In the February 19, 1986 issue of The New York Times, Janet Maslin said in her review, “Most of ”Parting Glances” functions as a parade of homosexual stereotypes.” On the same day, several other mainstream reviews said basically the same thing. Meanwhile, every gay publication hailed the film as the first realistic portrayal of gay culture they had ever seen in a film. Due to the bad mainstream reviews, the film died a quick death at the box office (anyone remember the Embassy 72nd Street theater?). A generation later, the film is commonly thought of as a classic, a landmark film in the “New Queer Cinema.” When the film was restored and shown at Outfest earlier this year, the festival referred to it as “among the most beloved LGBT films of the last 25 years.”
Thanks to Charles Burnett for writing in to share his thoughts on “Honeydripper.” Charles is one of my favorite filmmakers, and it’s been such a thrill to see his early work being rediscovered. Check out Charles’ blog at http://emergingpictur.setupmyblog.com/?p=49. I hope Charles will keep contributing.