Jenni Olson’s powerful elegy, 575 Castro St. reveals the play of light and shadow upon the walls of the Castro Camera Store set for the Academy Award winning film Milk. These mundane yet beautiful shots are almost bereft of movement and sound. All the better to showcase the range of emotions evoked by Harvey Milk’s words on the soundtrack.
The audio track is an edited version of the 13-minute audio-cassette Harvey Milk recorded in his camera shop on the evening of Friday, November 18, 1977 (a few weeks after his election to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors which made him one of the first openly gay elected officials in the United States). Labeled simply: „In-Case” the tape was to be played, „in the event of my death by assassination.” The experimental aesthetic of 575 Castro St. hearkens back to the dozens of Super 8 gay short films that passed through Harvey Milk’s hands to be processed and developed.
Commissioned by FilmInFocus.com to be showcased online in conjunction with the theatrical release of Milk, 575 Castro St. went on to world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival and has played at festivals and museums across the globe. It is permanently installed at the HRC Action Center & Store (at 575 Castro Street in San Francisco) and is in the collection of the UCLA Film & Television Archive. It also continues to be shown on the Milk website.
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