Review

  • Warning: Spoilers
    3 years earlier, as soon as he could, Adrian left his conservative home in Fort Worth, seeking his fortune (and himself) in New York City. Now he has returned for Christmas, to a father who is a Vietnam vet, a mother who is a closet liberal, and younger brother Andrew who has disappointed their father by dropping out of football to join the drama club.

    Adrian is trying to find an opening to tell his family his secrets - that he is gay, and he is dying. He already has seen his lover and friends die, and he himself is showing signs of KS. It is easier to tell a childhood female friend, and to record a cassette tape with a hopeful message for Andrew on his gift - a Walkman with a recording function.

    The story has parallels with It's Only the End of the World, but in this case the disease is more explicit. Also, while the parents may not approve, they may still be loving, and individually voice some degree of support.

    I saw this at the Inside Out film festival, and got 2 takeaways from the Q+A. Shooting in black-and-white reduces background distractions and focuses on the characters' faces. Also, at an earlier screening, the director came face-to-face with a family where reality fit the fiction - a mother with 2 gay sons, the older one dead of AIDS, the younger married to another man.