Defying GravityDirector: John Keitel
John Keitel's tale of college life, Defying Gravity, comes to DVD with a standard full-frame transfer. The English soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital Stereo. There are neither subtitles nor closed-captions on this release. Supplemental materials include the trailer. This is a fine release from Wolfe Video.
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Cast & Crew
|Daniel Chilson||John (Griff) Griffith|
|Niklaus Lange||Todd Bentley|
|Don Handfield||Pete Bradley|
|Linna Carter||Denetra Washington|
|Seabass Diamond||Matthew (Doogie) McDougal|
|Ryan Tucker||Gary Buchanan|
|Nicki Lynn Aycox||Gretchen|
|Laura Fox||Mrs. Bradley|
|Kevin P. Wright||Mr. Bradley|
|Jon T. Howard||Songwriter|
|Scott McPhail||Production Designer|
|Billy R. Miller||Costumes/Costume Designer|
|David Clayton Miller||Producer|
|Darryl Patterson||Sound/Sound Designer|
|Bob Peterson||Art Director|
|David Tarleton||Asst. Director|
|Tim Westergren||Score Composer|
1. "So, what's her name?" [:12]
2. The Ultimatum [:12]
3. The Denial [11:24]
4. Taking the first step [19:01]
5. Avoiding Todd [4:59]
6. Griff breaks down [10:49]
7. The truth is revealed [9:30]
8. Starting over [15:14]
Masks of Lies
Redemption of Love
Sometime's It's Love
In the Closet
Campus Coffee House Guitars
Until the River Runs Dry
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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''Defying Gravity'' is a good effort in the coming-out genre. It's grounded in the architypical Southern California frat house for atmosphere and, unfortunately, doesn't stray far from there. The characters are fairly whitebread and the plot uncomplicated. Even in the face of such commonplace, the emotional atmosphere could have been sharpened and made far more compelling with dialog calculated to reveal some emotional depth, not choke off its characters' development. The protagonist (Griff) is limp, not conflicted. And the synergy between Griff and Pete (Griff's love interest) doesn't really get a chance to develop. That's not to say the movie's poor; it could have soared with a tighter script that showed its characters grappling with the reality of queerness and the mystery of love.
Mere words cannot express how I feel about this movie. I saw and wanted to cry at the the end. This movie is just absolutely the best. I just love it. I have to own it on dvd now.
''Defying Gravity'' is a very, very special film. While it may not have the ''profundity'' and ''greatness'' of many others, it touched my heart in a way that not many other movies ever have. The story of affable, box-next-door ''frat boy'' John ''Griff'' Griffith's coming to terms with his sexuality, under the most distressing of circumstances, is told in a way that seems so very real and immediate that I think you would have to have a heart of stone not be moved by it. Daniel Chilson, who plays Griff, does so with such sympathy and unaffected sincerity, that once cannot help but feel his emotions within one's self. From the beginning it is obvious that, deep-down, he loves Pete (ably played by Don Handfield) very, very much. More, in fact, than his is willing or able to admit to himself. It takes the horrible beating that Pete endures at the hands of a few of Griff's homophobic frat brothers to make Griff realize that he can no longer deny Pete - or himself. It is Griff's unselfishly supportive best friend Todd, touchingly acted by Niklaus Lange, who ultimately acts as Griff's ''savior''. In the climactic scene of the film, Griff, who is on the verge of a complete breakdown, is taken away to a favorite mountain retreat by Todd, who knows that something is very seriously amiss with Griff. Up in the mountains, looking out at the beautiful scenerey, Griff tells Todd the whole story of how he and Pete ''found'' each other and became lovers. While Griff tells Todd the story, a flashback is shown, illustrating the events of that day. As a result, Griff says to Todd, ''...all at once everything is different.'' When asked by Todd if he loves Pete and Griff says ''...I've never been so sure of anything...'' one's heart just melts. In the few scenes between Pete and Griff you can feel their sexual tension. But you can also see, in the almost unwilling smiles and ''glow'' that both men take on when their eyes briefly lock and they momentarily drop their defenses, that their relationship is much more than just ''getting their rocks off'' - this is a true and life shattering love. If you have a heart, whether you're gay or straight or something in between, you will love this film.
Defying Gravity is a great movie, although the script is weak in some areas. The 3 lead actors Daniel Chilson, Don Hanfield, and Niklaus Lange, play their characters with ease. I highly recommend this movie, it's worth watching.
It is easy to see this movie as nothing more than an over-the-top made for TV movie or after-school special. However, if one looks deeper, Defying Gravity is one of the best coming-out films out there. Griff, the ultimate Frat boy, must come to terms with who he really is, when friend and lover, Pete, is gay-bashed. Director, John Keitel, and main star, Daniel Chilson (Griff), not only show us, the viewer, what it is like to be confused, gay and vulnerable, they also deliver the themes of coming-out in a time of gay-bashing and what it is like to be young and gay in fresh, poignant fashion. Definitely a must see, especially if you are looking to affirm your own beliefs or understand a culture that is different than your own.
Initially I thought I'd be turned off by the melodramatic plot of this film.. but after watching it, I found it to be quite touching. I thoroughly enjoyed it.