PJ Raval that opened yesterday in New York City and will hit other cities soon. In it, we meet and spend more time than we could possibly need or want with three gay men of different attitudes, histories and, for that matter, skin color. What they have in common and what we will all have, should we live that long, is age. These men are gay seniors, and, according to some reviewers, this makes the movie meaningful and important. Hogwash. What the movie really says -- without saying it or probably even realizing that it's there -- is that way too many gay seniors have lived a life relegated to their singular gay pursuits without at all engaging with the wider world.
Yet for whatever reason, Mr. Raval (shown above), the director and producer of this new documentary BEFORE YOU KNOW IT (as in, "before you know it, you're gonna be a senior, too"), has given us a trio of guys who do not seem to have any interest in anything beyond these immediate topics. Perhaps they do, and the filmmaker didn't bother to ask them a single question that might lead to discovering this. This is what, for me, made this movie so annoying and finally boring. This, plus its repetitiveness and undue length (110 minutes).
SAGE (Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders). We see him at work in the office and promoting his organization at a street fair. We also see him connecting romantically with a fellow, Stanton, with whom he has long been friends. The film was shot during the time that gay marriage came into law in New York State, and Ty is all for marriage. Stanton, however, seems not to be, which creates a certain dissonance that is not explored more than cursorily. While Mr. Martin is by far the most active/positive of the three, one would still like to know more about him than only what his SAGE work and push for gay marriage provides.
article I've read in a long while about gays and "liberation," by Richard Kim in The Nation of May 5, 2014. Read it -- and think (if not weep) at the state of affairs of mainstream gay activism. See this movie, too, but try to regard it from a bit wider perspective than the filmmaker has allowed.
Quad Cinema, and will hit the Los Angeles area on June 13 at Laemmle's Music Hall 3 in Beverly Hills, before moving on June 20 to the Arena Cinema in Hollywood. To view all currently schedules playdates, cities and theaters, click here.