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, April 25, 2012

Gouttes d'eau sur pierres brûlantes (French) [Water Drops On Burning Rocks]


I am not very sure what was the point of the director behind this film. I mean this could have been an excellent play (which I believe it is based on) but from a theme perspective, it was a little confusing. The film is a commentary on relationships and sexuality. It did shows how a self-indulgent bisexual man restructures the lives of 3 people as he introduces them to new sexual adventures.

50 year old suave businessman Leopold picks up a shy 19 year old boy Franz and brings him back to his house. They both indulge in a verbal game of seduction. Their motive is clear but they play with words. Franz tell Leopold about his girlfriend Anna and how they are going to get married and Leopold tells him about his fiance. Act 1 concludes with Franz lying naked waiting for Leopold. Act 2 shows the 2 men living together, just like a married couple, fighting over every little thing. Franz is in stay home wife mode taking care of Leopold. Meanwhile Leopold is clearly a tyrant in his own place and not about to change for the whims of this young man whom he likes in bed, but nowhere else. After an argument, they switch positions and this time it is Leopold waiting for Franz. Act 3brings more tension when Anna arrives in the apartment. She wants to marry Franz. They have sex but Leopold can't get over the fact of how much he loves Leopold but how Leoplod is over him and he just cries and cries. When Leopold arrives back, Franz wants to leave but this time it is Anna who is completely charmed by Leopold. Last act shows a mystery woman Vera arrive. It turns out that she is Leopold's ex-girlfriend woo was so much in love with Leopold that she got a sex change operation just to please him but Leopold got bored with her an dmade her a whore. Franz sees himself totally trapped in Leopold's love and lust and commits suicide. The film ends showing Anna being his object of seduction and he maybe trying to put her as a prostitute to make quick money.

The movie is a little odd but still holds the attention of the viewer who is just waiting to see what will happen next. The film is very heavy on words but the going ons are kept good by some really good performances. I think Anna's character was not clearly defined, so I think she was not as powerful as the other actors. Leopold acts very well as a mixture of greed, affection, power, selfishness. So does Franz with innocence and as a man completely madly in love with Leopold.

The movie appears to be story of heartlessness and destruction at the core of people and relationships. Interesting fare. (6.5/10)

Noordzee, Texas (Dutch) [North Sea Texas]


It has been a while since I saw a really touching and heart warming, tender and electrifying, gay coming of age story done with such sensibility and sensitivity. An engaging story with superb performances, his movie stayed with me much longer after the film had ended.

Pim, is a 15 year old boy living in a coastal town with his fading beauty queen mom. He is friends with a neighboring family and he is totally in love with Gino, 18 year old son of the family. Pim is a shy guy who doesn't talk much and lives in his own world where he like to paint and draw. He takes care of his mother and other household activities. Having played as kids together, Pim and Gino had been involved in some kid sex moments but things change when one night they get an opportunity to sleep together. They slowly start falling in love, at least Pim does. They do a lot of excursions on Gino's bike and make love to each other. Gino's sister Sabrina has a total crush on Pim. Totally oblivious of her infatuation, Pim is totally fixated with Gino. After sometime, Gino wants to do things 'right' and so he moves out of the house and gets a girlfriend. This totally breaks Pim's heart. Sabrina wants to use this opportunity to come close to Pim but soon finds out that he loves Gino. It takes sometime but Pim slowly starts to come to terms with Gino dumping him. Enter Zoltan, a young hippie who used to live with Pim's family as a paying guest and has now returned as fully grown young man. It turns out that Zoltan was Pim's first ever crush and his feelings all come back but his dreams are crushed again when he finds that Zoltan and his mother are now a couple and they flee the city leaving Pim all alone. At this time, Gino's mother gives him shelter. Pim becomes a part of their family with Sabrina and her mother. Health take s a toll on Sabrina and Gino's mother and she does. The 3 kids are on their own now. Time moves on and Gino returns. This time he is looking for real and true love and however hard Pim tries, he will this time not be able to send Gino back.

This film had so many tender and sweet and lovely moments. All the scenes where Gino and Pim try to get each other eyes in presence of other members was very sweet. It was sweet to see Sabrina's crush and how she would wanna serve orange juice to Pim every time he would walk in. These small moments as teenagers makes this film so real. The love and moments of passion that Gino and Pim share are real and filled with love. At no point , we feel that Gino is using Pim. As it always happens, one person just happens to fall in love with the other person much strongly than the other person. And Gino ultimately does come around. The whole Zoltan sequence and how Pim starts behaving in his presence has also ben handled very intelligent. There are scenes where the characters tease each other sexually and thats what keeps the proceedings going. The film is packed with moments that truthfully reveal internalised feelings of joy and longing. Gino and Pim have both acted superb in this film. I was specially bowled over by Pim's acting skills and how his eyes spoke so much more for him. This is a remarkably honest depiction of adolescence with a terrific range of sharp characters comprising of the 2 mothers, teenager kids, Zoltan and even the guy who feels sidelined in love with Pim's mother. 

There are moments that are heartbreakingly intense as well as beautifully hopeful. As it covers a span of years, the story encompasses a remarkable range of experiences and emotions, all portrayed with both artistry and authenticity. Kudos to the director for attempting something so beautiful and brave and to the brilliant acting by pretty much everyone, even the waitress in the texas bar who had only 2 lines to speak with Pim in the entire film. This film was real and soooooo beautiful. (8.5/10)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Gohatto (Japanese) [Taboo]

Set during Japan's Shogun era, this film looks at life in a samurai compound where young warriors are trained in swordfighting. This is a fascinating film about the danger of beauty : to sum it up, a young "ephebe"'s ethereal beauty spreads like a plague, infecting a whole company of iron hard men in the process. In this film the forbidden subject of homosexuality among Samurais is tackled and I can't even imagine how traditional people perceived the film.

After a strenuous scrutiny, Tashiro, a low-ranking samurai and Kano , an effeminate 18-year-old rich man's son, join the conservative samurai military unit loyal to the Shogun. Deceptively demure at first, the boy Kano quickly proves his acumen for killing when ordered to execute a wayward samurai. Tashiro, struck by Kano's feminine beauty and odd power, seduces him and they become talk of the group although they are never shown together. Kano's silent, almost frail, pretty-boy ways conceal demonic intentions. He knows when to lose in combat, when to avoid and when to insinuate, but for reasons beyond matters of physical strength or skill, he cannot lose. Other men in the unit are also taken with Kano, and soon their bodies start piling up, murdered by a not-altogether-unknown assassin. The trick is to find who is doing these murders. The end fight is when Tashiro and Kano indulge in a sword fight and Kano kills him but some of the questions for the viewers are never answered and they are left for open interpretation.

The film was done very beautifully. A very interesting take on the extent to which beauties are responsible for all kinds of things, even in Samurai unit. It was definitely very surprising to see the open-ness with which homosexuality was discussed and also sort of accepted amongst the community. There are a few other characters whose details I have not mentioned in the plot but they were of utmost importance to the story, The head of the military and his commander-in-chief and other couple of people. The movie is drama but there are enough doses of comedy as well with a very suspense part to it. It is pretty nice.I believe, culturally, there are many things that i could not understand or make a head or tail out of it and I wonder if I could watch this film who could give certain explanations while watching this. Excellent performances and direction.

I would have given much higher rating to the film had I understood some of the cultural references and samurai code of conduct. Nevertheless, it still is a beautiful film. (6.5/10)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Gay Short Films : 11

My Name Is Love (Sweden)
When 'Love', a young college student, spends the night with another man, he surrenders to manipulation. This man, named Sebastian, mocks Love for being a virgin and tells him to get out of there, as he has no interest in having sex with someone who doesn't know what to do. Love then affirms that he is willing to do whatever Sebastian asks of him. And that mistake ends up Love being raped by Sebastian. Interesting film depicting the account of what might happen when 2 strangers (denying homosexuality) come together for pure carnal desires. (4/10)

Night Swimming (US)
Otter and Darcy are best friends. Otter has a thing for Darcy but he just got selected to a college. On their way to a music concert, their car breaks down and they are forced t o spend sometime in the woods. After swimming naked in the river, things happen between them at night which will change their friendship forever. 2 best friends who could never be away from each other, now have this awkwardness. But this helps Otter to take a major decision to go to college now. (6/10)

Buď sám sebou {Be Yourself]
Adam and Michal become lovers through Internet chatting. After meeting each other in person one afternoon, Adam wants the relationship out in the open whilst Michal prefers it kept in the closet. How can the new affair last? They know they care for each other but Michal is afraid of social consequences. Ultimately love conquers all. (6/10)

Disarm (Australia)
Two gay men hook up online. The younger one goes to visit the older one. The older one is full of himself and his body and good looks. Younger one feels he has age on his side. Their attempt at sex falls flat and they start to talk. During the talk there's a lot revealed about their characters, their feelings about being gay and sex in general. Their talk is fascinating. They show and talk about gay relationships unlike any other movie I've ever seen. It pulls no punches and hits some interesting truths and subjects head on. (5.5/10)

Slow (US)
This is a story of a blind date, in the literal sense. A guy shows up as a blind hook up call and starts undressing wanting to do things with th eguy who invited him but he is not interested. This makes the visitor mad and angry and he does a violent attack. Thankfully our host saves himself thanks to a kitchen knife. Agression level soon does down and the hot invites th eguest for dinner and that is when we realize along with the guest that the host is actually blind. (4/10)

Spring (UK)
Spring is about a young man seeking to discover his sexual boundaries with a stranger. Rightly or wrongly, Joe decides to venture down an unconventional path where he find moments that repel and excite him profoundly. The film shows how we can let ourselves be used and what we are capable of inflicting on others. The encounter is full of little ritualistic intimacies that will shape this young man's life - and his life will never be the same again. (5.5/10)

Lie Detector (US)
Dane only has one chance to make a stellar first impression. Good thing there's a lie detector present at his job interview! He's screwed. And he's going to find out just how much the truth really hurts. It was a funny film, totally unexpected and kept me laughing. The questions being asked and the reactions when lie detector would beep was pretty funny. All in all, a very very novel idea for a short film. (6/10)

The Favor (US)
This was a gay comedy. Michael has total crush on Bogdan. When Bogdan invites Michael to his house asking for a special special favor, Michael thinks that this might be his chance but he gets teased. Bogdan asks him to drive him to a store. Once there he tells him that he needed to buy condom for them for sex. Michael gets excited again only to then later find out that they both were supposed to have sex with a girl. The way the film plays out is very funny and real as well at the same time. (7/10)

Camp

This is probably a great movie for teens but for people my age, this was not fun; at all. There were things which just did not make any sense, they did not keep you entertained and finally when everything is being given a closure , a lot of explanations are just not given. I have never attended a summer amp but maybe this is how the camps are. Weird things happen. This camp is different in the sense that this is for misfits, gays and drag queens.

Camp is story of Vlad, a straight boy who likes attention and love; of Michael, who is a wanna drag queen and was bullied in school and denied access to his prom because he was in a dress and a couple of other misfits in the process. But central character is Vlad. Story is simple as to how kids interact during camp, play games with each other, even to hurt others but ultimately everyone here is to find their own identity. Nothing specific in trims of story. Vlad is used by a beautiful girl, she is mean to every other girl, Vlad will do anything to get attention , Michael likes Vlad who makes it clear that he is straight but they become close friends, so close that Vlad might at some point even kiss Michael because thats what he wants. Just usual stuff.

Now, the problem with this film is that it is so focused on the sexy-abbed straight guy Vlad amongst all the gay guys and drama girls that the movie really loses its way. Characters go undeveloped or underutilized. Story lines are undernourished and many of them seem to just be serving to show that these kids were actually at the camp so you aren't surprised later when they show up in one of the numbers. It was absolutely wrong to promote this film as a gay film. There were a few fun moments but thats about it.

If you are a struggling with sexuality teenager or just teenager , you might like it.Others, I am sure there are better films. (3/10)

Friday, April 6, 2012

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

Like every film Clint Eastwood makes, "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" is fascinated by the mystery of masculinity: what it means to be a man, and what you have to do to be the kind of man you think you need to be. Based on a book by the same name, the film recounts a complex tale of murder, involving characters who seem your everyday people but carry deep difference underneath.

Set in the beautiful town of Savannah, Georgia, the film focuses on a murder and the subsequent trial of Jim Williams: self made man, art collector, antiques dealer, bon vivant and semi-closeted homosexual. John Kelso a magazine reporter finds himself in Savannah amid the beautiful architecture and odd doings to write a feature on one of William's famous Christmas parties. He is intrigued by Williams from the start, but his curiosity is piqued when he meets Jim's violent, young and sexy lover, Billy. Later that night, Billy is dead, and Kelso stays on to cover the murder trial. Along the way he encounters the irrepressible Lady Chablis, a drag queen, Sonny, lawyer to Williams, whose famous dog UGA is the official mascot of the Georgia Bulldogs, an odd man who keeps flies attached to mini leashes on his lapels and threatens daily to poison the water supply, the Married Ladies Card Club.

Kevin Spacey's performance as Williams is rich and fun, his accent not note-perfect. John Cusack as John Kelso fits his part very well and keeps his charm for audience. The film in long and seems dragged at certain points but it still is pretty enjoyable. I liked character of drag queen and it does keep us entertained but I somehow fail to understand why was it given so much importance. Even the voodoo woman was a little to of the place but I guess Eastwood wanted to show some cultural aspects as well.

This is not really a gay cinema but nevertheless a decent story being played on the screen. (6/10)

Guter Junge (German) [A Good Boy]

Now this could be a controversial film in terms the content. This films on the borderline of gay cinema or regular cinema but either way the subject of the film is pretty controversial. The good thing is that it is handled with maturity and sensitivity.

After his mother's death, 17-year-old Sven moves in with his dad Achim, a taxi driver, who had divorced his mother several years earlier. Sven hardly speaks to his father and prefers doing things on his own in his room. It is not easy for Achim to get used to an adolescent around the house. Achim has a girlfriend Julia who tries to come close to Sven but fails. After a while Julia starts wondering as to why does Sven always hang around young boys and not people of his own age. She suspects that maybe Sven is gay but the truth, when it comes out is much more chilling. Sven has pedophile tendencies. Proof is soon found on videos that shock and sicken Achim. Sven himself is shattered and regrets his actions. Julia suggests therapy, but Achim is convinced that he and Sven can handle this together. They do various things together to keep his mind off, which includes Achim locking Sven in his room on his insistence. There is this young boy who slowly falls in love with Sven but Sven now struggles with keeping his own feelings in check because he does not want to be one of those people whom no one cares about. Sven realizes that if he continues he will soon find no place of himself in the society. But at the same time,The elusive nature of himself forces him to continually prey on young boys.

We also see that Sven is obsessed with staying young. He does not want to be 18 and prefers keeping his body smooth and hanging out with young boys. Is the reason being that he lingers for childhood? Desire is invested in an abject (young boys) through whom, Sven fulfills his sexual and non-sexual fantasies. The topic, like I mentioned is very controversial. I can't even imagine, what does the father go through, if you find your son has pedophile tendencies. How do you deal with it. Achim acted really really well as an estranged father who wants too come close back to his son but at the same time wants to do the right thing. Sven , as the troubled teenager also brings the character to life.

The film gives 'shock value' because of content and thankfully not because of some explicit scenes. Controversial, yet very intelligent and thoughtful. (7/10)