December 16, 2008

You gotta give 'em hope.

575 Castro St. from FilmInFocus on Vimeo.

575 Castro St. is a simple, beautifully shot short film from the Focus Film crew Jenni Olson on the set of MILK. In 2008, the Castro Camera Store, where Harvey Milk lived and worked in the late 1970's, was recreated at the same address for Gus Van Sant's film MILK.

For me, the joy of my films is found in the poetry of the static image — in the experience of time passing on film, undistracted by plot, actors, dialogue and other narrative conventions. An internal drama is evoked in the sensitivities of each viewer who is open to the subtleties of these mundane shots that are almost bereft of movement and sound. So quiet, so still. All the better to showcase the range of emotions evoked by Harvey Milk’s words.

The audio track is an edited down version of the 13-minute audio-cassette that Harvey Milk recorded in his camera shop on the evening of Friday, November 18, 1977 (a few weeks after his election to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors which made him the first openly gay elected official in America). Labeled simply: “In-Case” the tape was to be played, “in the event of my death by assassination.”

The audio is the same 5-6 minutes that can be found all over YouTube, but is better quality, and is all the more moving against the backdrop of the set.

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