Watch: The Laramie Project 2002 123movies, Full Movie Online – Moisés Kaufman and members of New York’s Tectonic Theater Project went to Laramie, Wyoming after the murder of Matthew Shepard. This is a film version of the play they wrote based on more than 200 interviews they conducted in Laramie. It follows and in some cases re-enacts the chronology of Shepard’s visit to a local bar, his kidnap and beating, the discovery of him tied to a fence, the vigil at the hospital, his death and funeral, and the trial of his killers. It mixes real news reports with actors portraying friends, family, cops, killers, and other Laramie residents in their own words. It concludes with a Laramie staging of “Angels in America” a year after Shephard’s death..
Plot: “The Laramie Project” is set in and around Laramie, Wyoming, in the aftermath of the murder of 21-year-old Matthew Shepard. To create the stage version of “The Laramie Project,” the eight-member New York-based Tectonic Theatre Project traveled to Laramie, Wyoming, recording hours of interviews with the town’s citizens over a two-year period. The film adaptation dramatizes the troupe’s visit, using the actual words from the transcripts to create a portrait of a town forced to confront itself.
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|7.1/10 Votes: 6,677|
|92% | RottenTomatoes|
|N/A | MetaCritic|
|N/A Votes: 41 Popularity: 5.528 | TMDB|
See the play
While this film is very powerful for those unfamiliar with the incident and/or the play, I think it loses quite a bit of the depth that the stage version has. The play is a sparkling piece of experimental theater that invariably is produced by small ensembles taking on six to ten roles each. The set is minimalist, usually containing no more than a few chairs and a table. When you take away the visuals, and you take away the famous actors, what are you left with? The words. I think that the movie version takes away from that, with the flashy camera angles and editing. The characters (as they became in the movie; they are more true-to-life in the play) were pretty well-portrayed in the movie, with some disappointing exceptions (Jedediah Schultz, for example). The story still gets through, and you still understand that this is an issue of enormous gravity. But I reiterate my opinion that the play is much better.
Sparkle, tears, hope (H-O-P-E) – This is Laramie, Wyoming
“…And the last thing that he saw on this Earth was the sparkling lights of Laramie, Wyoming.”
Characters are frequently speaking in poetics similar to that in “The Laramie Project,” a film that if it weren’t for its grim subject matter, could probably register somewhere as a darkly hopeful poem that would have been authored by none other than Edgar Allan Poe himself.
Laramie, Wyoming was just a small dot on the U.S. Plains. It rests comfortably on plentiful farmland and everybody knows everybody and there isn’t really a need to lock your door at night. But this small town in Wyoming became the center of a worldwide media frenzy for one cold, dark, chilling winter in October 1998 when 22-year-old University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard was brutally beaten and left to die tied to a fence in an open field.
Laramie’s citizens are quick to denounce the crime, and emphasize that, “they are not a town of hate.” Matthew was beaten, as we later find out, by two local kids, because he was a homosexual. The townsfolk were all hoping these were some out-of-town people but the fact the perpetrators are locals makes it even more heinous.
I guess I should say I vaguely remember the case. I’m 20 now; I was 13 and in junior high school in 1998 when this story broke. For several months, all that was on the news was Matthew Shepard, Matthew Shepard – the gay college student beaten and left to die by fellow townspeople, who were also kids themselves. Matthew, we’re told, wasn’t born a winner; he was scrawny, wore braces until his death, short (5’2″), but he died a hero, at least in the eyes of his father Dennis (Terry Kinney).
I didn’t pay much attention to the story, but looking back now, with “The Laramie Project” still fresh in my mind, I now wish I had followed it more closely. This film, directed by Venezuelan-born Moises Kaufman (and based on his own play), which is the result of a collection of over 200 interviews by his fellow (gay & lesbian) New York theater workers with the citizens of Laramie, Wyoming, sticks with you long after it’s finished, as person after person expresses their thoughts, feelings, and utter outrage that something as horrific as this crime could happen in America. Only IN America, could something like this happen. We are supposed to be in a country where people can live without fear of being harassed for their creed, gender, race, or sexual orientation.
Referring to the film, it makes you rethink American values and wonder: Gosh, is this the degree at which people in this country hate? As a straight African-American male, it frightens me. It utterly, utterly frightens me at how often hate is preached in this country, and people swallow it up like it’s the Gospels; it’s not. Also, as an agnostic, it’s not my duty to say whether or not I approve of the lifestyle myself, but I don’t let that cloud my judgment because gays are also people, and we aren’t perfect. But still, it’s disturbing to see the amount of hate and animosity that was a result of Matthew’s ordeal – “GAYS BURN IN HELL,” “THANK GOD FOR AIDS” – from an evangelical Christian preacher, no less! (It makes me wonder if he really believes his own garbage.)
By the time the film opens, the crime has already occurred, and the two young men responsible – Aaron McKinney (Mark Webber) and Russell Henderson (Garret Neergaard) – have already been brought in and are awaiting trial, as the young (but never seen) Matthew “Matt” Shepard is dying inside a hospital with his parents at his bedside, and a brave doctor (Dylan Baker) keeps the media and nation alert on his condition.
“Matt,” as he was often called by those closest to him, is described as a kind and down-to-earth fellow who didn’t hold a grudge against anybody, gay or straight. Christina Ricci is Romaine Patterson, a lesbian who knew him well and is certain Matt’s beating was no robbery but a hate crime. Two law enforcement people (Clancy Brown and Amy Madigan) involved in the investigation find their lives changed drastically as a result of Matthew: Brown’s character undergoes a radical shift in his personal views on the gay community and Madigan narrowly contracts HIV from handling Matt.
The story is told passionately well in many personal and candid interviews with townsfolk. There are many actors here, some familiar, some not, but each serves as everyone else’s support, since there are no clear-cut stars. Other familiars include Laura Linney as a sheriff’s wife, Steve Buscemi as a philosophical mechanic, Janeane Garofalo as a lesbian school teacher, Joshua Jackson as a bartender, and Jeremy Davies as a theater student who gets the lead in “Angels in America.”
By the end of it all, the cameras pack up and leave, and a shattered town attempts to recover from a senseless spectacle of violence. They have to live with it now, while the rest of America gets to continue scot-free. We’re told, that no anti-hate crime legislation was passed as a result of Matthew’s beating, neither at a federal level or state level. With this in mind, the liberal ideology that things will get better in time no longer holds much water. The message is clear: the Matthew Shepard murder focused worldwide attention on hate, but why has so little been done to curb the violence? (*Shakes his head*) Only in America…
Original Language en
Runtime 1 hr 37 min (97 min)
Genre Crime, Drama, History
Director Moisés Kaufman
Writer Moisés Kaufman, Stephen Belber, Amanda Gronich
Actors Christina Ricci, Steve Buscemi, Kathleen Chalfant
Country United States
Awards Nominated for 4 Primetime Emmys. 5 wins & 18 nominations total
Production Company N/A
Sound Mix Dolby Digital
Aspect Ratio 1.85 : 1
Film Length 2,620.67 m
Negative Format 35 mm
Cinematographic Process Digital Intermediate (master format), Spherical (source format)
Printed Film Format 35 mm