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Thirteen men and one woman look back at gay life and sex in Manhattan and Fire Island - from Stonewall (June, 1969) to the first reporting on AIDS (June, 1981). They describe the rapid move from repression to celebration, from the removal of shame to joy, the on-going search for "someone," the freedom before AIDS, the friendships, and brotherhood. They take us through cruising and sex in public places, the drug scene, the bars and the baths, the birth of entertainment and dance clubs, and starry nights on Fire Island. Photographs, home movies, newsreels, and film clips illustrate the story. A few contemporary "what did the 70's mean?" man-in-the-street takes end the documentary. Written by
For those unfamiliar with the topic, this documentary offers good information. For those already familiar with, or who lived through or participated in it, the film's a trip down memory lane.
Joseph Lovett has assembled some period footage and photo stills to help depict his subject. But the film mostly consists of "talking heads": men in their 60s, sharing personal experiences on the atmosphere, attitudes and action from the 70s. A couple of women in their 30s also offer reflective remarks.
What a rare opportunity for people in the Northeast area of the country to be able to see this film locally, at Cleveland's unique Cinematheque. Not yet available on video or DVD, and rarely shown outside of New York, these Ohio screenings are all the more valuable.
The diverse and appreciative audience was very interested in the subject, and reacted to the humor audibly. While all this is now history, the 70s represents for many a time of liberation, experimentation, exploration and fulfillment. --h/76
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