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.

Monday, April 25, 2011

L.I.E. Long Island Expressway

L.I.E. is the coming of age story of a boy who must quickly develop resiliency to cope with the loss of the things closest to him; his mother to the L.I.E., his father to the criminal justice system, and his best friend Gary to the lure of California. This story rings true because it's something that happens in the real world all the time, whether people want to admit it or not. The film captures events and emotions that are complex, challenging, and confusing. But does it make up for an interesting viewing, lets see ahead.

Howie belongs to a well affluent family and his father is a lawyer. He alongwith his friend Gary, and a few others have been robbing the expensive houses of their Long Island neighbors just for the excitement of seeing how much they can get away with. Howie clearly doesn't need any money but Gary does. One of their escapades takes them to the house of Big John, a macho ex-marine well known in the neighborhood as a man who likes to have sex with young men. Don't that he carries this reputation but people know about it. This encounter is a turning point for young Howie. Big John finds out that it was Howie with his friends who robbed his house. He confronts the teenager and asks him to visit his house if he wants John to not press charges against him to the cops. Howie and Big John develop a relationship which, while the possibility of man-boy sex is clearly implied, is not threatening or exploitative, but provides Howie with the substitute father-figure he so desperately needs over a period of time.

Howie's feelings are a wide spectrum: confused, repulsed, lonely, defiant, confident, aroused, at times even suicidal. Everything about the film sounds right but for some reasons it just failed to hold my attention. In retrospect, I think it was the pace with which the movie moved. It was a little slow for him. Also, I guess people who have lived a suburban life can more connect with something like this. The story for me was somewhat unbelievable. The ending is a cheap shot. The movie and the ending have so little in common that it's as if the last scene is spliced in from a different film.

The film has got excellent reviews throughout. I must have missed something that everyone else saw. (3/10)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Altitude Falling

What the hell was that film. Certain things about this film just made no sense whatsoever. What was the point that the film makers were trying to put across? Why did they have to set this film in future? It was all just too bizarre. Agreed they wanted to show what could potentially our life be in next 50 years or so but it is still not good enough reason to make a bad film with some really bad acting.

We are in future where every human body has a chip and that is how government keeps a track of you. Somehow there are a couple people here and there who have managed to stay away from being chipped. Middle aged Gary keep all to himself till he meets 20 something Danny. Danny and his mother have just moved to town to stay with her mother until they can find work. It turns out that David's mother was once married to Greg's lab partner. Greg and his partner were the ones who invented the idea of human chips. She is furious with both men for selling out humanity with their invasive invention. Danny's grandmother is a retired actress who became the voice for every scanner on the planet. Greg is still in touch with Danny's estranged father and he uses his prior connections to help get the lad a job. Over the course for some odd reasons, David and Greg become lovers which of course does not go down very well with David's mother. But the bigger fish that they need to fry is the fact that government might do something with the employees of the organization that David works for. Will Greg be able to save his love?

This film was such a drag that I dont even feel like writing a review for this. The acting was really poor on all accounts barring a couple of scenes here and there. I have already mentioned about the plot and what was all those scenes about him talking to his friend and his boss. It was all so bizarre. Also why would Greg wanna parade around naked in a lot of scenes. Just because he is producer director or because being the director he gets to fool around with young naked men. An almost believable plot about people being chipped in future (but who knows) can only be 1 positive thing about this film.

Avoid unless who are looking forward for naked shots of an old man. (2/10)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Kambyo (Filipino)

The film is named Kambyo because of the term “Joy ride”. It is about the journey of 4 gay men (we dont even know if they are really gay) wanting to take a break in their own busy and sometimes pointless life. During the trip, they soon discovered themselves and find the direction they take to move on in their own lives. The film originally hows 2 of the 4 men questioning about their sexuality but then after a while it just presumes everyone is gay and goes along with that assumption.

Cousins Macky and Manuel start on a road trip to look for the Macky's long lost friend Philip. They bring along with them their fun loving friend Xavier, who tags along a hunky guy named Aldo, whom he just met right before their trip. Along the trip they just talk about normal regular stuff that doesn't add much value (actually no value at all) to the movie. As they drive their way up north of Manila, this unrestrained group of three friends and a stranger explore the boundaries of their friendships, their sexualities, their dreams and the future that lies ahead of them. Macky finally finds his friend who is now married with a wife and a son but they both have this feeling of love for one another. They consummate their love so that they can finally move on with their life. After the road trip, Macky is able to let go of his secret feelings for his best friend Philip, who is now married with two children; Manuel is able to express his love for Xavier; Xavier gets to realize that he is worth the love that he has been fearfully avoiding; and Aldo realizes that he still can dream despite the struggles in his life.

The film looks like as if it has been directed by an amateur using a hand held camera. Acting is very amateur except for Macky who is the only mature person in the group. Even the chemistry between friends or lovers is hardly there. Some scenes in the movie go on and on forever. he sound quality was very bad (not that I cared because I was reading subtitles) but you could tell it was really bad. The only good part of the film was Macky and Philip finally meeting, expressing their love and moving on with their life.

Easily avoidable. (1.5/10)

Marathon

This was such a bad film on all accounts. I waited for a while hoping there would be something nice and tender that the film has to offer but I was so wrong and finally I reached a stage where I just could not wait any more or bear the film. There is no concept of screenplay in this film. Combined with a pathetic direction and acting, this film tests your patience.

Based on the real lie story of poet William Meredith and his partner of 17 years Robert. When William suffered a stroke that left him almost helpless, Richard stood by his lover and fought for the right to be his caregiver against the wishes of William's family and aware of the restrictions that would be put on his own life. The film is set against the backdrop of training for and running of the New York marathon. We watch Richard gain the strength to work with his partner and see him help him through his illness, therapy and healing and we certainly feel the love they share.

The film was like random scenes put together here and there with no continuity and a lot of ambiguity. Acting was so bad specially by the guy playing Richard. But I would put more fault on the director because he probably didn't even realize how pathetically bad the actors expressions were. You know, films about love, devotion and sacrifice can be so loving and inspirational but this one beats them all on being one of the shoddiest acted films ever with a very uninspiring screenplay and story.

Stay away. (0.5/10)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Adam & Steve

I saw this film the second time recently. I have to admit that I did not enjoy it as much as I did the first time. I still remember when I saw it the first time, I was completely bowled over but then that was the time when I had just started watching gay cinema. This does not mean it is not a good film. It is a gay romantic comedy which also uses some of its time to also focus on a straight couple as well who happen to be friends of Adam and Steve.

In the 80s in New York, goth makeup guy Adam meets a glam rock dancer Steve and they end up back in Adam's apartment. All the drugs and laxatives get the worse out of them and because of some very unhygienic reasons they never have sex. Fast forward to 17 years Adam again meets Steve who is now a doctor and love blossoms over a period of time. Neither of them remembers the past. Their affair starts with awkwardness, angst over saying ' I Love You' and weird meetings with respective parents. In the meantime we also have Adam's friend Rhonda and Steve's friend becoming a couple. After sometime one day Steve actually realizes that it was him and Adam 17 years ago and that act still makes him shameful. He starts avoiding Adam who cannot understand the reasons behind sudden change of heart. After a series of events, like every movie they also end u being together after a very exhilarating cowboy step dance in a NYC club.

The films funniest moments come from Rhonda's standup act because she once used to be fat and also his lover. This film combines an irreverent sense of humor as well as genuine and heartfelt emotions that demonstrates the trials of relationships whether they be gay or straight. This film is over-the-top at times with crass and unapologetically vulgar humor, but trust me, this film will make you laugh hysterically. Thankfully, there was no sad ending, just a lot of laughs and genuine chemistry between Adam & Steve. My favorite was of course the dance off between the 2 guys by the end of the film.

If romantic comedies and cheesy love are your thing, you will like this film. They are mine and I liked it. (7/10)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Christopher and His Kind (UK)

This film was made for TV Uk film. I am by now very surprised how open Uk is about telecasting TV movies on gay subjects on BBC channel. I wonder when will America ever be so open about these things. Anyway. coming back, this film is autobiography of famous write Christopher Isherwood and his life in Berlin in early 1930s. The film is based on his book which itself became controversial when certain things were written about certain people who now enjoyed a healthy, successful and scandal free life.

Christopher is leaving England to go to Germany against the wishes of his mother. He meets Gerald on the train who suggest he can live in the same boarding house as him run by the landlady. Once in Berlin Christpher meets his friend Wystan (who we later find out that Wystan actually loves Christopher) who takes him to a seedy gay club populated by hustlers. In the boarding house, he becomes good friends with Jean, an aspiring actress. Christopher stars an affair with Caspar who is a hustler. The affair lasts till Caspar suddenly disappears and join the Nazis. Soon Heinz enters Christopher's life who is a street sweeper. They fall in true love for each other. Heinz's mother likes him but his brother, a Nazi sympathizer despises him. jean is left pregnant by one of her suitors and leaves Berlin soon after she gets an abortion. With the Nazis gaining in power, Christopher and Heinz decide to leave Berlin. They travel to England and Christopher tries to secure permanent residency in England for Heinz. Their hopes are dashed, however, when a passport officer denies Heinz a permit to remain in the country. We later find out that Heinz was eventually arrested, spent time in prison and finally in army. Almost 20 years later, when Christopher goes to Berlin again, he meets Heinz again who is now married with a son. He coaxes Christopher to have a family and also proposes that his family could be Chris' family if they can come to America. Christopher refuses to commit to the idea but promises to remain in contact with Heinz.

The guy playing Christopher does a good acting job. At time sI found his accent and mannerisms a little over the top but I am ready to give him the benefit of doubt because of the period the film was set in. It is not an easy job to portray autobiographical characters. The fact that the film was true story of a write makes it much more interesting. Had it been just a regular fictional story, I would be surprised if many people will find it appealing. Some of the explicit sex scenes were also fun to watch. Closing titles convey that the next year, 1953, Christopher met Don Bachardy and the two remained together until Isherwood's death. Christopher and His Kind was published in 1976 and Heinz, shocked at its frankness, never communicated with Christopher again which is completely understandable since Heinz was by then a successful 'straight' man.

The film wasn’t great but it was bravely done. (5.5/10)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Boys On Film 6: Pacific Rim

Drowning (Australia)
Things are changing for Mik. His world has been turned upside down by the sudden death of his big brother forcing him to redefine his place in his family and the world. The one solid thing in Mik s life is his best friend Dan. But Dan has a new girlfriend. BUt dan also will go to any length to be there for Mik because he knows Mik is gullible and all he has is Dan.

Franswa Sharl (Australia)
On a family holiday to Fiji, twelve year old Greg s creative pursuits fail to amuse his father. Setting out to win back his admiration, he enters himself into a competition for a beauty pageant and wins. Apparently based on a true story, this film for a change has a happy ending.

Tanjong Rhu (Singapore)
A former military officer makes a film about a man he encountered in Tanjong Rhu, a secluded cruising ground. He narrates his experiences of how he was caught and put in jail and publicly ridiculed in the media. Again, inspired from a real incident that happened in 1993 in SIngapore.

Teddy (New Zealand)
An earnest Londoner attempts to rekindle an old relationship while on holiday in New Zealand, but a faded old teddy bear from the past ultimately decides his fate. I had seen this one before and it was just ok.

LOVE, 100°C (South Korea)
A hearing-impaired boy, Min-so is gay, and he likes his classmate, Ji-seok. One day, Min-so impulsively has sex with a man who works in a public bath, an experience that lends him a new-found confidence, but at a heavy price.

My Last Ten Hours With You (Australia)
At 6am Jeremy and Mark will go their separate ways. Their last ten hours together over one hot night will be punctuated with friends, fights and frustrations as they wait it out, each dealing with the loss of love in their own way.

Ron the Zookeeper (Australia)
With only one male grey panda left in the entire world, Ron the zookeeper is sent in to get a sperm sample, no matter what. An animation gay short, it was weirdest in this entire selection.

Ajumma! Are You Krazy??? (Hawaii, USA)
Fuelled by their schoolgirl hormones, three Ajummas , aka Korean soap fanatics - the lovable Judy, Susan the gruff-tough one, and Amy the sassy tart - go on a hilarious journey to try and meet Korean superstar Michael Park by stealing his itinerary, breaking into his hotel room, and sneaking on to his music video set. However, they didn't factor in the competition! Hilarious!!

The stories in my opinion had nothing new to offer in this series, although the last story Ajumma made up for everything. This story was hilarious. Must watch. WIsh I could say the same about the rest. (5.5/10)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

La finestra di fronte (Italian) [Facing Windows]

Another brilliant film from the Turkish director who has settled in italy and has made some real good cinema with some pretty prominent gay characters. This film might not come as close to some of his other gems but nonetheless this one also make for a very very pleasant viewing and makes you think that not everything is so pleasant and good as it seems on the outside. Everyone is going through their own issues, problems and solutions.

Giovanna and her husband Fillipo are both not happy with their jobs specially since they work day and night shifts respectively. They constantly argue about everything which kind of shows that their marriage is crumbling but they are together only for the sake of their kids. Once walking they met an old man who is totally disoriented and is carrying a lot of money with him. Despite Giovanna's protests, Filippo brings him back to their home for the night so that he can take him to the police the next morning. 1 day stretches into many days. This old man who Giovanna thinks is named Simone because that is the only name the old man remembers, keeps having strange visuals. He sees himself trying to save lives of various Jews and in the process losing his lover. Taking care of this old man, leads to Giovanna meeting Lorenzo who lives in the opposite building. The sexual tension between the two is quite palpable as they have both been secretly watching and lusting after each other from their dimly lit windows. Their friendship leads to passionate kiss in the process of trying to unravel the mystery of the old man. And now since Lorenzo is being transferred for work, Giovanna is in a tough spot where she can't decide whether to choose her heart and go with Lorenzo or choose her mind and continue with her responsibilities. She chooses later. One day when Goivanna finds a love letter in Simone's coat addressed to Simone from a certain Davide. The next day Simone disappears. After a series of incidents she finds out that Simone is indeed Davide, the famous owner of the bakeries in Italy. She gets the exclusive privilege of learning from the man himself. And the letter is something that he wrote to his old time lover in 40s. That what the time was homosexuality was a complete no no and it was the war time. Davide had heard the news that Jews were gonna get killed, so Davide had to decide between heart and mind. One said save your lover and forget the rest and mind said to protect a many people as you can. He chose the latter and ended up losing his love forever.

The most interesting aspect is how both Davide in 40s and now Giovanni has to decide between their heart and mind and how they both choose responsibilities over the former. The acting by all lead characters is just superb. Giovanna depicts her confusions, frustration and responsibilities with great skills. Davide's character takes time to make sense but when finally it does towards the end, the viewers are shocked. You get to witness how in the present day the 2 lovers behave and meet (although maybe not pure since the woman is married) and similarly how the 2 men used to communicate with each other hiding letters in secret places that only they could read. It is in fact the sad love story of the 2 men that makes you cry and want more. But at the same time it is the beauty of the screenplay and the direction that is completely magical. I feel now I should watch this movie again a second time to closely watch some of the minute nuisances that i might have missed the first time.

Take a bow Mr. Ferzan Ozpetek for you have proved time and again that you are not a fluke. Your films are absolutely magical and very close to my heart. (7.5/10)

Friday, April 15, 2011

KM. 0 (SPanish) [Kilometer Zero]

The title refers to Madrid's central square. This film is a comedic look at the love lives of 14 different people and how they interconnect during one hot August afternoon around this central square. Mistaken identities and second chances are among the results of this comedy of errors. It is actually somewhat of a surprise for its frank treatment of all kinds of sexual relationships.

You are introduced to 14 persons who meet at KM0 on a hot afternoon. Of course, everyone meets people who they think are there to meet them, but they are all meeting the wrong people. Pedro, a young film student is looking to meet his sister's conservative friend ends up mistaking a prostitute for her only to realize the truth later hen it is too late. An old lady bored with her husband decides to meet a hot male hustler but comes to realize a little late in the game that he might actually be her lost son. An uptight accountant, who was supposed to meet a hooker to experiment before his wedding is picked up by a vivacious gay guy who takes him to a nearby bar for drinks. The gay guys missed his internet date because he got snagged by a sexy flamenco dancer and off they have gone for an afternoon filled with fun and love. We also have the bartender who is trying to save money to open his own bar, his fiance who is a control freak, her sister who truly loves the bartender and thinks that she is a better choice for him than her sister. We also have an actress who will go to any lengths to get a part in a film or theatre with a director.

With all these parallel stories going on, you would think hat proceedings could get confusing but they dont. In fact the director does a great job in making sure that all the stories remain simple enough. All sorts of funny and sexy scenarios play out as the day progresses and this i what keeps the attention focussed of the viewer. The obvious message is that our destinies are the result of the most accidental of encounters. Acting wise everyone I think suited their part, its hard to single out any one actor in an ensemble cast. Overall the film leaves you fully satisfied.

Watch it for this one has the right combination of comedy, naughtiness, thought and drama. (7.5/10)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Children Of God

This film tackles the subject of gay rights and human behaviours in the beautiful Bahamas. Among the sunny background of this Caribbean paradise, there is a huge social and religious unrest. The film is a moving, thought-provoking, funny and brilliantly poetic love story of an artist and a closeted musician.

Johnny is an art student in Nassau whose technique is perfect, but he’s creatively blocked. His teacher sends him off to the rural island of Eleuthera where he meets Romeo, a hot musician. They begin a clumsy dance of attraction and romance. Romeo has a fiancé and is identified as straight, but he’s been known to play with the boys on the side secretly. The Bahamas are bound by religious traditions that discourage homosexuality and end up forcing gay men into the closet. Lena is a pastor’s wife. Her husband demonizes homosexuality to further his career, yet he is the one who plays on the side outside his marriage. When Lena discovers that her husband has infected her with STD, she redirects her marital fury into antigay verbiage and a flirtation with a more open-minded reverend. All these characters are all bound together in this intense drama of love, family and secrets.

The film is shot beautifully. Someone like me who has never visited or seen much of the Bahamas, it was a visual treat. Johnny acted his part very well of a white Bohemian art student who is constantly bullied by local black guys. This is not a story of race but a story of faith in identity and love. The romance between the 2 boys develops beautifully. But what surprises you is Lena. She acts her part with such conviction and honesty. In fact each character in the film resonates with authenticity.

Watch it for brilliant acting, visual treat and a story that simply touches you. (7/10)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Reconciliation

The subject of this film was touching and new, in fact it was very touching. Only if the performances in the film would have been better, this could have taken the film to a whole new level. Not many gay films have dealt with the subject of gay father and his straight son. We have seen many with the other way around, but this film in that sense brings something new to the table. It also mixes religion with homosexuality which tends to make it preachy at times.

Grant is a soon-to-be father, who has been behaving strange ever since him and his wife Sara have been pregnant. There is something about his childhood that bothers him. Grant privately wrestles with his embarrassment and anger toward his own father. Things take a turn when Sara receives a call informing them that Grant’s dad, Jeff, is terminally ill and his last wish is to see his son. Grant tells Sara that he abandoned his father at the age of 10 and told everyone that he is dead. Now he doesn't know what to do. On Sara's insistence, Grant goes to meet his father who is now dying of AIDS. With initial awkwardness, starts the struggle for both father and son to forgive past and start new. Grant meets his partner, his friends etc and finds out that his father got AIDS because of blood transfusion. His father and his mother had always remained friends but it was because of Jeff's insistence his mother never told him anything, since Grant was embarrassed about Jeff. However bad the things had turned, Jeff had always and will always love Grant. Jeff also tells how he had to struggle when Jeff's mother and father disowned him. They have long discussions on christianity and homosexuality. Grant finally forgives his father, even asks for his permission to name his soon-to-be born son after his name. Having being forgiven by Grant, Jeff finally dies in peace.

Jeff loves Grant unconditionally despite Grant’s hateful action and inaction towards him. This movie shows that by the end, Grant comes around and is able to love his father and his partner with the same passion. The long scenes where bible is discussed with homosexuality were a little too long. I am glad some of those issues were addressed but here is a thin fine line between information and being preachy. The initial scenes between Grant and Sara were a little awkward. They did not seem like husband and wife at all but later between Grant and Jeff, they portrayed the emotions with raw emotional punch. Jeff acted his part very well. In fact, it was very easy to sympathize with his character and at the same time feel the love for his son in his eyes. Some scenes leave you choked in the film like the one where Grant is graduating and he tells an adult partygoer that his father is dead when he is standing right there. The other one was when Sara asks Jeff his permission to name their son.

This film shows us that it is never too late to forgive. (6/10)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Les Nuits Fauves (French) [Savage Nights]

I thought this was a very weird movie. Actually had I seen it around the time when it came out in early 90's , it is slightly possible that my view could have been different but watching it today made me feel that the viewer was at times being taken for granted. This film can easily be classified as one of those artsy gay films. You need patience and time to watch this film because there is a whole lot going on and actually nothing going on at the same time.

Jean, a professional photographer living in Paris discovers that he has contracted the HIV virus. He is young, fll of life and is shown gay. He meets Laura, a young actress whom he meets at an audition for a commercial he is working on. For some reason he has this instant attraction towards here and they start having sex without any protection, she being unaware of his HIV status. Meanwhile, Jean also continues having random gay encounters, as well as a sexual relationship with Samy, an aggressive and narcissistic young bodybuilder. Laura is angry when Jean finally tells her he is HIV positive, yet her emotional attachment to him becomes more and more intense and they begin living together. She also becomes increasingly possessive of Jean and jealous of his relationship with Samy. Returning from a short vacation, Laura finds Samy and Jean living together, and she reacts furiously. Jean decides to end his relationship with Laura, who is now obsessed with him to the point of self-destruction. Having gone to live with her mother, she descends further and further into hysteria, occupying her time by phoning Jean and screaming insults at him. Laura is treated in a psychiatric ward where she is found to not have the virus. When he sees Laura again, she has nearly fully recovered and has a new boyfriend. She now accepts that her relationship with Jean is over, and they say good-bye to each other.

There is a lot of melodrama between Jean, Laura and Sammy. Jean loves both of them and cannot just seem to choose either of them while he is struggling with being HIV positive. He is a complex character whose love translates into a consuming, sensuous hunger for physical pleasure, companionship, and excitement, as well as living a normal life. This is a film that is not simply about HIV and the way it takes away life, but rather about what happens to a life when HIV enters into it. Laura has acted superb in this film. She gets to play a gamut of emotions and she has used this to her full opportunity.

A semi-autobiographical film from the director, he dies soon after the film got widely acclaimed. (4/10)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Todo lo que tú quieras (Spanish) [Anything You Want]

There are emotional films and then there are films that touch you. This film is one such case. A heart-wrenching story of the sudden death of a young girl’s mother, the film shows the extreme and even absurd lengths a father will go to to make his daughter happy. Some of the steps that the father takes might seem weird but it works in the film because there is nothing else that matters to him except his daughter.

Leo and Alicia live together in Madrid with their 4-year-old daughter, Dafne. Although they both work, Alicia is the one that spends the most time with their child. Leo is more concerned with his job at a law firm and spends more time away from home. Alicia's sudden death changes things. Dafne is missing her mother terrible and when she meets Marta (an old friend of Leo), she asks her if she would like to be her fake mother which surprises both Marta and Leo. Leo wants to give a try but he soon realizes that no one can take Alicia's place and he can never forget her. He decided that he will be both the father and the mother for Dafne. It starts with a small game of Leo putting on lipstick at night, reading stories to his daughter, exactly like Alicia used to do. It greatly comforts Dafne. He takes the next step with wig. Dafne is doing much better now. To be as much like a woman, Leo now has to take the help of Alex, a cross dressing man whom he once insulted in the club. Things get risky when Leo doesn't bother about anyone and is very comfortable wearing wig, makeup and dress like a woman in public to drop his daughter off to school and at the same time continuing to be a man. He is warned by his closest firm at office and also by the psychiatrist at school that Dafne thinks her mother is not dead but Leo makes Dafne understand that it is just a game and he is really her father. The film ends when Dafne asks Leo (who is dressed as Alicia more and more now for his daughter's sake) that she wants to see her dad and when Leo asks what will we do with Mom, she replies when we miss her, we will close our eyes and just imagine her. Leo's hard work finally pays of and father and daughter (not mother and daughter) finally come close.

Leo's actions in the film as per the normal society rules can be potentially dangerous and very surprising and we actually see that in the film when he is actually bashed up by some youngsters thinking he is gay. This was a very bold subject that the film-makers chose and I personally loved it. It was directed with such compassion that even though you think what Leo is doing is not the best but you want to be with him. Never ever have I seen a scenario where a father will go any lengths for his daughter. Morally complex situations are shown with intelligence and compassion. Both Leo and Dafne give standout performances. The pace of the film is just perfect. The last scene when Leo is removing his make-up and Dafne helps him remove it because she now releases that her mother is no more and wants her father back, can easily bring tears in your eyes.

The film is about tolerance and acceptance. Strongly recommended. (8/10)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Moritz (Swiss German)

I loved this film. There is so much more to gay cinema than just petty repeatable themes. It is no nice, warm and refreshing to see something different that comes along the way and touches your heart completely. This film is a very good example of how you can have emotions, drama and a small touch of comedy and still make a film that talks to you and makes you think. It is not to say that the film did not have any flaws but despite everything, it made for a wonderful viewing.

Moritz’s mother is an epileptic who seems to be the only person taking care of the boy.She ignores the severe headaches, until one night she feels so bad that she has to go to the neighbors to ask them to keep an eye on Moritz. The neighbors are a gay couple Ralph and Andi who themselves are struggling in this small neighborhood. The two men are not entirely happy with this new responsibility as they are already having some relationship difficulties, one is under a lot of pressure due to a possible promotion at work and the other is missing city life. At first, they naturally try to find a relative the boy can stay with while his mother is in the hospital. They are able to locate his grandmother, but the boy hardly knows her and prefers to stay at his neighbors. This causes a lot of rumors in the neighborhood since “Two men and a little boy” – seems scandalous for some of the neighbors haunted by their own prejudices. At the same time, the village is preparing to meet the President of the Swiss Republic, and the grandmother of the boy insists that the boy be placed in a “decent “family. How does the mayor deal with this issue and the fact of why and to whom should the responsibility of Moritz go makes for some fun but at the same time thought provoking viewing. Finally, all is well since Moritz's mother has a successful surgery and he can now stay back with his mother.

The best part of the film is the humane story. It is so easy to relate with the story and be touched. The scenes that show how Moritz and the gay couple ultimately warm up to each other to the extent of getting used to each other makes your heart melt. Being gay myself and wanting a child, this just strikes the chord. It is a movie high on emotions but at the same time acted really well by everyone. It was also interesting to see how Ralph and Andi, though they have their own struggles but when it comes to safety and well being of Moritz they stick together. All the supporting characters have also acted really well. How I wish, US made more such meaningful gay films rather than churning out crap (most of the times).

Strongly recommended. (7.5/10)

Monday, April 4, 2011

To A Tee

I have seen worse movies , so it is kinda hard to say all bad things about the film. There were some decent moments but they were so few and far in between that the negatives take over completely the few decent parts of the film. There were times I had to just fast forward the film because they were just random dialogues which after a point became so boring that it was unbearable.

David is a young gay actor. During one of his shows, he meets Amanda and they soon become thickest of friends. David is forever with Amanda. He tells her about his relationship with this guy from his acting class and how their relationship grew and then finally it ended. David then meets Xan who is the director of his play and they go an a date. As always David is again completely smitten by him and says that he is for keeps. Things go on well but David soon gets so clingy that they also break up. He can't understand what's wrong. This is the time that Amanda tells him that she has got a job and she is moving to different town. He is sad but Amanda is fine because at any point it was always about David and never about anyone else. Amanda invites David at her house to introduce him to her boyfriend Kevin. She knows Kevin had history with men. Kevin and David have this instant connection. David doesn't even think about Amanda and starts going around with Kevin. Kevin does not want Amanda to know the truth but when it finally comes out Amanda is completely heartbroken and asks David never ever to meet him again. Ultimately David loses everything. He uses these life experiences in a play which Amanda does come to watch. As soon he runs after her after the play to meet her, he is stopped by a young man and we see David go back to his philandering ways of always trying to find a new boyfriend.

The only best thing about the movie was the same guy playing different roles of all of David's boyfriends. I think that was pretty interesting, plus he looked very good too. There are some long boring scenes like the one where David and Amanda are on a bed and they are just talking. I felt like shaking them up and asking them to shut the fuck up. David (also the producer/director) of the film is ok in acting but I am very curious what was he trying to show in the film. Was it about a gay man's philadenring ways, or about fag hags or about the fact that any man he met , David used to immediately make him as his boyfriend or what?

At best this could have been a good short film. Avoid. (3/10)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Floating

I feel like of late I have been staring my blogs by saying how this or that film is not particularly a gay film. The reason being that just because a couple of characters happen to be gay, does not make it a gay theme movie which was the original intention behind my blog. But since I happened to see this film because of the gay content, I feel the need to review it here. I dont think I would have even heard or watched this movie otherwise. This film is an emotional coming of age story of a young teenage boy. A well-acted film in which sympathetic and complex characters drive the story (which is nothing much to boast of in the first place)

For financial reasons, Van is taking time off from school and taking care of his handicapped double amputee father. 2 of his close buddies also come in the countryside with beautiful lakes and stuff. Van finds out that his buddies have been stashing their break in loot and weed in the cellar of Van's mother's up for sale house. Unexpectedly a family soon moves in that house. The son of the family Doug is befriended initially by the 3 of them to get their stuff out of the basement of the house. Doug is cool when he finds out the whole story. They all start to bond really well to the extent that Doug tries his hand once with his friends to loot some stuff. Doug swims for state and his dad is his coach and Doug realizes that Van is also a great swimmer. Van and Doug become very close friends because of swimming. Doug's father comes off as a hard ass coach who snipes away at his masculinity. One night out of the blue Van discovers that Doug is gay but he is cool with that. Initially Doug is embarrassed but comes around and their friendship continues. Tired of his father's bullying and having to take care of his demanding father, Doug and Van are tired and decide to loot a house and get away. The whole incident goes wrong in which Doug dies and Van and his father finally come together for the first time to transcend mourning.

The best part of the film for me was that when the straight guy discovers that his friend is gay, they remain cool and he doesn't become gay (like we have seen in numerous films). They remain normal friends. Throughout nothing much is happening except the 4 dudes aimlessly walking with bare (good) bodies. When Doug comes in the scene, the proceedings get interesting but then again towards the climax of the film, the story completely loses its tempo. Acting from all principal characters was good. One thing that wasn't clear to me was when they show that Van has to go sleep with his dad every night. Was it because his dad gets scared in the night or something hidden for the viewers to imagine? Till the last minute I could not figure that out. The film deals with a young man's struggle to overcome the tough hand life has dealt him and about the friends he makes along the way. It shows shows how a father-son relationship progress due to various incidents in life.

A film showing 2 young men dealing with finding their own path is a little uneventful at times but slightly better than most crap out there. (5/10)