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Showing posts from 2017

Kru Lae Nak Rian (Thai) [Teacher And Student]

In my opinion this is a dark, weird and a twisted film that focuses on fetish. The subject is taboo and disturbing but I am all game for out of the box story ideas. Sadly when the execution fails, nothing for the film goes right. This one falls in the later category. Ton and his boyfriend of 5 years have been living together since they were teenagers. Ton is now a high school teacher and his partner is in some sort of security work. In the beginning we see that Ton gets very sexually aroused seeing his partners sweaty back and shirt and that eventually becomes his fetish. Going through a 5 year itch in their relationship, Ton, invariable gets attracted to one of his students Joe after one day he sees his shirt wet with sweat. This is when he tries to get close to the student and even steals his sweaty clothes, so that he can carry on with his fetish in the privacy of the home. His partner clearly sees that Ton is not invested in the relationship as much as he is. When the boyfrien

Beach Rats

This film may be thin on plot, but OMG! the acting by the lead actor more than makes up for everything. I have to very clearly point it out on the onset that the lead actor is nothing short of being marvelous in a character that shows us varied emotions and what his character is actually going through. He is absolutely sensational as a repressed teenager who has no idea what his heart really wants and yet he is trying to balance to be straight with his friends while hiding his true ‘gay’ feelings. The film starts with Frankie, a young hot teenager, checking out gay dating website and checking out older guys. He says he is not sure what he is looking for (or maybe he cannot admit). And then we get to know him better. He lives with his dying father, sister and mother in a cramped Brooklyn house and he along with 3 of his other friends spend most of their time just walking on the beach, boardwalk, trying to pick girls and just getting high on pills, drugs, smoke and weed. One such gi

Male Rape: Breaking The Silence (Documentary) (UK)

We have seen many films/documentaries on rape with women, this documentary on BBC offered something new. According to the statistics that examined male rape, just an estimated 10% of victims report the crime. With this documentary we hear and see the stories  of three men who are breaking their silence. If one in six men are victims of sexual abuse, then why are so few people talking about it? We hear stories of three men: Tanaka, Neil and Alex. Each of them going through the story of why and how the abuse happened; what made them not go report the crime to the police and how each of them had their own way of coming to terms with what happened and just moving o with their life. Alex, after staying silent for many years, has now set up a charity, Stay Brave UK, in a bid to provide a voice for all rape victims - male, female, LGBT and non-binary. Neil's relationship with his partner at the time, Lloyd, crumbled under the pressure of trying to cope with the assault and he turned

Nagisa No Shindobaddo (Japanese) [Like Grains Of Sand]

A very interesting film that chronicles adolescent emotional questions and longing. What is youthful love all all about? Do you really know what you want, what you like, who do you long for, any gay desires and other issues; these are all pretty universal questions that most teenagers find themselves going through. So in that respect, this film is not completely a gay themed film but touches upon the subject as the prime narrative very strongly and hence definitely deserves a mention on my blog. Ito and Yoshida are close friends but Yoshida is completely unaware of the huge crush that Ito has on him. When a new girl Aihara joins their class, she somehow gets a pang of Ito’s fascination for Yoshida. Initially she taunts him but slowly the two of them become friends, especially given that they are both being treated by same psychiatrist (Ito’s father finds out he is gay and wants him treated And we later find that Aihara was raped in her previous school). Ito is constantly ridiculed

Brüder der Nacht (German/Romany) (Documentary) [Brothers Of The Night]

Only 10 minutes into this is when I realized that I was actually going to be watching a documentary and not a feature film. Not that I had any problem with it, but I feel you need to have a different sort of mental preparation to watch documentary films compared to when you do for feature films. I have seen a few films where the focus is on male hustling, especially, by the so called straight guys to make easy money. This documentary also focuses on this aspect. From a story perspective, it is easy breezy. The focus of this is the Bulgarian Roma guys who are here working in Vienna and looking for living. None of these guys came to Vienna thinking of becoming a prostitute but its the circumstances that made them do it. All these guys get together in a bar/club every night which is where they find most of their customers. They are all straight, have wife and kid back home, even though they are all very young. They know they are young and good looking and they call it 'doing busi

Against The Law (UK)

Yes, we all know that there was a time when being gay was illegal and crime and you could be put behind bars and tortured; but even now when you see films that focus on this, it still gives you goosebumps. It is really hard to imagine for us what it would have been like to live during those times and what people had to go through. It makes you think and thank and respect our seniors for everything that they have done to make the world a slightly better place for LGBT community to thrive and live freely (relatively!) The film follows a docu-drama pattern, which after a while starts working. You need to watch the film with heart and not mind. Peter Wildeblood is struggling with his sexuality. His only companions are Lord Montague and his cousin who he can have discussions with. One night in 1952, he bumps into Eddie McNally, a Navy man, and begins a relationship that will lead to his arrest, trial and imprisonment for gross indecency and buggery. The arrests start with that of Lord

Where The Bears Are: Season 6

Its time, yet again, for another season of bear madness. and just like the predecessors, the idea is pretty clear. 4 bears, a murder trial, lot of sex and some stupid stuff. Although I have to say that this season was lot better in production quality compared to the previous ones and even in terms of storyline. But then these are the kind of shows, where you are not supposed to use your brain too much. Nelson is being his usual annoyed self and is quite jealous of his co-star, who happens to be more popular than him. While shooting for a scene, Nelson shoots at the beloved TV star and he actually dies. The gun happened to be real and so now the trial begins. We also see a flirtatious middle eastern man, who is buying the Inquisitive channel that Reggie works for and they start being flirtatious. Wood decides that he wants to expand his business and venture into porn but soon realizes that maybe its too late for him to continue to be as popular but with the help of his associate Ge

Onthakan (Thai) [The Blue Hour]

The biggest problem with these kind of films is that you need to really spend time in trying to understand what the film director was really trying to say. Its definitely not in-your-face very clear story. In fact, you need to watch every scene very carefully to totally understand whats real and what maybe unreal. I have personally always struggled on what do I exactly feel about such films. You dislike it after the first viewing but then you discuss with friends, read posts online trying to decipher the film and then 2 days later, you feel, “OMG! That was brilliant storytelling!”. But was it really? If you had to spend so much time just understanding the film; was it really a brilliant piece of work? Tam is gay and is bullied in school. His family also disapproves of him and constantly accuse him of anything that goes wrong in the house including anything stolen. Tam meets a much confident Phum at a deserted pool area. The two are looking for mutual physical satisfaction. Initial

Speechless (Mandarin)

The story of this film is interesting yet dumb at the same time. The characters seemed a bit unbelievable and awkward. The story is told via some flashback sequences , which just add a bit to the confusion. Thankfully the movie is not too long and ends after a decent time. A foreigner is found naked by the police by the side of river. Unable to extract any information out of him, he is sent to the hospital. The male nurse, Jiang, forms a bond with this foreigner (Luke). When hospital decides to send this guy to mental asylum since he refuses to speak anything, Jiang decides to take matters in his own hands and smuggles him to his uncle’s village. When the foreigner one night calls a random number on Jiang phone, he tracks the number and meets a girl Ning, who is not helpful at all. But later Jiang finds out the real truth. It turns out that Luke had met Ning and her boyfriend Han at the college campus and they strike a friendship. Unaware to Ning, Han and Luke start an affair. Whe

Poster Boy

It is such a shame when a very promising premise comes alive on screen in a very naive and uninteresting way. Sure this film came back in 2004 but film-making wan’t so ordinary then. Such a film made in 80s would have been a lot more acceptable but I found the screenplay and the treatment leaving a lot to be desired. It seems that makers just wanted to incorporate all kinds of stuff in their film rather than focus on the core story line. The film is told in flashback by means of the lead character Henry by a reporter and the events being discussed happened 6 months ago. Henry, a teenager, is the only son of Republican senator, who is up for re-elections. Being conservative, the senator condemns homosexuality, not knowing Henry himself is gay. The senator plans to kick off his re-election campaign at a luncheon at Henry's college campus and he expects Henry to deliver his introduction so that he can influence the youth of today. Henry doesn’t have a good relation with his fathe

Taekwondo (Spanish)

Margo Berger, one of the co-directors of this film has a super knack of creating sexual tensions. In all his previous films, this was one of the common scenarios, even though the stories he tells are quite different. I remember not liking his first film ‘PlanB’, but I think I have started to appreciate his kind of cinema and vision I went back and watched that film again as well, I would like it. If you break it down to the story level, honestly there is nothing much to it but its the treatment and the homo eroticism that wins the game. Taekwondo follows a group of friends who share an “all boys” summer getaway in a beautiful country house that happens to be of Fernando’s mother. The real soul of the film is however, the building friendship between Fernando and Germán whom he met at his Taekwondo classes, has known him for a year and invites to the vacation with his friends. We are soon told that Germán is gay and has a huge crush on Fernando and he has no clue about Fernando’s fe

Don't Love Me

My first reaction within 10 minutes of watching the film was that this film already looks like has a hangover from one of my favorite films “Weekend”. Too bad this film doesn’t even come an inch closer to the great film that it was. The basic premise was pretty much the same but over all this was a disappointing film. Ah! and I did all kinds of research but I could find what country this film is from (since it is English but set in Berlin). The film starts with two guys having hot anonymous sex and only after that they introduce themselves to each other as Alex and Alexander. They feel they have some chemistry and decide to date while exploring the city of Berlin, sharing their stories, their secrets, partying; all in the city of Berlin. It seems like slowly they are falling in love. And yes, thats pretty much it that is to this film. Firstly, this film could easily have been a decent short film finished in like 10-15 minutes. Every single scene was stretched and elongated beyon

Romil And Jugal (Hindi) (Web Series)

These are interesting times for makers to explore subjects that were once considered taboo. Being native Indian myself, especially when it comes to bringing out anything with gay storyline is still a big no-no. So when I heard of this online web series of 10 episodes, I was surprised and happy that at someone took charge and dared to present a side of Indian society that most Indians wouldn’t admit to. Yes, I was a bit skeptical because I expected the subject to be handled in the typical carcaturist manner but thank god the makers did not resort to that. The story is told from Ramya’s perspective who happens to be Jugal’s sister. The setting is a small town hill station where everyone knows everyone. Jugal is teenage son of an assistant manager, knows very well about his sexuality but only his bestest friend Mehr knows about it. She is his only true friend. Jugal dreams of the perfect boyfriend and his prayers are answered when he sees Romil, his new next-door neighbor. Romil is a

Where The Bears Are: Season 5

I couldn’t resist myself from watching Season 5 of this series, just a few days after I watched season 4. After all, this is what guilty pleasure is all about. I was having a great holiday and watching a couple of episodes right before going to bed every night was like stress buster. No time to use your brain on why things are happening the way they are, but just chill, sit back, relax and enjoy. Nelson and Todd are now married and after a delay of few months, have finally decided to go on their honeymoon. But it takes a dark turn when Todd suddenly leaves Nelson for a hotter man. Nelson doesn’t know what hit him and he calls for Reggie and Wood. Reggie has met this new guy and they have sexual chemistry and Wood just hired a nice model who surprisingly has eyes for his business partner George. when they also use the help of their fellow bear detectives to track down Todd, they find who’s the guy is that Todd is with. Nelson goes to confront Todd and thats when a big surprise is r

Where The Bears Are: Season 4

Just when I thought that the bears were done after season 3, I find out that i was wrong, and I was already three seasons behind now, so I have a lot of catching up to do. And yes, I knew what exactly I was getting into, but to be honest, my work has been a bit crazy of late and I just needed some dosage of stupid madness, truck loads of beef muscled bears to look at and laughing at stupid jokes; and this show gives you all that. So whose murder mystery are the bears solving this time? Lets see. Nelson and Todd have decided to get married. But at their wedding shower 2 weeks prior to the d-day, Nelson’s best friend gets poisoned and this is where the search begins. Even though Nelson never liked his friend because of professional rivalry of being an actor, he agrees that the culprit needs to be found. Reggie through his sources and his TV show agrees to lead this with the help of usual gang of detectives and his friends. My fav character Wood decides to open a sporting underwear s

Man In An Orange Shirt (UK mini-series)

BBC Two, the erstwhile UK channel, has been celebrating 50 years since the partial decriminalization of male homosexuality through a plethora of documentaries, radio programs and dramas. This 2 part mini-series, each of one hour, was broadcast as part of this. The show chronicles lives of two gay couples in two very different time periods and we also see how the stories are connected. For people from the pre 60’s era, such shows always bring a nostalgic value to whereas for younger generation, I think we should all feel gratitude and thankful to be living at a time where my sexual orientation is not considered to be a taboo and a crime in most countries, if not the entire world. Old schoolmates, Michael and Thomas are brought back together in war. Michael saves bloodied Thomas in one of the wars and nurses him to good health. Clearly, both men have feelings for each other and Thomas does the bold step of making the move. War ends and the men come back to London where Michael track

Boys Briefs 4

And continuing with another anthology of short films in this series. Just like the cover says, this series is a collection of 6 stories about guys who hustle and this is the common theme. The hustler is a common figure in gay arts and culture who is simultaneously tragic, romantic, and heroic. Often his tragedies appear the result of dysfunctional if not outright abusive families, and are further tied to a general and pervasive societal homophobia. Into the Night (Australia): This short deals with the need for companionship, as a lonely older man hires a street boy mostly for company, and also portrays a much younger boy just entering street life. Boy (New Zealand): A young hustler learns the truth about the death of a young woman in a small town, and has to fight for his life when the town wants him silenced. This film is shot in short choppy scenes of 3 seconds each. It was a little bit confusing for me. Gigolo (Germany): Offers a complex character who hint towards larger

Boys Briefs 2

Boys Briefs 2 is the second in series of international short films about discreet gay love affairs. The collection of short stories in the first part was quite average, so to be honest I did not have too many expectations from this one in the first place, which is good because the films were really not that impressive. Doors Cut Down (Spain) : Has been reviewed here Chicken (Ireland) : A 3 minute really short film about one boy trying to break the ice with another and touch him just to let him know he was interested in him. Backroom (Spain) : This erotic short film is about a bunch of guys hanging around a backroom having sex with whosoever walked by. They never spoke to each other except in their mind fantasizing what they want to say vs what they actually say. Started well but then didn’t have much to add. Breakfast (Germany): Story about 2 friends. One wants something serious while the other is more than happy to continue to have hook-ups with strangers. A promising coup

Getting Go: The Go Doc Project

This film was a very interesting watching experience. Filmed in completely documentary style of film-making; I can already see most people confusing this film to be actually a documentary. But make no mistake, this is a full length feature film which is just innovatively shot given the story premise and I have to say that more or less it works to a great extent. Story wise, to be honest there is nothing new or novel that this film offers but despite that this film proves to be an engaging watching experience. Doc is a regular student awaiting graduation, who spends most of his time online either jerking off for his fans or stalking Go (a go-go dancer in NY) because he has huge mancrush on him. One night he drunkenly sends email to Go pretending to make a documentary about the NY club scene and asking if Go wants to be his subject. Surprisingly and to Doc’s horror, Go replies and agrees to be filmed. The movie follows the next three weeks, as Doc tries to make a documentary about G

Silent Youth (German)

This film is slow, very slow… There are moments of long silence and hesitance in characters on what they should do next. The characters are looking for something but we don’t know what or at least I didn’t understand what. More on that later but I have to say that I didn’t get bored in the film. I was intrigued and wanted to know what will happen next and what will the plot reveal. Sadly it didn’t much. Marlo is visiting Berlin during a break from his studies. After he arrives he goes into the city to talk around. There he catches the eye of another young man, Kirill, when they both cross the road and their hands touch. There's a flicker of interest. It's the kind of thing a more experienced person might immediately pick up on and pursue, but neither of these youths has that degree of confidence. Instead, they watch one another from a distance, meet again by supposed accident, start up an awkward conversation. They hang out and decide to meet the next day. Neither man know

In Their Room: London/Berlin/SF

An experimental film (can this be called a film?), this is the kind of cinema that is totally not my type. I still fail to understand what’s the objective. The film shares nothing new with us, it shows every facet of living as a gay person and what you emotionally go through every day. All it does possibly is give us a moment to reflect on parts of our lives that many of us may not be very comfortable saying out loud. The film is divided in three segments and 3 locations: San Francisco, Berlin and London. It documents the lives of gay men within the intimacy of their bedrooms, taking the form of observations of personal habits, sexual encounters and direct to camera interviews on subjects such as sexual preferences, attitudes to relationships and cultural comment. San Fransisco segment is about 20 minute focusing on 8 individuals in their home alone and naked most time exposing intimate details of their thoughts on love and sex. Second segment of Berlin is a bit longer and among o

Three: The Series

The age old big gay question "Can a long term gay couple continue to be in a monogamous relationship after being together for a few years?" I have seen a few films/short films on the topic and it has been a mixed bag. This is the first series that I am seeing that tackles this subject with the possibility of adding a third person to the relationship. This is a 6 episode series, each about 12-15 minutes each. As individuals and gay men, we all have our opinion on adding a third wheel to the system, so its interesting to see how the makers of the series deal with the issue. Dylan and Patrick have been together for about 5 years now. On Patrick’s 40th birthday celebration, Dylan starts feeling that Patrick wants to open the relationship. On confronting, Patricks suggests brining in a third guy to spice up their sex life. Dylan very reluctantly agrees to it. He confides this to his best friend Elliot. They go through a couple of options where Patrick enjoys each time but Dyl

Make It Right: Season 1 (TV Series) (Thai)

This is season 1 of Thai  boys’ love romantic comedy series featuring 12 episodes each of about 45 minutes each. So you can see that it was quite time consuming to watch all of this. The story revolves around young boys’ budding relationships and how they deal with their feelings within themselves and in front of the judging society. The primary story(s) takes place in a high school institution where most of the characters go to study. The story of this series is paper thin. The primary two characters are Fuse and Tee. When Fuse finds his girlfriend cheated on him, he finds solace in Tee, a young boy who shows immense interest in him, but Fuse is confused. Doesn’t know what he wants. Then we have this other couple Book and Frame. Frame is outgoing guy who sleeps around while Book is this really shy guy. They have a chance sexual encounter and how this changes the equation between them forms the crux of their story. There is a whole load of other characters as well who add to the s

Better Half

Aah! The stab you feel when you see a wonderful story and idea and paper and see it blow up in execution, not just in one department but various aspects of it. I will talk about it more in details later but to give the credit due where it belongs, the story is pretty novel and had huge potential if this was in a capable director’s hands. The story is about a gay couple Tony and Leo. Tony is a social worker who works with lower section of society (drug peddlers, convicts, hospitals, abused women etc.) and he is very passionate about his job and very dedicated. Leo, on the other hand is a financial advisor and is very much into career and money. They have been together for a while. In one of the many cases, once a woman leaves her stillborn baby in a hospital. While taking care of the kid, Tony gets really close to the baby Dylan. When Leo proposes marriage, he accepts but also asks if he would consider adopting Dylan. Leo is very reluctant because he has barely accepted the idea of

Gay Short Films : 54

Coming Out: Best Gift Ever A 23-year-old, Russian-born violinist Artem Kolesov posted a YouTube video in which he comes out as gay. Instead of creating an anonymous contribution, he chose to share his name and face, his story of abuse, depression and suicide attempts, to let fellow LGBT youth in Russia feel less isolated. Despite the possibility of arrest, he has no regrets, because LGBT Russians & the world will hear the voice of a gay Russian. Out of Exile: Daniel's Story In August 2014, Daniel was confronted by his family who disapproved of his sexuality. Daniel recorded the event on his phone. This VR video using the technique of videogrammetry uses the original audio and plight of LGBT who end up being homeless because their family abandons them. Grindr Killer (UK) For over a year the London police failed to properly investigate the deaths of four young gay men and link them to a serial killer. During this time one man repeatedly tried to raise the alarm. Fin

Romeo & Romeo

Oh My God!! I hope no one ever has to go through the torture of watching this film (if you can even call it that!). Horrendous! Horrible! Pathetic! Really bad in every single department. I mean what was someone thinking. I cant believe this little piece of shit was made and then the makers even expected that someone will actually watch the ilm or even applaud it. This is so bad, that even having to write this review feels like an utter waste of time. As per imdb summary, Zak Lawson was a pop star who came out of nowhere, and reached the top of the billboard charts at the age of 14. He met bad boy Trent at the peak of his career, bad news. Trent dragged Zak down a road full of drugs and alcohol. He spiraled out of control, and his career was over. Years later Zak faces the past head on, finding out buried secrets which test his sobriety. In his journey he has a friend, his mother, his caretaker (Trent’s sister) at one point and some other random people. Bad! Bad! Bad! acting and