Started in 2007 to keep a track of gay films that I watched, this blog has come much further than I had planned. There are tons of movies that I need to watch and review here. Through this blog, I want to give you genuine, my personal heart-felt review of the films that I see. These are my personal thoughts and opinions about the films and I would love to hear your thoughts on these films as well. I always reply to comments in a day or two. Please help me make my blog more popular by becoming a member, following it and by recommending it to your friends. As far as I know this is one of the very very few gay movie review blogs where reviews are not linked or copy-paste imdb summary. Enjoy and do keep writing your feedback.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Sister Mary

After a great film, back to a trashy campy gay OTT film. This film is so damn silly that I wonder if it found any audience at all. To make things worse, the film is unnecessarily stretched beyond reason. If they focussed on the core story and stuck to a maybe 6-80 minute runtime and toned down the gayness a bit, the story had some potential

A group of gay guys form a band called "The Ex Choir Boys". One night one of the band members gets killed and another guy sees a nun around the crime scene. Detective mark is assigned to the case, who is a big time homophobic person. And the sheriff invites a very flamboyant detective Chris to partner with Mark on the case. The duo make a couple of arrests but the killings continue and killer nun is on a spree to kill these boys. Pretty soon, the mystery is revealed where the real identity of who Sister Mary is revealed and the history behind the reason for her/him killing the boys.

Yes the film was silly and not that I was expecting much histrionics from the film but the stereotyping of gay men goes on and on and beyond a point, it gets very annoying. I have not seen so many offensive stereotypes and crude gay jokes thrown into one film. I mean a gay detective having sex with witnesses is not my idea of fun. Mark did a good job of acting as the uptight homophobic detective with a secret. Chris was too much for me to handle. The whole point of the guys pretending to be priests to find the killer was so silly. There are random stories and scenes thrown here and there and nudity for no reason. (or maybe we know the reason is to attract the gay crowd).

Its a very indie film which is simply stupid and totally avoidable. (3/10)

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

1985

I had no expectations from this film. In fact I didn't even have an idea of what the film is about and what a pleasant surprise this film turned out to be. Although made in 2018, the film is set around the AIDS epidemic in 1985, which to be honest, is not really told to us clearly until very later in the film. The whole black and white photography and a grainy feel literally transports you into that era. And sometimes less is more and this film is a classic example. The film is never overdramatic, everything is underplayed but you can't help feeling your eyes watering with what's happening on the screen.

Adrian comes to his small town in Texas after three years over Christmas holidays from New York. He justifies that with reason citing to a big promotion at his office and him being very busy. You see a bit of friction between Adrian and his father. The mother is cheery as usual and Adrian's little teen brother Andrew is upset because Adrian didn't let him visit New York. We get a sense that Adrian is hiding something but we are not very sure. When Adrian gives really expensive gifts to his parents for Christmas, they are shocked since they belong to a very religious low income family. He manages to reestablish himself as a brotherly ally, but the weight of secrets withheld from his parents is almost crushing. His father, over drinks confesses to Adrian that he knows about him being gay because he saw him with his "friend" once in New York. He reconnects with an old girlfriend of his from school who still has romantic feelings for him but he makes it clear that he is there to see her as a friend. When he finally comes clean, she (and we) learn that the AIDS epidemic has become brutally central to his existence. There is a hint that Andrew , the young brother, might also be gay, and Adrian leaves a recording for him with some of the most beautiful and encouraging lines. The film ends with Adrian leaving back for New York, knowing very well that this might be the last time he is seeing his family, but unable to bring up the courage to confide in them with the reality he is facing of maybe this being his last Christmas and new year.

This film is different from most other films in this genre, in that this film focuses on the untalked tensions that come to surface because of the gay plague and how an individual gay man deals with it on his own and his family. The tensions where Adrian's father tells him that he knows about him being gay, where the mother hints at being a lot more progressive than he gives her credit for. Even at the end, she tells him that she will wait till Adrian is ready to tell her thinking only about the sexuality, meanwhile Adrian has bigger things to worry. Its painful to watch when Adrian confides to his ex girlfriend about his lover and how he died and how his family treated him even after the death, thereby making Adrian fear even more of his parents reactions. He takes a promise from her that she will tell all about Adrian to his little brother at the right time. This film felt very personal to me, to be honest. An individual dealing with sickness, which may even take his life soon, but is unable to share with his family anything about his life, including the fact that he doesn't even have a job. I liked the fact that we are not told at the outset what's going on. Its only through bits and pieces here and there that we start putting pieces together. Adrian takes pills every night, complains about stomach flu and talks to his dog about who will outlive the other. Its only towards the end we know the actual disease and its only at the end that we also get to see a glimpse of his NY life. The long silences are never awkward in the film. Parents love their sons but at the same time fear for their life and safety and this is the reason for their contradictory emotions. You first feel resentful to the father but eventually you do try to understand where he is coming from. Its the charisma of all the actors and an absolutely brilliant direction that this film goes to another level altogether. The main lead Adrian is simply mind blowing. In fact everyone else is fantastic.

This films never preaches or goes overboard. The way this film manages to force the audience to confront this subject on such a deep and personal level allows us to really think about, and understand the matter a lot better. I highly highly recommend this film. (8.5/10)

Saturday, February 1, 2020

2 Cool 2 Be 4gotten (Filipino/English)

This film also joins the list of movies that do not really fall in the queer genre per say but the underlying theme of coming of age and same sex attraction and a couple of scenes does qualify for it to be reviewed here. The movie is set in Pampanga in Philippines and in summary follows the life of a lonely teenager Felix, whose boring existence is shaken up when a pair of American-Philipino siblings joining his school.

Felix is a young teenager, an over achiever and belongs to a poor family. Because he is super smart, he lives a very lonely friendless existence. When two new high school students, half-American brothers Magnus and Maxim join his school, his life takes a major turn. Since the brothers are not the most intelligent but have money, Magnus hires Felix to teach him for money since they are in same class. Maxim also uses Felix to do his homework. Felix finds himself feeling emotions like none before and finds himself drawn towards both, especially Magnus. We hear the backstory of the brothers' prostitue mother and their absent father. They both want to go to US but their father has remarried and the only way they can now go to US is if they were orphaned before they turned 18. Maxim comes up with a hineous plan with Felix to kill his own mother. Felix uses this secret to watch Maxim naked and jerk himself off but then still goes and tells Magnus. By now Felix is in love with him but Magnus refuses his advances. and in the process of saving his mother, Magnus also ends up dying, leaving Felix again alone all by himself.

The gay subcontext is here that Felix finds himself drawn to both the brothers sexually. Though he doesn't really make any physical advances towards Maxim, He totally fancies Magnus and is also afraid of his own feelings at the same time. It is an interesting underlying theme which is briefly touched upon without swaying away from the core theme. All the actors were really good and the 2 brothers were soooo cute. Felix plays the over achiever student whose family's financial situation is what's keeping him from attaining more than what he's capable of, plays the part to perfection. The Snyder brother's story was nice but could they really have been so rich was a little hard for me to digest but whatever. They were good actors and really easy on the eyes. Don't expect too much drama or gay scenes in the film.

The film is not boring and keeps you hooked at a decent length, but be prepared that it does not strictly fall in the gay genre. Nevertheless an interesting film. (5/10)

Thursday, January 30, 2020

A Closer Walk With Thee

This was a very unusual queer film. A random mix of religion, questioning sexuality and exorcism. And at many places it was unexpected comical (not in a funny way).

4 bible thumping young people are trying to bring the Lord into the lives of people in the ghetto. The lead is Eli with Jordan and 2 girls. Jordan is totally fixated with Eli and we see how he is constantly aroused by his physical presence as well. One of the girls catches Jordan masturbating watching Eli and this creates weirdness in the group, with everyone calling hime a 'pervert'. But things start getting worse when their home gets attacked by the goons. Now, in addition to a local woman, Jordan slowly starts showing signs of demonic possession. Luckily, Eli is a self proclaimed exorcist and he’s ready to do battle with the sinister entity residing inside his friend… but not even faith can protect him from the true evil found within.

I am not sure what I was really expecting from the film. I thought it would be another one of those 'Latter Days' kinda film but the plot was definitely not what I had imagined. There was a lot of t alking and at quite a few places it got very preachy and religion focussed. I feel the film could have gone a notch up if there were some more surprise elements added or something else done. When the film ends, I felt a missed opportunity. The is filled with pining and lusting and fantasizing that it slightly arouses us in anticipation and hope that the Eli & Jordan would get physical but sadly that never happens. The film is shot in a single home at a super low budget. The handsome Eli and wel acted Jordan make up for the low marks.

This film will not be everyone's cup of tea given its a weird mix genre about gay urges, christianity, exorcism, baptism and street gangs. It is all over the place. (3/10)

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

District

I am not very sure what was the whole point of this film. It was all over the place. Although it does reflect various themes like friendship, love, loyalty, sacrificing one's morality for money, Mother/Son relationship etc.

Miller is a 20-ish young gay black man whose mother in prison for his father's attempted murder. There are a few scenes between mother-son that don't add much to the story. Miller is looking for a job and is in a weird physical relationship with another young street boy named Jay. Jay occasionally comes over for food and some sex. Miller is hired for some 'construction job' buy local goons. Even though he is warned by Jay to not trust those guys, Miller desperately needs money and hence takes the job but it has repercussions since those goons have more than vested interest in the deal. The film just goes back and forth, with continuous sex between Jay and Miller and then as random the movie started, it comes to a sudden end.

This film is apparently adopted from a popular book, but irrespective, it makes absolutely no sense. The plot os non-existent, screenplay is terrible and acting is strictly ok. For some strange reason every few words they like to use the N-word. This film is not worth even at a fast forward speed. The only good thing about the film is Miller. He is a hot looking man, with great body and attitude. The audio was terrible, dialogues cringeworthy and just a bad overall experience. Please do not waste your time on this one at all. (1/10)

Monday, January 27, 2020

Dead Boyz Don't Scream

This film is not a gay film at all but given that in almost half of the film you see all males, full naked with their penises flopping around, I don't think anyone else besides the gay audience would be even remotely interested in the film. And trust me, their is a penis in pretty much every single frame.

Chris along with his 2straight male model friends get invited by a a photographer for a cowboy shoot. But as per their agent Tess, they shouldn't do any nude modeling yet. Same night Chris' sister Callie is in town and the 2 other friends along with photographer's assistant party that night. Callie starts having sex with 3 of them but changes her mind. Eventually the assistant is pushed off the roof. To keep the models out of any controversy, their agent Tess asks them to go for the cowboy photoshoot. Surprisingly, the killings continue and one by one people start to die there as well. First the 2 other male models, then the blonde gay couple, then the photographer and another assistant. Tess, her girlfriend and Chris are the only ones remaining alive when the final big reveal of the killer happens.

This movie felt pretty much a joke. The models were naked at the drop of a hat for no reason whatsoever. I mean, I am not complaining about seeing hot bodies and penis throughout but after a while, it loses novelty. The acting by everyone was just fair. Their acting and delivering every lines seems they were reading it from a visual aide and or memorizing it. The big reveal at the end does surprised me, because I wasn't expecting it but besides that if you really do have to watch this film, you can easily watch it at twice the speed. That way you wont have to waste that much time at least. As I mentioned above, this is not a gay cinema per say, but its very clear that the target audience is gay.

A badly acted murder mystery whose only positive thing is a whole lot of nudity, this one can be avoided. Watch porn instead. (3/10)

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Gay Short Films : 69

Roosa Kampsun (Estonia) [Pink Cardigan]
Henrik is a successful actor and comedian. In his private life he is lonely and insecure, struggling with adulthood. He is not homophobe but somehow circumstances always portray him to be one. When he joins yoga and makes a gay friend, will he end up losing him?

Hurt (Singapore)
Explores the theme of rejection, acceptance & hurt with the underlying theme of cheating in a relationship which seems to be the norm in the gay community.

I Go To School Not By Bus (Hong Kong)
A coming out of age story of 2 secondary school students who study in a Christian school. Ming, is in closet and Hei is openly gay., It is a story of self-discovery, struggle through love, loneliness & religion.

Do You, Andy? (Taiwan)
Andy is about to propose to his boyfriend but his parents walk into the restaurant, throwing him entirely. The foursome eat together and by the end Andy's parents let him know they accept him and his boyfriend.

Life Of Silence (Taiwan)
Story of three gay men who are entangled in doomed romances. Silence usually comes with a backdrop, waiting to be stirred bu social pressures. Three gay guys and two marriages. When love and marriage can't go hand in hand, how can marital bliss be realized?

The Goodbye (UK)
A young gay man has to come to terms with the fact that he has 6 months left to live. Not everyone gets a chance to forgive people who have wronged them.

Good Boy (USA)
When his childhood friend, Caleb, returns from military, Macon's mind is filled with flashbacks to a violent and emotionally charged day in his adolescence involving Caleb and his younger brother, Eli. As the day goes on Macon tries to keep his cool while being tortured by the horrific secret about Eli's disappearance,

Eloi & Biel (Spain)
Two youths exploring an empty country house share a moment of uninhibited passion. 20 minutes of soft porn.

A Friend Is Another Self (Thailand)
Ton and Champ study together in a technical school and live a secret love story. One day when Champ doesn't answer Ton's calls, he gets worried. A shocker in in store when Champ hears that Ton is dead. But is it really the truth or love had something else in store?

The Mountain King (USA)
A reserved young man meets an impulsive stranger on a secluded beach. Their brief friendship leaves each subtly changed.

Refugee's Welcome (Germany)
Moonif, a young Syrian man, leaves the refugee camp to wander the streets of Berlin. When he is harassed he is saved by a Czech immigrant who helps Moonif realize the pleasures of flesh.

Das Wolfskind (Germany)
An overwhelming grief for the death of his partner, killed in the worst possible way, right in front of him. He is distant from everyone including his son since he prostitutes himself to support him.

Stay With Me (Taiwan)
2 teens are very close friends. One of them has struggling family conditions. He is stuck in middle between friendship and romance & he seeks for the sanctuary between lust and emotion. During the process, his weak characteristic leads his emotion to happiness, avoidance and pain.

Scorpio Rising (USA)
An army of gay bikers, leather gay bars, pain/pleasure. Sexual and sadistic symbols are intercut.

Call Me A Ghost (Belgium)
The protagonist is going through depression and doesn't leave home. He is visited by a supernatural presence and they have the most visual 10 minute sex scene. Is there a place for desire in the unknown?

Verona (Brazil)
Ten years after the end of the dance music duo Verona, Elias comes to Brazil to meet his former partner, Walter who is going to marry a young man.

Petit Homme (Switzerland)
David is a young apprentice jockey. To get closer to Elias, a handsome boy, & to seek his advice, David spies on him and covers for his nocturnal sorties. Eliab starts to open up, but does David wants more from him.

Hot Legs (South Africa)
Over six days of the tense psychological abusive relationship when a gay man kidnaps his childhood bully to show destructive impacts on him.

Crazy In Sex Dream (China)
Two strangers met at a McDonald's, one follows the other into the toilet. The following day they met up again under a bridge, and the training begins for a master slave love.

Vibro Boy (France)
An old aztec statue brought back from Mexico to France by a transvestite suddenly releases Vibroboy, a superhero endowed with a phallic driller.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Bite Marks

Yet another bad film in my recent gay theme movie watching experience. A gay horror comedy, so my expectations are already pretty low and thank god, because this film is neither funny nor scary. It just went one, with me having a very neutral expression on me throughout waiting for the film to come to some conclusion sooner than later.

When Walsh reaches his work place to drive truck, he is attacked by an unseen force in his cargo. His boss calls up Brewster, Walsh's brother to take up his job of driving the truck and delivering the goods. Brewster meets 2 hitchhikers Cary & Vogel. The gay couple is on a backpacking trip, trying to work through their relationship. Vogel is a player and Cary is the man that loves him. Cary just wants Vogel to love him back as much as he loves him. On a rest stop, Brewster watches the 2 guys fucking. It excites him but does nothing. The three men travel the roads until they reach their destination when the trucks axel breaks and leaves them stranded. When the trucks cargo begins to make some noise, the three men investigate only to find out that they are about to come face to face with a bunch of bloodsuckers. This is where almost the whole of second half of movies deals with sequences of the three of them trying to deal with the zombies/vampires and maybe they can be scared off be cross and Jesus references..

This film can also be termed as a road movie, albeit not a very interesting one. The idea was nice but somehow personally I fell that execution lacked finesse. I wish the character development was done better for Cary and Vogel which would have been nice. Also the blowjob scene between Vogel and Brewster was clearly added for just some titilation and to attract more gay audience. To be honest this film did not have to be gay themed at all.  Also the film had a lot of pop references which sadly I couldn't relate to. The way the gay couple figures out whether these unknown people are zombies or vampires or something else was interesting. The three men argue back and forth and the movie references was interesting but something I wasn't much familiar with. The performances are strictly ok. The film is not as bad as some of the recent ones I have seen.

Personally. I am not a big fan of whole vampire/zombie genre, so maybe my reviews are more harsher. If you don't mind that, then you may actually find this film lighthearted and actually funny. Unfortunately, I don't. (3.5/10)

Friday, January 24, 2020

Socket

What a lame idea for a film! Get high on electricity and use that to your advantage/disadvantage. The makers probably thought that this going to redefine thriller genre but OMG! it was pretty bad. Right from the story and screenplay to the acting, everything was pretty bad with no explanations given on why anything , at all, is happening.

Dr. Bill wakes up in the hospital because a lot of electricity passed though him, but he should be ok now barring few nerve damages. Hot intern Murphy who has been taking care of him wants him to join a self-help group to get over the incident. Things are odd at home where his TV doesn't run anymore. His lesbian friends try to help him but no use. Bill eventually shows up to the self help meeting where people share the horrible story of getting electrocuted and how this group eventually 'saved' them. The group joins hand and connects themselves to a generator where electricity passes through them and Billy finds himself naked in bed with Murphy. Apparently the group gets high on electricity instead of drugs and parties. Eventually Bill and Murphy start dating and bill starts enjoying. Whenever they have sex, it feels filled with electrical excitement. Now Bill craves more and he creates a Wolverine style metal wrist fangs so group members can connect more organically. And now he begins stalking homeless folks to kill them to feed on their electrical energy. The film ends with both Murphy and Bill getting electrocuted in a chase.

This film is so weird and lame that its hard to explain. No explanations are given or asked for the randomness that's going on the screen. An aura is suspense is tried to be created but to no effect. Dialogues are poorly written and acting, as I mentioned above, is very poor. The only saving grace is Murphy to a smaller extent. There are random nude shots of the leads, I guess to attract the target gay audience. I would have enjoyed more had the leads had any chemistry at all. They were just too bland. The sex scenes were boring.

The film is sans logic and any soul or story. I lost complete interest and couldn't wait for the film to end. And as expected, the closing image is pathetically predictable. (2.5/10)

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Unsolved Suburbia

A so called gay mystery 'whodunnit' thriller, this film is so all over the place. This film was so low budget and amateurish that I wonder if this was some sort of a college project or something. Otherwise I would really fail to understand why someone would back this film. On paper the ides might have been good but execution and screenplay was downright bad.

We hear the narration of the film by Marty's voiceover. He is best friends with Jake who looks obviously gay but says he is straight. He is the source of all news of what's happening around. Marty is bisexual and has a boyfriend and a girlfriend. New travel that their friend Thomas has gone into hiding because his boyfriend Eddi has been shot dead and now police suspects Thomas of foul play. With help from Marty, Thomas helps discover the 2 rival street gan leaders (one of them, Angel, who also happen to be Eddi's brother) might be involved. When police arrests Angel, Marty helps them uncover truth. Back home, Marty realizes that his girlfriend and boyfriend have been individually cheating on him with Jake. Marty has enough of this drama, he hits Jake and goes out on his way looking for happiness.

When you have to use voiceovers and occasional text to explain the proceedings in a film, you know there is already some problem. The actors are all bad. They all pretend to be sleeping around with everyone irrespective of gender and the boys get naked on the drop of a hat. Not that I am complaining but it all seems so fake and unnecessary. The scenes in the film keep going back and forth and in the process make a complete mess of everything. It could have easily followed a linear pattern and that way it would have been just a slightly better film. There was nothing in the name of thrill and I couldn't care less why straight acting guys were gay and feminine acting forcing themselves to be straight. It was just a whole big mess.

I would not recommend this film at all. Please save your time and avoid being frustrated. (2/10)

Aya Arcos (Portuguese)

It is very evident that this film was made on a shoe string budget. Also the film is set in the run-down parts of the Rio city which is more poor than seedy, and where old man paying for sex with young hookers is par for the course. To be honest, the direction and the treatment of the film felt a bit amateurish to me. No wonder, later I realized that this was the first film by its director.

Middle age successful writer EduFalls for young and charming prostitute Fabio. Surprisingly the feelings are reciprocated. Edu is going through a writer's block while Fabio on the other hand is young and carefree and spends his time hustling, hanging out with his other young friends. Edu resents the fact that Fabio doesn't seem to care in the world. Also Edu constantly worries that since they are having unprotected sex and Fabio sleeps around, they are risking themselves. Surprisingly Edu comes out positive but Fabio is negative. This adds more tension to the relationship coupled with the fact that another young hustler, a friend of Fabio, constantly tries to come in between the 2 guys. Eventually the two men move apart and move on.

My big problem with the film is a lot of unknowns. Why are the two men together in the first place? Understandably Edu falls for Fabio, but is Fabio genuinely interested or is he just playing a role to get more money and gifts? Edu like shim but constantly complains and is grumpy and hence why does Fabio stick around? You can probably guess why they are together but a bit clarity would help. Also it feels the movie just randomly keeps moving and is expected from audience to piece things together. Who was Edu's female friend and a random older man whom Fabio had dinner once. Why was Fabio's friend relentlessly after Edu (just for money or was it jealously? Even the whole HIV angle was thrown in but then not really addressed properly. It was jus there. Fabio looks charming and acts well. Edu was simply annoying. To be honest, the film is not awful but there are random moments of silence and it completely lacks character development. Hence you really don't care what happens with the actors next.

The film had interesting premise but lazy writing and incomplete and rushed film making makes this experience quite underwhelming. (3.5/10)

Monday, January 20, 2020

Downriver (Australia)

By now I have a seen a few Australian dramas and films that follow the pattern of small mystical town where characters are mysterious, motives questionable and sometimes there is also some sort of sexual exploitation. This film has a nice premise on its hands but in my opinion is let down by a weak screenplay. It is so much all over the place, that its hard to keep a track of everything that goes on, and especially frustrating when the movie just ends and you have to spend next 30 minutes trying to decipher what actually might have happened.

James returns from juvenile prison where he was convicted of drowning a boy whose body was never recovered. He bids a tender farewell to his cellmate and lover and joins his mother who is reluctant to have him back in his life. James' uncertainties concerning the boy's death are made worse by his having blacked out at the time due to an epileptic seizure. He goes back to the area where the incident happened and begins questioning people. He befriends next door boy Damien and wants to meet his childhood friend Anthony who was also questioned for the boy's disappearance. Anthony is a creep who forces himself sexually on Damien and blackmails a local coffee shop owner for money because he seduced Anthony as a minor. Slowly James starts to uncover patterns and realizes that the secret is more mysterious than he thought and may have something to do with Anthony's mysterious family. Slowly questions arise on what happened to Anthony's little sister; why did the two young kids take another kid with them and he drowned. Was their sexual misconduct involved and why did Bettina disappear? James uncovers these secrets by eventually finding the bodies of the two kids.

The films follows a linear pattern with flashbacks thrown in, but is confusing at many points. Why does James visit the old lady with the dogs and what is her contribution? Whats the real story of Anthony's family? Was Anthony abused? Why does he sexually prey on Damien? What happened with Bettina and whats the exact role of Anthony's elder brother Jay? None of these questions are answered and the viewers and supposed to deduce the conclusions. And this is where the screenplay falters.  A slow-burn drama like this needs at some point to ditch the ambiguities and settle on clear motivations and resolutions. But the film never does that and it gets frustrating at the end. On a positive note, the cinematography of the film is brilliant. The mood of the film created goes very well in creating a tense atmosphere. Also sexuality is touched upon interestingly. James is gay and Anthony too (or is he just someone who likes to dominate?). In a small town like theirs, its never made an issue aside from a homophobic slur or two from the margins. Performance wise everyone does a splendid job. James performance as a guilt ridden adult who just needs to find the truth about the young boy is handled very well. Anthony's character remained not very clear to me. Maybe he is just overshadowed by all male member family.

I like mystery films and was hoping more from this, but sadly a lack of a clear story line makes this experience slightly frustrating. None the less, its not a bad film in this genre. Please don't expect this to be a gay mystery. The characters just happen to be gay and their sexuality has nothing to do with the central plotline of the film. (5/10)

Friday, January 17, 2020

The New 30 (Web Series)

Gay web series are an in thing these days. The creators of this series in an interview mentioned that they noticed lack of content about gay men in their 40s and their issues in life. According to them, unlike the popular belief that by 40 one has figured out what they want from their life, there are many folks out there who are still struggling as if they were in their 30s.

The 6 episode series follows Elliot and his diverse group of friends as they navigate their 40s and discover that life isn’t quite what they expected it to be. Elliott is still living with his ex for about a year now. He cheated on him with a guy called Diego, who incidentally shows up as the date of his best friend Reid. This trio goes through ups and down over the episodes on especially when Elliot and Diego get back together thereby breaking Reid's heart. We also meet another gay couple Preston & Aaron who have been together for a while and are thinking of getting married. They are looking looking to spice up their sex life while debating whether or not to have a child. we meet a straight couple who are good friends with this group. The newly dad wants to have another baby but the other has had enough and this causes some friction between the two. And we have Joshua, the Asian guy with whom Elliot went on one date and his ex boyfriend with whom he still leaves. The series ends with Preston & Aaron getting married and Elliot ex finding out that Diego is none other than the same guy with whom Elliot cheated on him.

First thing is that the production quality of this series is actually quite good. It doesn't look half-hearted at all and it does make a difference while you are watching it. As a viewer I tend to take things more seriously. The actors are all new and are quite good I must say. If I had to be critical, I'd say that Elliot needs to go a little easy on his tan and makeup. It is very visible and also I'd have liked to see more character build up for him. It wasn't very clear why did Diego disappear very suddenly when Elliot cheated on his boyfriend and how come Elliot and he still have this connection. This is especially weird when Diego pretty much professes his love to Reid. In the whole scenario, Diego comes out as an opportunist; which I am not sure he was or not. It wasn't very clear. Also the fight between Reid and Elliot seemed reasonable but Reid crazy reactions were not really called for. I doubt if thats really how it happiness. My favorite character of the show was Preston, a guy who is solved, knows what he needs, and is totally in love with his partner. And god!! He was HOT!

At almost 12-16 minutes per episode, this 6 part series is a very easy no-brainer watch. I don't think anyone would hate it but then at the same time, there is nothing really special about it. (6/10)

Friday, January 10, 2020

Macho (Spanish)

My first thoughts were that this film was a reverse gay comedy but as the film progressed, I felt that it kept getting more and more confused. Was it a farce, a wannabe comedy, a satire or just a comment on social expectations. What started off initially as fun, the handling of the gay portions of the film felt so regressive, which is completely unacceptable given the film came out in 2016 in Mexico.

Evaristo is a famous fashion designer of women's clothing. Apparently he used his gay-ness o gain more popularity than his actual designs. We soon find out that even though physically he comes out as very effeminate, he is not actually gay. In fact he uses this perception to his advantage to hook up with women. He is getting a documentary done on him to record his creative process. As there are threats to his prospective empire, his partner suggests that he bring a man in his life and hence he forces himself to date the handsome office boy Sandro (a handsome gay man recovering from the loss of his husband's death), so that it could help him squash the rumors of him being a closeted heterosexual. Series of confusions begins, and finally Evaristo is exposed of being straight guy with the pictures of his escapades with one of his favourite models Vivi all over the place. Though Sandro feels cheated, eventually he helps Vivi put up a great show for Evaristo who goes into hiding. All's well that ends well and Evaristo, Sandro and Vivi end up marrying.

Yes, the treatment of the film is as lame as the story is. It is a cheap attempt at camp LGBT comedy which so carelessly exploits gay stereotypes. Moreover it doesn't even help in advocating for a broader inclusion of the same diversity some of its protagonists so desperately want to represent. Its not to say that its homophobic, but its just stupid at so many levels. Why does Evaristo keep going back to Sandro all the time; why do Vivi and Sandro have this sudden connection, how can a famous person like Evaristo get away with pretending to be gay all this while while he has slept with over 300 women in last 2 years. There are many such scenarios that upset me, like Evaristo kicking Sandro for kissing him, or Sandro saying that sexuality is a choice (what?) and more. On a positive note, the film has a very rich and posh look. It looked like money and effort was spent to make this film very chic and fashionable, both in terms of good looking people and sets and clothes etc. Acting wise the lead actor does a great job, but somewhere the story misses the bus.

It is a very light entertainer but nothing that you would wanna go out of your way to watch this. Some of you may even take offense to a lot of things here. Choose wisely. (4.5/10)

Monday, January 6, 2020

Urbania

This film had received amazing reviews all over and I believe has also won multiple international film festivals. Naturally my expectations were high, and sadly they were not met. A non-linear format of story telling needs a lot of patience and somehow after 30 minutes into the film, I completely lost interest and was barely able to finish through the film.

Charlie is no longer with his boyfriend Chris. He prowls on the streets (either hallucinating or with dreams) of manhattan looking for a man he saw several months earlier.  harlie has other encounters with men who care but he finally meets Dean, who is unabashedly racist, sexist and homophobic. Nevertheless, Charlie, pretending to be straight, buys Dean drinks and smokes a joint with him. Dean takes Charlie to a gay cruising area looking for victims, but Charlie is able to warn away the intended target. We soon find out that  Dean and his buddies had murdered Chris several months ago in a hate crime and Charlie is here to take revenge. But is this real or still a hallucination? In dreams Charlie tells Chris that he has taken the revenge. Charlie is only finally able to sleep when he realizes that finally Chris' soul will find peace.

Because of the topsy-turvy narrative, the film is volatile and unexpected, which according to me was a huge detriment. The film is supposed to be an ode and study of love and loss but it somehow takes a long time to get there and in the process people like me lose complete interest to even care of what really is going on. There are some good performances delivered by an attractive cast scattered throughout but that doesn't help salvage the film in its completeness. Daniel is sexy and handsome and charming as crazy and one can just watch the film for only his sake, if at all.

It might be just me who hasn't liked this film. I am amazed having read all the glorious reviews all over internet but something failed to connect with me as an audience. I wonder if I was not in the right frame of mind. (4/10)

Friday, January 3, 2020

Boys On Film 19: No Ordinary Boy

Wow! This is the 19th film in this series. It sure has come a long way. As the last in its teenage years, we take a look at those unique boys; Boys who will go one step further, who excite, invigorate, and always impress. Boys who break boundaries, shape their worlds and are more than what they appear to be.

Michael Joseph Jason John (USA)
A single man imagines how life might be with a mysterious stranger he picks up on the New York City subway. A romantic thriller exploring one-night stands and the inherent thrill and risks of our hook-up culture.

Maacher Jhol (India) [The Fish Curry]
Having decided to come out to his parents, Lalit spends the day cooking his father’s favourite dish, Maacher Jhol. He pours his heart and soul into the meal before serving his father the delicious fish curry, but will his dish be more palatable than his confession. The film is in an animated format.

Blood Out Of A Stone (UK)
Because first impressions matter Michael sets Dan a challenge on their very first date together. But Dan is out of his comfort zone; he isn’t used to dates requiring such vulnerability. East London provides the backdrop to this intimate story of immediate “connection”.

Vi Finns inte längre (Sweden) [No More We]
After Hampus declares “There’s No More We” he feels total relief, the weight of their destructive relationship slips off his shoulders. For his fiancé Adrian it’s a devastating shock. How can they now help each other navigate the beginning of the end?

Between Here and Now (Denmark)
Visiting Copenhagen, Tony meets local boy Oscar at a bar. Initially cautious, Tony finds himself drawn to Oscar and their relationship rapidly intensifies; they want each other, they need each other, but can each trust the other?

Run(a)Way Arab (UK)
As drag queen Queen Za Dream prepares to go on stage, she recalls the joy of being an 8 year-old boy helping her flamboyant Iraqi-Egyptian mother get ready, and the transgressive moment that broke their close bond. Run(a)way Arab is a semi-autobiographical film from British-Iraqi director Amrou Al-Kadhi.

Meatoo (UK)
A naive actor auditions for a film which could launch his career. The things he’s asked to do make him more and more uncomfortable, until a choice remark from the director makes him see red. Based on a real event, MEATOO is an improvised film that was conceived and shot in a day.

Dusk (UK)
Growing up in 1950s England, young Chris Winters struggles to fit into the gender roles dictated by wider society. When Chris meets dream woman Julie, life lightens a little, but the growing feeling that theirs is a life half lived haunts Chris. They start to imagine what might have been.

Jermaine and Elsie (UK)
Elsie is fiercely independent, but due to a drink problem, is now reluctantly reliant on carers. When Jermaine, a black, sexually ambiguous carer arrives she gives him hell, but patient and caring Jermaine quickly wins her over. When Jermaine disappears without a word, Elsie makes it her mission to find out what happened to him.

Four Quartets (UK)
Raf is young, he’s fun and on the pull, but tonight is struggling to find his place among the crowd. Sometimes it’s that moment when you stop trying that magic really strikes.

After a few disappointing chapters in this series. this latest set of short stories redeems itself with some really touching stories and interesting characters.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

He Love Me (UK)

The idea on paper might have been interesting. A narrative to explore what happens when two gay men in a disintegrating relationship leave the city to spend some time alone, together in nature. But the end result in this case is a modern artsy soft porn lasting more than an hour long over a stretch on never ending monologue.

A couple hitchhike to a remote seaside beach hoping that a holiday away from the city will help them mend and strengthen their relationship. With a background narration by one of them, we get to learn how the couple met, how they fell in love, how slowly the insecurities of one of them with respect to money and career had started to bring distance between them despite the strong love that they shared. One man wonders if the other one truly loves him or not. The love is fragile and eventually the two of them have that big confrontation chat where the emotions are bared and the love that kept them together stays strong for the journey forward.

There are a lot of problems with the narrative. The dialogues don't really sync with the proceedings in the film. The visuals are about the 2 of them lazying around on beach, in their tent, most times naked, having sex and yet the story is all about their past; which makes it hard to focus. The narration is soooooo slow that it can induce sleep to anyone. A fast pace would have been better and that too in a short story format. The good thing is that the two guys are good looking, sexy with nice dicks that you get to see plenty of in full glory. The scenery of Greece and water is beautiful. The two men explore the unconventional nature of love and its ability to survive against the odds.

Besides a lot of nudity and graphic sex, the film is basically a narrated story of a sad life struggling to find happiness in a soft pornesque format. (2/10)

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Last Ferry

When the film started, I had high expectations from the film. The actors looked good and acted alright, the production quality seemed good and somehow I was getting a good vibe from it. But somehow just through halfway I could feel that the plot was getting convoluted and unconvincing. I feel somewhere, the film tried to deal with a few themes and in the process failed to focus on the mystery element which was supposed to be the core of the movie.

Joseph is a young naive gay lawyer from Manhattan who has just arrived to `fire Island for the very first time in offseason weekend for personal and romantic exploration. But he is soon drugged and mugged by a would-be hook-up and in his drugged state, it seems like Joseph may have witnessed a murder. He is found by Cameron, a young handsome sympathetic gay man, who's renting a big house along with his best friend Rafael. As Joseph gets to know Cameron and his friends and the two men have a mutual attraction, Rafael comes into picture after having broken up with his boyfriend. The mystery keeps increasing and soon Joseph feels something odd about Rafael and vice versa. Secrets come out when its revealed that Rafael had killed his boyfriend with the help of Cameron. The intent is never clearly explained and in a vague ending, Joseph flees from the house hoping to catch the ferry back to town while the two friends are still alive.

Let's talk about the goods first. The acting and direction if the film is overall pretty good. There is potential there and the film intrigues you in the beginning. Its the screenplay and story thats a bit of a letdown. Cameron's friends were just an unnecessary distraction and the film could have easily done away with all of them. Had the focus been completely on the mystery and thrill element, the film could have been so much better. The story has random disconnected threads that the makers try to connect but by then its a bit late. The vague open ending of the film doesn't help much to the case either. Its not very clear what were Cameron's real feelings for Joseph. Or the fact that whether Cameron and Rafael had some unsettled feelings and issues between themselves. The Fire Island was captured nicely and beautifully and to be honest I actually missed having not visited the island in a long kong time now.

The film had a huge potential but in my opinion, the makers got a little ambitious and tried to include a bunch of randomness. The film is really not bad but its sad when a film which could have been so much more just falls short. Thankfully the duration of the film was just right and wasn't unnecessarily stretched. (5/10)

Friday, December 20, 2019

Boys On Film 18: Heroes

This series comes of age with ten uplifting and powerful tales recounting the lives of everyday heroes with no special powers except striving for their own identities and fighting for the right for us all to be ourselves.

Daniel (UK) Read here

Buddy (The Netherlands) Read here

Half A Life (Egypt)
Pairing the intimate narration of a young, Egyptian gay activist with a highly stylized animation, Half A Life brings the streets of Cairo to life through this firsthand account of the increasingly oppressive social climate of Egypt.

Undress Me (Sweden)
When Micke meets Mikaela on a night out, he is immediately attracted to her, as he can sense that there’s something different about her. When Mikaela explains that she is trans he gets confused, aggressive and also curious. Undress Me examines and challenges our perceptions of gender.

The Colour Of His Hair (UK)
Based on an unrealised film script written in 1964, when homosexuality is still illegal, The Colour of His Hair merges drama and documentary into an impressionistic meditation on queer life before and after the partial legalisation of homosexuality in 1967. Confusing!

Silly Girl (UK)
Silly Girl is all about the first time you are noticed, that first time someone sees you for who you are and the transformative nature of that moment. It was a weird teenage film that didn't connect with me much.

An Evening (Denmark)
Frederik has had sex for the first time with Mathias, his friend from school. Whilst Mathias embraces what they have done and is keen to move forward, Frederik struggles to understand his own feelings and his newfound desire for Mathias.

AIDS: Doctors and Nurses Tell Their Stories (UK)
For the first time, doctors and nurses who cared for Britain’s first AIDS patients in the 1980s tell of the extraordinary situation they found themselves in and the rules they had to break to help patients forgotten by the state.

It's Consuming Me (Germany)
Read here

Mother Knows Best (Sweden)
A mother gives her teenage son some friendly advice on their way home from having met his boyfriend for the first time, but this innocent conversation leads to revelations that threaten to completely change their relationship, when the boy tells that his father has known all along.

Strictly average fare. these series are sort of losing my attention.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Gay Short Films : 68

Sisak (India)
A silent film, set in bustling Mumbai local train system, Sisak details a romance that develops between two men, slowly and intoxicatingly, nestled in the silences and quiet comforts of the end-of-day train journeys. A return to the unspoken, unsaid and universal expressions of love, on the path of subtlety and humanity, Sisak is the result of the belief that if love knows no bounds, it need not be bound with words, either. Absolutely Brilliant !!

Attention of Men (Canada)
Colt, an aspiring writer meets Ely, a wealthy man. Their relationship quickly evolves into a complex dynamic of father and son. As Ely's demons unravel, Colt tries to manage but fails. A random film about two men, their choices, fights, past, secrets and forms of freedom.

Bruderliebe (Czech Republic) [Brotherly Love]
A melancholic film about two brothers, an incestuous incident & obsession, abuse, and guilt.
Na Hory (Czech Republic) [On the Mountains]
Awareness film on how kids are blackmailed online by perverts but most kids dont confide in their parents. The film is part of the List project safely.

Knus meg (Norway) [Break Me]
Mansour, a boxer, is secretly in an affair with his best friend. But their love is put to the test when Mansour’s strictly religious father learns about the affair, and will do everything in his power to put an end to it. 
Le devoir (France) [The Duty]
A mother's illness sees two siblings returning home to face the closeted circumstances that drove them apart. The sister is secretly in love with the neighbor who was also the brother's first love.

Rough Trade (USA)
A hustler gets picked up by a man with a fetish for branding. The guy must decide to go back to the street or start a new life in leather. Terrible!

Guardian (USA)
Manuel is a gay Latino teen who keeps his sexuality a secret from his homophobic father. HIs mother cares but, she is only able to prove and instill her love through videotapes made from afar.

Matt (USA)
A short tale of two "Matts" - one has been around the block, the other a twink & fresh out of the closet. Matt invites Matt over for drinks, a movie, and a night that will mean much more for one of them than the other.

Stille (Denmark) [Quiet]
About to lose himself in shallow hookups and friendships, one morning the protagonist wakes up to a strange shift in his perception of reality. The film is a visual exploration of a generation's struggle to re-claim feelings of affection and intimacy. Weird!

Les îles (France) [Islands]
Characters wander through an erotic maze of love and desire. An absolutely ridiculous film.

Sabbatical (USA)
A couple grapple with the concept of taking time apart from one another, and dealing with the consequences of coming back together after a mutually agreed-upon separation. Does being apart strengthen bonds, or is it inevitably the first step in saying goodbye?

Ladies Day (UK)
A young, black lesbian spends the day in an Afro-Caribbean hair salon, full of gossip and laughter. Will she be able to deal with the casual homophobia?

Colla (Italy) [Glue]
Domenico is getting over his tormented relationship with Marcello. Domenico finds attraction and affection with Lallo, 14 year old brother of his best friend. A journey of discovery starts, between adolescence, maturity and desires of the two young boys.

Watch Me (UK)
David is being followed by a stranger recording his every move. As the stranger gets closer he sees more of the dark secret that David is hiding from his boyfriend.

Are We Good Parents? (USA)
When Lauren and Bill's 14-year-old daughter says she's going to her first dance with her classmate Ryan, they question their preconceived notions of her sexuality and their openness as parents.

A Normal Girl (UK)
The widely unknown struggles of intersex people is brought to light. It is common practice for doctors to perform genital surgeries on intersex infants on that don't conform to binary sex.

Sirene (Netherlands) [Siren]
Deep down inside, a fifteen-year-old boy feels different from the other boys around him. When he becomes friends with an enchanting girl, he gets more and more tangled up in his confusion.

Carlito se va para siempre (Peru) [Carlito Leaves Forever]
In the Amazonian jungle, Carlito, a silent young man, decides to leave forever because he is in secret love with another man.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Lost Everything

This could easily have been a simple straight forward film focussing on the closeted life of a famous movie star, but there are a bunch of ancillary storylines introduced here which, in my opinion, just introduce confusion to the overall plot and takes away from the focus of the main story. Also, I feel, ambitions of the film were too high but the treatment was done at a very basic level with minimal production qualities which fails to give it a realistic film at all.

Brian is a famous movie star who comes to Miami for a film shoot and is staying at a hotel. He has everything that one could ask for, except he is in closet and cannot be openly gay. The hotel bartender David flirts with him and they both start an affair. There is a journalist who is watching every move and is looking for the big story when he finds out that Brian might be gay. Then we have all these other ancillary stories of the bartender's best friend who is also gay and has a religious famous father, who has hired a team to find dirt on his son's boyfriend and to kill him off. The guy hired to kill him falls in love with the main, best friend who runs a local art store. Then we have Brian's manager, mommy dearest like lady who arranges for a girl Michele to play act Brian's girlfriend (except Michele and Brian are friends). Weird things go on and when David realizes tht this is not going anywhere, he decides to make money out of the whole deal. He makes a video of the himself with Brian and sells it to the reporter. When the reporter refuses to give the video to Brian, the actor ends up killing him thereby destroying himself completely. Michele steals all of David's money that he made selling his video to newspaper. All the ancillary stories have their own endings and one way or the other most people lose everything that they have.

The direction was strictly ok for the film. And the acting was very uneven throughout. David and Brain did a good job but everyone else felt a bit over the top, or somehow just not fitting into the film. The film is a wannabe thriller but instead it's a bit preposterous and its hard to take anything seriously thats going on. There is a lot of talk around the actor coming out and being a role model for the society but things are so fake that you eventually don't care. The movie is a melodrama trying to give lessons but fails on both accounts. The only good thing was some good eye-candy but besides that there is nothing much impressive to hold your attention.

Strictly below average affair which can be easily skipped. (4/10)

Monday, December 2, 2019

Analysis Paralysis

Its been a while since I saw a LGBTQ rom-com. This genre can be a hot or miss. To be honest, I used to be a big fan of this genre but with age, my taste is starting to get better. lol Thankfully, this movie wasn't outrightly bad. It wasn't amazing but given that the film has pretty much only the 2 actors playing off each other for the entire duration of the film, does manage to hold your attention besides a few hiccups here and there and we will talk about it.

Tyler is a young gay writer suffering from a peculiar medical condition called 'Analysis Paralysis'. With this condition, one cannot help but imagine all the possible ways that a possible choice or a situation could go wrong. And if not tackled head on, this condition will lead Tyler into a state of complete inaction. His therapist asks him to deal directly with it by facing his biggest fear, which in this case happens to be his crush on his neighbor Shane. Fighting his anxiety, Tyler manages to ask Shane out for a date and despite a flurry of imagined disasters, the date goes well, and Shane and Tyler ultimately become involved. Tyler confides in Shane of his disorder and he supports him well. The relationship keeps moving forward but not without the hiccups of Tyler imagining all things that could go wrong. Finally, convinced that Shane is leaving as a result of an uncomfortable interaction with Shane’s mom and dad, Tyler steels himself for what he sees as the inevitable rejection. But Shane has plans to propose him and be there for each other forever. But was this all a true story or did just Tyler imagine a whole life even before actually asking Shame out for a date?

Initially the repeated scenes every few minutes of situations that could go wrong got on my nerves and my expectations with the film went down, but eventually it started becoming funny. Some of the situations that Tyler would imagine were really funny and hilarious, especially of their first sexual encounter. The 2 scenes of their dinner and lunch outing with a very uninterested waiter were also hilarious. Shane was particularly brilliant in both those scenes. After a while the multiple scenarios got interesting. The reactions of meetings Shane's parents, of Shane breaking up with Tyler etc were quite funny. The film didn't feel stretched. And thankfully the 2 characters who are there throughout he duration of the film share an excellent chemistry and feed off each other very well. They are both good actors but I felt Shane had a slight edge over Tyler.

A good rom-com needs a good chemistry and some decent laughs which this film had. This is a decent time pass fun one time watch. My rating is not super high because the film doesn't have a repeat value and also there is nothing super great about it. Having said that, it does manage to bring a smile on your face, which a lot of films fail to do in today's time. (5.5/10)

Friday, November 15, 2019

Como la Espuma (Spanish) [Like Foam]

This is not a typical queer film as such. This is more about exploring one's sexuality. But given since our central character was gay, it does make sense to have it reviewed in my blog here. The film is essentially about orgy. Yes, that's correct, but by no means this is a porn film. The orgy serves as the setting through which we see about 10-15 characters besides the main leads and how they are deprived of affection.

Milo is paraplegic and gay. On his birthday he returns to his huge big old mansion with pool with his best friend Gus who was just trying for Milo to have a good time. To make his birthday memorable, Gus texts his sassy transgender friend to throw him a birthday party at the mansion–more specifically, an orgy pool party. And this is where it all starts. We meet all kinds of random strangers and slowly we see a few stories start to develop. A straight couple are going through boredom in their relationship. An older woman, looking for someone, is constantly hit on by a younger guy. A horny man into drugs in drooling over the trans girl who helped throw the party. We also meet a shy girl who recently broke up wanting to explore her wild side and she meets the orgy expert Jorge. And more. In this crowd we also meet Mario, who was apparently Milo's boyfriend from years ago. As Mario and Milo try to re-connect; Gus is still busy making sure Milo smiles and he arranges for a foam cannon because apparently that was one of Milo's favorite thing on his 18th birthday. Gus helps Milo learn to forgive Mario and give him another chance because life is too short to hold grudges.

It was a simple film that never took itself too seriously. It never got too deep into exploring the issues of these people that we get to meet and interestingly they all are given a happy ending. It was mostly an intriguing story of a long bizarre day in the life of a group of strangers. Being a person who is not at all into clubs and parties, this film was a fun, non-nonsense entertainer for me. I don't think the makers were trying to give a message or anything. The purpose was to entertain and to look at life a little more positively. And to this, each character seemed to became a little more sex-positive and free. All actors have done a great job. I just wish that Gus and Milo's friendship was explored a little more because somewhere I felt that maybe Gus had feelings for Milo but he just learnt to be happy with the way things are.

A simple and enjoyable, light-hearted and flamboyant film that is likely to be a feast for the eyes and keep a smile on your face. (6/10)

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Golpe de Sol (Portuguese) [Sunburn]

I would call this film more of an arthouse film in the LGBT genre. The film doesn't judge you for your sexuality, in fact it keeps it fluid, without asking or providing for labels. The film is more about friendship, love and issues that we all have in our lives and the past we can't bury and the future we wanna get.

Four friends are spending a relaxed weekend in a summer house: Francisco owns the villa and is supposedly straight (or bi), who is with Joanna. Joanna is best friends with Simao, a screen writer, secretly writing his next film on the lives of himself and his friends and finally Vasco, a romantic at heart who doesn't believe in hook-ups and has been in an online relationship with  married man, who hasn't met him yet. In morning, they are all surprised to individually have received a call from an old friend David, who is in town and wants to visit them all. We gradually learn about their reasons for being excited and/or scared by his announced visit. David seems to have let each of the four down in a uniquely personal way. And for all the damage that he has previously wrought, each of them secretly hopes that David is coming for them. Francisco and David were lovers when they were teen and decided to take a break, David and Simao brokeup because David wanted a family and kids. He also had a brief relationship with Vasco. The interactions between the four of them change from fun, to whispers to fights to apologies waiting for David who takes almost a full day to come (for a distance that was only supposedly 2 hours).

The film is visually beautiful. Good looking actors who can also act quite well, gorgeous house and pool and a neutral luxury and warmth. Sadly, the character buildup of all these individuals is very little and all we know about is their mutual relationships which also for no reason keeps going up and down. It is hard to relate to the intensity of the issues that they are going through because they all seemed to be hurt by David in some way, but what is it about David, that even after 10 years it a subject of sore discussion and why cant they all forget him even after 10 years. Keeping the sexuality aside, even the whole treatment of the film is very artsy where a whole lot is left to the audience to interpret. I didnt understand why Francisco and Vasco fought, why did Vasco have a random hook-up, why did Joanna get in a fight with Francisco or most importantly why suddenly Simao feels suicidal. I have a lot of questions unanswered.

The film is pretty and stretches too much in its long duration with silences and pool. This film is gonna need a lot of patience but ends up being frustrating because it just keeps going in circles. (4.5/10)

Friday, November 8, 2019

Gay Short Films : 67

Thomas14 (Short Webseries) (Denmark)
14-year-old Thomas has just moved to new school. In his new class, he meets Mads and Emma. Mads thinks Thomas's drawings are cool, Emma is more interested in Thomas himself but Thomas feels huge surge for his sexuality thanks fto mads and Emma's hot brother.

Portret Izgubljenim [Lost Souls of Tommorow]
In this Slovenian film, Tom and Noah discuss their friendship on the last sunset before Tom leaves. What they wanna avoid is to talk about that one drunk night.

Never Again (Thailand)
Nhai keeps switching boyfriends who never last more than a month. When he meets Tae, things are not the same. He feels different. He worries that Tae will dump him because his karma will get back to him especially since Tae happens to be friends with one of Nhai's ex. At 40 minutes long, this film addresses that love can happen more than once, you just have to look. Thing work out eventually.

De Vuelta (Spain) [Back Again]
The story of two childhood friends, Alex and Jordi who meet after two years to celebrate the Night of San Juan. When the storm kicks in, they will have to take refuge in an old mansion, where their feelings will come together reminiscing the old times.

The Feast of Stephen (USA)
A boy gets bullied by boys for being gay. But our man secretly likes it.

The Best Men (USA)
Moments before his best friend's wedding, Peter gets one last chance to rekindle mutual feelings long suppressed, but not abandoned. Sometimes the perfect reminder of first love's passion is but a simple kiss from the best man.

Boundaries (USA)
Jared takes drastic measures in order to gain the attentions of his ex-boyfriend.

Papercut (Australia)
Two closeted actors on their way to their first high profile awards ceremony fight both expectation and each other, as intimacy and insecurity collide in the back seat of a car. It really does show the struggle public LGBTQ people face and it leaves you thinking.

For Better: “Jimmy and Aaron” (USA)
Aaron and Jimmy’s relationship insecurities are brought to the surface on the drive home after dinner with their friends who recently moved to the suburbs.

Lavender (USA)
A raw and realistic portrayal of a young gay man as he grows increasingly entangled in the marriage of an older couple. What started off as a casual hookup becomes a heartbreak for young Andy. A beautiful film with a tender, poignant look at an unconventional relationship as it blossoms.

A Prayer In January (Israel)
On one warm Saturday, a young man is forced to choose between his gay lover and submission to his religious identity. Nice and warm film.

Reforma (Brazil) [Renovation]
Francisco, a plus size gay man recounts his recent sexual encounters with various partners to his female friend in an attempt to improve his own body positivity. Interesting take on insecurity but whats the point when he is not willing to do something about it.

American Male (USA)
A gritty look at rigid gender norms, and how they shape us. Scary sad but true.

Bliss Point
Two boys row silently through a Dutch water landscape. They dock on a remote island where the rest of the world does not seem to exist. A place where a tender love emerges in all vulnerability. They take the time to come closer together until the inevitable takes place.

Three Days & Two Nights (Philippines)
When a millennial gay tourist comes to a an island, the tour guide boy's life changes. Will he be able to accept the changes brought in by the openly gay tourist?

Call Me By Your Maid (USA)
The Perlman's maid has strong reactions when an exchange student comes to stay with the family. This is a hilarious spoof on the film from the maid's pov. Especially the scene when the 2 boys get confused on whom to call by what name.

Bortom (Sweden) [Distances]
A complicated mother-son relationship. Son is deaf and gay and mother had moved back to her birth country. Time has created a weird distance between them.

The Dare Project (USA)
Dare has been my all time favorite short and I have seen it multiple times. This short shows us the same story but also takes the journey forward. Its been 15 years since the swimming pool incident, The 2 boys are grown up and meet at a pool party since high school. The are uncomfortable yet a sense of familiarity and connection they had. Their interactions, playfulness and everything surrounding it is just so real and heart warming that I can't find a fault in it. And the kiss finally happens. MUST SEE !!