Epstein and Friedman strike a few hopeful notes at the end, with the Michael Ontkean-Harry Hamlin kiss from Making Love (1982) and the Tom Hanks-Antonio Banderas dance from Philadelphia (1993) -- modest proof that progress is possible. But the movie is linked to bigger, and darker, themes than it acknowledges: the delusional addictiveness of movies in a rich-and-famous society that promises what, increasingly, it can't deliver; the profound and unshakable religious roots of American attitudes about sex, the body, life itself. The celluloid closet is but one small nook in a dank temple whose creepiness awaits further and more sweeping exploration.
The Celluloid Closet opens Thurs, March 14, at the Castro in
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