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Showing posts from June, 2020

Love, Victor (Series)

Love, Simon was one of the most talked about queer movies of 2018. No wonder makers came up with a wonderful idea of doing a spin off of the film. This is a 10 part series telecast on Hulu. Victor is a Latin teenager, whose family has just moved to the new city and will now be going to the same school that became popular thanks to Simon's perfect love story. His parents are from a modest family and he has a sister and a younger brother. The parents moved out of their home because the mother had an affair, which the kids eventually find out. Simon is struggling with his sexuality and is not sure if he is gay, straight or something else. He introduces himself to Simon and they both start chatting on instagram, with Simon giving Victor advice. Victor soon makes best friends with Felix and before you know him and Mia, a popular girl in school, start going out. We are also introduced to Benji, the openly gay kid in school who part time works at a barista. Victor feels attracted to

Gay Short Films : 75

The Younger (Taiwan) Hao became a male masseur to make ends meet and pay for his grandmother’s costly medication caused by her recent stroke and her Alzheimer’s. The job forced him to deal with his previously suppressed sexual urges for men. Hao begins to lose the balance he once had with family, work, and himself. The Distance Between Us and the Sky (Greece) Two strangers meet for the first time at an old gas station. One has stopped to gas up his bike, while the other is just stranded. Lacking the 22.50EUR he needs to get home, he will try to sell him the distance that separates them from the sky. Orange Zest (Germany) Two guys just dance on their feelings for each other depicting 3 different stages of love in a gay man's life. Moros en la costa (Spain) [Breaking and Entering] A poor young Arab is called to his mansion by Angel for a hookup. But when the parents unexpectedly come back home, angels begs him to hide since he is only 16. More secrets will now come

Thưa Mẹ Con Đi (Vietnamese) [Goodbye Mother]

This film is a perfect blend of romance, drama and some comedy as well. I have to admit that personally I am drawn to dysfunctional family dramas and I quite enjoy them. This film not only focuses on the dynamics of a gay relationship in a still conservative Vietnamese society, but at its core its about family values and how extended families live together, support each other and what do they all expect from one another. Nau Van returns home to Vietnam from USA after quite a few years. The occasion is his father's death anniversary and moving of his tomb. Joining him is Ian, his boyfriend, which no one is aware of. Ian is of Vietnamese origin and has been in US since he was a kid. Part of Van's plan is to also come out to his mom. The mother lives with 2 other sisters, one is married with 2 kids and other is single. Together all of them take care of Van's grandmother who has senile dementia. When introduced, granny thinks of Ian as her grandson and takes an instant lik

Label Me

This is a very moody and broody film that makes you wonder and think. We have seen a few films with gay hustlers trying to make ends meet and eventually looking for companionship. The film is similar but with its differences. This is strictly a transactional exchange but somewhere both parties are involved are maybe looking for something more (not necessarily love). Also interesting to note that this whole German film is in English. Young and rich German guy Lars meets Waseem on a hookup app on a railway platform and takes him home. Waseem's rules are clear. No kissing and he will only fuck. They have a good time, with barely any exchange of words. Afterwards, Waseem goes home to a communal Syrian refugee shelter where he has to share a communal shower and deal with bunkbed roommates. Lars is intrigues enough with Waseem to want to meet him again. When Waseem responds to Lars' curiosity about him with chilly silence, the German playfully extends the transactional nature of

Strange Fruit

Touted as a film that follows an overly complicated exploration of racism, homophobia, family dysfunction, police corruption, prejudice (racial and gender), and most important gay homophobia! What it ends up being is a contrived and confused film which is all over the place stretched beyond belief before it starts to make a point. William Boyals is a successful lawyer from south, who is gay and he keeps himself busy with work. he is off and on seeing another guy in the city. In a small neighborhood of New Orleans, a young gay man is killed outside a gay bar. When the local cops dismiss the murder as a suicide and refuse to do anything about it, his mother reaches out to Boyals for help. When he comes to town, he meets a lot of people, untrustworthy cops, closet black gays unwilling to help, hateful white trash and finally his mother that disowned him when he came out of the closet to be a successful gay man. Boyals is attacked by different men and he struggles to find the killers.

2gether (Thai Series)

Time for one more Thai BL stories. Gosh!! I feel that I am slowly starting to get addicted to these stories. Slightly unbelievable and very sugary sweet love stories, these all fall into the whole romantic fantasy world that we all want to live in but is probably not very realistic. Still, given that these stories are usually set in school or college times, where the harsh realities of life have not come in yet; it's good to live in a calm, sweet and loving world. This is 13 episodes, almost 40 minute each. Tine and his group of 3 other friends are new to college and are always looking for girls. But soon enough, a very enthusiastic gay admirer Green starts to be after Tine all the time. After trying various tricks to keep him off, his friends suggest that he should get a pretend boyfriend, which can probably help him get rid of attention from Green. Initially reluctant, he soon gives in and Sarawat comes into picture. Sarawat is a very introvert yet handsome guy with huge fan

Breaking Fast

We have seen a few films deal with being gay and how it affects their religious beliefs, especially with Christianity, but there haven't been many films that give us an Islamic point of view on the subject. This  film tells us that religious and sexual identity is not as simple as black and white. Individuals have their own interpretations and we need to look it through the harmonious lens by which those individuals interact with the world. Mo is a doctor and openly gay and accepted by his family. On the last day of Ramada he realizes that his 3 year long relationship with Hasan needs to come to an end since he is not out to his family and is in fact seriously contemplating marrying a girl to keep up the charade. One year has passed and Mo has completely immersed himself in work and hangs out mostly with his other gay muslim friend Sam. Its Ramadan time again and also Sam's birthday where Mo meets an al American man Kal, who occasionally speaks Arabic because of his tim

Say Yes

I am not very sure on how to write the review of this film. The film's heart is in the right place but I have dilemma against the practicality of it all. It's heartfelt, it's emotional but is it practical? I really doubt if you or anyone knows of such a scenario or would even believe in such a thing. I mean, some can even say it is ridiculous, but I will try to objectively review this. Beau proposes to his girlfriend Lily (who we are told could be bisexual) and they soon get married. Their life goes on a spiral when Lily is diagnosed with stage 3 cancer and it seems like she will really not survive for long. Lily's twin brother Caden then movies in with them to help out and take some burden off Beau. There are moments of frustration as Lily fights through cancer and Beau is very unsure of what his life would be without Lily. But what Lily notices is that the two men who once shared a tense relationship and slowly getting used to one another and maybe even fond of e

Evening Shadows (Hindi)

It is positively surprising to see more and more LGBTQ+ stories coming out of the Indian subcontinent, something which is the most relatable for me. More than an actual gay love story, it's more about family. What happens to a conservative tradition-bound Hindu family when the son comes out as gay? More so, it is the story of the mother and son and how their relationship evolves over the time. Even more, how the mother is able to come out of the shadows of her husband. Kartik is the only son of a very conservative Hindu family. He is coming home after four years of living in Mumbai as a photographer for some religious ceremony and holiday. The reason for the long break is because he and his father don't see eye to eye on career decisions. To his surprise, the parents are trying to get him to see girls for a marriage proposal but he very sternly refuses. The mother loves the son to death and asks her husband to chill. Soon, we are told that Kartik has been a monogamous lovi

The Panti Sisters (Tagalog / English)

A filipino comedy, this movie was recommended to me on this blog and I finally managed to get hold of it and watch it. It was a nice fun campy movie with its heart in the right place. The film lightly talks about LGBTQ+ acceptance in our society and makes you think beyond the norm. A nice feel good film, even though I didn't burst out laughing at any point, I can see why this movie is so popular. The story follows 3 estranged brothers (or sisters) Gabby, Daniel & Samuel. Their father Don Emilio is dying and he summons all 3 of them. Samuel is his illegitimate son. Interestingly none of the 3 of them got the love from their father because they were all way too effeminate and gay. When Don Emilio finds out that he is dying, he gives the three of them a chance to earn their inheritance but with a condition. The three of them have to be "straight" and each of them needs to father a child. This is where comedy starts. Gabby brings in his best friend as his girlfriend,

Fur Coat and No Knickers

Irish film are so hard to understand. With such a thick heavy accent, half of the time I have to make assumptions on what is probably being said. This film looks like was made on a very low budget with a very simple and basic story. There are lot of tangential plots which really don't do much to add anything specific to the storyline. Stephen and John are both struggling young actors who live in a very open and proudly gay section of Dublin. They are both extras (or crowd arteeeeest, as their agent likes to call it). They are close friends and enjoy the daily ups and downs of the single gay life including drinking, flirting and just having fun. John has a masculine lover, who is in prison and they both yearn for each other. Meanwhile Stephen meets a guy couple of times, but nothing happens. It turns out that this guy is David, who happens to be the director of the commercial who have signed Stephen for it, making that his big break. David is a player and doesn't shy away f

Where Your Eyes Linger (Korean Series)

Having seen quite a few Thai BL series that are pretty lengthy to watch, this Korean BL series was a very welcome change. Just 8 episodes of about 10-11 minutes each, the series strictly focusses on the main story without other tangential stories that don't really add much main idea. This has been my one complain with BL series that I have reviewed on my blog and thankfully this series does not have this issue at all. Focus of the story is two 18-year old best friends Han Tae Joo and Gang Gook. Han Tae Joo is the sole heir of their family run business, so his parents keep him under strict surveillance. Gang Gook is not only his closest confidant but also his bodyguard. He is something of a tough guy, with a powerful physique and a no-nonsense attitude. The family tries to keep Han Tae Joo's lineage a secret for safety purposes. Although Han Tae Joo has dated a few girls, Gang Gook has not and when finally one girl shows interest in him, Han Tae Joo pushes him to go it. But

Happy Endings Sleepover (Danish/English)

You can tell this movie is going to be bad from the get go. You have go to be really stupid if you think that audience will really buy into the our lead actor who looks all of 17 year old, is actually a CIA operative, whose first assignment happens to be international one. C'mmon, give audiences some credit. Nothing about the presentation of this film is believable. Young Johnny Allen arrives to Denmark from US as a secret CiA operative. His disguise is a college student. We are told that he is gay, which normally doesn't go well with CIA hiring policy and his job is to drive people from one place to another. He finds an apartment and quickly makes friend. He gets close to one of these friends named Sanders. Johnny is very attracted to Sanders but fears. if he comes on to me, that may spoil their friendship. When after almost 8 months, Johnny Allen gets his first job, Sanders decides to tag along not knowing what he is getting into. Seeing the enthusiasm and everything,

Brotherly Love

Let me just say it out clearly, I did not enjoy this film at all. And this is for multiple reasons. This is supposed to be a very simple story, which, for no reason is unnecessarily stretched beyond need. There were so many instances where I completely lost interest in whatever was going on. This could have been a very simple and effective short story, something that told us things about homosexuality and religion. Unfortunately good intentions don't always turn into good cinema. Vito is a young gay man and an Italian Catholic man in the final stages of taking his Brotherhood vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. He hasn't let go of his circle of gay friends, hasn't given up partying into the wee hours of the morning, but has given up acting out on any of his sexual/intimacy impulses. he has one closest friend who has been with him forever and he likes to spend time with him a lot. Neither of his friends and mentors agree to his direction of brotherhood and tell him

Crystal City (Documentary)

I think it's hard to rate a documentary. Yes, there are some which are very exciting and hold your attention till the very last minute but then there are also these other kinds which are more about information and education rather than entertainment. And as you have guessed by now, this specific documentary falls into the latter category. New York City, which is experiencing a 300–400% surge of crystal meth use, is the backdrop for this gritty, graphic, but ultimately inspiring and hopeful film infused with heart and compassion. This documentary takes us through lives of some 10-12 gay men in New York; some still using, some recovering, some long recovered and they are also in varying age groups. The documentary gives us an insight into the lives of these men, how they started using it, how they fought really hard to control the addiction, what are some the reasons for relapses etc. Finally, it also shows us how 12 step, one of the most popular programs help some of our men he

2 Moons: The Series (Thai)

Time for another of the Thai BL stories. Thanks for the recommendations by folks here, I am watching the good ones first. Although I am way ahead of the age where I should be watching (and enjoying) these teenage romance dramas, but who cares! At least I get to live a little vicariously through these love stories. This series was 12 episodes of about 40 minutes each, so it needs a substantial investment of time. Wayo and his best friend Ming have just been accepted into the university. Wayo is excited because he will finally get to see the person Pha on whom he had a crush for a while and who studies in the same university. Ming has known about his forever, so he is really excited and supportive of his friend. In the university the first few conversations between the two of them don't go very well. Its time for the "Moon and star" competition where one guy and one girl is chosen from every faculty to compete for campus moon and star. Ming and Wayo both get to represe

Come Into Your Own

Here we go again. Yet another self-indulgent film, where the director probably insisted to play the lead of the film as well. Yes, sexual identity is a complicated thing. We have seen many films showing a supposedly straight character realizing he is gay but not many come to mind about a reversal scenario. So, in that sense, it is interesting concept but the purpose or the message behind the film is never clear. Lirim has been with his boyfriend for about 3 years. Their friends wedding suddenly makes his boyfriend also want to marry Lirim, but something is going on with Lirim. As a person he is a recluse and doesn't talk much. A middle aged man at work is his only friend. One day when he suddenly find a broken cell phone, he ends up meeting Audrey, who is owner of the phone. They have some sort of connection, which I guess further confuses Lirim. He randomly decides to break up with his boyfriend when he proposes him and starts living with his colleague/friend for a few nights

Beautiful Boxer (Thai / English)

I had no idea that this film was based on a real life story. As it is, I was thinking that this film is an important milestone and inspiration for gender identity and sexuality. The fact that it is based on a real story makes it even more special. The movie chronicles the real life story of Parinya Charoenphol, a Muay Thai boxer who underwent a sex change operation to become a woman and shows us her life from a young boy who likes to wear lipstick and flowers to her sensational career as a kickboxer. Toom is a young boy, one of the two sons of a farming family. Very early as a young boy, he finds himself experimenting with make-up after a witnesses a Thai dance performance and he is fascinated by the graceful movements. As per tradition, he and his brother are sent to a Buddhist monastery, and also because his parents are financially very poor. As an adolescent, just by chance, Toom enters a Thai boxing contest for which the prize is 500 baht. When he wins, Toom realizes that coul


There was absolutely no point of making this film. Someone could argue that this is to educate young teenagers that there is a lot of people out there who are ready to take undue advantage and hence they should be careful. But in today's day and age, I find that hard to digest. This tale has been told plenty of times before. 16 year old Luke wants to become a model. He lives in suburbs of NYC and uses Grindr to chat with men. He leaves home to go to city, when his father physically abuses him and he has had enough. He had been chatting with a model co-ordinator Rich who lets him stay at his place and pretty much take care of him. On the side we have this photographer named Tim, who has some sort of arrangement with Rich for shooting models where he pays him. I am not sure I understood that whole angle. Tim is closet gay with a fiancé and he keeps lying to himself. He takes a liking for Luke but Rich asks him to keep his hands off. One day Luke sees Rich literally abusing and f

Tale of the Lost Boys (English/Tagalog/Mandarin)

This is not just another queer film. Its a story of an unlikely friendship between 2 men from different cultures and walks of life; one straight and the other gay. They are both somehow lost and are struggling to get their identity of what they want from life, from themselves and expectations from family for them and vice versa. A statement in the film “We were fucked for so long. We don’t know who we truly are.”, in a way summarized the theme. Alex, a mechanic from Philippines is visiting his cousin in Taipei. He left Manila after learning that his girlfriend is pregnant. We also meet Jerry, a Taiwanese aboriginal student who is studying medicine, is gay and lives a happy life with his boyfriend. The two meet at the bar where Jerry works to make extra money, and realize that they both have some sort of connection. Since Alex doesn't know anyone, he accepts Jerry's invite to hang out with him and his boyfriend. Through multiple conversations they realize they have more in

Roop Thong (Thai Series) [Golden]

This web series was a bit of a joke and b that I mean, the story, the direction and the slight OTT acting was too much to handle for me. i think having recently seen some really good Thai BL stories, my expectations were high and I forgot how most time you need to keep your brain and emotions aside for such stories. This series could never make up its mind on whether it wanted to be a family daily soap where all women are manipulative or wants to be a gay love story or a revenge story or a love story. It was all over the place. Suer and Moo are brothers. The parents separated when they were kids and Moo stayed with his father and Suer with his mother, who is in police department. When the father dies Moo comes to live with them but for some reason (never explained), the mother is not fan of Moo at all. Suer is seeing a successful girl Khao, who is not very much liked by his mother. Suer's best friend is Rob, who is gay and is very much interested in Suer and even tells him. Un

In The Family

Yes, this is indeed an almost 3 hour film, which is a rarety, but guess what, surprisingly, each scene (or most of the scenes) and the leisurely pace of the film is totally justified and you will only know this when you have seen the film. An unsentimental portrait of a family devastated by the tragedy of an early death, I hope viewers can be patient when they watch this film, because it deserves it. Set in Tennessee, Asian American Joey has been in a relationship with Cody and together they are raising a beautiful and a very happy son Chip, who is now about 6 years old. When Cody is killed in an auto accident, Joey is more than prepared to raise Chip as his own. But a long-forgotten legal document signed years ago by Cody awards custody to his sister Elaine, who promptly follows through on the plan. She says there must be some reason why her brother wanted her to have custody and even gets a restraining order on Joey. As expected, no lawyer is ready to take his case, as there is