“Firebird” and “Boys in the Band 2021”

Guest Editor: Bruce Pierini

Firebird ((in theaters, but soon to stream on Netflix)

Though Variety finds it kind of formulaic and heavy handed I disagree. I think it’s a great view into the mores and legal homophobia of Soviet life in the 70s. There are many moving scenes which appear threaded throughout the scenes that creep in with the felt dread of the KGB.

It is well-acted with beautiful views of Moscow Opera House, Red Square and  lovely hidden nature areas of forest and sea (and dreary shots of Moscow and dilapidated barracks). You must stay to the end AFTER the credits for what I think is a brief brilliant  image to leave the comfy theatre with. In English.

Boys in the Band–40 years later (Netflix)

Just saw the two-hour 2020 remake of Boys in the Band. I remember it had, for this young gay man, a compelling power in 1978 when the original came out….biggest trouble with the film is it’s 42 years later and all this drama queen self-hate seems to passé…..thankfully so, of course and the original did a lot for popular culture’s acceptance of gay men. I can’t help comparing the original with the remake, so maybe it’s not entirely fair to evaluate without re-looking at the original. But the ensemble acting in the original was much stronger, the main characters of Michael and Harold were much better acted and the tension we felt in that 1978 audience just kept us on our toes the whole time. I would only recommend it as an historical look at pre-Stonewall life in New York….

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