Monday, March 16, 2009

Two historical films: "Che, Part 1" & "Milk"

I saw these two relatively recently. Che, Part 1 (the title calling to mind Shakespeare's history plays) tells the story of Che Guevara's role in the Cuban guerrilla struggle against the Batista dictatorship. Milk, meanwhile, is not a film about a former head of An Bord Báinne, but rather a biopic of Harvey Milk, the guy who made history by being elected to public office in San Francisco while simultanaeously being openly homosexual.

One of these films was directed by Steven Soderbergh, the other by Gus Van Sant. I got a bit confused as to which was which while watching the Che Guevara film. Van Sant is known as someone who bats for the other team, but it is not like all his films are ones with homosexual themes, so it is not, on the face of it, completely ridiculous to imagine that he might have made a film about an Argentinean revolutionary deep in the jungles of Cuba. And, you know, the Che film does feature a lot of blokes running around in uniforms being manly, and when a young lady appears and starts hanging around with Che (played by hunky Benicio Ben Toro), you can tell he would rather be crawling through undergrowth with the guys. The lack of any scenes in which Che says to his fellows "Comrades, it's time we all had a bath", coupled with the end-credits, conclusively revealed that Che was in fact directed by Steven Soderbergh. You probably know this already.

I don't know what a Soderbergh-directed Milk would have been like.

Stay tuned for further comments on both of these films

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