Birds" is another, as are "The Maltese Falcon," "42nd Street," "East of Eden," "The Pawnbroker," "The Producers," "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," and others.  I like to take them off the shelf from time to time and appreciate them once again.

Gay movies are in this arena, too.  "Big Eden," "Latter Days," "Broken Hearts Club," "Torch Song Trilogy," "Breakfast with Scot," "The Big Gay Musical," and so on are movies that deserve an annual view.

Other movies I'm unapologetically addicted to.  I never tire of watching "Casablanca," "Psycho," "Singing in the Rain," "To Kill a Mockingbird," "Mysterious Skin," and a few others.  I'm addicted to both the book and movie version of "The Help."  There is a perfection about these and some other movies, a uniqueness in the storytelling or presentation.

"Cloudburst" joined the group last year.  Two old lesbians in Maine take off for Canada to get married, and they pick up a drool-worthy young dancer along the way.  I've watched it any number of times and it has yet to get tired.

They are like favorite rides in an amusement park.  You've been on it before, loved it, and even though you know every hill on the roller coaster or how to make the car spin on the Tilt-a-Whirl, you don't get tired of it.  The ride starts and you relax and enjoy it.

And now "Pride," based on the true story of a small group of lesbians and gay men who raised money for striking miners during Thatcher's reign of terror.  It's a joy to watch and a treat to see several generations of British actors work together.  I am constantly touched by the humanity shown by the characters, how the small town miners learn to accept, respect, even love the gays and lesbians from London.  The gays and lesbians also grow and mature and come to grips with themselves and the miners.  Imagine a young miner asking a gay man to teach him to dance because he wants to be "a woman magnet."  And I have yet to watch the scene with "Bread and Roses" without needing a tissue.

Such a loving, inclusive, powerful movie...sold, at least in the US...with no mention of "gay" or "lesbian" in the blurb on the DVD cover and a Photoshopped picture that took out the "Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners" banner behind the marchers.  You want to be Dai, you want to emulate Sian, but to do that you have to buy a cover that Maureen would approve of.  "'Pride' is inspired by an extraordinary true story," but the copy doesn't tell us why.  "A group of London-based activists" is as close as it comes to indicating the dichotomy.

One young man returns to his mother without knowing if she has changed her mind about gays; another leaves home having encountered his parents' bigotry.  One of the Welsh women is happy to meet the group because "I do have some questions about the lesbians."  An older miner finally comes out to a woman friend.  The Welsh women (and a few men) want to see London's gay nightlife.  The lesbians and gays come to understand and love the people for whom they raise money.

Selling points that Sony chose to ignore.  They don't make the movie seem bland, but they are less-than-honest in terms of what it is.

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