Thursday, May 21, 2015

I Am Michael

This week I got to see a preview screening of I Am Michael, a first feature by director Justin Kelly, which will play on opening night of Frameline39, June 18th at the Castro Theatre. The movie is based on the New York Times Magazine profile of Michael Glatze, who lived as an openly gay man in San Francisco in the 90s, founded a magazine for gay youth, then underwent a religious conversion & in 2007 renounced his homosexuality as a sin requiring healing. He is now a heterosexual Christian pastor, living in Wyoming & married to a woman.

The film stars James Franco as Mr. Glatze, & his massively charismatic performance carries the film. In early scenes he is warm & soulful, & he does a good job depicting Glatze's increasing alienation from the cozy throuple he has with two perfect boyfriends, played by Zachary Quinto & Charlie Carver. Mr. Franco is careful not to make Glatze seem malicious, even as he becomes hurtful toward his partners.

I appreciated the movie's neat, clear storytelling & translucent, widescreen photography. The story crosses the country a few times, & it's fun occasionally seeing the streets of San Francisco. The movie probably wouldn't offend the real-life Mr. Glatze, & the director tries not to editorialize, but there may be a hint of skepticism. When the film reached its abrupt ending, I felt the story wasn't really over.

At the festival press announcement, Frameline's programmers said they hoped this would be a provocative choice for opening night. The audience will no doubt react to the parting shot delivered by Mr. Quinto in a phone call with Glatze near the end of the film. Director Justin Kelly attends opening night.

§ I Am Michael
Written & Directed by Justin Kelly
2015, USA, 99 mins.

§ San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival
Thursday, June 18, 7:00 PM
Castro Theatre

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This entire film is a joke. It makes Michael Glatze into some kind of Anti-Hero and he is far from it. He is a drug addicted pathetic excuse for a human beng and has used this ex gay bullshit as a means of getting back at the gay community for refusing to bail out his failing magazine.
He actually said this to US,
"I will make you pay for this." Soon after he announced this transformation and said the words HOMOSEXUALITY=DEATH.
This jokers 15 minutes are UP!