“I just feel like something shook me and woke me up”.
I Am Michael, based on the New York Times article, “My Ex-Gay Friend”, on former Gay activist turned paster, Michael Glatze, is the newest collaboration between writer director, Justin Kelly, and James Franco. Both Kelly and Franco already tackled LGBT issues in previous projects including their last collaboration, the “Boogie Nights of gay porn”, King Cobra. I Am Michael paints quite a different picture.
Gay activist, Michael Gaze, spends his time counseling young gay men on homosexuality, pushing them to accept who they are and who they love. But Michael, who suffers from having lost both mother and father, obsesses over the ideas of life and death and draws closer to religion until he eventually decides to embrace Christianity and to denounce homosexuality.
What happens if someone openly gay chooses to stop identifying as gay? What could it be triggered by? Should it be perceived as betrayal? How responsible are spokesperson? These are a few of the issues raised by Kelly in I Am Michael.
If Kelly is only on his second feature, we can easily assume he will continue to treat LGBT issues. With I Am Michael, Kelly proves that his films are not just stories in which protagonists happen to be gay but aim at truly exploring wider LGBT issues, even if it means going from the opposite point of view.
I Am Michael, from executive producer Gus Van Sant, brings together an impressive cast including James Franco, Zachary Quinto, Emma Roberts and Charlie Carver. I Am Michael opened in the US on January 27 and will be released in the UK in the next few months.
“We’re always changing. Evolving. And I’m open to that”.