What did you think/feel about MILK, the Harvey Milk story/film staring Sean Penn?

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    Dec 27, 2008 8:42 PM GMT
    What do you think about the film (MILK)?
    How did Sean Penn do?


    I saw the film last night... I felt it was worth the watch. I am still processing... It seemed to me Sean Penn was right on!



    Harvey Milk Poster Pictures, Images and Photos


    Just in case you don't know:

    On "BLACK MONDAY", November 10, 1978, Harvey Bernard MILK, "THE MAYOR OF CASTRO STREET" was MURDERED.

    Shot five times at close range, twice in the head.

    MILK - THE FIRST OPENLY GAY ELECTED POLITICIAN to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors - was 48 years old.

    The murderer, whom had snuck into city hall, armed with a police issue weapon loaded with hollow point bullets, murdered MILK and Mayor Masconi who was only 49 years old.

    Cleve Jones, a friend and fellow gay activist, said the following about MILK: "His murder and the response to it made permanent and unquestionable the full participation of gay and lesbian people in the political process."

    A CANDLELIGHT VIGIL was held for MILK of 25 to 40 THOUSAND.

    The murderer received a FIVE year sentence for MANSLAUGHTER. He used the "TWINKIE DEFENSE".

    Upon his sentencing, May 21, 1979, the WHITE NIGHT RIOTS took place.

    Thousands of people protested the outcome of the trial.

    That night the San Francisco Police went to the gay side of town beat gays badly, putting 100 gays in the hospital and caused over a MILLION DOLLARS in damage to local bars.

    The gays, our brothers and sisters, our forefathers and foremothers, faught back and 61 police officers were hospitalized.

    There is so much more to this story, including the love of Harvey Milk's life, the man who inspired him, Scott Smith.

    The Harvey Milk "Hope Speech" :

    "...And the young gay people... The only thing they have to look forward to is hope. And you have to give them hope. Hope for a better world, hope for a better tomorrow, hope for a better place to come to if the pressures at home are too great. Hope that all will be all right. Without hope, not only gays, but the blacks, the seniors, the handicapped, the us'es, the us'es will give up. .... It means hope to a nation that has given up, because if a gay person makes it, the doors are open to everyone."

    In another speech, Harvey Milk said:

    "... I can only hope that ... that two, three, four, five hundred will step forward, so the gay doctors will come out, the gay lawyers, the gay judges, gay bankers, gay architects ... I hope that every professional gay will say 'enough', come forward and tell everybody, wear a sign, let the world know. Maybe that will help."
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    Dec 27, 2008 9:52 PM GMT
    I liked it a lot. It kinda helped to put current events in perspective.
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    Dec 27, 2008 10:32 PM GMT
    I agree. It meshed completely with the politics of today. I thought it was an amazing film. It seemed rather honest and Sean Penn seemed to play him with an amazing sense of grace and truthfulness.
  • vindog

    Posts: 1440

    Dec 27, 2008 10:53 PM GMT
    Great movie ruined by terrible music.


    They over-Hollywooded it, which made me roll my eyes a lot, but the acting, sets, script was great.




  • DCEric

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    Dec 27, 2008 11:27 PM GMT
    I liked it, but one thing I didn't get. They kept saying it was an assassination. It was no such thing. It was murder. An assassination has political aims/goals. This was a person murdering people they knew. The issues surrounding it was personal, no political.

    That said, the movie was great. Like what was said before the music was a bit off (although I liked the use of The Who).
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    Dec 27, 2008 11:32 PM GMT
    i don't think it was terrible music at all. danny elfman did an amazing job. as for the film itself, it's incredibly engaging and inspiring, more so than brokeback ever brought. the emotions were all there and it was very authentic. it wasn't cheep or hollywood-ed, which is what I love about gus van sant's films. it deserves a lot of oscar nominations including best score, actor (sean penn) and editing.
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    Dec 27, 2008 11:46 PM GMT
    I loved it. Every part. I thought every actor was terrific. I could see it again (and again). I have never been a Sean Penn fan but he did an amazing job.
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    Dec 28, 2008 12:40 AM GMT
    gymguy1 saidI loved it. Every part. I thought every actor was terrific. I could see it again (and again). I have never been a Sean Penn fan but he did an amazing job.
    Interesting... I am going again tonight... :-) A few friends a going along.... so far....
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    Dec 28, 2008 12:58 AM GMT
    i thought it was an inspiring film.

    i honestly didn't have a lot of knowledge about Milk before the movie and, though it may have been sensationalized a bit, it had a great message.

    it was weird to me to think that my parents were basically my age during this period of history. and explains a little bit, i think, of the differences i see btwn some options/actions/thoughts of the different generations of gay men and women.

    and - penn was amazing.

    i highly recommend it is what i'm basically saying. lol.
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    Dec 28, 2008 3:55 AM GMT
    I think they did a great job with the movie, and Sean Penn deserves to win some awards for his portrayal of the Mayor of Castro Street. icon_smile.gif
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    Dec 28, 2008 4:29 AM GMT
    In addition to being a well performed film, it does a great job bringing gay history to public awareness. From the perspective of the modern gay rights movement, however, it may affirm negative stereotypes, justifying ill informed, anti gay opinions in the mind of more conservative viewers. The film could also be accused of being apologetic for gay romance by its repeatedly covering the interlooking faces of gay lovers during kissing scenes with shadows - as if to hint that gay love is distasteful. Despite the (perceived) internal homophobia within the film and ability to stimulate homophobia to certain audience members, Milk does a wonderful job addressing the need for civil rights under American law and while providing at least my generation of queers with a sense of history and belonging.
  • metta

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    Dec 28, 2008 4:40 AM GMT
    Excellent film: the story, the acting, the writing, the cinematography. Good balance of everything. The audience clapped at the end and walked out with tears in their eyes. I hope that it wins some Oscars!

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    Dec 28, 2008 6:13 AM GMT
    GCoop saidIn addition to being a well performed film, it does a great job bringing gay history to public awareness. From the perspective of the modern gay rights movement, however, it may affirm negative stereotypes, justifying ill informed, anti gay opinions in the mind of more conservative viewers. The film could also be accused of being apologetic for gay romance by its repeatedly covering the interlooking faces of gay lovers during kissing scenes with shadows - as if to hint that gay love is distasteful. Despite the (perceived) internal homophobia within the film and ability to stimulate homophobia to certain audience members, Milk does a wonderful job addressing the need for civil rights under American law and while providing at least my generation of queers with a sense of history and belonging.


    Impressive summation. I read it with interest. Thank you.

    It has taken me a while to process the film. And seeing it twice may be helpful.

    The message, for me, was that there have been endings to battles, whether won or lost, and the fight continues.

    I appreciated the discomforting homophobic content ... I didn't like it ... I never do ... I understood it to be reflective of the period and the man. The eternal dichotomy when a minority challenges the keepers of the status quo, usually the majority.

    Finally, in terms of current events, there seems to be a symmetry between the film's story and today.
  • vindog

    Posts: 1440

    Dec 28, 2008 8:05 AM GMT
    homogenic86 saidi don't think it was terrible music at all. danny elfman did an amazing job. as for the film itself, it's incredibly engaging and inspiring, more so than brokeback ever brought. the emotions were all there and it was very authentic. it wasn't cheep or hollywood-ed, which is what I love about gus van sant's films. it deserves a lot of oscar nominations including best score, actor (sean penn) and editing.


    I just get so tired of these great movies that use really annoying symphonic music to try and evoke feelings that you would have without it.


    Like the end during the candlelight vigil, it would have been so much more powerful if they just had silence with footsteps and/or the flapping of candleflames in the wind.

    This happened many times throughout the film, and I view it like a laugh track in a sitcom....Unnecessary






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    Dec 28, 2008 10:57 AM GMT
    Unfortunately I haven't seen 'Milk', in fact prior to yesterday when I was reading an article on movies that could be nominated for an academy award I had actually never heard of it. I just looked it up online and searched on the cinema website and it looks like it won't be released at any of the cinemas where I live. Its really frustrating as I read the story line online and actually wanted to see it, but thats definitely going to be quite some time.
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    Jan 02, 2009 6:14 AM GMT
    gymguy1 saidI loved it. Every part. I thought every actor was terrific. I could see it again (and again). I have never been a Sean Penn fan but he did an amazing job.


    My sentiments, exactly. We saw it, just this evening. What an awesome start to a new year. It was incredibly emotional, and the acting was dead on.

    As others have said, I immediately recognized parallels between then and now. Fred Phelps (or maybe Tony Perkins) is our generation's Anita Bryant. Proposition 8 is our generation's Proposition 6. Clearly, we've come a long way, but there's definitely much more work to be done.
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    Jan 03, 2009 9:16 PM GMT
    vindog said
    homogenic86 saidi don't think it was terrible music at all. danny elfman did an amazing job. as for the film itself, it's incredibly engaging and inspiring, more so than brokeback ever brought. the emotions were all there and it was very authentic. it wasn't cheep or hollywood-ed, which is what I love about gus van sant's films. it deserves a lot of oscar nominations including best score, actor (sean penn) and editing.


    I just get so tired of these great movies that use really annoying symphonic music to try and evoke feelings that you would have without it.


    Like the end during the candlelight vigil, it would have been so much more powerful if they just had silence with footsteps and/or the flapping of candleflames in the wind.

    This happened many times throughout the film, and I view it like a laugh track in a sitcom....Unnecessary








    i would have to agree the candlelight scene would have been more effective without a score. danny elfman is one of few film composers that i actually like because danny is quite unconventional in his musical styles. music is a magical thing that evokes atmosphere and emotion, and used at the right time in the right place, it can be wonderful. i don't really like john williams lol. i like unpredictable scoring because its more exciting. of course no film is perfect.
  • CuriousJockAZ

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    Jan 03, 2009 9:51 PM GMT
    One of the better movies I have seen in awhile. Sean Penn gave an amazing performance. He's my pic for the Oscar this year.
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    Jan 03, 2009 10:41 PM GMT
    I recently saw it and have to agree with others that the film was excellent and does a great job of bringing gay history to public awareness. Just to think that it wasn't that long ago when policemen would remove their badges and rage gay bars out of hatred.

    The most touching scene for me is when Milk got a call from that kid on the wheel chair.

    Very few films have made me scared, laughed, pensive and cried.
  • cowboyathlete

    Posts: 1346

    Jan 03, 2009 10:57 PM GMT
    There was no sneaking in by an assassin. Dan White was a fellow city council member who had walked in as usual for a meeting with the mayor. Everything else you said was accurate. To this day, I cannot believe anyone with half a brain would accept the twinkie defense.
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    Jan 03, 2009 11:24 PM GMT
    A great film. It was interesting to compare the film to my memories of that time thirty years ago when, as a college student down the peninsula from San Francisco, I heard of the murders that day. Tragic also was the light sentence Dan White received. Appropriate and just are two words that describe how I feel about his suicide after he was released from prison so early. The film was well done - and everyone associated with it showed care and sensitivity in doing a great job.

    BTW, Dan White actually did sneak into City Hall that morning - through a basement window he had left ajar the night before. He had a gun and avoided going through the metal detectors at his regular entrance. I got this straight from his own assistant - who drove White to work that morning. The assistant relayed this story to me in the 1980s when we worked together - about 4 years after the murders. I don't know if the assistant actually saw White enter through the window - or if she had just dropped him off at the curb.
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    Jan 04, 2009 4:43 AM GMT
    I havent seen it yet; but I told my girlfriend we're going to see it whether she wants to or not.


    (she wants to)
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    Feb 12, 2009 8:26 PM GMT
    Went and saw it again.... It is even better the second time... strangely enough.... Both of us, my boyfriend and I, just had such a nice time.... Might want to see it again...
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    Feb 12, 2009 8:51 PM GMT
    I thought it was OK, but certainly not a great movie. I'd probably give it 6 or 7 out of 10. It is over rated as a movie. I thought all of the performances were very good.

    I think Hollywood may well reward it with Oscars...Sean Penn with Best Actor and Best Picture & Director nods to make a statement that they are gung-ho for 'gay rights". I hope they don't though. It simply is not a "best picture" movie...merely good. The one thing it has going for it this year is that none of the other Oscar contenders are outstanding either. They are all fairly "small" movies with limited appeal.
    Curious Case of Benjamin Button-way overrated;
    The Reader-very slow and disappointing-again small-ish movie (great performance by KWinslett and that's all),
    Frost-Nixon-good movie;
    Slumdog Millionaire-most overrated movie of them all.

    As for Best Actor, though it is an "art imitating life" performance, Mickey Rourke is mesmerizing in the Wrestler. If there is justice, he will win the Oscar (thoug he certainly is a weird guy).
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    Feb 25, 2009 11:28 PM GMT
    Bocaguy,
    Man, you certainly are well versed. :-) I just read this today and enjoyed your insights. While watching the film, I forgot it was Penn. I felt like I was hearing and seeing Milk. Not that I knew him, he was just a powerful figure in my youth. That's the "excellent acting" benchmark for me. Seen the film three times now and it becomes more powerful for me each time. It may just be the "reliving my youth" thing?? Not sure, but it has brought me some joy.
    Peace,
    B
    PS I am glad Penn got the trophy and sad that Rourke didn't....

    bocaguyfl saidI thought it was OK, but certainly not a great movie. I'd probably give it 6 or 7 out of 10. It is over rated as a movie. I thought all of the performances were very good.

    I think Hollywood may well reward it with Oscars...Sean Penn with Best Actor and Best Picture & Director nods to make a statement that they are gung-ho for 'gay rights". I hope they don't though. It simply is not a "best picture" movie...merely good. The one thing it has going for it this year is that none of the other Oscar contenders are outstanding either. They are all fairly "small" movies with limited appeal.
    Curious Case of Benjamin Button-way overrated;
    The Reader-very slow and disappointing-again small-ish movie (great performance by KWinslett and that's all),
    Frost-Nixon-good movie;
    Slumdog Millionaire-most overrated movie of them all.

    As for Best Actor, though it is an "art imitating life" performance, Mickey Rourke is mesmerizing in the Wrestler. If there is justice, he will win the Oscar (thoug he certainly is a weird guy).