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The World Beyond BetterMost => The Culture Tent => Topic started by: southendmd on December 27, 2009, 12:21:43 pm

Title: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: southendmd on December 27, 2009, 12:21:43 pm
I just saw an astonishing film:  "A Single Man", directed by Tom Ford (yes, of Gucci fame) and starring Colin Firth and Julianne Moore.  It's based on Christopher Isherwood's novel, about one day in the life of a bereaved man in 1962.

(http://www.collider.com/wp-content/image-base/Movies/A/A_Single_Man/images/A%20Single%20Man%20movie%20image%20Colin%20Firth.jpg)
I can't say enough about Colin Firth's performance.  I couldn't take my eyes off him; he expresses so much with his face.  It's 1962, he's lost his partner (Matthew Goode), and can hardly tell a soul.  Partly because of the time, and partly because he's a Brit who's perfectly mannered and creased.  

(http://www.accordingtohoyleblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/tom_fords_a_single_man.jpg)
The production is almost unbearably beautiful, with music to match.  No doubt it will be criticized for being "too perfect", too much like a fashion magazine spread, but I didn't find it distracting.  Rather, it added to the loss and longing.  Even the saturation of color changed, depending on the protagonist's mood.  

(http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Lifeandhealth/Pix/pictures/2009/10/28/1256726653287/Nicholas-Hoult-in-A-Singl-001.jpg)
Important bits of youth and beauty intrude on his sadness, especially a student played by Nicholas Hoult, whose almost-directness is alarming.  

I'm sure I'll be thinking of this film for some time to come.  In fact, I think I'll see it again.
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: Monika on December 27, 2009, 12:30:10 pm
This sounds like something that I'd like to see. Always nice to see Colin Firth, if nothing else. Thanks for the recommendation, Paul.
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: belbbmfan on December 27, 2009, 02:07:58 pm
Lucky you Paul, I'll have to wait untill March 3rd till this movie is released over here.  :-\

I've read some very very good reviews and now, with your recommendation, I'm really looking forward to this movie. And Colin Firth is such a good actor (although not every movie he was in took advantage of his huge talent), I've been very impressed with him ever since I saw A Month In The Country, way back in '87.

Thanks for posting those pictures Paul. Wow again!
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: southendmd on December 27, 2009, 04:18:29 pm
Cheers, Monika and Fabienne!  It'll be worth the wait.

(http://www.vimooz.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/A_Single_Man.jpg)

Meanwhile, I bought the novel today.  Most of the regular bookstores didn't have any  Isherwood.  So, I went to the LGBT bookstore called Calamus (a Walt Whitman reference) and they had a stack of the new edition of the novel.  Instead, I found an anthology from the 80s, edited by his partner Don Bachardy, and with a foreward by Gore Vidal (to whom A Single Man is dedicated).  

(http://www.worldbookmarket.com/images/books/00001/13755.jpg)
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: Meryl on December 27, 2009, 04:48:16 pm
Thanks for the review, Paul.  I hadn't heard anything about the film except that Colin Firth was in it.  I really want to see it now.
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: Sason on December 27, 2009, 05:05:34 pm
I just came back from the cinema. I saw "A serious man" with a friend.

The trailer they showed previous to the film was " A single man"!  (lots of men around these days LOL!)

It opens mid February here. We were both intrigued by the trailer, and decided to see it.

Thanks for the review Paul. It confirms the impression we got from the trailer.
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: Front-Ranger on December 27, 2009, 06:11:40 pm
Didn't you also tell us about Chris and Don, the film about the couple? I saw that this summer and enjoyed it very much! A Single Man will go to the top of my must-see list!
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: Aloysius J. Gleek on December 27, 2009, 09:20:20 pm


Instead, I found an anthology from the 80s, edited by [Isherwood's] partner Don Bachardy, and with a foreward by Gore Vidal (to whom A Single Man is dedicated).  


Didn't you also tell us about Chris and Don, the film about the couple? I saw that this summer and enjoyed it very much! A Single Man will go to the top of my must-see list!



Don Bachardy is listed in the end credits of A Single Man  as "Consultant."

I should think so!
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: southendmd on December 27, 2009, 09:57:05 pm
Didn't you also tell us about Chris and Don, the film about the couple? I saw that this summer and enjoyed it very much! A Single Man will go to the top of my must-see list!

Yes, Tru and I saw that at the Ptown film festival in June 2008, and it was the highlight (along with "Were the World Mine").


Don Bachardy is listed in the end credits of A Single Man  as "Consultant."

I should think so!

Not only that, he has a cameo!

Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: Aloysius J. Gleek on December 27, 2009, 10:06:31 pm


Not only that, he has a cameo!

That's it, I'm going tomorrow!

(Paul, when is Don's cameo? I'm slow on the uptake, and I don't want to miss it!)
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: southendmd on December 27, 2009, 10:48:09 pm

That's it, I'm going tomorrow!

(Paul, when is Don's cameo? I'm slow on the uptake, and I don't want to miss it!)

It's in the university faculty room.  I forget exactly when.

Enjoy, and report back.
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: Aloysius J. Gleek on December 27, 2009, 11:02:21 pm


It's in the university faculty room.  I forget exactly when.

Enjoy, and report back.

Thanks, I will! (It's at the Paris--perfect!)
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: sel on December 28, 2009, 06:37:46 am
Thanks Paul for sharing your impressions.
A single man premiered in Italy at the Venice Film Festival last summer, where Colin Firth was awarded the Golden Lion for best actor.
In an interview he said that normally after the filming is over he forgets all about the character he has played, whereas in the case of A single man the character stayed with him for months.
I am very much looking forward to seeing Colln in this role.
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: oilgun on December 31, 2009, 07:47:42 am
(http://i176.photobucket.com/albums/w197/oilgun/People/asingleman02.jpg)

Saw it yesterday and it may well be my top film of 2009!
It's a gorgeous and lyrical film that affected me in a similar way that BbM did.  It is sublime.  Although a small film, and an extremely gay one at that (in the best sense),  it is intellectually & emotional vast.  These are not just pretty pictures as some have said.  Colin Firth will be nominated for an oscar.  Well, it will be a crime if he isn't.   A couple of really pretty boys in it at well, lol!  That's not even including the excellent Matthew Goode

ABOUT A BOY indeed!
Nicholas Hoult (all growed up)
(http://i176.photobucket.com/albums/w197/oilgun/People/NicHoult01.jpg)

I don't know what Tom saw in this one, lol!  :o
Newcomer & Spanish supermodel Jon Kortajarena
(http://i176.photobucket.com/albums/w197/oilgun/People/Jon-01.jpg)
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: southendmd on December 31, 2009, 11:49:43 am
Gee, Gil, top film of 2009?  That says a lot, coming from you.  I have to agree.

So, I went again, on Tuesday, with Leslie and her daughter Hannah (who all trekked down from Maine and brought very frosty weather with them) and a Lynne-on-vacation.

Leslie of course found Don Bachardy's cameo right away (aside to John:  he says "Good morning, George" as George enters the faculty room, toward the beginning of the film).  

I must say it held up quite well to a second viewing.  Colin Firth's performance continues to amaze.  I found more compassion for Julianne Moore's character (although George is alone even with his best friend).  Picked up on lovely little details (including Ford's seeming obsession with eyes) and enjoyed the music even more.  Soundtrack is to be released on January 5 according to amazon.

IMDb notes that Ford had originally hired a "more famous" young actor to play Kenny.  Leslie uncovered a rumor that it was to be Jamie Bell, of Billy Elliott fame, also all growed up.  Jamie was reportedly canned after not showing up for a fitting, and was fortunately replaced by the 6' 4" Nic Hoult.  

I haven't made up my mind about Matt Goode.  I disliked him in Brideshead, and I'm not sure about his American accent here, but he does deliver a great line in this:  "I think I'm taken".

(http://i136.photobucket.com/albums/q186/southendmd/misc/singlemanmattgoodesailor.jpg)


The better-than-James-Dean Jon Kortajarena is indeed breath-taking, and very affecting in a brief scene.  I hope to see more of him.

(http://www.masdemoda.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/02/jon-kortajarena-mmmmmmm.jpg)


Our conclusion:  more kissing, please!
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: Ellemeno on December 31, 2009, 12:08:56 pm
I just read my first review of this film last night.  I'm so glad that you are all saying such glowing things.  I feel proud of Tom Ford - I can't explain quite why.  

Grief that has to be kept hidden is devastating, isn't it?  I've seen it in families who kept a pregnancy secret, so that when a miscarriage came, they kept that secret too.  

This has now risen to the top of my Want To See list.  Wish it could be at The Paris.  Say hi to it for me, John.
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: southendmd on December 31, 2009, 12:17:34 pm
Thanks Paul for sharing your impressions.
A single man premiered in Italy at the Venice Film Festival last summer, where Colin Firth was awarded the Golden Lion for best actor.
In an interview he said that normally after the filming is over he forgets all about the character he has played, whereas in the case of A single man the character stayed with him for months.
I am very much looking forward to seeing Colln in this role.

Hi, sel.  It's a well-deserved award, for sure.  I see he's also nomimated for a Golden Globe. 

I can see why the character stayed with him--same with me. 
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: southendmd on December 31, 2009, 12:41:48 pm
A word or two about the music.  At the first viewing, I thought the composer, (Abel Korzeniowski) was a Philip Glass wannabe.  On a subsequent viewing, I found it more varied, even reminding me of the music in Lust, Caution

A couple of period songs include Etta James in great voice singing "Stormy Weather" (instead of "At Last"); and Booker T's "Green Onions". 

Amazon has sound clips of all pieces. 

Interestingly, Stephen Trask is mentioned at the opening credits as musical consultant.  I remembered him as the composer for Hedwig and the Angry Inch  (in fact, he played the black-lipsticked band member Skszp in the film). 
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: sel on December 31, 2009, 01:34:12 pm
A word or two about the music.  At the first viewing, I thought the composer, (Abel Korzeniowski) was a Philip Glass wannabe.  On a subsequent viewing, I found it more varied, even reminding me of the music in Lust, Caution

I loved the music in Lust, Caution. One more reason to see it.  :)

Saw it yesterday and it may well be my top film of 2009!
It's a gorgeous and lyrical film that affected me in a similar way that BbM did.  It is sublime.  Although a small film, and an extremely gay one at that (in the best sense),  it is intellectually & emotional vast.  These are not just pretty pictures as some have said.  Colin Firth will be nominated for an oscar.  Well, it will be a crime if he isn't.   A couple of really pretty boys in it at well, lol!  That's not even including the excellent Matthew Goode

I won't open in Italy until Mid-March.  :(
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: southendmd on December 31, 2009, 04:41:40 pm
Here's what you were talking about, sel.  Colin Firth with Tom Ford in Venice:  Colin speaking about working with Ford and about the character which indeed stayed with him.

[youtube=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4g2ClCPGkMI[/youtube]
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: oilgun on December 31, 2009, 05:42:13 pm
Here's what you were talking about, sel.  Colin Firth with Tom Ford in Venice:  Colin speaking about working with Ford and about the character which indeed stayed with him.

[youtube=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4g2ClCPGkMI[/youtube]

Wow, I got all emotional again just watching that interview, lol!
What a gem of a film!
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: oilgun on December 31, 2009, 07:51:59 pm
Gee, Gil, top film of 2009?  That says a lot, coming from you.  I have to agree.

Yeah, I tend to choose on an emotional level.   THE ROAD is another one, probably number two or three, after I KILLED MY MOTHER.  Oooh, there was also SOUNDLESS WIND CHIME, ANTICHRIST.... I better work on that list! :laugh:  (UP IN THE AIR won't be on it, that, I can pretty much guarantee, ;))  I've yet to see 35 SHOTS OF RUM, SUMMER HOURS, HUNGER (or was that last year?), THE PROPHET, 500 DAYS OF SUMMER, THE COVE.

Quote
[...]

IMDb notes that Ford had originally hired a "more famous" young actor to play Kenny.  Leslie uncovered a rumor that it was to be Jamie Bell, of Billy Elliott fame, also all growed up.  Jamie was reportedly canned after not showing up for a fitting, and was fortunately replaced by the 6' 4" Nic Hoult.  

OMG!  Jamie Bell?! Talk about sublime!  I just find him so damn sexy, it hurts to just look at him!  I'd need some Jamie-block to survive, or a change of underwear, lol!

Quote
I haven't made up my mind about Matt Goode.  I disliked him in Brideshead, and I'm not sure about his American accent here, but he does deliver a great line in this:  "I think I'm taken".
(http://i136.photobucket.com/albums/q186/southendmd/misc/singlemanmattgoodesailor.jpg)
Well, let me try and help you with that.  I wasn't particularly impressed with him in Brideshead either but he completely won me over in this film.  He showed a certain innocence that made him completely endearing.  And he looked damn good too.

Quote
The better-than-James-Dean Jon Kortajarena is indeed breath-taking, and very affecting in a brief scene.  I hope to see more of him.
(http://www.masdemoda.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/02/jon-kortajarena-mmmmmmm.jpg)

I predict, that Jon-better-than-James-Dean-Kortajarena will be the next Antonio Banderas in no time.  Considering that this is his first (real) acting part, he did amazingly well. (He didn't get the part just by sleeping with Tom Ford  ;)) He's probably the discovery of the coming decade.

Quote
Our conclusion:  more kissing, please!

Yes, and more fcuking too, lol!
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: sel on January 01, 2010, 01:33:26 pm
Here's what you were talking about, sel.  Colin Firth with Tom Ford in Venice:  Colin speaking about working with Ford and about the character which indeed stayed with him.

Earlier I watched the video where Colin accepts the Golden Lion. He made a great speech, he spoke in Italian  (his wife is Italian), funny, he threw in his British humour, and emotional at the same time.
I will get the book from Amazon.
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: Sason on January 01, 2010, 05:09:25 pm
Wow, the more I read in this thread, the more I can't wait to see the movie!!!
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: MaineWriter on January 01, 2010, 07:09:41 pm
Greetings, all.

You know I'm seriously affected by a movie when I go back to IMDb to read the message board (and even post a few messages!). Haven't done that in a long time...

This is a very beautiful movie and very beautiful to watch. It has to be, I think, because it is a character driven movie and the viewer (me) needs something else to stay drawn in. I know people will be dissecting and discussing the use of eyes, and colors, and so on for ages to come, but I actually found it all very straight forward (and that's not a bad thing). I don't think a movie has to be complicated to be good and for me, this was a very, very good movie.

Not consciously, but I didn't a lot of prep work to see this (or what in retrospect seems to be prep work). I watched the documentary Chris & Don: A Love Story, twice. That's probably the reason I was able to pick out Don Bachardy's cameo so quickly, Paul. I was up on what he looked like. I wrote a review of that movie which you can read here: http://www.reviewsbyjessewave.com/?p=13778. Don talks about Chris's writing of this book in the documentary.

(http://www.collider.com/uploads/imageGallery/Chris_and_Don/chris_and_don_a_love_story_movie_poster.jpg)

There are also a couple different mentions of A Single Man in The Golden Age of Gay Fiction (which, if you haven't read I can only ask, why not and what are you waiting for?). In "A Conversation in a Coffee Shop" by Dennis Bolin, he notes that George's surname is never given. In the movie, he is George Falconer. I wonder if Don B. as consultant had something to do with that? I am also trying to remember if in the scene on the rocks (Paul posted a picture below; it is in black and white) if there is a falcon flying overhead. Note to self: pay attention to this point the next time you see the movie.

Here's a link to Golden Age:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51ur1mlWtmL._SL160_.jpg) (http://www.amazon.com/Golden-Age-Gay-Fiction/dp/1608200485%3FSubscriptionId%3D191QQXMKQHK0QVM06SG2%26tag%3Dkindleboards-20%26linkCode%3Dxm2%26camp%3D2025%26creative%3D165953%26creativeASIN%3D1608200485)

Believe it or not, I haven't read A Single Man, because they don't have a Kindle version available and I am stubborn that way. LOL. Seriously, I could buy it but it would probably just sit around since I have a bad habit of not reading paper books lately. I have read the screenplay (I told you, I am hanging out on IMDb. Dangerous!). Here's a link:

http://twcawards.com/assets/downloads/pdf/ASM_Screenplay.pdf

While I very much liked the "I think I'm taken" line, there was another one I enjoyed. Again, it was the scene with Jim and George on the rocks and George says (I think), "I enjoy women, but I fall in love with men." This is the reason I tracked down (and read) the screenplay and the line, as written, in the screenplay, is not the same as what I remember in the movie, which is another reason why I need to go see it again.

Sason: I laughed at your comment. I went and saw A Serious Man, thinking it was this movie (serious, single, you can see why I would get confused). Hahahaha, talk about two totally different movies!

Ellemeno: A Single Man is playing in Seattle. My friend Rick saw it yesterday so if you are interested in seeing it, I suggest heading out post-haste.

And now, for a little bit of blatant self-promotion: I actually spent a great deal of time thinking about the notion of grief hidden and the effect it can have on a person, and used that concept as the basis for My One and Only (writing as E.N. Holland). If anyone is interested in reading my novella, it is included in the anthology, Hidden Conflict. You can buy the paperback from Amazon and the ebook from All Romance at this link: http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-hiddenconflicttalesfromlostvoicesinbattle-364355-145.html

Clicking on the cover will take you to the Amazon link.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51OpNa-bTkL._SL160_.jpg) (http://www.amazon.com/Hidden-Conflict-Tales-Voices-Battle/dp/0979777380%3FSubscriptionId%3D191QQXMKQHK0QVM06SG2%26tag%3Dkindleboards-20%26linkCode%3Dxm2%26camp%3D2025%26creative%3D165953%26creativeASIN%3D0979777380)

Gil: more fucking? We can only wish! I was suffering from just a few chaste kisses. More, please, more!

L

Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: SFEnnisSF on January 03, 2010, 08:43:06 pm
I'll be seeing this hopefully this week.  :)
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: southendmd on January 03, 2010, 09:02:36 pm
I'll be seeing this hopefully this week.  :)

You're gonna love it, Eric.

I spend a morning looking at various interviews on youtube with the actors and filmmakers.  The best are from a NYC press conference in December.  They are under by a member named "mattrett".  I had never heard Tom Ford speak before, and he surprised me--he's quite charming and sure of himself in a good way.  Colin Firth is ridiculously articulate and deserves all good things for his portrayal. 

Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: southendmd on January 03, 2010, 09:05:49 pm
BTW, the aria heard in the film is "Ebben, ne andro lontana" from La Wally by Catalani.  Film buffs might recognize it as the featured aria sung by Wilhelmina Wiggins Fernandez in the 1981 French film Diva, a personal favorite.  In this case, it is sung by the soprano Miriam Gauci.  I found a youtube of her:

[youtube=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bioceu36XOY[/youtube]

I believe the soundtrack will be released on Tuesday.
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: southendmd on January 03, 2010, 09:10:27 pm
While I'm at it, here's one of the songs in the scene between Colin Firth and Julianne Moore, the wondrous Etta James singing "Stormy Weather", from the At Last album. 

[youtube=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgdJjvWIlJg[/youtube]
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: southendmd on January 03, 2010, 09:12:52 pm
When Julianne changes the record, it's Booker T & the MGs with "Green Onions".  Dancing ensues!

[youtube=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-7QSMyz5rg[/youtube]
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: milomorris on January 03, 2010, 09:53:20 pm
BTW, the aria heard in the film is "Ebben, ne andro lontana" from La Wally by Catalani.  Film buffs might recognize it as the featured aria sung by Wilhelmina Wiggins Fernandez in the 1981 French film Diva, a personal favorite.  In this case, it is sung by the soprano Miriam Gauci.  I found a youtube of her:

[youtube=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bioceu36XOY[/youtube]

I believe the soundtrack will be released on Tuesday.

I saw the movie on Friday. As the titles scrolled past, a man seated behind me said, "I wish they would tell us who sang the aria." I agreed with him, and told him I didn't recognize the voice.

I thought the placement of the aria was dramatically perfect.
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: southendmd on January 03, 2010, 10:05:26 pm
I saw the movie on Friday. As the titles scrolled past, a man seated behind me said, "I wish they would tell us who sang the aria." I agreed with him, and told him I didn't recognize the voice.

I thought the placement of the aria was dramatically perfect.

I had to watch the credits very carefully  to find her name.  I agree--perfect placement and match of subject matter.
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: Lumière on January 05, 2010, 02:03:00 pm
I have been on the look out for this movie in theaters around here.
No luck so far.
I hope it comes here though.  Would LOVE to see it (or what till it's out on Dvd, I guess).
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: southendmd on January 05, 2010, 02:24:17 pm
Hey, Milli!  Keep an eye out for it.  It's definitely worth it.

Meanwhile, I finished the novel last night.  I don't want to mention spoilers, but there are some significant differences between the film and the novel.  Also some verbatim passages.  Tom Ford has said that he added some details from his own life to the film. 

I liked the novel very much, and will read some more Isherwood.  I'd say he's ruthlessly unsentimental (like one of our former members). 
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: Front-Ranger on January 05, 2010, 10:56:37 pm
I saw this lovely film and loved it. One question I had: Charly and George are eating dinner and he says something after which she laughs uproariously. What did he say? I have no idea.

Sometimes the film was just too pretty and luxurious like a chocolate truffle. But it was also very rich, and I'll have to see it again to even begin to appreciate it.
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: Front-Ranger on January 06, 2010, 03:26:49 pm
These lines said in class by the lead character, Professor George Falconer, affected me deeply (as they did the young student, Kenny, who decides to befriend him):

The Nazis were obviously
wrong to hate the Jews. But their
hating the Jews was not without a
cause... But the cause wasnʼt real.
The cause was imagined. The cause
was FEAR.
Curious stares.
GEORGE (CONTʼD)
Letʼs leave the Jews out of this
for a moment and think of another
minority. One that can go unnoticed
if it needs to.
George looks directly at WALTER, a slightly effeminate young
man, who turns away embarrassed.
GEORGE (CONTʼD)
There are all sorts of minorities,
blondes for example, but a minority
is only thought of as one when it
constitutes some kind of threat to
the majority. A real threat or an
imagined one. And therein lies the
FEAR. And, if the minority is
somehow invisible...
Another glance at Walter.
GEORGE (CONTʼD)
...the fear is even greater.
Kenny tries to find the target of Georgeʼs glance, but to no
avail.
GEORGE (CONTʼD)
And this FEAR is the reason the
minority is persecuted. So, there
always is a cause. And the cause is
FEAR. Minorities are just people.
People...
Again a subtle look at Walter.
GEORGE (CONTʼD)
...like us.
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: southendmd on January 06, 2010, 03:43:29 pm
I saw this lovely film and loved it. One question I had: Charly and George are eating dinner and he says something after which she laughs uproariously. What did he say? I have no idea.

Great question.  I hadn't heard it either.  Leslie posted a link to the screenplay above (thanks, Leslie).  I found it quickly:


GEORGE:
You had a mouth on you even back in London.
Do you remember that old lesbian who threw her drink at you because you asked her if she was hung like a donut?


(http://media.thestar.topscms.com/images/ec/60/876e1a8e4a758e09f21f116e5018.jpeg)
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: Front-Ranger on January 06, 2010, 03:59:00 pm
Thanks, Paul. He was eating, he was slightly drunk, and he has a British accent. Between all those things, nothing registered! I guess if I had heard that, it would have prepared me better for what was to follow. I was shocked when Charley (spoiler alert) suddenly said disparaging things about George and Jim's relationship.
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: milomorris on January 06, 2010, 04:06:32 pm
Great question.  I hadn't heard it either.  Leslie posted a link to the screenplay above (thanks, Leslie).  I found it quickly:


GEORGE:
You had a mouth on you even back in London.
Do you remember that old lesbian who threw her drink at you because you asked her if she was hung like a donut?


(http://media.thestar.topscms.com/images/ec/60/876e1a8e4a758e09f21f116e5018.jpeg)

That was very funny!!
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: southendmd on January 06, 2010, 04:08:40 pm
That was very funny!!

Julianne's (Charley's) line right before that is even funnier.  But, I'll let you see the film for yourself!
Title: Re: "A Single Man" : Spoilers and Similarities to BBM
Post by: Front-Ranger on January 06, 2010, 05:16:39 pm
Am I batty or were there quite a lot of similarities to our favorite film in this one? Kenny and George baptized their friendship by jumping in the water together naked, Kenny tenderly dressed George's head wound (even on the same side!), George and Charley had a spat after dinner(altho at New Years, not Thanksgiving), Jim and George met outside a door, George mourned alone (in a glass house, not a trailer) after Jim died, Jim died looking up, etc etc. There was even a dog or two! Okay, I'm batty.
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: Front-Ranger on January 06, 2010, 08:50:16 pm
And another thing...did Nic Hoult remind anyone of the young Richard Thomas, alias "John-Boy"???
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: Ellemeno on January 06, 2010, 10:55:34 pm
I can't wait to see this.
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: belbbmfan on January 07, 2010, 03:04:44 am
I can't wait to see this.

Me neither! Although I'll have to wait till march *grumbles*. This thread makes the waiting a bit more bearable.  :)


Am I batty or were there quite a lot of similarities to our favorite film in this one? Kenny and George baptized their friendship by jumping in the water together naked, Kenny tenderly dressed George's head wound (even on the same side!), George and Charley had a spat after dinner(altho at New Years, not Thanksgiving), Jim and George met outside a door, George mourned alone (in a glass house, not a trailer) after Jim died, Jim died looking up, etc etc. There was even a dog or two! Okay, I'm batty.

Doesn't sound batty to me. Even a dog or two hunh? No sheep?  ;D
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: Clyde-B on January 07, 2010, 10:45:39 am
We saw A Single Man yesterday.  Several things struck me about it. 

I liked Ford's use of color.  You can tell how George feels in a scene depending on how saturated the colors are.  When George's spirits are up, the colors become more vivid, when he's down, they become more muted and washed out.  There are several scenes where you can actually see the colors change as George's mood changes.

Charley was more down to earth and frumpy in the book.  I read an interview where Ford said Don Bachardy had told him that Charley's character was actually based on a friend of Christopher Isherwood's who was in reality very glamorous and Isherwood had changed her to fictionalize her for the book.  Ford simply changed her back. 

The thing that struck me most, is the poignant irony of the title.  George is socially and legally defined as a single man, and that's how most of the story's characters, even Charley, relate to him.  But he isn't.  Through most of the picture, George is either a husband or a widower.  The only time he is just "a single man" is for that brief instant in the 1940's flashback where he meets Jim and before Jim says, "I think I'm taken."
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: Front-Ranger on January 07, 2010, 11:26:57 am
Yes, I agree with that. Also, the irony when Jim's relative says over the phone that the service is "just for family." George IS family much more than the relatives are! Where's his service? Where's his goodbye/tribute to Jim? It ended up taking place in a dream.
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: Clyde-B on January 07, 2010, 12:06:23 pm
Yes, I agree with that. Also, the irony when Jim's relative says over the phone that the service is "just for family." George IS family much more than the relatives are! Where's his service? Where's his goodbye/tribute to Jim? It ended up taking place in a dream.

Yes, Lee, "just for family" has been a knife through a lot of people's hearts.

In the book, George keeps Jim's death a secret from everybody but Charley, because he doesn't believe he and Jim were taken seriously as a couple, and he doesn't believe the grief would be genuine.  Remember the "light in the loafers" comment quoted by daughter, that I'm sure the neighbors never intended George to hear?

from the book:
"Let us even go so far as to say that this kind of relationship can sometimes be almost beautiful - particularly if one of the parties is already dead, or, better yet both."
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: Front-Ranger on January 07, 2010, 01:18:26 pm
Friend it never fails to amaze me how cruel people can get after the death of someone, excluding friends, partners, divorced family members, etc. That is a time to come together, not fight or pronouce dominance! The heart does not discriminate. I start to ruminate on these things around the time of Heath's death, when...well, I won't go any further.

Another similarity that I noticed was the presence of a motherly woman named Alma...no wait, her name was actually Alva. And there was a recurring theme involving Alva and bread. She liked to keep the bread fresh by putting it in the freezer so when George wanted to speak to her from the Beyond, he put the message in the bread wrapper, and put it in the freezer. That was so touching, but if I didn't know about Alma and the Wonder Bread, I doubt if I would have noticed!
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: Front-Ranger on January 07, 2010, 03:56:37 pm
Me neither! Although I'll have to wait till march *grumbles*. This thread makes the waiting a bit more bearable.  :)


Doesn't sound batty to me. Even a dog or two hunh? No sheep?  ;D
Thanks for reading, Fabienne! I'll try to mark anything that might spoil it for you in the subject line.

Instead of sheep in this movie, there were students. George is a university professor. Sometimes the sheep, er, students drive him crazy as when he says to a fellow faculty member: "Most of these students aspire to nothing more than a corporate job and a desire to raise coke-drinking, TV-watching children who as soon as they can speak start chanting TV jingles and smashing things with hammers....I sometimes fi nd them staring at me in a kind of bovine stupor as if I were lecturing in a foreign language. Remind me why we shouldnʼt all just be annihilated?"

SPOILERS BELOW

But his eyes and actions betray his words. He is entranced by the vigor, youth, and innocence of the students. While he seeks to step away from life, he is tempted back into life by the students and by Kenny in particular. In fact, people are always telling him, "You need a friend" and offering to be that friend, but there can be no substitute for Jim, so he rejects them. Until the very end of the movie. That is another similarity to Brokeback Mountain. Just as George is ready to let the past go and embrace life, it is taken from him.

All this is my own personal interpretation, of course. The story is vague at many points and everyone can interpret it their own way. I'd like to hear others' thoughts.
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: Front-Ranger on January 07, 2010, 08:00:15 pm
One thing that struck me about this movie was how positively the women were portrayed. From Alva, Charley, and Mrs. Strunk, to the eight-year-old daughter and the school secretary, they were all portrayed in a loving light. And George seems to be drawn to them. He pauses to compliment the secretary on her hair do and then whispers under his breath "Arpege" obviously familiar with women's fragrances (I used to wear Arpege once when I used fragrances). We see Charley at her worst at the beginning of the movie, but then she is beautiful later on when she meets George for dinner. It must have been Tom Ford's influence on how the women were portrayed. He obviously loves and cares about women with his fashion background. I am not used to seeing women shown so beautifully in films. It's becoming rarer.
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: Front-Ranger on January 08, 2010, 03:26:19 pm
So, Eric, John, Elle, did any of you get to see this movie yet?? Any comments??
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: Aloysius J. Gleek on January 08, 2010, 07:59:55 pm

Meryl--at long last!--shall we meet tomorrow, Saturday, at 3:00pm the latest  (and I'll get tickets earlier)
for the 3:30pm showing of A Single Man?  8)

Then The Bourgeois Pig (on 7th Street between 1st and Avenue A) for a (60-ish and  seasonal!) steaming
cauldron of cheese fondue??  ::)


(http://i80.photobucket.com/albums/j174/jmmgallagher/Paris1.jpg)

(http://i80.photobucket.com/albums/j174/jmmgallagher/Paris2.jpg)

http://www.bourgeoispigny.com/main.php
(http://www.bourgeoispigny.com/img/splash_main.gif)

(http://newyork.metromix.com/content_image/full/254672/560/370)

(http://www.bourgeoispigny.com/img/menu_main.jpg)
http://www.bourgeoispigny.com/menu.php

Lemme know!!
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: Meryl on January 08, 2010, 09:08:12 pm
Meryl--at long last!--shall we meet tomorrow, Saturday, at 3:00pm the latest  (and I'll get tickets earlier)
for the 3:30pm showing of A Single Man?  8)

Then The Bourgeois Pig (on 7th Street between 1st and Avenue A) for a (60-ish and  seasonal!) steaming
cauldron of cheese fondue??  ::)

You bet!  I'm in for both "Man" and "Pig".  See you at 3:00.  8)
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: Aloysius J. Gleek on January 08, 2010, 10:04:08 pm


You bet!  I'm in for both "Man" and "Pig".  See you at 3:00.  8)


Ok!!!!
(http://www.stellabooks.com/images/articles/pigs/Podgy_Pig.jpg)
A Single and Dapper Pig
(by Tom Ford)
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: Meryl on January 08, 2010, 11:09:44 pm
(http://www.stellabooks.com/images/articles/pigs/Podgy_Pig.jpg)
A Single and Dapper Pig
(by Tom Ford)

OMG how appropriate is that?!
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: MaineWriter on January 08, 2010, 11:52:30 pm
I feel so contemporary, having seen the movie before some of the New Yorkers! Woo-hoo! It will be here in Maine and I will be seeing it again.

Lee, I think some of your parallels are a bit of a reach but...to each his/her own. Whatever works for you.

Paul, glad you found the link to the screenplay helpful. That is the sort of thing I do well...ferret out sources.

Imaginarium has opened in Maine. Hannah and I will see it this weekend. I expect to be emotional.

L
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: sel on January 09, 2010, 08:29:35 am
John,

Thank you for the pics. As always I feel as if I have been to New York through them.
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: SFEnnisSF on January 09, 2010, 03:45:04 pm
So, Eric, John, Elle, did any of you get to see this movie yet?? Any comments??

I am hoping to see it either Sunday or Monday.
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: Aloysius J. Gleek on January 09, 2010, 10:31:22 pm

John,
Thank you for the pics. As always I feel as if I have been to New York through them.


You're welcome, Sel!

So--

A most elegant theater for a most elegant film!
(http://www.observer.com/files/full/ParisTheatrePhoto2.jpg)
"Located next to luxury department store Bergdorf Goodman and across from The Plaza Hotel and Central Park, this posh, single-screen theater
screens independent and international films. Opened in 1948, the Paris Theatre is the longest continually operating art cinema in the United States."

(http://i80.photobucket.com/albums/j174/jmmgallagher/Paris6.jpg)
(http://i80.photobucket.com/albums/j174/jmmgallagher/Paris4.jpg)
(http://i80.photobucket.com/albums/j174/jmmgallagher/Paris3.jpg)
(http://i80.photobucket.com/albums/j174/jmmgallagher/Paris5.jpg)
(http://i80.photobucket.com/albums/j174/jmmgallagher/Paris7.jpg)
(http://i80.photobucket.com/albums/j174/jmmgallagher/Paris8.jpg)
(http://i80.photobucket.com/albums/j174/jmmgallagher/Paris9.jpg)

Much will be said about the film--later.
But, in the meanwhile--

(http://www.newyorkontap.com/images/reviews/Greenwich/big/pig.jpg) --Geo and Charley 'do fondue' at 'The Pig' (how 60's is that)!
(http://i80.photobucket.com/albums/j174/jmmgallagher/BP1.jpg)
(http://i80.photobucket.com/albums/j174/jmmgallagher/BP2.jpg)
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: Meryl on January 10, 2010, 12:09:21 am
Wonderful evening, John!  Thanks for the pics, too, although I've looked better. Must have been the lighting. :P   ;)  ;D

I loved the film and Colin Firth's performance.  So elegiacal and poignant, and it really brought back the sixties to me.  The music is really nice, too.  Tom Ford did a great job!  8)
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: sel on January 10, 2010, 07:03:05 am
Thank you John and Meryl for reporting back!  :D
The fondue looks delicious.
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: SFEnnisSF on January 11, 2010, 02:59:03 am

Well all, I saw it today.

I guess after reading everything on here, and building it up into being some new "Brokeback Mountain" that's gonna change the face of the world again, I have to say I was sorely disappointed.  :-\

While the acting was good, and the use of the colors was good, I thought the story plot was just, meh.  Why are we also seeing him in water all the time?  I also don't care for twinkie boys, so that didn't do it for me neither.  And what was up with that ending?

Well, the theatre I saw it at (Cinearts Santana Row in San Jose) have already moved it into their smallest auditorium, and there was only about 30 people in the theatre for the 5:15pm show Sunday.  Sorry, I do not see this "crossing over" into mainstream like BBM.  It's WAY too art-housy.  Even if it gets any nominations.  I see this to struggle to make 8-10 million.  :-\

Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: SFEnnisSF on January 11, 2010, 03:08:32 am
One thing that struck me about this movie was how positively the women were portrayed.

I actually did not think Charley was "positive" at all.  She was a niave selfish bitch who only wanted him for herself.  With her "Why didn't you marry me and have a REAL relationship" and "your lover was just a infatuation" (or whatever she said, someone correct me please) comments, I was glad to see him shut the door on her as he walked out on her.
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: Front-Ranger on January 11, 2010, 11:39:08 am
I beleive she said that Jim was a substitution, which makes no sense. Substituting for what? If he were straight, he could have had his pick of women. Hell, he could have his pick of women while staying gay! I thought she was just drunk. You have to admit, that scene was easier on her than the Ennis/Alma scene at Thanksgiving. Charley had her bad side, but she had a good side too.

Yes, I also got tired of the underwater sequence, too. I had just seen a similar scene in Little Ashes that I thought was done better.

I don't think anyone here has the feeling that this will become a mainstream hit, although there is quite a bit of buzz about it. A very good debut effort for Tom Ford and a very worthy film to see, but no Brokeback Mountain. There is quite a bit going on under the surface though and I'd like to see it again for more insight.
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: southendmd on January 11, 2010, 12:46:39 pm
Eric, I don't think it's the new Brokeback Mountain either.  But since Brokeback Mountain, I find I'm easily disappointed with films (including all of Jake's recent ones, and Heath's Imaginarium). 

So, when this one hit me, emotionally and artistically, I got excited--I wanted to see it again, and to read the book.  I agree that it's an art-house kinda film, and may not cross over, but I found it worthwhile.
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: SFEnnisSF on January 11, 2010, 03:11:25 pm
I beleive she said that Jim was a substitution, which makes no sense. Substituting for what? If he were straight, he could have had his pick of women. Hell, he could have his pick of women while staying gay! I thought she was just drunk. You have to admit, that scene was easier on her than the Ennis/Alma scene at Thanksgiving. Charley had her bad side, but she had a good side too.

Right, that's what she called it.  I think it's similar to Alma, but with Alma, she didn't say anything about it, and she finally just blew up like a pressure cooker.  Charley knew he was gay and acknowledged it, but was sort of in denial or misunderstanding/naive about it.  The look on her face when he shut the door on her was classic!  I'm glad he stood up for himself to her and walked out.
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: SFEnnisSF on January 11, 2010, 03:15:03 pm
Eric, I don't think it's the new Brokeback Mountain either.  But since Brokeback Mountain, I find I'm easily disappointed with films (including all of Jake's recent ones, and Heath's Imaginarium). 

So, when this one hit me, emotionally and artistically, I got excited--I wanted to see it again, and to read the book.  I agree that it's an art-house kinda film, and may not cross over, but I found it worthwhile.


I hear what you're saying Paul.  I wonder if we'll ever have another "cross-over" movie about us.   :-\   That's why Brokeback was so important to me.  I knew it's phenomonom would most likely never be repeated.
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: southendmd on January 11, 2010, 03:18:52 pm

I hear what you're saying Paul.  I wonder if we'll ever have another "cross-over" movie about us.   :-\   That's why Brokeback was so important to me.  I knew it's phenomonom would most likely never be repeated.

I doubt Brokeback will ever be repeated. 

But, "A Single Man" is a sensitive, intelligent film made by an out filmmaker.  That's something to celebrate too.
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: SFEnnisSF on January 11, 2010, 03:20:33 pm
I doubt Brokeback will ever be repeated. 

But, "A Single Man" is a sensitive, intelligent film made by an out filmmaker.  That's something to celebrate too.


You're right.  It is a step up from most of the gay themed movies that are made these days.
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: oilgun on January 11, 2010, 08:35:44 pm

You're right.  It is a step up from most of the gay themed movies that are made these days.

Yikes that's harsh, lol!  You really were disappointed.

I think it's funny that Tom Ford insists that A SINGLE MAN  isn't a gay film.   I thought it was one of the gayest films I've ever seen and that's part of the reason I loved it so much.  I kept thinking throughout that I, as a gay person, was the target audience and would be very surprised if it did cross-over into the mainstream because of that.

I could also completely relate to the scene with Julianne Moore.  What gay man hasn't had the rug pulled from under them by someone they considered a close friend?  Some casual homophobic comment suddenly makes you reassess your whole relationship with them.  ("That's what s/he thought all these years?!)  Of course, she was clearly in love with him so I cut her some slack, plus she gives good dinners, lol!

Anyway, I think a SINGLE MAN is more than a "step-up" from most gay movies, it certainly affected me in ways that most (American) gay films don't.  Then again maybe I just like stylish & visually stunning films, lol!

I guess I also don't see the appeal of a film becoming a mainstream hit so i don't see it as a fault if a film remains in the  "arthouse".  Of course I realize the financial value of a movie becoming mainstream, both for it and future gay-themed projects, but artistically-speaking I think mainstream appeal comes with a price.

As for BbM, my favourite movie still, I can't explain why it crossed-over except that maybe it was one of those zeitgeist things.  :-\ ( Couldn't have been the fact that everyone in it denied being gay, of course, lol!)
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: Lumière on January 12, 2010, 02:13:02 pm
There's still no sign that "A Single Man" will ever get to a theatre around here.
Still check for it often though.
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: milomorris on January 12, 2010, 03:28:44 pm
I hear what you're saying Paul.  I wonder if we'll ever have another "cross-over" movie about us.   :-\   That's why Brokeback was so important to me.  I knew it's phenomonom would most likely never be repeated.

I think there will be more crossover movies as time goes on. I think that movies that feature sexual minorities in situations that are universal will have the broadest appeal, and be more successful at reaching crossover audiences. It might take more time before films that are about issues unique to sexual minorities to achieve crossover strength, but its hard to say. Sometimes a film gains a mass audience on the merits of the film-making and the strength of the marketing and distribution.
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: Lumière on January 15, 2010, 02:15:00 pm
There's still no sign that "A Single Man" will ever get to a theatre around here.
Still check for it often though.



It is now playing at an art theatre over here!!
Will be back with my thoughts after I've seen it.  :)
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: Ellemeno on January 17, 2010, 05:08:49 am
I'm going to see it tomorrow, for a lot less than the twelve effin fifty that the Paris charged.  No steaming cauldron of fondue après, however. 

I'm excited.  It's the only movie out right now that I really want to see.
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: Ellemeno on January 18, 2010, 03:38:59 am
I loved it.  I want to see it again.

When Kenny bought George a blue pencil sharpener, I thought of our new BetterMost "Blue!" thread.

(http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h257/Ellemeno_2006/stock-photo-a-blue-pencil-sharpener.jpg)


For he loved a little dog.  Two of them.  :(  It was so sad that even his dogs were suddenly gone.

It takes place in 1962, a year before Jack and Ennis meet.  But their lives are so different - instead of Old Rose, it's Tanqueray.

When Jim said, that unlike George, he really had never slept with any women when he was younger, I liked George's reply, "You're awfully modern.  Aren't you?"

George doesn't seem fearful of people thinking he's gay - he seems only amused that his neighbor called him 'light in the loafers.'  Or to tell the bartender that he was changing his mind and staying at the bar, because cute Kenny showed up.  

I was struck by how drawn to George so many people were, how well liked and well-thought of he was - even by the bank-teller.

Julianne Moore and the Charley character - ugh.  Tom Ford knows how to do coiffed as well as anyone in the world, obviously, and that falling apart mess on top of Charley's head was so poignant.  And that painfully over-applied eyeliner and cracking lipstick.  And that little wiggle action she did in front of the mirror.  And the bitter, deliberately shitty remarks.  

And what about that one nearly thrown-away line Charley said, "You should take that position at Stanford." !  

Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: Front-Ranger on January 18, 2010, 04:43:19 am
So glad you enjoyed the movie! Thanks for bringing back some of the interesting moments in the film.
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: Ellemeno on January 18, 2010, 04:55:58 am
From yesterday's London Times

Tom Ford and Colin Firth join forces for A Single Man


A Single Man stars Colin Firth and sees fashion designer Ford turn his hand to directing - with spectacular results

http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/film/article6986393.ece

Ryan Gilbey


Christopher Isherwood’s 1964 novel A Single Man concerns George, a gay, English, 52-year-old professor in California, who is bereft after the death of his lover. As he ponders the possibility of suicide, he starts to see the world afresh, transforming this into a story of beginnings as well as endings. It is fitting, then, that the men who have been instrumental in reimagining Isherwood’s book for cinema should find in the process their own kind of rebirth.

Not that either wants for success. The 49-year-old Colin Firth, who plays George, is cherished for the poignant and humorous understatement he brought to hits such as Mamma Mia! and the Bridget Jones films, although his versatility is demonstrated well in less familiar works such as Where the Truth Lies, in which he played an unsavoury singer, and the Falklands drama Tumbledown. His performance in A Single Man is one of stunning range: he brings to life George’s merry-cum-melancholy friendship with a colourful English divorcée, Charley (Julianne Moore), his cautious fascination with a campus dreamboat (Nicholas Hoult) and the contentment of life with his late lover (Matthew Goode). Firth took home the best actor prize from last year’s Venice film festival; the forthcoming Oscars will surely be a laughing stock if his name is not among the nominees.

While Firth is at the top of his game, the 48-year-old designer Tom Ford is jumping disciplines. This colossus of fashion brought Gucci to its current prominence (he joined the company in 1990 and began his decade-long tenure as its creative director in 1994). Ford, who now presides over his own eponymous fashion house, had long had his antennae out for the ideal film project. The confidence he exhibits in A Single Man, which he directed and co-wrote, makes it clear he found it: every detail is right, from the lush score and the 1960s costumes and architecture to the vision of a sun-baked Los Angeles, watched over by Janet Leigh from a vast Psycho billboard.

Actor and director joined me in a London hotel room to pick over the details of their collaboration. Firth came dressed for comfort in jeans, trainers and a baggy grey sweatshirt. Ford, on the other hand, wore a charcoal suit, a grey tie and glinting cuff links. With his short hair like black ash, and a beard trimmed so close, it could have been pencilled on, he exuded wealth. (One splash of his cologne would probably cost more than the entire hotel.) What became apparent during our conversation was that the men enjoy an easy rapport and harbour a genuine love for the film they have made together.


Ryan Gilbey: Colin, did you receive your prize at Venice with typical British embarrassment?

Colin Firth: Actually, I didn’t at all. I had a particular connection with Italy anyway, as my wife [Livia Giuggioli, a producer] is Italian, so that added to the joy, the charm, of the moment. It didn’t just feel like any old gong, put it that way. My wife’s family took me on trust 15 years ago, so for them it was a special moment. I’d shown up as this very, very dodgy commodity, attached to their darling daughter. When we got together, she told them, “I’ve got this English chap now” — one strike against me. “He’s an actor” — hmmm, oh, dear. “He’s nearly 10 years older” — oh, boy. “And he’s got a kid with someone else.” I had a mountain to climb to win everyone over. So to be standing there with the award — well, everyone in Italy knows what that award means. And I had enough of the local lingo to express how I felt; there’s no other non-English-speaking country in the world where I could have done that.

Was Colin your first choice for the part, Tom?

Tom Ford: Absolutely. But when we were first supposed to be shooting, he was tied up making Dorian Gray. I remember talking to him at the Mamma Mia! premiere. It was so frustrating, because I’d had to cast another actor, and here I was, talking to my first choice. I got in the car afterwards with Richard [Buckley], my partner of 23 years, and I just said, “F***, f***, f***. Goddammit.” Then our shoot got pushed back, Colin became available and things magically came together.

If you swear enough, you often get what you want.

Firth: You can swear them into place, that’s right. I remember Tom staring at me at the premiere.

Ford: I think you thought I was flirting.

Firth: [Laughing] It wasn’t that kind of stare, it was much more enigmatic. What was great was that Tom had this personal and complex story he wanted told, and to have him put that whole thing in my hands was a chastening responsibility. It’s the sort of thing that makes you think, “Okay, I’m going to have to raise my game for this.”

Ford: I knew the perception from the outside world would be that I was a risk.

Firth: But Tom’s not got a record of screwing things up.

If you’re successful at what you do, and you’re gainfully employed, the risk can be that any sense of the unexpected flies out of the window and the whole thing becomes a treadmill. It shouldn’t be like that. The privilege of having a profile, of getting to work as we do, shouldn’t be allowed to be squandered. And this came at a moment when I absolutely needed something bracing and refreshing. For it to be Tom excited me. The script wasn’t ordinary, either.

In what way?

Firth: It was clearly highly intelligent. There was an emotional potential that wasn’t explicit, which was exciting to me, because I’m there to fill in the gaps. I remember early in the shoot, I was glancing through another script I’d received. A perfectly good script, but it just felt — ordinary. That’s when I realised, “This one’s going to be special.”

Tom, it’s interesting that Colin mentions the “gaps”. Some of the most powerful moments, I felt, simply involved him staring into space.

Ford: Yes. There are so many points in the film where George is internalised; we needed to see on his face, in his eyes, what he’s feeling and thinking. Colin is amazing at that. It was often hard to say “Cut”.

What are you thinking in those moments, Colin? Are you thinking George’s thoughts?

Firth: [Thoughtful] Yes. I mean, as much as that’s humanly possible. If someone shouts “Fire!”, then I’m out of the building. But as much as that subjectivity is possible, absolutely. And I think the relationship between actor and director is critical here. If you work with the wrong director and you’re my sort of actor — well, you’d miss it, really. I don’t enjoy highly demonstrative stuff, and for me to be thinking George’s thoughts, and for Tom to be able to read it, meant that the relationship was working. I felt quite quickly that Tom wasn’t cutting when I expected him to cut. So I could sense someone on the other end. I knew it was getting through.

How did that feel?

Firth: It was kind of galvanising, motivating, inspiring. It made me think, “Right, there’s more to go for now. I can see the world in a certain way, and he can see what I’m seeing.” Also, I’m feeding off what Tom’s set up. The eloquence of the design, costumes and locations was so helpful. And we had that house, which told me a lot of the story. It’s a cosy wooden structure surrounded by trees, but it’s also glass, so it’s exposing. I walk on set and I see where the camera is. It’s outside, looking into the house, and it’s just going to be me at that table with a coffee, and the phone will be ringing. That, for me, is already resonating: I know it’s not going to be a scene about a happy guy setting off for a party.

Ford: George is destroyed inside, so he’s holding himself together, clinging to these physical things — the house, the clothes. He probably had his suits made on Savile Row. So we had those made, and we had the name “George Falconer” sewn inside. You never see the inside of the suit, but it’s all there. I think those things are incredibly important to an actor. Yes, it’s a beautifully cut suit, but it’s brown tweed because he’s a professor.

Firth: That’s the sort of thing I was driving at. The suit told me who George was. There’s nothing like unspoken communication in any collaboration. And on this, thankfully, there were no executives in the background. There was no machinery behind it. What happens when there’s a lot of money at stake is that the producers get involved. They won’t come to you, but they’ll speak to the director. I’ve had that. Absurdly — and I’m not normally the one to bring this up voluntarily — when I was playing Darcy [in Pride and Prejudice], some executives were alarmed that I wasn’t brooding enough. But we’d been shooting the later stages first, when Darcy sort of lightens up. I knew we still had to shoot episodes one to four, in which I was going to do nothing but smoulder and look out of windows. It was ridiculous. I mean, I’d read the damn thing.

Tom, I liked the way George’s situation is mirrored in the other people in his life. Everyone’s at a crossroads here, aren’t they?

Ford: Yes, all the characters are going through change. Charley, for instance, can’t see her future, just as George can’t imagine his. That’s why they’re drawn to each other. They’re book ends of the same character. A lot of women I know today, they play by the rules, they do what’s expected of them, then they end up stranded, like Charley. Men have this well-publicised midlife crisis — leaves his wife, buys a fast car, dates a blonde — but nobody addresses what happens to women in our culture.

There’s clearly great affection in the film for all the characters. It has been said that a director looking through the camera at an actor can feel something like love. Did you find that, Tom?

Ford: Of course. You have to have a crush on every single one of your actors. But they’re also portraying a character — which, in this case, I wrote — so I had a crush on the characters anyway. I said to Colin, “I have such a crush on you.” Now, I have a crush on Colin in real life. Who doesn’t? But that’s not the crush I was talking about. I had a crush on Colin as George. I felt the same way about Julianne. You need to love your characters.

Were you conscious of avoiding the archetypal portrait of the gay man as victim?

Ford: I never wanted him to feel like a victim. Besides, it’s not a gay story, he just happens to be gay.

Firth: It was very little in my mind. I could almost say that, while we were filming, I’d forgotten that “gay” was one of the epithets you could apply to this character. It’s about solitude. And if you change the love interest to a woman, you could still make the same film. The moment when he’s asked not to come to his lover’s funeral — that could be any secret or inappropriate lover.

Ford: It could be an English actor with an Italian family.

Firth: [Laughing] Well, quite. There was a whole big fold that was closed to me until I got hitched and was wearing the ring. There are other things aside from being gay that can isolate you. George makes a big speech about fear, and he identifies that as an invisible threat in society. He’s right. Fear is a useful commodity. Get enough fear out there and you can do what you like — set up a Guantanamo Bay, invade any country.

Ford: You can feel the fear every time you open a fashion magazine. You look at the models and the clothes, and you feel you're a disaster, or you’re not up-to-date enough.

But don’t you perpetuate that fear, Tom, by working in the fashion industry?

Ford: Of course, and that’s something I’ve had to deal with and justify. I think if you keep it in perspective and realise that, yes, we may have a soul and an essence that are not of this world, but we still feel things and touch things, then you can allow yourself to enjoy those things. They add value to the physical side of your life. But you’re right. I don’t know how to justify it. I get an enormous amount of pleasure from visual things. I come into a room like this and I immediately want to rearrange the furniture. That’s what the film is about for me — getting lost in the physical world and losing touch with the spiritual, which is certainly something I’ve experienced.

Firth: What’s strange, to me, is that George has haunted me since I stopped doing the film. I feel he’s around somewhere. I have this slightly irrational thing that happens when you fall for a fictional character — I keep thinking I’m going to run into him somewhere. I want to check in on him, wherever he is, and make sure he’s okay.
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: Front-Ranger on January 18, 2010, 05:14:55 am
Colin got it exactly right...I want to check in on George and make sure he's okay too!
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: southendmd on January 19, 2010, 09:41:55 pm
I saw it AGAIN tonight.  Guess I'm a fan. 

Also, a critic's "for your consideration" CD of the score just arrived--heavenly. 

Too bad about the Golden Globes, though.  I'll take Colin Firth over Jeff Bridges any day. 
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: Ellemeno on January 20, 2010, 05:19:18 am
I've found myself thinking a lot about this movie.
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: Front-Ranger on January 21, 2010, 12:36:57 am
I've found myself thinking a lot about this movie.

It is certainly one of those movies that grows on you over time. What scenes do you recall most often?
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: southendmd on January 21, 2010, 10:37:28 pm
Another cameo:  sitting next to Isherwood's partner Don Bachardy in the faculty lounge scene, is Tom Ford's partner, Richard Buckley, to whom Ford dedicated the film.  

(http://www.newyorksocialdiary.com/i/partypictures/02_25_08/glamour/new/RBuckleyTFord_021908.jpg)
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: southendmd on January 21, 2010, 10:44:25 pm
I just saw "Chris & Don:  A Love Story" again tonight, the first time since Tru and I saw it in 2008.  What a wonderful and generous film.  Theirs was a daring relationship, unapologetic and out at a time when that was rare. 

Don remarks on the genesis of "A Single Man".  When they were in a bad patch, affairs and the like, Chris imagined what life would be without Don.  So, George was born, dealing with the loss of his partner. 
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: Lumière on January 25, 2010, 04:49:18 pm
I finally saw A Single Man this past Friday!  :D

Much rambling and Spoilers!  Spoilers!  Spoilers! ahead...







Alright, I walked out of the theatre thinking: "It was good.  Ok.  Good movie." and nothing more because I guess I was still cold from the ending. But then, thinking about it a day later, I realised I actually loved it.  Here are a few reasons why:

- The film felt like the visual representation of a vivid, sensual, somber poem.  Like everyone else has probably mentioned, I loved the use of colors (bright or bleak) to convey George's moods.

-  Colin Firth.  Colin Firth. His acting was superb.  I thought the casting was great for all the main characters, but Colin Firth especially blew me away.
The scene where he gets the call about his partner Jim's death, followed by "the service is for family only" -  His anguish is tangible in this scene and it pretty much slayed me.

- Matthew Goode.  There is something about his face that expresses openness and innocence and longing all at the same time.  I have no idea how he does it but I love it.  The "I think I'm taken" scene is one of my favorites.

- Nicholas Hoult.  Is he seriously the kid from "About a boy"? lol.  I would never have guessed.  I really loved his portrayal of Kenny.  Kenny's encounters with George were so intriguing because aside from the obvious sexual tension between the two, every time they looked at each other, you could see so many more questions than answers in their eyes.  Fantastic exchange between the two of them.

- Julianne Moore.  Great job of portraying needy, clingy Charlotte.  I sympathised with Charley to a point, even though she mostly irritated me.  

- I squeed when I saw the bank teller lady (played by Erin Daniels) - she was only one of my favorite characters from The L Word. ;-)

The morning after I saw the movie, my gf (who hasn't seen it yet) asked me what the movie was about and what I thought of it.  I gave her a fairly detailed gist of it and how I had hoped for a different ending (much like how I felt after watching BBM).   She said - "At least the last hours of his life were happy and he didn't go the way he was planning to all along.  Much better to go out the way he did, don't you think?".  I hadn't really thought about it like that.  And I had to agree.


I may go back for another viewing actually.   :)
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: Front-Ranger on January 25, 2010, 06:50:33 pm

- I squeed when I saw the bank teller lady (played by Erin Daniels) - she was only one of my favorite characters from The L Word. ;-)
You mean the Arpege lady? I loved her!

I may go back for another viewing actually.   :)

Yay!! Me too!
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: southendmd on January 25, 2010, 07:51:34 pm
The film felt like the visual representation of a vivid, sensual, somber poem.

Exactly.  I'm glad you liked it, Milli.  Have you read the book?  The ending is similar, but the middle is different.

You mean the Arpege lady? I loved her!

Actually, the Arpege lady is the young blonde in the faculty office.  George comments on her hair, her beauty, and whispers, "Arpege".

Another viewing is always a good idea!
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: Lynne on January 25, 2010, 09:35:52 pm
I believe I want to see A Single Man again myself.
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: belbbmfan on January 26, 2010, 03:01:24 am
Yay! The movie has moved up the release calender. It's opening here on February 24th.  :)

And I've ordered the book on amazon.  :)
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: Lumière on February 02, 2010, 01:21:08 pm

Congrats to Colin Firth on his Oscar nomination for "A Single Man".

Fully merited, methinks.
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: Lynne on February 02, 2010, 02:24:33 pm
Congrats to Colin Firth on his Oscar nomination for "A Single Man".

Fully merited, methinks.

I completely agree.  I had no idea Colin Firth was such an amazing actor until A Single Man!
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: sel on February 02, 2010, 02:49:01 pm
I haven't seen A single man yet, but I have always been a fan of Colin Firth. I am delighted for him!  :D
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: Monika on February 02, 2010, 02:57:13 pm
Cool! Mr Darcy´s going to the Oscars!
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: belbbmfan on February 02, 2010, 03:34:24 pm
I completely agree.  I had no idea Colin Firth was such an amazing actor until A Single Man!

Oh, order the 'Pride and Prejudice' dvd from the bbc for lots more Colin Firth goodness!

Great news about the oscar nomination. I'm sure he deserves it even though I haven't seen the movie yet.
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: Front-Ranger on February 23, 2010, 10:32:50 am
Congratulations to Colin Firth on winning the Best Actor Award at BAFTA!!
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: Rob in Puyallup on February 23, 2010, 12:38:39 pm
I haven't been here a BetterMost in ages... but I gotta say, that A Single Man is by far the best movie I've seen since Brokeback. In fact I've seen it 7 times thus far and will be returning to see it again next weekend.

It's soundtrack plays non-stop in my cars stereo wherever I go, too.
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: southendmd on February 23, 2010, 01:02:24 pm
I haven't been here a BetterMost in ages... but I gotta say, that A Single Man is by far the best movie I've seen since Brokeback. In fact I've seen it 7 times thus far and will be returning to see it again next weekend.

It's soundtrack plays non-stop in my cars stereo wherever I go, too.

Hi Rob,

Wow, 7 times.  I agree with you--and I've only seen it three times!  This, and Shelter are the only two films I've wanted to see more than once since Brokeback.

The soundtrack is indeed mesmerizing. 

I may have to see it again.

Cheers,
Paul
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: Front-Ranger on February 23, 2010, 01:17:37 pm
Nice to hear from you Rob! Would love to hear more about your thoughts on A Single Man!


Now, Bright Star (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0810784/), about the short adulthood of John Keats and his love Fanny Brawne, is finally out on DVD. I can't wait to see it, but I must...my evenings are all booked until the weekend!!
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: Front-Ranger on February 24, 2010, 07:04:21 pm
Arianne Phillips was nominated for costume design on this movie and Nicholas Hoult was named a rising star, but somehow I expected the movie to receive more awards from BAFTA. Oh well, on to the Oscars!
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: oilgun on February 24, 2010, 11:30:14 pm
I haven't been here a BetterMost in ages... but I gotta say, that A Single Man is by far the best movie I've seen since Brokeback. In fact I've seen it 7 times thus far and will be returning to see it again next weekend.

It's soundtrack plays non-stop in my cars stereo wherever I go, too.

I feel pretty much the same way, loved it!
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: Rob in Puyallup on February 24, 2010, 11:52:55 pm
Arianne Phillips was nominated for costume design on this movie and Nicholas Hoult was named a rising star, but somehow I expected the movie to receive more awards from BAFTA. Oh well, on to the Oscars!

Of course Colin Firth won Best Actor, which made me smile a big one. (A tear or two, too!)

I also thought that the musical score, which really played a large part in the film, deserved to be recognized!
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: Sason on February 25, 2010, 04:13:59 pm
Hi Rob!   :-*


I'm planning to see "A single man" this weekend.

Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: Kerry on February 25, 2010, 06:13:56 pm
"A Single Man" finally open in Australia yesterday, February 25.

I'm looking forward to seeing it shortly.  :)
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: southendmd on February 25, 2010, 09:34:11 pm
Sonja and Kerry, I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the film.
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: Rob in Puyallup on February 25, 2010, 11:09:31 pm
Hi Rob!   :-*


I'm planning to see "A single man" this weekend.


Hi Sonja!

I'm sure you'll love it!

:-* :-* :-* :-* :-*
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: Sason on February 28, 2010, 05:15:42 pm
I went to see "A single man" tonight with a friend.  I arrived at the cinema first, so I bought our tickets, and when she arrived we went in. It was a small cinema, almost full already, and in our row were only two seats empty.
So we squeezed in, past everyone, and sat down. Took off our clothes, arranged our belongings, relaxed and directed our attention to the screen.

Two new people squeezed into the already full row and wanted our seats....
Turns out we were in the wrong seats, but they were the only empty ones.....??

Our real seats were already taken, and they had the same numbers on their tickets as we did.

So my friend went out to the cashier, came back a little later, mad as hell, and told me that a mistake had been made when I bought the tickets. They were for tomorrow...... ::)

And there was only one place left tonight.

Long story short; I got my money back, the guy we talked to was very apologetic, we got two free tickets each for later use, but no Single man for us tonight...... 


 >:( >:( >:( >:(


Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: Sophia on February 28, 2010, 05:32:39 pm
I definitely feel with you!. Good luck next time. I am sure its worth the waiting...  ;D

I went to see "A single man" tonight with a friend.  I arrived at the cinema first, so I bought our tickets, and when she arrived we went in. It was a small cinema, almost full already, and in our row were only two seats empty.
So we squeezed in, past everyone, and sat down. Took off our clothes, arranged our belongings, relaxed and directed our attention to the screen.

Two new people squeezed into the already full row and wanted our seats....
Turns out we were in the wrong seats, but they were the only empty ones.....??

Our real seats were already taken, and they had the same numbers on their tickets as we did.

So my friend went out to the cashier, came back a little later, mad as hell, and told me that a mistake had been made when I bought the tickets. They were for tomorrow...... ::)

And there was only one place left tonight.

Long story short; I got my money back, the guy we talked to was very apologetic, we got two free tickets each for later use, but no Single man for us tonight...... 


 >:( >:( >:( >:(



Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: Sason on February 28, 2010, 05:37:17 pm
Thanks Sophia.

I'm sure it's worth the wait too. We'll see it either during the week, or next weekend instead.
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: oilgun on February 28, 2010, 05:51:33 pm
Thanks Sophia.

I'm sure it's worth the wait too. We'll see it either during the week, or next weekend instead.

I'm impressed that your theatre has assigned seats!  None of the ones I've been too has had them, except the more expensive VIP and Imax theatres.

I saw it again yesterday and I have to say that it truly is my favourite film of 2009.  I went with a friend who could really relate to the story as he was at a west coast university in 1962 and hung out with the profs of the English Dept.  He loved it!
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: Sophia on February 28, 2010, 06:13:34 pm
I'm impressed that your theatre has assigned seats!  None of the ones I've been too has had them, except the more expensive VIP and Imax theatres.

I saw it again yesterday and I have to say that it truly is my favourite film of 2009.  I went with a friend who could really relate to the story as he was at a west coast university in 1962 and hung out with the profs of the English Dept.  He loved it!

its agreat system, especially if you wanna book in advance on the internet. You can choose for yourself which seat you wanna have. Something you can do at the front desk as well but its bigger chance you get the onces you like by booking on the internet.
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: Ellemeno on February 28, 2010, 08:39:28 pm


So we squeezed in, past everyone, and sat down. Took off our clothes, arranged our belongings, relaxed and directed our attention to the screen.




I'm still focused on the fact that you and your friend took off your clothes in the theater!   :o


:)
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: Sason on March 01, 2010, 05:23:24 pm

I'm still focused on the fact that you and your friend took off your clothes in the theater!   :o


:)


 :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:


umm....well, you know.....this is, after all, Sweden..... that's what we're supposed to do, all the time....   ;) ;D
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: Kerry on March 02, 2010, 02:07:15 am
(http://img222.imageshack.us/img222/966/isherwdoodbachardybydav.jpg) (http://img222.imageshack.us/i/isherwdoodbachardybydav.jpg/)
Christopher Isherwood & Don Bachardy,” by David Hockney, 1968

<Spoilers!>

I saw A Single Man  this morning and still feel somewhat shell-shocked. It’s probably too early for me to review it. It’s still too raw. I need more time to think about it. And thinking about it is exactly what I can’t seem to stop doing.

More a meditation than a movie, A Single Man  came close to being a perfect movie for me.

I was entirely enveloped within George’s grief. Colin Firth made George’s grief palpable. It was so overpowering, I could practically taste it. I wanted to embrace George. Embrace him and tell him that he had so many blessings. Embrace him and tell him that “time heals all wounds”, even though I would have felt shamefully unqualified to do so. I empathized emphatically with George in his searing, all-engulfing grief. His tragic, lonely, empty, impeccably groomed, immaculate, single life.

Though its primary theme is death and mourning, I found it ultimately abandoned those restrictions, and subsequently transfigured into a celebration of the resilience of the human spirit.

The film is sad. Tragic. No getting around that. However, I did not find it to be a tear-jerker. I was probably too overcome by George’s melancholy to find it necessary to produce tears of my own.

Colin Firth deserves the Academy Award for his performance. In fact, I would go so far as to say that he should be awarded the Academy Award solely for his performance in the telephone notification scene alone. An amazing performance. Bravo, Mr Firth.

I loved the music (thought it was Glass, later found out it wasn’t), the mood/colour  changes, sets, costumes, 60s hair and panda eye-makeup, and the total evocation of the 60s. I was there! I remember! All that ghastly, ever-present cigarette smoke! Yetch!

I loved George’s house and my heart went out to him and his anal-retentive obsessive-compulsive psychosis. The last time I saw drawers as neat as that was when I looked inside one of my own.

Previously, I said that A Single Man  “came close” to being a perfect movie. The one thing that detracted from what should have been perfection for me (and I fear I’m going to come under attack from some pretty heavy artillery for what I’m about to say) was Nicholas Hoult’s Kenny. He was just too pretty for words. Those big pink ever-moist lips. The soft doeful eyes. The fluffy blow-dried hair. The girly sweater. The little boy’s bottom. I was just completely turned off by this older professor / pretty young student scenario. Too many clichés. Too much ammunition for the fag-haters who shriek their bile and their malevolent bilge about dirty old queers wanting to have their way with pretty young men.

And I wasn’t convinced by Kenny’s character. He looked sly to me. I thought all along that he was playing a game with George, involving a bet with his girlfriend (I forget her name – the smoking blond in the lecture theatre), that he would be able to bed George. It was not to eventuate, but I’m not convinced that this wasn’t his initial aim. It was only after he found George’s suicide preparations that his original intentions were diverted.

I  have no argument with the presence of a game-playing Kenny character, per se; i.e., a sexually ambivalent/experimental/curious younger man. I would have just personally preferred that he was not soooooo pretty.

A Single Man  is wonderful on so many levels. For example, I loved the appearance of the owl towards the end of the film. The ancient Romans believed owls were the harbingers of death. If George was an Oxford or Cambridge Classics scholar, as I suspect he may have been, he would have known what that owl in his garden signified. I thought the owl was a lovely finishing touch to a beautiful film.

I’ll be seeing it again and I’ll be reading the book too.
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: southendmd on March 02, 2010, 02:06:20 pm
Thanks, Kerry, for your perceptive review. 

I agree with you about Mr. Firth's extraordinary performance, and about the lovely music (I also thought Philip Glass at first), and the great 60s ambiance. 

As for the Kenny character, I'd be interested what you think after you've read the novel.  I understand the discomfort with the prof/student cliché.  But, there are certain parallels to the author's own life.

As for the "pretty" factor, I guess I'm not surprised that Tom Ford would put models and pretty boys in his film.  Ford described in an interview the importance of that sweater, as he saw Kenny as a kind of "angel". 

In fact, everyone was gorgeous in this film.  I'm reminded of a couple of ranch hands who were a whole lot prettier than their literary description!

Repeated viewings will certainly reward one. 
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: Rob in Puyallup on March 02, 2010, 11:47:16 pm
Not a big Oprah fan here, but this late afternoon I was flipping channels and saw Colin Firth being interviewed by Oprah, and a few minutes later Tom Ford dropped in. Was a great set of interviews, so nice to hear their perspectives on the film.

The show repeats here in just over an hour, I've scheduled it to be saved on my DVR.

It's Oprah's pre-Oscar Special.
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: louisev on March 03, 2010, 09:21:26 am
all right all right now you all have me interested in seeing this movie!  And I see so few of them!

And Rob, I remember you from way back over on DC - welcome !!!
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: Rob in Puyallup on March 03, 2010, 12:05:03 pm
Thanks Louise!

Been at DC since it started back in very early January 2006.

:)
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: Kerry on March 04, 2010, 01:23:23 am
I loved the scene in which George and Jim are seen reading together. George is reading some dry-as-dust academic tome (forget what it was) and he looks across at Jim and asks, mockingly but with affection (something like - not verbatim) "What crap are you reading?" Jim holds up the book he's reading to reveal the cover of Truman Capote's "Breakfast at Tiffany's." It made me laugh. I accepted it as a direct dig at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for their (wrong) choice of Best Actor in 2006.
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: louisev on March 04, 2010, 02:11:16 am
I loved the scene in which George and Jim are seen reading together. George is reading some dry-as-dust academic tome (forget what it was) and he looks across at Jim and asks, mockingly but with affection (something like - not verbatim) "What crap are you reading?" Jim holds up the book he's reading to reveal the cover of Truman Capote's "Breakfast at Tiffany's." It made me laugh. I accepted it as a direct dig at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for their (wrong) choice of Best Actor in 2006.

now that is a curiously ambiguous and subtle scene, but I think you interpreted it correctly!
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: Rob in Puyallup on March 04, 2010, 12:24:13 pm
The bit in the bank, where George is looking for his checkbook and the girl (was it Jennifer?) who comes to chat with him is priceless!  Lotsa laughs there!
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: southendmd on March 04, 2010, 01:27:01 pm
The bit in the bank, where George is looking for his checkbook and the girl (was it Jennifer?) who comes to chat with him is priceless!  Lotsa laughs there!

"...You're not even wearing loafers..."
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: oilgun on March 04, 2010, 03:22:57 pm
I loved the scene in which George and Jim are seen reading together. George is reading some dry-as-dust academic tome (forget what it was) and he looks across at Jim and asks, mockingly but with affection (something like - not verbatim) "What crap are you reading?" Jim holds up the book he's reading to reveal the cover of Truman Capote's "Breakfast at Tiffany's." It made me laugh. I accepted it as a direct dig at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for their (wrong) choice of Best Actor in 2006.

I think George was reading Kafka's The Metamorphosis.  I loved that scene but I doubt that it was a dig at AMPAS.  The movie came out in 1961 so it had probably just been released at the time the scene was set.  Was it a dig at Capote from Isherwood, I wonder?

I just noticed that the ridiculously homophobic MPAA gave this movie an R rating!!  (Unbelievable!  It's PG and G here.) Do any of you actually think this is warranted?  Why don't cinephiles riot in the streets!
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: Front-Ranger on March 05, 2010, 11:08:33 pm

I just noticed that the ridiculously homophobic MPAA gave this movie an R rating!!  (Unbelievable!  It's PG and G here.) Do any of you actually think this is warranted?  Why don't cinephiles riot in the streets!

I'm shocked and outraged!! Let's take to the streets!
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: oilgun on March 05, 2010, 11:56:03 pm
I'm shocked and outraged!! Let's take to the streets!


Really, it doesn't bother you?
Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: Front-Ranger on March 06, 2010, 12:03:32 am
No, I really am shocked...I mean that seriously! The only thing I can think of that would warrant a rating would be when George, contemplating suicide, brandishes a gun. But that would be PG at the most.
Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: oilgun on March 06, 2010, 12:07:24 am
No, I really am shocked...I mean that seriously! The only thing I can think of that would warrant a rating would be when George, contemplating suicide, brandishes a gun. But that would be PG at the most.

I'm sure the gun has nothing to do with the rating , it;'s all the gay stuff don't you know., lol!
Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: Meryl on March 06, 2010, 02:30:16 pm
I'm sure the gun has nothing to do with the rating , it;'s all the gay stuff don't you know., lol!

Yes, can't have young people getting tricked into feeling all sympathetic toward those buggers!  ::)
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: Front-Ranger on March 06, 2010, 03:01:34 pm
The one thing that detracted from what should have been perfection for me (and I fear I’m going to come under attack from some pretty heavy artillery for what I’m about to say) was Nicholas Hoult’s Kenny. He was just too pretty for words. Those big pink ever-moist lips. The soft doeful eyes. The fluffy blow-dried hair. The girly sweater. The little boy’s bottom. I was just completely turned off by this older professor / pretty young student scenario. Too many clichés. Too much ammunition for the fag-haters who shriek their bile and their malevolent bilge about dirty old queers wanting to have their way with pretty young men.

I've been thinking about this for a while, and I don't see it this way. Kenny is an attractive young man but not drop dead beautiful, like that Spaniard that George met and declined to get together with. Kenny reminded me so much of the guy who played John Boy in the Waltons. He has a nice face, a mole, a lopsided smile, and the freshness of youth. He and George were a good match, both very attractive and with complementary features to offer each other. It's too bad that George was too engrossed in grief to accept Kenny fully. And, there's always the chance that Kenny is bisexual and thus just experimenting with George (the old distrust of all things bisexual again).

Besides, EVERYONE in A Single Man is beautiful, even the crusty over-the-hill Charley!! I'm sure Tom Ford couldn't have it any other way!

On the scene where they're reading, I interpret it as George, the professor, reading something safe and being bored by it (but Metamorphosis? That's a clue to his wanting to be a butterfly!), while Jim, who had already effected his transformation, was reading Breakfast at Tiffany's with its jewels, diamonds, Audrey Hepburn, and other expressions of joy. When George chided Jim for reading junk, he was obviously doing it in a joking, loving, half-envious way, just like Ennis chided Jack for playing the harmonica.
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: southendmd on March 06, 2010, 05:51:38 pm
I just noticed that the ridiculously homophobic MPAA gave this movie an R rating!!  (Unbelievable!  It's PG and G here.) Do any of you actually think this is warranted?  Why don't cinephiles riot in the streets!

According to IMDb, MPAA rated it R "for some disturbing images and nudity/sexual content."
Title: Re: "A Single Man"
Post by: louisev on March 06, 2010, 07:35:07 pm
According to IMDb, MPAA rated it R "for some disturbing images and nudity/sexual content."

read that: "homosexuality is disturbing for our straight viewers."
Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: Sason on March 06, 2010, 08:20:03 pm
Ok, now I've finally seen it!

Unfortunately my viewing was very disturbed by the fact that the only available seat was in the front row, and I was too close to the screen to actually get a good overwiew of what was happening. I saw a lot of details, but had a hard time getting the whole picture, literally.

But what I saw, I liked. Coling Firth's performance was stunning, and the rest of the actors were very good too, esp Julianne Moore. She was very believable in her half-aged, rich and empty, desperation.

There were a lot of things I didn't get or notice, I'll try to see it again before it leaves the cinema here.

What does "light in the loafers" mean?

I wondered why he told Charley he would be there in 10 minutes, while he was actually planning to kill himself that same evening.

I loved the reading-in-the-sofa scene. The friendly bickering, their comfyness with each other, it showed how profound and grounded their relationship was.

And the scene with the Spanish guy, I'm kinda ambiguous to it. On the one hand I liked it that George stuck to the memory of Jim and reclined the offer, on the other hand I thought it a pity that he didn't take advantage of the mutual attraction between them.

Oh, there's a lot more to say, but I really think I need to see it again.


Oh yes, and I saw a brown paper bag!!  ;) Right in the beginning, when the neighbour's boy steps down the stairs outside the house, he's carrying a brown paper bag. We now about that, don't we?  ;D
And furthermore, I heard the line (or similar), "See you around, I guess". Sounds familiar?
Title: Re: "A Single Man" : Spoilers and Similarities to BBM
Post by: Front-Ranger on March 06, 2010, 08:33:24 pm
Yes, Sason, there are quite a few parallels to our favorite movie. I commented on a few others earlier:

Am I batty or were there quite a lot of similarities to our favorite film in this one? Kenny and George baptized their friendship by jumping in the water together naked, Kenny tenderly dressed George's head wound (even on the same side!), George and Charley had a spat after dinner(altho at New Years, not Thanksgiving), Jim and George met outside a door, George mourned alone (in a glass house, not a trailer) after Jim died, Jim died looking up, etc etc. There was even a dog or two! Okay, I'm batty.

Quote
Another similarity that I noticed was the presence of a motherly woman named Alma...no wait, her name was actually Alva. And there was a recurring theme involving Alva and bread. She liked to keep the bread fresh by putting it in the freezer so when George wanted to speak to her from the Beyond, he put the message in the bread wrapper, and put it in the freezer. That was so touching, but if I didn't know about Alma and the Wonder Bread, I doubt if I would have noticed!

(more to follow)
Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: southendmd on March 06, 2010, 11:06:22 pm
What does "light in the loafers" mean?

It's an old euphemism for gay.

Quote
And the scene with the Spanish guy, I'm kinda ambiguous to it. On the one hand I liked it that George stuck to the memory of Jim and reclined the offer, on the other hand I thought it a pity that he didn't take advantage of the mutual attraction between them.

 :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: Kerry on March 07, 2010, 12:14:33 am

And the scene with the Spanish guy, I'm kinda ambiguous to it. On the one hand I liked it that George stuck to the memory of Jim and reclined the offer, on the other hand I thought it a pity that he didn't take advantage of the mutual attraction between them.


I didn't see that there was a mutual attraction. I saw the Spanish guy as a hooker. Certainly, he was a very handsome, charming hooker, but a hooker none the less. 
Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: Sason on March 07, 2010, 02:39:57 pm
It's an old euphemism for gay.

Yeah, I kinda guessed but I wasnt' sure.


Quote
:laugh: :laugh: :laugh:


DECLINE!!!!     ::)   :laugh:


(i'm looking very much forward to your posts in swedish...   ;)  ;D)
Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: Sason on March 07, 2010, 02:42:31 pm
I didn't see that there was a mutual attraction. I saw the Spanish guy as a hooker. Certainly, he was a very handsome, charming hooker, but a hooker none the less. 

Maybe you're right. As I said, I had a hard time getting the whole picture.
Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: louisev on March 07, 2010, 05:05:04 pm
Yeah, I kinda guessed but I wasnt' sure.



DECLINE!!!!     ::)   :laugh:


(i'm looking very much forward to your posts in swedish...   ;)  ;D)

I liked "recline" better.  And having a Swedish ancestor, I feel ashamed that the only word I know in Swedish is Swerige.  Oh, and Volvo of course.
Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: Sason on March 07, 2010, 05:19:49 pm
I liked "recline" better.  And having a Swedish ancestor, I feel ashamed that the only word I know in Swedish is Swerige.  Oh, and Volvo of course.

Nothing to be ashamed of. (it's Sverige, btw)

I bet you know Abba and IKEA too. And smörgåsbord, and ombudsman.

So, there you are, 6 words!!    ;D
Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: louisev on March 07, 2010, 09:32:47 pm
Nothing to be ashamed of. (it's Sverige, btw)

I bet you know Abba and IKEA too. And smörgåsbord, and ombudsman.

So, there you are, 6 words!!    ;D

Let me see if I know my ancient people's properly - the Swedes were at one time the Gothic tribes called Suevi weren't they?
Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: Sason on March 08, 2010, 05:34:38 pm
Let me see if I know my ancient people's properly - the Swedes were at one time the Gothic tribes called Suevi weren't they?

I've never heard about the Suevi, had to look them up. It doesn't seem that they had anything at all to do with Sweden.

Where in Sweden is your ancestor from?
Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: belbbmfan on March 08, 2010, 06:05:18 pm
I just got back from seeing the movie tonight.

I can't figure out why Colin Firth didn't win the Oscar last night. There was an even better acting performance out there? Really?? I mean, I'm sure Jeff Bridges is good in Crazy Heart (haven't seen it) but surely Colin's performance is in a league of it's own. He really owned the character, he was jaw-droppingly good, WOW!

Gosh, I was crying right as the movie started, the accident scene and then the phone call. He should have gotten an oscar for that scene alone. I made me think of another devastating phone scene, Ennis talking to Lureen.

What a fantastic movie, the actors, the colours and design, the music (reminded me of Almodovar's movies). Such effort and care and clear love for the story.
I hope Tom Ford has lots more favorite books he wants to turn into movies.
Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: Front-Ranger on March 08, 2010, 06:34:08 pm

I hope Tom Ford has lots more favorite books he wants to turn into movies.

Me too!! I'm with you...I didn't see Crazy Heart and have no desire to. But Jeff Bridges is a darling of the Academy and belongs to a Hollywood dynasty family. Oh well. Colin is getting great honors elsewhere in more enlightened parts of the world.

I'm glad you saw it and liked it, Fabienne!
Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: southendmd on March 08, 2010, 06:48:50 pm
I'm with you, Fabienne and Lee.

It's my best film of 2009 by far.

I actually saw Jeff Bridges in Crazy Heart, and was underwhelmed.  Just like in 2006, I saw Philip Seymour Hoffman in Capote to check out the competition. 

Ennis and George are genius creations. 
Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: Rob in Puyallup on March 08, 2010, 11:20:45 pm
I saw both 'A Single Man' and 'Crazy Heart'. I returned to see 'A Single Man' seven times. Only saw 'Crazy Heart' once.

I certainly agree that Colin should've won!!!
Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: Meryl on March 09, 2010, 12:08:34 am
Ennis and George are genius creations. 

A-men.  8)
Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: belbbmfan on March 09, 2010, 04:17:57 am

Ennis and George are genius creations. 

Sure enough.

Well I woke up this morning, thinking about George. I have a feeling he's going to be with me for some time coming.

I've read the book last week and both the movie and the book have the same 'clinging' quality. You can't shake these characters off, even if you wanted to.

One thing that didn't feel quite right in the movie: I thought George didn't really look 16 years younger during the flash back scene in the bar, when they first met. Or maybe that just means that he had aged really well.

Julianne Moore was fantastic wasn't she? She should have been nominated too.
Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: Ellemeno on March 09, 2010, 04:31:40 am


I just noticed that the ridiculously homophobic MPAA gave this movie an R rating!!  (Unbelievable!  It's PG and G here.) Do any of you actually think this is warranted?  Why don't cinephiles riot in the streets!


Hi Gil, I'm a few pages behind.  I'm the mother of a 7 year old, and that is where I'm coming from when I say that an R rating seems appropriate to me.  I am raising my daughter to see the nice lesbian couple who live next door to us as our great neighbors, and doing my best to have her see gay as one of the normal facets of life (and she does).  The gay content of A Single Man is none of the reason I would give it an R rating.  Most of the subject matter is very mature - depression, drinking, flirting, contemplation of suicide, teachers having personal relationships with students.  It's a very grown up movie.
Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: louisev on March 09, 2010, 11:40:12 am
I've never heard about the Suevi, had to look them up. It doesn't seem that they had anything at all to do with Sweden.

Where in Sweden is your ancestor from?

She was my maternal great-grandmother on her father's side, named Louisa Dahl, from a place, apparently, called Dahl or Dahle.  She left Europe from an unknown port, possibly a Dutch port, on the USS Rotterdam, which was one of the large international ships carrying immigrants to America during the early 20th century, in 1916, which is, curiously enough, the same ship (not necessarily the same trip, however), as my former husband's grandfather.  Her genes most definitely dominate as I and my mother Louisa look very much like the portrait of Louisa Dahl.  I have always wondered whether she left Europe because of anti-Jewish sentiment, since the disease I was recently diagnosed with occurs with far greater frequency among  Ashkenazi Jews.
Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: Sason on March 09, 2010, 03:12:50 pm

Ennis and George are genius creations. 

A-men.  8)

You mean Gay-men?


 ;D

Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: Sason on March 09, 2010, 03:28:50 pm
She was my maternal great-grandmother on her father's side, named Louisa Dahl, from a place, apparently, called Dahl or Dahle.  She left Europe from an unknown port, possibly a Dutch port, on the USS Rotterdam, which was one of the large international ships carrying immigrants to America during the early 20th century, in 1916, which is, curiously enough, the same ship (not necessarily the same trip, however), as my former husband's grandfather.  Her genes most definitely dominate as I and my mother Louisa look very much like the portrait of Louisa Dahl.  I have always wondered whether she left Europe because of anti-Jewish sentiment, since the disease I was recently diagnosed with occurs with far greater frequency among  Ashkenazi Jews.

Interesting.

Dahl is a common enough Swedish name, not a Jewish one however. In those years Eastern European Jews migrated to Sweden, not from it, to escape pogroms. My great grandfather was one of them.

There could be several small villages in the country, or farms, called Dahl - or probably Dal.

Genealogical research in Sweden shouldn't be too difficult, provided you got some more details about her, since records have been thoroughly kept for hundreds of years.
Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: louisev on March 09, 2010, 04:27:36 pm
Interesting.

Dahl is a common enough Swedish name, not a Jewish one however. In those years Eastern European Jews migrated to Sweden, not from it, to escape pogroms. My great grandfather was one of them.

There could be several small villages in the country, or farms, called Dahl - or probably Dal.

Genealogical research in Sweden shouldn't be too difficult, provided you got some more details about her, since records have been thoroughly kept for hundreds of years.

I would be glad to try to look it up, I do not believe that I have her birthdate however.
Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: Sason on March 09, 2010, 04:32:47 pm
I would be glad to try to look it up, I do not believe that I have her birthdate however.

I can try to find some website where you can get information on how to do it, but I do think you need a little more details about her.
Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: oilgun on March 09, 2010, 05:17:26 pm

Hi Gil, I'm a few pages behind.  I'm the mother of a 7 year old, and that is where I'm coming from when I say that an R rating seems appropriate to me.  I am raising my daughter to see the nice lesbian couple who live next door to us as our great neighbors, and doing my best to have her see gay as one of the normal facets of life (and she does).  The gay content of A Single Man is none of the reason I would give it an R rating.  Most of the subject matter is very mature - depression, drinking, flirting, contemplation of suicide, teachers having personal relationships with students.  It's a very grown up movie.

Thanks for responding!  I agree that the film’s subject matter is adult in nature but not more so than many other films that have received a 14A rating. (The title that comes to mind is THE DARK KNIGHT, which is probably not the best example because as I recall, the fact that it received (purchased?) a 14A rating did cause some controversy.)  I have no problem with most teenagers being able to see the film without adult supervision, which the 14A rating would allow.  Besides, I doubt that many teens would be interested in seeing the film unless they were fans of the British teen series Skins in which Nick Hoult also stars and ironically that show, being British and all, is way more explicit than the film.  Of course, gay teens and fashionistas might also be interested which is where I’m coming from, I guess.  I want teens, especially the gay ones, to be able to see it without feeling like it’s somehow wrong or titillating.

Anyway, my point is that the ONLY reason A SINGLE MAN received the 18 rating is because of its homosexual content.  If George was longing for his dead female lover, passionately kissing her in a flashback, ogling female tennis players, exchanging glances with a Spanish woman and passively flirting with a female student, the film would have been rated 14A, naked buns and all.

Or maybe it was all that enticing cigarette smoking, lol!
Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on March 09, 2010, 05:18:15 pm
She was my maternal great-grandmother on her father's side, named Louisa Dahl, from a place, apparently, called Dahl or Dahle.  She left Europe from an unknown port, possibly a Dutch port, on the USS Rotterdam, which was one of the large international ships carrying immigrants to America during the early 20th century, in 1916, which is, curiously enough, the same ship (not necessarily the same trip, however), as my former husband's grandfather.  Her genes most definitely dominate as I and my mother Louisa look very much like the portrait of Louisa Dahl.  I have always wondered whether she left Europe because of anti-Jewish sentiment, since the disease I was recently diagnosed with occurs with far greater frequency among  Ashkenazi Jews.

Lucky she got out when she did. There was a war on.
Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: Sason on March 09, 2010, 05:28:22 pm
Lucky she got out when she did. There was a war on.

Not in Sweden.
Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on March 09, 2010, 08:01:48 pm
Not in Sweden.

I'm quite aware of that. But Louise said her great-grandmother probably sailed from a Dutch port, not from Stockholm or Goteborg--so I would guess maybe from Rotterdam on the Rotterdam. And a year later, in 1917, Germany declared unrestricted submarine warfare, the act that ultimately brought the U.S. into the war, after the sinking of the Lusitania.

So I still say Louisa Dahl was lucky to get out when she did. A year later she might have ended up on the bottom of the Atlantic.
Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: Front-Ranger on March 09, 2010, 09:59:07 pm
Most of the subject matter is very mature - depression, drinking, flirting, contemplation of suicide, teachers having personal relationships with students.  It's a very grown up movie.
All of this is included in The Catcher in the Rye, a book read by teens throughout the world, and a novel I was proud to give to both my son and my daughter when they were 14-15, in that range.

Teens should know about depression, because being a teen is pretty depressing sometimes. They should know about drinking, flirting, and all the rest of it, so they aren't knocked off their rockers when it happens.

Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: louisev on March 09, 2010, 10:25:04 pm
I can try to find some website where you can get information on how to do it, but I do think you need a little more details about her.

I will try to dig some up from our genealogy research on the family side and correspond with you about it off this thread.  thanks Sason!
Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on March 09, 2010, 10:33:07 pm
All of this is included in The Catcher in the Rye, a book read by teens throughout the world, and a novel I was proud to give to both my son and my daughter when they were 14-15, in that range.

Teens should know about depression, because being a teen is pretty depressing sometimes. They should know about drinking, flirting, and all the rest of it, so they aren't knocked off their rockers when it happens.

But don't you agree that there are some differences between a book that you give to your kids, and a movie that they might try to see without you?

For one thing, you already knew what was in Catcher in the Rye before you gave it to your kids. I'm sure most people couldn't say that about this movie. After all, you're a lot more culturally aware, FRiend Lee, than an awful lot of American parents.
Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: Sason on March 10, 2010, 03:23:24 pm
I'm quite aware of that. But Louise said her great-grandmother probably sailed from a Dutch port, not from Stockholm or Goteborg--so I would guess maybe from Rotterdam on the Rotterdam. And a year later, in 1917, Germany declared unrestricted submarine warfare, the act that ultimately brought the U.S. into the war, after the sinking of the Lusitania.

So I still say Louisa Dahl was lucky to get out when she did. A year later she might have ended up on the bottom of the Atlantic.

Rotterdam is a whole different thing. I thought you meant she was lucky to get out of Sweden, which didn't make much sense in the war-context.
Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: Sason on March 10, 2010, 03:24:39 pm
I will try to dig some up from our genealogy research on the family side and correspond with you about it off this thread.  thanks Sason!

You're welcome!

Just PM me, and I'll try to find something useful for you.
Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: louisev on March 10, 2010, 03:28:44 pm
You're welcome!

Just PM me, and I'll try to find something useful for you.

will do!  And yes, the "Rotterdam" sailed from Rotterdam mostly, and occasionally from Amsterdam or Niew Amsterdam.  But I cant find any passenger manifests for 1914 through 1917.
Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on March 10, 2010, 04:07:41 pm
Rotterdam is a whole different thing. I thought you meant she was lucky to get out of Sweden, which didn't make much sense in the war-context.

Oh, no! I'm sorry if I confused you!
Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: Front-Ranger on March 10, 2010, 04:31:44 pm
But don't you agree that there are some differences between a book that you give to your kids, and a movie that they might try to see without you?

For one thing, you already knew what was in Catcher in the Rye before you gave it to your kids. I'm sure most people couldn't say that about this movie. After all, you're a lot more culturally aware, FRiend Lee, than an awful lot of American parents.
All the more reason why it should be rated PG, for Parental Guidance, Jeff. A Single Man should not have an R, for Restricted, rating, because there are many teens (I'm thinking all would be of driving age except for a few in New York or San Francisco, say) who might WANT to see it and SHOULD see it, whether their parents want them to or not. Why? For historical, literary or film scholarship, for example. Also, because they're gay and want to understand what gay life was like in the '60s. Or because they're depressed, or getting over a lost love. Perhaps they admire the work of Christopher Isherwood. There are myriad reasons.

I don't think elementary aged children should see the movie because of the disturbing image of George brandishing a gun when he is contemplating suicide. That's the only reason.

For an interesting, though short, topic on What Movies Would Have Been Better Without the MPAA Board (http://bettermost.net/forum/index.php/topic,8005.0.html), go here (http://bettermost.net/forum/index.php/topic,8005.0.html).
Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: Sason on March 10, 2010, 04:31:55 pm
Oh, no! I'm sorry if I confused you!

Don't worry. It's all right!  :)
Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on March 10, 2010, 05:15:11 pm
All the more reason why it should be rated PG, for Parental Guidance, Jeff. A Single Man should not have an R, for Restricted, rating, because there are many teens (I'm thinking all would be of driving age except for a few in New York or San Francisco, say) who might WANT to see it and SHOULD see it, whether their parents want them to or not. Why? For historical, literary or film scholarship, for example. Also, because they're gay and want to understand what gay life was like in the '60s. Or because they're depressed, or getting over a lost love. Perhaps they admire the work of Christopher Isherwood. There are myriad reasons.

I think you're ascribing far too much sophistication to the average under-17 crowd. And I want to emphasize the word average, because I think that's important in this context.

I'm not a parent, and even I know most teenagers are not historians or literary or film scholars, nor do they care about life in the 1960s, gay or otherwise. And as for even having heard of Christopher Isherwood--are you kidding?

The few to whom any of the above qualifications may apply, well, they'll just have to wait a little. The movie will still be available. Or they'll find a way to see it on line, or on DVD when it's available, which it surely will be before very long. They're not going to be harmed by not being able to see it in a theater.

Ratings address the many and the average, not the extraordinary few.

And I've been thinking as I've read the outrage over the rating, there is a flip side to this: Would you have wanted to watch this film with a gaggle of giggling teenagers seated in the row right behind you? I rather suspect not. Perhaps the "R" rating helped to keep out teens who may have seen something about this film on TV and decided to go to it just to gape and giggle at the queer on the screen.

This sort of thing does happen. I had to put up with it many years ago when I saw Making Love in a theater.

I've also been wondering whether anyone knows for fact that the rating was based on the gay theme, or whether someone just jumped to a conclusion? I'm not trying to insult anyone by asking that question: I'm not following news about this film, so I mean the question seriously, and I think it's a legitimate question to ask. We just had a terrible teen double-suicide in the Philadelphia suburbs; maybe that suicide angle had something to do with the rating?
Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: Front-Ranger on March 10, 2010, 06:31:07 pm
I think you're ascribing far too much sophistication to the average under-17 crowd. And I want to emphasize the word average, because I think that's important in this context.

I'm not a parent, and even I know most teenagers are not historians or literary or film scholars, nor do they care about life in the 1960s, gay or otherwise. And as for even having heard of Christopher Isherwood--are you kidding?
Well, I am a parent, and I can tell you that the vast majority of teens go to school, which makes them scholars. Both of my children took four years of history and four years of English or literature in high school. It was required. One of my children also studied film history. Both of my children wrote papers about different aspects of the 1960s, to which I contributed resource material. As for gay issues, my daughter founded the Diversity Club at her high school and received an award for it. This club was specifically founded to include her gay friends, and she received a lot of flack from administrators and parents. (All of the teachers and students were very supportive though.) I am saddened that you don't think teenagers have heard of CI, one of the great authors of his time.

Ratings address the many and the average, not the extraordinary few.
Possibly I don't understand the purpose of the MPAA, but my feeling is that the average teenager would benefit from seeing this film, certainly more than wasting his or her time on Garage Band or American Idol.

And I've been thinking as I've read the outrage over the rating, there is a flip side to this: Would you have wanted to watch this film with a gaggle of giggling teenagers seated in the row right behind you? I rather suspect not. Perhaps the "R" rating helped to keep out teens who may have seen something about this film on TV and decided to go to it just to gape and giggle at the queer on the screen.
It is clear from this that you must think teenagers are the scourge of the earth and you must never have been a teenager yourself once!!  ::) Yes, absolutely, I would have been happy to have had a teenager seated beside me, behind me, in front of me, wherever. In fact, sometimes I do see teenagers at some of these kinds of movies. I belong to the Denver Film Society which has a program for young filmmakers. In fact, our own Rebel With a Cause, Phoenix, is a teenager, you might find it enlightening to visit his blog sometime.

We just had a terrible teen double-suicide in the Philadelphia suburbs; maybe that suicide angle had something to do with the rating?
The solution to teen suicide, which is a very big problem is...well, I don't presume to know about the solution, but I do know it's not to prevent teens from seeing movies that address these issues. Even more so with gay teens. The suicide problem is even worse among them. If a gay teen only knew that he is not alone, that others faced this problem, including some of the most talented people of that generation, then maybe we could prevent some needless deaths and suffering. Hopefully you have seen Dead Poets Society, but perhaps you need to review it.

When my daughter started the Diversity Club people tried to tell her that discrimination, hate, bias, and homophobia didn't exist in high schools, among that age bracket. Nothing could be farther from the truth. High school is a jungle. Oh, and they also tried to tell her that there is no such thing as a gay teenager, that sexuality comes later. As we all know, this is poppycock.

Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on March 10, 2010, 07:32:31 pm
Content deleted by poster.
Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: Front-Ranger on March 10, 2010, 08:16:52 pm
I grant you that average teenagers these days are pretty bewildering and, yes, I would not like to have a "gaggle of giggling teenagers" in the movie theater (I would go out in the lobby and report them to management). But I wasn't talking about average teenagers or gangs of teens. I was talking about the occasional teenager who would want to see A Single Man. I don't think such a person should be turned away from the theater, which is what would happen with the R rating. Such a person might not be able to see the DVD because his or her parents would disapprove of a gay-themed movie. But they COULD see it in the theater, unless it was RESTRICTED.

I'm sorry I gave the wrong impression with my comment about the Dead Poets Society. Just about everyone I know, young and old, has seen it, so I thought you probably had, too. How do you know it doesn't interest you if you haven't seen it, I wonder?
Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: oilgun on March 11, 2010, 01:00:31 am
I think you're ascribing far too much sophistication to the average under-17 crowd. And I want to emphasize the word average, because I think that's important in this context.

I'm not a parent, and even I know most teenagers are not historians or literary or film scholars, nor do they care about life in the 1960s, gay or otherwise. And as for even having heard of Christopher Isherwood--are you kidding?

The few to whom any of the above qualifications may apply, well, they'll just have to wait a little. The movie will still be available. Or they'll find a way to see it on line, or on DVD when it's available, which it surely will be before very long. They're not going to be harmed by not being able to see it in a theater.

Ratings address the many and the average, not the extraordinary few.

And I've been thinking as I've read the outrage over the rating, there is a flip side to this: Would you have wanted to watch this film with a gaggle of giggling teenagers seated in the row right behind you? I rather suspect not. Perhaps the "R" rating helped to keep out teens who may have seen something about this film on TV and decided to go to it just to gape and giggle at the queer on the screen.

This sort of thing does happen. I had to put up with it many years ago when I saw Making Love in a theater.

I've also been wondering whether anyone knows for fact that the rating was based on the gay theme, or whether someone just jumped to a conclusion? I'm not trying to insult anyone by asking that question: I'm not following news about this film, so I mean the question seriously, and I think it's a legitimate question to ask. We just had a terrible teen double-suicide in the Philadelphia suburbs; maybe that suicide angle had something to do with the rating?

I guess that someone would be me?  :-\

I don't know for a fact that the rating was based on gay themes but I would certainly bet my money on it.  I do know for a fact that the MPAA is biased against gay subject matter when rating movies:

From the wikipedia entry for the doc THIS FILM IS NOT YET RATED:

The film discusses disparities the filmmaker sees in ratings and feedback: between Hollywood and independent films, between homosexual and heterosexual sexual situations, between male and female sexual depictions, and between violence and sexual content.
[...],that the board seems to treat homosexual material much more harshly than heterosexual material (this assertion is supported by an MPAA spokesperson’s statement in USA Today that "We don't create standards; we just follow them");

It's a good documentary.  Remember that cute campy teen movie BUT I'M A CHEERLEADER?  Rated R.  In fact they had to cut out a scen to avoid the dreaded NC-17.  That just blows my mind.  Most gay themed films are rated R, even MAKING LOVE, lol!  (I know, not BIG EDEN.)

Anyway, like my ignored post mentioned, if A SINGLE MAN was about a straight George, do you really think the film would be rated R? 
Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: Ellemeno on March 11, 2010, 02:07:48 am


Anyway, like my ignored post mentioned, if A SINGLE MAN was about a straight George, do you really think the film would be rated R? 

I don't know.  I haven't paid a lot of attention to ratings in the past.  You could well be right that as soon as there is a dominant gay character in a movie that that might get the MPAA uptight.  But it's still a very adult-themed movie, even if it would be about a woman and a man.
Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: oilgun on March 11, 2010, 02:25:21 pm
I don't know.  I haven't paid a lot of attention to ratings in the past.  You could well be right that as soon as there is a dominant gay character in a movie that that might get the MPAA uptight.  But it's still a very adult-themed movie, even if it would be about a woman and a man.

I'm just surprised that people, here especially, would consider A SINGLE MAN innapropriate for teens.  I guess you would also agree that BbM deserves it's R rating as well. 
Perhaps the MPAA really does reflect US standards.   ??? 

Sorry if my posts seem snarky lately, I really don't mean them to be, lol!
Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: Ellemeno on March 18, 2010, 04:02:13 am
I'm just surprised that people, here especially, would consider A SINGLE MAN innapropriate for teens.  I guess you would also agree that BbM deserves it's R rating as well. 
Perhaps the MPAA really does reflect US standards.   ??? 

Sorry if my posts seem snarky lately, I really don't mean them to be, lol!


I started my part in the conversation saying that I'm the mom of a seven year old, and that's where I'm coming from!  I haven't been talking about teens.
Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: oilgun on March 18, 2010, 08:48:35 am

I started my part in the conversation saying that I'm the mom of a seven year old, and that's where I'm coming from!  I haven't been talking about teens.
I realize that and i agree that the film is inappropriate for that age group, but I got the impression that you (and others)  seemed fine with the R rating.  Sorry.
Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: brian on May 17, 2010, 03:43:24 pm
I saw the movie on Friday. It only opened in NZ on Thursday. I knew the book was in my bookcase and i purchased it probably 20 years ago. However I did not recognise anything. I have read the book since and feel I probably did not finish reading it when purchased as I do not like slow novels and probably gave up after a few pages. I really hated the movie while watching it but thought better of it by the end. Of course Colin Firth was brilliant and rescued it for me. Thinking about it, I much preferred the film but have no wish to see it again and certainly the book can go in my next clean up. And I totally disagree with Kerry. This elderly gent was quite taken by "Kenny" (Nicholas Hoult )in the movie. Oh the dreams of the old.  ;D

The main effect on me about which I wrote in my blog was that I felt very wistful at never having had a relationship like Jim and George.
And I was again smitten (probably slightly more realistic but only slightly) by Matthew Goode (Jim) who I liked in the movie of Brideshead Revisited.
Perhaps I missed it but I did not get the feeling in the book that George contemplated suicide which, of course, dominates the film.
I was at university at the time of the story and felt the film reminded me a little of that time when homosexuality was only discussed in psychology books and considered a perversion. I did pride myself on picking up the anachronism when Kenny said "Cool" and "blows my mind" which often amaze me when I read them on IMDb, I am rarely so observant but I guess with a career as a teacher of teenagers I notice the changes in their language over the years.
Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: Clyde-B on May 30, 2010, 10:19:58 pm
BTW  A Single Man due out on DVD & Blu-Ray July 6, 2010.
Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: oilgun on May 31, 2010, 08:33:35 am
Just finished reading "A Single Man" and was interested to read Christopher Isherwood's description of Kenny:

"Kenny Potter sits in the front row because he's what's nowadays called crazy, meaning only that he tends to do the opposite of what most people do; not on principle, however, and certainly not out of aggressiveness. Probably he's too vague to notice the manners and customs of the tribe, and too lazy to follow them, anyway. He is a tall skinny boy with very broad stooped shoulders, gold-red hair, a small head, small bright blue eyes. He would be conventionally handsome if he didn't have a beaky nose; but it is a nice one, a large humorous organ."

Fey, delicate, effete, doe-eyed, blow-dried? I think not.   :-\

And I could find no reference to fluffy sweaters.   ::)

Well, Jamie Bell certainly would fit that description.  I understand why he was the first choice.
Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: Front-Ranger on February 22, 2011, 11:13:53 pm
I'm looking forward to seeing Jamie Bell in The Eagle! He's been away from the big screen too long.
Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: southendmd on February 28, 2011, 01:22:27 pm
I was very happy for Colin Firth's Oscar last night for "The King's Speech". 

He very graciously thanked Tom Ford. 
Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: Meryl on February 28, 2011, 02:28:14 pm
I was very happy for Colin Firth's Oscar last night for "The King's Speech". 

He very graciously thanked Tom Ford. 

It was a lovely speech, pun intended.  ;D
Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: Shakesthecoffecan on February 28, 2011, 03:14:11 pm
I think it will be a while before Netflix gets their copy of A Single Man back from me. I watched it again last night and enjoyed looking for things I knew about this time around.

The scenes with Jim, especially the one where they meet, is just so sweet and understated.
Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: Shakesthecoffecan on February 28, 2011, 04:58:38 pm
 :)

[youtube=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_I7cFqvJe1I[/youtube]
Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: Rob in Puyallup on February 28, 2011, 11:26:36 pm
A beautiful musical tribute to one of my all time favorite movies and characters...
Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: sel on June 11, 2011, 04:47:44 am
Wasn't sure on where to post this.    Very disappointed A single man isn't mentioned.



BBC - 10 June 2011 Last updated at 23:06 GMT

Colin Firth made CBE in Queen's Birthday Honours List


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-13731039


Colin Firth, already enjoying an Oscar-winning year, has been appointed a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

The actor, who won an Oscar for playing King George VI in the King's Speech, was recognised for services to drama.

It comes 16 years after he achieved heart-throb status as Jane Austen's brooding hero, Mr Darcy, in the BBC TV adaptation of Pride And Prejudice.

His other films include Bridget Jones's Diary, Fever Pitch and the Abba-themed movie musical Mamma Mia.

Firth also picked up a Bafta and numerous other awards for portraying the Queen's father in the King's Speech. The monarch herself may now present him with a CBE medal at a future Buckingham Palace investiture.
Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: Meryl on June 11, 2011, 10:28:50 am
Wasn't sure on where to post this.    Very disappointed A single man isn't mentioned.



BBC - 10 June 2011 Last updated at 23:06 GMT

Colin Firth made CBE in Queen's Birthday Honours List


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-13731039


Colin Firth, already enjoying an Oscar-winning year, has been appointed a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

The actor, who won an Oscar for playing King George VI in the King's Speech, was recognised for services to drama.

It comes 16 years after he achieved heart-throb status as Jane Austen's brooding hero, Mr Darcy, in the BBC TV adaptation of Pride And Prejudice.

His other films include Bridget Jones's Diary, Fever Pitch and the Abba-themed movie musical Mamma Mia.

Firth also picked up a Bafta and numerous other awards for portraying the Queen's father in the King's Speech. The monarch herself may now present him with a CBE medal at a future Buckingham Palace investiture.

I don't even remember what "Fever Pitch" was about.  Yes, "A Single Man" was arguably his best performance ever and should never be left out of any account of Colin Firth's career.  >:(
Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: southendmd on January 15, 2012, 02:09:12 pm
(http://www.wiki-cine.com/photos/5099/31501.jpg)
Came across this screencap today.
Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: Front-Ranger on January 15, 2012, 04:19:30 pm
Isn't that the guy who played the hustler in the movie? I wasn't quite sure if he really was a hustler, he was so smooth and nice about it. Or am I just being a pollyanna as usual?
Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: southendmd on January 15, 2012, 04:35:57 pm
Isn't that the guy who played the hustler in the movie? I wasn't quite sure if he really was a hustler, he was so smooth and nice about it. Or am I just being a pollyanna as usual?

Yes, that's Jon Kortajarena.  As for his profession, he was an out-of-work actor, who just happened to be for rent. 
Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on January 15, 2012, 04:42:36 pm
Yes, that's Jon Kortajarena.  As for his profession, he was an out-of-work actor, who just happened to be for rent. 

Looks like he probably gave value.
Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: Front-Ranger on January 15, 2012, 07:25:51 pm
Looks like he probably gave value.

I agree with that!!
Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: southendmd on March 18, 2013, 09:07:05 pm
Enjoyed re-reading this thread.  Such a special film.

Sadly, Jon Kortajarena hasn't been in any other films; just some TV.

However, Nicholas Hoult has had a good year, with Warm Bodies and Jack the Giant Slayer.

A little fashion trivia:  Jon used to be the Tom Ford eyewear model, but has been replaced by...Nicholas!

Dumb move, Tom.  8)


(http://www.designscene.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Jon+Kortajarena+for+Tom+Ford.jpg)
(http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_jnmHstEKWTk/TC0xce5vXEI/AAAAAAAAAGU/DzNI35uc7Ig/s1600/nicholas-hoult-tom-ford-eyewear-2010%5B1%5D.jpg)
Whose glasses do you want to rip off?
Title: Re: "A Single Man" Another Look
Post by: x-man on September 06, 2013, 09:26:32 am
If you are on this topic site you know the film.  It is very well-made, with good acting and high production values.  What's not to like?  A lot.  Sorry to rain on your parade, we should take another look.

This film is based on the Isherwood novel coming out of the gay literature school of the middle of the last century which presents gays as tortured victims living hopeless lives.  Such a thing was indeed more common then--I know, I was there--but times have moved on since then.  When I look back and am feeling grim and negative about it all, I have BetterMostians to remind me that it isn't like that now.  So why go back and wallow in it?

Gay people can and do live happy, loving lives filled with purpose and achievement.  Newer gay literature and films reflect this change in thinking.  Where it is NOT reflected is in in gay-theme movies made by the straight mainstream movie industry.  A Single Man is one such movie and there are many others.  I believe such films are by their nature homophobic, and have a built-in warning from the straight world that if you insist on being gay, be prepared to face suffering and misery all your life--so you'd better straighten up.

Back to the movie: Professor, your lover has been gone for a year.  Shouldn't the grieving process be coming to an end?  Must it lead inexorably to a gun in your mouth or a heart attack?  Most people who have lost lovers are able to keep on living, and go on to new relationships.  (Coming out of the AIDS crisis of the 80s and 90s has shown this.)  Get up off your knees, Professor.  Man-up, find a new lover, and keep going.  Three beautiful young men virtually threw themselves at you, but you turned away from all of them--nothing was going to keep you from your self-induced despair.  My sympathy for you is limited.

For all gay men, when watching movies like A Single Man, do not be fooled by by the straight movie industry's warnings about the perils of being gay.  Let those movies be a comfort only to right-wing religious crazies and "ex-gay" conversion groups that still lurk in the darkness.  Don't have any part of it.  We have plenty of new gay movies, not to speak of real life, to show us this.
Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: southendmd on September 06, 2013, 12:58:35 pm
You just rained on my parade!  I'll get over it.  ;)

I gotta disagree with you here, x-man.  If you want to blame someone here, it ain't the "straight mainstream movie industry"; it's Tom Ford, an out, gay filmmaker.  Ford directed, produced, and co-wrote the screenplay.

You can blame Ford for the film being too pretty, or too sentimental, or with too many lush strings.  

He has freely admitted that he added significant details that are not in the novel, especially the contemplation of suicide.  (He has said that had to do with his brother, I believe.)  It may be left ambiguously, but his connection with Kenny may well have changed George's mind, after all.    

George's grieving may be unmanly to you; however it is real.  What's wrong about a film that shows a gay man's grief?  That's what Isherwood was exploring when he wrote the novel:  it was during a separation from his partner Don Bachardy that he wrote this; he was imagining losing Don via the story of George and Jim.  (Hey, George and Jim were together for 16 years.  That wasn't common in that period, either.  Plus, Jim dies in an accident, not suicide, etc.  And, they are both pretty successful--hardly tortured, hopeless victims.  Outsiders, yes.

Please read the novel, if you haven't already.  It's a fascinating, direct, stream-of-consciousness, and completely unsentimental (and no suicide), day in the life of a man, very much a fish-out-of-water, who actually loves life.  
Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: milomorris on September 06, 2013, 06:35:36 pm
As I remember the movie, George did not kill himself, but rather died of a heart attack. He was thinking about it, but after watching the young student sleeping on the sofa, he put the gun away.

In any event, I don't think that grief is in itself unmanly. Of course there are more manly ways to grieve, and certainly less manly ways to grieve. I thought George's expressions of grief, and how he dealt with it, were on the more manly side. I don't know if this is how the character was originally written--since I have not read the book--or if it was a product of Colin Firth's performance.

As far as moving on goes, I don't think that it is at all unreasonable for someone to stay single for an extended period of time--if not forever--after losing a partner. I have known a few men and women, both hetero and homo, who never took on a new spouse/partner after losing the love of their lives. Its a very individual thing.

I think the fact that George grieves in this film and does not move on actually does a service to sexual minorities. It shows that two men can love very deeply and that our relationships are not predicated on sex. It also has a humanizing effect on the audience. They get to see that we can be just as multi-dimensional as heteros.
Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on September 06, 2013, 08:24:57 pm
As far as moving on goes, I don't think that it is at all unreasonable for someone to stay single for an extended period of time--if not forever--after losing a partner. I have known a few men and women, both hetero and homo, who never took on a new spouse/partner after losing the love of their lives. Its a very individual thing.

I think the fact that George grieves in this film and does not move on actually does a service to sexual minorities. It shows that two men can love very deeply and that our relationships are not predicated on sex. It also has a humanizing effect on the audience. They get to see that we can be just as multi-dimensional as heteros.

I agree.
Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: x-man on September 08, 2013, 10:13:05 am
Thanks, southerndmd, for the background info.  I am afraid you have not persuaded me.  Tom Ford may be gay and out, but he is not alone in getting this film to the world.  SM is there because the straight movie industry wanted it to be.  Nothing you say addresses my main concern that films like SM are meant to be warnings about the hazards of being gay, and it is better to "choose" to be straight.  I am disturbed that a gay man would direct, produce, co-write, and even add a more dire element like the suicide motif to the film.  Why would Ford cooperate with the straight movie establishment to do this?  From what you say, Ford is the one trapped in an outdated mindset which the straight movie industry is all too willing to go along with.  Whatever the merits of the original novel, it is not that I am criticizing:  It was written in 1964, another time, another space.  The film was 2009, a time when those connected to the film should have known better.

Contrast SM with the 1987 UK film Maurice.  Forster wrote and revised his novel from 1913 to 1960.  .We don't have the earlier drafts to look at, but I bet they were far grimmer than the final version.  The film Maurice predates Single Man by 22 years, and, wonderfully, rejects the gay-as-tortured-victim theme.  Against far more oppression than George faced, Maurice manages to struggle on and find Alec Scudder to settle down with.  (We would all kill for an Alec Scudder to wander in.)  Maurice should have marked a new beginning to gay-theme movies, not have been a unique surprise.

Ah, milomorris.  I have come to look forward to your cavalry charges against my postings, LOL.  Keep it up.  First, I know that George did not kill himself, but died of a heart attack.  But, either way the same anti-gay warning is there.  I accept your point that it is unfair of me to impose a limit on grief either for time or depth.  A year is not necessarily long enough, and the profundity of his sorrow is not mine to criticize.  God knows, I should know this.  I think I was speaking more to myself than to George when I said to man-up and move on.

I hope you will understand when I say that it is your last paragraph that really troubles me.  You come out of both racial and sexual minorities, so perhaps you are the best one to speak here.  Part of me agrees that whether Black and/or gay, we have to appeal to society at large for "humanization" and showing "that we can be just as multidimensional as heteros."   After all, straight white lawmakers pass Civil Rights Acts and same-sex marriage laws.  They have the power; we do not.  Crudely put, we have to know what to kiss and when.

But a deep part of me cries out that this is wrong.  We shouldn't have to grovel before them pleading for an end to bullying, bashing, imprisonment and death.  As I have gotten older I have come around to the Brian Kinney (QaF) school of attitudes toward the straight world: " Screw 'em all."  From your replies to my postings, I know you know this already.  Frankly, I cannot resolve the dissonance in my own mind between these two positions, and it bothers me.  I am reminded of the line in the Shawn Kirchner BBM song, "You'll never know in your shadows what I can see in the sun."  You are in the sun and I am in the shadows.  Sadly, films like Single Man just remind me how dark those shadows can be. 
Title: Re: "A Single Man" (beware spoilers)
Post by: milomorris on September 08, 2013, 02:49:15 pm
X-man, obviously our points of view are quite different. I do not see the white/hetero world as being specifically adversarial--whether it be the film industry, or anywhere else. I have managed in my lifetime to make a comfortable space for myself where my race and my sexual orientation make no difference to the people around me.

When it comes to A Single Man, your assumptions about the film makers' motives are based on an adversarial perspective that I simply do not share.