According to this article, Matt Bomer is scheduled to star in Larry Kramer’s “The Normal Heart” on HBO. It’s going to be directed by Ryan Murphy (Glee), and will also star Julia Roberts and Mark Ruffalo.
In this case, I have a feeling it’s going to be authentic with Murphy as the director. He tends to get a bit too political sometimes, but in this case, with this film, I don’t think it’s possible to get too political…or rant and scream too much about. If that is what he intends to do.
Although I was only a kid at the time, I can still remember how AIDS was ignored back then. The President of the United States, Ronald Reagan, never used the term once while he was in office…as I recall personally. There was panic, protests, and emotional events that helped define the next generation of gay men. Things were never the same again.
I’m going to do another post about this either tomorrow or Monday, with links to what it was actually like in Philadelphia, and how the fight still continues.
In the eighties and early nineties not a week went by without hearing something Larry Kramer related in gay newspapers.
Kramer’s play debuted at New York’s Public Theater in 1985. The 2011 Broadway revival garnered five Tony nominations, winning for Best Revival, Best Featured Actor and Best Featured Actress.
For those who know nothing about Larry Kramer or the play, this is from Wiki:
The Normal Heart is a largely autobiographical play by Larry Kramer. It focuses on the rise of the HIV–AIDS crisis in New York City between 1981 and 1984, as seen through the eyes of writer/activist Ned Weeks, the gay Jewish-American founder of a prominent HIV advocacy group. Ned prefers loud public confrontations to the calmer, more private strategies favored by his associates, friends, and closeted lover Felix Turner, none of whom is prepared to throw himself into the media spotlight. Their differences of opinion lead to frequent arguments that threaten to undermine their mutual goal.
Here’s something about Larry Kramer:
Larry Kramer (born June 25, 1935) is an American playwright, author, public health advocate, and LGBT rights activist. He began his career rewriting scripts while working for Columbia Pictures, which led him to London where he worked with United Artists. There he wrote the screenplay for Women in Love in 1969, earning an Academy Award nomination for his efforts. Kramer introduced a controversial and confrontational style in his 1978 novel Faggots, which earned mixed reviews but emphatic denunciations from the gay community for his portrayal of shallow, promiscuous gay relationships in the 1970s.
Both wiki articles go more in-depth and both are interesting to read.
I’ll be looking for this film, and posting more about it in the future. I honestly don’t see how they can go wrong with Matt Bomer. And I admire any actor or writer who wants to take something like this on. I don’t like to write about AIDS or anything AIDS related because I’ve experienced some of the more intense situations you can imagine with AIDS. And I’m still involved with AIDS related organizations to this day. While I’m not afraid to revisit some of the worst things I’ve seen, it’s not something I choose to go looking for either…at least not right now. And I applaud those who do.
I only wish there were more of these things, and that it didn’t take over 30 years to get a film like this out there. I know there have been others…as few…and they’ve been done well. But I don’t think it’s possible to have too many films about what it was like during the height of AIDS. On the other hand, maybe a lot of people feel the way I do: we just don’t want to go back there because it’s so hard to do.
In any event, I have harped on this before, and I’m doing it again. John Irving’s most recent release, “In One Person,” has the best account, and the most accurate detailed narrative, of what it was like back then I have ever read before. From the AIDS related illnesses to the medications they used to treat them, Irving nailed it in a way that I don’t think has received nearly enough recognition as it should be getting. I can’t emphasize this enough. Read Irving’s book. It’s long, but it’s worth it.