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Showing posts from September, 2020

The Garden Left Behind (English/Spanish)

More and more film makers are coming up wit humane stories about transgenders. Tackling this subject is not easy with any story. Showing the struggles of the transgender community and violent attacks on them has to be dealt with sensitivity. This film is a poignant drama about Tina, a trans woman and undocumented Mexican living in New York. Tina, a 30-year-old transgender woman and her grandmother, have been struggling to make a life for themselves in New York since emigrating from Mexico when Tina was only six years old. Grandmother yearns to return to Mexico, while Tina struggles for acceptance as a transgender woman in America. Working as a gypsy cab driver to save money for her transition, Tina battles the constant anxiety of being undocumented. She has a lover of 2 years, who suddenly disappears from her life when she decides to actually go through the transition. She is seeing psychologists and doctors for the process and around same time, after yet another brutal beating in the

Skam France: Season 3 (French) (Web Series)

The original Norwegian show Skam is one of my favorite shows, so when I started watching season 3 of the French remake, of course I had reservations. Each actor and character of the original show is still very fresh his my mind. I still decided to give it a fair shot. I decided to not watch all seasons, instead just focus on season 3, which is the gay love story and thats what I am going to do with the other remakes as well. As expected, the story is exactly the similar as the original show. Lucas is in closet but has to date girls to feel part of the group. soon he meets Elliott, a new mystery boy in one of the hangout groups. Something about him mesmerizes Lucas and soon they strike a friendship. They clearly have a spark. Also since both have girlfriends, neither wants to make the first move. Eventually they both give in and a torrid affair starts. Lucas' friends feel there is something off about Lucas but he never confides in them. Elliott's behavior is a bit erratic at tim

A Rosa Azul de Novalis (Portuguese) (Documentary) [The Blue Flower of Novalis]

This is one man's monologue about his life experiences in a monologue style. I would call tihs more of a documentary than a film, to be honest. Between making coffee and gay hook-ups, Marcelo’s fetishes and longings are revealed, casually and full of intensity. This documentary apparently wanted to understand what can we see through the eye of the ass (the third, mystic eye)? Marcello, in his mid 30's, early 40's occupies the image from beginning to end and talks about a jumble of things: his passion for coffee, his HIV status, his chronic headaches, his homophobic father, his fantasies of having his father watch his lovemaking with passing boyfriends, his lovers’ passion, his Catholic grandmother or his incestuous brother. At times, he takes himself for Genghis Kahn, Novalis or a French courtesan; at others, he talks about Bataille or the Saint whose name he has forgotten and who, on the scaffold, is said to have taunted his executioner with a startling sense of humour. We

Los Fuertes (Spanish) [The Strong Ones]

The film is a classic example of how the passionate chemistry between the lead characters can change the way you perceive the film. Right form when they meet, they sensuality, the chemistry, the emotions, everything is so palpable, you can't not root for them. This is one of the most beautiful and amazing love stories i have seen in a recent while that brought smile and tears both in my eyes. Special mention to the gorgeous and beautiful town of Valdivia where the whole film is so magically shot. A young handsome man Lucas, an architecture student, comes to visit his sister Catalina and her husband in Valdivia before heading to Canada on a scholarship. We soon find out that there is some stress with their parents, probably something to do with him being gay. There he meets Antonio, the grandson of Catalina  housekeeper, a strapping very very handsome young man, who is a fisherman by profession. Romance slowly blossoms between the two men. They don't display their love openly bu

Cầu vồng không sắc (Vietnamese) [Rainbow without Colours]

This film is a beautiful love story. Depending on how you see it, this may or may not be taboo for you, since the love is between two brothers, albeit one of them is adopted. its also a film about relationship with families and how narrow minded view on homosexuality can sometimes destroy a perfectly happy family. Hoang and Lan are kids living with their wealthy parents in countryside in a beautiful mansion. Also with them in Hung, their adopted son, who lost his parents in an accident. The two boys Hoang and Hung spend all their time together and as they grow up, they realize that they are very much in love. The sister sees it and in fact the father sees it too and all he asks Hung is to be nice and take care of his son Hoang. But when the mother finds out the truth, all hell breaks lose. she just cannot accept her son to be gay and demands Hung to leave since she thinks he is the reason for Hoang's "sickness". Her blind motherly love eventually drives Hung to his death

Das Flüstern des Mondes (German) [Whispering Moon]

These kind of weird dystopian futuristic, low budget films are not my kind of cinema at all. An Austrian film, filmed in a mockumentary style, this is not really a gay themed film to be honest. So don't get fooled by the posters at all. By the end, I wasn't sure whether this film, is satire, comedy, drama, love story or what? It was a big ball of mud in my opinion. Recently there have been a spat of assassination attempts. Jannis and his mute boyfriend Patrick are convinced that these are politically motivated. They decide to infiltrate a circus to shoot an undercover documentary exposing an underground political conspiracy. But when Patrick meets Mo, a young woman whose sensitivity to sunlight forces her to live by night, Jannis’ jealousy threatens the entire project. Now, the only way Patrick and Jannis can be certain to get the answers to their questions is to stick together until the bitter end. The script of the film is very amateurish and all over the place. To top that,

Lan Yu (Mandarin)

There are a lot of tragic love stories but not many come to mind in the LGBT context. Yes, you will see a lot of queer themed films which have a sad ending, but either they were not really romantic in the first place or the tragedy didn't hit the audience like it does in this film. Apparently, this movie was filmed in Beijing without government permission and is based on a novel published anonymously on the Internet in 1997. Lan Yu is an architecture student and is desperately in need of money. Someone who knows him suggest prostitution for one night, and Lan Yu is introduced to Handong, who is a successful businessman and international trader. They spend the night together and Lan Yu starts feeling emotionally attached to Handong, for whom this was just another sexual night. They meet a couple more times and Handong showers Lan Yu with expensive gifts and money. ONe night when Lan Yu finds handong wit another young man, he is heart broken and he leaves. Handong does reconnect wit

2 Moons 2: The Series (Thai)

This reboot/sequel is interesting. I had reviewed 2 moons earlier on my blog, but the season 2 is a combination of being a reboot and a sequel in true sense. Whatever the legal reasons were for the old cast to not continue with this show are none of my concern. Like most people. I was also apprehensive of watching new actors take over characters that I had already associated faces with, but it didn't take much time to like these actors as well. The first 4 episodes does a recap of what we saw in prequel, right till the moment of Ming winning the Moon title. The following 8 episodes takes the story further. Recap of 2 Moons. Wayo and Ming are best friends. The moon competition has just ended, which Ming has won.Wayo is now in love with medical student Pha and they are officially a couple now. Ming continues to flirt with Pha's best friend Kit, who still can't decide whether he likes Ming or not. Beam is the other friend, with whole we have not seen much yet and finally

Cas (Dutch)

I was already sold on to the film because it was just under an hour long. i was really curious to see how film makers try to wrap up a story in such a short time, with hopefully, something meaningful to say. I have to admit that it did not disappoint at all. Primarily due to the fact that it felt very real and natural and something that can truly happen to someone in real life. Pepijn, is a freelance writer and Sjors works in a corporate company. They have been in a relationship for seven-years and have been exploring the idea of traveling the world. Their plans hit a roadblock when Sjors invites student Cas, new to town to sleep on their sofa without asking Pepijn for a few days till he gets settled. Quickly Pepijn begins to obsess over Sjors relationship with Cas and it brings out insecurities in their relationship. But soon enough, Pepjin himself begins to fall for Cas’ charms. In the meantime, clearly there are communication challenges between the couple. Pepjin wants to tra

The Lawyer (Lithuanian/English)

To be honest, I am not very sure what was the basic theme that the film maker was trying to show and focus on. There seemed multiple themes going on, or you can see it was sort of like episodic events that happening with hour main protagonist. Sure, enough in the second half, he gets a purpose and the film focuses on immigration and LGBT issues but it takes forever to reach that point. Marius is a corporate lawyer in Vilnius. He is a player who spends time with friends and chasing young lovers for sex. The death of his estranged father shakes him and he finds himself striking up an unexpected relationship with a sex-cam worker, Ali, a Syrian man stuck in the refugee camp in Belgrade. Marius decides to take a trip a trip to Belgrade to meet Ali. The polar-opposite pairing ignites unexpected passion, with Marius using Ali’s unfortunate circumstances to uncover his own sense of purpose. Ali asks for Marius' help in moving to other part of Europe, which he initially refuses sayi

Gay Short Films : 79

Agua (Mexico) [Water] Camilo is a young rower in village discovering his sexuality meetings with a local man. One day he thinks he is being discovered & accidentally ends up revealing his homosexuality. Confused with what just happened, Camilo reacts violently and decides to flee the village. O Presente (Brazil) [The Gift] Awkwardness steeps in when a man makes a sex video with another man to gift it to his girlfriend on his birthday. the other guy happens to be the girls brother. Onko sulla nälkä (Finland) [Are You Hungry] An overprotective mother's assumptions about her son's needs and desires lead to cascading series of calamities. Rêver Comme Lui (Swiss) [Dreaming Like Louis] Louis and Paul are on holiday in the depths of the countryside. To pass the time, they make love, play tennis, go for walks & sleep. But Louis feels rejected, while Paul is becoming increasingly distant. Louis takes refuge in his dreams, which shift between desire and

The Surrogate

This film was nothing like I had expected. This was a very pleasant surprise, in a good way. its an independent film, promising some very positive and real performances by pretty much everyone in the film, and arguments about a touchy subject, which it would be impossible for you to take a side for, and this is where the film's strengths lies in. Jesse is a young African American woman who works at an NGO. She agrees to be the surrogate for her best friend Josh and his partner Aaron. Aaron is a lawyer and the three of them believe they have every possible aspect of the arrangement spelled out in a contract. The prenatal testing reveals that the baby has Down syndrome. And that scrambles everyone's ideas about what was happening. Jess finds a new purpose in reading about the DS and looks into community resources, and urges Jos hand Aaron to do the same. She even makes a special bond with Leon, a child with DS and his mother. But the couple are struggling to adopt with this

The Invisible Men (Hebrew/Arabic/English) (Documentary)

Documentaries are hard to make, they are long projects and you need some solid material to keep the interest of audience going. This documentary scores big on both these issues. As it is we know very little about Palestine, so an untold story of gay Palestinians dealing wit hIsrael-Palestine conflict was never going to be an easy subject to film and prepare. We meet Louie, a gay Palestinian forced to flee the West Bank when his father attacks him with a knife after learning of his sexual orientation. Louie escapes to Tel Aviv, where he lives by taking odd jobs and dodging Israeli police. He has been sent back to Palestine multiple times by the police but everytime he manages to come back. When he takes connects with lawyers, he learns about Abdu, an outspoken gay Palestinian who is seeking refuge to get out of this mess. According to him "The Palestinians won’t accept us because we are gay, and the Israelis won’t accept us because we are Palestinians without permits."

Al Óleo (Spanish) [Oil On Canvas]

I can see the film maker being inspired from "call me by your Name" film in terms of the rural village setting and creating a nice holiday mood with the film. The film is simple yet the characters are complex. Luckily no one is grey and they understand each other, even though they may not say it. Maria is an upcoming artist. She has recently met Julio, whom she decides to bring along on a planned vacation in the countryside at her parents home. Her mother is no more and her father manages an orchard with Maria's brother Hugo, and their cousin Ramon. Hugo is young, gay and has a crush on Ramon. Maria knows it but he has not come out to his father yet. She realizes that the small town mentality of man being the strong one is very much there and that she did the right thing by moving out. She wants Hugo to move to city and start living life but part of him feels guilty leaving their father alone. Julio has to go back to the city to arrange for an art gallery for Maria