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Trailer Watch: A Gay Firebrand Goes to War in Jean Carlomusto’s “Larry Kramer in Love & Anger”

Trailer Watch: A Gay Firebrand Goes to War in Jean Carlomusto's "Larry Kramer in Love & Anger"

One of the most important and controversial figures in contemporary gay America gets an admiring but honest portrait in the upcoming HBO documentaryLarry Kramer in Love & Anger.” 

Jean Carlomusto profiles the activist and playwright in her new film, which focuses on Kramer’s battles on behalf of his fellow gay men during the AIDS crisis of the ’80s and ’90s. The trailer shows “The Normal Heart” playwright’s electrifying speeches and fiery rage, which helped bring attention to his urgent cause, but also earned him enemies among would-be allies.  

In an interview with Women and Hollywood, Carlomusto recalled, “I first became interested in Larry Kramer back in 1986. I had started a cable TV show called ‘Living With AIDS’ at the Gay Men’s Health Crisis in NYC to counteract the fear and hysteria that was rampant at that time. Although Larry co‑founded GMHC in 1981, by the mid-’80s he was an infamous outcast of the organization. I wanted to interview him for the show but was forbidden to do so in no uncertain terms because Larry had called the co-founder of GMHC a ‘murderer’ in print. Of course, this made me want to know about Larry even more.”

“There’s medicine before Larry Kramer, and there’s medicine after Larry Kramer,” declares a talking head in the trailer, summing up the activist’s enormous contributions to AIDS activism and public health.

Here’s the film’s press description: 

“‘Larry Kramer in Love & Anger’ is a feature-length documentary about the legendary author, activist and playwright Larry Kramer. It is an in-depth, ‘warts and all’ portrait of one of the most important and controversial figures in contemporary gay America, a political firebrand who gave voice to the outrage and grief that inspired a generation of gay men and lesbians to fight for their lives.

“Known simultaneously as egotistic, irrationally angry, self-promoting and rude, to his admirers he is a prophet whose early warnings to the gay community about promiscuity and AIDS now read as eerily prescient. A pioneering activist, Larry co-founded Gay Men’s Health Crisis and ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power), where his calls for direct action protest made AIDS a national issue, forever changing public health policy. At the same time, his literary achievements championed the lives of gay people: a Tony Award for ‘The Normal Heart’; an Emmy Award for the HBO movie ‘The Normal Heart’ and an Academy Award nomination for best screenplay for ‘Women in Love.'”

“Larry Kramer In Love & Anger” premieres Monday, June 29 on HBO. 

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