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.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Ga-myeon (Korean) [Rainbow Eyes]

When I started watching the film, I was excited to see that it is going to be a murder mystery but all along the way, I also kept wondering how does this film fit in the gay film bucket. My doubts were soon put to rest as the plot starts unfolding. The climax took me completely by surprise. I was not expecting it. I wish the movie had better subtitles because it seemed like a lot was being lost in translation. Not to be mean but it also took me sometime to get used to all the characters. They looked pretty similar, specially all the detectives (5-6 of them) an trying to differentiate on who's who takes up a lot of time.

Kyeong-yoon and his female long-term colleague Eun-ju work on an especially gruesome case. The victim has been stabbed multiple times and the crime scene has blood all over it. Although the killer has erased his tracks very carefully, the detectives find some evidences which makes them to believe that the victim could be gay and that the culprit must have blood type AB and is male. The detectives soon have found a suspect, but that pretty soon that person also gets killed in a similar gruesome manner. The case becomes a serial murder case and Kyeong-yoon loses track of any lead. Only by chance do the detectives find out that the two victims were part of the same military unit and have been transfered to another military base because of an unknown incident. There was also a third person involved in this incident, who could become the next victim. At the same time Kyeong-yoon is having troubles with his girlfriend Soo-jin. When during their investigation, the name Lee Yoon-su pops up, Kyeong-yoon's past is catching up with him. A truth he would have liked to repress forever crawls to the daylight again, and the investigation enters its finale phase. It turns out that the reason the 3 guys were transferred from the base was because of a rape case of a guy who happened to be a very dear and close friend of Kyeong-yoon. But Kyeong-yoon wanted him and the guy to be man enough and he suppressed the feelings throughout his life. The ending comes as shock in who is actually the main culprit for all these murders.

The film is super efficient, moves at at brisk pace, back tracks to causes and brings all the lines together. There's a lot of dialogue, but mostly plot points, so lot of subtitle to follow. The clues and the twist are given progressively to you so that he audience is as involved in trying to find the culprit. This is half the battle won for the film. It's not easy for the audience to sympathize with certain persons, something that becomes especially apparent with Kyeong-yoon, who becomes more and more unfathomable towards the end. And for those people who read it so far are still wondering how does this film still fit in queer cinema, you have to watch it. I would not wanna spoil someone's fun.

If you are looking for a decent korean thriller, then you will get what you want with this film. (6.5/10)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Beau Travail (French)

Another one of those films which needs immense patience to watch it. I have that at times and then there are times when I just can't wait for a film to finish. Unfortunately, when I saw this film, I was in the second category. Reading reviews online tells me that this film is supposed to be a masterpiece but I nowhere felt that. In fact I dont even know why this film is classified as gay cinema. Yes, there are naked fit men all over but that itself doesn't qualify it for gay cinema.

Galoup is an officer at a French Foreign Legion outpost in the Gulf of Dijbouti, where he enjoys a close relationship with the Commanding Officer and works with a team of fit young men who work hard all day and play hard all night. When Sentain, a new recruit, joins the troops, Galoup believes that it upsets the delicate balance between the C.O. and the other men. Sentain is well-liked by his comrades for his good humor and selfless nature, and his virtues make him the C.O.'s new favorite. Galoup is jealous of the attention Sentain receives, and he devises a plan to discredit Sentain in the eyes of the other men and have him drummed out of the service. Galoup's plot is found out, however, and Galoup is stripped of his rank and sent home.

Although the story is so simple, its execution is soooooooo slow. There are numerous scenes of recruits just training, walking in the city and just socializing. Agreed the idea was to give the film some authenticity but then there should be some pace to the film. If you can't even hold the viewers attention to wait to see what happens next, what is the point of creating artsy cinema where people are not even going to wait. It was never very clear what the actual nature of relationship between Galoup and his CO was. Was it sexual or just respect. What exactly was it that made Galoup jealous of Sentain. Sometimes I would feel that this film is some form of musical tones minus the music part. It is very hard to explain how I felt during the film and even after watching it.

My recommendation for people who have similar tastes like mine to avoid viewing this film but there are plenty of poeple who loved this film. (0.5/10)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Out In The Silence (Documentary)

"Out in the Silence" is an earnest work. The low-key film-making is not dazzling or kinetic; however, the subject is important and worthy of study. Yes, it is predictable but is surprising at the same time. How much ever we think we are growing in terms of our thinking, the fact is there are still so any small towns and so many people that would do anything against homosexuals.

Joe Wilson, a resident of Washington, DC, where same-sex marriage is legal, weds his partner. Perhaps in a conscious desire to stir the pot in his hometown, Oil City, Pennsylvania, he sends a wedding notice to the local newspaper. Predictable hate-filled letters to the editor are received and published. Help comes in the form of Kathy who is a mother of a young teenage boy CJ who happens to be gay and who is constantly bullied at school. They meet and Kathy tells Joe all the details about CJ and how suddenly he no longer is a school jock but just a faggot. Joe's interactions with local pastor is the highlight of the film on how even small changes in people's thinking can help. We also get to see the life of a lesbian couple who have been living in the same town for a long time and command respect. It seems people have problems when it comes to marriage and being out and open about their sexuality. The mother Kathy takes the school board to the law and finally gets justice and things start improving for CJ in life.

CJ brought a certain zing and liveliness in this film which could have been a little boring at times. His struggle and his mother's quest to get justice for her son was real. I am shocked to see that we are in 21st century. After watching the documentary, I wish I could something for the gay community and back in my country do something to make people ore aware of the whole situation. By God's grace my life has been relatively less harsh compared to some that we see in these films but if all of us could do a little bit, then lives of growing teenagers struggling each day of their life would be much more easier.

This documentary is definitely an eye-opener for all those who still think that being gay is against Jesus. (6/10)

Boys On Film 7: Bad Romance

Opting to explore the darker side of love, this collection of short films alternates between dark desires and sweet affection. Some of the works arrive with a twist in their tale, whilst others are somewhat low in gay visibility, if high in humanity.

Curious Thing (USA)
This film sets out to examine the lives of gay men in NYC in this opening part. Exploring the growing bond between two men, both straight to the world, but equally aware of their burgeoning feelings for each other, emotions are set to test the boundaries of their friendship when one realizes he is gay and other is not. I think this short was beautiful.

Cake And Sand (Germany)
Tim and Julian’s relationship would seem to be the envy of many. Yet behind all the smiles, lies the reality that their relationship spark is no more. Knowing such, both are determined to re-light the romantic flame, only are their loving efforts to be in vain? This poignant piece raises the question of when exactly does love die? Beautiful.

Watch Over Me (Israel)
Close to completing his final training, Eitan, a soldier enlisted in an elite army unit, is taken out by his team mates, only for their drinking session to be cut short upon the arrival of Shahar; an openly gay man. It is a situation that Eitan’s superior turns to his advantage, challenging Eitan to queer bash Shahar. Only has Eitan got what it takes to earn his stripes?

The New Tenants (Denmark/US)
This dark humoured piece tells the story of lovers Frank and Peter and their first hours in their new apartment together. Down on their luck, things are about to get a lot worse, when their welcome committee consists of a noisy neighbour, a crazed husband, not to mention the local drug dealer. Having just moved in, can they make it out alive?

Just Friends? (Korea)
Read Here Just Friends?

Mirrors (Canada)
Julien, a melancholic teenager who alongside his brother Antoine, arrive with their parents at the family lakeside holiday home. Only far from being at ease, Julien is soon rejecting offers to get up close and personal with the local girls, preferring instead the company of his musical neighbour Hervé and in turn his close friend / pianist. It is a friendship that is set to see Julien realise his path in life.

Communication (New Zealand)
Told from the reflective mindset of Jacob, we encounter this young man as he finds himself bequeath the estate of his former university lecturer Andrew. Taking a tour of a property once visited, memories come flooding back as objects on display vividly recall times past spent with a man only too happy to court the affections of a youth, struggling to reconcile his religious and sexual callings in life.

The Traitor (Israel)
What happens when love turns cold? Well in this dramatic, intimate, short showcases your seemingly everyday loving couple Tomer and Shmulik. Yet not everything is what it appears to be, as over dinner Tomer announces his intent to move out. Only is Shmulik prepared to let his lover go, without putting up a fight?

The Strange Ones (USA)
A man and a boy walk a lonely highway, until the boy chances upon a free swim courtesy of the outdoor amenities of a roadside motel, unaware that a female member of staff is watching them. Making her acquaintance, a faulty drinks machine takes up most of the time of the man, leaving the boy alone with the girl to tell her his alarming take of life on the road; a tale that differs to that told by the man. Weirdly funny.

Cappuccino (Switzerland)
Read Here Cappuccino

Another brilliant collection in the series. (6.5/10)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Nine Indian Short Gay Movies

This one has to be some of the worse acted and directed shorts that I have seen. Agreed, some of the story concepts are very interesting for short films but they are handled so amateurishly, that it is a little embarrassing to watch. The only high point is that at there is a start and Indians are starting to make shorts (maybe even features) on gay themes.

A Clouded Sky - A recently out gay man wants to commit suicide because he is fed up of everything. HIs best friend is trying to stop him but he gives all incidents which are reason enough for him to take this step.

A Hidden Identity - A young boy walks through his normal life but is in closet. When he comes out, everyone reacts very negative and he ends up taking his own life.

Astitva - A young eunuch boy is looking for identity. He ends up joining the eunuch group in search of his identity to see where he fits in the best.

Gay - 2 homeless men are shivering in blistering cold sharing just one thin blanket. The only way they have to keep warm is body heat.

In The Closet - A comic twist on how both husband and wife are cheating on each other with 2 different men and how their secret comes out when both their lovers are hiding in the closet, literally!

Incredible Adaption - A lazy, good for nothing man is shunned by everyone including his wife. He pretends to become a eunuch just so that he can get some money and respect from people around him. Pathetic portrayal.

Kalavana Kanavu (Stolen Dreams) - 2 friends are very close (maybe lovers). Their life changes when one of the friends is about to get married to the other friend's sister.

Malayalam (The Present) - When his wife leaves him because he is gay, our man hires a gunman to shoot him because he cannot commit suicide. HIs wife returns but it is too late to cancel no. He gets shot.

The Man who Loved Me - WHen your best friend tells you that he loves you and is jealous that now you have a girlfriend, things do not remain the same. IN heat of arguments, the man ends up dying.

Like I said, some concepts were interesting but execution was bad. You also could realize that it seems every story ends in a death. I bet things are changing now in the country. (2/10)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Mannen Som Elsket Yngve (Norwegian) [The Man Who Loved Yngve]

What i liked best about this film that it was not your regular run-of-mill coming of age story. It was a film with maturity and a very authentic feel to it in which many of the scenes and the characters were handled. Till now it is very hard for me to say whether our lead character was bi, gay or even just straight. There are moments when you just fall in love with a person. There is no reason behind it, sometimes sex of the person doesn't even matter. You just feel a connection and this film tries to give us a portrayal of that.

Jarle is a regular teenager, who is a part of a band with 2 of his good friends. He also has a girlfriend with whom he is very much in love with. Enter Yngve, a new student in the class and for some strange reason, Jarle gets instantly attracted to him. He wants to do everything that Yngve does, so much so that he starts missing his rock band practices and even starts avoiding his girlfriend. Till this point, Yngve has not given any hint that his either gay or interested in Jarle. Things take such a turn that Jarle has to now choose between Yngve and his friends. In a strange twist of events, Jarle bashes up Yngve yelling that he is gay. This happens right after he tells him that he loves him. Yngve cannot take this anymore and he tries to commit suicide and is now in a rehab institute. Jarle visits him after days of struggle and cannot contain himself when he sees him. The ending though not positive, shows that Jarle really cared for Yngve. You will never know whether he truly loved him or not. If he did, why could he never have the courage to do so.

An engaging and tender story, this film also shows the struggles with admitting true feelings when it comes to a same sex relationship. Jarle fears violent retribution from his father and emotional disapproval from his mother. I wish the movie had a little more to offer during the whole length of he film. There is so much that happens in the last 15 minutes, that I personally wish the film makers had spent more time on etching out those details of Yngve's and Jarle's relationship. I liked the friendship that Jarle shared with his straight friend. Unfortunately in these kind of stories, the girlfriend is always neglected. I feel, someone should make a film of what the girl goes through when she gets dumped by a guy for being gay.

My first Norwegian gay film but overall pretty impressive. It could have been a better if treated a little different, more streamlined beginning with maybe a positivie ending but still it is one of the better films that I have seen in recent times. (6.5/10)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Father And Son (Russian)

Another one of the recent weird films that I have been seeing. This film has absolutely no plot and there are scenes that just go on and on and on for a long time without giving much push to the story. The camera loves the two lead actors to the extent that I simply could not figure out if paternal love was crossing over into incest or just homo-eroticism.

Father and the son live alone in a rooftop apartment in their own private world and are very close to each other. The extent of closeness is never fully explained. Following in his father's footsteps, Alexei attends military school. He likes sports, tends to be irresponsible and has problems with his girlfriend. But his girlfriend cannot fathom the closeness between the father and son. Enter another guy who is supposedly the son of the father's old friend. He enters their life and slowly their world starts to change wherein the father is first close to this new boy and then the son become the friend. The film goes on for a while and ends when the new boy is asked to come live with them. Th film ends abruptly as it started.

The lead characters and their male friends spend a lot of time urgently telling each other they need to talk and then staring into space, or down at their shoes, or at each other. Both the lead characters were very good looking but it always left me wondering what the hell was going on. Either the print I had something to do with it but there was no difference between the father's and the son's voice. The dialogue delivery was so monotonous as if it was just a reading of the script. Although the movie and scenes seemed to suggest homo-eroticism, but nothing ever actually happened to reveal this one way or another.

A completely useless film. (1/10)