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Posts Tagged ‘Milk Academy Awards’

Congratulations to ‘Milk’ screenwriter, Dustin Lance Black,  for his Oscar win for Best Original Screenplay.  I’m so happy for him.  His acceptance speech was so inspiring and honest.  I’m glad he gave a plea for gay rights.  Here is what he had to say.

“When I was 13 years old, my beautiful mother and my father moved me from a conservative Mormon home in San Antonio, Texas to California, and I heard the story of Harvey Milk. And it gave me hope. It gave me the hope to live my life. It gave me the hope one day I could live my life openly as who I am and then maybe even I could even fall in love and one day get married.

I wanna thank my mom, who has always loved me for who I am even when there was pressure not to. But most of all, if Harvey had not been taken from us 30 years ago, I think he’d want me to say to all of the gay and lesbian kids out there tonight who have been told that they are less than by their churches, by the government or by their families, that you are beautiful, wonderful creatures of value and that no matter what anyone tells you, God does love you and that very soon, I promise you, you will have equal rights federally, across this great nation of ours. Thank you. Thank you. And thank you, God, for giving us Harvey Milk.”

Thank you, Dustin!

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Hooray, the Oscars are coming up.  Yeah, whatever.  So what if I’m a nerd for watching the Oscars?  I just happen to be a fan a film and Hugh Jackman is hosting.  So, of course I’m going to be glued to the television set.  Hugh in High Definition–Glorious.

Anyway, I recently saw Milk and I just had to write about it.  I’m not sure how everyone else felt (I’m sure not like this), but I was an emotional wreck during this film.  Already from the start of the film, I got so emotional.  Watching the archival footage of police raiding gay bars set to a beautiful weeping saxophone solo was so moving to me.  The score and the saxophone solo piece was the perfect tone for the opening sequence.  A really sad but fitting opening for the film.

It was great to see gay characters in their element portrayed on screen.  Although, I think it would have been interesting to see the earlier stages of Milk’s life.  The closeted Milk, working in New York, like many other gay men afraid to disclose their sexual orientation out of fear of losing their job.  The film also seemed to avoid Milk’s personal past.  He had more than one ex-lover who suffered from depression and attempted suicide.

The film covers Milk’s effort to defeat Proposition 6 or the Briggs Initiative, proposed by the then state legislator John Briggs, that would have banned all gay and lesbians, and anyone who supported gay rights, from working in California’s public school.  Proposition 6 was also a part of a larger movement to strip rights away from all gay and lesbians.  Watching Anita Bryant and her ‘Save Our Children’ organization repeal local gay rights ordinances was so disheartening and frustrating.  It was sad to see these unfortunate events, after having recently watched the passage of Proposition 8, the same-sex marriage ban, pass in my home state of California.  Watching the film, I couldn’t help but remember how I felt the night before the election.  Just like the film, we were all so nervous and agitated and hoped for the best, while watching the results unveil.  Unfortunately, Proposition 8 didn’t have the same outcome as Proposition 6.  So, watching Proposition 6 get defeated on film, was a bit of a blow for me.

Overall, I’m happy to see these moments in history relive onscreen for today’s generation.  Sean Penn gave an amazing performance.  I thought his speeches were so believable and moving. He just seemed so natural leading the gay movement.  I thought the film’s score was beautiful and serene, but a bit haunting, which fit the political stage and struggles of the film.  All 8 Academy Award nominations are well deserved.  We’ll see if the film takes home any on Sunday night.

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