A bit bittersweet, this is the final exhibition at the familiar uptown Whitney - located in the Marcel Breuer building on Madison Avenue. It heralds its upcoming move down to the West Village/Meat Packing District (WV/MPD) - where the larger structure on Gansevoort Street - overlooks the Hudson River.
It took over 20 years for Larry Kramer to finally see his gut-punching AIDS play The Normal Heart put to film, but only days for the movie's few critics to slam its lack of racial and gender diversity. In what is now becoming a familiar pattern, filmmakers are being told to diversify our history, even if that history was less than diverse.
For anyone under 30, it may be difficult to imagine a time when the gay-rights movement wasn't operating at a milestone-a-minute pace. Fortunately a wave of artistic and media projects has emerged to remind us of heroes past, to refocus us on the type of activism that helped elevate the LGBT movement and to inspire us to make that final push.
The Normal Heart remembers moments, then reinvents others, and it reminds me that AIDS fiction is not the truth but a reflection on the emotional truth of an epidemic. That's all I ask for. Lie to me about the look of a lesion and I will forgive you. Lie to me about the emotional truth of the epidemic and I'll pitch you out like an old AZT bottle.
As the world gears up for HBO's The Normal Heart, I present a recent episode of SnowbizNow in which standout films in 30 years of AIDS in cinema are honored.