AND THE BAND PLAYED ON
US, 1993, 141 minutes, Colour.
Matthew Modine, Alan Alda, Patrick Baushau, Nathalie Baye, Christian Clemenson, David Clennon, Phil Collins, Bud Cort, David Dukes, Richard Gere, David Marshall Grant, Ronald Guttman, Glenne Headley, Angelica Houston, Richard Jenkins, Tcheky Karyo, Donald Logue, Steve Martin, Richard Massur, Ian Mc Kellen, Peter Mc Robbie, Jeffrey Nordling, Saul Rubinek, Charles Martin Smith, Steven Spinella, Lily Tomlin, BD Wong.
Directed by Roger Spottiswoode.
This is an interesting docudrama on the history of the development of AIDS and the medical search for the virus. While not as emotional as Philadelphia (although it does have a similar subplot), it is even more persuasive.
It was made by HBO for television and for cinema release, aimed at the widest audience. It has a PG rating. It focuses on Matthew Modine, an expert on infectious diseases, and American research as AIDS spreads. There are sequences on the French research as well is the manipulative American, Robert Gallo, played strongly by Alan Alda.
Richard Gere is one of many stars who link their prestige to the project the choreographer who discovers he has AIDS, contributing to a greater awareness of AIDS by appearing in cameo roles. Lily Tomlin stands out.
The film is a helpful and sympathetic look at the American AIDS experience in the early 1980s. The 2017 French film 120 BPM, 120 Beats Per Minute, looks at French protest and is a critique of the action and inaction of research and the role of government.
1. The title? The reference to the Titanic? AIDS in the United States, research, the French research?
2. The history of AIDS, medical, political, social, America, France?
3. The film made for television and cinema release, for wide impact? Designed for this wide audience and suitability for older and younger audiences? How persuasive? How effective a history and critique?
4. The political status of AIDS? Public opinion and fears? Heroism in commitment to research? Professionals, differences and egos? Claims for credit? The role of politics – and ignoring the research? Issues of homophobia? Gay men and their presence in society, self-assertion? Issues of finance, research, expectations and tests, publishing, persuasion? Issues of blood, transfusions, haemophiliacs?
5. Audience attitudes at the time of the film’s release? The early 1990s? The history of the 1980s? The image of celebrities and death? The numerous deaths? The book of the 1990s? 1993 as an opportunity to take stock? The later development, research, the spread of AIDS, issues of Africa, North America, Europe?
6. Introduction, Don Francis? Ebola, the puzzles, the visit, the bodies and infection, is contributing to control of the outbreak? The impact on people, the boy, the woman and her clutching and dying? The attempts to contain the infection? The effect on Don – and his flashbacks?
7. Names, data, the initial impact, the early 1980s, the steps while there was uncertainty, verification, rivalries and politics, bias and fears? Money and lawsuits? The end, the further information, the role of Don Francis, Robert Gallo, the French doctors?
8. Don and asking for aid, the puzzle, the evidence, America and France, illnesses, pneumonia, deaths, trying to identify the virus, experiments and research? CDC (Centres for Disease Control), Don and his role, immunology, confining Ebola? Individuals, their personalities and anxiety, issues of money, anger, uncertainties, hard work? The repercussions for the medical staff, on families? Further research, Canada, Patient Zero? Visits, talk, the role of the choreographer, his work and his diagnosis and the consequences, contact and interviews? Conclusions?
9. The personalities, the gay personalities, talking, evidence, issues of sex and transmission, transformations, the arguments? The role of Dr Gallo, the sense of betrayal? The claims?
10. The French, the research, Dr Montagnier and his assistants, in charge, research, claims? The hospitals, the staff and homophobia? The American- French rivalry? The Americans visiting France? Lies, pressures, the aftermath?
11. Dr Gallo his work, reputation, interests, teams and celebrity, the French and the visit, Don and the samples? Phone calls, the CDC, the French and the reactions, accusations of stealing, press conferences, law cases and suing?
12. The gay communities in the American cities, especially San Francisco? Those accepting the reality of AIDS? Those resisting? Those resenting official interference in their way of life like the closing of the baths?
13. The character of Bill Kraus, representing men with AIDS, his support, his discovery of his lesions, his response?
14. The range of characters and their contribution to research or hindering it? The medical staff, the infected… The list of such characters:
• Glenne Headly as Dr. Mary Guinan, an investigator of the HIV/AIDS epidemic for the CDC
• Richard Masur as Dr. William Darrow, one of the discoverers of HIV as the virus that causes AIDS
• Saul Rubinek as Dr. James Curran, an investigator of the HIV/AIDS epidemic for the CDC
• Lily Tomlin as Dr. Selma Dritz, a physician and epidemiologist
• Jeffrey Nordling as Gaëtan Dugas, a Canadian flight attendant who was an early AIDS patient
• Donal Logue as Bobbi Campbell, an AIDS activist
• B. D. Wong as Kico Govantes, a San Francisco artist and Bill Kraus' lover
• Patrick Bauchau as Dr. Luc Montagnier, a French virologist and one of the discoverers of HIV
• Nathalie Baye as Dr. Françoise Barre
• Phil Collins as Eddie Papasano, a San Francisco bathhouse owner
• Steve Martin as a Brother of an AIDS patient
• Richard Gere as a Choreographer who learns he has AIDS
• David Marshall Grant as Dennis Seeley
• Ronald Guttman as Dr. Jean- Claude Chermann, a French virologist and manager of the research team that discovered HIV
• Anjelica Huston as Dr. Betsy Reisz
• Ken Jenkins as Dr. Dennis Donohue, an HIV researcher
• Richard Jenkins as Dr. Marcus Conant, a dermatologist and one of the first physicians to diagnose and treat AIDS
• Tchéky Karyo as Dr. Willy Rozenbaum, a French physician and one of the discoverers of HIV
• Peter Mc Robbie as Dr. Max Essex, one of the first to suspect that a retrovirus was the cause of AIDS and to determine that HIV could be transmitted through blood
• Charles Martin Smith as Dr. Harold Jaffe, an investigator of the HIV/AIDS epidemic for the CDC
• Christian Clemenson as Dr. Dale Lawrence, a member of the CDC's Task Force on Kaposi's sarcoma and Opportunistic Infections
• Rosemary Murphy as Blood Bank Executive