Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Director Bill Sherwood and producer Paul Kaplan discuss the groundbreaking film 'Parting Glances'

What a thrill to discover Rian Keating's spirited 1986 interview with "Parting Glances" director Bill Sherwood and producer Paul Kaplan. "Parting Glances" -- about two lovers in NYC dealing with the imminent departure of one of them on a two-year work assignment in Africa -- changed my life when I first saw it as a teenager living in Arizona (wishing I was a New Yorker with a gay lover of my own). Even though AIDS was all we heard about in the 1980s -- and the film didn't shy away from the grim reality of the disease -- the film was the first time I felt like I could have a "normal" life as a gay man, with a successful career, cool friends and a loving relationship rather than surefire gloom and doom. The smart and clever dialogue made me feel like I was hanging out with a bunch of people I knew -- or people I dreamed of knowing, as a Debbie Harry-obsessed kid in the suburbs of Phoenix -- and the cast had some fun surprises, including a very young Steve Buscemi, Kathy Kinney (Mimi from "The Drew Carey Show") and hunky co-leading man John Bolger, who is The Scarecrow Ray Bolger's great-nephew.

I knew Sherwood died of AIDS in 1990. Sad to read that Kaplan, the film's executive producer, was also taken by the disease the year after at just 36. 

Bill Sherwood: June 14, 1952 – February 10, 1990

Get a slight Matt Rettenmund vibe off the late director, who also grew up in Michigan. What a shame we didn't get to see what he would have come up with next. RIP.