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04/19/2007


'How to Survive a Plague' to Become ABC Miniseries

David France's acclaimed documentary How to Survive a Plague is being developed into ABC's first miniseries in more than five years, reports the Hollywood Reporter:

StaleyIdeally, the scripted adaptation, which is in its early days of development, will go broader and deeper. “We know we’d like it to be an extended story that’s not just about AIDS and what AIDS wrought but about this tremendous civil rights movement that grew from the ashes of AIDS and the dawn of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender movement,” France tells The Hollywood Reporter.

His producing partner Howard Gertler echoes that sentiment. "We’re excited about the opportunity to delve into more of the personal stories of the characters that you followed in the documentary," he says. "People got a sense from the doc that many of the activists were soldiers drafted into a war that perhaps they were not ready to fight but that they had trained themselves for, and we really want to show a wide audience how that happened."

France had been toying with the idea of a TV adaptation for more than a year, but at that time the miniseries genre was of little appeal to networks.

And there's more footage to be revealed:

Much like the film, the mini-series -- which will count France, Gertler and new addition John Lyons as executive producers -- will offer unfettered access to an array of never-before-seen footage from the 1980s and ’90s. "These activists may have had to train themselves for the battle, but they were incredibly media savvy and were constantly filming everything," explains Lyons. "So there's this treasure trove of this archival material, which we think can be cleverly introduced into the storytelling."


How to Survive a Plague: VIDEO

Staley

How To Survive a Plague, David France's chronicle of ACT-UP and the battle to find life-saving drugs at the height of the AIDS crisis, gets an official trailer today.

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

Plague2

Continue reading "How to Survive a Plague: VIDEO" »


'How To Survive A Plague' Gets Big Review; Filmmaker David France Talks History: VIDEO

Surviveaplague
Frank Bruni, former New York Times restaurant critic and current all-purpose NYT essayist, today published an excellent review of How To Survive a Plague, the new David France documentary which chronicles the worst days of the AIDS epidemic, particularly as it unfolded in New York, and particularly as seen from the vantage point of ACT UP and its spin-off, TAG. From the review:

[I expected] to cry, and cry I did: at the hollowed faces of people whittled to almost nothing by a disease with an ugly arc; at the panicked voices of demonstrators who knew that no matter how quickly research progressed, it wouldn’t be fleet enough to save people they loved; at the breadth and beauty and horror of the AIDS quilt ...

I expected to be angry. Here, too, I wasn’t disappointed. The words of a physician on the front lines in the early days reminded me that “when people died in the hospital, they used to put them in black trash bags.” Many politicians mustered little more than contempt for AIDS sufferers. “There’s nothing ‘gay’ about these people, engaging in incredibly offensive and revolting conduct,” snarled Senator Jesse Helms ...

But, Bruni reports, there's a lot of beauty and heroism and hope here, too:

While the movie vividly chronicles the wages of bigotry and neglect, it even more vividly chronicles how much society can budge when the people exhorting it to are united and determined and smart and right. 

... 25 years ago, a tribe in desperate trouble did something that religious conservatives who can get their minds out of people’s crotches should in fact admire. It elected self-reliance over self-pity, tapping its own reserves of intellect, ingenuity and grit to make sure its members were cared for.

Take a look at the review, and watch David France talk about his film AFTER THE JUMP ...

Continue reading "'How To Survive A Plague' Gets Big Review; Filmmaker David France Talks History: VIDEO" »


'How to Survive a Plague' Chronicles Battle to Find Life-Saving Drugs During AIDS Crisis: VIDEO

Gloves

UPDATE: Sorry folks, I posted the clip prematurely. Can't show you the film bits till after the premiere, which I promise to do.

Filmmaker David France's new documentary How to Survive a Plague is set to screen at this year's Sundance Festival. A six-minute clip from the film features some of the hero activists who fought government officials demanding drugs and research in order to save themselves and those they loved. The brief clip contains some very powerful footage and interviews with ACT-UP members, including Peter Staley, above, who as you can see, is being handled with gloves.

Check out a short interview with France, AFTER THE JUMP...

Here's the film's page on Facebook.

Continue reading "'How to Survive a Plague' Chronicles Battle to Find Life-Saving Drugs During AIDS Crisis: VIDEO" »


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