The Art of AIDS
BY Benjamin Ryan
November 18 2010 5:00 AM ET
Filmmaker Ira Sachs’s 2010 documentary short, Last Address, presents a look at a set of creative individuals who’ve been lost to AIDS. In roughly eight minutes of footage, the film moves from street view to street view of 20-plus New York City houses and apartment buildings where artists, writers, and performers lived when they died—their last address. Yet with little more than the ambient sounds of the city and the names and addresses of the lost superimposed on frames, the film is riveting. Among the sites visited are the former homes of Keith Haring, Robert Mapplethorpe, Vito Russo, David Wojnarowicz, Assotto Saint, and Reinaldo Arenas. With all of the individuals whose homes are shown having died from 1983 to 2007, Sachs has memorialized in a quiet, beautiful way, as he describes it, “the disappearance of a generation.”
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