Last Address: A Remembrance of Loss

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Last Address: A Remembrance of Loss

Last Address is a quietly elegiac documentary short film by filmmaker Ira Sachs that uses exterior images of the houses, apartment buildings and lofts where a group of New York City artists who died of AIDS were living at the time of their deaths to mark the disappearance of a generation.

Keith Haring, Robert Mapplethorpe, Norman René, Peter Hujar, Ethyl Eichelberger, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Cookie Mueller, Klaus Nomi…the list of New York artists who died of AIDS over the last 30 years is countless, and the loss immeasurable. Last Address is a remembrance of that loss, as well as an evocation of the continued presence of these artists’ works in our lives and culture.

Last Address: A Remembrance of Loss

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World AIDS Day: A Compassionate Commemoration of Loss and Recommitment

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World AIDS Day: A Compassionate Commemoration of Loss and Recommitment

I used to be afraid of dying,
I’m not afraid anymore,
I’m more afraid of what happens,
To the people who live.

Saturday, December 1st, is World AIDS Day 2012, an annual opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against the devastating AIDS pandemic.  It is a day for commemorating the 30 million people who have been lost to AIDS-related causes, to honor the 34 million people presently living with HIV and to recommit ourselves to creating a future without AIDS. From 2011 to 2015, World AIDS Day has the theme, “Getting to zero: Zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS-related deaths.”

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Elton John: The Last Song (From “And The Band Played On”)

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Photography by: Thomas Alleman

30 Years From Here: The HIV/AIDS Epidemic’s Impact On Generations

The HIV/AIDS epidemic gets a hard-hitting overview in 30 Years From Here, a poignant documentary that uses personal accounts from victims, activists and medical experts to show how the “nondiscriminatory” disease has shaped and affected their lives over the past three decades. ACT UP founder Larry Kramer and playwright Terrence McNally are just two of the high-profile voices featured in this documentary. In 2012, 30 Years From Here was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

30 Years From Here: The HIV/AIDS Epidemic’s Impact On Generations

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And The Band Played On (1993)

Randy Shilts’ book And the Band Played On was the first critical study of the development of the AIDS epidemic. Insightful, detailed and passionately argued, the book generated tremendous interest as well as a number of controversies, particularly with sections of the text that appeared to be critical of some segments of the gay community. And the Band Played On (1993) is the award-winning docudrama based on Shilts’ book, which includes clips of actual news reports and documentary footage of a number of authentic events, such as a moving, candlelight memorial procession in San Francisco.

And The Band Played On (1993)

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Philadelphia: Lest We Forget

Philadelphia: Lest We Forget

Philadelphia stands as a landmark film in the portrayal of gays, AIDS and homophobia; the film battled long-established social barriers and helped put a heroically human face to the long-suffering gay community. Tom Hanks won a deserved Academy Award for his portrayal of a previously energetic lawyer who wastes away into a gaunt, diseased AIDS victim. Bruce Springsteen also received an Academy Award for Streets of Philadelphia, his first-ever song written for a movie.

Bruce Springsteen: Streets of Philadelphia

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A Sentimental Christmas Story: Boots

A Sentimental Christmas Story: Boots

Boots is the music video for The Killers’ new Christmas single, continuing their tradition of releasing a magical Christmas song every year since 2006.  Boots is a triumphant, heart-wrenching video directed by major filmmaker Jared Hess, with a solo performance by Brandon Flowers.  Proceeds from the song and the video will go to the Product Red Campaign, a charity that supports World Aids Day and raises awareness about AIDS in Africa.

Boots doesn’t go for the usual kind of general Christmas-time uplift: While Flowers details a quaint domestic setting, what we actually see are heartwarming scenes of a homeless man on the gritty streets of Las Vegas pulling himself up by the bootstraps through the magical art of street performance.  Watch the video for Boots below; then call someone you love and cry like the 12-year old child inside you wants to do.

The Killers’ Charitable Christmas Song: Boots

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World AIDS Day 2008: To Respect and Protect

World AIDS Day 2008: To Respect and Protect

Today, December 1st, is the 20th Annual World AIDS Day, a day when individuals and organizations from all around the world come together to bring attention to the global AIDS epidemic. According to UNAIDS estimates, there are now 39.5 million people living with HIV, including 2.3 million children. Around half of all people who become infected with HIV do so before they are 25 years-old, and they are killed by AIDS before they are 35. Around 95% of the people with HIV/AIDS live in developing nations.

However, HIV today is a threat to men, women and children on all continents around the world. Started in 1988, World AIDS Day is not just about raising money, but is also about increasing awareness, fighting prejudice and improving education. World AIDS Day is important in reminding people that HIV has not gone away, and that there are many things still to be done.

D. Patrick Zimmerman, Psy. D.
(Disembedded)

Bruce Springsteen: The Streets of Philadelphia

Many words may make it sound contrived
But somehow we’re alive
The survivors-Our heads bowed
The survivors-At memorials for other faces in the crowd

Teachers and artists
And Saturday girls
Or twinsets-and-pearls

If life is worth living,
It’s got to be run
As a means of giving,
Not as a race to be won
Many roads will run through many lives
But somehow we’ll arrive
.”

The Pet Shop Boys, Miracles

Red on World AIDS Day

Music Audio: You Raise Me Up:

World AIDS Day 2008: To Respect and Protect

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World Aids Day: Leadership Must Keep the Promise

World AIDS Day 2007

Yesterday was World AIDS Day, which is observed each year on December 1st. It is dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection. AIDS has killed more than 25 million people, with an estimated 38.6 million people living with HIV, making it one of the most destructive epidemics in recorded history. Despite recent, improved access to antiretroviral treatment and care in many regions of the world, the AIDS epidemic claimed an estimated 3.1 million (between 2.8 and 3.6 million) lives in 2005, of which more than half a million (570,000) were children. The concept of a World AIDS Day originated at the 1988 World Summit of Ministers of Health on Programmes for AIDS Prevention. Since then, it has been taken up by governments, international organizations and charities around the world.

While in recent years much attention has been focused on global AIDS, it is essential that we not overlook the fact that the disease remains a significant public threat in the United States, where it has become a nearly forgotten epidemic. Consider this: every 13 minutes, an American is newly infected with HIV, and 10% of them are children and adolescents under 24 years old. More than 500,000 Americans have died from the illness in the past quarter century; moreover, in the 30 minutes it takes many people to commute to work, AIDS steals the life of another American.

Philadelphia: The Pet Shop Boys

The Survivors: The Pet Shop Boys

From the Lyrics:

Many words may make it sound contrived
But somehow we’re alive

The survivors – Our heads bowed
The survivors – At memorials for other faces in the crowd

Teachers and artists
And Saturday girls
In suits or sequins
Or twinsets-and-pearls

If life is worth living,
It’s got to be run
As a means of giving,
Not as a race to be won
Many roads will run through many lives
But somehow we’ll arrive.

Stop AIDS: unaids posi+ive

World Aids Day 2007

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The Pet Shop Boys: “Miracles”

A TRIBUTE FOR WORLD AIDS DAY

Upon the observance of World AIDS Day 2006, The Pet Shop Boys’ 2003 recording of Miracles somehow captures the interpenetration of loss, sadness, hope and determination that almost always characterizes a sense of what life is like for those living with HIV, as well of for those who have beloved ones who have succumbed to this affliction during the past twenty-five years.

THE PET SHOP BOYS: “MIRACLES”

World AIDS Day, 2006

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