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Showing posts from October, 2018

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

Alex Strangelove

Of late we have been having a surge of coming out films, especially with more focus on teenage romance. Something that was a focus few years back. With mainstream films like Love, Simon; this genre is getting more popularity again. Netflix's film takes this genre forward and brings to us a tender coming-of-age story and the film is not without flaws. That doesn't take away the charm and smile that this film brings to your face. Alex Truelove is a nerd who is too much into animals. He is the kind of guy who is not a jock but popular enough and friends with everyone, to even become class president. And he wonders if any girl ever would find him cool enough to ever be friends with him, forget dating. Enter Claire, who is as much of an animal nerd as him and they both instantly hit off. They go from friends to dating but to Claire's frustration, they have not gone all the way. But Alex doesn't care. He is not ready and doesn't think much about it. Soon we realize w

Happy Birthday, Gemini

This film came out in 1980 and is apparently based on a play. So you have to watch the film keeping that context in mind. Set amongst some of the low-income class Philadelphians, its not the brightest movie made. The film can easily be summarized in a good 15-20 short film. Francis Geminiani gets a surprise visit by his quasi girlfriend Judith and her brother Randy on the eve of his 21st birthday. For being best friends, Francis is not at all happy with their surprise visit and soon we realize it's because Francis thinks he is gay and is struggling with it. The siblings nevertheless get a warm welcome by Francis' father, his girlfriend, their neighbor who has a clumsy asthmatic son Herschel. Judith refuses to believe Francis is gay and keeps telling him they cannot be friends if thats true. Further probe tells that its actually Randy on whom Francis has a crush on. Nothing can come out of it though. After birthday celebrations, things start coming out and the film ends wit

West Of Eden (New Zealand)

Don't let the poster of the summary fool you. Lets make it clear that this is not really a queer film. Primarily, I would like to call this a story of a very very dysfunctional family and a decent amount of time is spent exploring gay relationship between 2 farm boys. But the focus is more on the family and the sham it keeps for their image in society. I am not sure at all why this film is being promoted as a tale of two gay men who find love on a New Zealand farm in 1960s. Given that this film has featured in prominent LGBT festivals, I do feel I should review it here. Set in 1960s, Maori city boy Billy moves away from his family and city life in remote areas to become a farm boy, primarily to escape the rumors of him being gay. In a span of short time, we are then introduced to various characters. Billy meets Eva who is having sex with her brother-in-law and being watched by head farm helper Danny. Eva is married to Frank, the owner of the huge farm and who has a spotless an

Gay Short Films : 59

Attack (USA) A neo-Nazi skinhead is apprehended because he has attacked two black teenage boys. As we are taken backwards through the story we realise that things may not be as 'Black & White' as they appear. It was actually a hate crime towards the white man. My First Suit (New Zealand) Steve, a young teenage is about to attend his first high school dance. His separated parents insist on buying him suit but the boy is more interested in men. Ditching the dance, he decides to 'come out' to himself. These Things Take Time (USA) An eight-year-old boy experiences his first heartbreak when he falls in love with his male third-grade teacher. The stuff he does to get his teacher's attention is soo cute. I absolutely loved the film, the acting and the direction. First love is always special. The way the parents deal with the whole event is amazing. Gay Hunt (USA) One of these 4 roommates is GAY. Which one do you think it is? Hilarious! Como en arcadi

Play The Devil

A first queer film from Trinidad and Tobago. I am surprised that I had not heard of this film and I am even more happy that I saw it last night. It is such a beautiful film. Two things stood out immediately for me after finishing the film. First that I need to add Trinidad to my list of places to visit asap and secondly the lead actor has a very bright future and how amazing the young guy was, in a role which was full of layers and was a wonderful opportunity to showcase his talent. Gregory is a young 18 year old boy who belongs to a lower class working family. Thankfully he is gifted and is family's only hope to win scholarship to get in a medical school. Although secretly he wants to be a photographer. He has been raised with ethics and morals by his very loving granny. His life spins out of control when he meets James. James is a successful middle age business owner who is in his marriage just because of his daughter. James initiates friendship and and career and life guida


It is interesting how many films there are that deal with AIDS issues and show the whole thing with sensitivity and respect that it deserves. I had never heard of this film. It never gets mentioned in any list of recommended LGBT films, but that should change. And surprisingly, this film was apparently the first film ever made on AIDS. This film, though just a 2 man focus story, shows a very very interesting perspective from not just a patients point of view but also for a person who has never had to deal directly with someone having the virus. The film follows a New York City gay man in a monogamous relationship becoming a "buddy" or a volunteer friend to another gay man dying of AIDS and the friendship that develops. Robert is the AIDS patient and one day he gets a visit from David, a complete stranger, who has volunteered at gay center to be Robert's buddy. The visits in the beginning are formal and David in his daily logs even mentions that he is not a fan of Rob