Da 5 Bloods
On the Record
I May Destroy You
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An intensely sad look of the lives of two gay men in the early nineties living with AIDS.
Today is world AIDS day and I decided to watch heart wrenching documentary called Silverlake Life: The View From Here Just a very painful reminder that no one should have to suffer through this awful disease. I have a feeling that this film will stay with me for a very long time Very Moving
I saw this film years ago when it first came out and it still haunts me to this day. I still laugh or cry when I think of certain endearing or heart-breaking scenes.
Horrifying and bitter to watch.
Outstanding, highly moving documentary film about 2 men living with and dying of AIDS. A great overlooked film.
Brilliant, touching and so real look at a couple dealing with the last stages of life with AIDS. Tom and Mark's love is beautifully detailed along with the frustrations and pain of dealing with a stigmatized chronic illness. Also, this is a great historical look at what life was like before advances in medicine and societal acceptance of gay life.
Almost unbearably sad documentary that shows the real toll AIDS takes. Compelling in it's matter of factness. Beaautiful in it's way showing the devotion of these two men, imperfect and very human.
Originally it was my feeling that I couldn't give Silverlake Life a rating due to its engaging nature, and the feel that this film is more of a home movie collection than a film. But as time has passed and viewings have repeated, I've realized the naivte of my original stance. Although the subject matter of Silverlake Life is extremely real, extremely personal, and extremely intense, it still merits critique as a film, because it is still put together in a very particular style, one that works extremely well and deserves to be recognized for how it works. See, the thing is, that the film is in a very mild way scripted, and although it contains scenes overlapping with some of the most private moments of Tom Joslin, and more realistically Mark Massi's life (e.g. the body bag scene), it's still shot and executed very particularly, and we can notice and be broken out of our trance by various clues. When we see the script for the film in the opening sequence, that's a clue. When Mark focuses on his reflection, dead center in the rear window of the hearse taking Tom's body away, that's a clue. When he mounts the camera, alone, to record him loading Tom's ashes into the urn, that's a clue. Silverlake Life was filmed and put together with a filmmaker's eye behind all of it, and that's what makes it such an incredible and personal film. Tom Joslin conducted interviews in a way that made the camera completely a part of the film, almost it's own character. He used it to penetrate into everyone he interviewed, including himself. He chose to take the camera to the store, to the pizza shop, to parts of his everyday life that illustrated how two normal gay men live. But the idea of AIDS permeates it constantly. He's too weak to take a couple of trashcans apart at the store, too sick to choke down all of his pizza. When he films the marathon running through his town, it's a choking contrast to footage of himself bedridden; so weak he needs a wheelchair. Main criticisms of the film have been that it compromises too much, that by focusing all on the homonormalization of Tom and Mark, and desexualizing the couple, the film gives in to a hetero view of homo culture just to prove a point. I see the argument, but in 1993 on public television, the issue wasn't to make the viewing base understand homosexual culture. The issue was to make the viewing base understand AIDS, that it's still there, that it's as bad as ever, and that it's effecting people everyday, and do to that, Tom Joslin aimed to make his life into a story that anyone could relate to. It succeeded resoundingly.
I first saw this on PBS the year it came out, it was the first time I had seen the "true" reality of the affects of aids. It was very moving!
Extremely difficult to watch but it really does haunt you. Amazing work.