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Showing posts from 2021

The Tasty Florida (Korean)

This show I available both as a series and a film version. I saw it as the film. But I have to say it moved at such a snail's pace. Plus the overall story is so unbelievable and unrealistic. Only if good looking actors could make a successful show, things everywhere around the world would have been simpler. Seo Hae Won has just moved to a guest house in Seoul. On the rooftop of the guesthouse is a restaurant called "Tasty Florida" run by 4 close friends. A chance encounter with Baek Eun Kyu while on his way. To the guesthouse creates some type of attraction between the two guys. Baek Eun Kyu, who is the chef at the restaurant, runs the place with his best friend Ji Soo who own the restaurant, The two have been friends for over 15 years. For some reason Ji Soo also takes a liking for Seo Hae Won, and before you know there is an awkward love triangle between the three with two men fighting over the newbie without caring for his feelings. Eventually everything falls in place

The Male Gaze: Celluloid Dreams

This latest edition of Male gaze is another collection short stories, taking us from 1985 to present day. It was interesting to see quite a few of these vintage kind of queer stories. This specific collection of films takes you in the past, the journey that the LGBTQ+ society has taken in their fight for equality and how some of these films have played a role in challenging and creating our present. The subjects vary from clandestine sexual encounters of the youth, cultural clashes with race and sexuality and also exploring the dark days of AIDS and the first feelings of gay desire and infatuation. Just Out Of Reach (USA) A young man wakes up alongside an older gentleman. As he tries to sneak out, he is caught in the act. An ultra-short film that captures a brief moment in time, this is about that feeling of uncertainty upon remembering the night before. Toto Forever (USA) Through flashbacks we work out that a young  delivery boy gets involved with a gangster who owes money, with a vio

Walking With Shadows (Nigeria)

The theme of the film, for some, may feel from 70s and 80s, but given the setting in Lagos, Nigeria and the ultra conservative society there along with the culture makes the subject very unique and contemporary even for today's time. The exploration of queer Nigeria lend a fresh relevance to material that might otherwise feel old hat. Adrian and Ada are happily married couple with a daughter. There life is thrown a spanner when an anonymous call tells Ada that her husband is gay. When she confronts Adrian, he doesn't deny it but asks to be explained. He says he has never cheated and that as his life long before he met Ada, but she would have none of it. He reaches out to an old gay friend for support but we see slowly his life being spiraled down. The gossip spreads where his work gets affected. His two brothers along with is parents who are ultra conservative will take none of this. His brother even takes him to a church with a violent approach to purging the “sin of homosexua

The Christmas House 2: Deck Those Halls

Last year, I remember, I saw some wonderful holiday movies with prominent gay storylines with the should focus being on holiday cheer and not sexuality. This Hallmark film is an amazing holiday sequel to “The Christmas House,” which I reviewed last year here , and just like the original it is about love and coming together. I quite enjoyed this film actually, even slightly more than the original, although its probably not the righting to do to compare these films.  The time for Christmas again and the entire Mitchell family decides to celebrate Christmas together. TV star Mike has been seeing Andy for a while now, and Brandon along with his husband Jake now has 2 kids. All is good till Mike is asked to participate in a celebrity home decorating reality TV show 'Deck Those Halls'. After some convincing from everyone else, Mike is excited to share the famed Christmas House with the world. When Mike’s opponent in the competition drops out at the last minute, Brandon is tasked with

That Man: Peter Berlin (Documentary)

I knew nothing about the man Peter Berlin, who he was, what was his claim to fame or anything of that sorts. Despite that I was pleasantly surprised by this documentary. Peter Berlin, as how he rechristened himself, was a strong, complex, fascinating man who stays true to himself and lives his life to the fullest. It is fascinating, how he understood the human psyche of what would get him attention and love and played to that human need. He knew he was good looking and charming, so he created a character called Peter Berlin, turning it into a fixed figure of the streets of San Francisco, and photographing it himself in erotic and very very suggestive images, among other things.  Told through a series of interviews by some famous people who knew him or of him, the story just gets better when we see footage of his wrk, his films and interview with the man himself. He had a great social life. He created this enigma about himself, where people wanted to be with him. Self admiringly, he was

Madagascar Skin (UK)

Never underestimate the capacity of opposites to attract. This is the sort of message that the makers are trying to give in this film. Consisting of just two lead actors, this film takes art film to another level. You have to be really really really patient to get through this one. Harry is a young gay man, prowling gay bars and London streets but somehow doesn't fit there. He has a huge birthmark on his face in the shape of Madagascar. He flees from there and seats himself at a beach living in some abandoned car. By pure. Luck he meets an older man Flint, whom he discovered on the beach, who is neck deep buried in the sand. Flint takes Harry to an abandoned shack where Harry nurses Flint back to health and the two slowly become acquainted. As Flint fantasizes aloud about a woman in a bikini, Harry has his own sexual daydreams about his companion. And Brandon events happen which make absolutely no sense, until, one night, out of the blue, Flint makes a sexual proposition to Harry.

The Naked Civil Servant

I had recently reviewed the film 'An Englishman in New York', which was about the latter years of Quentin Crisp, an outrageous and flamboyant homosexual from UK. This film released way back in 1975 is based on Quentin's memoirs and tells the story of his attempts to live his life as a flamboyantly gay man in an uncomprehending pre-war Britain. The film chronicles his life in 30s and 40s during which he was reviled, arrested, and even harassed. A teenage Quentin lives with his grumpy parents n a middle class family in the 20s. He is well aware of his sexuality. At college he befriends a young female art student, but the relationship is strictly platonic. He later meets a transvestite prostitute who introduces him to the local gay hangout, and he discovers the joys of make-up. When he starts putting make-up and dye his hair, he tries prostitution for a while till he meets his first boyfriend Thumbnails. Eventually, they break up and Quentin finds a job. We see various inciden

Hyde In Hollywood

This is a stage play from 1990 that was televised as a movie back in the day. I can see folks probably enjoying this on stage in theatre, but stuff like this, when seen on TV, just gives a very different vibe. From a plot perspective it is set in 1930s Hollywood, where being gay was big time frowned upon, but as we know there were many people in closet. Her his one such fiction story. Hyde is a successful actor director in Hollywood and has a successful wife as well. He is secretly gay and has a boyfriend David but no one knows about it. One day when his wife has an accident, a journalist goes after him to expose him. The journalist is actually a gossip columnist working for Hollywood Confidential. HE crashes a men only party where he finds out that Hyde has a secret lover. He then turns to blackmail Hyde to give up his love and explore other men in Hollywood who are closet gay. If he didn't do so, Hyde will be exposed in the newspaper. Afraid, Hyde gives into his demands but his b

The Adonis Factor (Documentary)

A wonderful documentary about gay men and their fascination and pursuit for the perfect physical body. Sure the documentary came almost 12 years ago, but guess what, thing haven't changes much. In fact, if anything, they have gotten worse. I mean, no one, and absolutely no one talked about pretty face or good nature or human emotion, it is al about body , body , body. The makers take us through interviews of some heavily buffed men, who unapologetically admit to being very subtracted to muscular men and hot men. They make it quite clear that a hot body can get them more friends, more sex and more attention. Most of them agreed that they know its superficial but they all enjoyed it. Some of them recount their experiences of not being given a second look, till they decide to take matters in their hand, get all buffed up and viola, suddenly they are being invited to parties, and orgies and friends. Sadly, I am not sure why the documentary film makers did not use this as an opportunity

Vanilla (Short Film)

This is actually a pretty bad film. The only good thing is that its is less than 50 minutes of torture. Actually if done right, this could have been an interesting premise, but the makers went on some weird tangent where at some point just nothing made sense anymore. Apparently this is inspired from the true story of a serial killer who used erotic asphyxiation to commit his murders and then eventually shot himself. First 1-15 minutes are spent in silence setting up a premise where our serial killer meets various young gay men, have sex with them and kills them by strangling them. One day, a young 17 year old boy is cruising a park doing photography and he chances upon the dead corpse of this serial killer who has shot himself. Questioned by the police and his father who is part of the investigation, he becomes obsessed with the string of murders linked to sexual encounters with young men, and his curiosity contributes to an art project as well as his own drive to experience how the mu

Woubi Cheri (French) (Documentary)

I am actually quite surprised that this documentary came out way back in 1998. Described as the first film to give African homosexuals a chance to describe their world in their own words. Often funny, sometimes ribald, but always real, this documentary introduces us to gender pioneers demanding their right to construct a distinct African homosexuality. The film starts with basic vocabulary lessons. The main characters explain for us that a 'woubi' is a male who chooses to play the role of "wife" in a relationship with another man. A 'yossi', is a bisexual man, perhaps married, who accepts the role of a woubi's husband. A 'toussou bakari' is a lesbian. Controus are homophobes who oppose the woubia lifestyle. The film then goes on to introduce us to various characters like an immigrant from Burkina Faso, two cross-dressing prostitutes, a mature transvestite. These people go on to enlighten us their everyday struggles and how they have to survive for

Mesa Sto Dasos (Greek) [In The Woods]

What a painfully whimsical film and a sheer waste of 90 minutes o fly life. Granted I had to fast forward it on so many levels, but that cannot take away from the fact that this is utter garbage in the name o film making and everything that comes with it. Its not really a gay movie per say, but it is a story of three individuals, who for some reason are spending their time in the forest during which the two men also find some attraction towards each other. Two boys and a girl are trying to become one with nature. They spent all of their time in the woods. There they give free rein to their sexuality, get to know joy and pain, and lick each other's wounds. They walk around, barely speaking a word, do random things and have sex with each other. And that's it. There is nothing more to this film. So anyone who says that the film makers here is trying to give shape to an intense symphony of sensations and desires through his leads is utter nonsense. I mean, how can anyone in their r

Honey Sir (Chinese Short Stories)

This series is actually a collection of 7 different stories of about 18-20 minutes each. Each story is with different actors but the idea behind all of them is love. This is a good mix of stories to be honest and a very easy watch. I was able to actually relate to most of these stories and I think that's a big win. The themes are different – there is an office romance, a long distance relationship, stories of loss and growth. It’s all part of human experience, only told through the lens of homosexual relationships Coming Out : Why do two people need someone else’s consent to love each other?” Chinese net celebrities Tu-do-Chun-yi-lang and Jun-yuan-bai are a pair of gay lovers who are planning to come out to their families. Their plans seem just a little away with the fairies; can their dreams of becoming ‘a family’ come true? Secret Crush : “Having a crush is like holding an orange in one’s hand--- you can watch it rot, or you can peel off the skin and say hello.” How does an orang

Bear Creek

Another classic case of how not to make a film. I mean, I get it that we all wanna do something, but please don't take a stupid subject, get bad actors and then make an outrightly bad film. Why would you do that? Five bear friends, 2 of them are couples and the fifth one is someone who has just broken up with his partner, since he is straight and his wife found out; decide to go on a weekend trip to 'Bear Creek'. After a night of threesome and sex, starting next day, one by one they start getting killed by a human in teddy bear costume. Its this single guy who is the only one left who is able to fight this bear. And I hope you have guessed by now, who is the culprit behind al this, because it wasn't very hard for me to guess. Firstly the sound of this film is so terrible, that you can barely understand the dialogues. And even if you manage to get a hang of them, I guarantee you that no one, absolutely no one talks like that in real life. Why would anyone in their right

A Boy Like That

The film had an interesting premise, but sadly it went nowhere. There were no possibilities explored or even the culmination was just pretty open ended, that left me wondering what was the point. Having two good looking leads who also act well, should hav mad the job easier but only if wishes could come true. Harold, we are told lost his first love when he was 16, on the day the two boys kissed each other on the beach in Mexico. Harold cannot forget him even after all these years. Circa, present time, Harold is 40 and has just arrived to New York to teach acting at a new school. Just a couple of days later, he inadvertently finds himself sharing his airbnb with a 17 year old boy Felix, who pretty much walks around in just shorts and who keeps flirting with Harold on any given opportunity. We see a continuous sexual tension, witH Harold trying his best to not cross the line. He continues to be his friend, because the kid reminds him of his lost boyfriend, even mentor him but only having

A Distant Place (Korean)

This is a nice and quite, slow burning drama that slowly but surely takes you deep in its layers. Yes, the film is slow, but the rural beauty of the countryside and some really god understated performances make up for it. Just be patient. The film is about individuals, relationships and how we perceive one another. Jin Woo works and lives a quiet life in a sheep ranch somewhere in the countryside with his daughter Seol. The ranch owner and his daughter treat them as family, which also consists of the owners mother. Soon after, Jin Woo’s male friend Hyun Min arrives at the ranch, and reveals that the two have been long-time lovers. Except no one knows about their relationship and they try to keep it quiet. They dream of living happily with Seol in this peaceful place. However, with Jin Woo’s twin sister Eun Young’s visit, the conflict begins. In fact, Seol is Eun Young’s daughter but Jin Woo has been raising her because Eun Young disappeared. Conflicts internal and external start happen

Single All The Way

It's that time of the year, where I am hoping just like last year we get some good gay holiday romantic films. So when Netflix released their first gay holiday film, I was really looking forward to it. Its one of those films that works in the larger context of holiday goodness and romantic fluff which is all acceptable during this time and in fact is endearing to watch. Its funny and delightful, even if I may have some reservations around the subject as a whole. Peter works as an agent for hot models but his real passion is plants. He has recently broken with a guy who Peter was looking to actually meet his parents for Christmas. His best friend and room mate of 9 years is Nick, a task rabbit tanker who also has written a children's book. Peter comes up with idea to take Nick as his boyfriend to his parents, since anyway his entire family always wonder why these two best friends are not together. And Peter desperately wants his family off his back. Flying into snowy New Hampshi

One Summer Night (Korean)

I really wanted to like this film but for non native speakers, these movie leaves a lot to be understood and the way scenes were unfolding in front of me, I wasn't sure many times what was really going on. The story had potential button getting any back story on any of the characters limited my ability to empathize with any of these actors. Film starts with two North Korea military guys Yong Joon and Jae Sung having sex and they are caught red handed and they run. Three years later we see Yong Joon in Seoul leading a very mundane and poor life. He has a boyfriend Tae-Kyu, who is a weird guy. He is carefree, doesn't do any work and is completely emotional and financially dependent on Young Joon. In fact, even Yong Joon will go to any lengths to protect him , fend for him and taking care of him to the extent of even taking up prostitution. Suddenly one day Jae Sung appears in their life again. His motivation is not clear but it is obvious he wants Yong Joon back in his life, who

Les Corps Ouverts (French) [Open Bodies]

I am not very sure what really to make of this film. Clocking at just 45 minutes, this film came in 1998 and actually won a few awards. At the onset the film is trying to showcase the sexual fluidity of its main protagonist, but is also a slice of life at the same time. Is there a message, I don't know, but lets explore that. 18 year old Remi is half French and half Arab. His father is sick and he is taking care of him along with his sister. He studies management and commerce and works part time in a grocery store. Remi responds to an ad in school for a film audition where he meets an older guy Marc who videotapes him audition and before you know they two guys are in bed. While this is going on, we see Remi experimenting with multiple sexual encounters like a random guy in men's room and a girl who grabs him in the street. We also meet an obsessive older lover who wants Remi all to himself. All this is while Remi is being a dutiful son while doing the right thing for his family

Cam Boy (Canada) (Mini Series)

More than a mini series, this show actually felt like a tutorial for anyone who is looking to enter and make there mark in the world of came boy/girl. I didn't really enjoy it at all, except I found out sooo many things about the whole porn cam scene that I had absolutely zero knowledge of. So in a way you could say that this was educational but besides that there wasn't much going on. Aston, a young man, is struggling to pay his bills due to pandemic. He has lost his job and he is currently house sitting for his mother who just passed away. He has a boyfriend, who is now stuck in Europe somewhere because of quarantine requirements. To make ends meet, he thinks of getting into webcam porn. He meets a young Twink gay Jake on one of the websites, who agrees to teach him the ropes of this world, of course for money. From here on, we see many instances of how Aston has first few awkward encounters, how he tries to create his own "thing" that will increase his followers, h

Hiacynt (Polish) [Operation Hyacinth]

Period pieces are always interesting. This film , set in the Poland of 80s takes its inspiration from an activity where Poland was trying to make a database of people who identified themselves as part of LGBT community. The operation lasted for over 2 years and saw the persecution of over 11,000 individuals. Hard to believe, isn't it? I think this story is fictional but uses the atmosphere of those times tome it very realistic. Robert is a young idealistic young detective who is out in charge of a high profile rich man's murder case. When they realize that this person was probably gay or at least slept with men, things take a turn. His partner, who rules with an iron fist, makes a guy confess for the murder who eventually is conveniently dead in the prison cell later, just so the case can be closed. Robert is supposed to get married to his beautiful girlfriend, a fellow militia. Meanwhile, his father, who holds a string position, is paving way for him to be a high ranking offic

Gay Short Films : 92

Sweet Curse (South Korea) Ha-jun is always popular with his friends for his handsome looks. Min-woo, a close friend who is jealous of Ha-jun, summons a devilish ghost, but the ghost who fell in love with Ha-jun spends a hot night with Ha-jun every day. Looking at Ha-jun who looks happy after all, Min-woo is planning another curse. Past Youth (China) Lin Qin Nian and Li Guang are classmates and, to many others, they're besties who share everything. However, only they themselves know the changes and undertow in their hearts. When Li Guang starts dating another schoolboy, Lin Qin Nian decides to distance from him despite still having strong feelings. As the college entrance exam approaches, are they one step closer to the young adult they dream to become? Weird and odd film. Johnny (France) Single gay guy meets Johnny at a bar who is a troubled, lonely, alcoholic, moody and tormented. An unusual friendship develops between the two, where the guy wants more from the friendship but clea

Bilmemek (Turkish) [Not Knowing]

Based on the story and summary of the film, I honestly would not have reviewed this as a gay film, but then I found that this film was actually screened at a lot of international LGBT film festivals. So< I guess, at some angle, the makers were trying to cache in on the queer angle, although just like everything else, this film is a lot about emotions, relations, family an individuality than anything else. Sinan & Selma are a couple, who are happy on surface. She is a doctor treating refugees and he works in a shipping industry undergoing major changes. Their son, teenage 17 year old Umut, is a intelligent and loves water polo hoping to get scholarship out of it to go to US for further studies. We are clearly not told but both parents are probably having affairs, they are both indifferent to one another but its their son Umut that keeps them together. One day Umut comes to help a young boy being bullied and beaten up. One of his teammate takes a photo of the moment compassionate

On The Fringe Of Wild (Canada)

What a royal mess this film was. I am really not sure what the makers were going for here. Was it a coming out story, a bullying story or just a myriad of scenes put together for audiences to watch a very cringeworthy story and its bad execution. The story is primarily about three teenage boys. Peter, is an artist, whose mother knows he is gay but his father refuses to accept this and wants him to become a man. Miles regularly bullies Peter caling him faggot, but he is himself closeted gay. At home he has a very hostile relationship with his mother who resorts to prostitution for drugs. It turns out Miles has been using Jack for his sexual pleasure, who suffers physical and verbal abuse at the hands of his alcoholic single dad. When Peter goes for a hunting weekend with his father, they end up in a cabin where nearby Jack lives and somehow Miles and his girlfriend are also either passing by or live there or something of that sorts. Somehow Jack and Peter both run away form their dad, m

Restart After Come Back Home (Japanese)

This is again one of those films where being gay (or bi) just happens to be there. That is no what the core plot of the film is. The film is about relationships, family, future and at the core, what I important to you as an individual and the people that come in your life tome it special. The film was Avery pleasant surprise in sense that it had my attention from the very get go with its beautiful laidback countryside charm and the chemistry that its two leads bring. Mitsuomi quits his job and Tokyo to come back to his hometown hoping to join his father's furniture business. But the father hasn't forgotten how 10 years back his son rejected the same job to do something on his own. Mitsuomi meets Yamato, who has a noticeably perky and bubbly personality. He is the adopted son of a family friend and same age as Mitsuomi. Eager to befriend the new arrival in town, Yamato invites Mitsuomi to work at his grandfather’s farm. Although Mitsuomi is reluctant at first, he starts helping

The Accompanist

This film can be a good case study of how a badly directed and an extremely badly edited movie can ruin whatever little spark a story idea has. The film hots one wrong note after the other with random scenes interlaced over one another at odd time, making you think why was this film ever made and what was the point. Jason, an aging pianist is lonely and playing music. He has a past and secret which we do not find until later, but apparently he has magical healing capabilities through his music. He works playing piano for a ballet company. A student Brandon, who somehow knows about his power, arm twists Jason into practicing with him every night to prepare for New York Ballet audition. The two men have sort of attraction, while Brandon is also dealing with a very abusive boyfriend Adam, who has cancer and also has some issues with his father from his past. Before you know Brandon moves in with Jason and they are having an affair, while Jasons kids disprove. Turns out his wife and kids d