Parting Glances

parting glancesFinishing up Reel Charlie’s 30 Days of Gay with the 80’s classic, Bill Sherwood’s Parting Glances. Sadly Sherwood died from AIDS in 1990 before ever making another film. You can really feel the strength of how hard AIDS struck down a creative generation watching this film. Six years before the heralding of the New Queer Cinema in 1992, Sherwood created a modern-day masterpiece. Michael and Robert, a 20-something NYC gay male couple spend 24 hours preparing for Robert’s departure to Africa on a two-year work assignment. Michael will be staying behind because his ex Nick is dying of AIDS. Steve Buscemi plays Nick, one of the first AIDS characters on the big screen and still one of the best. Nick is the lead singer of a punk band whose success is just beginning. Robert we discover is heading to Africa not because his company is forcing him, but because he wants a break from Michael after six years of cohabitation and because he can’t imagine sticking around to watch Nick and who knows who else die. Richard Ganoung and John Bolger share the lead roles as Robert and Michael. Direction from Sherwood is easy, the acting natural as if the actors have known each other all their lives. Kathy Kinney has a great minor role. Parting Glances is such an honest, urban film about the beginning of the worst period of the AIDS epidemic. But instead of overpowering the film, Nick’s AIDS diagnosis is part of the life that continues for everyone, gay, straight, young, old, male, female, HIV+, HIV-. It truly is a time capsule of the mid 80’s. Hard to believe this film is 30 years old. Honored to review it on the last day of 30 Days of Gay for Reel Charlie. An obvious 5 out of 5 for Bill Sherwood’s simple and remarkable Parting Glances.

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