The Dallas Movie Screening Group

This is the homepage of the Dallas Movie Screening Group. To join our mailing list you must sign up at our group page on Yahoo. You will then be connected to receive notices on how to find passes to the local screenings in the DFW area. It's up to you to pickup or sign up for passes. You can also barter, trade or just giveaway passes you don't want, need or share with other members of the group. Please read the instructions on the Yahoo page very carefully before posting. This group is closely moderated so that your mail box is not full of spam or other unnecessary mail. We appreciate everyone's consideration and cooperation.

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Monday, May 7, 2018

DIFF2018 - 1985





Yen Tam has crafted a beautifully filmed and poignant story of a somewhat self estranged son, who comes home to Fort Worth, for quite possibly one last Christmas with his family.

Adrian (Cory Michael Smith) is harboring a mountain of secrets while trying to go through the motions, after three years of being away, of integrating back into his decidedly conservative, traditional, blue collar family.

His patient and loving mother, Eileen (Viginia Madsen) is very conservative and restrained. His father, Dale (Michael Chiklis), is a tough on the exterior Vietnam veteran mechanic who holds emotions on the inside as many traditional fathers of the Nixon through Reagan eras have done. His brother Andrew (Aidan Langford) is distant and harboring an unspoken pain or resentment of some sort upon seeing his brother return from New York City, bearing lavish gifts that clearly make his family uncomfortable in their more simple daily existence. Adrian, while away, has come out of the closet, lost a partner, is losing friends and has contracted AIDS and experiences deep internal conflict over how to tell his family the news. He has lost his job and is struggling emotionally as he watches friends get sick and die all around him.

While it is not clear how much Adrian suffered through his upbringing, the signs that he is not living an acceptable life are all around him. He sees his brother struggling with his own identity and desires to explore music, theater and culture over sports, which is not an interested supported by his parents. The boys bond again as Adrian gives secret support for his brother by supplying him with tapes and a gift certificate to purchase more of the music he loves. The home is simple, but claustrophobic whether it is via statements made innocently by his parents in passing or the religious reminders exemplified by wall and yard d├ęcor, hymns playing and the Bible he is given as a Christmas gift. All are reminders that he may have fallen short in his parents eyes, and he knows that by revealing his secrets that will seal the disappointment. Angst and agony pervade most of his attempts to fit back in to family life as he remembers it. His mother encourages past relationships be renewed, especially with girls. He makes contact with one, Carly (Jamie Chung) within whom he entrusts all of his story with, so that one day his brother will know, as he prepares to return to New York. The realization that he can never be fully known by his family is the most heart breaking aspect of his trip home. The story read true and quite possibly has been played out in America countless times. Adrian is destined to bear the weight and the burdens of his life with friends in similar circumstances. Filmed entirely in black and white, the lack of color allows the story and personalities to attract the most attention from the viewer and there is nothing in the way of experiencing the full range of emotions and conflict, visible and invisible, between and within each character. The disappointment and emotional detachment of a father, the unconditionally loving yet steadfast mother, the struggling young teen trying to find his way in this world, and the confusion and devotion of close friends. The young man connected to all of them yet unable to be truly himself and the tragedy the lies within that situation. This is a story about relationships in the era where the AIDS crisis is identified but the world is trying to figure out how to deal with its scope and range. Simply written, simply acted and honestly portrayed, the film will resonate with anyone who cares about suffering, struggle and the human condition.
(Review by Cheryl Wurtz)





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