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Author Topic: hiv/aids lit/movies/etc: good, bad, and ugly  (Read 4695 times)

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Offline CalvinC

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hiv/aids lit/movies/etc: good, bad, and ugly
« on: August 14, 2006, 09:31:30 AM »
I'll start this off with an easy one:

Make sure you DON'T rent "It's My Party," surely THE worst hiv/aids movie ever made.

Eric Roberts is stricken with an OI that will kill him in about 72 hours. So he gathers his nearest and dearest to him for a weekend long party. Greg Harrison plays the clueless ex lover who comes to his senses, and George Segal stands around looking stricken as the how-can-I-love-you-more? father. It's just awful. Margaret Cho, whom one would think would have known better, utters the worst line in film history. Thinking it a time to be ironically funny, she says to the Eric character, "Why don't you just hurry up and die already?"

oh. my. god. Simply bad.

Andrew

Offline The Canuck

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Re: hiv/aids lit/movies/etc: good, bad, and ugly
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2006, 09:36:08 AM »
Hello CalvinC,

I saw this movie a few times on TV through the years an agree with you it's far from being the best movie on the suject, and moreover on the worst side.

How practical he was able to wait for the perfect last weekend for his OI to get worst.  8)

Regards,

The Canuck

Offline aztecan

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Re: hiv/aids lit/movies/etc: good, bad, and ugly
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2006, 09:48:12 AM »
An acquaitance rented this movie for the annual possie Xmas party here. Let's just say it doesn't do anything for a party mood.

The OI being portrayed is PML, which, in the bad old days, nobody survived. We have several members here who have survived this very nasty OI, but it has been tough.

As for the movie, well, I saw it once and that was enough.

HUGS,

Mark

For a movie about life in the pre-meds era, see Longtime Companion.
"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Offline Life

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Re: hiv/aids lit/movies/etc: good, bad, and ugly
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2006, 09:51:44 AM »
Andrew,  I have to agree with you.. I could not watch the first hour without saying the F word about 15 times.  I took my copy out to the shooting range and had my way with it....  Yes, I like to modify things or putting it bluntly (blow shit up)... ;)

[attachment deleted by admin]
« Last Edit: August 14, 2006, 09:57:56 AM by Eric »

Offline wellington

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Re: hiv/aids lit/movies/etc: good, bad, and ugly
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2006, 02:45:56 PM »
I was lucky enough to see the premiere screening of Philadelphia some years ago in Toronto. I had no idea what the film was about before I attended and it still ranks with me as the best HIV/AIDS film I have seen.

A close second is "Boys on the Side".

Offline Eldon

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Re: hiv/aids lit/movies/etc: good, bad, and ugly
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2006, 03:09:30 PM »
Wellington, Philladelphia was the movie with Tom Hanks. Can never forget that one.

Offline foster2006

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Re: hiv/aids lit/movies/etc: good, bad, and ugly
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2006, 08:53:12 PM »
I happened to catch a two-part show of Walker Texas Ranger called "Lucas"

7-1/2 year old boy that was found in a drug distro. home, taken to hospital then foster home, of coarse Walker took him home from the foster home.  Kid dies at end from pneumonia. 


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Offline Joe K

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Re: hiv/aids lit/movies/etc: good, bad, and ugly
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2006, 09:13:19 PM »
Along with Philadelphia, there is Angels in America, Long Time Companion and the Band Played On.  Each very powerful, but what else do you expect when your main topic is death and dying?

Offline AlanBama

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Re: hiv/aids lit/movies/etc: good, bad, and ugly
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2006, 06:22:09 AM »
I remember one of the first TV movies to deal with AIDS was "An Early Frost", with Aidan Quinn, Gena Rowlands and Sylvia Sidney.   I believe it won several awards.

It's My Party was a very weird movie, wasn't it?   And Lee Grant is the only person I know in Hollywood who wears her hair now the same way she did in the 60's.....

Alan
"Remember my sentimental friend that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others." - The Wizard of Oz

Offline allopathicholistic

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Re: hiv/aids lit/movies/etc: good, bad, and ugly
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2006, 07:36:52 AM »
Thanks Andrew. I won't see "It's My Party," It sounds trite.

One film that implies HIV/AIDS is "Forrest Gump". It's been criticized for not directly the Jenny Curran character died from HIV. She just says she has a virus, the doctors don't know what it is and there's no cure, in the early 1980s. Others have criticized saying Jenny had a healthy and normal appearance during her final days which doesn't fit the steretype of people who die from HIV. I guess people are comfy with stereotypes??

Offline CalvinC

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Re: hiv/aids lit/movies/etc: good, bad, and ugly
« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2006, 08:26:50 AM »
I think the best shorter film I saw was a PBS production called "Andre's Mother," with Sada Thompson and Richard Thomas, driected by Terrence McNally. I won't blab on about how wonderful it is; read the external reviews at http://imdb.com/title/tt0099037/usercomments. I don't know if it is available anywhere.

Andrew

Offline allopathicholistic

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Re: hiv/aids lit/movies/etc: good, bad, and ugly
« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2006, 06:13:36 PM »
I think the best shorter film I saw was a PBS production called "Andre's Mother," with Sada Thompson and Richard Thomas, driected by Terrence McNally. I won't blab on about how wonderful it is; read the external reviews at http://imdb.com/title/tt0099037/usercomments. I don't know if it is available anywhere.

Andrew


Saw it. Loved it. Powerful acting. Do you remember when Sada Thompson screamed "I WAS ANDRE'S MOTHER!" and Richard Thomas barked back at her "AND I WAS ANDRE'S LOVER!"  ~~ Powerful, powerful acting. I have not forgotten that film after all these years

Offline LatinAlexander

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Re: hiv/aids lit/movies/etc: good, bad, and ugly
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2006, 06:44:13 PM »
I saw Philadelphia...At the time, I was just a teenager, and couldn't conceive how sad was for everybody in the family of the main character. Now, many years later, i am that actor, but in real life...Ain't that a little bit scary??
Poz since Jul 19 2006
Initial numbers : CD4-250 VL 3500
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February 17 Combivir stopped.
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Offline lydgate

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Re: hiv/aids lit/movies/etc: good, bad, and ugly
« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2006, 05:16:27 AM »
And there's also Parting Glances, with a fine performance by Steve Buscemi. A British movie on the subject I like is Alive and Kicking (also known as Indian Summer).

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0091725/

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0116631/

Jay
Her finely-touched spirit had still its fine issues, though they were not widely visible. Her full nature, like that river of which Cyrus broke the strength, spent itself in channels which had no great name on the earth. But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.

George Eliot, Middlemarch, final paragraph

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: hiv/aids lit/movies/etc: good, bad, and ugly
« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2006, 05:59:40 AM »
Philadelphia? Appalling film. Hanks should be horsewhipped on the basis of it alone.

But there's an even worse AIDS flick. In the Gloaming starring Glen Close. It's absolutely atrocious. The only good thing about this bilious lozenge is that runs for just 60 minutes. It's the standard "santitised for TV" affair. Nice white gay son comes home to rich family to die. There's stress and acrimony between him and his tediously protestant father. Only his mother (Close) truly understands.

No wonder he's queer. Freud would have loved it.

Anyway there's tears, touching moments by the lakeside, a meal-time medication event, a wheel-chair and a lovely peaceful death scene. Which is strange, all the people I've seen die, retch and hack and shit themselves.

The standard of acting makes an ironing board look animated. Frankly, if I lived in a world with those people, I'd die too. ;)

MtD

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: hiv/aids lit/movies/etc: good, bad, and ugly
« Reply #15 on: August 17, 2006, 06:20:11 AM »
Quote
Which is strange, all the people I've seen die, retch and hack and shit themselves.

Odd, how the more personal encounters I have with death, the less inclined I am to seek out filmed versions.
"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline wellington

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Re: hiv/aids lit/movies/etc: good, bad, and ugly
« Reply #16 on: August 17, 2006, 12:17:52 PM »
I'm curious, matty, what was so appalling about Philadelphia? Too fantastic? Not enough realism? Too few stereotypes engaged? Emotionally flat? Uninteresting? I respect your position, but I want to know more.

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: hiv/aids lit/movies/etc: good, bad, and ugly
« Reply #17 on: August 18, 2006, 12:41:37 AM »
I'm curious, matty, what was so appalling about Philadelphia? Too fantastic? Not enough realism? Too few stereotypes engaged? Emotionally flat? Uninteresting? I respect your position, but I want to know more.

Well primarily it bored me witless. Tom Hanks acts about as well as America prosecutes a war in a developing nation.  But aside from that the whole thing had a smug, self satisfied "Hollywood cares" flavour to it. It gave me the same feeling I get when a I see Richard Gere or some other overpaid sexual deviant prattling on about Tibet whilst wearing a red ribbon.

And Denzel Washington as a lawyer? Puh-leeze!

MtD

Offline CalvinC

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Re: hiv/aids lit/movies/etc: good, bad, and ugly
« Reply #18 on: August 18, 2006, 03:07:47 PM »
I agree with Matty about the aesthetics of the film, but let's face it: in the end, it's really a film for straight and/or uneducated people. It's not really a film for gay people or those on the front lines.

Andrew, in fabulous Montreal

Offline frankie the cat

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Re: hiv/aids lit/movies/etc: good, bad, and ugly
« Reply #19 on: August 21, 2006, 10:01:52 AM »
What about good books? 

I would suggest And The Band Played On which I read earlier this summer.  I know some people have issues with it but I found it incredibly moving but it also made me very angry.  It read like good fiction but was unfortunately true.  The author introduced people, made you care about them and then they died almost in real time.  It's not a light read but it is engrossing - 600 pages that you just have to finish.  Its nearly twenty years old now and things have moved on but I would thoroughly recommend it.

On a lighter note there are Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City series which touch on HIV/AIDS in the later installments.  Any fans of the series will be pleased to hear that his new book coming out later this year will focus on Michael Tolliver (the HIV+ character) nearly 20 years on.  Apparently it will be called Michael Tolliver Lives - I can't wait!

Offline bobik

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Re: hiv/aids lit/movies/etc: good, bad, and ugly
« Reply #20 on: August 23, 2006, 04:06:48 AM »
A movie I loved was Jeffrey. A very good Living with movie. Jeffrey decides not to have sex anymore, because of his fear of HIV. Then he falls in love with a very handsome guy who by the way happens to be poz as well. Deliciously camp, very funny and death plays only a minor role.

Coen
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Offline wellington

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Re: hiv/aids lit/movies/etc: good, bad, and ugly
« Reply #21 on: August 23, 2006, 04:10:34 AM »
That film sure made me think of Captain Picard in a different way! And who could forget Michael T. Weiss. Yeow!  ;D

Offline sweetasmeli

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Re: hiv/aids lit/movies/etc: good, bad, and ugly
« Reply #22 on: August 23, 2006, 10:36:59 AM »
Are there any movies about hiv+ heterosexual women? There is one floating about in the remnants of my memory with Cissy Spacek (I think) and the woman who played Ruth in Fried Green Tomatoes. Can't remember name of film or 'Ruth' actress. I'm so good with names...! ???

Melia
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Offline allopathicholistic

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Re: hiv/aids lit/movies/etc: good, bad, and ugly
« Reply #23 on: August 23, 2006, 02:47:47 PM »
the whole thing had a smug, self satisfied "Hollywood cares" flavour to it.

Agreed, "Philadelphia" was trite, trite, trite! (However I did watch it when I was HIV negative. Perhaps a second viewing is in order)

Offline allopathicholistic

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Re: hiv/aids lit/movies/etc: good, bad, and ugly
« Reply #24 on: August 23, 2006, 02:50:08 PM »
Are there any movies about hiv+ heterosexual women?

"Boys on the Side" ... Actors are: Drew Barrymore, Whoopi Goldberg, Matthew McConaughey. But from what I remember, it's more light-hearted than deep

Offline Cliff

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Re: hiv/aids lit/movies/etc: good, bad, and ugly
« Reply #25 on: August 23, 2006, 04:13:37 PM »
I thought Boys on the Side was one of Goldberg's better movies.  I'm not sure if I would would consider it an AIDS movie per se.  I got the impression that they only used the disease to tug at our emotions.

Yet that movie is another example of someone with HIV dying from the disease.  It would be nice when HIV in Hollywood caught up to the HIV in the real world, so that HIV can stop being so one-dimensional.

Edit....rather..."so that people living with HIV can stop being one-dimensional."
« Last Edit: August 23, 2006, 04:17:46 PM by Cliff »

Offline cubbybear

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Re: hiv/aids lit/movies/etc: good, bad, and ugly
« Reply #26 on: August 23, 2006, 09:19:12 PM »
Can't they just make a movie where the character with HIV actually doesn't die, isn't addicted to recreational drugs, isn't totally fcuked up and just leads a normal boring life?  I know, not much of a story line, but I get sick of seeing movies where everyone of the characters infected with HIV or has AIDS, dies; is an IVDU or otherwise mentally challenged.

*sigh*
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Offline wellington

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Re: hiv/aids lit/movies/etc: good, bad, and ugly
« Reply #27 on: August 24, 2006, 08:47:17 AM »
Maybe we should film the next Am gathering and make one :D It might be too much for a TV special though ... but cinema verité ain't dead just yet.

Offline LatinAlexander

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Re: hiv/aids lit/movies/etc: good, bad, and ugly
« Reply #28 on: August 24, 2006, 08:32:46 PM »
Hey Cubby:

Well, I know it is not exactly a movie, but a somewhat realistic approach to have HIV and going on, is the British series Queer As Folk. I have the full series on DVDs and it's amazing. There are two characters with HIV. Vic and Ben (The husband I want :p ) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queer_as_Folk_(US_TV_series)

Alex

Poz since Jul 19 2006
Initial numbers : CD4-250 VL 3500
First labs after HAART (Dec 04-2006) : CD4-432 VL-<40 (Undetectable)  cd4%=25.11%
Started HAART: Combivir+Efavirenz Aug 26 7:38 pm
Feb 08 2007 - Gradually stopping HAART cause of Myalgia. Protecting Efavirenz. Stopped Efavirenz, ahead with Combivir....
February 17 Combivir stopped.
April 3 -07 : Started ddi+3tc+efavirenz...
Gay and positive (What a lack of Identity...:) )
Looking for my Ben....

Offline brandy

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Re: hiv/aids lit/movies/etc: good, bad, and ugly
« Reply #29 on: August 25, 2006, 07:20:02 AM »
My inital response to this would be instead of watching the movies protrayed by actors who know nothing about living with this disease, is to go to a web site that tells the stories of people in different countries and even here in america who deal with this disease everyday.
There is no greater story that the stories that comes from the hearts of people living with hiv and aids, for example there is the story of the young lady from south africa, who went to an aids conference and decided to give her voice to the cause, when she went back to her village she was stoned to death.
Hollywood producers and actors can never protray the full impact of adis, reason being the first and foremost thing for them is the monetary gain, not the compassion.
Everyone of us in this forum has our own unique story to tell, there is so much for us to learn from each other right here, we have all loved, lost and survived, and the mere fact that we are willing to talk means we are stronger than we think we are.
We are the best actors and actresses in this epidemic, the only difference is at the end of the show our script still remains all too real.
Brandy

Offline wellington

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Re: hiv/aids lit/movies/etc: good, bad, and ugly
« Reply #30 on: August 25, 2006, 11:08:18 AM »
I'm an hiv+ actor. Professionally trained, too. Often, actors follow either a script or direction in portrayal of a character or event. When you watch a movie or see a play, you're seeing an intepretation - through the eyes of the director, mostly, but also based on the experiences of the actor. When you visit a web site, you're getting the raw goods. The motive behind revelation on a website is considerably different than for film or theatre, in most cases. I think each medium has an important role to play in completing our bigger picture.

It's sad that someone who had the courage to speak was snuffed out by the ignorant. Sadder still that ignorance and fear are so prevalent. All the more reason to remain vigilant, and vocal.

Offline cph9680

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Re: hiv/aids lit/movies/etc: good, bad, and ugly
« Reply #31 on: August 26, 2006, 05:11:37 AM »
You don't like "It's My Party"?!?!?!  How???
I was lucky enough to work at a video store the first time I saw it, and when they put it up for sale shortly after, scooped it right up, and have watched it about a million times and made everyone I know watch it.  I love it.  Guess it speaks to the inner drama queen. 
"The Band Played On" was good, although I only watched it once, but repeatedly watched the end segment where they did the video montage to "The Last Song."  What can I say, the more depressing it is - the more I like it!

As for literature, has anyone read The Wild Swans by Peg Kerr.  Like "It's My Party" I've recommended it to everyone I know and have given several copies for the occasional birthday and christmas present.  And of course, if it didn't just break your heart, I wouldn't have even bothered.  But I loved it so much, its well written, and the story is just phenomenal, imo!

Corey

Offline bobik

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Re: hiv/aids lit/movies/etc: good, bad, and ugly
« Reply #32 on: August 26, 2006, 06:50:11 AM »
Hi Alex,

reading about queer as floks, I also remember the books and tv-series of Tales of the City, written by Armistead Maupin. HIV plays a role in it, but it is not the main theme, it is just there as it is in the daily lives of people living in a big city. Great fun to read, and the TV-series are good as well!
Coen Honig at Facebook

 


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