Writer-Director of ‘Big Eden’ On 15th Anniversary Re-Release

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Thomas Bezucha never thought “Big Eden,” the first film he wrote and directed, would ever get made, let alone be celebrated on its 15-year anniversary as one of the top LGBT films available in digital form. Wolfe Video will release the newly restored HD version of the film on Blu-ray and Video on Demand on Oct. 13.

The talented cast includes Arye Gross (“Minority Report”), Louise Fletcher (“One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”), George Coe (“Kramer vs. Kramer”), Eric Schweig (“Blackstone,” “Last of the Mohicans”) and Tim DeKay (“White Collar,” “Party of Five”).

“’Big Eden’ was my first time ever on a movie set,” Bezucha told Goweho.com, recalling how the film launched his career. He went on to write and direct “The Family Stone” (starring Diane Keaton, Dermott Mulroney and Sarah Jessica Parker), and direct “Monte Carlo” (starring Selena Gomez, Leighton Meester, Katie Cassidy).

While working for Ralph Lauren, Bezucha wrote the story of Henry Hart, a gay New York artist who returns to his Montana hometown of “Big Eden” to be with his ailing grandfather. Henry settles in long enough to rekindle ties to people from his past, including the love of his life, a strapping straight guy named Dean.

The writer taps into some universal truths within gay society, such as the difficulty of coming out to the people closest to you. Even after Henry moves to the city and is out in every other part of his life, he can’t bring himself to tell his grandfather.

Bezucha also explores how the bond between a gay person and a straight person can result in a legitimate struggle for both. Dean truly loves Henry and wants him in his life, but is, in his real self, straight.

“Sometimes I don’t think gay people get that,” says Bezucha, recalling that when the film first came out, some gay viewers didn’t understand how Dean could love Henry but not be gay.

“They see Dean’s love for Henry and ask, ‘how he can be straight?’” says Bezucha. Adding that actor Tim DeKay, who plays Dean, “got” the character’s struggle, and captured the inner turmoil that he had over his feelings for another man.

Montana provides a gorgeous setting for the fictional town of Big Eden, offering a familiar, safe-and-secure feeling of home.

Bezucha agrees that the support and acceptance of the townsfolk of its gay characters is quite optimistic even now, let alone 15 years ago when the film was made. But he believes that this “Eden” was and is “a place that exists in the hearts of people.”

“I think the more people know and understand that there are people they love who are gay, the more injustice becomes intolerable.”

Another reason to enjoy the film is the music.

“I’m so proud of the soundtrack,” which includes classics from George Jones, Dwight Yoakum, Buck Owens and Skeeter Davis, says Bezucha. “So much of it is what I listened to while writing it.”

For more about “Big Eden” and other LGBT films, see https://www.wolfevideo.com.

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