Saw “A Single Man” last night and it’s a genuine revelation. In that I consider the book to be Isherwood’s greatest achievement I was (to put it mildly) rather alarmed that a fashion deisgner like Tom Ford had gotten ahold if it. But I was greatly cheered by the reviews from Venice. In the end it’s far better than I could ever have imagined. Ford understand Isherwood perfectly and has — I would guess somewhat inadvertently — made a fiercely political film about love, loss and Gay Rage. Colin Firth is Fuck PERFECT as George, Isherwood’s alter ego — a college professor whose lover of 16 years (the scrumptious Mattew Goode) has been killed in an automobile accident a few months before the action proper begins (his death is recalled in a nightmare tha opens the film. The book was inspired by the fact that back in the early 60’s Chris thought he was losing Don.
He had “given Don his freedom” to go out an explore himself sexually, which was runnign parallel to establishing himself professionally. For outside of a brief fling with the ever-naughty George Platt Lynes, Chris was the only man Don had ever known. So Don was in London and Chris was at home in L.A. and it suddenlyocurred to him that he might lose Don. And his next thought was “It would be as if he had died.” Then he began to wonder what it would be like if Don indeed suddenly died — and so he wrote the book.
As befitting a Fasionista all looks lovel. A critical colleague has already invoked Wong Kar Wai — whcih is fine with me. But Ford is less drifty-dreamy than Wong. The most importat scenes in this regard are one where he ubraids his friend Charley (the always wonderful Julianne Moore) a bitter divorcee with whom he had a youthful fuck or two) for dismissing his 16 years with his lover as not being “real.” The other is a flashback to when he got the phone call from his lover’s brohter telling him that the death had taken place a few days before, thought “he ought to know” and infoims him that we is not invited to the funeral.
HOW MANY GAY MEN HAVE GOTTEN THAT VERY SAME CALL?!!!
Don is in it in a cameo and is listed as “creative cosultant.” No surprise as the set of George’s house is quite like Chez Isherwood-Bachardy. And it’s plain Ford checked with Don about EVERYTHING.
I’m sure I don’t have to remind anyone at this point that this film is not to be missed. I look forward to waht Ford may film next, cause this sure as hell isn’t a “one-off.”
A little-known Canadian film, Cassandra Nicolaou’s SHOW ME.
Michael Cuesta’s L.I.E. (Long island expressway) which revealed excellent Paul Dano, in 2003.
An interesting film : Tiresia, from french director Bertrand Bonello, 2003.
I love Isherwood’s work, so I definitely want to see A SINGLE MAN.
I also want to read my way through all his novels again, something I haven’t done since circa 1980.
I know this thread is ancient, but I must affirm that Derek Jarman’s THE ANGELIC CONVERSATION is the sexiest gay film I’ve seen (though its arcane style is not for most tastes) and TO PLAY OR TO DIE is certainly one of the most devastating.
Too many posts to read this whole thread.
Would the Warhol/Morrissey trilogy count? (FLESH, TRASH, HEAT)
Then there’s Kenneth Anger, SCORPIO RISING and FIREWORKS… Maybe more.
Possibly aspects of SALO… Fellini’s SATYRICON. I’d have to give a look at what else I own to come up with more…
I’ve watched quite a few of the movies mentioned in this stream of dialogue.
My personal favorites are:
Law of Desire—by Pedro Almodovar. Antonio Banderas plays a gay man in that.
Maurice—I like that the rich upperclass young man decides to be in a relationship with a lower class young man. Very coming of age story.
La Cage Aux Folles— the french version is so much better than the american adaptation “The Birdcage.” My partner Mike likes Nathan Lane in the american version.
Before Night Falls—moving film about an expatriate Cuban writer who writes his memoirs about Cuba.
Kiss of the Spider Woman—John Hurt and Raul Julia are brilliant in this film.
Lost Languange of the Cranes— I read the book and liked the movie just as much.
Hannah Free—a lesbian film filmed in Chicago where we live in a house owned by Tracy Baim who runs the Windy City Times, a gay newspaper. Sharon Glass is great in this.
The Hours—I loved the book as well as the movie. Meryl Streep deserved an Oscar for playing Clarissa Vaughan, the lesbian friend of a poet dying of AIDS in time when people in the U.S. died of AIDS.,
The Torch Song Trilogy—Harvey Fierstein.
Mambo Italiano—finally a gay comedy drama were no one suffers tragically.
Object of Affection—I read the book and liked the movie. The Gay teacher in the story is very interesting and funny.
Milk—Harvey Milk was very important, because he was in politics and out and suffered for it.
Howl—James Franco playing Allen Ginsberg is brilliant. You can read my blog on my profile page about Franco hosting the Oscars.
Love! Valor! Compassion!—the characters in this are so vivid and real
Priscilla, Queen of the Desert—all the characters in this film are colorful. The drag queen costumes won an Oscar!! Fabulous.
There’s so many more that I’ve seen and love. Like Longtime Companion, Trick, Basquiat(This one has the best Andy Warhol ever!!) and of course, Capote—Philip Seymour Hoffman won a well deserved Oscar playing Capote.
Peace and Best Wishes,
Ruben Santos Claveria
3345 W. Hollywood
Chicago, IL 60659
Read my blog at: www.RubenandMike.Blogspot.com
Read my book of poetry for free at: www.Ruben.Openhill.com