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, May 24, 2012

Gay Short Films : 12

A Crimson Mark (South Korea)
This short film shows love in old Korea during the Chosun Dynasty. A secret relationship between two Korean government employees is complicated by the difference in the ranks. The 2 guys want the premier to act according to this individual suggestion and they are supposedly opposition members but they have a secret love going on among them. (4.5/10)

Les puceaux (France) [The Virgins]
A simple yet beautifully done story. 2 boys are sitting and talking. It turns out they are both virgins. One with boys and the other with girls. The pleasure, anxiety and fear of doing it with a virgin and teaching the ropes is shown very beautifully. The end was specially nice when one by says to the other that he wants to kiss him. (6/10)

Between The Boys (US)
Two handsome easy going boys playing, giggling and tickling, the very erotic shower scene, and the snow fight -- and then BAM a twist to end all homo erotic twists. It turns out they are both brothers. A beautiful beginning , an excellent continuation with a very shocking end. (6.5/10)
Zucht (Netherlands) Twelve-year-old Erik finds himself increasingly attracted to the physical frame of Arend; the father of his best friend Sofie. Trouble is, Sofie has the hots for him, being only too willing to extend an invitation to Erik to join father and daughter on a bicycle ride to a nearby lake. Only once in the water, can Erik turn the situation around to express the true nature of his heart? I think the films was beautifully done. Simple, short and sweet.(7/10)

Basketball And Maths (France)
Cedric falls in love with his straight best mate Jerome but he doesn't know what to do. Jerome is basketball leader and he learns Maths from Cedric. One day he suddenly out of impulse kisses Cedric but later snubs him. Cedric is pacified by his elder brother (one of the best scenes ever). Finally Jerome struggles with him own sexuality and comes around back to Cedric asking him to hang out and play basketball. Fantastic film and I liked every minute of the film. (8/10)

Une Sensation de Vide (Spain)
This film refers to the idea of festivity and celebration, both widely understood. This concept invites explore the social and collective expression of the celebration from many possible points of view, the symbols of power related to social rituals, the construction of a collective identity, as well as the family environment and the concept of tradition and ceremony. This film had no dialogues which I don't mind but even otherwise, somehow the film did not do much for me. (3/10)

The Morning After (UK)
Harry is shocked to wake up one morning to discover that he is in bed with Thom. The night before is a blur but the blanks start to fill in sending Harry on a journey of self-discovery. He forced to confront himself, his desires and make a choice on how to lead his life. I loved this film.

Une robe d´été (French) [A Summer Dress]
A young gay couple is relaxing at the beach house for summer. When one of them goes to the beach, he is seduced by a girl and they have sex. But the guy's clothes get stolen and the girl gives him her dress. He rides his bike back to the holiday cabin dressed as a girl. His gay companion is sexually excited. Early next morning the young man returns to the sea and bids farewell to the girl whose holiday has ended. This was a light hearted film. (6.5/10)

Blessure (Belgium) [Fair Play]
Marie and Steven are a young and happy couple. One day when Steven is out, a young guy Tom comes to their house. He plays in the same soccer team as Steven and has come to return a bag that Steven forgot. Secrets are revealed, not said and ignored about a possible sexual intimate relationship between Steven and Tom. The acting by al characters is very nice. Wife's acting when she finds out the truth and then try to ignore fit is awesome. (7/10)

Una Ultima Voluntad (Argentina)
A man awaits his execution by a firing-squad. His last wish before dying is a kiss and there are only men. This was a very interesting shot film and very well acted and directed. In very little words, a lot was said. The process of selection of which of the guys would be the one to kiss the guy. I have definitely not seen a short film like this.

Achilles (UK)
Animation story on Achilles and his relationship with his lover, Petroclus, during the trojan war. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Billy Elliot (UK)

This film is filled with great performances, a heart-touching plot, an underdog winning and the circumstances that feel too real. It will be wrong to categorize this film as strict gay-film but I think this definitely falls as a gay cult classic given the nature of the lead character and the storyline.

11 year old Billy lives with his widowed father and older brother, who work in a coal mine factory which in on a strike. One day when his father takes him for boxing class, he immediately dislikes it and chances upon a ballet class that issuing the same gym. Unknown to Jackie, Billy joins the ballet class. When Jackie discovers this, he forbids Billy to take any more ballet. But, passionate about dancing, Billy secretly continues lessons with his dance teacher. His teacher thinks that Billy deserves to study at the Ballet school in London but both his brother and father prohibit him from doing so thinking that everyone will think Billy is gay. Over Christmas, Billy learns his best friend, Michael, is gay. Although Billy is not, he is supportive of his friend. When accidentally,his father watches his son dance, he realizes how truly gifted he is and he will help Billy attain his dream. Billy gives his audition and after waiting in fear that he has ruined his chances, he gets accepted in ballet school. The film ends 14 years later, showing Billy taking stage to perform in the 'Swan Lake' production.

The film is devoid of any melodrama or over the top acting thankfully. The characters and situations are very real and believable. The film has a lot of silent moments and things said just through eyes. Billy has a strong screen presence and is a very natural actor.  His dancing is honest and powerful, and very masculine. The gay subplot has been dealt with honesty. Billy's problem is that he must fight not only against bad obstacles and misunderstanding but also against strong social stereotypes. Several brilliant come scenes and bright humor greatly emphasize the struggles of the main hero. All the supporting actors also did a brilliant job. I have already seen the tim twice and I still enjoy it.

I recommend this to all, expect to be entertained with great plot twists as well as interesting characters, wonderful dialogue, and a story that can never grow old. (7.5/10)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Consenting Adult

One very important thing to remember when you watch this film is that the film was made for TV way bak in 1985. That was the time when homosexuality was not widely accepted. In fact, it was not even openly talked about. It was some sort of disgrace to a family, so the reactions that you see in the film are more relevant.

Ken and Tess are a happily married couple and Ken is just fought cancer and is healthy. They have a son Jeff who studies in college and a daughter Margie who is expecting her baby. Both parents are very proud of Jeff. After having struggled very hard with himself and lying to everyone, Jeff decides to tell his mother that he is gay. Though his mom is unnerved by the revelation, she tries her best to remain supportive in front of him—despite insisting that he seek therapy to "fix" the situation. But for Ken, it is devastating for him to know that his only son is gay. Not knowing how to deal with the situation, he starts avoiding his son on purpose. Soon the very close knit family starts to break apart. As Jeff continues the therapy and even goes out on a date with girl, he finally accepts who he is and that he can't change it. When he tells his parents that he now KNOWS he is gay (After he finally has sex with another man), hell breaks loose and he is cut off form his parents money. Jeff starts school on his own, with support from his sister and brother-in-law, meet Scott, his love of life and time moves on. Ken finally slowly starts coming around but still cannot say anything to Jeff and writes a letter to him. The letter reaches Jeff only after Ken passes away. More time passes on and finally now even the mother comes around and the film has a very positive ending when she invites Jeff and Scott home over for Christmas.

Because it is set in 1980's, some of the acting (or over-acting) seems strange and uncalled for . But then maybe thats how the parents reacted in 80's! lol. Yeah, the movie was a very strong step in80's and probably helped a lot of teenagers coming out during that time. It also probably helped messaging across parents that homosexuality is not really a disease. It is just who you are. The focus is more on coming out and dealing with family over what it is like being gay, which is fine because there are tons of more movies dealing with that subject. It is sad that this film is not available on dvd. The copy I saw was a poor VHS version but then I am glad that at least I got to see it.

Overall, the movie is very compelling, wonderfully acted, and will tug at the heart. (5.5/10)

American Translation (French)

After watching this film, I asked myself whether this film was really a work of cinema or more of artistic pornography. I still do not know the answer. The film sourced from various studies of serial killers, goes all over the place. There should be a story that goes somewhere rather than just a series of incidents to make the audience gasp.

Chris, a young man is a wanderer and likes to pick up people and have sex with them and kill them. He meets a young rebellious young French-American Aurore in a hotel bar and drives her out to the woods in his van, where they have lots and lots of sex. Instead of murdering her, Chris begins an intense sexual relationship with Aurore and the pair move into a flash apartment owned by her wealthy but frequently absent businessman father. They both start falling love. One day Chris picks up a male prostitute and accidentally kills him. Things take a dark ugly turn from there. What follows next is a series of events where Chris either by himself or with Aurore picks up young men in the pretext of having sex and kills them. This gives him a feel of superior power and gets him excited. Aurore, initially shocked wants to understand Chris and then supports him fully (very weird). This goes on, till finally just when the couple is about to move to US, gets caught by the cops and is put behind bars.

The film has lack of sub plots to keep you interested. There are long stretched out scenes of long driving with some music. The montages are lazy, too long and boring. It is a very one dimensional film. It is a twisted film but just for the sake of it. Acting by the 2 principal people is good buts many things are not explained. A simple one, for example, on why are Chris and Aurore so much in love with each other. What is it about Chris, that Aurore accepts her with all his faults including him being a bisexual and a murderer. I mean, common.

It is a disjointed film, which i believe is pretty much waste of time. (3/10)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

I Woke Up Gay (Documentary)

Once in a while I do like to watch documentaries in LGBt cinema but sometimes they spring you a complete surprise. The title of this documentary was pretty catchy and I had to see this.

7 years ago, a 19 year old rugby playing teenager Kris snapped his neck while playing with his friends. He suffered a massive stroke and he woke up as a completely different person who is now ok. The documentary follows Kris' quest with his past, since he doesn't remember much of it, his trial to convince everyone that indeed the stroke made him gay and it was not how he was born. The documentary contains a mixture of one-to-one interview and video diary footage of Kris himself, joint interviews with him and his fiancé Jak Powell and others with old and new friends, and also follows him as he consults with a number of medical and academic experts, as well as another man who experienced significant personality changes as the result of a stroke.

The documentary doesn't look to provide any answers, it just rise to help. Unfortunately, by the end of it, we are still as bewildered as we were when the film started but then at the same time it is good to se that Kris doesn't care. Despite everything that he has been through, he is the happiest he has ever been. (4/10)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Plein sud (French) [Going South]

If you watch this film looking for entertainment, you will be thoroughly disappointed But have some patience and give it some time, you might start feeling what the characters are going through. There are long shots of silence in the film but they go with the characters, and their aimlessness. There is some mystery in the character's childhood and slowly, as the film progress, we will find out.

Sam is traveling to south of France looking for his mom. On his way, he gives ride to siblings Lea and Jeremie. Lea is pregnant and it seems the siblings are also running away from something. Jeremie likes Sam a lot and has feelings for him , which Sam also does but there is something stopping Sam to give himself to the love of another man. They meet Mathieu who joins their trip on Leah's insistence because she now fancies the boy. The film now explores the chemistry between these 4 individuals and their interactions. They have happy times, they have sad times, they have times when hearts are broken and no words are exchanged. Sam finally gives in and makes love to Jeremie only to leave him th next day with tons of questions in his mind. The mood changes as Sam meets his mother who now lives in countryside. This woman suffered a traumatic shock being next to her husband when he decided to take his life sitting next to her. Sam, obviously older now, comes in to her new life, never expecting she has a man in her life who, for all appearances care about her that is evident. Sam, in a way, feels betrayed.

Sam is an enigma. It is clear that he is attracted to Jeremie, but his own trauma gets in his way. His relationship with his mother is also puzzling. Seeing her happy at last, he cannot express anything to her that will bring peace to the way he feels about her, almost making her guilty for what his father decided to do with his life. The characters of Lea and Jeremie are not clearly developed. Hence, a lot of their actions leave a lot of things in viewers minds. From acting ability, all the characters do a pretty good job. I would have personally liked to see something much more substantial develop between Sam and Jeremie but I guess the focal point of this film was different which is fine.

Watch it for a peaceful, intelligent and a quiet viewing. (7/10)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Comme Les Autres (French) [Baby Love]

There have been very few gay themed films which have highlighted the topic of chilld adoption in gay community. Thankfully most of them have been handled with sensitivity and maturity. This film can easily be added in the list of those few films. The best part of this film is that it has a light dry wit running through it with many little surprises along the way. 

Manu, a gay pediatrician in his forties, lives with his partner Philippe, a lawyer. Manu loves kids and desperately wants to adopt one with his partner. The reality is that Philippe is pleased with his present life and will not have it spoiled by the invading presence of a wailing brat. They both try to reason on the argument and in absence of a consensus, the two lovers part. Manu's quest for a surrogate mother begins. He finds a young girl Fina, who is Argentinian immigrant, also looking for legal paperwork so that she could stay in France. They become friends and after Fina gets to know Manu better agrees to bear Manu's child as a sign to thank him. In reality, she is totally falling in love with him. When the tests are done, it turns out that Manu cannot bear a child and he then requests Phillipe to donate his sperm to Fina. Complications arise and finally he gives in. Fina becomes pregnant and in heat of love, passion and respect, Manu and Fina get physical. Fina is now totally in love with Manu but he knows he is gay and tries to get the facts right. They marry for legal reasons but in their heart Philippe and Manu want to get back together and they ultimately do which is not acceptable to Fina. She leaves them but gives them a call when she is about to deliver. Manu and Philippe finally get their baby and are as happy as they wanted to be.

The film is definitely not perfect. Viewers are not shown any sign of proximity between the 2 lovers, as such it is hard to digest that they part so easily and either of them hardly show any sadness because of it. Instead all of Manu's energies are focussed on baby. All mistakes he makes trying to find a mom are handled pretty well with touch of humor. The scene when Manu tells that he broke up with Philippe and Fina is mothering his child with Philipe's baby is pretty funny. Movie, though predictable at most times, still manages to hold proper attention from viewers. The acting is decent and viewers feel more for Fina's character.I was able to connect with this film at a personal level.

Definitely worth a watch. It is pretty decent. (7/10)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Just One Time

This film could as well be an equivalent of a chick flick, except this one is for gays. A cute subject, a simple and engaging direction with pretty above average performances definitely make this film a good fun time pass. I saw this film about 5-6 years ago, before I started writing this blog, so I had to watch this film again to give a fresh perspective to the film when I write about it.

The story is pretty simple. Anthony, a fireman is very much in love with Amy and they are gonna get married soon. Victor a neighborhood boy has a huge crush on Anthony (and I think Amy is aware of it). Anthony has always fantasized of Amy with another women for a 3some. Initially reluctant, Amy finally gives in on his bachelor party day but try soon there is a twist. She asks Anthony to do a 3some with a guy before she does that with a girl. Enter Victor, who is more than glad to help. Funny incidents happen leading to Victor going out on a 'date' with Anthony and his friends who after a period of time start loosening up and get friendly with Victor. Pretty soon, things start getting complicated when neither of them wants to dpi the right thing but at the same time they both think they are right. Amy tries to experiment with a neighborhood lesbian but it doesn't work. Anthony doesn't understand what's going on and we see them drifting apart with totally baseless misunderstandings. Finally everything is well when everything is cleared and they are both back together minus the condition of a threesome. Victor also finds love with one of Anthony's friends.

You have to watch this film with a pinch of salt, in the sense that you should not take this film very seriously. Just watch it for pure innocent fun. A funny tale of male chauvinism colliding with energetic feminism. What I loved about the film was the chemistry between the couple. They were not like in each other's business all the time. It was very New Yorker, when they have a studio apartment and a usual city couple. The "message" of the movie is that when two people are in love, that that should be enough for both of them. Some fantasies are meant to remain just that, fantasies. It is also about acceptance and compassion and coming to terms with one's identity.

A funny film, although very predictable to some extent. (6.5/10)