Christopher Isherwood

Christopher Isherwood

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Chris & Don. A Love Story Review


Good
A wonderfully crafted documentary about a most unusual long-term relationship, Chris & Don. A Love Story chronicles a 35-year love affair that was way ahead of its time in all sorts of interesting ways. At a time when the concept of gay marriage is being fiercely debated, it's instructive to meet one couple who shacked up in 1952 and went full steam ahead.

Christopher Isherwood was one of the most prominent publicly homosexual personalities of his era. A successful writer from the 1920s on (he wrote the Berlin stories that evolved into Cabaret), he left his native England before World War II and crafted a nice life as a screenwriter and novelist in Santa Monica. It was there on a beach where Isherwood, age 48, came across 18-year-old local boy Don Bachardy and his older brother Ted. Both were gay, and both were quite ready to be welcomed into Isherwood's glamorous life. Don was the one who really captivated Isherwood, and they were soon living together with no secrets. If some observers thought they were actually father and son, then so be it.

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The Loved One Review


Extraordinary
Decades before Six Feet Under, The Loved One skewered the paradox of the funeral business in appearance-obsessed L.A. Wildly and unpredictably funny, The Loved One careens from scene to scene so quickly you may not be able to keep up with the jokes.

And what jokes they are! The very American Robert Morse stars as a British visitor to L.A., a wannabe poet who gets caught up in the machinations of a cemetary owner (Jonathan Winters) and his top mortician (Rod Steiger in the role of a lifetime). It's more cult than cemetary, and Morse soon becomes enchanted with one the cemetary's guide/beautician/chanteuse (a dippy Anajette Comer). The film haphazardly careens from subplot to subplot, eventually settling into a set piece about a kid obsessed with rockets, which Winters sees as the solution to the problem of running out of space for "loved ones" in the cemetary (aka corpses).

Continue reading: The Loved One Review

The Loved One Review


Extraordinary
Decades before Six Feet Under, The Loved One skewered the paradox of the funeral business in appearance-obsessed L.A. Wildly and unpredictably funny, The Loved One careens from scene to scene so quickly you may not be able to keep up with the jokes. The black and white photography is stark, reminiscent of Dr. Strangelove (as is the whole film -- with Jonathan Winters in two roles), though some of the details get lost in the deep shadows. It's not out on video, so watch for it on cable. It's well worth it.
Christopher Isherwood

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