Go Back  DVD Talk Forum > Entertainment Discussions > Movie Talk
Reload this Page >

Soldiers Girl.....showtime original movie.

Movie Talk A Discussion area for everything movie related including films In The Theaters

Soldiers Girl.....showtime original movie.

Old 04-30-03, 03:28 PM
  #1  
DVD Talk Ultimate Edition
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 4,688
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Soldiers Girl.....showtime original movie.

I saw a promo for this on Sunday night. Looks pretty interesting..& just found the website for the women the films based on..


Premires May 31st

www.calpernia.com




The Story Leading Up to "Soldier's Girl", the Showtime Original Movie

* I created Calpernia.Com as an information resource on my career, a forum for some of my creative hobbies, and also as a forum for women in my situation to exchange information and inspiration with each other. The tone is usually lighthearted, and I deliberated a long time over including information about the following events. But the story of my life, past, present or future, is just not complete without talking a little about the story of Barry Winchell.

* In 1998 I met a soldier named Barry Winchell. I was a showgirl, he was in the Army, both of us at defining moments in our lives, and we fell into an intense, private relationship almost immediately. We found something in each other that made us happy and kept the dark side of existence a little farther away from our demanding, difficult lives. We only had a short time together, enough time to begin to hope that things could progress and life could change from loneliness to love, and then he was murdered by two fellow soldiers. Stolen away from his family, friends and me. You never know when life is going to change, or to end.
* The time after was difficult for everyone. A woman in my situation does not find love easily, and when it's gone only memories and scars remain. Media scoured the wreckage for sensationalism while carefully stepping around the shattered truth that could have been the only, too-dearly-priced good to come up from anything. Even more terrible was the suffering of an innocent family. My fear at reaching out to them was an additional source of misery. Finding peace with myself has been the longest battle, and the person I was at that time did not feel ready to be looked at, analyzed and judged by the world. I am a person who agonizes for weeks over a misspoken comment, much less the ruin of lives. It was not my fault, but the horror will always burn in my memory behind the clean, beautiful moments of love I will never forget.
* During the media aftermath, one journalist in particular stands out as someone who had a major part in getting Barry's story out: David France. Although some other sources covered it, I believe without David's writing, Barry's story would never have captured the world's hearts and minds the way it did. David wrote a cover story for the New York Times Magazine that was my favorite out of all the published accounts.
* A long while later, Showtime approached me about consulting on a film telling the story of our relationship. I was reluctant, worried about the "propriety" of becoming involved with an entertainment project. I spoke with everyone personally, did my research, and two years later I joined the project because I was convinced of the sincerity of everyone involved. My decision was made with the full knowledge that dramatization of the story, and my involvement, would still be seen as improper by some. I was not unaware of the possibility that my being an actress and entertainer could throw a doubtful light on my intentions. But after two years of consideration, and after hearing so many responses from people touched and educated by the story, I decided that my involvement was a duty. I have tried to fulfill that duty with as much class and comportment as possible, and can only hope time will bear this out.
* This movie, Soldier's Girl, _is about our relationship and his subsequent murder. The subject matter is incredibly sensitive for me, and I generally only discuss it with my closest friends and the people involved in our lives. Opening up to the makers of the film was cathartic, and their telling of the story is going to be absolutely beautiful. I am very proud of the team I got to know and the finished film.
Old 06-02-03, 12:19 AM
  #2  
DVD Talk Ultimate Edition
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 4,688
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Well i watched it last night & was quite pleased. A very well made & acted film.

One of the best aspects was of actually portraying TG people & the drag queens at the club as people,rather than the usual cliche campy flamboyant stereotype mainstream media uses 99.9% of the time when they are not being portrayed as degenerate sickos in other films/shows.

It was actually a serious film which handled the issue well & went all the way,rather than shying away like most films tend to do. Which includes also showing the couple get to know each other(as normal people) & even there lovemaking.
Another plus on the films side.

Another great aspect was the tragic ending when they show the murder in extremely graphic detail. Other films that tackled real life tragedies such as the films made on Mathew Shepard..& even Boys Don't Cry shyed away from the tragic endings of the charecters. Now BDC was a good film...& pretty powerful for the most part. Yet they actually did tone down the ending abit compared to the real life incident which is even more tragic & heartbreaking.


So with this film,you get the whole bloody thing showing you just how vile a crime it really was. Another + on the films side.



Anyway heres a pretty good article i found on the film & where & where things may lead from here,hopefully for the better.




HBO's 'Normal' and Showtime's 'Soldier's Girl' bring the lives of transgendered people to the small screen

BY GLENN GARVIN
[email protected]

The conversation would have made Calpernia Addams wince, if she hadn't already heard it a thousand times before. Walking down the street at Sundance Film Festival, the center of the hip filmmaking universe, the phrase floated out of the cloud of deal-cutting babble: . . . and then the transsexual prostitute. . .

''In Hollywood, it's like the two words go together, transsexual and prostitute,'' says Addams, who owns a video production company -- and is also transsexual. ``They don't even question it. These guys were pitching some script, and it had a transsexual, so it was only natural that she be a prostitute.''

Addams herself figures prominently in one of two new cable productions that will try to break television's seemingly iron link between transsexuals and sleazy criminality.

The first airs Sunday: HBO's Normal, the story of a fiftysomething factory worker who sets off Richter-scale shock waves in his little Illinois town with the news that he's going to undergo surgery to become a woman.

And later this spring Addams' story will appear on Showtime in Soldier's Girl, based on the all-too-true tale of how her GI boyfriend was beaten to death in 1999 by other soldiers who were enraged by their relationship.

It's a measure of just how brutally transsexuals have been treated by Hollywood that they're treating Sunday's debut of Normal -- which HBO made available at a handful of preview screenings around the country -- as something like the premiere of a new Steven Spielberg epic.

''I get so tired of seeing us as hookers all the time,'' says Diane Arnold, a Broward County transsexual activist and Democratic Party executive. ``Watching this was just a wonderful experience.''

In an age where television celebrates new sexual frontiers with increasing abandon, transsexuals -- individuals whose minds are trapped in the body of the opposite sex -- are the forgotten pilgrims.

NEGATIVE IMAGES

Not that you don't see transsexuals (or, to use an increasingly popular term, the transgendered) on TV. It's just that they're usually wielding a switchblade or a dominatrix's whip. On FX's The Shield this week, a convulsive transsexual crackhead broke into an elderly woman's apartment, giving her a fatal heart attack. Last fall, Fox's John Doe featured twin brothers: a transsexual locked up in a mental hospital and his serial-killing brother.

CBS's CSI: Crime Scene Investigation earlier this season even managed to wrap just about every antisocial impulse known to mankind into a single transsexual character: a serial killer who climaxes his career by murdering his mother and then killing himself -- ''a serial-killing, matricidal, suicidal psychopath,'' notes Nick Adams, who monitors Hollywood for the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, dryly ticking off the disorders on his fingers.

''Hollywood has gotten the message using homosexuals exclusively as psychopaths and sociopaths is unacceptable,'' says Adams. ``But for transgendered people, it's somehow OK.''

Movies, too, have more than their fair share of cross-dressing ax murderers. But film directors seem more willing to consider transsexuals as actual characters rather than exotic gimmicks, sometimes with spectacular results: John Lithgow got an Oscar nomination for his motherly former pro football player in The World According to Garp, and Hilary Swank won the award for her portrayal of a doomed barfly in Boys Don't Cry.

But although transsexual characters have appeared regularly on television since at least 1975 -- when Archie Bunker unknowingly gave one mouth-to-mouth resuscitation in the back of his cab in All in the Family -- they're treated as curiosities at best. When Helen Shaver played a college professor for a few episodes of the 2001-2002 CBS series The Education of Max Bickford, she was the first -- and apparently last -- regular transsexual character in prime-time history.

''You can often find stock transsexual characters on television, usually during ratings sweeps,'' says Adams. ``The two most popular are the Freak of the Week -- a killer, psychopath, murder victim, prostitute -- or the Tragic Tranny -- suffering from some horrible disease caused by their sex-change operation.''

The rare character who falls outside those boundaries will still be used mostly as a punch line or punching bags. On Fox's Ally McBeal, where gays and ethnic minorities were inevitably treated with politically correct kid gloves, the title-character lawyer squirmed and made faces when she had to share an elevator with a transsexual woman.

There's nothing cartoonish about Normal. It not only charts the volcanic emotional upheavals triggered by a revelation of transexuality, but documents some of the pragmatic difficulties when a grown man must learn to walk, talk and dress like a woman -- a process painfully familiar to most transsexuals.

TOUGH TRANSITION

''I did feel like I went through puberty at age 24,'' remembers Addams of her own transition. ``Learning to wear a bra, makeup, date boys, all that -- everything other girls learn at age 13. And we're alone. Most of the time society hates us -- people think we're freaks or whatever -- so you're doing all this alone. And it can be really hard.''

But Normal is fundamentally a love story, not a documentary on transsexuality, and not everything in it gets high marks for accuracy. Doctors who treat transsexuals say it focuses too much on surgery and not enough on psychotherapy. (Transsexual patients must undergo a year of psychiatric treatment before they're eligible for surgery.) And some transsexuals say the movie's happy ending, in which a marriage survives the husband's transition to become a woman, is unlikely.

''It didn't really tell the real story of the heartache, anguish and pain of losing everybody in your life,'' says Broward's 68-year-old Arnold, who hasn't seen her children or grandchildren since her own transition six years ago. ``Nine times out of 10 you lose your family.''

It's not just family bonds that are torn. A transsexual who elects to ''go full time'' -- that is, begin living as a member of the opposite sex -- also puts friendships and careers at risk. The notion that genitals don't always equal gender still makes many Americans uncomfortable, a full five decades after an ex-GI named George Jorgensen returned from a Copenhagen clinic as Christine and first brought transsexualism to public light.

''We threaten a lot of people,'' says Andrea James, who operates a website ( www.tsroadmap.com) offering help to transitioning transsexuals. ``We stand outside the binary gender system, and for a lot of people, that complicates life too much. Even the gay community is uneasy with us.''

Addams can certainly attest to that. When her boyfriend Barry Winchell was beaten to death by other soldiers at Fort Campbell, Ky., four years ago, gay activists often referred to her as a male drag queen rather than a transsexual woman. Because if Winchell was dating a woman, then how could his murder be called gay-bashing?

SILENCE

Addams, who was taking female hormones and living as a woman at the time but hadn't yet had surgery (she since has), didn't want her sexual identity to distract public attention from the murder. She kept quiet -- a decision she regrets.

''If I could do it over again, I wouldn't let that happen,'' she says. ``I felt marginalized. And to just say Barry was gay and leave it at that was an oversimplification at best. Barry had only dated women before me. And he considered me and treated me as a woman when he dated me, which was certainly how I saw myself.''

When Soldier's Girl airs later this spring, her real story will be told. She's seen the movie and loves it.

''I think any change in societal perception of us is going to be glacial,'' Addams muses. ``But every little melting drop, every little movement we make in the right direction, is important.

'I'm really excited that millions of people are going to have the chance to see empathetic, sympathetic transgender characters. Maybe some of them will say, `Wow, that's an interesting person. I wish I could know somebody like that.' Maybe it will open a door.''
Old 06-02-03, 10:04 AM
  #3  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Times Square
Posts: 12,135
Likes: 0
Received 4 Likes on 2 Posts
I thought it was a very respectful, well-done presentation, and I hope lots of people will get to see it - but somehow I never was as emotionally involved as I expected to be.
Old 06-02-03, 10:07 AM
  #4  
Moderator
 
Groucho's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Posts: 71,383
Received 122 Likes on 84 Posts
How was the ending of Boys Don't Cry "toned down"?
Old 06-02-03, 04:02 PM
  #5  
DVD Talk Ultimate Edition
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 4,688
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Originally posted by Groucho
How was the ending of Boys Don't Cry "toned down"?

Well it seemed to rushed & 'theatrical' rather than down & dirty gritty like the more powerful moments in the film.The sequence where they force her into the bathroom to find out what she is. Is filmed documentary style & is really powerful.

Yet for the ending,they filmed it to movieish & somewhat fake rather than effective.

+ The real story of what happened was alittle more brutal,violent & sickening. There was one extra victim & the baby may have been killed as well. It's been awhile since i saw the documentarty The Teena Brandon Story,which mentioned all of this.

Yet they seemed to have shyed away from much of this material despite going all the way previously in the film.
Old 06-02-03, 04:14 PM
  #6  
Moderator
 
Groucho's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Posts: 71,383
Received 122 Likes on 84 Posts
FYI, the baby was not harmed in the real life killings.
Old 06-02-03, 07:08 PM
  #7  
DVD Talk Ultimate Edition
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 4,688
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Originally posted by Groucho
FYI, the baby was not harmed in the real life killings.
Ok,thats good to know. The first time i caught the docu,i just missed what was said that really happened..& they mentioned something about a baby,how terrible it was ect. Yet just recently A&E aired a episode on it..& i finally saw what really happened.

Yet still the ending of the film did not strike me as hard as the rest of the film since it didn't seem as effective as it should've been.

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.