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Old 05-26-2014, 08:34 AM   #1
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The Normal Heart *Spoliers*

Has anyone seen this HBO movie yet?
It tells the story of the starting of the Gay Men's Health Crisis organization in NYC.

Fantastic cast. powerful riveting performances, especially out of Mark Ruffalo, Jim Parsons and Julia Roberts.

I see lots of Emmys next yer.

I've lost a couple of friends to AIDS in the 80's so this movie touched me.

It's like a condensed "Angels in America"

Very powerful.
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Old 05-26-2014, 08:55 AM   #2
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I too lost three friends in the 80s/90s. One is still living with the disease.

The movie made me sad but angry as well. Like they showed in the movie, nothing was going to stop them from their lifestyle. They ignored the warning signs and paid dearly for it.
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Old 05-26-2014, 09:56 AM   #3
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Guess I need to Netflix this movie.
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Old 05-26-2014, 10:39 AM   #4
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It will re-air many times on the various HBO channels.

I have it waiting for me, but haven't watched yet. Really looking forward to this one.
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Old 05-26-2014, 11:06 AM   #5
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Loved seeing "Patrick" from "Looking" in the movie-but too bad he was patient zero in the movie
Watching now...
I was in pharmacy school in the 80s and there were no meds for HIV/AIDS then...nothing to give these patients other than palliative care and hugs
A truly tragic time in our history...
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Old 05-26-2014, 11:15 AM   #6
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Jim Parsons was outstanding. I've never seen him as anyone but Sheldon. It's fantastic that he can actually really act.
Alfred Molina and Matt Bomer were great too. I could go on and on about the cast.
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Old 05-26-2014, 08:36 PM   #7
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Jim Parsons was outstanding. I've never seen him as anyone but Sheldon. It's fantastic that he can actually really act. Alfred Molina and Matt Bomer were great too. I could go on and on about the cast.
He does a lot of theater when he is off From BBT. He will go back to theater when BBT is over
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Old 05-26-2014, 09:09 PM   #8
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He's quite good
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Old 05-27-2014, 06:29 AM   #9
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Like they showed in the movie, nothing was going to stop them from their lifestyle. They ignored the warning signs and paid dearly for it.
It sounds almost like you are blaming gay men for what happened... Everything was an unknown. As is clearly demonstrated in Joe Mantello's speech in the middle of the movie - nobody knew what was going on or what was causing it.

The cast is pretty amazing. Matt Bomer is the biggest revelation for me in this as is Taylor Kitsch - I didn't even recognize him for the first 10 minutes. and Jim Parsons.

Took me a while to warm up to Mark Ruffalo - not sure he was entirely comfortable playing a gay man at the beginning but he settles in nicely. Julia Roberts big angry speech kinda fell flat -

heartbreaking.
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Old 05-27-2014, 06:30 AM   #10
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Thanks for the reminder. Grabbing it now.
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Old 05-27-2014, 11:36 AM   #11
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It was great. I think Jim Parsons played the Mark Ruffalo's part in the play on Broadway. Yes, I had some friends that were lost as well. It was a shame what NY state and the Nation as a whole did to treat and educate people about AIDS/HIV. Hopefully, we learned some lessons.
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Old 05-27-2014, 11:51 AM   #12
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It sounds almost like you are blaming gay men for what happened... Everything was an unknown. As is clearly demonstrated in Joe Mantello's speech in the middle of the movie - nobody knew what was going on or what was causing it.

The cast is pretty amazing. Matt Bomer is the biggest revelation for me in this as is Taylor Kitsch - I didn't even recognize him for the first 10 minutes. and Jim Parsons.

Took me a while to warm up to Mark Ruffalo - not sure he was entirely comfortable playing a gay man at the beginning but he settles in nicely. Julia Roberts big angry speech kinda fell flat -

heartbreaking.
Yes. Exactly.
Not much was known and if this had struck anyone but gay men first...the country would have been up in arms and all sorts of resources would have been put toward it. Our hypocritical society - let's not talk about sex, but let's just have all of these sex related images, movies, etc. - managed to continue to marginalize, criminalize, and stigmatize the gay community.

And, really, would/did the straight community react any differently when found out it was transmitted sexually.....did straight men start wearing condoms? And, what about those "straight men" who (for very good reasons) couldn't come out of the closet, and had unprotected sex with their girlfriends and wives? Let's not blame the victim, here.

It was a crazy time. I lived through it, came out right before it and helped in the very early stages of two AIDS organizations. Lost hundreds of friends, colleagues and a family member.

I think we learned from it, but still have a long way to go.
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Old 05-27-2014, 12:21 PM   #13
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I think Jim Parsons played the Mark Ruffalo's part in the play on Broadway.
No, Parsons played Tommy Boatwright in both the Broadway and film versions.

Mark Ruffalo's part, Ned Weeks, was played by Joe Mantello on Broadway.
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Old 05-27-2014, 01:35 PM   #14
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No, Parsons played Tommy Boatwright in both the Broadway and film versions.

Mark Ruffalo's part, Ned Weeks, was played by Joe Mantello on Broadway.
And Mantello's talent was on full display during that monologue.
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Old 05-27-2014, 01:52 PM   #15
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No, Parsons played Tommy Boatwright in both the Broadway and film versions.

Mark Ruffalo's part, Ned Weeks, was played by Joe Mantello on Broadway.
OK, my bad. I saw Parsons on The Daily Show and he said he was having a hard time for a bit and I thought it was a different part but my memory is not what it use to be, it was getting lines from one person who then was playing another.
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Old 05-27-2014, 07:55 PM   #16
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I too lost three friends in the 80s/90s. One is still living with the disease.

The movie made me sad but angry as well. Like they showed in the movie, nothing was going to stop them from their lifestyle. They ignored the warning signs and paid dearly for it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cainebj View Post
It sounds almost like you are blaming gay men for what happened... Everything was an unknown. As is clearly demonstrated in Joe Mantello's speech in the middle of the movie - nobody knew what was going on or what was causing it.

The cast is pretty amazing. Matt Bomer is the biggest revelation for me in this as is Taylor Kitsch - I didn't even recognize him for the first 10 minutes. and Jim Parsons.

Took me a while to warm up to Mark Ruffalo - not sure he was entirely comfortable playing a gay man at the beginning but he settles in nicely. Julia Roberts big angry speech kinda fell flat -

heartbreaking.
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Yes. Exactly.
Not much was known and if this had struck anyone but gay men first...the country would have been up in arms and all sorts of resources would have been put toward it. Our hypocritical society - let's not talk about sex, but let's just have all of these sex related images, movies, etc. - managed to continue to marginalize, criminalize, and stigmatize the gay community.

And, really, would/did the straight community react any differently when found out it was transmitted sexually.....did straight men start wearing condoms? And, what about those "straight men" who (for very good reasons) couldn't come out of the closet, and had unprotected sex with their girlfriends and wives? Let's not blame the victim, here.

It was a crazy time. I lived through it, came out right before it and helped in the very early stages of two AIDS organizations. Lost hundreds of friends, colleagues and a family member.

I think we learned from it, but still have a long way to go.
I'm sure I'm going to open pandora's box here, but I'll take my chances.

They may not have known what was causing it, but it was abundantly clear from almost the beginning that it was sexually transmitted among gay men. The cities told these men to stop having sex to stop the spread of the disease. They refused, arguing against the closing of the bath houses until it was too late. Even in this movie, when Julia Roberts's character told the men to stop having sex she was laughed out of the room.

What was hit upon in the movie was how important sex was to the community. They couldn't live their lives as out individuals as they could today (and even now there are certainly some issues), so really all they had was the freedom to have sex with whomever the hell they chose. In telling them to not have sex they were taking away the last thing they had.

Now, the response of politicians was shameful and certainly caused more harm than anything else. Hell, Magic Johnson revealing he was HIV-positive in 1991 was probably the turning point that said this was a major issue, and by 1996 the AIDS cocktail had been revealed. What if the government had determined this was an issue in 1981? Could we have had a treatment in the same timeline with more money contributed? How many lives could have been saved?

I hate the notion of "blaming the victim", but it's a disease that was at one point largely spread through high risk behavior by straight or gay people. You'd get people like Arthur Ashe or Ryan White who would contract the disease through transfusions, but the far more likely victims would be people like Magic Johnson or Freddie Mercury who slept with a large number of people, gay or straight. No one deserved the disease, but to suggest that the gay community in the early-'80s was blameless is a bit of a fantasy.

As for the question of whether the straight community reacted differently, I'd say yes. Magic Johnson scared the crap out of everyone. Condom use became far more prevalent. From what I understand the notion of college being a melting pot of young women willing to sow their wild oats was gone once Magic made his announcement. Does that make the straight community's response "better"? No, but it was different.

As for the movie, it was deeply disturbing and troubling, but also brilliant. To me it doesn't even seem to fit with Angels in America or And the Band Played On because there's no real uplifting message. It was just story after horrible story about how this community was being wiped out. The comparisons to the Holocaust were utterly fascinating.
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Old 05-27-2014, 08:08 PM   #17
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+1

I can see both sides and one side feeling the persecution and reacting that changing their sex activities was essentially giving in to the persecutor's.

On the other hand I certainly would not have taken the risk to just to make a statement.

The statement that the movie to me was that gay people can love and feel pain just as equally as straight people. Ned Weeks passionate A*hole attitude was born out of his desire to save the person he loved.

Quote:
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I'm sure I'm going to open pandora's box here, but I'll take my chances.

They may not have known what was causing it, but it was abundantly clear from almost the beginning that it was sexually transmitted among gay men. The cities told these men to stop having sex to stop the spread of the disease. They refused, arguing against the closing of the bath houses until it was too late. Even in this movie, when Julia Roberts's character told the men to stop having sex she was laughed out of the room.

What was hit upon in the movie was how important sex was to the community. They couldn't live their lives as out individuals as they could today (and even now there are certainly some issues), so really all they had was the freedom to have sex with whomever the hell they chose. In telling them to not have sex they were taking away the last thing they had.

Now, the response of politicians was shameful and certainly caused more harm than anything else. Hell, Magic Johnson revealing he was HIV-positive in 1991 was probably the turning point that said this was a major issue, and by 1996 the AIDS cocktail had been revealed. What if the government had determined this was an issue in 1981? Could we have had a treatment in the same timeline with more money contributed? How many lives could have been saved?

I hate the notion of "blaming the victim", but it's a disease that was at one point largely spread through high risk behavior by straight or gay people. You'd get people like Arthur Ashe or Ryan White who would contract the disease through transfusions, but the far more likely victims would be people like Magic Johnson or Freddie Mercury who slept with a large number of people, gay or straight. No one deserved the disease, but to suggest that the gay community in the early-'80s was blameless is a bit of a fantasy.

As for the question of whether the straight community reacted differently, I'd say yes. Magic Johnson scared the crap out of everyone. Condom use became far more prevalent. From what I understand the notion of college being a melting pot of young women willing to sow their wild oats was gone once Magic made his announcement. Does that make the straight community's response "better"? No, but it was different.

As for the movie, it was deeply disturbing and troubling, but also brilliant. To me it doesn't even seem to fit with Angels in America or And the Band Played On because there's no real uplifting message. It was just story after horrible story about how this community was being wiped out. The comparisons to the Holocaust were utterly fascinating.

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Old 05-28-2014, 10:40 AM   #18
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OK, my bad. I saw Parsons on The Daily Show and he said he was having a hard time for a bit and I thought it was a different part but my memory is not what it use to be, it was getting lines from one person who then was playing another.
Jim Parsons talking about this on The Daily Show is repeated tonight at 11 on Comedy Central, if anybody is interested.
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Old 05-28-2014, 10:45 AM   #19
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I'm sure I'm going to open pandora's box here, but I'll take my chances.

They may not have known what was causing it, but it was abundantly clear from almost the beginning that it was sexually transmitted among gay men. The cities told these men to stop having sex to stop the spread of the disease. They refused, arguing against the closing of the bath houses until it was too late. Even in this movie, when Julia Roberts's character told the men to stop having sex she was laughed out of the room.

What was hit upon in the movie was how important sex was to the community. They couldn't live their lives as out individuals as they could today (and even now there are certainly some issues), so really all they had was the freedom to have sex with whomever the hell they chose. In telling them to not have sex they were taking away the last thing they had.

Now, the response of politicians was shameful and certainly caused more harm than anything else. Hell, Magic Johnson revealing he was HIV-positive in 1991 was probably the turning point that said this was a major issue, and by 1996 the AIDS cocktail had been revealed. What if the government had determined this was an issue in 1981? Could we have had a treatment in the same timeline with more money contributed? How many lives could have been saved?

I hate the notion of "blaming the victim", but it's a disease that was at one point largely spread through high risk behavior by straight or gay people. You'd get people like Arthur Ashe or Ryan White who would contract the disease through transfusions, but the far more likely victims would be people like Magic Johnson or Freddie Mercury who slept with a large number of people, gay or straight. No one deserved the disease, but to suggest that the gay community in the early-'80s was blameless is a bit of a fantasy.

As for the question of whether the straight community reacted differently, I'd say yes. Magic Johnson scared the crap out of everyone. Condom use became far more prevalent. From what I understand the notion of college being a melting pot of young women willing to sow their wild oats was gone once Magic made his announcement. Does that make the straight community's response "better"? No, but it was different.

As for the movie, it was deeply disturbing and troubling, but also brilliant. To me it doesn't even seem to fit with Angels in America or And the Band Played On because there's no real uplifting message. It was just story after horrible story about how this community was being wiped out. The comparisons to the Holocaust were utterly fascinating.
I think this is all a valid point and well written. The other thing that is hard to remember while watching this was how hard it was to get information out. Before the internet you had to do the grassroots efforts that they tried but many gay men I am sure were in the dark, especially outside the big cities. Also, people forget when you are young and invincible and were really driven by hormones. It was a sad story and to be true to the events....it has to be.
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Old 05-28-2014, 11:17 AM   #20
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Jim Parsons talking about this on The Daily Show is repeated tonight at 11 on Comedy Central, if anybody is interested.
Also watch it here if you want http://www.newsday.com/entertainment...eart-1.8042539
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Old 05-29-2014, 09:30 PM   #21
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I found this movie fascinating... the acting was brilliant. The physical transformation that Matt Bomer made is/was comperable to Matthew McConaughey's in Dallas Buyer's Club.

What I'm having trouble with is the timeline. I swear that I remember learning about AIDS in junior high school health class. I graduated in 1984. So backing that up to junior high would put it at 1979 at the latest. We were told that condoms should always be used because if you contracted AIDS*, you WOULD die.

Even if I'm wrong about junior high versus high school, before 1984 we were being warned and it was known to be sexually transmitted. What am I misremembering and why doesn't this jibe with the timeline of the movie? I would think that the gay community would be more aware than some kids sitting in a classroom in Houston (especially considering that it was part of our curriculum that probably had to be argued about for a year or two - although this could have been a teacher going against the rules to educate, I'm definitely not sure it was approved subject matter).

*I honestly don't remember there being a differentiation from HIV Infection and AIDS until much later.
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Old 05-30-2014, 07:24 AM   #22
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I found this movie fascinating... the acting was brilliant. The physical transformation that Matt Bomer made is/was comperable to Matthew McConaughey's in Dallas Buyer's Club.

What I'm having trouble with is the timeline. I swear that I remember learning about AIDS in junior high school health class. I graduated in 1984. So backing that up to junior high would put it at 1979 at the latest. We were told that condoms should always be used because if you contracted AIDS*, you WOULD die.

Even if I'm wrong about junior high versus high school, before 1984 we were being warned and it was known to be sexually transmitted. What am I misremembering and why doesn't this jibe with the timeline of the movie? I would think that the gay community would be more aware than some kids sitting in a classroom in Houston (especially considering that it was part of our curriculum that probably had to be argued about for a year or two - although this could have been a teacher going against the rules to educate, I'm definitely not sure it was approved subject matter).

*I honestly don't remember there being a differentiation from HIV Infection and AIDS until much later.
The "mysterious disease", first called GRID (gay related immune deficiency) among gay men was first report by CDC in June 1981, in their MMWR. It wasn't known how it was transmitted , hence the face masks, gloves, refusal to go into rooms, touch people, etc. It began to be speculated that it was sexually transmitted, but it wasn't known for several years, whether it might also be transmitted in other ways.

It was then called AIDS for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome...since people with it were dying from diseases that don't normally affect people with intact immune systems.

The virus that causes it was first identified as HTLV III.....and there was a political/international conflict about 'who got credit'...Luc Montagnier, from France or Robert Gallo from US/NIH.

The virus, well, retrovirus, was then named HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) and the first test for it was developed in 1985. So, between 1981 and 1984, when this film takes place, the causative agent and how it worked, were not even known.

Yes, the educational messages included that it was likely transmitted sexually, and then when hemophiliacs came down with it, it was assumed to be transmitted via blood also.

The gay community was not nearly as much of a community as it is today. Gay men looked for each other for a sense of affirmation And, it wasn't always easy to find each other. It had to be a secret society and you couldn't trust anyone lest you get beat up, killed, fired, blackmailed, ostracized from family and friends, etc. etc. I am not exaggerating here...I am gay and 4 of my 6 siblings are also gay. We all know, first hand the fear, family reactions, inner turmoil, troubled lives, etc.,...We didn't know this about each other until we were all much older. We all "pretended to be straight" until we were in our 30's (getting married, having opposite sex partners, dating, etc.). It's not that we were hiding it..or even really KNEW it. We were, in fact, TRYING to be straight because we thought we could "make" ourselves that way, it was what was expected of society and everyone we knew, and it was so scary to think that you might be "that way" (perverted, sick, scary, unwanted, mentally ill, etc.).

.Finding out that "you're not the only one" (that engaged in behavior that was criminal until not so long ago, that was mentally ill (it was still considered to be a "mental illness" then) was so liberating...so affirming. Seeing that, hey, these are "normal" people with real jobs....good hearts, real lives, etc.(of course, most of them weren't "out" in their jobs or with their families. They could only be who they were with each other. Everyone was closeted then, or most everyone....and when you were with each other it was the most incredible and positive experience. It was also something you didn't need to feel ashamed of..at least with each other. So, gay men and lesbians saw sexual liberation as something that was, in fact, part of their identity...that it was ok, too.

I'm not sure that unless you're gay...or very connected personally to that experience, somehow, that people can really understand what was going on in among gay men and lesbians.

Sorry to ramble, but I've been working in HIV since 1981 and in gay community work for as long as I've been out. Thanks for reading, if you got this far.
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