Torch Song Trilogy
written by & starring Harvey Fierstein, based on his play(s)
1988. a movie I saw in the theater
Saw this a couple days ago. Films about gay people, even with their faults, seem to me more real than the usual hetero fare. But Torch Song Trilogy is good anyway (should I say, besides). Fierstein plays Arnold Becker, a female impersonator (his profession), who isn’t particularly effeminate when not performing. The story charts his life from when he meets and falls in love with a bisexual man. The relationship is too secretive for Arnold’s tastes. Eventually the affair ends & Arnold is pursued by a lovely young man who wants a longterm lover. This young man (David?), played by Matt Broderick is killed by gaybashers in NYC.
About a third the way through the film I noticed that it was slightly out of focus. While this has happened to other movies I’ve seen at UAs I couldn’t help wondering if it was subtle sabotage by the projectionist. I dint go out & complain as I didn’t wish to miss any of the film. If I see the film again tho’ I shan’t hesitate.
Torch Song Trilogy did not ultimately have a depressing ending, but it did leave me sad the rest of the day.
I read the play (or, rather, trio of plays) a year previous. I wrote about that 8 years ago on DIR. Sort of. Actually, mostly not. My entire review of the book version, as noted in my diary: “Quite good.” Faced with that paucity of comment, I spent more time in the 2007 DIR post talking about how out of focus the screening of the movie version was. We like our clear lines.