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Lance Loud: Death in An American Family

2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Lance Loud
  • Studio: WETA
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002IC5ZF8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #580,484 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Decades before the advent of American broadcasting networks' ubiquitous reality programming, a story unfolded on public television that changed television history by spotlighting the true complexities of post-modern middle class family life. The cinema vérité documentary series An American Family premiered in 1973. An audience of 10 million viewers watched with fascination the unfolding real-life drama of the Loud family of Santa Barbara, California. The program challenged conventional views and depictions of middle-class American family life, documenting marital tensions leading to divorce, a son's gay lifestyle and the changing values of American families. Lance Loud, the charismatic eldest son of the family, emerged as the leading personality of the series, making no secret of his gay lifestyle in episode two. A gregarious, free-spirited youth, he was the first openly homosexual person to appear on television as an integral member of American family life. Loud became a very public personality, inspiring legions of young people, both gay and straight, to feel free to be who they were and who they wanted to be. Having his life scrutinized on television had its benefits and it burdens. Loud, emerging as a gay icon overnight, became a television star simply by being himself, and for a time he reaped the benefits of fame, becoming a rock and roll performer and, later, a writer and columnist for Interview, American Film, Details and The Advocate. On the other hand, Loud's most famous quote was "Television ate my family," referring to scars left on the Louds after having their lives laid bare before a national audience. In the end, Loud reportedly found that celebrity was hollow. Nothing could ever measure up to that initial burst of notoriety and he spent years trying to find himself again, struggling through substance abuse and other dark episodes.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By C. L. DuBarton on February 1, 2012
The cinema verite documentary series by WNET, An American Family, certainly gave the Loud family more than 15 minutes of fame, thanks in no small part to Lance Loud, who came out as gay in the second episode. It may have seemed by straight America that it was some kind of pre-planned agenda by the film makers to foist the seamy [to some] values of homosexuals upon the unwitting and socio-politically opposed. Strangely enough, although it absolutely was not planned, this follow-up film proves that Lance Loud, while seeming a particular poster boy for the most outrageous gay agenda, with his pop music mini-success, his affiliation with Andy Warhol [whose 15 minute quote seems particularly apt here] and his journalistic career, gives the original film, and this one, it's raison d'etre. This is because Lance went through a very American vortex of momentary fame followed by a downward spiral of lessening careers and diminishing health that mirrored the society reluctantly accepting gays in small part, only after so many began to die of what was first called the gay disease. This last chapter, both for Lance and the Loud family, is fittingly brought to a close by Lance's friend Rufus Wainwright singing better than anybody since Judy, Over The Rainbow, accompanied by his mother on piano, at the family's service for Lance. A fitting final punctuation that brings the full arc of An American Family to rest, but not to a close. This series, with this last chapter, proves that sometimes we get, and deserve, more than fifteen minutes. As such, the entire series should be released on DVD, with this film included.
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7 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Kay_Rock on May 29, 2011
"1 available" and it costs 200 bucks? I can't believe Amazon allows ripoff artists like this to even be on their site.

Let's just hope that that amazon adds this to their on-demand system and puts this person out of business.
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