G.B.F. is all about SoCal teens and their fluffy ways of handling romance. But two other films on DVD this week tackle issues in the gay community with a lot more seriousness — and both has a Texas bent.
Pit Stop is former Dallas-based filmmaker Yen Tan’s award-winning romance about a tentative romance between two gay men (one Latino, one white) in a small Texas town. A hit at the Sundance Film Festival last year, Pit Stop won the grand jury prize at the Dallas International Film Festival last April, and is up for the John Cassavetes Award at this year’s Independent Spirit Awards. (Available on DVD.)
Despite its title, Dallas Buyers Club wasn’t actually shot in Dallas — in fact, nowhere in Texas. (Louisiana got that assignment.) But it deals passionately with events that took place here during the height of the AIDS crisis.
In director Jean-Marc Vallee’s telling, Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey) was a homophobic straight man who contracted AIDS, fought to find drugs that would stave off his impending death, and managed to be radicalized and made more empathetic by a caring drag queen named Rayon (Jared Leto). We can overlook the lack of Dallas locales, the fact Woodroof wasn’t actually homophobic (he was reportedly bisexual) and that Rayon is a fiction conjured up by the screenwriters.
Who cares? All you need to care about is the anger and energy of the story, brilliantly portrayed by McConaughey and Leto (who are on their way to Oscar wins), as well as Jennifer Garner, Denis O’Hare, Griffin Dunne and more. It’s an inspiring walk through Dallas gay history. (Available on Blu-ray/DVD combo pack.)
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 7, 2014.