...another really great film. Zoe and I went to a Writers' Guild screening tonight and the film is excellent, Gus Van Sant directed and Sean Penn is brilliant. As amazing as Frank Langella is in "Frost/Nixon" - I think that Sean Penn's performance as Harvey Milk, the gay San Francisco city supervisor who was assassinated in 1978, is magical. And the film is so pertinent, given the passage of Prop 8 in California. It's coming out at such a important time and hopefully will affect so many people and will wake people up.
Of all the films I've seen recently, this one really moved me. I was living in Los Angeles when Harvey Milk and Mayor Moscone were murdered and I remember it so clearly. And seeing the whole Anita Bryant bullshit again (they used the actual footage and boy, was she an idiot) and the attempt to pass Prop 6 (the attempt to take away rights for gays, to stop them from teaching in schools, etc.) in California in '78, which was defeated.
So how could Prop 8 pass in 2008? How is that possible? It's insane to legislate that gay people shouldn't have the right to marry...it's disgusting.
The screenwriter, Dustin Lance Black, was there tonight to answer questions afterward. He wrote a really terrific script - and he looks about 25. Zoe and I went up to him to tell him how much we loved the film and he couldn't have been kinder. She told him she'd been one of three members of the Gay Straight Alliance in her high school. He grew up gay, in a Mormon family, in San Antonio. He said that when he heard the story of Harvey Milk it saved his life and he was passionate about telling it. So passionate that he wrote it on spec (with no studio backing) over a period of three years while he was a writer of "Big Love" on HBO. And then one of Harvey Milk's close friends, Cleeve Jones (who was one of the originators of the AIDS Quilt), gave the script to Gus Van Sant who immediately said, "Love it. Let's make it."
After the screening was over, as we were leaving we saw Josh Brolin and Emile Hirsch who both starred in the film. I immediately spotted Josh Brolin and told him how wonderful he was. (As Dan White, the guy who killed Milk and Moscone.) Remember the "Twinkie Defense?"
We will definitely march in the next protests for Prop 8. This bill has to be repealed. And please... go see the film.