|Directed by||Bill Sherwood|
|Produced by||Nancy Greenstein
Paul L. Kaplan
|Written by||Bill Sherwood|
|Release date(s)||19 February 1986|
|Running time||90 min.|
Parting Glances is an American film shot in 1984 and released in 1986. With its realistic look at urban gay life in the Ronald Reagan era and at the height of the AIDS crisis, many film critics consider it an important movie in the history of gay cinema. It was also one of the first American films to address the AIDS/HIV pandemic. First-time director Bill Sherwood died of complications due to AIDS in 1990 without ever completing another film.
The story revolves around a gay male couple, Robert and Michael, in their late twenties, living in New York City. Robert (John Bolger) is leaving for two years on a work assignment in Africa while his partner, Michael (Richard Ganoung), stays behind. Michael's ex-boyfriend, Nick (Steve Buscemi), for whom Michael cooks, looks after and is still in love with, has AIDS.
Parting Glances plays out over a 24 hour period with scenes taking place at a farewell party for Robert hosted by the couple's friend, Joan (Kathy Kinney), and at a dinner party hosted by Robert's employer, Cecil (Patrick Tull), and his wife, Betty (Yolande Bavan), who have an unconventional marriage.
While classified as a drama, the film also contains many comedic moments. Critics praised the movie's witty, realistic dialogue and detailed evocation of gay and gay-friendly urbanites in 1980s Manhattan. Parting Glances was also one of the first motion pictures to deal frankly and realistically with the subject of AIDS, and the impact of the then relatively new disease on the gay community. In one scene, Nick talks fondly of the 1970s and early 1980s era of decadence to a younger, college-aged gay man.
Preservation and restoration
On Monday, July 16, 2007 as a part of the Outfest Legacy Project, a restored print of Parting Glances received its world premiere at the Director's Guild of America in Los Angeles. The four major stars of the film, Richard Ganoung, John Bolger, Steve Buscemi and Kathy Kinney were all in attendance, and participated in a panel discussion after the viewing.
The restoration print received its New York City premiere on October 29, 2007 at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.
Reviews and recognition
Parting Glances gave Steve Buscemi his first major movie role. "It is to both his and the film's credit," wrote Janet Maslin in her New York Times review, "that the anguish of AIDS is presented as part of a larger social fabric, understood in context, and never in a maudlin light."
- Maslin, Janet (February 19, 1986). "NY Times Review, Screen: A couple's Parting Glances". The New York Times. Retrieved January 16, 2006.