Gus van Sant’s Milk Finishes up in San Francisco


Milk, the Gus van Sant-directed biopic of the slain SF supervisor, has finished production in San Francisco. Bluegrassravebackroom has some shots of the final days of shooting last weekend when Gay Freedom Day 1978 was recreated at City Hall.

NPR also just did a report on the film.

And The Oregonian talks to science fiction author Frank Robinson, who was Milk’s good friend and speechwriter about downloading his experiences to Sean Penn and his adventure as a cameo in the film:

“The final scene Van Sant shot last week was the candlelight march held in the wake of the murders. ‘The march for Harvey in real life was a spontaneous march that started at 17th and Market, at night, and everyone had a candle,’ Robinson said. ‘You got to Van Ness and you looked back and there was nothing . . .’ He pauses. There are tears in his voice as he pushes on. ‘ . . . there was nothing but candles. Along the way, people had put candles in the windows. It wasn’t just the gays, it was a lot of the straights. It was the entire city.’

Extra action on the set of Milk [bluegrassravebackroom]
A final toast for Harvey Milk [the oregonian]

Bryan Singer to Cameo in Gus van Sant’s Harvey Milk Film?
Milk Screenwriter Dustin Lance Black Spills [tr]
Josh Brolin on Tackling the Role of Milk Assassin Dan White [tr]
James Franco Hangs on to Milk Mustache [tr]
Milk in Action on Castro Street [tr]
Sean Penn and James Franco as Lovers in Milk [tr]
Milk: The Transformation of Castro Street [tr]


  1. Paul R says

    “…, it was a lot of the straights. It was the entire city.”

    And that was the 1970s. Things are even better now, and is why I will never live anywhere else. I love Gayville.

  2. mwf says

    I am willing to bet this movie will bomb.

    If anyone thinks straight people are going to be interested in a political ‘drama’ with gay themes, best of luck.

    Gay people aren’t going to be able to turn out in droves to make it a success. (Remember Clint Eastwood’s endeavor with Kevin Spacey?)

    The best it can hope for is a critical success with award recognition (a la broke back). But again, it’s a political drama….not many people find those themes exciting enough to plop down $12 a ticket. And not one of the Iraq-themed movies has done well…same boring genre.

  3. says

    Brokeback Mountain made $178,060,261.00. And it was straight and gay audiences who made this film (with a gay theme) a remarkable international success.

    Heath Ledger gave it the performance of his career.

    I feel sorry for your lack of empathy MWF, it’s preventing you from understanding the richness of human experience. Stay home and watch All In The Family, there’s no need to upset yourself with the exhilaration of things being various.

  4. DJ says

    Jake Gyllenhaal also gave an excellent performance in Brokeback.

    I think Milk could be a very good movie. At lease that is what I am hoping for.

  5. says

    MWF, while it would be nice if the movie didn’t bomb, production has been already completed and it’s going to be released. Even if it does poorly at the box office, it’s going to be out at some theaters for at least a short while and it will make it to DVD shortly thereafter where anybody can buy or rent a copy. A movie doesn’t need to make a lot of money or be a big hit to have value to a lot of people.

  6. john says

    I find it offensive and even dangerous that a heterosexual Sean Penn is playing a gay icon. It doesn’t reassure me that he has transcended his homophobia at all. It’s patronizing and insidious. It validates his own ego and yet again it’s an example of a heterosexual male coveting and appropriating the results of blood, sweat and tears in the gay community.

  7. Matt says

    MWF: I think it would be more fair to say that the movie is a human drama about a politician, rather than a political drama.

  8. mwf says

    “the richness of human experience”? From Hollywood? Obviously someone watches too many Hallmark movies.

    My comment was just to remind people who seem a bit over-excited that this movie is going to make a difference. I’m just here to bring you back to reality. It won’t be changing any heterosexual minds about the ‘deviant’ lifestyle of the homosexual. They find it repulsive and this movie won’t have an impact.

    So don’t be disappointed when the voters of California STILL vote yes on the amendments to ban gay marriage and repeal domestic partnerships come November.

    And Brokeback was not about politics and was a critical success which led to US box office of $83,043,761. Internationally it made $95,016,500.

  9. Oscar says

    I hope the movie bombs. To have homophobic Sean Penn playing Harvey is so insulting that I wish the movie will never be released. It is insulting that anti-american, homophobic Penn is allowed to play such an american, fairminded person as Harvey Milk. An icon and a martyr to the gay cause.