University of Rochester
Visual and Cultural Studies
I don't think I can ever let go of the oddness of this film...how it very clearly sits in this enclosure of exploitation, yet there are these moments when I start to feel the seams of the narrative rip apart and I feel pulled elsewhere.
One moment that I return to over and over again is what I refer to as "Simone's Counter." In the middle of the interviews, the film will dissolve to sequences of the "everyday," showing the…
A title that is so fixated on place, and yet...this is not the place. This is not Milk's photo processing studio. But still Olson holds on to the objects of the set, the camera fixates on everything on the wall. There is still something there, even in this reproduction that is not the place itself. There is still something there to hold on to.
I sobbed for several minutes after Vivien said "I'm sorry" during the sex scene, then replayed that moment at least three times. I depend on these moment of recognition. I need to see these representations of self-consciousness, vulnerability, and uncertainty. It's only in a brief moment like this that I (finally) feel that breakdown between spectator and screen. Perhaps the movie itself succumbs to certain pitfalls...I don't care. This moment expands outward for me. It envelops everything. Those fleeting recognitions are at times all I can hope for. It's enough for me.