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People Like Us: Making Philadelphia 2004
Description: 10 years after the release of "Philadelphia", director Jonathan Demme, Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington and others discuss about the making of that movie and it's necessary legacy through the years of being the first mainstream Hollywood movie about dealing with the subject of Aids, revealing its impact on culture and society. Cast and team talk about the inception of the project, the making of it and curious stories about one of the best hits of 1993.
Released: N/A Director: Jeffrey Schwarz Writers: N/A Actors: Antonio Banderas, Paul Bellman, Juan Botas, Ronald M. Bozman Genres: Documentary
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People Like Us: Making Philadelphia Reviews:

This review comes with a several months of delay. I should have sworn that I'd written something about it method back in time but checking the page again I've noticed there were no reviews on it, and I was like "What? Where's my thoughts on it?" Probably kept thinking so much about writing it that I might have forgotten. Anyway, here comes...with the greatest I can remember. A decade after the release of "Philadelphia" cast and team from that film made this premium material documentary for the film in which they reveal the making of the film and the impact it had on society back in 1993. We have Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, Jonathan Demme, Antonio Banders and others sharing their experiences about what would become Hollywood's movie landmark about AIDS, presented to a mainstream audience. We don't need to go back and tell that this was THE film that brought attention to the subject and the large hit it was, awards and Oscars and such, even though there were another movies about the subject made from 1980's and on ("Longtime Companion" was also nominated for an Oscar but who saw it besides the goal audience?). Everyone involved discuss how controversial the concepts explored should have been - it deals with race issues, gay issues, AIDS, homophobia, family relations, legal process - and Hanks/Andrew Beckett storyline was taken from a true situation that now ended quite various from the film (search for Geoffrey Bowers) and the deceased family even sued the film's producers from using plenty of Bowers happenings into the film without giving him credit - the documentary doesn't discuss this, and the suit was resolved through a deal with the family. I liked this film in the method everybody seems honest about talking about the project, their expectations and motivations in going with the theme, hugely necessary to be dealt and to be presented to the mass audiences, still prejudiced and biased about HIV/AIDS and the folks living with it, and the film certainly brought the subject to the table of many families and folks out there and it's a reference in a method - but 1993 gave us also two another movies on the issue, "And the Band Played On" and the documentary "The Broadcast Tapes of Dr. Peter", nice projects but under the radar of most people. Demme and company discuss matters of production, what they knew about the illness and who they knew who had it, they talk about many actors who had AIDS and had bit parts in the movie and Ron Vawter's casting incident, one of the bravest wars ever taken by a director. Vawter was suffering from the illness and was cast in one necessary helping role, he was a favourite actor of Demme - he starred in "The Silence of the Lambs". However, the studio was scared of putting him in the film in such notable role since they thought of him as a risk, he was insurable, should die at any moment to which Demme thought "Are we having this conversation about discrimination on a movie that deals with this very same problem?" The director won the war and actually we all see Vawter testing one of the movie "villains". I knew about this storyline before the documentary but it was great to see Demme talking about it. What I didn't know much and was quite surprised was the criticism after the movie's release. All positive reviews and such, as those behind the scenes flicks tend to go but they focused on the negative reaction they received from Larry Kramer - I read soon on. A film gets truly interesting when it focus on many various views and references. I have plenty of respect for Kramer for plenty of obvious reasons (being an anti-status quo in the gay community counts a heck of a lot) but I was disappointed with his negative review - I understand the criticism that "Philadelphia" is made to show a comfortable-for-straight view of gays, without display of affection and such (Demme talks about a deleted stage with Banderas and Hanks on bed having a tiny talk, stage slash from the final picture) and that particular storyline about discrimination and courtroom thing, but I don't dismiss Ron Nyswaner's script as being worthless or not valid. Considering the time, "Philadelphia" had to be presented that method to create folks interested enough in seeing, and to search methods to dedicate themselves to the cause of AIDS as something that happened, was true and should be show among their families, friends, co-workers and all. A tiny bit of a positive and true portrayal of gays in the movie would be enough in "Philadelphia" because dealing with 90% of homphobia spewed out of most of the characters was traumatizing and damaging enough to someone who saw this a kid. But sure, on the another hand, one may wonder: why on world Hollywood couldn't thinking of adapting Kramer's genial enjoy "The Normal Heart" into a movie back then? We had to wait until 2014 when HBO moved on and made it - but they made the excellent film. This ramble of opinions might have look sidetracked and not even close to my original thought review. But "People Like Us: Making Philadelphia" is something to be seen. Relevant, curious and filled with nice and sad memories from the folks involved. 9/10



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