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Burning Blue (2013)
Topic: gay, bisexual, coming out, homophobia
Run time: 1 hour 36 minutes
Premiere: June 29, 2013 (Frameline FF, USA)
Trent Ford (Daniel Lynch) ♂♂♀
Rob Mayes (Matthew Blackwood) ♂♂
Tammy Blanchard (Susan Stephensen)
Morgan Spector (William Stephensen)
William Lee Scott (Charlie Trumbo)
Cotter Smith (Admiral Lynch)
Michael Cumpsty (Admiral Stephensen)
Michael Sirow (John Cokely)
Mark Doherty (Skipper)
Chris Chalk (Special Agent Jones)
Tracy Weiler (Nancy)
Gwynneth Bensen (Tammi)
Jordan Dean (Stewie)
Regie: D.M.W. Greer ♂♂
Drehbuch: D.M.W. Greer und Helene Kvale
They have been trained to meet danger head-on, to execute vital strategic maneuvers while flying at breathtaking speeds. But after a series of fatal accidents, a close-knit squadron of male Navy pilots begins to splinter—and becomes the focus of a criminal investigation. As a government agent digs to uncover the cause of the accidents, two of the pilots engage in a secret, forbidden relationship. Their affair is exposed…and the squadron is engulfed by an incendiary scandal that will challenge each pilot’s notions of friendship, love, honor, and courage.
This is another example of why we should go see a movie without reading the critics if we have any interest in the subject or the actors. One reviewer found DMW Greer's BURNING BLUE an "amateurish effort." The "New York Times" reviewer Anita Gates barely gave it a review. And Odie Henderson who apparently reviews for the Ebert people now found nothing much to like about it, comparing it to the MAKING LOVE movie back in the 1980's.
The film is a bit slow in places-- there is one or two scenes too many of someone jogging on the shore-- but I certainly do not begrudge the almost two hours I spent in a practically empty suburban theatre-- there was one other viewer besides me in a mid-afternoon showing-- in Atlanta today. (I'm not sure why the film wasn't shown in a local art theatre.)
For starters, the three principal male leads turn in sensitive nuanced performances: Trent Ford as Dan, Morgan Spector as Will and Rob Mayes as Matt. (Ford resembles Tom Cruise a bit and, for my money, is a much better actor.) The plot centers around Dan's friendship with Will whom he shields from being found out as having night blindness and his feelings for the married Matt who finds out that he is falling in love with Dan as well. These three Navy pilots find themselves caught up in a witch hunt by the NCIS to smoke out homosexuals. The critics found Greer's treatment of the two investigators and their grilling of Dan to be heavy-handed and melodramatic. I did not. As a USAF veteran, I can testify to the witch hunts and interrogations that happened to people I knew whose lives were probably ruined. I will never forget returning from a day of Russian language class and finding my barracks literally surrounded by many military carsave. [Foster Corbin]
Don't Ask Don't Tell
BURNING BLUE is the first and best-known piece of the playwright DMW Greer. It was presented in the nineties in London, Cape Town, Tel Aviv and Los Angeles and celebrated by critics. Greer himself was in the Navy a few years to 1986.
Until 2011, homosexuality was a cause of dismissal in U.S. armed forces. 1993 President Clinton tried to reverse the ban, but failed to massive resistors in politics as well as in organized homo-opponents. As a compromise, the "Don't ask, don't tell " strategy prevailed, which prohibited gay soldiers to make their sexual orientation public.
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