The Columbia University Medical Center will honor World AIDS Day with a special commemorative event marking the 20th anniversary of Jonathan Demme's "Philadelphia."
Joining Demme and "Philadelphia" screenwriter Ron Nyswaner at "Philadelphia Twenty Years Later: Narrative and the Epidemic" on Nov. 12 will be Dr. Michael Gottlieb. The renowned AIDS researcher/philanthropist was one of the first physicians to identify the immunologic condition which became known as HIV/AIDS, and served as Rock Hudson's doctor after the legendary actor was diagnosed as being HIV-positive.
Gottlieb, whose work during the early years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic is chronicled in And The Band Played On, told The Huffington Post in an email that Demme's Oscar-winning movie "still reflects the reality in the corporate American workplace" even though two decades have passed since its release.
"It’s a huge risk for a person to be out about HIV to coworkers or an employer. You become tainted, discounted, at risk for discrimination. Disclosing that you have cancer is much easier. People get support, and that’s not always the case with HIV."
He went on to note, "Of course the irony is that if people with HIV could be open more people would know someone who has it. Over the long run the stigma might fade if everyone knew someone with HIV or had an affected friend or family member."
Released in December 1993, "Philadelphia" nabbed two Academy Awards, including one for lead actor Tom Hanks. Also slated to appear at the Nov. 12 event will be AIDS physicians Dr. Ron Bayer and Dr. Gerald Friedland, actress Anna Deveare Smith and writers Mark Doty and Marie Howe. Proceeds from the event will go to Columbia University's African Services Committee.
"Philadelphia Twenty Years Later: Narrative and the Epidemic" will take place Nov. 12 at Columbia University Medical Center's Alumni Auditorium. For more details, click here.
Also on HuffPost:
'La Cage Aux Folles' (1978)
The original "Birdcage," "La Cage Aux Folles" finally gets the Blu Ray treatment with <a href="http://www.criterion.com/films/28045-la-cage-aux-folles" target="_blank">Criterion Collection's new edition,</a> which includes archival footage and interviews with the team behind the film. If you've never seen this classic then put this restored edition at the top of your list.
'Tales Of The City' 20th Anniversary Edition (2013)
Based on the classic Armistead Maupin novel series of the same name, the 1993 television miniseries <a href="http://acornonline.com/tales-of-the-city-20th-anniversary-collection/p/tales-of-the-city-20th-anniversary/" target="_blank">"Tales of the City"</a> brought the author's characters to the screen in what "Entertainment Weekly" calls "one of the 10 Best Miniseries." Laura Linney plays Mary Ann Singleton, a new transplant to 1970s San Francisco, as she makes friends and navigates her way through the straight and gay scenes in the City By The Bay. This 20th Anniversary edition includes audio commentaries by the cast and creator, as well as behind-the-scenes footage.
'Breaking The Girls' (2013)
Jamie Babbit, the director of <a href="http://youtu.be/ileGil63s90" target="_blank">"But I'm A Cheerleader,"</a> delivers a darker tale of girls in love with <a href="http://trailers.apple.com/trailers/independent/breakingthegirls/" target="_blank">"Breaking the Girls,"</a> a lesbian take on "Strangers on a Train." This film made the film festival rounds this summer but is now available on demand and as a download on <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/au/movie/breaking-the-girls/id568255222" target="_blank">iTunes.</a>
<em>Warning: Trailer may be NSFW </em> Todd Verow's controversial documentary, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Bottom-Unnamed-cast/dp/B00DD1X938" target="_blank">"Bottom,"</a> follows an anonymous gay man as he tries to have unprotected sex with as many men as he can in a year, while he keeps "count of the number of ‘loads’ he takes," as the film's description reads. The anonymous man has been blogging about his sex life for years on his blog “Confessions of a Bareback Sauna Slut - No Condoms. No Fear, No Regrets," and now Verow brings his dangerous sexual encounters to life.
'White Frog' (2012)
Quentin Lee's fifth film shows how the death of a child and beloved brother can unravel a family -- and what happens when secrets of the deceased are explored. Starring Harry Shum Jr from "Glee," Tyler Posey from "Teen Wolf," and BD Wong, "White Frog" packs an emotional punch, especially when Shum's secret life is slowly revealed, including his sexuality.
The third movie in what is called John Frankenheimer's Paranoia Trilogy, "Seconds" was a risky movie for both Frankenheimer, the director, and Rock Hudson, the film's star. While the subject matter isn't gay, "Seconds" should be seen for Hudson's performance, which was out of character for him following his Doris Day romantic comedies. The new <a href="http://www.criterion.com/films/28428-seconds" target="_blank">Criterion Collection</a> edition has a well of bonus features, including "Hollywood on the Hudson," a 1965 television program featuring interviews and on-set footage of Hudson.
'In The Family' (2012)
The independent film that was hailed as "a masterpiece" by Roger Ebert and "remarkable" by the Los Angeles Times, <a href="http://www.inthefamilythemovie.com/" target="_blank">"In the Family"</a> comes to DVD after a quiet theatrical run. Don't let the running time (close to three hours) scare you away, Patrick Wang's film about a gay couple who are raising their child -- and what happens to them and their extended family when one of the child's fathers suddenly dies -- is heartbreaking and one of the best gay family dramas in recent memory.
Ten years after the gay classic Israeli film, <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0334754/" target="_blank">"Yossi & Jagger,"</a> was released, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Yossi-Ohad-Knoller/dp/B00B2DGYQS" target="_blank">"Yossi"</a> continues the story of the title character, a doctor who is still closeted and dealing with trauma from years earlier. Yossi becomes friends with a group of Israeli officers, one of whom is an openly gay man that he ends up falling for. A film festival favorite, if you loved "Yossi & Jagger" this follow-up is not to be missed.
'Mosquita y Mari' (2012)
First time director Aurora Guerroro depicts awkward teenage years in <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Mosquita-Y-Mari-Fenessa-Pineda/dp/B00C1LIZEE" target="_blank">"Mosquita y Mari,"</a> when two girls from immigrant households become fast friends and begin to develop feelings for one another. "Mosquita y Mari" was a 2012 Sundance selection, and was also nominated for an Independent Spirit Award.
Set in London's underground urban music scene, <a href="http://www.tlavideo.com/gay-bashment/p-355933-2" target="_blank">"Bashment"</a> tells the story of JJ, who is white and gay and about to win the Urban Slam finals, until his rivals beat JJ's boyfriend, Orlando, leaving him with permanent brain damage. "Bashment" tackles the issues of race and homophobia head on, and while at times may not be the easiest to watch, it allows the viewer to witness a culture rarely represented on film.
'Out For The Long Run' (2009)
A documentary, <a href="http://tragoidia.com/" target="_blank">"Out for the Long Run"</a> follows gay athletes from high school and college for a year. Including video confessionals, this film explores what gay athletes go through while trying to stay true to themselves out on the field.
'Atomic Age' (2012)
<a href="http://www.tlavideo.com/gay-atomic-age/p-348096-2" target="_blank">'Atomic Age'</a> follows two French teens as they embark on a wild Parisian night full of clubs, drinking and sexual desires. As TLA says, "Anyone who has ever lusted after a straight buddy will be able to relate to 'Atomic Age.'"
'I Killed My Mother' (2009)
Xavier Dolan's film <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Killed-My-Mother-Xavier-Dolan/dp/B00CU00J7C/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1377711117&sr=8-1&keywords=i+killed+my+mother" target="_blank">finally comes to DVD</a> and the film was worth the wait if you missed it on the film festival circuit years ago. Dolan's first feature, which won raves at many festivals including Cannes, is a semi-autobiographical account of a boy's intricate relationship with his mother. Dolan, who is gay, has been busy making other films since "I Killed My Mother," like "Heartbeats," and "Laurence Anyway," which won the <a href="http://www.out.com/entertainment/movies/2013/05/13/xavier-dolan-laurence-anyways?page=full" target="_blank">2012 Queer Palm</a> at the Cannes Film Festival and his debut is not to be missed.
'Scatter My Ashes At Bergdorf's' (2013)
A documentary about a store may not seem the most riveting at first glance but Bergdorf Goodman's is no ordinary store. In <a href="http://www.bergdorf-movie.com/" target="_blank">"Scatter My Ashes At Bergdorf's"</a> it's revealed as a church for those who love fashion and luxury living. Compiled from interviews with fashion designers such as Isaac Mizrahi and Michael Kors -- as well as the people behind the scenes at Bergdorf's -- this is a fascinating look at one of the world's most prestigious department stores.
'Struck By Lightning' (2012)
Chris Colfer ("Glee") made his screenwriting debut with this film about a high schooler who blackmails the popular students to write for his literary magazine. Directed by Brian Dannelly (who also directed "Saved!"), <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Struck-Lightning-Chris-Colfer/dp/B00B9LNPX8" target="_blank">"Struck By Lightning"</a> brings together a cast that includes Colfer along with Rebel Wilson, Alison Janney and Dermot Mulroney in this dark humored high school comedy.
'Crossover Kids' (2013)
This documentary interviews various transgender people, from 6 year-old Coy Mathis who was born as a boy, but who now lives as a girl, to an older man, Walt, skeptical of transgender surgery because in his forties he underwent surgery to become a female, and years later switched back to being a man. "Crossover Kids" shows an everyday side to the transgender headlines in the news these days.