Gus Van Sant’s Milk has hit San Francisco’s historic Castro Street hard, and the pictures of this period transformation are hitting the interwebs even harder. Earlier this week, we got a look at Sean Penn as the titular character (the first openly gay politician in the country’s history); now, thanks to Slashfilm, we’ve got his protégé, Emile Hirsch, sporting an overabundance of curls as Cleve Jones, the gay rights activist who would go on to create the AIDS Memorial Quilt project.
Everyone’s goofing on the artifice, but this stuff rarely looks right in candid photographs; wait until you see it shot by a master like cinematographer Harris Savides (who’s back capturing the streets of San Francisco after Zodiac). Short of reading Dustin Lance Black’s screenplay, it is way too early to pass judgment on this film.
But if you don’t know much about Harvey Milk, I would highly recommend reading this San Francisco Chronicle article on the shooting of Van Sant’s film. And if you find that interesting, you are duty bound to check out Ron Epstein’s excellent documentary The Times of Harvey Milk (which won the Oscar for Best Feature Documentary in 1985).