Kicking A Lion

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Posts Tagged ‘sean penn

Milk named best film by New York Film Critics Circle

Written by kickingalion

December 11, 2008 at 4:42 pm

Penn gets Golden Globe nod

Written by kickingalion

December 11, 2008 at 4:38 pm

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Can Macho, Non-Metro Actors Play Gay?

Written by kickingalion

December 3, 2008 at 5:04 pm

30 Years Later

Today I saw the movie Milk, starring Sean Penn.  Penn was fabulous, along with the entire cast, superb acting, and Gus Van Sant really caught San Francisco of the 70s.  The story had drama, comedy and an endearing romance. 

As wonderful as the movie was — and I believe everyone should see it — I couldn’t help but feel depressed.  Thirty years later there are still the same chants (Get Out Of The Bars & Into The Streets), the same fight for Equality, and the Christians still see us as perverts who are out to get their children. 

Thirty years, several hundred deaths and countless protests later and the US still doesn’t have a national Hate Crimes Bill passed or legislation regarding discrimination in housing or employment to include sexual orientation.  How much longer will we be denied? 

Maybe the Gays of San Franciso in the 1970s had it right:

CIVIL RIGHTS OR CIVIL WAR. 

Written by kickingalion

December 1, 2008 at 12:12 am

How director Gus Van Sant finally got to make his biopic of the first openly gay politician elected to U. S. office

by Kevin Williamson

LOS ANGELES–Relevancy is luck. Just ask Good Will Hunting director Gus Van Sant, who has wanted to make a biopic about slain gay rights activist Harvey Milk for more than a decade.

He’s not alone. Some of Hollywood’s most powerful actors and filmmakers have also circled the material through the years. At one point, Robin Williams was set to portray Milk, the first openly gay politician elected to U. S. public office in San Francisco in the 1970s; he was later shot to death by disgruntled city supervisor Dan White. And yet only now –at a point in which Milk’s politically charged era uncannily mirrors America’s present day –has the film been made.

Simply entitled Milk, it stars Sean Penn alongside a cast that includes James Franco, Emile Hirsch and Josh Brolin. It opens Wednesday in limited release then goes wide across Canada next month.

Book-ended by a tape recording Milk made in the event of his murder, the film charts his rise from unfocused businessman living in the Castro–a haven to the city’s gay population –to a political titan.

He ultimately clashed on the national stage with right-wing firebrand Anita Bryant, defeating an initiative that would have banned gays from teaching in never imagined his film would parallel current events. Chief among them? Proposition 8, the ban on gay marriage California voted in earlier this month.

“A year ago, there was no (Barack) Obama, no Sarah Palin, no Proposition 8. All these things sort of came together. Prop8 is an amazing coincidence. And Obama is so Harvey-like, to me. Not only his themes, but also now that he will be in office soon, when he talks about alternative energy and with a real interest and a keen interest that sort of surpasses even Clinton. You think, ‘Wow, maybe the hip president is now in office.'”

As for what similarities exist between Palin and Bryant, “Milk” screenwriter Dustin Lance Black offers this view: “Two beauty queens who have a lot of interest in their hair-dos and what goes on in people’s bedrooms.”

Van Sant first got involved with “Milk” in the early 1990s. At that time, Oliver Stone was expected to make the film -entitled “The Mayor of Castro Street” -his follow- up to his controversial 1991 epic, “JFK.” Williams was even signed for the lead.

“Oliver decided not to do it all of a sudden,” remembers Van Sant, who took over the project and spent more than a year working on it before it again collapsed. “I couldn’t pull off an Oliver Stone script with the way I thought of the story and the Castro and the way I thought of Harvey.”

“A year ago, there was no (Barack) Obama, no Sarah Palin, no Proposition 8. All these things sort of came together. Prop 8 is an amazing coincidence. And Obama is so Harvey-like to me. Not only his themes, but also now that he’s in office, or will be in office, when he talks about alternative energy and with a real interest and a keen interest that sort of surpasses even Clinton. You think, ‘Wow, maybe the hip president is now in office.’ ”

As for what similarities exist between Palin and Bryant, Milk screenwriter Dustin Lance Black offers this view: “Two beauty queens who have a lot of interest in their hair-dos and what goes on in people’s bedrooms.”

Van Sant first got involved with Milk in the early 1990s. At that time, Oliver Stone was expected to make the film–entitled The Mayor of Castro Street–his follow-up to his controversial 1991 epic JFK. Williams was even signed for the lead.

“Oliver decided not to do it all of a sudden,” remembers Van Sant, who took over the project and spent more than a year working on it before it again collapsed.

“I couldn’t pull off an Oliver Stone script with the way I thought of the story and the Castro and the way I thought of Harvey.”

Years later, he attempted to revive the film, this time with Penn in mind to star.

“I tried to get the movie going again sometime after ‘Good Will- Hunting.’ Sean was going to play Harvey and Tom Cruise was going to play Dan White. But it was a very brief relationship because I was a horrible producer. I didn’t bug the agents enough.”

Then, last year, Black’s screenplay -which wasn’t based on previous material -was brought to Van Sant’s attention. Almost immediately, both the director and Penn were back on board. Cruise again flirted with playing White, as did Matt Damon. Finally, Penn suggested Brolin.

Again, the timing was uncanny. “‘No Country for Old Men’ hadn’t come out then, so he wasn’t the Josh we know today,” Van Sant says. “We cast him and then they won the Academy Award.”

Expectedly, Oscar buzz is already building for the film and for Penn, who was reported to have texted his former spouse after performing his first same-sex kiss with Franco.

“Yeah, he called Madonna,” Van Sant confirms. “They had to kiss for four takes and each take was one minute, so they were really, really long kisses.”

Madonna’sreaction? “‘Good for you.'”

Written by kickingalion

November 24, 2008 at 3:54 pm

Coverage of Milk Premieres

Access Hollywood’s collection of video clips (includes protestors & vigil) (San Francisco).

Hollywood.com photo gallery (Los Angeles)

Article:  Stars, No on 8 Supporters Turn Out For SF Milk Premiere.

Video of Sean Penn arriving at LA Milk Premiere.

Written by kickingalion

November 14, 2008 at 3:50 pm

Candlelight Vigil for Marriage Equality at Milk Premiere

Hope will never be silent — Harvey Milk

Thursday, November 13, 2008

5:30-7:30PM

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences

8949 Wilshire Blvd.  Beverly Hills

Please bring messages of hope and love, and your own candle if you can.

Milk, starring Sean Penn, is the bio-pic of the first openly gay man elected to public office in California.

Written by kickingalion

November 13, 2008 at 3:50 pm