Gus Van Sant, 'Milk'
Gus Van Sant doesn't pretend that his Harvey Milk is necessarily the "real" Harvey Milk, even though it creates the air of authenticity. "It's a political pantomime. It's like a puppet. It's a fake. It's fake. It's fake."
This said, he seems happy with a scene that deftly captures the dichotomy of Milk's life, and how the personal and the political intersect and collide.
Set in Milk's Castro Street camera shop, the locus of his political campaign, the scene features Milk (Sean Penn) and his scrappy political team rejoicing over the San Francisco Chronicle's endorsement. As the group disperses out the door, Milk, who's been listening to opera, meets Jack Lira (Diego Luna), an adorable and vulnerable man who's literally stumbling down the street.
The apolitical, high-strung Lira and Milk became an odd couple, though, as Van Sant says, Milk "didn't necessarily choose his boyfriends because they helped him write speeches. I think [Lira] was just not into the politics, not into Harvey running, not into him being in City Hall. He wanted to go on game shows with Harvey because Harvey could answer the questions on 'Jeopardy.' "
-- Rachel Abramowitz
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