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Showing posts from 2020

Tu Me Manques (Spanish/English) [I Miss You in Me]

So this film is inspired/adapted from an actual play that happened in Bolivia in 2015. It became really popular and  became part of the national conversation about anti-discrimination laws and homophobia. Apparently, thanks to the play a lot of people started sharing their coming out stories. In an interview, the film maker said "It's so interesting how people try to cover suicide. It's shame. Homosexuality in life was one thing, and the other one is in death. It's a double denial that infuriates me." This film is an interesting case study of that. I personally was not aware of the still existing homophobia in many latin countries especially Bolivia. Sadly, even though the subject of the film is so powerful, I found that the film falters majorly in a very uneven and hard to follow execution. The film starts with us knowing that Gabriel has died after committing suicide and his father telling the news to his ex-boyfriend Sebastian, since he found that Seb was tryin

Siberia And Him (Russian)

A film that tracks a gay relationship in Siberia in Russia. As it is the topic can be controversial enough, especially in a geography like Siberia where apparently there are fewer than four people per square mile and where mile upon mile of open country is completely devoid of any settlement. There was a very good scope of making a beautiful love story with these surroundings but somewhere I feel the makers got too involved in the location than the actual story and relationship. Closeted gay man Sasha is suicidal after his last secret boyfriend called off their relationship. Eventually he is coming out of the hibernation. One week when Sasha's grandmother fails to return the calls , his mother asks Sasha to accompany his brother-in-law Dima (his sister's husband) to visit her to make sure everything is fine. This starts a couple of days of drive sand trek during which we find that the two men have secretly been having an affair. It seems Dima is feeling more and more pain and w

Like a Moth to a Flame

Even though, in summary, this film is a collection of three short films, unlike previous mentioned, this film is an anthology of sorts which has been directed by a director duo. The movie features three stories of closeted men and how their sexual obsessions lead to violence. In Our Darkest Moments mixes wry humor and tense drama as it chronicles the sleazy exploits of a hunky, closeted married man who cruises seedy bookstores and sex dens. He begins an affair with a dangerous teenager, unaware of the disastrous effects it will have on his life. In the Darkness Softly , is a love story (of sorts), chronicling a young man’s obsession with a local serial killer. And in the final film, In Deep , the police are trying to catch a murderer who preys on lonely men and then offs them with his extraordinarily large appendage. Maybe this killer is more than he seems. After first 20 minutes, I really couldn't care much about what's happening in the film. The stories, the acting, the dire

5 Lessons in Happiness (Mandarin)

Baby Maybe Fong and Fang are a gay couple together for eight years. Even after the same-sex marriage has been legalized in Taiwan, Fong, his family’s only son, still cannot accept Fang’s proposal. Fong is also being pressured to have offspring, and he actually wants to have a child of his own. Fong’s student, Sayuri, happens to be pregnant at this very moment and seeks help from Fong to get an abortion, but Fong comes up with a different plan… Will everything work out for Fong? Homebound Li Hua, a drag show manager in Japan, gets a call from Taiwan telling her father has just passed away. After 30 years abroad, she goes back home, where she thought she would never return. But it is not only about the inheritance but also about the old flame she left behind: her sister-in-law. When they meet again, the intense attraction they felt for each other reappears instantly. Li Hua wants to make up for all the lost time, but how can they be together? Little Man Hsuan is a professional swimmer in

Minyan (Hebrew / English)

Religion and sexuality always make for a good combination when you are making a film, but there is a lot at stake when you try to merge two taboo subjects, especially when its your first full length feature film as a director. In this drama set in 1980s in Brooklyn, when AIDS had started to loom over people's head, we see the story of David, a 17 year old teenager of a Russian Jewish background, is in the process of discovering himself through sexual trysts and religion and his "duties' towards his family. By the way, A minyan is a group of ten Jewish men, which Jewish law mandates must be present for certain prayers. After his grandmother’s death, David’s grandfather Josef must downsize apartments. When a highly coveted spot opens up in subsidized housing at a religious center, which needs more men for its minyan, David is just the prize to help Josef’s application standout, despite the wait list. The unorthodox living arrangement suits David because this gives him break

Oxygen: The Series (Thai)

Thai BL series are all starting to blend in. With pretty much similar story lines and unwittingly stretched beyond one could care for, I pretty much have a lukewarm response to this specific series. With 13 episodes of about 40 minute each, it is pretty time consuming to watch any series, and it is frustrating when they are so underwhelming. Orphaned at a very young age, Gui, a fourth-year engineering student, has always had to work hard to support himself. Despite the many difficulties, he has kept his soft demeanor and gentle smile as well as his empathy for others. Solo, a freshman on the other hand has good looks, money and fame but something is bothering him. A chance encounter between the two boys make them instantly fall in love with each other. Then we have Sol's best friend Kao, who is madly in love 9for no reason explained whatsoever) with Phu, heir to a business tycoon who also happens to be Sol's cousin. And finally we have Khim, a girl who works with Gui at a baris

Vilom (Hindi/English/Punjabi)

This film was an amateurish attempt at shedding light at the whole section 377 of Indian society when homosexuality was criminalized again in 2013 and it was only in 2018 it was again decriminalized. Not only the story could have been attempted in a short story, the acting, the direction and the story were all as if they were done as part of a college project. Vilom is a lonely, isolated guy who works as a YouTuber and is trying to find social media attention. Amay a young dynamic boy comes to this city from a village in Punjab. He works as a hairdresser in a salon. The 2 boys meet and somehow fall in love and before you know, they have moved in together. A young beautiful girl Nivi is struggling with her acting career. She meets Vilom during his new social experimental video project and falls for him, But Vilom tells him he is gay. Amay's family is after him to get married. The worst is yet to come. Amay and Vilom continue to grow in their relationship but an incident of them gett

Gli Anni Amari (Italian) [Bitter Years]

Making autobiographical movies is never easy. You have to decide what portions of their life to keep, what to not and you always risk giving an episodic feeling rather than a free flowing narrative to the film. retraces the life of Mario Mieli, among the founders of the Italian Homosexual Liberation Movement, created at the beginning of the Seventies. Mario Mieli was born in 1952 to a rich upper class family. He was obviously gay and no one besides his mother ever tried to keep a cordial relationship with him. He loved to cross dress and regardless of the family's hostility, Mieli lacked for neither money or material possessions. When he went to London, he took active part in London Gay Liberation Front and back home in Italy, he was also responsible for the first homosexual demonstration at a Congress. Even though he was the founder of Italy's first major gay-rights group in 1972, he left it 2 years later since he thought the gay movement should remain independent of political

The Christmas House

My third holiday queer movie of this month from USA. I guess this much be a special year where many production houses are either focused on gay storyline or have made sure to have gay characters more prominently featured in almost lead roles. Although in this film, the leads are not gay but keeping a gay couple as the other prominent couple qualifies this movie to be reviewed here. Mike is the star of TV show Handsome Justice. After wrapping the current season, he is about to head home when his parents tell him that this is going to be like the childhood Christmas. His parents are giving the old Christmas House tradition one final go—which means they move literally everything out of their home and turn it into a wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling winter wonderland! Also arriving are Mike's brother Brandon with this husband Jay who are in the middle of adopting a baby. It turns out that Mike's high school crush Andi has moved back in town with her 10 year old son after her divorce.

Timeout (Hindi)

This film is primarily about 2 brothers, but in the process it ends up addressing some of the issues that Indian society is more than happy to brush under the rug. It touches on the issue sexuality, how people around you perceive that and of acceptance of society and it does so very poignantly. 14 year old Gaurav is very close to 18-year old brother Mihir, who happens to be the basketball captain. IN fact Gaurav idolizes him for everything and dreams of following his footsteps. We see that they belong to an upper class family who are supposedly very liberal. Things suddenly change when Gaurav accidentally finds out that Mihir is gay and walks in on his brother and his partner Varun. Gaurav fails to understand what's happening and despite repeated attempts from Mihir, he doesn't talk to him. This event leads Mihir to come out to his parents, which makes his girlfriend initially upset but she comes to terms with it. Eventually when Mihir comes out to his parents, hell breaks loos

Gay Short Films : 83

Query (USA) A leisurely day belies its uninvited end as Jay and Alex, best friends and roommates, challenge one another on their opinions of sexuality. The Perfect Plan (Vietnam) When a mother's surprise visit to her son happens. the son and his boyfriend need to come up with a plan to come out to the mother. However, the mother has known from very long and is just waiting for son to come out. The Right Man - Christmas Gift (Thailand) Alex and Daniel are a couple living together for two years. They were happy until the moment when Alex starts to pay more attention to work and the other decides to venture into the Internet flirtation. The Right Man - Because I Love You (Thailand) Than, who is trying to have a relationship with Palm while texting his neighbor, who helps him with his problems and deals with his mother. A cute story about Than coming to terms with his sexuality. Farewell My Ghost Boyfriend (Vietnam) Trung has taken vow of silence since his cruel words caused death of h


After two unsuccessful attempts of trying to watch this film, since I couldn't understand a word what the actors were speaking, I finally found the version with subtitles. This film is the story of a man in his late 40s, around a crisis moment that drives him to act on the very desires he has perhaps been apologizing for all along. The film starts with Colm meeting a young hustler Jay in a bathroom in a mall. Having no clue how any of this works, the young lad ends up taking money from Colm who runs away like a crazy man. Back home he has a wife and a grown up son and a daughter. His father passed away recently and we are told he shared some sort of strained relationship with him. Jay, unexpectedly shows up at Colm's work the next day blackmailing him for money which he eventually gives him to watch him jerk off. Dealing with his father's death, his not so good relationship with his own son and eventually losing his job that he has been for 30 years makes Colm look for sola

Method (Korean)

A film about films (or in this case, a film about a play) is always interesting and make for a good watch because you get to see two different methods of acting by the actors. It can get very fascinating. Similarly, this film tries to explore the emotional journey of a method actor and his emotional swing when the line between his character and himself starts to get blurred. Jae-ha is a successful theatre actor, who always transforms into his characters, both on stage and in his life. His roles consume him. So when the famous idol Young-woo joins him, it frustrates Jae-ha because oh his impatient careless attitude towards theatre. The play "Unchained" is supposed to be the story of a dangerous homosexual love. Of course Jae-ha is straight in a very steady relationship. During a rehearsal when Young-woo feels the raw emotions that Jae-ha portray, something changes in him. An easy seduction leads to both men kissing and taking an impromptu beach trip. The girlfriend feels and i

Dashing In December

I am loving watching all these holiday queer films that are coming up. Not only are the perfect to watch these days, especially given the year we have just had, in addition these films thankfully are all about love, positivity, cheerfulness and looking forward in life. And we all know how much of that we need these days. Wyatt, recently broken up with his boyfriend and a financier from New York returns home to Colorado for the holidays in an effort to convince his mother, Deb to sell the family's ranch and the endearing Winter Wonderland attraction. He pretty much left it to his mom to run the place five years ago around the time his father passed away. Meanwhile, Deb has a new guy Heath working on the ranch helping her big time with trying to sustain the tradition. After initial anger, misjudging each other, Heath and Wyatt do fall for each other. But each of them is carrying their own baggage of their past, which is making it harder for both of them to give their 100% to each oth

The Boys in the Band

Set in 1968 in an era before the Stonewall riots and the greater activism and visibility that followed, the film is a recreation of the hit broadway show which itself is adaptation of a play/movie back in 70s. It's a story that conveys the freedom of these men to cut loose amongst each other, while exposing festering grudges and one very toxic case of self-loathing. With an ensemble starcast led by Jim Parsons, I was really looking forward to this film Michael is throwing a birthday party for his frenemy Harold, who describes himself as an "ugly, pockmarked Jew fairy", bringing together seven members of their extended group. First arrives Donald, who is upset since his doctor cancelled on him. It feels Michael has a slight crush on him. We meet the couple Larry and Hank who seem to be going through some fight and it feels that Larry and Donald share some history. Emory and Bernard fill n for the black and Latino flavor who are constantly being subjected to racism, homopho

The Christmas Setup

Finally, a holiday time LGBTQ movie. I guess there have been many in the past with some prominent gay characters but none like this full-fledged LGBTQ+ holiday rom-com. I am sucker for romantics films but not the mushy types, more realistic ones. Thankfully this film has no sob story, no coming out, no making it a big deal of being gay. There’s just a quaint, satisfying love story and thank God for that. Its like any other straight rom coms where the protagonists just happen to be gay. We don't have to make a big deal about he sexuality on every queer movie. The film's plot is simple yet very endearing. 30-something Hugo is a lawyer in New York who is looking for more in his career. He decides to come home to Milwaukee for 2 weeks for Christmas with his best friend Madelyn. Hugo's mom Kate is a big planner and is planning, like every year, many days of activities including possibly the last Christmas eve at the town's favorite train station, which is scheduled to be clo

Coffee House Chronicles: The Movie

I had reviewed a couple of really short stories as part of this series, but I guess the makers decides to come up with the movie version if it. Primarily aimed to be a comedy, thi combination of multiple stories explores the many ways LGBT people connect in the world of the Internet, social media, and of course coffee houses. The movie covers stories of love, hookups, heartbreaks, and hopes in gay Los Angeles and showcases how various relationships are made and how they grow and evolve over a period of time. Thankfully a good mix of characters are shown. A straight couple help out their gay friend find a date for himself but there is always a situation where one guy is always more into the other.  The next short explores racism in the LGBT community, specifically towards Asian men. This short was amazing.  A happily married man wants to get his husband the perfect gift for their 25th anniversary.  But is one of the world's sexiest gay porn stars really the best gift to celebrate th

Copa 181 (Portuguese)

A tale of human connection and emotion. It is a very loaded question but have. you ever thought of what in life makes you really happy? I have, and there has never been a direct answer. I feel through this film, the makers are trying to reach out to the happy place of its protagonists. The end result however ends up being a little wishy-washy. Tana and Eros are a married couple. He runs a small street-front shop. She’s an opera singer struggling to stay engaged in her art. They have a good relationship. But unaware to Eros, Tana starts to frequent a gay bathhouse Copa 181. which starts to become his happy place. That's where we meet a few other characters primarily being transgender Kika who is falling in love with straight and married hustler Leo, who hustles in the gay sauna. We do see a couple of other characters whose scenes just come and go. eros harbors a dream of singing other kinds of songs as well and not just opera. When she eventually gets an opportunity to song at Copa

El Cazador (Spanish) [Young Hunter]

I have always looked forward to Marco Berger's film. They always have a theme of underlying sexual tension. The film are probably not for everyone, since most of them move at a very slow pace, so you really have to know some history of the director's work before you completely appreciate his films. This film was also good but somewhere left me a little underwhelmed. Probably due to my expectations, maybe. Having said that, the basic plot of the film is very unique, novel and something that I dont think has been handled before. Ezéquiel, 15, is left home alone by his parents for a month while they tour around Europe. His big house and pool make it easy for him to invite male friends, allowing him to test whether they’ll return his overtures. Frustratingly none of them does till he meets Mano, an older skater and they become lovers. Things seem fine till Mono invites Eze for a weekend with his cousin Chino. Mono suddenly disappears after that weekend. It's only when Eze recei

Gay Short Films : 82

El mundo entero (Spain) [The Whole World] Julián visits his dead mother every year in village cemetery. But this year, Julián is going to get a very special request from his mother that will surprise - the whole world. She wants to do right by a trans man who was bullied when she was alive through her son now. Aquarium (USA) Animation film about a closeted guy, who goes on a day trip to the aquarium with his secret boyfriend.  Sacred Hearts, Holy Souls (USA) Two teenage misfits at an all-boys Catholic school become unlikely comrades in  struggle against bullies and dinosaur-aged priests. A film about empowerment, friendship and learning to give the bullies back. To You, For Me (Taiwan) The story reflects today’s society’s views on gay men, their secular prejudices which forces gays to hide or bury their love. Plutão (Brazil) [Pluto] A gay traveler’s Guide in the form of soft porn to Rio de Janeiro’s downtown and the hook ups that take place. Urano (Brazil) [Uranus] Soft porn about sedu