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.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Slash

Slash is definitely not a gay themed film but has enough references for it to have a review here on my blog. I’ll try to keep it short and simple for 2 reasons. a) Because I didn’t think too much of the film, and b) My blog is supposed to be mainly about queer cinema but this film falls in a grey area.

Neil is an introvert 15 year old, questioning high school freshman. He thinks he might be gay but isin’t sure, although he continues to write steamy fan fiction for his own pleasure. He writes about Vanguard, the brawny, galaxy-hopping hero of a popular sci-fi franchise. When his stories are exposed in class Neil is mortified, but the slightly older, effortlessly cool Julia comes to his defense, who is a fan fiction writer herself on an online “adult” forum. They both become good friends and Neil has someone with whom he feels comfortable with. He feel she is falling in love with Julia. Until Neil grabs attention of Denis thorough the website, who is the site moderator and he invites Neil to present his work at a comic con live-read event. Secrets are revealed there, when it comes out that Neil and Julia both lied about their age, Denis recommends him to be himself. Neil and Julia hook-up but neither knows what it really means and Neil wants to hook up with Denis to explore his queer side. The event doesn’t go as planed and it puts a strain in the relationship of two friends. But at least Neil gains confidence on his writing and he continues to write gay fan fiction on Vanguard.

Was this really a coming-of-age story as the makers portray it to be? I somehow don’t think so. Unless I completely fail to understand the genre of the film. I think ‘Slash’ as a term has a whole different meaning and reference, which , I know I fail to understand. But a film is supposed to be for a wider audience and this is where it fails. Also I think too much focus is given on the adult (specifically homo-erotic) aspect. What happened to good old fan fiction writing? ON a plus side, the production values and the acting by everyone is pretty top-notch. I never had to fast forward the film. But it could easily have been a few minutes shorter or the pace could have been better.

I can see few people liking this film but this was definitely not my kind of cinema. Its not bad, really, but just one-dimensional and superficially uninteresting. (4/10)

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Skam: Season 3 (TV Series) (Norwegian)

Thanks to one of my blog followers lina, I finally managed to watch the third  season of the show ‘Skam’ which apparently translates to ‘Shame’. My initial thoughts, (a) Why didn’t I watch this series sooner (b) How do I now find time to watch the first two seasons.? For those unaware of the show, like I was till a few days back, this is a hit Norwegian show, a cross between TV/online/web series that focusses on lives on teenagers studying in a high school. Each season focusses on a different character and tackles various issues. The main theme of season 3 is the gay storyline and this is how I came to know about the show in the first place. Its 10 episodes with each episode being 20-25 minutes each.

Since I haven’t seen the show’s first 2 seasons, my review will be based on this season as an individual. The main character of this season is Isak, who hangs out with his close group of 3 other male friends. He flirts with one of the popular girls Emma, but very soon we realize that he has his eyes on a really hot guy Evan. He steals glances on him at various occasions. They both finally meet each other at one of the school group parties and become friends. They share this inherent chemistry and a friendship soon blossoms. When Isak realizes that Evan has a girlfriend, he forces himself to like Emma more but things don’t go as planned. Finally, the two boys just give in and they hook up in a very passionate love affair. Just when everything was going perfect for Isak, he gets a message from Evan that things are moving too fast and that he needs a break. He is devastated and has no one to talk to. When constantly quizzed by his friends, he finally tells them all the truth and all his friends are very supportive. Evan apologizes to Isak and soon things are back on track till another blow strikes Isak. Soon it is revealed that Evan is bipolar. Initially Isak freaks out but on some coaching by one of his friends Magnus, who’s mother is also bipolar, he decides to give it a go and take care of Evan. Slowly things start coming back to normal and they love between the two guys rekindle and reaffirm their faith in closeness. The season ends with a Christmas party and Evan recovering good in proper care of Isak and his friends.

The above is the main storyline but of course we have so many other characters who add beautifully to the story We have Isak’s pals, especially Jonas, who is the first one whom Isak comes out to. Then there is Sana, the Muslim girl, who slowly becomes Isak’s study partner and consecutively a friend and confidant. We have girlfriends for both Isak and Emma and other school students and then finally Isak’s gay room mate, who gives him comfort in his own way. There are way too much good things about the show. First thing is the acting by every character and a unique identity that is given to each of them. You feel for Isak, who cannot stop himself from looking at Evan at every given opportunity while struggling with questioning his sexuality. I absolutely loved that how no one cared a shit about Isak being gay when he comes out. His friends are as supportive (maybe even more) when he comes out and they even help him get back with Evan. The storyline, actors and dialogues and so real and believable that you feel you are a part of the group. It was refreshing to see the forward approach by Evan to make Isak feel comfortable. Their first kiss underwater was so special and wonderful. I struggled initially on why Evan wanted things to slow down but that is clarified later. We find out that Isak’s background has something to do with his parents broken marriage, especially his mother’s mental issues, so when you see the supporting text messages from his parents, you cheer and cry alongwith Isak. I, for some reason, felt the pain that Isak was going through in each of these phases that he was going through. First to accept his sexuality, then finding love in life with subsequent heartbreak, the true friends he has in his life with whom he can talk about religion and sexuality and finally when the whole bipolar incident happens. I mean, if a young 17 year old teenage has to go through so much, I can only imagine. Everything has been handled with a mature, yet natural way, that nothing feels over the top. The chemistry between the boys is great. They way they look at each other with their piercing eyes, you feel the love between them and you also feel the heartbreak that Isak has ben through. You cheer for their love, you want them to get together and stay together for ever and ever.

I had the same mixed feelings of happy and sad when I finished the series, like I had for some other shows in the past. Sad that is over, but really happy that I still have faith there people will continue to come up with innovative ways of good TV/cinema focusing on LGBT community and present issues in a more realistic manner. Bring it on. (8.5/10)

(edited on Dec 12 '17) PS: I just finished watching season 1, 2 & 4 as well and loved as much every bit. I was a bit sad that the series has finally come to an end; but I am so so glad to having watched this. Now I just go around telling people that they need to watch this.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Gay Short Films : 52

Entre Amigos (Mexico) [Between Friends]
A quick short film of two teenage friends. One of them is in hospital and THE other one has secret crush on his friend. When the sick guy asks his friend to jerk- him off since he is his friend, things may take a different turn when the other guy will try to go beyonD just jerking off his friend. He has now accepted his sexuality. What will his friend do? The boys were cute and the film is kept at a perfect short length of just abut 5 minutes.

1992 (France)
It's 1992. Martin is 17 and he films his daily life with his Hi8 camera. He films anything and everything around him. One day he meets Dominique, 23 and works as a student monitor at Martin's high school. Soon an affair begin between the two. Its also the time when Martin is trying to figure out why his relationship with his father is so strained. Maybe filming him also would help.

Bed Buddies (USA)
An interesting take on what happens when three gay friends take their relationship into unknown territory. Three best friends wake up one morning only to realize that they slept with each other. Intense conversations begin on what this will do to their friendship. Should they stop immediately but what if they all enjoyed it, and they all actually like each other. Fantastic film. I loved the concept and I also liked how every possibility was explored without giving us a conclusion.

Why Does God Hate Me (USA)
A coming-of-age comedy about Matthew, a 14-year-old boy living in a very religious town, whose best friend Ester tries to ‘cure’ him of being gay, every time he sees a hot guys in either school or outside. But a trip to San Francisco shows Matthew that he might not be the one who needs curing. It’s comedy, yet a very emotional story of how we all need to be more tolerant to everyone and that its not some sort of disease, or something that can be cured. I like how Matthew decides to be on his own and take control of his own life.

South Park S19E06 - Craig x Tweek (USA)
Interestingly done episode. Introduced by the Japanese art of Yaoi, school students are horrified to find that Tweek & Craig are part of the homoerotic and homosexual paintings done by this art students. Neither is gay but soon they may have to pretend to be one because that’s the only way they will be able to get out of it. In my opinion, the episode was just Meh!

You Are Beautiful (Bulgaria)
A very interesting film. We see a young teenage boy chatting on a gay chat website planning to meet a man. Our young friend also has some communication issues with his mother, who finds out about his son's adventures online. As it turns out the young boy was talking to his father and they are both shocked to see each other. With everyone in family knowing a secret, the dynamics suddenly change at dinner table where everyone is now an adult.

Alex y Fabio Ya No Están (Puerto Rico) [Alex And Fabio Are No Longer Here]
Alex and Fabio’s intricate relationship is examined through a series of flashbacks, highlighting their initial insatiable desire for one another to the inopportune turn of events that led to the dismantling of their relationship. What results is not only an examination of a broken relationship, but an honest portrayal of modern love and its oftentimes fleeting nature. A very fine and warm film.

The Curse of the Un-Kissable Kid (USA)
Josh spends his days dodging bullies and snarky school principals. To make his problems disappear, he drinks a gypsy’s magic potion… if only he’d read the fine print! Life is going to change for him now.

La Collana (Italy) [The Necklace]
Marco is a shy courier instructed to deliver some jewels in a photo studio. Here he meets Giorgio, the photographer: handsome, gay, cheeky who comes on to Marco.

The Tormentors (Australia)
This film deals with the subject of homophobia in a family run motor mechanics business. The father has always been hard on the two sons. The elder son is supposed to take over the business but the younger son is hiding something. With the arrival of an intern at the premise, things may change for him, who can’t take it anymore and comes out of closet but it might be too late by then.  Informal discrimination is a prevailing problem, despite dramatic cultural and legal improvements in recent years.

Gorjetas (Brazil) [Tips]
Mario is broke & is unable to pay bills. In order to earn money to pay them he takes radical measures as he starts as a webcam boy on a famous porn site. To keep and increase the attention of his viewers he goes to extreme lengths, when an intruder walks in to his room to rob him. He uses the event as an opportunity to make more money for himself. A very interesting take on what lengths people will go to satisfy their urges.

Mañana Todo Será Mejor (Spain) [Tomorrow Everything Will Be Better]
A couple though living together has strains. The guy is not sure of what he is doing. Next day he meets another guy at the pool and the two start to flirt but cant do anything. Our man is in for a surprise when he goes back to his girl’s house only to realise that the other guy is her brother.

The Confession (UK)
A lovers quarrel, when one of them asks his partner to be open about his love rather than being conscious about his image, especially when he is leaving for a voyage and wont be back for months.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Hurricane Bianca

A campy film, I wasn’t expecting much from it to be honest but it wasn’t bad at all. Broadly divided into two halves, the first part is actually a bit of drag (no pun intended) but the film gets a lot funnier, quirky and exactly what you hoped for once we have our main character in drag. Which one us doesn’t like the offensive and insulting one-liners specially from drag queens. This film definitely delivered on that front but how I wished there was more of it.

The plot is simple. Richard has been in New York for a while and soon moves to a small town in Texas to teach in a school in the middle of nowhere, as part of the Teaching Ambassador Program. But the stint lasts only a couple of days till the Vice Principal realises he is gay and gets him kicked out. He meets an RJ at an empty bar who soon makes Richard realise that he may have some hidden talents. Richard soon transforms in drag as Bianca Del Rio and applies for a job back at school. The cat and mouse fun games begin now with hilarious incidents with school kids, the vice-principal, the principal and most importantly with the very good looking gym coach. She cuts down the students who try to mess with her to gain their respect and protects the kids who get teased. The film ends with people in the school coming around, being accepted and Bianca winning the teacher of the year award.

As mentioned, the first 30 minutes of the movie was a a little slow but provided the groundwork for the plot. As soon as we got the Bianca transformation, the movie was full of sarcasm, wit, and more insults. Her equation with Vice-principal was hilarious. As an actor Bianca was fabulous. No doubt. But as Richard, he fails completely. I could not have empathy at all. I mean, I agree this is supposed to be over the top, camp, quirky style movie but still a lot was missing. Things just feel into place a little too conveniently including the affair with the coach and the family acceptance by the RJ who has a hidden past. Some other LGBT related topics were highlighted but not addressed, which is fine with me, since the film is a bit superficial anyway. The fact that they were brought up itself was a good gesture. had the film focussed a lot more on Bianca’s wit and humour, that would have received an other plus one from me.

You can enjoy this film only if you like over-the-top camp sensibilities and total sassiness. (5/10)