Skip to main content


Showing posts from August, 2010

I Love You Philip Morris

I was shocked when the moie ended declaring that this was a true story. I had such a hard time believing it was true because some of the cons seens in this movie are truly worth applauding. Things that a man can do and extents he can goto to prove his love for someone are shown very very well in this film. And when you have actors like Jim Carrey and Ewan McGreor, the premise becomes even more interesting.  Steven Russell is happily married to Debbie, and a member of the local police force when a car accident provokes a dramatic reassessment of his life. Steven becomes open about his homosexuality and decides to live life to the fullest - even if it means breaking the law. Steven's new, extravagant lifestyle involves cons and fraud and, eventually, a stay in the State Penitentiary where he meets sensitive, soft-spoken Phillip Morris. This is where the love starts. His love for Phillip seems irrational and all-encompassing and when he is released he uses his powers of conman ship to

La Mala Educación (Spain) [Bad Education]

Pedro Almodóvar movies are always to watch out for. The way he blends two different storylines with the same actors, is worth watching. Though this film of his is a little different from others. The theme (child abuse) is darker. It is going to be had to review the film because there are so many twists and turns and it is a great work of art. Enrique is a Spanish filmmaker who is having trouble settling on a new project when he's approached by Ignacio Rodriguez, who was his close friend when they were schoolboys. Enrique, who fell in love for the first time with Rodriguez, barely recognizes the man as his former crush, but agrees to read the short story he's written. The tale turns out to be an semi-autobiographical account of their days in a Catholic boarding school, in which a cross-dressing night-club performer named Zahara (also played by Ignacio) hooks up with a man named Enrique, who turns out to have been his first lover when he was a student. Recalling their school day

Giorni (Italian) [Days]

This is a film about "living with Aids," how it can in some ways "robotize" one's behavior, cut one off and harden one in his interactions with others. How stupid and delusional is the one who gets infected, on purpose, because it's the more "natural" way to make love. It shows the problems that a HIV+ individual has in balancing his desire for freedom with his responsibilities and his long term relationship. Claudio, a successful banker is HIV positive for a while and lives with his partner Dario while also being a caregiver for his sister and mother. Because of his condition he cannot enjoy passionate intimacy and this is building up tension within his psyche. Claudio has had a fling with a guy named Andrea. While Dario and Claudio are planning to move to Milan for good, Claudio meets Andrea again in the restaurant that he works and instant sparks fly again. When they go back home for sex, Andrea clearly says that he wants all natural and no cond

Rainbow Boys: The Movie (Thai) [Right By Me]

This was such a immature film. Everyone involved was trying too hard but just the whole premise, the acting and the direction was very very amateurish. And don't even get me started on the parents of the teenagers. They were so ridiculously horrible that I wonder what prompted the director to have any of those parents to be in the film. Nat and Tat are 2 high school friends. Nat is flamboyant and out to the world and the constant target of bullies because of it, with an unrequited crush on Tat. Tat is the nerdy studious one, on the college team. He is in closet but his parents hate that he hangs out with Tat rather than having some real friends. Tat's attention is drawn by Ek, the hunky college basketball star who has a girlfriend, but who shows up at an off-campus gay student meeting and - when he sees the others from his class - quickly claims that he went to the meeting "by mistake". But its apparent that Ek has interest in boys too. He manages to get Tat to tutor

Rak haeng Siam (Thai) [The Love of Siam]

Yes, the primary focus of this film is love between 2 teenage boys but this film is actually much beyond that. It talks and also shows love between everyone and every relationship like grandmother and grandson, wife and husband, brother and sister, pure friendship; everything. Another aspect that the film had so natural and pure acting by pretty much everyone made this 3 hour long film watchable. It was long but you would be so immersed in the purity of love between everyone that you really dont mind the length of the film. Mew is a young boy who lives with his grandmother. Next door to them lives a very happy family. Tang and Tong are brother and sister who live with their very happy parents. Mew and Tong becomes good friends. Once when the family goes on a vacation, Tong brings back gift for Mew (a wooden doll) which is missing a nose. Tang expresses a desire to stay back with friends for few days and never returns. Saddened by sudden and so unexpected loss of their daughter, the fa

Nés en 68 (French) [Born in 68]

Almost 3 hours long, Born in 68 is three films in one. This is a very long film, punctuated with some wonderful performances between seemingly eternal interludes. Each act or film is marked by bookends, very similar scenes, which mark the end or beginning of the next act. This was a difficult film to follow. Time did not move in a linear fashion. At one part of the film, a day lasted 10 or 15 minutes, and then time advanced with no warning several years in a minute or two. It was very difficult to figure out how much time had passed. It was also very difficult to keep track of the characters. Catherine, Yves and Herve are three students at the Sorbonne who participate in the events of '68. They are 20 years old and a loose erotic trio. Catherine gets pregnant and aborts putting her life to serious risk;in the meantime, the boys are involved in the Parisian riots. Somehow things get to a halt, and, with a group of revolutionary friends they go to Lot, to an abandoned farm, to form a

M. Butterfly

You might need to know a bot of Chinese history around revolution to better appreciate this movie but nevertheless it makes for an interesting viewing. This is an artsy film about a French diplomat falling in love for a Chinese Opera singer. As he pursues his love for the diva he's attracted to, she toys with his foreign ignorance of the cultural differences between their Western & Eastern societies.  A French diplomat named Rene Gallimard is living and working in the China at the time of the Vietnam war. He goes to see the famous Chinese opera Madam Butterfly and instantly falls in love with the woman playing the lead roll. They start an Affair but the woman Song Liling is so modest that she won't let Rene see her naked. The affair is short lived. When the Communist Cultural Revolution separates the would-be lovers, the actress Song is sent off to prison and the diplomat is recalled to France where his wife divorces him. Several years later Song shows up again and tricks h

Soundless Wind Chime (Hong Kong)

This film is a mish mash of reality and illusion. There’s a lot going on beneath Soundless Wind Chime’s stylish, deliberately arty surface. Unfortunately, it’s the filmmaker who’ll probably get the most out of Soundless Wind Chime, and not his audience due to the fact that his intentions are too unfocused, and aren’t bridged to the audience effectively. The main aspect that might draw you away is an attempt to blur the boundaries of reality, memories and imagination. Ricky works at a local restaurant and delivers food. One day he meets a swiss guy Pascal who was being abused by his gay partner. Pascal is now on street with no money left. Ricky brings him home with him. Things are fine and they move out and start living together. The speed with which their relationship was going strong, it comes down with the same speed. The film clearly does not show the reasons for why this happens but there is clearly a rift. One day Pascal does in an accident. Ricky leaves Hong Kong for Switzerland

My Fair Son (Chinese)

Now this was a lousy excuse to make a movie. This movie was just torture. It was sooo slow and draggish. Even otherwise, there was not much of a stiry in the first place in this film. It was very odd. It could have been a good 10 minute short film but nothing more than that. Ray, a thin, very tall and handsome young man returns to live with his father after having grown up with grandfather. He is angry and disconnected over his father's life because he never lived with him and he blames him for sending him to his grandfather. The dad has an employee Bo who works very closely for him. Ray enrolls in art school where he makes a new friends and starts a relationship with a another student. One morning, Dad discovers the two young men naked in bed and, after being surprised, must begin to understand his own feelings toward homosexuality. Then Ray meets Bo and sparks fly. They both get in a relationship. When the father finds out, he sacks Bo from his job leaving Ray behind all alone. T

The Hanging Garden (Canada)

This film has been directed in a different fashion. You will see past and present collide somewhere together. It is beautifully shown how memories of the past haunt a family to an extent that everyone goes through the same phase. aving run away as a self-hating, obese and abused 15-year old, William returns to his parents home after 10 years to attend his sister's wedding. He's happy in his new life, with a partner, steady work and having lost all of his excess weight. Being back at home revives all of awful memories of his childhood: overeating because it's the one thing nobody can stop him from doing; being hit by his drunken and abusive father; being seen by his grandmother when he has his first sexual encounter with a male friend; his mother arranging for him to have sex with a woman while she sat in the next room. New revelations are in store however. After the wedding is over, he finds that he has a new sister Violet whom he did not know existed. He sees how his mothe

Les Chansons D'amour (French) [Love Songs]

I remember a few days ago, I saw a French gay musical and liked it a lot. This is another French musical, although this one doesn't really fall in the gay category. This story is a perfect blend of playfulness, joy, sexuality and complete and utter tragedy. . All of this is weaved in through the story and, more importantly, the songs themselves which even though you don't understand the language, you can't help but fall in love with them. Ismael and Julie are a couple. Ismael works a lot in publication with ALice. Instead of being jealous, Julie invites her over for a 3way relationship. Things are going fine betwen the 3 sometimes fun, sometimes jealousy but its all good. Julie seems to accept Alice in the trio to please Ismael, but she wants him to herself and regrets his refusal to have a child. Julie can't take this anymore and one night dies of heart attack. Alice moves out of the aptt because it is the right thing to do and also she wants to get away from Ism

Cover boy: L'ultima rivoluzione (Italian)

The fall of communism in Eastern Europe in the last part of the 20th century, created a class of impoverished people whose only desire was to leave their native lands in search of a future in the more developed nations. The film shows friendship between a Romanian and his counterpart Italian in the post Communist Revolution. Ioan is a boy of about ten, whose father gets killed in gunshot in Romania while trying to help a wounded person on road. Years later when Ioan's future is uncertain, his pal convinces him that there will be more job possibilities in Italy. Traveling with fake passport, the friend is taken away, but Ioan has no trouble continuing to Rome. Now facing the reality, Ioan cannot get a job. Michele, a janitor, surprises him using the facilities he just cleaned, and tells him not to come again. Ioan, who is desperate, gets an offer from Michele to share his apartment paying a price he probably he cannot afford. Michele, begins to realize that Ioan is a good person. In

Rag Tag (UK)

I had good expectations from this film. The premise sounded promising of 2 close friends who are separated in childhood and they meet back in adulthood but according to me the film just lost it somewhere in the middle. The whole thing of going to Africa carving a place for their love was totally not needed.  Raymond and Tagbo meet when they are eight and who are from totally different worlds. Raymond or Rag is from a single parent West Indian home and Tagbo or Tag is the only child of middle class Nigerian folks. The two have been inseparable until the teen years when social services takes Rag away and he has to move. Ten years later, Rag comes back to find Tag and they see that they still want to be together. They are now both 23 and their friendship has changed as well as their personalities. Tag is finishing law school and having a rough time finding a position. Tag has a girlfriend who is white but she is not good enough for his parents. Rag realizes that he does not stand a chance

El cuarto de Leo (Uruguay / Spanish) [Leo's Room]

Aha!! Now this movie was interesting. The topic of an individual struggling with his sexuality still intrigues me. If done in a unique and interesting way, this topic can still manage to hold one's attention and this film managed to do exactly this. It was a very interesting idea, developed differently, a bit slow but the lead man Leo was so attractive and good looking, it doesn't harm to watch the slow pace of the film. Easy-going but secretly troubled college student Leo is thrown when his girlfriend – fed up that he can’t get it up – dumps him. He knows he’s gay or at least he thinks so but can't admit to himself forget admitting it to his psychiatrist, his supportive mother or his stoner roommate. One day he meets his old female friend from primary school Caro and they both become very good friends. Caro looks a little messed up but soon a friendship starts growing between them. In the meantime Leo also meets a handsome man Sebastian and they start a beautiful relations

My Brother...Nikhil (Hindi)

So, I finally got to watch this movie a second time after trying it twice before and getting a bad dvd each time. It was still as beautiful , emotional and touching as I remembered it the last time, though When there is too much crying in the movie, the audience doesn't cry much. But still it choked you and took you back to the old days in India (Goa) when AIDS was just being discovered.  The Kapoors have lived in Goa for a long time. Their son Nikhil is a swimming champion and also have a lovely daughter Anu. The entire family share a wonderful bond with each other. Anu soon gets engaged to Sam and Nikhil hangs out with his friend Nigel. Soon Nikhil is diagnosed with HIV. Entire town including his parents disown him. We are not told how he got it because it is not important. We are told Nigel and him are actually lovers. Nikhil is thrown out of the swimming team and soon arrested to be kept in isolation till further notice because of his status. They hire a lawyer to fight for the

Ander (Basque/Spanish)

I guess this film can easily be classified as art house cinema. Shot in the beautiful locales of Spain Suburbs (it is really really beautiful), this film drags in terms of pace. This 2 plus hours movie could have been easily finished in an hour.It had an interesting story to tell but there is a thin line between cinema and realistic cinema. This one was so slow and realistic that you felt you were actually there with those people and watching their life drag. The valley of Arratia in August 1999. Ander, a farmer well into his forties, lives with his sister Arantxa and his old mother in a remote part of rural Basque country. His is a monotonous life filled with nothing but farm work and a job at the local bicycle factory. One day Ander has an accident and breaks his leg. His limb will be in a plaster cast for two months and his sister's wedding is in next 20 days. Against his mother's wishes, the family decides to employ a Peruvian immigrant, José, in order to help out. The arri