The Celluloid Closet (1995)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBBBB

France/United Kingdom/Germany/USA, 1995.  Arte, Brillstein-Grey Entertainment, Channel Four Films, Home Box Office, Sony Pictures Classics, Telling Pictures, Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen.  Story by Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman, , narration by , based on the book by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman, .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Film Editing by Jeffrey Friedman, .  Independent Spirit Awards 1996.  Toronto International Film Festival 1995.  

Great documentary from Academy Award-winning directors Jeffrey Friedman and Rob Epstein (Common Threads: Stories From The Quilt) about the history of homosexuality in Hollywood cinema. Featuring interviews with Susan Sarandon (talking about The Hunger), Tom Hanks (talking about Philadelphia) and Shirley MacLaine (The Children’s Hour), plus writers and film historians ,  and , this beautifully scored and marvelously written film is one of the most entertaining movies about movies ever made. Armistead Maupin is responsible for the narration read by Lily Tomlin and based mostly on the late Vito Russo’s book of the same name, but there’s also a great selection of film clips ranging from Ben-Hur to The Colour Purple that are at times hilariously funny and at others extremely moving. Writer  talking about the effect that Rebecca‘s underwear-drawer scene had on her is a standout.

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