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Showing posts from 2018

Our Fathers

By now, I have seen a few films on this subject: the sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church. All of them true and focusing on different part of the world. This, as a subject, will never go old and the more we talk about it, the more people need to know these stories. Interestingly, while I was watching the film, I realized that the context and setting is the same as that of movie 'Spotlight' which won the best film oscar a few years ago. This, made for TV movie, is shown from the perspective and lawyers and the church. The film is set in the time of Cardinal Law, who during his time in Boston apparently turned a blind eye to all the cases of child abuse and sexual abuse of young boys and continued to support the priests. We see a few very uncomfortable scenes where priests are seen molesting young boys. Primarily amongst these were Father John Geoghan, whose arrest in many years later starts to uncover all these hidden truth. The victims start to come forward, and a lawy

En Algun Lugar (English) [A Place To be]

Sometimes good intentions and ideas don't always translate into a gripping movie. Especially when you are trying to leave a very strong social message through the film, it becomes even more important to get a handle on the subject and where you are trying to go with it. The film tackles the main issue too late and only touches upon it in the surface. Diego has a chance encounter with Abel on the streets of Chicago. There is attraction but both men are shy. Eventually after two more unexpected meetings, they start dating. They have instant connection and soon they are meeting families and friends. But Diego seem to be hiding something. Being of Mexican descent, we see him facing racist slurs and hence he has become a man of strong opinions. The romance is at its peak when we find that Diego's mother is dying in Mexico. Diego, actually came to US when he was 6 years old and still after so many years is an undocumented illegal immigrant. Abel convinces him and joins him to go

Ein Leben Lang Kurze Hosen Tragen (German) [The Child I Never Was]

I have always enjoyed thrillers. And this one is about a serial killer in the 60s in Germany who was arrested for murder of at least 4 young boys and their sexual molestation. Partly told as taped confessions and partly as events recreation, this film gives us an insight in the minds of a notorious serial killer. Jürgen Bartsch, while recounting events on how and why he killed those boys, tells us that he was a loner as a child. When he is teen , he doscovers that he was adopted by his parents. They do not allow Jurgen to have friends, to socialize, to have any interests. When Jurgen begins to get in touch with his sexuality, they foster care him and seek professional advice for his sickness of homosexuality, after it is found that he beat and touched a neighbor boy. Jürgen Bartsch recounts events on how he almost fell in love with a boy whom he ran away with but almost also killed him under the train just because he would then be able to express his love. He is shocked by his own

The Secret Kiss (UK)

This film was a terrible waste of my time. I have seen many bad films as you can tell from this blog, but this film definitely joins one of the worse films in the gay genre. Ray is a loner who has recently been getting a lot of dreams where he sees masked men following him around in the woods. And surprisingly for whatever reasons, he decides to roam around the same woods during day time filming on his phone. He tells his shrink that he feels his death is near. He meets Paul, a mysterious guy in the same woods and they both get a liking for each other. Every time Ray finds Paul in the woods and then in morning he mysteriously disappears and of course Ray doesn't think anything of it. Then apparently it turns out that those masked figures are after bot those boys and the end of the film forms how they get freed from those masked figures and are united. The story and execution are both so so lame, that I cannot describe in words. The only saving grace about the film is that th

Hjartasteinn (Icelandic) [Heartstone]

This film is a story of teenage sexuality and teen angst in an idyllic Icelandic village. Agreed the film was stretched too much, for something that could have been shown in much less time but that doesn't take away the fact that it is an authentic and emotional look at growing up and becoming aware of your feelings, surroundings and sexuality. Thor and Christian are two pre-teen best buddies in an Icelandic fishing village where apparently everyone knows everyone's business. Its an idle summer and the two friends spend time playing, walking around, enjoying nature. Thor has a restless single mother and two intrusive older sisters, while Christian's volatile, homophobic father and mother are on the verge of a split. In between all this, they also try to flirt with 2 sisters but clearly Christian has very strong feelings for Thor, which he fails to see. Completely dejected by his surroundings, Christian decides to take his life. This is when Thor realizes about Christia

This Close (Web Series)

This is such an interesting 6 part series on Sundance Now. The fact that the two protagonists are deaf is both the whole point and completely beside it at the same time. And to top it, the actors who play the protagonists are actually the writers and stars and deaf in real-life makes it even more interesting. Sadly, I also fall in the category of people, like when our protagonist says “You focus on our disability, but not who we are.” Michael and Kate are best friends. Michael is a graphic book writer, who is trying to get over his breakup with his boyfriend Ryan. He is on a downward spiral, most often drunk and dealing with the writer's block and hence unable to come up with the idea of next book, there by risking his future and breach of contract. Kate is confident, sparky young girl, who works at a PR firm. Her boyfriend Danny has just proposed her. Michael is not a huge fan of Danny but Kate wants them to work through. We later find out why Michael broke up with Ryan and n

The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story (TV Series)

This series also took me a while to finish watching. Given the predecessor of season 1, I had naturally quite high expectation of this series and I have to say that they were all met to a large extent but somehow something was missing. Its hard to point out exactly what, but its still a very worthy watch and a very good use of time. The series starts with Versace being murdered by who we later find is called Andrew Cunanan. Pretty soon we are told that this is not the first murder that Andrew has done and there have been a series of murders behind this. In a series of flashbacks, the story gets unfolded layer by layer. Andrew had an encounter with Versace seven years ago and since then he can't stop bragging about it. Uber handsome and very intelligent and charming, Andrew is always the heart of a party. In the next few episodes, we see who Andrew really is and the details of how and why he murders  Chicago real estate developer Lee Miglin (Lee used to hire Andrew as an escort

Gay Short Films : 60

Impar (Mexico) [Uneven] An old sock with no pair falls in love with an attractive young boy. The boys uses it to jerk-off and throws it off till it finds a new home. Weird yet funny! Searching for Love (USA) Story of a gay man looking for love within the ever changing landscape of queer culture.  Throughout the story, Jack develops a unique relationship with a dating app, which in the end is what leads him to a powerful lesson about the search for love. The Forest (USA) A novice hiker is exploring a lush forest with the help of a smart phone application and encounters a mysterious and sexy stranger. An innocent exploration of the forest becomes a much more dangerous and exciting experience. Its a parallel drawn to the quick anonymous hookup culture. Fuck Yes - Threesome (USA) When a gay couple is sure/unsure of getting into threesome; this short shows importance of improved and clear communication for consenting adults. Regalo de despedida (Spain) Two men who were c

I Am Jonas (French) [Boys]

The english title 'Boys' for the wider audience is a bad and such a common title, that it doesn't tell us anything. Now that I have gotten this out of my mind, lets focus on the film which focuses on Jonas over two timelines which is a decade apart. An event from his teenage years haunts him with the guilt he’s carried around since being a teenager. Jonas is a 30 something troubled young man. He picks up fights at the popular gay bar and sleeps around. His boyfriend has had enough of it and ultimately dumps him. But all this volatile behaviour has something to do with his past. Meanwhile we also see that Jonas has been stalking this young man everywhere but we don't see the connection until later. Flash back to 1997 when Jonas as a teenager meets the rebellious new student Nathan. Jonas immediately has crush on Nathan and they become good friends. The friendship. and eventually curios love blossoms and is depicted quite well. When they share their first kiss, the s

M/M (German / French)

This film is a good example of self absorption and sexual obsession. And no I didn't mean this for the characters but for the makers who keep going on and on about saying whatever they were trying to say through this film. Matthew, a young Canadian, now lives in Berlin but is too lonely and isolated in the new strange city. He meets Matthias online, an attractive, seemingly interesting young man with the body of a God and the swagger of a bad boy. Matthew soon becomes obsessed with Matthias, so much that even after hooking up with him, he is not satisfied and wants to be him. When an accident puts Matthias in coma, that presents Matthew a perfect opportunity. In a coma in the hospital, Matthias’ waking life, dreams and memories blur. The film emds with Matthias coming back home and now Matthew and Matthias spending all time together, very similar to each other. But is it reality of dream? The film is so full of repetitions of dreams, techno music, serial hook-ups, random geo

Malila: The Farewell Flower (Thai)

This is a film that looks at death from different perspectives with the pretext of a very gentle gay romance. It is about the invisible scars in the soul of a man and how he seeks redemption through Buddhism. The film has amazing visuals and starts off very promising. The cinematography is just brilliant. But I felt somewhere in latter half, I had personally lost the interest that was generated in the first half. Pitch is a young man who is a skilled craftsman in making baisri, elaborate, multi-tiered floral ornaments made from jasmine and banana leaves. He has cancer and after trying for therapy in Bangkok and also herbal way, he has now moved back to his village. His belief is that overtime he makes baisri, he gets better. He meets his old love Shane, a rural farmer and they reconnect. Shane was married but when his girl was killed by a python, he started drinking heavily and his wife left. The two men rekindle their love and however hard they try, they cant escape death. Shane


Sometimes simple is beautiful and powerful. This small budget film, whose name I have not heard anywhere at all, is a beautiful love story, where our lead protagonists kist happen to be in gay and in love. This could very well have been about a straight couple, because the focus is on love and relationship and the challenges. The fact that the boys are gay is never ever discussed or is ever a point of contention and I absolutely loved this fact about this small-indie yet beautiful film. The film starts when a young mother accidentally runs over a small boy who's walking with his brother and his mother crying in disbelief. Years forward, we now meet Benny studying for medicine in university of Akron. He meets Christopher, who was born in Akron but later moved to Florida with his mom. They soon fall head over heels in love with each other and Benny's parents also love Christopher. They decide to go to Florida on their spring break. Just before the trip, when Christopher is a

A Very English Scandal (Mini Series) (UK)

Wow! There are so many real life stories that most of us had no idea about. Thankfully with so many platforms, a few of them come to the screen. This mini series is based on the life of Jeremy Thorpe, who was the leader of the British Liberal Party and his lover (former) Norman Scott. Their's is a very interesting story and these 3 parts of almost one-hour each were very engrossing. Jeremy Thorpe is a highly educated, upper-class man belonging to a political family. His career was at its peak in 60s and 70s during which he also served as the leader of the Liberal Party. Thorpe meets a scrappy stable boy Norman Scott in the countryside and one year later they sort of begin a relationship. Norman is slightly unstable while Thorpe is a public figure. The relationship doesn't last long and soon Normal is out of his life. But Norman doesn't take it well and goes to ops to file a case against Thorpe against homosexuality which was still illegal in 1960s in UK. but the police

Cola de Mono (Spanish)

The title of the film as told to us in the film refers to a eggnog-like drink popular in Chile during the holiday season. Later we are also told that it could also be a homophobic slur about anal sex. A story of two teenage brothers, I had some hopes from the film, especially since it started off so well. But it went complete downhill before it regained in last 20-ish minutes. This could have been a decent low budget gay film but some things are not meant to be. Its Christmas eve in 1986. Borja is a loner teenager who likes to dream about films. Its his passion, just like his father. His elder brother Vincent is a reader and their mother is another oddball. They come together for Christmas eve dinner after which secrets come out. Vincent goes to his friend's home, a lie to cover the fact that he is going to a gay cruising park. While the drunk mother is sleeping, Borja goes through Vincent's stuff in his room and discovers his. gay porn books and jock straps which makes hi

Boy Erased

It is very refreshing to see more and more mainstream films being made on queer themes and more actors wanting to take risks in playing roles which otherwise they wouldn't have. I have seen a couple other films on the theme of gay conversion therapy, but this, as far as I know, is the first mainstream film to focus on the subject. Based on the memoirs written by Garrad Conley, this film take us on a journey of a family as they all deal with Garrard's homosexuality. The film starts with barely 20-something Jared checking into a gay conversion therapy program with his mother Nancy. His father, Marshall, is a priest in Arkansas who constantly reminds his congregation that they are all imperfect people and that only faith can make them whole. Through a series of flashbacks, we get to understand how does Jared reach here. He had a girlfriend but was never really sure of his sexuality. We get to see 2 different encounters:one in which he is raped by a classmate one night in coll

Mario (Swiss German)

If you read the summary of the film which says " a love story of gay footballers", you will think you have seen a few films before on the subject and thats exactly what OI thought too. But the treatment and the focus of this film is different and actually much deeper. The sexuality is not brushed aside but the focus is more on how to deal with it in 2018 and like one man says in the movie that its ok to be gay but not ok for sportsmen. A beautiful love story that grows slowly and ends open ended. I am glad I saw this film. Mario, early 20s, is the start striker player of his team, highest scorer and has a big chance to being promoted to the main squad. Things change slightly, when another star player Leon from Germany is added to the team. Since he is also a striker, pretty soon him and Mario share an amazing chemistry on the football field. Mario has been so busy with the game that he has not had chance to think about his sexuality but he cannot help but notice the very

C.R.A.Z.Y. (Canadian French)

This film has been on my list to watch for a long time, especially since it features in a lot of lists that talk about the best LGBT films of all times. And boy , were those lists right. Running over a period of little over 2 hours, its like watching the complete journey of a family. The story of Zac, a young gay man dealing with homophobia while growing up with four brothers and a conservative father in Quebec during the 1960s and 1970s is so well shot and told and you feel intruding into the families life. Sure, the film may not be perfect but it is definitely an amazing film to watch and not feel the love for it. The film essentially focuses on Zac, fourth son of Gervais and Laurianne, who is born on Christmas eve prematurely. His brothers include Bookworm Christian, shiftless drug addict Raymond, dumb jock Antoine and youngest Yvan (and hence the title). Zac and his father share a very special loving relationship which officially comes to an end when Gervais comes home to find

The Happy Prince (UK)

We have seen a few film on Oscar Wilde, but this films focusses on the latter part of his life and the his tragic final days. The film's title alludes to the children's story by Oscar Wilde, The Happy Prince and Other Tales, which Wilde would read aloud to his children. The film shows aspects that at least I wasn't aware of. However, the film shows events in a non-chronological order which means you have to focus really hard to keep up on whats happening. The film focuses on post 1895 when Wilde was convicted for 2 years for “gross indecency with men.” because of his indiscreet affair with Lord Alfred “Bosie” Douglas. Once out of the prison, His friends re surprised to find that he has resumed his affair with Bosie, which leads to both his allowance from his wife and Bosie's allowance to get cutt off, leaving them with nothing. This is when Bosie leaves Wilde. This is the time when Oscar neglected his faithful friends Robbie and Reggie when Robbie was actually in l

Flow (Canada)

This was such a random experimental film. These are the kind of films that make me wonder that in the name of "different" cinema, some film makers are ready to offer all sorts of garbage and expect that audiences should lap it up. Come on.. we are better than that. The film starts with a documentary style focusing on 22-something Chinese gay film maker who talks about his work and love life with an unseen friend behind the camera. The maker also gives an ode to his mother. Before you realize, the film shifts to showing 4 of the directors short films.  "Hysterio Passio" shows images of men's passions. In "Matricide," a lawyer asks a young gay Chinese why he killed his mother on Christmas morning. In "Key in the Heart," a heroine (an Asian man in drag) pursues vampires. In "Fall, 1990," college students meet their roommates, and Jimmy, an edgy scholarship boy without a family, is slowly brought to an understanding of love by the

Sueño En Otro Idioma (Spanish) [I Dream In Another Language]

What a visually stunning film! I haven't seen a gay themed film which is shot so beautifully and esthetically, in a long time. There are lush tropical landscapes, crystal clear water, attractive people that you can connect with and amazing performances. The film is not just about the dying language Zikril ((an imaginary dialect invented for the film) but also about understanding the world, perspectives that are lost when we fail to show sufficient curiosity in the generations and cultures that have come before. A young, good looking researcher Martin turns up in a small jungle settlement in search of last speakers of the dying language Zikril. Isauro and Evaristo are the only 2 remaining men who speak the language but interestingly they have not spoken to each other in a long time. Isauro unfortunately understands and speaks only Zikril but everyone else including Evaristo can speak Spanish too. With the help os Evaristo's daughter, Martin tries to bring the two guys toget

La Virgen de los Sicarios (Spanish) [Our Lady Of The Assassins]

This was a very interesting film, filmed in a very guerilla style probably using video cameras and what not. The violence somehow still seamlessly weaves throughout the film which is filled with social realism. The film does take us through the grim reality of the city of Medellin in Colombia, which thankfully I know a lot more about having recently watched the Narcos series. I was, hence, thankfully able to relate to the film better. 50-something Fernando meets 16-ish young handsome gay boy Alexis at a party and instantly has a liking for him. They both get into a very organic relationship naturally. Fernando has recently moved back to his city after years and they both walk around talking about the changes that this city has gone through. Alexis, though super young, does carry a gun with him, like most people in Medellin, just in case, he ever gets attacked for his own safety. Even though Fernando has come home to die, his sarcastic views on the city and everyday robbery, violen

Make It Right: Season 2 (TV Series) (Thai)

Finally, after watching 14 episodes of the season 2, a total time of about 11-ish hours, I am ready to review the season 2 of this Thai hit TV show. My review of the season 1 is here. Actually not much has changed between the previous season and this one. The stories and love between the couples continue over all these episodes. Tee and Fuse are still the primary couple. Fuse is back with his girlfriend Jean and despite all signs, he fails to believe that she can cheat but finally comes to senses towards the middle of series. Tee, in the meanwhile sticks with him through, except for once when an old friend from previous school comes. But that also helps asa. catalyst for Fuse to realize his feelings for Tee. The second couple is Frame and Book. Thy continue with their love but when an old video of Book having sex with a stranger goes viral online, it has repercussions on their love and everything around Book. He even attempts suicide but Frame stands by him and is there for hi eve

Henry Gamble's Birthday Party

This film is less about being gay but more about struggles of people trying to reconcile with their complexities of adulthood, with their Christian lifestyle, their religious beliefs, sex and the changing modern world. To be honest, maybe this film should not even be here on this blog, but then given the title and the fact that our protagonist Henry is struggling with his own sexuality is reason good enough for me to write down a few lines. Henry is turning 17 and his parents are throwing a birthday pool party. His father Bob is a pastor and clearly the family and surroundings are very religious. HIs sister is also back from college for this. The parents have also invited some adults from the church. Introductory scene hints that Henry may have a crush on his best friend who is sleeping over. Kids from church arrive and more form his school. Soon a sort of segregation starts between the church kids and secular kids. When Logan arrives, he is a shy kid, rumored to be gay and that c

Telo Bez Duse (Czech) (Documentary) [Body Without Soul]

This film portrays the one of the oldest tragedies in the public: Child prostitution. It shows the problems of living on the street, at such young age and how you get exploited. Although this specific documentary focuses on the city of Prague, but I cant imagine the situation being any different in a lot of other places. This graphic film depicts the appalling process by which young prepubescence and teen age boys in Prague are so skillfully lured into the eviscerated life of a male prostitute. This documentary came out in 1996 and interview about 6-8 boys in the age range of 14-17 and their experiences. Each of the boy is asked same questions as to how did they come to Prague, how did they start and why, what are their challenges, issues that they face and the AIDS issue hanging over their head. Every single boy's story is very similar on how they are exploited by older gay men for their pleasure but they also admit that its the easiest money that they can make. They are ulti