24 October 2007

The Cup 25: Parting Glances

This post marks the debut of new series here at A Cup of Coffey, where I’ll occasionally (read: when I have nothing else to write about) post about my favorite movies.

One night in early 1986, that year’s beau and I hit the double feature at The Screening Room. We’d read good reviews about one of the films, My Beautiful Laundrette. The first film screened was an independent we hadn’t heard of: Parting Glances. I was so captivated by Parting Glances, I barely remember that first viewing of My Beautiful Laundrette (even Daniel Day Lewis at his sexiest!).

Why am I writing about Parting Glances tonight? Because our beloved blog vivant, Coaster Punchman, is on the host committee for a special screening of the restored film — playing next week, Oct. 29, in New York City.

Some of the cast may be in attendance. I wish I could be in attendance. You can be in attendance. Get the details here — and take my seat, you lucky NYCers. Take it from CP and me: Don’t miss it. Get dolled up. See a great movie. Hobnob with great actors. Cocktail with CP and Poor George. Show Manhattan what a great host CP is.

Parting Glances is the first film I saw that realistically dealt with AIDS. Four years before Longtime Companion, six before the Broadway debut of Angels in America — more than a year before Reagan uttered the word in public. But Parting Glances didn’t win me over just because AIDS was part of the story. It's not an issue film; it's a slice-of-life movie. The characters — particularly Michael and Nick — won my heart, and have stayed alive for me these twentysomething years.

The story revolves around a gay couple, Michael and Robert, who live in New York City. Robert's about to go to Africa for a two-year work assignment; Michael’s staying in NYC. Michael's ex-beau, Nick (played by Steve Buscemi), is a rock star and MTV fixture; he also has AIDS. Michael cooks for and takes care of Nick. The love those two share is touching, sweet, real.

Steve Buscemi made his screen debut as Nick. He’s been one of my favorite actors since this role. Don’t you love it when you discover a young actor in an early role, and follow every step of his career with him?

I love slice-of-life films. This movie takes place over two days. Much of the film revolves around a farewell party for Robert hosted by the couple's friend, Joan (Kathy Kinney, who later played Mimi on The Drew Carey Show. I could never believe the Mimi character because I knew the Joan character — a loving, vivacious, kind woman).

Parting Glances was among the first five DVDs I bought, and I think it was one of the first films I bought on VHS. It has been on my Top 25 list since 1986. What puzzles me is Logo never plays the movie — although Longtime Companion seems to play weekly.

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At 10/25/2007 01:11:00 AM, Blogger Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

I like this new feature.

At 10/25/2007 01:12:00 AM, Blogger Beth said...

Bet you can't wait for my post on Bridget Jones's Diary!

At 10/25/2007 07:01:00 AM, Blogger Marni said...

I'll be able to leave comments with this feature. I know movies -- most of the time.

At 10/25/2007 07:12:00 AM, Blogger Coaster Punchman said...

Funny thing is that it's the first movie to deal with AIDS and also in a way that just laid it out and didn't overdramatize it. (Not that you could avoid overdramatizing AIDS in 1986...)

I remember watching it with some friends and at one point I turned to everyone and said "Ok, I'm in love with Nick!" and they all agreed.

Although I would probably not classify myself as "in love" with Steve Buscemi, his acting kicks ass and I try to see anything he's a part of. (Fargo!)

Thanks for touting the event for me!

At 10/25/2007 09:43:00 AM, Blogger Keith Kennedy said...

I loved that movie and tonight, I'm going to "wish upon a star" that I go to NYC.

And hey, I got 4 number on the Florida Lottery Ticket last night.

Maybe my luck is turning..........

At 10/25/2007 12:50:00 PM, Blogger pistols at dawn said...

If I were doing this series (which is an excellent idea), I would only choose really obvious movies or unlovable movies like "Sweet Home Alabama."

This is a much better idea. Kudos!

At 10/25/2007 01:06:00 PM, Blogger Tenacious S said...

I can't believe I haven't seen this film! I'm renting it this weekend.

At 10/25/2007 02:44:00 PM, Blogger Michael K said...

I'll have to look this one up. I've never seen it. I did see Laundrette and I remember thinking it was boring even though it dealt with subject matter that was rather risque at the time.

At 10/25/2007 04:04:00 PM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

Great new feature. I'm a big Steve Buscemi fan as well. I'll have to find a copy of Parting Glances. I've always wanted to see Beautiful Laundrette back to back with Bend it Like Beckham. Similar themes, but one has guts and the other has Keira Knightly.

At 10/25/2007 04:09:00 PM, Blogger BeckEye said...

It sucks that you have nothing else to write about. Someone should interview you or something.

At 10/25/2007 05:00:00 PM, Blogger Artful Dodger said...

Oh, I like this new feature. Hmmm..me thinks I should add this to the list of movies I'm going to be watching over the next week or so while I'm sitting around the house. I shall see if Amazon has it.

At 10/25/2007 11:37:00 PM, Blogger Barbara Bruederlin said...

I like the sounds of this film! Steve Buscemi, made Beth forget about My Beautiful Launderette, I am intrigued.

At 10/27/2007 01:47:00 PM, Blogger Dale said...

I enjoyed the movie and it's always a treat to see Steve Buscemi in anything.

At 10/28/2007 03:05:00 PM, Blogger jewgirl said...

I haven't seen it. Shocked? Me too! I will definitely try to catch it. love him and it's very up my alley.

You've seen, "And the Band Played on", yes?

At 10/29/2007 03:30:00 PM, Anonymous gifted typist said...

Excellent Beth. I'm always asking people I find interesting what their fave movies are. Then I run out and rent it. I don't usually regret it. I'll rent this one.

At 10/30/2007 11:44:00 PM, Blogger Kenneth Walsh said...

I had the privilege of attending the screening last night and it was a truly magical evening. Not only were Richard Ganoung, John Bolger and Kathy Kinney there, lots of other cast members showed up too -- including Richard Wall (Douglas) and Yolande Bavan (Betty). The restored print looked great and the Q&A afterward was filled with insightful information and a few tears.


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