Filmmaker Stephen Kijak’s excellent documentary on Hollywood heartthrob Rock Hudson should serve as a blueprint for other documentaries that focus on a subject’s very private life. His finely balanced portrayal of one of Hollywood’s great leading men is a respectful account of the star’s closeted public life without resorting to the usual negative sensationalism. … Continue reading
Bafta Nominated American filmmaker Stephen Kijak has carved out quite a niche making some critically acclaimed documentaries about musicians such as Scott Walker, The Stones, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Backstreet Boys, and more recently The Smiths. For his latest film, however, he has captured the narrative of the life of one of Hollywood’s golden matinee idols ROCK HUDSON. The star of such great movies as Giant, Hudson enjoyed a career that lasted more than three decades.
Although discreet regarding his sexual orientation, it was known among Hudson’s colleagues in the film industry that he was gay. This didn’t become public knowledge until 1984 when Hudson was diagnosed with AIDS. The following year, he became one of the first celebrities to disclose his AIDS diagnosis. Hudson was the first major celebrity to die from an AIDS-related illness, on October 2, 1985, at age 59
Hijak’s film is a wonderful celebration of a great actor who even in the closet enjoyed a rather fabulous life, and how his death unwittingly propelled the AIDS Pandemic finally into public conversations that were so long overdue.
This affectionate profile of a real star will be unmissable to those of us who remember him BUT it should also be compulsory viewing for young gay men who haven’t, so they can appreciate such an important era in our community’s history