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Showing posts from January, 2018

Sticks And Stones

I knew this was too good to be true. I was watching one good film after another and sooner or later this was gonna change and hey, it happened, with this film. Now, in all honesty, we need to remember that I am talking about a film that came in 1970. Thats almost 48 years ago, so its a long long time and hence my reviews would not evaluate on a lot of things which I normally do, but I am not discount the story, which is the heart and soul of a lot of films. Story-wise there is nothing much to offer. Peter and Buddy are a gay couple and are hosting a 4th of July party at their summer house in Fire Island. They are a couple who bitch and complain and torment each other with their issues. Peter is the nice guy with god job in city and supposedly the responsible one but he is a bit dull. Meanwhile Buddy is this outgoing person , but ever since his last theatre failure, he has become an alcoholic mess. So all that happens in the film is introduction to some of the characters who will a

God's Own Country (UK)

First viewing of the film, and like me, you will try to draw comparisons with the legendary Brokeback Mountain, and I don’t mean in a bad way. There are many instances that will make you think of the aforementioned film, especially in a couple of scenes, which could as well be a direct homage to the director Ang Lee. The director crafts a love story that is raw, real, sexy, difficult to watch and very heartfelt that you can feel connected to, even though you have no idea of the farm world. The biggest win of the film is the nature. Its the true hero and our protagonists just fit in to the environment. Johny, a young lad, lives on the farm in Northern Yorkshire. He is helping his ailing father Martin at the farm, while occasionally getting drunk. There is a huge communication gap between father and son. Johny is also having random sex with strangers. When Martin get’s super frustrated , he hires help for lambing season. Enter Gheorghe, a Romanian migrant worker, to whom Johny is in

All About Section 377 (Hindi) (Web Series)

This series takes its name from Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which criminalizes homosexuality in India. India is getting better at producing at least web content wrt LGBt society, something that Indian mainstream cinema yet has to feel comfortable with. While a lot of people outside the country will not appreciate humour and the local lingo since these things get lost in translation; this series is tailor-made for the Indian youth aiming to offer a fresh perspective of LGBT life in India. A young wide-eyed man Suresh moves to Mumbai from Delhi with dreams of making it big. He moves into the apartment of his cousin Rohit who happens to be a well-established fashion photographer. Rohit is gay and lives with his model boyfriend Sid and indifferent domestic helper Chhotu. In this 8-part series, we take a look at how Suresh, slowly gets comfortable with being around a gay couple. We look at the cute fights that Rohit and Sid have; how Rohit verbally abuses his servant for fun

The Everlasting Secret Family (Australia)

I was a bit weirded out after seeing this film. I am not sure I appreciate or support the idea of relationship that this film focussed on, but then I think we need to look at a film independently of our thoughts. So that’s exactly what I am going to do here. The makers talked about how the film is about the fact that sex and power are intertwined and they co-exist. I do agree with the statement but I am sure there are other better ways to show this rather than this highly provocative and controversial drama. Set in 70s, we see the public and private life of a senator who takes up a fancy for a young teenage boy. Young boys are recruited form a private school for the sole pleasure of the senator and his secret society. The young man is flattered and enjoys the attention from senator and the power it gives him but slowly he gets deeper into this dark world, finally reaching a point of no return, where this sexually corrupt “family” becomes the only life he can ever know. He now obse

The Pass (UK)

I had big expectations from this film, having read some good reviews about it. It had also won the Audience award for the best film in Philadelphia LGBT film festival last year, so I was really looking forward to it. What I didn’t realize until I started watching the film was that it must have been based on a play, because given the nature of the setting of the film, I could not see any other reason and I was actually right. It is an indie film and shows us the issue of fame and sexuality and how a famous soccer player leads a life of denial. The film is set in 3 parts in three time zones, each set apart by 5 years. Its 2006 and the night before a big soccer match. Best friends Jason and Ade are hanging out in the hotel room, each with a dream of making it big and getting chosen by talent scout. They know only one of them can get picked. Wearing only their underwear, there is a healthy banter thats going around between them, including a surprise kiss from Jason to Ade. Five years

Gay Short Films : 55

Forever Love (Web Series) (Vietnam) The plot involves two boys, one on a break from Saigon, meeting. Both have secrets that they don't tell the other. 4 episodes each of about 10 minutes. The story and screenplay is very hard to follow, with abrupt changes in the character's attitudes making it difficult to understand. (3.5/10) Love, Death, and Cars (USA) In Los Angeles, Max and Haley go to a reading and book signing of Kyle, a friend of Max's from New York. Through flashbacks and conversations, we learn that they were more than casual friends, and Kyle's reappearance throws Haley and Max's relationship into question. Central to the two men's history was a Grand Canyon trip some years before. Max may need to travel that road again with renewed honesty if he's to sort out his life's conflicts and contradictions and move on with honesty. Ready? OK! (USA) Finding yourself and remaining true to who you are. A comedic coming-of-age story about

Call Me By Your name (English / Italian)

Wow! That last shot! Now that was something. One thing, for sure, that will stay with you for a long long time, is the last shot of our lead just sitting staring at the fireplace, while end credits roll out and you see the changing emotions in his eyes. I was mesmerized by it and thats why I had to start my review by that particular scene. In a way, the essence of love, heart break, empathy and moving-on with life is all bundled up in that one single shot. Bravo! So, after weeks of wanting to see the film, it finally happened over the weekend on the big screen and was I glad or what to see it in cinemas. The experience was so much better. This movie needs patience, lots of it. Just like how you would spend your vacation in 80’s doing nothing. So be prepared for lot of nothing but a whole lot of everything at the same time. The year is 1983, where Elio, a smart young 17 year old is enjoying his summer. His parents are international academics, spending summers at a villa in Northern

Freak Show

A story of an wildly eccentric teenager, who faces intolerance and persecution at his ultra conservative high school makes the crux of this story. You have to admit that the main character has got to be the most flamboyant, confident, i-don’t-care-a-damn, fabulous character in any of the high school movies that I have seen so far and its fun to watch. But the question is, are we as society ready for someone like Billy Bloom. Are we there yet or will it still take us a while before we can accept without inherent discrimination in our minds for anyone who doesn’t pass the social norms that we expect out of an individual. Billy, a flamboyant kid has grown up in the company of his mother’s glamour world. He has never worn anything that he doesn’t like, which makes him wear all kind of funky, fashionable, gender non-confirming clothes with makeup. But when she has to go for rehab (which we find out quite later in the film), he has to go live with his father for one semester of high sch

120 Battements Par Minute (French) [120 Beats Per Minute]

If you don’t get teary-eyed and sentimental and emotional after watching this film, I don’t know what else will make you feel that way. I have seen multiple movies that show us the reality of what AIDS epidemic was like and how people suffered but I have to say this is one of the better ones. Yes, the film is long and very wordy, but its worth it. The 140-minute duration of the film helps give the audience a good look at several characters, their history, their past,  sharing a proximity in different ways and their interactions with each other. In a film which is full of many delights, is so active and engaging, whose finale in every way earns its deeply emotional payoff, nothing can beat the beauty of the last ten minutes, which see life carrying on in all its former charm and banality. The film actually shows us the dramatic few years of ACT UP Paris, a direct action AIDS advocacy group. We are introduced to various participants, how the meetings are held, protests planned, acti

Frangipani (Sinhalese)

YAY!  Asian countries are finally making a mark and finding their foothold in the queer film industry. This film is the first LGBT film from Sri Lanka. Having recently visited the country, I was so looking forward to seeing this film. For a first of its kind in the country, I quite liked this passionate, diverse, loving and thought-provoking film. I, for some reason, was expecting a blunder but this story of friendship and love while exploring sexuality and identity was quite charming. It doesn’t mean it did not have its share of hiccups but we can talk al about it later. This film is a sort of love triangle. Sarasi is a string, wealthy girl who doesn’t want a traditional wedding in a arranged way. She falls for her childhood best friend Chamath. Chamath, on his part years for freedom from his family, to be himself. Enter a handsome young mechanic Nalin and sparks fly between everyone. Chamath and Nalin end up hooking up with each other on the day he is getting engaged to Sarasi.

Like You Mean It

‘Like You Mean It’ is a very delicate film IMO. Two wonderful people, growing apart in their intimacy and love for each other; is presented very somberly in this film. Yes, this makes the film painfully slow and repetitive but still that provides the audience a chance to connect with the character and try to get in his mind as to why he is doing what he is doing. Mark and Jonah look like your typical happily monogamous gay couple. Although happy, we see that Mark is increasingly unhappy and frustrated with all the demeaning auditions that he has been giving. He also feels diminishing passion for his musician boyfriend Jonah. Jonah realizes there is an issue but Mark never opens up to him. Since, Jonah is happy, very much in love, and caring; Mark feels maybe its his problem and suggests couple’s therapy. But once in therapy, he continues to resist any exercises or methods that therapist suggests. We also find that he takes anti-depressants. Also we don’t know much about his backgr

Garçon Stupide (French) [Stupid Boy]

I think I saw this film long time ago but I really can’t remember much (including the fact of I have even seen it). I started to like the film initially, especially since the lead was quite cute in a very interesting sort of way. Its difficult to describe his looks. Anyway, as the movie progressed, boredom started taking over and i wasn’t sure where this film was headed. I believe that the film was not just about the male protagonist. Equally important was his relationship with his best friend Marie. We meet Loic, a twenty year old very beautiful guy, who works in a chocolate factory by the day and spends pretty much all his nights having anonymous sex either online or through cruising the streets. All he cares about his physical satisfaction, until he meets Lionel (whom we never see), who is more interested in Loic’s personality , history, likes and dislikes rather than going to bed with him. And this is a new feeling for Loic. He shacks up with his best friend Marie, who works a

The Nature of Nicholas (Canada)

This was a very very odd and weird coming-out film. Such films that focuses on teenagers are usually cute, romantic and helps the audience to come to terms and accept really who they are. Instead, all this film does is confuse the viewers to a very large extent. I have seen films where a plot doesn’t always make sense but this one definitely takes it up a level since even after reading online a lot about this film, trying to interpret the director’s vision, still leaves me very confused. Nicholas lives with his mother, who is worried about Nicholas’ introvert nature. Hid father was a cop and is dead now. HIs only friend is Bobby. Nicholas definitely has a very strong attraction to Bobby but Bobby’s feelings are not always clear. Nicholas is confused because just when he thinks Bobby also likes him, he starts showing more interest in girls and the parties. Nicholas just plays along. We also see Nicholas’ father’s ghost that apparently he also sees and feels that he is guiding him,

Como Una Novia Sin Sexo (Spanish) [Bromance]

I actually quite liked this film. I didnt know what to expect but there were plenty of things about this film that kept me glued to it. When you notice 3 extremely good looking guys together in a supposedly gay film, I always think there are gonna be compromises wrt the acting and direction. I am so glad that I was proven wrong. Primarily this film is about friendship, bonding, love and prejudices and the subtlety of emotions and the connections in the film makes it for a very heart-warming and delightful watch. Three young, late-teenage friends Adrian, Santiago and Daniel go for a camping trip near the beach. This trip is supposed to be about friends spending time together and chill. They all have this amazing chemistry between them. In a brief moment while swimming Daniel and Santiago end up kissing each other. Santiago moves on but it sticks with Daniel , who clearly has stronger feelings for Santiago. To deal with this, he somehow drifts away from Adrian as well. Enter Julie,

Dream Boat (Documentary) (English/French & more)

Now this was an interesting documentary, although if I was to sum it up in short, I would say the makers were not very sure of where they wanted to head to and what is it that they really wanna talk about or convey through this documentary. Extremely high on production values, gorgeous men and walking us through on what happens on a huge cruise liner of all gay men, it was indeed a good insight. My reaction was, ‘Oh My God! Its a lot of work to be on one of these cruises’. The documentary walks us through lives of 5 different men, from different backgrounds and age groups and what goes on in their head while they enjoy an all-male week-long voyage from Lisbon to the Canary Islands in a ship that holds 2k plus passengers.. What do they expect from the cruise, what are they feeling emotionally and how was their overall experience. We meet Marek, Polish born but UK resident, extremely good looking but unsure of what to do with his charms. He is looking for the ideal love and partner

Boys On Film 17: Love Is The Drug

New year, new beginnings and the newest volume of Boys on Film. Except one short film in the end, all the other films were new for me but as expected the overall quality of the short films was ok, barring maybe Pedro and Sugar Daddy. Explore hidden desires on a sleepover, fall in love with the handyman and be seduced by a stranger on the beach as you discover why LOVE IS THE DRUG. Alex And The Handyman (USA) When Alex, a precious nine-year-old boy, develops a crush on Jared, the moody twenty-five-year-old handyman who works in the mansion where he lives, he will stop at nothing to get his attention. Creepy but with a unexpected twist. Mr Sugar Daddy (Sweden) Fifty-something Hans is looking for a fresh start. When he is pursued by the handsome younger Andrej, he falls for him fast. As the pair get closer, his wallet becomes looser. But you can see Andrej is also interested in friends of his age. Is Andrej interested in Hans, or just the perks of an older man? Spoilers (UK, Au