Queer On Demand double feature (part 2): When I Knew | Buzz Blog

Monday, October 5, 2009

Queer On Demand double feature (part 2): When I Knew

Posted By on October 5, 2009, 3:41 AM

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Now Available: The frothy, entertaining documentary When I Knew ---

Synopsis: Mostly A-List-ish gays and lesbians recount their self-realization stories

Rating: Three-and-a-half (out of five) rainbow pride-striped hankies

How to Navigate: Select > On Demand | Premium Channels | MAX On Demand | Movies | A-Z | When I Knew

Remarks: It's the kind of documentary that is accompanied by a coffee-table book. The book, assembled by Robert Trachtenberg from personal testimonies, eye-catching photos and illustrations, attractive typefaces and expensive print-stock, is amusing and at times thought-provoking. Easy to pick up and set down, it can be read in small bites while one takes those daily, quiet breaks from the hustle-bustle of everyday life. That is to say, it can usefully take a proud place in the bathroom alongside the New Yorker and David Sedaris.

The 45-minute Fenton Bailey/Randy Barbato documentary is very much in the same lighthearted vein -- although, unless their homes are very extensively cabled, viewers will have to choose some other room in which to enjoy it. While watching the video, as while reading the book, you'll find yourself reflecting on your own adolescent sexual inklings. (For my part, I had forgotten how damned sexy that back-pain guy on the Doan's Pills box was!)

Glossy, well-produced and guaranteed not to tax the attention span of today's modern viewer, When I Knew is a fine bit of entertainment -- but not necessarily a ground-breaking documentary for the LGBT movement's historical archives. Watch it when you need a bit of perking up -- then try playing it in the background during a cocktail party. Who knows? It may spur a heartfelt conversation or two.

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