Jenni Olson's acclaimed short documentary, 575 Castro St. is available to watch online now at FilmInFocus.com; the film is also being screened on a continual loop during regular business hours at the HRC Action Center & Store (at 575 Castro Street in San Francisco).
575 Castro St. reveals the play of light and shadow upon the walls of the Castro Camera Store set for Gus Van Sant’s film Milk. These mundane shots are almost bereft of movement and sound. So quiet, so still. All the better to showcase the range of emotions evoked by Harvey Milk’s words on the soundtrack. The audio track is an edited down version of the 13-minute audio cassette that Harvey Milk recorded in his camera shop on the evening of Friday, November 18, 1977 (a few weeks after his election to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors which made him one of the first openly gay elected officials in the United States). Labeled simply: “In-Case” the tape was to be played, “in the event of my death by assassination.”
The sensibility of 575 Castro St. hearkens back to the style of the dozens of Super 8 gay short films of the ‘70s that passed through Harvey Milk’s hands to be processed and developed at the Castro Camera Store. The film was commissioned by FilmInFocus.com to be showcased online in conjunction with the theatrical release of Milk.