“ There is a painful beauty in this movie ” – Robin Williams
August 11th 2014 was a dark day. That was the day we lost Robin Williams, one of the most beloved actors ever lived. He made fans laugh to the bringe of tears with brilliant performaces in Mrs.Doubtfire and Aladdin and stand-ups, making his suicide linked with severe depression even more devastating. Befroe Robin took his life, he left us with one last film Boulevard. A year and a week after his passing, TIQFF secured the rights to premier it in Taiwan during the Festival where audience can enjoy his last magical performace on silver screen. The feature film has received high praise at Tribeca Film festival as well as Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. Its debut in Taiwan will take place in the 2nd Taiwan International Queer Film Festival which begins on Oct. 23rd.
In Boulevard, Nolan (Williams) has a good family, a decent job and a nice house but he is drowning in this meaningless routine of everyday life. One night he encounters a young gay prostitute Leo (Aguire) where he finally starts to come to terms with his inner struggle as a married closeted gay man at the age of 63. Director Dito Montiel wants to remind the audience that the societal norms are never normal. When he read the script, many things jumped out at him. One of them was that age should not be a burden when one decided to change. He learnt that lesson from his parents who divorced at the age of 70. He recalled saying to his mother, “What are you doing… how could you do this?” And she replied, “well just because I’m 70, I’m not dead.” This exchange was burnt in his memory and kept popping out as he read the story. He realized that as long as you’re alive, there’s a possibility to change your life.
To live life honestly takes a lot of courage. Joy (Baker) and Nolan (Williams) are a sweet couple who share a lot of interests but living with no passion. As Nolan decides to face his gay self, it means both of them are on their ways to confront their own selves with complete honesty. Robin Williams notes, “ Following your heart is not the easiest route. It’s often a painful choice to try to pursue.” As Montiel puts it, “Leo was Nolan’s delusional idea on how to possibly… redo it all.” By creating an intimate relationship with Leo, Nolan is fulfilling some regrets and establishing some sort of normalcy of his own. Yet Leo has his own demons to face and is emotionally unavailable at large, leaving the relationship more vulnerable and uncertain. Both Williams and Montiel agreed it should be more about “ ’how do you let go of the love of your life after all these years,’ as opposed to being something more of a triumphant coming-out film.” While Williams describes Boulevard as “ a beautiful, sad movie”, Montiel is not trying to make a teargas of a movie. He comments, “With this film, I’m not looking to leave people crying. I just want the film to linger in people.”