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Showing posts from January, 2019

Venus (Canada)

I have seen a few transgender stories and in fact have reviewed some here as well. This film was interesting in the sense that it was an interesting blend of drama and comedy. Most trans theme films have a very serious approach to the subject, which is definitely needed to bring attention to the audience; but this film take s a different route and brings in an interesting twist alongwith some laughters along the way. I am not sure if the ethnicity of the protagonist just happened or was there a very specific purpose behind that. Sid, an Indian by origin but born and raised in Canada, is a transitioning woman. She is already dealing with judgements not only from colleagues but also within the family. Her life is turned upside down when a pre-teen boy Ralph shows up claiming to be her biological son with her college ex. Ralph thinks having a transgender parent is pretty cool and is very upbeat about it. But he has not told his mother and stepfather that he had tracked down his biolo

The Raven

This is another one of those badly made gay horror films, which I still cannot fathom why it was made. I would be seriously surprised if there wad any audience for such shoddily made films with bad script and even worse acting and direction. Roderick throws a masquerade ball inside a creepy mansion with a dark past. An infamous mass-murder happened there fifty years ago to the night, but that's part of the fun for the posh hotties who show up for some boozy partying. 2 of his friends show up early to prepare for the ball but they get murdered by a man wearing Raven mask. He finds out hat one of his arch nemesis David is also going to attend the ball. Very few guys show up and they start getting murdered one by one in badly executed scenarios and murders. We are later told that during the college days Roderick was a shy but rich kid who was befriended by a farmer's son David, whose aim to get rich. He dumps Roderick as soon as he finds another rich boy. But Roderick gets be

Sauvage (French)

This recent French film is a very detailed character study of a young gay hustler in the streets of Paris. He is very lonely and vulnerable, yet situations around him have hardened him and he has figured out ways of survival. This is not an easy film to either act in or make. There is always a fine balance here and I think the director does a good job. Leo is a 22 year old male prostitute practically living on streets, doesn't change clothes, picks food from garbage or steals. We also later find that he keeps coughing and probably has some signs of TB. He along with quite a few others look for clients day in and night. One of his closest friends, is an Arab looking hustler just like him who also proclaims he is straight. Leo is very much in love with him but he treats leo as a very good friend and is always available for him. But when an older ex-client shows up, Leo's friend moves back with him and Leo becomes alone again. But Leo is still in love with him. He later meets

Goodbye Mr. X (Web-series) (Mandarin)

There was a series that played out in China called "Mr X & I". It was a few films shown and I have reviewed them here separately rather than anthology of the series. This series was aired with 9 episodes each of about 10 minutes each, so a substantial amount was spent in watching this. Sadly it was a huge waste of time. Feng Yi Chen and Run Yi are medical students. Feng is the quiet type and Run Yi starts falling for him. They both separately run into each other at a gay party with Run Yi's best friends who happen to be a couple. About 8 of these guys are kidnapped and when they wake up, they find themselves locked up in a huge house. Soon they realize that a killer is on the loose (maybe amongst themselves) and 2 murders happen while more attempts are done. 2 new members come in home after 3 days. Soon it is revealed that an anti-homosexual organization ASAS is out there to kill gays and this is part of this. Apparently Feng Yi Chen is part of that organization

Postcards From London (UK)

The first thing you will notice while watching this film is that ho it is shot very differently. Part cinematic, part theatrical, it is very obvious it has been shot on very nicely designed sets and not real locations and this gives it a very different perspective. Definitely not everyone's cup of tea. A small town boy, 18 year old Jim arrives to London looking for adventures. He has an angel face and perfectly sculpted body. He soon meets four international young male escorts who call themselves  "raconteurs" who take Jim under their wing. According to them, their speciality is in the post-sex intellectual conversation, when older educated rich men crave for intimacy. The talks most often involved literature, arts, paintings and painters. Jim commits to his course of study, reading books about painting and sculpture, until he's ready to start entertaining clients. Jim starts working but soon relaizes that he has a problem. When Jim stares at a great work of art,

Marvin ou la Belle éducation (French) [Reinventing Marvin]

I wanted to like this movie. It has some good reviews online and of course I do like French films. I tried my best but I just could not connect. Neither to the characters, nor to the way of story telling with constant jumps between time lines. It was hard to keep track after a while and when movie watching becomes tedious, I as an audience lose connect with the film right then and there. Marvin as a young boy is an outsider. He is bullied for acting like a fag and even his home atmosphere is not condusive for him to be himself. Alcoholic father and an indifferent mother makes his life not easy. Told us in non-chronological order, we put pieces together of various events in Marvin's life. A chance meeting at school with drsama teacher brings new zest in his life as he proceeds to acting and enjoys it. A regional drama academy comes next, where he enrolls to study after growing up. Marvin meets a visiting author Abel, whose book sounds very similar to his own life and becomes fr

Where The Bears Are: Season 7

I can't believe that this is the seventh and final season of this hugely popular crowd-funded web series. Self-admittedly it is not a path breaking series and great by any standards but it has been my guilty pleasure for all the previous seasons and I have secretly enjoyed the  jibber-jabber between the 4 main protagonists. Getting my hands on season 7 was fun but after watching the final episode and finding out this is the last season brings some bittersweet emotions. This season is different in the sense that no major murder happens this time and its not about the murder mystery, instead it focuses on 2 different aspects. Someone out there is sending threatening notes to out foursome that he/she will kill them. Also this is the time for the annual Mr. Bear America and someone wants to sabotage the entire contest. At the same time, Reggie is promoting his latest best-selling book and judging the parade of hairy hunks! Wood too is busy self-promoting, by hosting a pool party a

Tama Hetki Kaislikossa (Finnish/English) [A Moment In The Reeds]

After 2 back to back just average films which seemed to have big potential failed to impress me, 2019 had not started on a very good note for me. I am glad I saw this film then. The film seems very authentic, seductive and romantic and something that as an audience you can connect with given the political climate around the world. Although t he film reminded me a lot of one of my fav films "God's Own Country" but this film itself has enough merit to stand on its own. The story is pretty simple. Leevi, a handosme young Finnish guy has been living and studying in Paris and has just returned home to Finland for the summer to help his father renovate their old lake house. Leevi’s relationship with his father, is strained since he is an old-fashioned man. I believe he knows of Leevi's sexuality and doesn't approve of it. The father hires a young man, Tareq, through an agency who can help renovate the house . When Tareq arrives, he doesn't speak any Finnish and

The Dream Children (Australia)

I feel so sad when there are stories with huge potentials but somehow their execution lacks that extra zing to take them to next level. As a result they end of being just a very average mediocre film. This is especially sad when the subject has potential. Stories that do exceptionally well on theatre need that extra love and care when being adapted for the big screen. Set in early 2000's, this film shows the time when gay marriage or adoption for gay couples was still not legal in Australia. Steven and Alex are a couple but since Steven is a TV show host, he has to live a closeted life. But he goes around having meaningful sex with random strangers and is almost always horny. On the other hand, Alex wants more from the relationship and expand their family. Steven always ignores this but when Alex asks their architect to include a nursery in their new beach home which is being built, Steven sees the seriousness. But since they are legally not a couple, their chances of legally

Plaire, aimer et courir vite (French) [Sorry Angel]

By now, I have seen quite a few films that have been set during the AIDS epidemic. They all have focused on multiple aspects like activism, love stories, friendship etc. This french film shows us sympathy and love during an era of uncertainty and chaos. You don't hear or see anything about activism but its about individuals who are dealing with the outcry and what their outlook towards life and whether or not it changes with time. Set in early 90's, Jacques is a 30-something writer who lives in Paris with his son. We are very casually told that he has AIDS but for now he is healthy and regularly goes on dates with younger guys but doesn't have sex. He is constantly wondering if ever now in his remaining life he will ever deserve true love. One of his closest friends is his neighbor and fellow writer. In parallel we are introduced to Arthur, a 20 year old young college student who has a girlfriend but is exploring his sexuality with boys too. On a work trip, where one o