Cinema Q: Making the Boys

Cinema Q: Making the Boys

USA, 2009, 90 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Art/Filmmaking, GLBT, Historical/Period
Language: English

Digital presentation - A year before the politically charged landscape of the 1960s erupted with the Stonewall Riots, Mart Crowley’s groundbreaking play The Boys in the Band premiered off-Broadway. Heralded as the first instance of gay theater, it became a resounding overnight smash: finally there was an unflinching depiction of gay life onstage. Its popularity led William Friedkin to turn it into a film in 1970; using the same cast, the screen drama became a global phenomenon.
Through interviews, filmmaker Crayton Robey illustrates the impact Mart Crowley’s opus—composed by the dead-broke playwright in the space of a week—had on the activism of the gay community, whose reaction to its success was mixed: some suggest the play’s stereotypical portrayals hurt rather than helped their chances to find real acceptance in the straight mainstream. None deny, however, that The Boys in the Band marked a tipping point in the struggle for gay rights.
Indeed, as the documentary necessarily touches upon the devastation that the HIV/AIDS epidemic wreaked in the early days of its detection, impacting all who were close to the play, it becomes clear that only in the era of openness ushered in by The Boys in the Band could those voices that demanded acknowledgement in the search for a cure be heard.
—Gigi Haycock

DIRECTOR: Crayton Robey
Producer: Douglas Tirola, Susan Bedusa, Crayton Robey
Editor: Seth Hurlbert, Robert Greene
Cinematographer: Eric Daniel Metzgar, Charles Poekel
Principal Cast: Mart Crowley, Edward Albee, Paul Rubnick, Robert Wagner, Michael Cunningham, Tony Kushner
US Distributor: First Run Features

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