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.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Ming tian ji de ai shang wo (Mandarin) [Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?]

I think I am having a few good days here where I am getting to see more and more films that spring a peasant surprise. From a story point of view, this film would have seen yet another one of those late coming-out stories but I am so happy to see the maturity in the way the whole subject was handled in the screenplay and of course in subsequent direction. I will talk more on that later. But I have to admit, this film had everything in it, simplicity, family, love, emotion and wanting to do the right thing that is expected of you from each character's point of view.

Weichung, an optometrist, lives with his wife Feng and son. They have ben married for 9 years. At his sister's engagement party, Weichung bumps into an old friend, Stephen, a wedding photographer who, though also married, is living the high life of a younger, single gay man. When Stephen teases Weichung for his newly straightlaced lifestyle, dormant emotions are awakened in Weichung. Meanwhile Feng's parents pressure her to ask Weichung for another child. As soon as the discussions start, Weichung starts freaking out because it would mean physical intimacy. A chance encounter with a very cute flight attendant who visits his store gives him the courage to let his feelings come out. Meanwhile Mandy starts having second thoughts about her marriage and decides to break-up. Stephen and his group of friends try to bring them together but fail. Feng's boss admires and secretly loves Feng but can't do anything about it. One day Feng sees Weichung with the flight attendant and confronts him. Her world falls apart when Weichung admits to having gay feelings but also convinces that he really wants to be a family and be a family man to provide and take care of her and their son. When Mandy one day finds she is pregnant, her love for her fin ace rekindles and they decide to get married. Feng and Weichung very maturely decide to get a divorce, so that they both can have a second chance of love in life.

The film is not really a romantic comedy is being promoted but it is a real depiction of the struggles that a man has to go through when his attempts to deny his gay feelings resurface and what a wife has to go through when she finds her husband is gay. It is avery thoughtful family drama. Despite the topic being hectic, the film never gets melodramatic or cheesy and stereotypical which is very easy to happen. There is a easy rhythmic tone to the film. Acting by everyone is really really good. Mandy's character is a little caricature-ish but that provides some light moments in the film. Also Weichung's chemistry with the flight attendant is very effortless. You can feel the attraction and both of them wanting to do something about it. The film never crosses the decency line which will probably help it get a wider audience despite a bold subject.

This family drama will not disappoint you if you go with minimal expectations. You will enjoy it. (7/10)

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Snails In The Rain (Hebrew)

An intense and alluring film, it manages to hold viewers interest till the end. Running with a perfect length of 80 minutes, it never gets boring or over the top. I think this would be a good film for anyone to watch because just replacing the mysterious man writing letters with a woman would make this film probably more accepting but it loses the tension that gets created in this scenario between a straight couple and mystery letters. A dense and captivating drama of how sexuality and love or not being loved affects people.

The story is set in 1989 (not sure why). Boaz is a very charming and beautiful young man who lives with his girlfriend Noa. He is a student at the university of Tel Aviv studying linguistics. He goes to the post office to check status of his scholarship but instead one day sees a letter from a secret admirer. The letters keep coming with more and more details about Boaz's life which makes him realize that the person is somewhere close to his everyday life. His thoughts are consumed with finding out who it could possibly be. Especially as he knows the letters are from a man. Paranoia takes over when everyone he meets becomes a possible suspect of the daily correspondence. Boaz has history in military, during one of the evenings he kisses a man whom I think he had a crush on and the guy knew it. Deep down, he desperately hopes that the letters are from him; and during the sleepless nights in Israel, he stays up and fantasies about leaving everything behind and running off with his adolescent crush. But the letters start taking a toll on the life of Boaz and Noa. The once very much in love couple barely talk to each other. Noa one day reads letters and figures out the reason for stress but Boaz never brings it up to her because he is very confused about his sexuality and what he wants from life. When another letter appears saying that Boaz’s admirer is finally going to reveal himself, she is terrified at what this could mean. She knows who the letters are from and she confronts the man. Ultimately Boaz has to take an action to find out what he really wants and make decision because he has to move on with his life.

This film is a very strong exploration of obsession and sexuality. There are so many nuances in the film, you feel very connected to the characters. You feel you know exactly what Noa and Boaz are thinking, who by the way, both are excellent performers and their chemistry is amazing. When the truth comes out about the guy, it is shocking because you could have never guessed who the letters were from but it al makes sense. There is a lot that is said through background music and eyes, which just adds to the overall beauty and tension in the film. The fact that Boaz looks absolutely delicious just adds to the film and there are more than handful scenes where we see him almost naked. SO there is a lot of eye candy. My favorite thing about the film is that Boaz feels very human. I can see a lot of people not knowing how to react in such situations and really struggling which in turn will effect their everyday lives.

A refreshing film with focus on the two characters whose life is in turmoil because of a secret admirer looking from 2 different angles. A compelling and reflective experience. (7.5/10)

Thursday, June 26, 2014

C.O.G.

Having heard such good things about this film in critics reviews and all, now I have many questions. Firstly why is this a comedy/drama film? It is just "whatever". Secondly why is this a gay film and being promoted as a gay film. The lead character may be gay. He never even admits to being one. We never see any real sexual tension or desire in this young man.I kept waiting for the entire duration of the film that something interesting is gonna happen but it never does. Not one character in the film seems real for some reason. THere is so much more left to be desired in the film. Sure everyone is going gaga over the fact that this is first adaptation of writer David Sedaris's (whoever that is) work but big fucking deal. For those who read his piece may enjoy is but what about the others? the rest of us !! Phew !!

Yale grad David wanders away from his parents to work on an apple farm in Oregon. ON his way to Oregon from Connecticut, he meets one strangely disruptive customer after another. The humor comes from David's increasingly befuddled stare at each of these events, implying that he sees the rest of the world as somehow wrong-headed or weird in contrast to his own standards. At the farm, David initially hopes that his friend Jennifer will join him but since that doesn't happen he winds up in the company of Mexican immigrant co-workers who don't speak his language. Incapable of befriending them, he feels outsider and eventually shows his ugliest biases when he suspects that his stuff has been stolen. Transferred to an indoor assembly line, he's further mocked by disgruntled union workers. The fork lift operator Curly comes as a respite as his first friend, whose ulterior motives were to actuallys keep with David. When he runs away from there, me meets Jon, a promoter of Chritianity and Jesus who wants to take David under his wing and bring God to his heart. Naturally, that doesn't quite pan out either, although David seems uncertain whether he's exploiting Jon's hospitality or simply hanging around because he's got nothing better to do. We see all the negative sides of Jon where he loses self control and gets mad and angry about things on which David had no control over as well. And then finally David is on his own.

I really didn't get much about the movie.  An important question always after the film is, whether it managed to hold the attention of the viewers? This film really lacks in that department. We are never ever told why did David santa change of pace and why is he so adamant to not talk to his mother. There are more things he can do rather than working on an apple farm but those things are never made clear. It seemed he was gay from the beginning so what was his problem when Curly was coming on to him. It clearly seemed that he was interested in him as well earlier. An then the whole Jon episode as well doesn't tell us much where does this movie want to go. In one magical moment when Curly is about to rape David, he finally feels god in his heart and the church makes him a C.O.G. (Child of God). wtf !! I am really struggling to understand these ays why critics have been going crazy over these weird films. I always thought I like different films but these are just ridiculous. On a positive note, David acts really really well and the beauty of nature and cinematography captured is really nice and eye pleasing.

I hope this is the first and last of Sedari's piece to be put into a film. The lead character of this film is as distant from the audience as he is from everyone else in the movie. (3/10)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Broken Hearts Club

A romantic comedy is exactly the right phrase to describe this film. The film is about gays and friendship and how a group of gay friends deal with their day to day life dealing with friendship, love, drama, acceptance, family and romance. Not to be taken very seriously most times, the film does manage to send some messages across as well but in a very subtle way. Because it is an ensemble film, it never really focuses on one specific character. Petty much every character gets ample scope and hence it also does give a soap opera feeling sometimes.

The film is set in gayville, West Hollywood and follows life of gay friends. They hang out at coffee shops, clubs and each other's homes. We meet Dennis, a photographer who often holds the group together and hosts a lot of parties; Cole, a very handsome, charismatic actor and room mate with Dennis who often ends up with other people's boyfriends and can't stick to a guy for more than 2 weeks maximum and breaks their heart; Benji, the youngest member of the group, with a penchant for gym-bodied men, who finds himself going through some bad times; Howie, a psychology student who is known for over thinking every situation; Patrick, the cynic of the group, because of which certain members of the group do not like him because they think he is always negative; and Taylor, who has just broken up with his long-term boyfriend. A fatherly figure Jack guides them all and runs a restaurant for broken hearts and provides them with advice and jobs for some of them who work part-time as servers at his restaurant. Feathers shuffle when Benji brings his co-worker, the 23-year-old Kevin. As most times he ends up staying with Cole who breaks his heart and then starts dating Dennis, who is really not sure what he wants form life. Meanwhile Patrick's sister and her lover asks him to be surrogate father of their baby and Howie is dealing with how to get over his previous boyfriend, a very good looking man who he is still sleeping with but somehow they an't figure out where it is all gonna go. Tragedy strikes when John, who also sponsors a softball team, dies due to a heart attack after winning a softball game.

What's striking about the movie is the ordinariness of its characters and what they talk about. The humour in the film is natural and sarcastic but never bitchy (something that most gay men are known for). The lighthearted tone is set right at the beginning, as a group of friends plays a game to see who can act the straightest the longest. The film also discovers that gay men, like straight men, spend an extraordinary amount of time thinking about sex. And that they can be insecure, unfaithful, lonely and deceptive. The movie is likable and goes on a steady pace but unfortunately it never has those peaks that could take this movie from good to very good. That key line "I'm 28 years old and all I'm good at is being gay" is like an announcement liberating gay movies from an exclusive preoccupation with sexuality.

It is a heartwarming, glorious, happy feel good movie , that made me miss my gay friends a lot. (7/10)

Monday, June 23, 2014

Normal

I can't believe that this film was made for TV. Although these days you can reach out to a much larger audience through TV than films. Its a funny, lovely, touching love story about a God-fearing rural small-town Midwestern couple and the film manages to capture the nuisances of small town life very well. Its definitely a sensitive topic that the makers have tried to deal with and they really need to be applauded for that. And Tom Wilkinson for being so brave to take up the main role and portraying it so beautifully and with respect it deserves.

Roy and Irma have been married for 25 years and have a son and daughter together. After their 25th anniversary, Roy tells Irma that he has long felt that he is a woman trapped in a man's body, and wishes to do something about it, no matter the consequences. Irma, an avid member of the church choir, naturally finds this a little disconcerting. She feels as if she has been lied to through out the whole relationship and her life is falling apart. Roy starts taking hormones and you can see his co-workers reacting very oddly to this. Gradually she starts coming through and lets Roy be back in home, especially after witnessing him trying to commit suicide from the pressure he could not deal with anymore.  and live with them and be supportive as much as she can. Their daughter is the most supportive in this transition. The film shows how their son is initially disgusted but eventually comes around. We also get to see how Roy's parents get around to accept who he really is. All that Roy need to become Ruth was support to get rid of all the anxieties he had been feeling. The indifferences did not change a person, it actually made the people around him more open minded and accepting to differences between people.

This is an incredible powerful movie regarding unconditional love,acceptance and responsibility for ourself and our loved ones. You can't even begin to imagine what really is going through the minds of the 2 characters. Roy, who wants to become a woman and knows it's the hardest thing he has ever done in lit and Irma, who feels betrayed and cheated but still come sin full support of her husband because at the end of it they are all a big family. This movie is less about transsexualism but more about love, family, support and kindness. Handled with sensitivity, taste and touch of humour, the director deserves a special mention. The film takes neither cheap nor trivial shots and never fails to show deep respect for the problem and for the characters affected by it. Best pat was seeing the daughter fully supportive and excited about the whole transition and that providing strength to Irma.

A sensitive treatment of transgender issues with some fine performances and a good story, this movie is a good watch. (7/10)

Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Normal Heart

After weeks of waiting and mentally preparing myself to watch a hectic film, I finally saw the film. Based on Larry Kramer's play by the same name. Showcasing a man's struggle to the rising HIV and AIDS epidemic in New York City in early 80's, this is a gut-wrenching film that shakes you up completely. I have seen a couple other movies on AIDS epidemic that have hit me harder, but this film also leaves a very very strong impact and makes you think that to wasn't too long long (almost 30 years) when all this was happening. It gives me shivers to even think what people in those days must have been going through seeing their near and dear ones die because of it and they being completely helpless.

Ned Weeks is an openly gay writer from NY. When he sees an article in New York Times about "Rare Cancer diagnosed in Homosexuals", he meets Dr. Emma, who ha sheen seeing many patients unexpectedly afflicted with this rare disease that compromises immune systems of the individuals. Dr. Emma says tells Ned that he doesn't have the disease but asks his help to raise awareness of the disease within the gay community. Ned organizes a gathering in his house where Dr. Emma says that she doesn't have conclusive evidence but strongly believe that the illness is sexually transmissible. Ned announces that he wants to start an organization to spread information about the disease and provide services to those who have been infected. Ned and his friends Bruce, Micky and Tommy start an organization called GMHC. The organization organizes fundraisers for research on the disease that will now be called AIDS and establishes a telephone hotline, counseling, and other services. Many of the organizers believe that Ned's attitude towards raising AIDS awareness is too direct and abrasive. Over Ned's objections, they choose Bruce as their President. Ned meets NTTimes reporter Felix in hopes of getting his help. The two begin a romantic relationship and later agree to move in together. The disease continues to spread and claims the lives of more and more people. Ned's frustration knows no bounds when he doesn't see any support from either Mayor or US government. Bruce loses his boyfriend to AIDS, in a very very emotional scene. Dr. Emma's efforts to get grant for research are rejected by the government officials. Ultimately Felix also comes down with HIV symptoms. ed's live goes topsy turn, because he can't do anything. The two state their love for one another at the hospital before Felix dies.

This film is heartbreaking story about a problem that still persists today, and is absolutely a must-see. It's an account of life during an epidemic that might have been less brutal, or at least more dignified, had public officials behaved with more bravery, honesty, and compassion. You see the anger, suffering and frustration and the makers have tried their best to bring it all alive on the screen. Its a shame to see how every cry for help was totally rejected by the officials. The film also shows anger towards closeted gays with power and money like the then mayor of NYC who could have worked miracles if he had the courage. The acting by every principal actor is really engaging and note worthy. It doesn't mean that as a film it doesn't have blemishes. Some of the characters like that of Tommy was not fully established. I would have liked to see more around him. Ned's outburst at every instance needed some explanation and also whey Bruce and other friends were of the opinion that the way Ned is approaching things is not right. I would have liked to know a lot more about it. Ned and Felix's relationship was dealt nicely and how a relationship gets affected when one of the partners is found affected by the disease. Felix is brilliant. The scenes where Tommy collects cards of every man who is dying to AIDS fills your heart with sorrow and the entire sequence of Bruce losing his boyfriend, is just so heartfelt and sad.

It’s an important story packed with vivid individual moments, but with this material and these actors, it feels like it could be so much more than what it is but nonetheless this deserves a viewing by every gay man. (7.5/10)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Gay Short Films : 21

The Language of Love (Australia)
This film is about a schoolboy coming to terms with his sexuality while in the middle of a French exam. It sees Charlie wake up to his feelings when tasked in the exam to "describe your best friend ... write your response as a letter to your friend, in French". Charlie talks viewers through what is going on in his head as he struggles with the question. The truth is, he is in love with his best friend Sam. In a moving monologue Charlie reveals his worries of being bullied by classmates and rejected by Sam if he were to reveal his feelings. A beautiful ending that says "It’s not because he’s a boy, he just happens to be one. ... You always hear people say it's weird and just not normal, but isn't that the point of love? To transcend normalness and become something special?" Loved it. (7.5/10)

Belle Salope (France) [Beautiful Bitch]
Being with one of his clients, young male prostitute Cédric receives a voicemail from his mother. Spending her days in detox, she desperately wants him to come and visit her. Cédric embarks on a journey through Paris on his rollerblades and against all odds attempting to get to her as fast as possible. Unfortunately life is not as it seems. Her mother doesn't remember as much and he just goes back to his good old hustling ways. A decent film which shows what kind of struggles a young needy man could have to go through. It is for money or pleasure? We would never know. (5/10)





Elliot King is Third (USA)
Set in near future, this is fiction taking into account the social involution of human societies that might happen. The film shows transgender people living in a future where everyone is identified by a microchip implant, including everything from gender to financial information.  Being labeled as a third, or transgender, has dangerous implications for a society used to dealing with just male or female labels. A lot of them are killed in a peaceful march which leads to our main protagonist Elliot King pretend to be a male and not third gender to grow in society. His future is in for a toss when his past comes back to haunt him. A very very interesting film that shows that in many ways we are growing but in so many ways, he are regressing. (6/10)


Best Job Ever (USA)
Alan Meeks is looking for a job as a porn editor. Little does he realize that being great at something can be a curse unto itself. In a turn of twists, he ends up in a gay porn agency which he realizes too late. Since he can't quit because of his contract, he decides to be the lazy as that he can both at work and his behavior. He is in for a shock when his so called carelessly edited work is one of the best that the production company have seen. A very light-hearted perfect comedy short that brings up a smile on your face. Great acting. I love the scene where he thinks if he drinks at work, he will be thrown out but on the contrary everyone joins the party. (7.5/10)



Gatecrasher (UK)
A young, gay actor, Mark’s got the looks, the ability, and the charisma to go all the way. His agent can get him the auditions, but the parts are just never quite right. That’s because in Mark’s mind, there’s only one man who can help him: James Francis -an older established writer as well as a renowned gay icon. However, what begins as an ambitious idea soon turns into obsession, with Mark slowly gatecrashing the life of his idol. I am not too sure if the film was meant to be comedy, serious or spoof but nevertheless it entertained me and shows a facet of obsession of getting popular and everything right. Great acting and a fantastic twist in the end. (6/10)

Ronan’s escape (Australia)
This film provides a candid insight into the life of Ronan, a 14 year old boy who’s been bullied his whole life at school. It is a very accurate & controversial portrayal of life for someone who has fallen victim to bullying and the repercussions which exist. Ronan’s Escape presents arbitrary scenes rather than traditional storytelling which provokes audiences into discussion and interpretation of the scenes on a more personal level while reflecting on their own experiences. I have been reading lot about bullying etc and this movie yet again made me stop and think about what can be done really to stop this. (6/10)




North Atlantic (UK)
Based on a true story, it is an interaction between 2 men. To clarify, this is not a gay short film. A young man is manning the control tower of a very small airport in the Azores when he makes contact with a plane flying blind with radio and other control issues. At the helm is an older Scottish man and it is clear that he will not have the fuel needed to make it to this airport, which is his nearest. Sea rescue efforts are launched but seem futile given the odds, leaving the two men in voice contact for the remainder of his flight. A sad story but a real one. (6/10)




Simply Rob (USA)
Simply Rob is a portrait of New York based poet and activist Rob Vassilarakis. This film follows Rob as he tells his turbulent life story through his poetry. This film was interesting for first 5 minutes but a constant jibber-jabber from Rob and pretty much non-stop talking without any pause makes this a difficult painful watch. (2/10)


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Broadway Damage

Wow!! It was so refreshing to see a romantic gay film from 90s. The fashion of those ays, the humour of those days and the NYC of those days. Gosh! I miss NY so much. I am really looking forward to being there again asap and live there exactly how I used to. Won't that be interesting !! There was a time when I was a huge fan of rom-coms and somewhere down the line, my fascination for them went down. But I do not regret watching this film. Surely, I am not gonna apply too much logic into the story and hows and whys. After all, the movie ultimately entertained me and brought me some glorious memories of my favorite city.

Cynthia, Marc and Robert are young friends in New York City. Marc is a struggling actor, Robert is an actor/songwriter and Cynthia is desperately trying to attract the attention of Tina Brown to break into magazine publishing. All of us who have lived in NYC know all about apartments in New York. Cynthia and Marc luck out when they find an apartment to share in Greenwich Village. Good looking Marc easily scores with guys and Robert complains about how all these hot men are completely out of his league. We later find out that Robert is secretly in love with Marc. Marc ends up meeting a young musician David, who lives with his boyfriend across the alley from Marc's apartment. David's boyfriend throws him out and David moves in with Marc. Paradise ends soon when Marc finds out the reality about David and throws him out of house. Meanwhile Cynthia, not getting anywhere further in stalking Tina Brown is completely broke and going through a nervous breakdown and decides to move back to her parents in Long Island. Robert continues to secretly love Marc while he is rejected from one guy who he shows interest in but apparently Robert is not his type. In the end, Marc and Robert visit Cynthia on Long Island. Free from the drama of his relationship with David, Marc realizes that he has feelings for Robert. Cynthia gets a call from Tina Brown's assistant, setting up a meeting for the following day.

Simple, sweet and escapist realist piece of movie; this is what this film is about. The characters are lively and very lovable. I absolutely loved Cynthia. I want a Cynthia in my life. A funny friend who will always keep my spirits up. It is a delightful , feel good cinema. Agreed it is no great shakes or path-breaking but why does every film have to be that? I like the fact that the filming has probably happened in actual village apartments; the cramped size, small bedroom and bathroom; it is just so real NYC that I know of. The film has a lot of fun and charming moments along the way, specially anything involving Cynthia. SUre, there are lose ends. The initial interaction never show that Robert is in anyway interested in Marc till suddenly Marc meets David, so that comes as a surprise. Not only that, Marc's love for Robert in the end is also out of nowhere and clearly is to give the film a happy ending. Acting by every character was quite decent and they were all in their character. I loved the cute nerdy Robert with his glasses. The film thankfully never gets too serious and keep a lighter tone throughout.

A sweet charming retro-ish movie about gay love, gay friendships, gay life and finding the right guy in your life. (7/10)

Sunday, June 8, 2014

For Love, We Can (Mandarin)

Its always good to see when organizations come together to promote to message of healthy sex, specially in gay community. Something that is meaningful, entertaining, touching and most importantly send out a clear message on why it i important to be very safe with your life. In view of the record high number of newly reported HIV infection in 2013, the Red Ribbon Centre collaborated with the Hong Kong Lesbian and Gay Film Festival to explore an innovative and gay friendly means to promote HIV prevention and hence this beautiful piece of a short film.

Jun is a reckless, rebellious young man. His now deceased father, threw him out of house when he found out that Jun was gay. Now he lives with his mother, who works very hard but is also struggling to accept his homosexuality and hence they barely communicate with each other. Michael is an honest, stable young man who works in a bank. Michael meets Jun and two lonely souls fall deeply in love. Jun’s mother initially disapproves their relationship but comes around when she finds out how fine a young man Michael is. One day, Jun's ex-boyfriend revealed to him a secret that he is HIV positive. This changes the world of the 2 men who eventually find out their own health status. And now Jun and Michael have to face the most difficult test in their relationship while the mother is also going through her struggles.

Strong emotional values is the first thing that was left with me after the film ended. Emotional bonds between the characters is very strongly portrayed here. Connection between Jun and Michael, Michael's care of Jun's mother because of his own issues with his parents, his love and commitment to his grandmother. The lead actors give a very strong performance. I have to admit that Michael is very very good looking and attractive. I don't usually think much of Asian guys but this guy was so adorable and cute. The film gives the message of early testing and staying positive in your mind because times have changed and even HIV positive people can lead a normal healthy life. I think that's an important message that needs to reach out to the community.

An important short ilm to be seen by all. (7/10)

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Pit Stop

Not many films have focussed on the loneliness in a gay man's life. This loneliness is much more manifold if you are stuck in a small town Texas. Unfortunately, since the focus of the most of the film is on this aspect, it misses addressing some other fun important issues and fails to rise above getting sympathy for gay men in a small town in Texas.

The film follows parallel lives of 2 single gay men. Gabe lives with his daughter and ex-wife to support raising their daughter. They broke up after Gabe had an affair with a married man and it ended up badly. Neither seems superbly excited about any activity in other's love life but they both try to be supportive. Across town, we have Ernesto. He spends his evening take care of an old friend who is in coma after an accident. He recently broke up with his Boyfriend Luis, a younger guy but still lets him stay at the house till he finds a place. Soon his patience runs out when he sees that Luis is not even trying to find a place or find a job and he gives him just one day notice to move ou of the house. The 2 men are now even more lonely now. Their paths almost cross a few times, but they don't actually meet until fairly late in the movie. They go to the same places and work 100 ft away without even knowing each other. The 2 guys finally meet courtesy online website. The 2 guys meet, hang out and fall madly in love showing us how you can "move on" when you least expect it.

The pace of the film is slow but it demands it to portray the loneliness in the lives of the 2 men in their mid-thirties. The focus is on Gabe and Ernesto but everyone in the film is a real person with a story to tell. All are portrayed in a thoughtful and empathetic way with no one casually discarded for the sake of storytelling expediency. Even the interaction of Gabe with the school teacher is quite realistic where you feel sorry for the guys trapped in the town. This is a true character study of people finding their way in life and love and one cares about what will happen to them. A much as I understand the importance of establishing characters but it borderlines to boredom sometimes and this is when I wish the makes thought of maybe adding some pace or lighter or tense moments in the film. I have nothing against slow films, if you have been reading my blog regularly, but a little something more would have helped the film immensely. Acting by everyone is very good, above par than most shitty american gay films.

Its real, too real with characters that seem to jump off pages of real life. If you are a patient film-goer, you may actually be rewarded by something unexpected. (6/10)

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Lose Your Head

A tout thriller and a crazy head spinning film are some of the words that I read and was told by some of the people who saw this film. These words do describe what the film is about but maybe they are a little too strong. I would describe the film as thriller with surprises and a twist that you did not expect or see coming. Unfortunately I missed out on some of the german and Spanish being spoken in the film but I am pretty sure that I didn't lose much in the film.

Luis is a young Spaniard who travels to Berlin after a break up with his boyfriend to get lost in the city. He immediately goes out to experience the nightlife in the city, meets a girl outside a club and hangs with her. He also eventually meets a mysterious man Victor and instantly take a liking for him.We also meet a girl Elena with her cousin who are looking for their lost brother Dmitri, who has been missing for a few weeks. He takes up some drugs in the cob and is warned that he will lose his head. Luis soon realizes that he is caught up in the middle of the disappearance of Dimitri. It turns out that Victor and Dmitri were together for almost 2 months before he disappeared. Luis doesn't tell Elena that he knows Victor when she shows him the picture. He is too much in love with Victor and wants to find out the truth. But it seems everyone is playing their own game. Victor gives a haircut to Luis to make him look like Dmitri. Luis is hiding truth from Elena. Victor has stuff from Dmitri but is he making up some story. After a few events, Luis finds himself trapped in Victor's web and there is no escape. Everyone is now suspecting Luis of fowl play and is looking for him and now Luis is running to save his life. How and where he ends up in the end and how the loose ties end, is a complete surprise. No wonder the old man warned Luis in the beginning in the club that he is going to lose his head.

Very interesting twist I must say, which I never saw coming. In hindsight the signs were all there but I personally never thought of it. It was also quite nice that the director covered on every single person and event in the thriller on why and how they became a part of it. When all of this is going on, you want to scream at Luis to run away but the boy in him keeps wanting to go back to Victor because he is so much into him. He is willing to ignore his faults even when all the signs are there. The film maintains the suspense with incredible performances that will keep you questioning who is being truthful. The key focus of the film is the young people who spend their days lost in a haze of alcohol, drugs and dancing, and the dramatic consequences this life can have on a person. As Luis says "Drinks are cheap, clubs never close and drugs are almost free". But is that really true or does all of this come with a price?And what an effect it does, is shown in the film. The ending leaves a few loose ends that may drive you crazy like Luis' ex-boyfriend is gong around Madrid putting missing person posters. I still can't figure out what that was about :( But that apart it is still quite a good movie.

Overall, Lose Your Head is an entertaining film, which will leave you with a lingering sense of dread and may make you think twice about popping that pill in your mouth. (7/10)

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Retro Gay Short Stories

A collection of gay short stories before year 2000.

Un arrangement (France) [An Arrangement]
A man and his son come to terms with their sexuality in their own different manners: while the father painfully hides his secret from his family during night tricks, the son progressively discovers a more open sexuality. Very very interesting film.

Dizzy (Canada)
Written on a flight to Australia and intended as a speech for Hull’s brother’s wedding, Dizzy is a story of one man’s attempt to come to terms with his fragile balance in the modern world. Strictly time pass.

Pracht (Germany)
Two guys sitting across each other on the train fantasize about having sex. Interesting piece and something that can probably tun u on

Les larmes du SIDA (France) [The Tears of AIDS]
A married man falls in love with an another man whom he meets on a beach. He describes this sudden passion in simples words. A nice heart warming film and filmed very very well.

Une nuit ordinaire (France) [An Ordinary Night]
A young French man bicycles across town after an evening out to spend the night with his boyfriend. The twist in the tale is that the bf is probably dying of AIDS.

Des majorettes dans l'espace (France) [Majorettes in Space]
Dimitri, a Soviet cosmonaut of Soyouz 27 likes majorettes. Catherine and Laurent like making love. Jean-Paul II loves airports. Vincent loves boys. Total random and abstract.

Les amoureux (France) [Lovers]
This short is extracted form the feature film. In a French small town, Marc, a 15-year-old teenager, reveals his homosexuality.

America the Beautiful (USA)
Short video transforms verses about religion and battle into a verse about the right to love.

Allegoria (France)
A self inducing crappy piece of experimental cinema where the film-maker just plays with colors with its weirdly make-up'ed characters. Totally bizarre and weird.

Masculins singuliers (France)
A taxi driver tries to take advantage of his passenger ( a drag queen) but is in surprise when the tables turn and drag queen is heavy on the driver. Another bad film.

Boys beware (USA)
What might have been a harmless, even helpful warning to kids about pedophiles becomes ridiculous and ugly by its pretense of revealing what all *homosexuals* are like. It is insulting to gays that this film is still screened in some parts of the country even today.

An average rating of four because the films were more bad than good. (4/10)

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Kill Your Darlings

I wanted to like this film. I really did. Having heard so much about it and reading critics positive reviews, I was almost sure that this movie is going to be great. And of course, what happens; After having sat through 4 sessions and finally finishing the film, I was glad that it ended. Another example for me on how expectations really burst your bubble. I think I need to rethink these true autobiographical kind of stories because there is so much there that the makers pack in them, and if you do not have the context of who's who before watching the film, you will be completely lost like me.

The film chronicles early life of the famous poet Allen Ginsberg. He gets a seat in Columbia University and soon meets Lucien , a rowdy, anti-establishment student in the college. Ginsberg discovers that Lucien's papers are all written by David, who is older to him and also probably an ex-lover. David loves Lucien and but the latter is just using him. Rebellious writer William and a sailor Jack also hangs out with the group. Ginsberg takes part in various extreme escapades with this extraordinary group of people. Allen has crush on Lucien and he knows that. So Lucien tells David that he is done with him and recruits Allen to write his term papers. When Allen finds out Lu probably doesn't love him as much he does, he is heartbroken. A confrontation between Lu and David, ends up David being dead by stabbing and drowning. Lucien is arrested and he requests Allen to write his deposition for him. Initially reluctant to help, Ginsberg goes about riding about the truth of what happened and what's the history behind David and Lucien's relationship and writes a piece entitled "The Night In Question". After reading it, Lu begs Allen to not release it because it can ruin him. The friendship sours and Ginsberg gets expelled from college but gets a encouraging note form his professor to pursue his writing.

The film boasts of excellent performances by everyone specially by Daniel Radcliffe as Ginsberg and Dane DeHaan as Lucien. As I mentioned above, my problem is with the first half of the film. You see so many characters being introduced, it becomes a little hard to keep a track of who's who and what their relationship with each other is. And this is when it help to have some sort of prior background information. The film is an intellectual moral maze and not exactly an entertainer. The movie although sometimes confident, is an obsessive and complicated re-telling of enigmatic characters placed in a deceitful and over-dramatized tragedy of murder. The movie feels drowned in the water with average narrative clichés weighing it down despite some really good performances. Also, it doesn’t deal very sensitively with the issues sexuality presented for these period characters. Maybe it wasn't important but then why show the scene where Ginsberg loses his virginity.

Kill Your Darlings isn’t exactly bad, it’s just a bit boring and misguided, and it failed to keep my attention at it despite I trying my best. (5/10)

Monday, June 2, 2014

Girl, Boy, Bakla, Tomboy (Filipino/Tagalog) [Girl, Boy, Gay, Lesbian]

It's been a while since I saw a comedy gay film. This film helped me fill that void. Although some may feel that this borderlines corny with comedy but who cares! My time was well spent and at any point I did not look at how much more of the movie is left. That's because I was totally enjoying the film and laughing at a lot of places and one liners. And what is surprising is the fact that the quadruple roles are all played by the same actor. Now that's a major feat for any actor.

Pete and Pia are a married couple in Phillipines. Pia gives birth to quadruples but because of evil plan sod the mother-in-law the kids get separated after birth. Girlie and Peter end up staying with their father in US and Mark and Panying end up with their mother growing up in the farm. Girlie is a spoilt rich girl who claims to be a model, Peter is a race car driver who is diagnosed with Hepatitis C, Mark is Bakla (gay) and Panying is tomboy (lesbian). Peter needs a liver transplant and this is when Pete (father) tells the kids about 2 other siblings. They all travel to Manila and it turns out that MArk is the only compatible donor. The family finally meets and this is where the comedy begins. New Heights of comedy and entertainment begin. Girlie and Mark are the 2 siblings who are always at loggerheads and trying to get back at each other. Peter and Panying are the more sorted ones. Of course things all fall in place in the end and they all are a big happy family.

The concept of a comedian in real life playing 4 characters sound gimmicky but it actually works. The styling , looks and behavior of 4 characters is so different that you never get confused between them. You exactly know which character is who,which is a huge plus point IMO. The film is filled with laughter and one liners and the film at the same time provides an emotional core as well. Its always refreshing to see that the gender or sexuality of the character is never an issue. It just describes who they are and the film focuses more on their relationship. But comedy is still the core. The punchlines are hilarious. I think Girlie was the funniest character and Panying was the least developed. Even the 4 kids who live with Pia were quite funny. It may sound racist but all th evokes on the fake black kid were too good. Technically the film may not be a masterpiece, but then it is funny and most importantly it succeeds in entertaining people. A couple of scenes where the grandma featured were also quite funny. She was awesome.

All-in-all, "Girl Boy Bakla Tomboy" is a wonderful comedy movie which I think everyone would enjoy. I am starting to become a fan of Filipino comedy gay movies. (7/10)

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Gay Short Films : 20

This is another review collection of short movies. This time they are all under 10 minutes, and hence being reviewed all together.

Flamingo pride (Germany)
This animation is intellectually and socially negligent, yet insidiously shrouded in bright colors and some sort of ham-handed sense of humor. When the only straight flamingo tries to get out of the herd of gay flamingos, what does he have to go through !! Quiet decent IMO

Desanimado (Spain)
A cartoon character goes to therapy because he feels rejected in a ‘live-action’ world what dislikes those who are different. The protagonist reflects on the nature of prejudice and has to decide to either adapt to the norm or dare live as he is. A good way to see would be replace cartoon with gay and similar theories apply. It was a little boring for me because there was non stop talking for like 5-6 minutes, which started giving me a headache.

Mi amigo Jaime (Spain)
The movie tells the story of Dani, a young boy who shares a close friendship with his friend Jaime. Their relationship changes when Dani realizes he feels something more to his friend and ends up kissing him. Initially repulsed, Jaime comes around when he invites Dani to meet at the pier , hugs him and gives him a kiss on cheek. Things will be good now. Brilliant short.

Ecce Homo (Behold The Man)
The film interweaves images form Jean Genet's masterpiece, Un Chant d'Amour with images from gay male sex films. It forces the viewer to question the point of view in looking at "pornographic" images. It asks whether the taboo is against gay sex or against seeing gay sex. The style of film making and presentation is definitely not my cup of tea.

Last Address (USA)
The list of New York artists who died of AIDS over the last 30 years is countless, and the loss immeasurable. This film uses images of the exteriors of the houses, apartment buildings, and lofts where these and others were living at the time of their deaths to mark the disappearance of a generation. Haunting yet not very interesting, despite me being a NYker.

Gay Baby (USA)
An expectant couple learns their unborn son is gay. The father is disappointed that he will never be able to bond with his son over sports. A young gay store clerk changes the father’s reaction from disappointment to excitement. Things take a more positive turn when the father realizes that as gay as the clerk is, he is a super star in sports. Excellent !!

The Attendant
A middle-aged black attendant walks around the gallery in which he works. The attendant searches bag of young white gay man and the 2 men become aware of a mutual sexual attraction. At close of business, the attendant shuts the museum doors and sees the paintings come to life. The scenes now depicted show images of domination and homosexual desire. A little too ambiguous for me, constantly shifting between reality and the attendant's imagination.

Solipsist (USA)
It's not really a gay short. Its not interesting either but it is visually captivating. It probably used up a lot of money too. An experimental fantasy short film about otherworldly beings whose minds and bodies converge into one entity. Filled with elaborate costumes, stunning visual effects, and underwater puppets, the film is a non-narrative purely visual/audio experience designed to transport viewers through a hypnotic, dream-like experience.

Glacier (USA)
A visual essay on the LGBT history since the times. Packing stunning visuals form army, politics, movies, everyday life; including color and B&W and a very haunting melody backing all this, we younger generation should feel very proud and lucky for where we are today. Pretty darn good!

Bakersfield, Earth (USA)
A Guy who wears a dress tries to join an anti-evolution protest group of moms who home school kids. When the group starts getting a little uncomfortable because he believes his alien race created humans, they ask him to tell his theory (which is totally absurd). An interesting mix of comedy, laughs and sic-fi. Good acting and production value. Total time pass.

An average rating of again 5 for all these short films. (5/10)