This year, the remarkable independent distributor Milestone -- founded in 1990 by Dennis Doros and Amy Heller -- turns 20. Their impressive catalogue of films will be showing throughout the country all year long, starting this month at the Austin Film Society. But for those who don't live near a big city, TCM will be spending an entire evening, this Wednesday, June 23, paying tribute to the intrepid distributor.
It begins at 8 p.m. with Word Is Out (1977), an extraordinary documentary that was recently released on DVD. With no frills or fat, it interviews 26 gay men and women about their experiences coming out, falling in love, and simply getting through life. It was, of course, filmed before the outbreak of AIDS and other modern problems, but the stories contained therein are still timely and emotionally resonant, to anyone of any orientation who has a beating heart. After that comes the jewel in Milestone's crown, Charles Burnett's Killer of Sheep (1977), which I reviewed for Cinematical back in 2007. It is, without question, one of the greatest African-American features ever made, but also one of the greatest films ever made.