MCN Blogs
David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Ed Koch, No Hero Of The AIDS Wars, Expressed His Support Late… As A Film Critic

How To Survive A Plague director David France explains…

6 Responses to “Ed Koch, No Hero Of The AIDS Wars, Expressed His Support Late… As A Film Critic”

  1. The Pope says:

    Given the vicious scale of loss suffered throughout the 80s and 90s, you really can only feel humbled by France’s sense of clemency towards those who shunned so many AIDS victims.

    Haven’t seen the documentary yet, but looking out for it.

  2. Think says:

    It’s available on Netflix (a wonderful way to watch films and television shows that DP never talks about for some reason).

  3. movieman says:

    I really thought “Plague” was among the most overrated of 2012 docs.
    It contained nothing new that I hadn’t already seen in a half dozen (or more) other AIDS/gay lib docs made in the past few years (“We Were Here,” “Vito,” et al).
    I’m guessing the crix who did cartwheels didn’t see any of those other films, or “Plague” wouldn’t have seemed so revelatory or groundbreaking.

  4. David Poland says:

    movieman… I felt Plague put it all together in a way that hadn’t happened before. Not groundbreaking. And not really great filmmaking, as such. But it had more perspective and seemed more definitive than anything I had seen before.

  5. movieman says:

    Maybe if you’d been following the history of AIDS activism as I have for 30+ years, “Plague” would have seemed like equally old news to you, DP.

    …but if you hadn’t, and had never made the acquaintance of Larry Kramer (who, truth be told, doesn’t get nearly as much credit as he deserves in the film).
    …or hadn’t seen any of the multitude of preceding AIDS/gay liberation docs…
    Personally, I’m still waiting for a gay Marcel Ophuls to make the definitive, defining film on the subject.
    As nobly intended as it may be, “How to Survive a Plague” just didn’t do it for me.
    Too much of it was, “been there, seen/heard that.”

  6. hendhogan says:

    I got to see this a couple of nights back. As someone who lived through the time, but hasn’t gone out of my way to learn the history of AIDS activism, I thought it was great. And maybe there have been better docs in the past about the subject. This one moved me. Not just about AIDS, but the need to do more. Activism has been reduced (with apologies to the Occupy movement, which was unfocused at best) to posting things on social media. Other people’s words.

    I have my own causes. I actively go out in the world and fight for those causes. This movie inspired me to do more. And demonstrated the importance of doing more. Because if we rely on the government to solve these problems, we could be waiting a very long time.

The Hot Blog

Quote Unquotesee all »

“I never accepted the term contrarian. I think that’s offensive, frankly. And my response to that is: if I’m a contrarian, what are other reviewers? What I strive to do is be a good critic, not somebody who simply accepts the product put in front of me. I guess it scares people to think that they don’t have any originality; that they don’t have the capacity to think for themselves.

“There’s a line a lot of reviewers use that I don’t like at all. They say ‘accept the film on its own terms.’ What that really means is, ‘accept the film as it is advertised.’ That’s got nothing to do with criticism. Nothing to do with having a response as a film watcher. A thinking person has to analyze what’s on screen, not simply rubber-stamp it or kowtow to marketing.”m

“To me, everything does have a political component and I think it’s an interesting way to look at art. It’s one way that makes film reviewing, I think, a politically relevant form of journalism. We do live in a political world, and we bring our political sense to the movies with us – unless you’re the kind of person who goes to the movies and shuts off the outside world. I’m not that kind of person.”
~ Armond White to Luke Buckmaster

“One of comedy’s defining pathologies, alongside literal pathologies like narcissism and self-loathing, is its swaggering certainty that it is part of the political vanguard, while upholding one of the most rigidly patriarchal hierarchies of any art form.”
~ Lindy West