Stars, No on 8 Supporters Turn Out for S.F. Milk Premiere 

No on 8 protesters lined Castro Street, shouting at the top of their lungs for marriage equality as Hollywood gathered for the premiere of Gus Van Sant's Harvey Milk biopic. Emile Hirsch, Josh Brolin, James Franco, Diego Luna, and Sean Penn were all on hand. Penn, notoriously press-shy, got out of his car and went over to shake hands and give a thumbs-up to the protesters. It was a fitting celebration of a great man's legacy. 

BY Corey Scholibo

October 29 2008 12:00 AM ET

 Milk PREMIERE Lane Brolin X390 (GETTY) | ADVOCATE.COM

The film played
amazingly well, and throughout the theatre, audience
members had audible reactions to every historical
moment it brings to life. As Dan White, the killer of
Milk and Mayor George Moscone, opens a window at City
Hall to sneak in that fateful day, people were gasping
as if to say, “That’s it. That’s the
window he went through.” There were few dry
eyes, and attendees expressed almost universal love for the
film.

The premiere
after-party was held at City Hall, the setting for not only
that scene but many more in the film. People were shuttled
on cross-country tour buses to the venue.

Levi's was
well-represented at the party as models handed out denim
bracelets imprinted with 'Milk," and at the end of the
night guests received gift bags with "Milk" on
one side and a denim pocket on the other. In one of
the venue's wings, vintage pictures of the people and
places depicted in the film were on display alongside
photos from the film. One of the film’s most
applauded moments, during the final credit
sequence, tells the fate of the activists
involved, fading to pictures of them in real life from that
era.

In another wing
1970s music played. With no VIP area, the film’s
stars were positioned at tables near the entrance
where Hollywood and San Francisco society intermingled
-- that is, except for Sean Penn, who was noticeably
absent. Josh Brolin (who plays Dan White) and wife
Diane Lane held court at the center, shunning press
and looking so absolutely in love. James Franco, who
plays Milk's lover, Scott Smith, was there with
his entire family, including his younger brother, who said
he will soon be staring in a horror film. Casey
Affleck was also in attendance and hovered around
Brolin’s table. The film’s writer, Dustin
Lance Black, had tons of friends in town; he had
elicited almost as much applause as Sean Penn when Van
Sant introduced the cast and crew before the
screening.

Tags: Film

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