The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin

The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin

Friday, May 12, 2017 - 9:00pm
Community Partner(s)
Media Partner(s)
Jennifer M. Kroot | 
US |
 2017 | 
92 minutes

The title of the film really says it all! As a veritable open book, American writer Armistead Maupin virtually created the idea of an ‘out’ gay writer. However, despite his honesty, there are a few chapters of Armistead’s life that remain little known. Until now!

In Jennifer M. Kroot’s warm and deeply affectionate film, Maupin tells his story in his own words. Friends and colleagues including Neil Gaiman, Laura Linney, Olympia Dukakis, Sir Ian McKellen and Amy Tan weigh in, but Armistead needs little help. A natural born raconteur, he talks about his first sexual experience, and then bursts into the torchy standard, “Is That All There Is?”

It wasn’t until he finally accepted his sexuality and came out that his writing career blossomed. The film is a treasure trove of archival material, which parallels Maupin’s own story with that of San Francisco’s role in the history of LGBT rights. The ground-breaking work Tales of the City is remembered by Olympia Dukakis and Laura Linney who portrayed iconic characters Anna Madrigal and Mary Ann Singleton in the PBS adaptation. Maupin’s former coworkers from the SF Chronicle also remind us just how radical it was to even read stories about transgender folk or same-sex couples anywhere in 1976, let alone in a daily ‘family’ newspaper. Heartbreaking and hilarious in equal measure, Kroot’s film does Armistead’s legacy justice. -JB