Pride and Prostration

The spring semester is well and truly over, here. And after it finished my department was finishing up a huge and time-sensitive job, and then I had to move out of my office, because basically my entire life is being diverted for construction this summer.

I am starting to recover from the exhaustion and just general lack-of-fucks-given that the rush times at work give me.

And it is summer! Hurrah! Happy Pride to everyone. I plan to be queering it up all over the place and have, in fact, been invited to march in Boston’s parade, which is awesome.

For a while now, I’ve wanted to talk to y’all about some films that are worth watching but which aren’t available (as far as I can tell) digitally streaming at all. Since it is pride, I’m going to start, today, with 1995’s Jeffrey.

The movie was derived from a play by Paul Rudnick that began in off-Broadway theaters in the early nineties. Rudnick also wrote the screenplay. Directed by Christopher Ashley (who primarily directs live theater) the film takes good advantage of the shift in media while still being a relatively stage-y piece.

The title character spends a lot of the movie speaking directly to the audience. His fantasies come to life on the screen. The film is hilarious and moving and romantic in spite of its central theme of a gay man in New York coming to grips with the AIDS crisis in his own, slow and bullheaded way.

Filled with a sense of magical realism, the film features Patrick Stewart as a well-to-do interior decorator living with a Broadway dancer and also features cameos by Nathan Lane and Sigourney Weaver.

You will laugh, you will cry, and you will be baffled by the repeated appearances of Mother Theresa (not the real Mother Theresa, but still).

This was the first work about the AIDS crisis with which I became deeply familiar, having watched it about a jillion times in my twenties (I had it on VHS #pretentiousOld). Steven Weber (or ‘That guy from Wings‘, as I used to know him) is fantastic in the title role and Michael Weiss is magnetic as his love interest.

This film is well worth getting your paws on, if you can. May I suggest you see if it’s available at your local library? And if it isn’t, perhaps you could buy a DVD and donate to them after you’ve watched it. Adding some gay culture to the public archive is, I think, a great way to celebrate pride.