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5.0 out of 5 stars The Boys in the Band [DVD],
This review is from: Boys in the Band [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)Excellent !!!
A must for all the young Queens out there, who think that they invented life.
5.0 out of 5 stars a landmark gay movie,
This review is from: Boys in the Band [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)This film was one of the first mainstream titles to show gay men in a real life setting rather than just as characters to be mocked or pitied in a standard Hollywood drama or comedy.
Centred around a birthday party where a small group of friends bitch and laugh with each other for a night of fun, enters an old straight friend of the host.
Things turn awkward when a cruel party game is set up, where some dark histories are revealed, and the host tries to "out" his hung up and homophobic school pal, but everything backfires in a shattering climax.
This was daring for 1970, and it is hard to believe that it took this long for a film to tackle this sort of material.
The dialogue is lively and quite vulgar at times, but it does show a realistic picture of average gay life at the time.
The performances are great, with the original theatre cast all performing brilliantly here.
Quite a few interesting extras on the disc, with interviews from the writer and director and producer of the film.
Sad that most of the cast are no longer with us, mostly victims of the AIDS epidemic. A few remain to talk about the production of the film.
5.0 out of 5 stars Long live the art of film!,
This review is from: Boys in the Band [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)Let me first say that this is a high quality film in every respect. The script is excellent, the cast is superb, and no one could have directed it better than William Friedkin. Every shot is driving the plot forward, and Friedkin's attention to detail ensures that every little nuance drives the point home. Every scene is taut and poignant, and the quality of the art direction, cinematography, and sound production leaves nothing to be desired. Great craftsmanship. And a great work of dramatic art.
It is a big puzzle to me that this film is not currently available in the PAL/Region 2 DVD or Blu-Ray formats! This is both a humourous, dramatic, thought provoking and entertaining piece of cinema that should leave nobody untouched.
Perhaps unlike most of my fellow reviewers, I do not see this as a "gay" film. To me, it is a film about the human condition - gay or otherwise, and of complex human relationships. It is also a film about the problem of suffering. It is interesting that a couple of reviewers refer to the structural similarity between "The Boys In The Band" and "Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf". I think there are thematic similarities as well. In my opinion, both films deal with human suffering in relation to the concept of being "unnormal". (Let me rush in to say that this statement does not express my personal opinion of what is "normal" or not. I am just attempting an analysis based on character interpretations from the two films.) Martha and George in "Virginia Woolf" are "unnormal" because they are unable to produce children in their marriage, and channel their suffering and frustration by cruelly tormenting each other. Michael in "Boys In The Band" seems equally unable to come to terms with the fact that - in his own opinion - he is also "unnormal" i.e. gay. He is also full of frustration and self contempt, and he too projects his contempt on the others at the birthday party. In both cases we are witnessing damaged, suffering people fighting for their lives - almost with their backs against the wall. It hurts to be a witness to this suffering.
See this movie. And judge for yourself. You will not be disappointed.
4.0 out of 5 stars Theatrical sparks fly!,
This review is from: Boys in the Band [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)An extraordinary piece of "historical" theatre which still packs a punch!
Great performances illuminate a wicked text which is as brutal as Albee. This is clearly not a film for everyone, but as a historic and culturally resonant document about "gay lifestyles" at a particular moment in America history, William Friedkin has certainly delivered a powerful and poignant classic film - made all the more moving by the information on the fate of it's cast, on the excellent extras on the disc. The quality of the audio and image transfer is fantastic and a credit to all concerned!
5.0 out of 5 stars It's Not a Musical!,
This review is from: Boys in the Band [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)I saw a documentary about this film at the 2011 BFI London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival and, as a result, determined to watch again a film I last saw about 40 years ago. Directed by William Friedkin and very well acted it's a powerful portrait of a group of gay friends and their hang-ups. Using the original stage performers rather than big Hollywood names was definitely the right decision. The DVD extras are particularly valuable.
5.0 out of 5 stars ground breaking..,
This review is from: Boys in the Band [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)I wish I could remember who recommended this film to me- I would like to thank them very much. I bought it in conjunction with "The Ritz", made almost a decade later, and was very glad of it. I certainly needed something light after this one. Having said that it was a good watch, wether you think it might be all about us, or all about them.
There is no band and no lasciviousness either. The later quality places it firmly in the last century and
at the core of the film is a mystery about love. There are of course many hints of greater intimacy between the friends and then there is the gatecrasher, who we know is desperate to unburden himself to the host. The host and the audience are certain they know what his secret is.
The dialogue is certainly sharp and repartee soon turns to bitchiness and sour grapes. There are some big laughs along the way but the moments where you draw in your breath with a hiss are more abundant.
A drunken game forced on the company by the host produces some of the most poignant moments, particularly from the black character, and is a most appropriate climax to the piece. Performances are all excellent, characters very real and although set very much in their time, easily recognisable today. Watch it at least three times.
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Boys in the Band [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] by William Friedkin (DVD - 2008)