Director: Timothy Greenfield-Sanders
With: Dustin Lance Black, Lady Bunny, R. Clark Cooper, Wade Davis, Ellen DeGeneres, Twiggy Pucci Garcon, Neil Patrick Harris, Larry Kramer, Janet Mock, Cynthia Nixon, Suze Orman, Christine Quinn, Jake Shears, Wanda Sykes, Lupe Valdez, and Wazine Zondon
Director Timothy Greenfield-Sanders has done a number of List documentaries for HBO, such as The Latino List and The Black List. The style of the film is to show each interviewee individually and let them present their story. The common thread between each person is that they are out. The Out List contains at least one person from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered community.
Since each story is different, who and how well you identify with the person varies. The most affecting stories belonged to Larry Kramer, a writer and activist, who lost most of his contemporaries to AIDS, and Janet Mock, a writer, for the importance of being a visible and known transgender person. The most inspiring story belonged to Lupe Valdez, a lesbian hispanic democrat who won the elected office of Sheriff in the Republican stronghold of Dallas County. Interestingly enough, the two stories that had definite points to make and made them also came across as the most rehearsed: Suze Orman and Cynthia Nixon. Orman comes across as the TV personality she is, and Nixon seems to be on autopilot using one of her stump-speeches from a LGBT event appearance.
Ultimately The Out List is an average documentary. At sixty minutes it feels a little long. Without a common theme other than the fact they are all out, there is nothing to hold your attention to a story if you are not interested in what the person is saying. The concept of the shooting style and editing lends itself more to a mini-series of thirty minute shows, then one longer documentary.
Grade = C+