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Showing posts from 2014

Children 404 (Russian) (Documentary)

For any documentary to be successful, it is very important for it to hold viewers attention. Tell a story that has something important to say, incorporate key characters and their interactions and present in a way that viewers wanna know whats going to happen next. Sadly, this documentary miserable fails in the latter. It does have an important story to tell. But it is so long and drawn and boring that within 30 minutes into it and you have already completely lost the interest. Based on the stories from the Children-404 social networking project, which offered Russian (and international) youth a channel to express themselves and seek or offer support, this documentary’s name wants to say that ‘visibility is vital’. In 2013, Russian President Vladimir Putin passed a bill forbidding the “promotion of nontraditional sexual relations to minors.” LGBT youth, now defenseless against insults and intimidation under this “gay propaganda” law, are considered sick, sinful and abnormal. The t

Phi Chai (Thai) [My Bromance]

Wow! Another Thai film that impressed me. Some people may find this controversial and even cheeky to an extent but I thought that the direction was done quite well and most of the stations were handled bravely and sensitively. Its not a typical gay teen coming-of-age film but its more than that. Its about whats right and what’s not in a relationship. Golf lives with his father and aunt. His father showers him with money but not love. When he remarries, in comes Bank, his step brother. Bank constantly keeps trying to reach Golf but is always met with hostility. Things change when their common friends make Golf realise on how bad he is treating his brother. The 2 guys start accepting each other as brothers. Bank gives Golf the love and warmth that he has always desired. The school’s pop start is interested in Bank who refuses his proposal because he likes someone else. The moment when the 2 boys confess their love for each other being a brotherly love is very emotional. The two star

Fucking Different (German)

The idea on paper sounds very interesting. Get gay short films made by lesbian filmmakers and lesbian short films made by gays. How does the sex of the others work, how to deal with stereotypes, prejudice, sexual fantasies and pornography; all these areas could be explored. So 15 queer crossovers filmmakers from Berlin were asked to make a short film about their idea of lesbian and gay love respectively.  All genres – animation, documentary, drama – were allowed. Filmmakers were also given a free hand in deciding which form their films would take – either experimental or conventional. The only parameters to which they were required to adhere were the length of each film – between three and seven minutes. It was interesting to see that even though we may think lesbians and gays co-exist, there is still a lot of cliches in the minds of many in the opposite group. Sometimes ridiculous and other times offensive. W are not just fucking differently, we are fucking different. And that’s

Last Summer

My faith in good gay cinema has once again been reinstated. But I guess I knew that very well that I will encounter some wort of worse movies and some really decent to some really good ones. This film needs patience but that and the simplicity of this film is what makes it special and you feel connected to it. A small town life has to be portrayed in a way that it exists. Not more not less. So yeah, some of you may get very impatient but trust me, give this film your attention and no expectations. You would be surprised ! Luke and Jonah have been inseparable ever since they were 4. Jonah is the smart one and an artist while Luke is just an average kid. It is their last summer together before Jonah leaves for college. Each one of them loves the other more than the other person thinks. It is killing both of them equally that Jonah is going to leave but is there anything that they can do except their time together? Faced with separation, they savour every remaining moment, hold it, c

Where The Bears Are: Season 3 (Web Series)

And the bears are back ! By now, if you have seen the first two seasons, you have a general idea on the characters, their goofiness, their interactions and their silliness as well. So you know exactly what you expect and hence what you get is also what you expect. Its a win-win situation. Like the predecessors, his season will also feature Reggie, Wood, Nelson and Todd into solving yet another thrilling murder mystery. Suddenly all chunky beefy male models of ‘Chunk Studio’ are being illdd and over a period of time there are 3 deaths. Nelson gets cast in a horror film, Chunk Studio owner wants Todd to join, which he ultimately joins as undercover. And Reggie enlists Wood to help him shoot a reality TV pilot to help him expand his brand as a true crime expert. We also have the usual dose of the 2 detectives also trying to solve the case. Thing sleep mystifying and eye are raised at all potential suspects including the make-up at its, ex-flames and anyone working in the Chunk Studio

Praxis

Oh My God!! What a piece of garbage this was ! yes, you read it right. I have actually written those words right at the beginning to save many viewers who are still yet to watch it, save themselves over an hour of their life. Sure the film wants to make some point about depression and loneliness but then why drag it to 90  long boring obnoxious minutes. The message could have been so well passed on in a 10 minute short feature film. I will struggle to write the plot here because there was none but let me try in a couple of sentences. We see Brian, a handsome young man, going though past and present of his life and living in depression and fear of something. We also meet Joe. an older fit and handsome man, who time and again comes in Brian’s life as a source of strength. The chapters of their life are then shown in repeat mode with pretty much every scene repeated like 5-7 times, which didn’t make any sense to me. The films starts with Brian’s death so we know what’s in store fin

Gay Short Films : 25

Can I be your bratwurst, please? (Germany/USA) Jeff ‘bratwurst’ is tickling everybody’s fancy. When he arrives at a Hollywood hotel, all the guests have all sorts of fantasies set in motion at the sight of Jeff. We have a Marilyn Monroe look-a-like, a leather-man with a little white dog and the hotel-owner’s mother all craving for Jeff’s flesh. But fantasies turn wild at the dinner table set for christmas, where maybe these people are more than just humans and want even more than Jeff's bratwurst. Or is it just Jeff's imagination? A very well done and interesting piece of short narrative. (6/10) The Disgustings (USA) A comedic short film about a day in the life of two best friends, one an egocentric complainer and the other a judgmental ruthless witch, both ridiculous narcissists. This film clearly shows the abundance of assholes around you. I couldn’t believe some of the insulting to people remarks in this but I can also believe that people like these 2 exist. (6.5/1

A Wedding Most Strange (UK)

With such an interesting title, the expectations from this film were a little on the north side. Unfortunately it was not the wedding that was strange but the film on borderline ridiculous. The dvd cover and synopsis of the film was also quite good and alas! only if the expectations could result in the film delivering what it promises. The movie is supposed to be funny, but what it really felt was badly acted and directed pseudo reality television. We are introduced to Danny whose divorce has just come through. But in order for him to get his father's inheritance, he needs to get married within 2 weeks. and hence begins his search. He puts an online ad to find suitable male suitors to marry in a short notice. The search finally boils to 3 guys who are all invited for the wedding. We meet his best friend, a gay guy, his ex-wife and another odd friend Tracy, who probably has hots for Danny. Danny hasn't told any of them why is he getting married so soon and why this secrecy.

L'inconnu du lac (French) [Stranger By The Lake]

Wow! I have not seen an erotic gay thriller, which is drama yet full of eroticism. Although, at the same time, I can totally see people hating this film absolutely because a lot of scenes feel repeated. According to me that's necessary and I will talk about it in details later. The film is mixture of allure and menace. Most scenes have an underlying tension, and we really do not know what to expect beyond the lake and the bushes. The basic plot of the film is very simple. A young man Frank, spends his summer days hopelessly searching for companionship at a popular cruising spot on the shores of a lake in rural France. The woods behind the beach is where the gay men involve in sexual encounters. Frank meets Henri, a flabby a guy whose wife has just left him and who sits alone on the beach away from most gay men. Frank also meets Michel, a very attractive yet darkly mysterious man and starts falling blindly in love with him. Although Michel is with someone, he and Frank does end

Cockpit (Swedish)

Ok, so this may not really be classified as queer cinema, but it touches upon the subject tangentially, so there is no harm done in reviewing the film here. Plus this film was quite funny and interesting and I think more people should watch the film and get entertained. We don't always have to have films on serious subjects. Its time we lighten up the mood a little. Valle is a successful pilot and leading a good life with a wife and kids. When the job market goes down, he unexpectedly finds himself out of job. To make matters worse, his wife divorces him and ends up with a much older man and Valle finds himself living with his sister in his childhood home. Unable to find a pilot job, he decides to impersonate as a woman with the help of his sister, when he finds an opening for a female pilot. Of course, he gets the job and this is where the fun begins. He starts getting close to a bi-sexual stewardess and a fellow pilot, known for his promiscuity, starts flirting with her. On

J'en suis! (French) [Heads or Tails]

Thank god for a nice funny film. Full of stereotypes and cliches, this hilarious satire pokes fun at both straight and gay attitudes and communities. The concept of a straight man pretending to be gay is not new and I at least have seen a few films in this subject but this was still quite funny. Sure it may be not a gem or a genius film but it does keep you entertained with a constant smile on your face and for me a viewer that does matter quite a bit. Dominique and Pierre have been best friends and business partners. But when they go bankrupt, Dominique doesn't have the courage to tell his wit and kids and pretends to continue to live a lavish life. He also doesn't want to do any menial job. He has a keen eye for antiques. When he goes to sell of his own antique pieces, he gets hired to be the antique guy's partner. But this offer is made under the assumption that Dominique is gay an due goes ahead with it because the money is good. When he starts dressing gay, his wi

L'homme blessé (French) [The Wounded Man]

All the time I was watching his film, I kept thinking "What is going on?" and you know how that is never a good sign. Expectation that this film will son start making sense,just always go downhill. Not much dialogue and only actions makes watching this film very boring and hard. I wonder if this has anything to do with not having context of homosexuality life in France in 1980's. I doubt because that should be no reason to not understand the context of a film. A young man named Henri goes to the railway station with his parents to bid farewell to his sister, who is leaving on a vacation. The train is late, Henri has time to linger, and on a trip to the men's room he discovers that he has great passionate interest in men. One man in particular, Jean, a thug who implicates Henri in a robbery and then gives him a violent kiss, becomes for Henri a figure of enduring erotic fascination. Henri comes out of his shell that she starts getting obsessed with Jean. After a b

Gay Short Films : 24

They Say (USA) We see an odd friendship between the most unwanted girl in the school and the boy who is always bullied. When the girl spills the boy's secret hoping to make friends, the boy is bullied even worse and is force to move towns when he kisses a boy. Not everything that happens on a school playground is play. (6/10) Miles Apart (USA) Such a warm film inside and out, this film shows that compassion and transformation are possible. Jeffery and Miles are visiting Jefferey's mother's house for his sisters wedding. Despite the boys having been together for 5 years, the mother hasn't accepted Miles. This weekend things are set to change and like they say "never say never". Not the best production quality but the film positively portrays love, commitment and a very uplifting message. (8/10) Praner Manush (India) Chaitak and his mother deal with their soon-to-strike tragedy as he wants to confess to his mother every little thing about himself

Pakistan's Hidden Shame (Documentary)

This documentary has been one of the hardest documentaries to watch. I haven't seen stuff like this before; so hard-hitting, absolutely raw, in your face about this social evil for which we wish we could do something about. This documentary focuses on the north-western city of Peshawar, where it is estimated that nine out of ten street children have been sexually abused, mostly young boys. Pakistan is one of the world's most important Muslim nations. It's a nuclear power, it's allied to the West in the war against terror, and it's a democracy. But Pakistan is also a country in denial, turning a blind eye to the sexual exploitation of many thousands of poor and vulnerable children.. The 47-minute documentary depicts an unending cycle of stolen childhood, drug addiction and poverty. The scale of the problem is brought to light through a series of shocking confessions and accounts by both victims and perpetrators of child abuse. Bus conductor Ejaz confesses to rap

Love's Coming (Thai)

These days sexual ambiguity is the biggest trend in Thai films right now. This film, directed by a newcomer is a very light-hearted comedy-ish film that focuses on school going kids. Thai films so far for me have been a mixed bag, so I wasn't expecting much form this film and I think that worked in its favor. For some pople, it will seem a bit amateurish but then when you see the film from that perspective, you will be ok. This is not breaking any new grounds. The idea is to make people laugh. There is a close knit group of 4 school going boys. Gump, Pid, Arm and Zee. They have just finished their exams and wanna hang out but Gump bows out saying that he has to teach his neighbor Nai. Nai is a very popular and handsome guy who is quite popular with pretty much everyone. This makes Zee convinced that Gump is hiding something and that he is probably gay. The remaining three friends take help of one of their gay uncles to to figure out the truth. They try many techniques and fina

Ma vie en rose (French) [My Life In Pink]

This was such a breath of fresh air. Although the film is over 15 years old, it is probably as relevant as today. I have been watching more and more cinema on gender identity issues and they have all been very interesting and eye-opening for me personally to understand the people better. Th film is comic yet heartbreaking and the subject is very sensitively handled by the director. Seven-year old Ludovic lives in an upper-middle class Belgian suburban neighborhood. He behaves in a way that is quite natural to him, dresses in a dress or skirt whenever possible, and is quite convinced he will be marrying a neighborhood boy, Jerome, the son of his father's boss. He knows a boy doesn't marry a boy , so he will marry Jerome when he becomes a girl. The rest of the family humor him as best they can, rationalizing that Ludovic is only trying to find his identity and will be over it soon. While playing a game Ludovic and Jerome are caught while pretending to marry which is seen by

The DL Chronicles & Returns (TV Show)

The DL Chronicles is a gay-themed television series focusing on the stories of men who live secret lives, whats known as down-low or DL. It tells the stories of men of color who by consequence and by choice, live sexually duplicitous and secret lifestyles. More than just closeted, they do not identify as Gay or Bi-sexual and refuse to be associated with the Gay lifestyle or community. The opening season featured 4 episodes and the series then returned with one more episode. Not only sexy and provocative, it offers a socially-conscious insight into the lines between sexuality and perceived socially acceptable behavior within communities of color. It provides an unapologetic view of intimacy between men and explores these scintillating stories with honesty and integrity. Each episode begins with Chadwick William, an aspiring journalist as he pursues research while authoring a book about men who have sex with men. The different episodes are: WES : Wes is an upwardly real-estate ban

Meth Head

Thirty-Forty minutes into the film and I was losing my interest in the film. Although the film does get to the point right away, there is nothing that catches your attention instantly. Plus I thought the acting and direction were really really poor. But as the film progressed, my view changed, I got used to the actors and story finally picked up the steam before there was a sudden abrupt ending. Meth Head is a cautionary tale about extremes. Julian and Kyle are a happy couple and just engaged. Julian is successful but Kyle wanting to become an interior designer is stuck in a dead end job and he thinks his family doesn't get him, despite having a very loving sister and brother-in-law. One evening while partying both Julian and Kyle are introduced to crystal by a guy named Dusty. Julian recovers but next thing we know is that Kyle is addicted. Julian tries his best to save Kyle but fails and ultimately throws him out of house. When his family refuses to take him in, he moves in

Gay Short Films : 23

Way too many problems (USA) Two high schoolers talk about the death of a classmate. One friend says that no problem is so great that he needs to take an easy way out and commit suicide, while the other guy keeps defending him. Soon we find out that the dead friend actually tried to kiss this guy and now he feels partly responsible. Pause (USA) A short story of very quick 4 stories of guys meeting each other and how they intertwine. This short has a great message on preventing yourself of HIV. Pause before you play, because you can't rewind. Something Real (USA) A celebrity packed short with a musical twist about the bar scene. Primarily focussing on an estranged couple who just don't want to say sorry to each other, the other celebrities musically walk us through what they all think and go through in a gay bar. Ultimately everyone is looking for that someone special in life. The Astronaut On The Roof (Germany) A comical road movie about two scriptwriters who writ

In Bloom

So, I am not very sure what was the main crux of this film. Surely it is about breakup and breakdown of lovers after having spent a beautiful part of their life together; but why sid story of a serial killer and so much loneliness and boredom in everyone's life? We meet an estranged couple and journey back with them 7 month sin to the pat when their love was 'in bloom'. The movie explores the complexity of first love. Kurt is a small time drug dealer who supplies pot to his peers, whilst Paul his boyfriend of two years has a dead-end job in a local grocery store that he can barely tolerate. When the long summer starts, they are having fun and very much into each other and seem the perfect couple. Everything had been going well with them until one night one of Kurt's good-looking customers puts the moves on him, and although he initially resists Kevin's advances does it opens his mind to the possibility that there is more to life outside of his cosy relationship

Hot Guys With Guns

With a title like this, there is already high expectations. Not just about the hotness of the guys but also of some action sequences in the process. Unfortunately, this film falls short on both of these expectations. Its more of a comedy-mystery genre. To give the credit where its due, The makers did come up with an interesting concept, thinking out  of the box from the regular gay movies that we get to see otherwise but it could have been so much better. Danny is a struggling black actor/waiter, and his ex-partner Pip lives a comfortable upper-class existence with his overly controlling mother whose racist tendencies are very evident. And this is primarily the reason for their breakup. Danny is taking a course in private investigation in preparation for a possible role. There are a series of robberies happening in gay sex parties but none of the victims is contacting the police for the fear of being outed. These are all profile people. When Pip becomes the latest victim, he asks

Test

I don't whether its me catching up on movies, but it feels of late I have been watching a lot of movies set in mid 80s during the whole AIDS epidemic times. This movie. although set in 1985 in San Francisco, deals with something different and the presentation is also very different. The film captures the fear raging through the gay community as the AIDS epidemic begins to devastate a lot of people’s lives. After years of accepting promiscuity as the new normal, they have to rewrite the rules for their sexual and romantic encounters. There is not crying or anything but there is definitely hope. The film is about a gay dancer named Frankie and his day-to-day life as a back-up for a dance company. He is passionate about dancing and is constantly being told to "dance like a man". We don't know if he does have a crush on Todd, the manly gay bad-boy dancer on the group but you can see there is some sort of sexual tension between them. This is the time when AIDS reports

Southern Baptist Sissies

Originally set as a stage play, thesis the film version of the play. It means the play has been recorded so that viewers like me can also enjoy the film. The setup, acting, sets and everything gives you a feel of a stage play which could be good or bad depending on how much are you willing to experiment with movies. The premise mostly is about how being queer can be quite a burden and trying to be a Christian an even greater burden. Being queer while trying to be a Christian at the same time can often seem impossible. The play follows story of 4 childhood friends set in Texas. Each one of them struggles with his sexuality in a varying way. Mark, who also serves as narrator, questions the Baptist church that preaches love and forgiveness while decrying homosexuality; Benny fully embraces his gayness, growing up to become a flamboyant drag queen entertainer; TJ (Mark's first love) desperately tries to deny who he is, eventually getting married to a woman; and Andrew, the most tr

Torka Aldrig Tårar Utan Handskar (Swedish) [Don't Ever Wipe Tears Without Gloves]

Thank you so much to one of my readers on this blog, who suggested that I should watch this series and that I would like it. I had in my list to watch this series but if not for the feedback, I probably won't have watched it so soon, and I would have missed out on such a great series. Made as a 3 part TV series of almost an hour each in Sweden, This film brings us a very interesting, genuinely touching, heart- wrenching and important piece of modern history. It deals with the start of the AIDS epidemic in 1980's homophobic Sweden. 19-year-old Rasmus, moves from rural hometown to Stockholm to attend university after graduation. As soon as he arrives in Stockholm he begins to seek out the gay community that he was always suppressing in his small town. He meets and befriends Paul as soon as he arrives in the city. At a Christmas dinner party in Paul's apartment he eventually meets Benjamin, a young man who is struggling to come to terms with his homosexuality (Paul helps

Raw: Geoff and Pavel (Series)

When I started watching this, I kept wondering why does this give a TV series feeling rather than watching a movie! And when in the first 5 minutes itself, the scenes were abruptly changing, I had to pause and look out what was going on. It turns out that this is not a film. The scenes were extracted from several episodes of the Irish TV series Raw. The result is a pretty decent watch (sometimes lethargic). It is not the usual youtube amateurish crap but it is not professional either. Overall a decent gay love story with a lot of stuff going around. Geoff is the au-chef in a restaurant run by Tanya and her husband Max who is the main chef. People come for Max's cooking but his eccentric behavior more often than not, leaves Geoff in charge. A young Czech waiter Pavel has recently started at the restaurant. Like he does for most people, Geoff shouts at Pavel and makes fun but slowly starts caring for him. In the meantime there are a lot of side stories happening in the restauran

Hoje Eu Quero Voltar Sozinho (Portuguese) [The Way He Looks]

I was so excited when I saw that this cute short film (one of my favorites) has been made into a full length feature film. I was really curious to see what the makers can come up with when it comes to an entire length feature. Unfortunately, my expectations were not met completely. Don't get me wrong, it still is a fantastic film but can it match the humongous expectations that were set by the short film? Probably not! Maybe what the makers wanted to achieve versus my expectations didn't match  at a certain level. I was hoping the makers would focus on romance angle more (purely for selfish reasons), but makers tried to infuse the bling guy's struggle to be independent. Leonardo is blind from north and is best friends with Giovana, who walks him him everyday from school. Leo is often picked up at school but he is used to it by now. The dynamics change after entry of Gabriel, a new student in the class who ends up sitting in proximity of Leo and Giordana. Gio probably l