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Showing posts from October, 2015

Muslim Drag Queens (Documentary) (UK)

This documentary was telecast on UK’s Channel 4. Being gay has never been easy for anyone past or present included. When you are asian, it is a bit harder because of culture and if you are asian and Muslim, then the difficulty goes on more level up. This documentary very effectively follows life of gay asians, specifically Muslims and drag queens. Narrated by Sir Ian McKellan, the documentary’s focus is on young men who are unable to publicly reconcile their sexuality with their cultural identity and traditions. Asif, is a good looking young Muslim man who loves to dress up in drag and perform. The documentary starts with him showing us the death threat emails that he has received. He is popular and successful as his alter ego Asifa Lahore. But behind the expertly applied make-up, she is fighting a major battle on behalf of all those who don't dare to wear their sexuality so openly. Then we see Imran, whose alter ego is Zareena Khan and i looking of love everywhere. She gets l

El Tercero (Spanish) [The Third One]

A good concept which could very easily be shown in a 20 minute short film and I can bet you that the impact that this short film would have had is much greater than the impact that this film will ever have. The title pretty much tells us what the film is going to be about but in the process it becomes tiring and lethargic and you start to wonder whether anything concrete will ever happen or not. Herman and Franco are an older gay couple who have been together for 8 years. They meet Fede, a very young man in his early twenties, online and have a few raunchy conversations about a threesome. Finally they invite Fede for dinner and more. A very nervous Fede arrives anther home and obvious discomfort is seen between the trio. Slowly as the three men eat, chat, and drink plenty of wine, they become more talkative and open. In due time, they are revealing intimate aspects of their lives and histories. Soon after dinner, the romantic encounter starts which ends up in a threesome (a really

L'amour au Temps de la Guerre Civile (French) [Love in the Time of Civil War]

What was the point of this almost 2-hour long film? Really!! Surely, we do see a very unflinching account of the life of a drug addict but then thats all there is to it. Its like we are following a drug addict and seeing what he is doing on a daily basis between trying to find money for drugs (mostly be being a hustler), getting high and then finding a place to sleep. I personally couldn’t find any more logic or reasoning to the whole film besides what I just said. The film starts with a steamy and graphic sex and drug abuse scene between our protagonist Alex and Bruno. Exact nature of the relationship is not known until Bruno reappears towards the end of the film. After a couple of nights of intense drug use and sex, Bruno leaves and now Alex has to find to make money and get more drugs. He makes friends with his drug dealer and his girlfriend who use Alex’s car to distribute drugs to their customers. This goes on for about 30 minutes or so till they all get arrested. Alex gets r

Chutney Popcorn

This film came out in 1999 and is a light hearted comedy. I can imagine that in that time it was probably a risqué subject, only because its the story of an traditional Indian family as a background. Ideally I wouldn’t have classified this as a film in LGBT realm because there is so much more to it, like family, responsibilities etc. but it is still definitely worth putting up on my blog. Reena, an Indian-American is a henna tattoo artist and lives with her lover Lisa. She and her sister Sarita were single handedly brought up by their mother. Like most Indian families, the mother and even Sarita are obsessed with babies. Few months into her marriage, Sarita finds out that she can’t get pregnant and about the same time Reena’s family make her feel that she is selfish and doesn’t do much for her family. Without discussing with Lisa, Reena offers to be the surrogate mother of the baby for her sister and her husband Mitch. Narita is not to keen on the idea but because Mitch seems real

Drink Me (UK)

I was starting to wonder how come my recent stint of gay films have been quite decent and chances were quite high that I would son be watching a real crap movie soon, and behold here it is. This film is an attempt to mix vampire craze with tons of sex, wafer thin story line and expect to do wonders for everyone involved. James and Andy are a perfect couple, until Andy loses his job suddenly. In order to make their ends meet, James recommends they allow a lodger to stay with them. In comes Sebastian, a loner, good looking, tall, muscular but weird guy. Andy goes through all kinds of dreams every day and begins to wonder that Sebastian is hiding something and is very scared of him. He suspects that Sebastian could be the killer who has been stalking the streets of their neighbourhood and responsible for so many people seemingly disappearing into thin air. James on the other hand doesn’t notice anything. The film ends at a bizarre note something similar to how it started in the first

The Surface

A very interesting concept indeed. We all go through nostalgia. Watching certain scenes, places, listening to songs, reading old letters, reconnecting with friends etc brings back memories. But what if you didn’t have this luxury. Imagine having no cherished childhood memories to recall. The makers use this basic premise to come with an indie film, that touches the subject but slightly fails in passing on the actual message across. Evan is  young college going student, who spent his childhood and youth moving between an endless list of foster homes. He is in a stable relationship with his boyfriend Chris who loves and supports him but at the same time can be a bit controlling and trying to make Evan into something that he is not. One afternoon Evan finds an old 8mm film camera in a garage sale. The old owner asks him to return back in a week to collect the editing equipment. When he returns a week later, he finds that the old man passed away and now it is his son Peter who lives t

Gay Short Films : 40

Foreign Relations (USA) Recently dumped Tom decides to take a group tour. He is randomly assigned a roommate for the duration of the trip whom he can’t figure out if his room mate is gay or not. There is lot of sexual tension in the 7 days but its only on the last day that the truth comes out. Well acted and decent directed. Fugaces (Spain) In the week of Pride, Madrid is full of new guys. And there is always one that stands out from the mass. Daddy's Big Girl (USA) Widowed & wealthy gay Cliff, has a strained relationship with his overweight adult daughter Millie. Millie feels judged as an overweight person, but does nothing to address the issue. She sees her father's life as a hedonistic one, everything is all surface and no depth. It isn't until Cliff tells Millie a story about his deceased wife that they come to a better understanding of each other. The Saint of Dry Creek (USA) Shown in animation, Patrick recounts how in 1950’s his father taught him th

Płynące Wieżowce (Polish) [Floating Skyscrapers]

Oh no!! Why did they have to end the movie like this? I can’t watch another sad ending. According to the director, this is a film about love, or the lack of it and about the consequences of seeking out its substitutes. And as the film ended, I as a viewer was unsure of what the filmmaker intended to say with his story. Some of the characters get what they want, some of them don't, but none of them seem satisfied with the way things end up. What was the filmmaker's message? In his fifteenth year of training, aspiring champion swimmer Kuba lives a normal, uneventful life - at home with his mother and girlfriend Sylwia. He happily switches back and forth from good sex with Sylwia to the occasional back rub his mother craves. At a gallery opening one night, he is out of place and totally bored until he meets Michal. Sylwia picks up on his fascination, but Kuba has her heart. Attraction between two men is instant and Kuba starts looking for ways to hang out more and more with M

A Escondidas (Spanish/Arabic) [Hidden Away]

The best thing about this film is the subtle yet very powerful story. This is a film dealt with sensitivity and feelings as we ride a roller coaster of emotions. An intense story of two 14-something boys. At that young age, the world and your own self changes at such a speed. Our protagonists feel the changes and experience love for the first time but because they are both boys, they have to keep it hidden away and given into the social pressure. 14 year old Ibra, originally Moroccan, left his country long time ago hoping for a better future in Spain. Living in shelters, fully settled, going to school, he is hoping his paper work will get done soon. Then we have Rafa, a young boy living with his parents. He hangs out with his group of friends inclusion best friend Guille. Rafa gets visibly uncomfortable overtime the friends talk about girls and going out with them. A chance encounter a nightclub is their first interaction, but the spark between them develops much later. Rafa wants

Supernatural (Thai)

What the fuck was this? sci-fi apparently but what utter crap. Ok, some people will call it artistic, ambitious and what not, but c’mmon; the subject of the film and premise has to make some sense for the normal movie watching audience. The film lost me completely within 15 minutes and I had to fast forward and watch the whole thing. What a sheer waste of time. Synopsis (copied from online, because I really do not have patience to write anything about this film): In a futurist world, the Thai kingdom has been transformed by ‘The Leader’ into 'the Realm of people who have done good deeds and earned merits'. It’s a nice place to be, even though the inhabitants are plagued by an indefinable nostalgia. In the old days, people could at least touch each other. Although the Realm has reached version 2.0, technical possibilities remain limited. This wondrous story of the future is interwoven with stories set in the present and past. As per the director and online forums, this fi

Seek (Canada)

What the hell was this film? When it ended I had a mixed feeling of relief and regret. Relief that it was over and regret for having bothered watching it. But then, I have seen much worse films, so this one at least didn’t give me a headache and didn’t make me feel wanting to punch the director. Evan is a young journalist who works for a gay magazine that covers the local community. He doesn’t get an offer from Gazette, his dream company but they do offer him a job of writing a piece about city’s night life. He knows that his colleague Aidan isa big circuit party man who writes about these pieces and could probably give him some insight. Aidan helps Evan meet Hunter, who is the king of the night clubs and hosts the best parties in the city. In hunter’s company, Evan finds out about all the hard work that goes into making these parties successful. Hunter, it seems likes Evan but Evan’s personality is so shy that he is completely oblivious to the admiration. In between all this, we

Azul Y No Tan Rosa (Spanish) [My Straight Son]

Yay!! My first gay film from another new country, this time Venezuela. I am not very sure whether this is the first LGBT themed film from the country or its that I couldn’t see any film yet. Whatever the case maybe, I am so happy that this film was made and that I got to see it. Its a beautiful, emotional film that shows celebration of diversity and love and also makes a point against homophobic attacks and discrimination. A perfect combination of love, romance, heartbreak, family, friendship intercepted with just the right amount of drama and few funny moments; this film will definitely touch you. The title actually translates as "Blue and Not So Pink," but has been dumbed down to "My Straight Son." Diego is a young and successful photographer and is very happy in his relationship with is partner Fabrizio. His life is quite happy with his love and 2 of his closest friends by his side, the transgendered Delirio and the beautiful Perla Marina who is still with h

Velociraptor (Spanish)

Wow!! This movie was incredible and that is solely because of the amazing chemistry between the 2 main protagonists. As you can tell by my blog that I have seen plenty of gay films, but the style of direction and the overall story and the way things have been handled is quite unique in my opinion. When the film started, I thought this was going nowhere and it was another one of those independent self-indulgent films (which it is) but somewhere along the line, it just completely grabbed my attention. There is nothing much to the story but it still got me totally absorbed in the world of these 2 young guys. Its apocalypse time and the world is going to end soon. People are fleeing (where?) and everyone is doing their own thing. Some people are staying together, some people are abandoning their families and everyone’s deepest fears and desires are coming out. 2 best friends Alex and Diego decide to spend the day together walking the streets of their city.  Alex is gay and shares stor

Jess & James (Spanish)

There are not many road-trip movies with gay theme, so this is a welcome change in that area, but unfortunately when it comes to material and story-line, film-makers are left with just a handful of subjects handling queer issues. This film falls in the coming-out and young guys falling involve category but set in the context of a road trip. Well, this at least makes it different. I also did like the idea of splitting the film in 8 different sections, each focussed on a certain theme of the overall film. James, open about his sexuality, lives with his overbearing mother, who he believes drove his father away. Jess on the other hand, is a confused young man, who keeps changing girlfriends, even getting one pregnant. The 2 boys meet for a hook-up initially but clearly James gets strong feelings for Jess. Jess, who is really fed up of his life with controlling parents and a nagging girlfriend, agrees to go on a weekend road-trip suggested by James. This road-trip becomes a journey of

Eisenstein In Guanajuato

I think this is the kind of film where it is important for the audience to know what they are actually getting into. And by that I mean, not just the storyline of the film but also a bit of history about the film and the subjects of the film. This film specifically relies too much on pieces of information about a then well-known Russian film-maker who was quite popular. And in this film, we get to see the unauthorised biography of what could have happened when he along with his crew visited Mexico to shoot for his next film. In 1931, Eisenstein, famous Russian director, drove from California to Guadajuato, after two years of unsuccessfully trying to get a production started in Hollywood. Eisenstein in a clownish and an eccentric  man who gets very fascinated by the country and finds too much similarities and differences between his motherland and Mexico. Canedo, is a handsome academician who has been assigned to the director to show him around and be his companion. The director wh

Tarik El Hob (French) [The Road To Love]

There are not many films that talk about homosexuality and Islam in the same breath. Personally, this is a topic that interests me and when I encounter a subject that deals with these 2 together, i usually go for it, hoping I will uncover something meaningful and interesting. Sadly, this really low budget french film does not do the trick. Karim, a sociology student in Paris is of Algerian origin. He is making a video documentary on homosexual relationships in Islamic cultures, and is having troubles finding subjects to interview. Most of his time, he spends with his girlfriend. After a few bad meetings, Karim encounters Farid, a gay, well-adjusted, quietly seductive handsome Algerian lad who not only agrees to be interviewed, but also finds ways to assist Karim with his project. Slowly spending time with Farid and spending time travelling in northern /Arabic part of Africa, Karim finally comes to explore and accept his own sexuality. The story of the film sounds very interestin

Beira-Mar (Portuguese) [Seashore]

I understand the passion that film -makers sometime invest in making of a film. Everyone has a different motivation and for some it may also be personal stories, but the problem arises when a restrained approach starts becoming too lethargic. This film about coming-out-story of a teenager to his friend, doesn’t really go anywhere at all for over an hour before it comes to the point and by then , I personally had lost almost all interest in either the characters or the story. Martin is sent by his father to retrieve some family document from the family of his deceased grandfather on the southern coast. His closest friend Tomaso decides to join him. They stay at their father’s beach house during this cold time. Almost first hour of the film focuses on the boys randomly walking streets of deserted town, killing time, drinking and smoking and finally picking up certain other young girls and a boy for an evening full of drinking. The next day when Martin goes to the family house again

Feriado (Spanish) [Holiday]

Yay!! another first film from a new country. A coming-out gay film, there is nothing much new to this film honestly but what I admire about the film is the fact that someone in the country dared to make a film that even touches upon the gay aspect and treats it sensitively rather than making  mockery of it. Set in 1999, when one of the worst financial crisis hit Ecuador, W meet the shy teenager Juan Pablo who has come to spend his carnival holidays to his family house in the mountains of Ecuador. We find out that’s uncle, whose house he is staying at, is a banker who is locked up because of the bank scandal. Nevertheless, it doesn’t stop the family especially the kids to enjoy their vacation. Juan Pablo is constantly bullied by his cousins and he finally finds excitement through a chance encounter with Juano, a thief, when Juan Pablo saves him from his uncle’s escape while stealing tyre covers in the carnival party. The crew of the film then focuses on there growing friendship and

Wasp (UK)

My first reaction after seeing this film was that I guessed the makers wanted to put this film in the same category of one of my favourite films "Weekend" but alas, this one didn't come any closer. The pretext and the synopsis of the film was quite interesting and to a very small extent, it did a decent job of keeping my interests hooked on. But then the film just kept going no-where. Actually, thats not correct, the film did move but the individuals reactions and behaviours would change so much at random that so many times it would just not make any sense. Oliver takes his boyfriend on one year James on a romantic break to his parents house in South of France. In France, they bump into Carline, James’ old friend who has been dumped by her boyfriend. The couple agree to let Caroline join them for their vacation but Olivier is less than happy at having a third person around for the duration. Olivier is definitely unhappy about the situation and him and Caroline clas

Das Sommerhaus (German) [The Summer House]

Having read the synopsis of the film, I was quite intrigues. This subject could not be any more controversial just with its basic plot and theme. Unfortunately, the execution of the plot in the film does not play out as well as it does on paper. The resulting film is a lacklustre piece of jumbled ideas and mixed messages. That Larsens are a picture perfect family. Father Markus, mother Christina and their almost 12 year old daughter Elizabeth. They have a perfect house and a summer house (a little gazebo in the woods). But right from the beginning we see that there is something brewing in the foundation of this family.. We don’t see any direct ambushes but clearly its a dysfunctional family. A close friend of Markus is in deep financial trouble and Markus offers to help him with some money, but her may need more. Very casually , the friend mentions his boy Johannes to be nice to Elizabeth. When Markus meets the 12-year old boy at his home playing with Elizabeth, he feels affection

Tofu (UK) (TV Series)

You must have read my reviews of British shows ‘Cucumber’ & ‘Banana’. I finally managed to see the companion show to complete the trio. It is a documentary series that focuses on a range of sex attitudes in the twenty-first century from the viewpoint of everyday people.The show basically takes some of the characters from the 2 shows but mainly focuses on the real life sexuality with a fictional minisode also thrown into the mix. Every episode lasts about 12 minutes with a topic chosen and then getting views form each of the people being interviewed. The eight episodes focus on the following topics: - Good Sex, Bad Sex - Sex Talk - Not Having Sex (Asexuality) - Coming Out - Teenage Lust - Queer as Folk - Instasex - Filthy, Dirty Sex Every episode brought in a very different mindset. I liked the fact that a wide variety of people were talked to so that we get to experience a wide spectrum and their viewpoints, there, strengthening the belief that now two people are sam

Gay Short Films : 39

Talking To My Mother (USA) This film tells the story of a young man trapped in a culture clash. It explores the complicated relationships between Michael, a second-generation Chinese American man, his mother and Julianne, his girlfriend of two years, to whom he plans to propose. After a twist of fate, Julianne accidentally discovers Michael's secret of loving another man that would change their lives forever.  Will Michael be able to face the truth with his loved ones - and most importantly, himself, before it's too late? Mr. A (USA) A curious teenage boy Kenny finds his teacher’s profile on a gay dating website, while browsing through them with his girlfriend. Hidden feelings rise again within him and he makes an unexpected move on the teacher, that has some serious consequences. Yo Sólo Miro (Spain) [I Only Watch] Julia and Eduardo are married for a long time and they look like a conventional couple from the outside. Soon they realise that they may be total strang