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Showing posts from February, 2021

Your Eyes On Me (UK)

It's always difficult to review films with taboo subjects. However hard you try, some sort of personal bias always come into play. There have been plenty of films which show us the world of drag culture, and it seems that of late I have been watching way too many of those. This small little independent film tells an interesting story of the façade behind the façade as the complexities of why somebody would choose to do this amidst the challenge of acceptance amongst the world. Gloria is a celebrated drag performer, who performs in a club owned by Toni, the best friend. Meanwhile, a man Alex has been privately investigating Gloria and has been following her. Alex shows up as Candy at the bar wanting to audition for drag and gets the job. Gloria and Candy form a bond as a drag mother and daughter, staging rehearsals in what initially appears to be a fun performance. However, you feel there is a sexual tension between the two and soon they end up in bed with each other. Soon, the secr

Ultimate masturbation: Shigoki no yama (Japanese) [The Ultimate Masturbation]

I would never know what was the point behind making this film. Was it supposed to be a comedy, cos it wasn't. It wasn't even porn. It was just a silly attempt at making something absolutely senseless and ridiculous. The story, as well as direction is equally shoddy. You could laugh for having seen something so bad, but I wouldn't call that comedy. An old man runs a camp about gay masturbation. The explanation given is that gays masturbate for pleasure unlike straight men, for whom the act is seen as shame or because they can't find a woman. One day a straight man shows up and wants to join the camp for his thesis. After discussion, he is allowed in. Rules include that you can masturbate together, you can masturbate one another, but there is no fellatio or anal sex. Some students of course breaks rule. The teacher then talks about 2 forms of masturbation which gives ultimate pleasure. He shows one without touching and then refuses to talk of the other. Somehow suddenly,


I just maybe one of the very few people who has never seen any of the RuPaul's drag show episode. Nothing against it, but I feel that it will be not my cup of tea. Having said that, I have seen RuPaul's interviews and I find her quite funny. I had no expectations of this film, and went in full aware thatches is going to be over the top, campy and just too much. RuPaul plays a secret agent called Starrbooty. When she gets a call that her adopted niece Cornisha has been kidnapped, she teams with another drag queen Page Turner to find her arch nemesis Annaka who is into kidnapping for prostitution and organs. Page and Starrbooty go undercover as prostitutes. When Starrbooty finally confronts Annaka she discovers that Cornisha was in on the plot all along, and has become Annaka's lover. But Starrbooty is able to convince Cornisha that Annaka was going to double cross her. In a final showdown, Annaka dies thereby saving Cornisha and everyone lives happily ever after. As expected

Viva (Spanish)

An Ireland film, shot in Cuba in Spanish? Pretty interesting, isn't it? The film is a moving take of an aspiring drag performer, but its not just that. It's also about the fragile relationship of a macho boxer father with his estranged son over the years. The film keeps you hooked in most of its aspects, as you wait to figure out what will unfold next on his screen. Jesus is a young boy, living by himself in Havana, Cuba working as a hairdresser to make ends meet. His regular clients include Mama, The proprietor of a seedy drag club. for an audience of randy tourists and local drunks. Jesus tends to the many wigs used by the club’s performers, while wondering what it would be like to join them. Also because he doesn't want to get into prostitution to survive. After an employee leaves, Jesus takes on drag name Viva and is given an opportunity to perform in the club. However, his estranger father, who was in prison since he was eight shows up and the club and beats up. He mov

Hello Stranger: The Movie (Filipino)

Needless to say I was super excited when I learnt of this film. Hello Stranger was one of the better series that came out in 2020, with a heartening storyline and good chemistry and acting, which I enjoyed a lot. So, naturally my expectations form this film was quite high and I couldn't wait to see what the makers have done to take the story forward. This, as expected, is a young gay romance and a coming-of-age movie all wrapped into one charming and heartwarming experience. It has the right amount of romance, drama and life lessons that the viewers would appreciate. The story is simple.   We are told that Mico and Xavier are no longer a couple but are cordial to each other as friends. The class is supposed to go to the beach for a week long literary tour. Xavier and Crystal come together, while Mico drives with his gang of three friends, still missing Xavier. Once in the resort, Xavier and Mico are forced to become roommates together and in multiple flashbacks we are told what hap

Age of Consent (Documentary) (UK)

I personally am not into the whole leather/BDSM scene, but it has always fascinated me and I have always been curious to know more, so a documentary like this, which is story of The Hoist (open since 1996 and now one of London’s only surviving leather bars), full of explicit scenes leaving absolutely nothing to imagination was a good orientation. The history of the HOIST, London’s first and only gay sex fetish bar, follows the cultural evolution of gay life and sex in modern London through AIDS, gentrification, and the ongoing political struggle to decriminalize homosexual activity in the UK. We see interviews with the owner and many patrons who visit the club. The story of how the club started is interesting, and how the scene changed in 80s during AIDS pandemic and how the club has evolved over a period of time. The documentary is sweet, funny and defiant and features both thematically appropriate hardcore sex and familiar faces . The Hoist and its patrons could be seen as representi

Long Time No See (Korean)

It's good to see an Asian film after a while, which has some good action and not as much of teenage romance. Don't get me wrong, I love all sorts of teenage gay romance dramas, but I think they were starting to get to me, so it was good to see some grown up stuff, for a change. If I am not wrong this film was released both as a mini series and film format. Though I watched the latter, I am guessing both are the same. Chi-Soo is orphan who is regularly bullied in school for being gay. During one of these beatings he is saved by a famous gangsta named ‘Black Rose’. In return for his help, Chi-Soo is loyal to Black Rose and is trained to become an exceptionally skilled hitman. Now adult Chi-Soo secretly writes a fiction online, under the alias Flying Dagger and has a huge fan in Gi-Tae (also known as Wild Dog). When finally the two meet, despite their opposing personalities, sparks fly and soon they start dating. But soon we are told that Gi-Tae is also hiding a secret and is on a

Eulogy For A Vampire

Another badly made gay vampire film. I am happy that these films are no longer being made, but I guess eventually form my library, I am slowly reducing the backlog of the ones that I need to finish off. In prologue we see two monks Anthony and Florian in love. But Anthony murders Florian in a fit of repressed unrequited lust and locks the body in a trunk. Back to current times, we see a few monks living together. Ou t of them two of the monks indulge in regular sexual activity while being blackmailed by another monk. When a mysterious kid Sebastian  with no memory is found on the monastery grounds, Anthony has flashbacks of his victim. An apparition of the murdered young Florian starts appearing in broad daylight, and many of the monks start having grisly visions followed by diabolical behavior and collective hormones start raging up. He film tries to make a psycho-dramatic theory about the dangers of repressed homosexual lust, but with its over-the-top characters and mock-horror scene

Craving You (Taiwanese Series)

A simple production, straight forward story without unnecessary drama and angst, it's an easy breezy watch which thankfully has no awkward pauses and sudden reactions. It feels real and you connect with the characters and story. At about 10 episodes of barely 10 minutes each, the series ends as quickly and swiftly it started. Kent is a pasty chef and Kane is an internet singer. Their managers decide that their collaboration could be beneficial for both of them. Both carry scars from their failed first loves but they have learned to live with the residue of their heartache. Kent stars mentoring Kane and some sparks of love can be noticed. They get a client for the gay wedding of Noah and Soda to make a cake and compose a song, they are all excited. Turns out Soda was Kane's first one in whose memory he composed his first song and became an internet sensation. We get to learn Soda and Kane's history where they both liked each other but never confessed. With Kane back in pictu

The Nance (Play)

I saw the recorded version of this play in real time which was shown on PBS channel. I can imagine how much fun it would have been watching the play in real life on or off broadway, but this one also does well. Featuring veteran theatre actor  Nathan Lane, the play shows us the gay life and burlesque performances during the 1030s of New York City.  A headliner called “the nance”, usually played by a straight man, was a stereotypically camp homosexual and master of comic double entendre. THE NANCE recreates the naughty, raucous world of burlesque’s heyday and tells the backstage story of Chauncey Miles and his fellow performers. Chauncey's seemingly settled life quickly becomes upended. He meets a straight turned gay man Ned and falls in love with him.Ned is a sweet-natured, attractive younger man from Buffalo, who also loves back Chauncey which he finds quite surprising. Ned manages to find work in the same theatre where Chauncey performs. Chauncey plays occasional Nance characters

Những kẻ khờ (Vietnamese Series) [Fools]

Vietnam BL series have a long way to go both in terms of stories and direction that they are bringing to the audience. This 4 part series of almost an hour total length, could have been a powerful short story, but by unnecessarily dragging it as a mini series, it completely lost its charm on me. It's just the beginning of 2021, so I hope its time they will learn from the mistakes. New guy in group Trieu, rebellious Thien and intelligent Thuy are three close friends. On their day of their school graduation, they decide to skip it and instead head to the beach primarily because Thuy gets nervous in crowds. Everything is going on fine, till Thien watches Trieu giving a kiss to Thuy. He then confesses to Trieu that he knew both the guys had feelings for each other but he tricked them so they could not confess their feelings for each other. Turns out Thien also liked Trieu, and hence he didn't want Trieu and Thuy to be together. But its too late now since Thuy has a girlfriend.The n

It's A Sin (UK series)

This show is an absolute MUST WATCH. Over 5 episodes of about 50 minutes each, set in 1980's London shows us the lives touched and destroyed by the encroaching AIDS epidemic of the period even as its characters try to live freely out of their respective closets. The show is absolutely beautiful, strong, sad and everything you want. I haven't felt so emotional while watching TV in a long long time. It’s capable at once of breaking your heart, putting it back, then breaking it all over again. The show opens in 1981. We meet Ritchie, leaving his parents home to go to London to study law.While in college, he meets drama major Jill and becomes best friends. She introduces him to Ash, the Indian boy whom Ritchie had eyes on. He finally decides to switch major to drama because that's all he has ever wanted. We meet Colin, a shy gawky teenager who is a working-class kid who’s left his loving mum in Wales and is really not into hookups. Shy, sweet and naive, he’s rescued from the un


The film when released in 2000 was one of the first ones by, about and for African-American gay men. Of  course, by now we all have seen plenty of those but at that time this was a big deal. Surely, from a story perspective it all all the 'necessary' elements of drama, humor, emotion to keep the audience engaged and busy and like the film. 21 years later, its sometimes hard to appreciate all the good work that happened years ago, but even today this was not a bad film to watch at all. The story is about 4 friends. Marcus is hopelessly romantic and refuses to just have one night stands, also because he is scared off by AIDS paranoia. Then there is Hill, who on his 30th birthday finds his boyfriend cheating on him, so he walks out the next day. The life of the group is drag diva Chris, who apparently has a steady boyfriend whom no one had ever met and finally the baby of the group, Latino rich kid Dante who is on the one-trick-a-day diet. All these individuals are going through t

Ben x Jim (Tagalog Series)

I am all for sexual fluidity, but the convenience with which our main protagonist professes his love and turning from macho straight to gay is just too convenient. Makers didn't even try for a slow burn. It just happened too quick. I know I am spoiling fun right at the beginning but need to put it out. The show started off really really well but by the time it ended I was a bit underwhelmed primarily because how the story went and lack of character depth. Nevertheless at 7 episodes about 25-35 minute each, it is still a very decent watch. Ben and Jim have been childhood friends and neighbors but 8 years back Jim moved to a different won with his dad after his mother died. Now because of covid restrictions, he is coming back to spend some time with is grandma. Ben and Jim had lost touch over the years and its through his best friend Flo that Ben realizes that Jim is quite a popular social media guy. The two boys restart their friendship where they had left off. Ben has always had a

Before Stonewall (Documentary)

If you have not heard of the New York City's Stonewall Riots, I am not sure where have you been living. In 1969 the police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City's Greenwich Village, leading to three nights of rioting by the city's LGBT community. With this outpouring of courage and unity the gay liberation movement had begun. This documentary uncovers the hidden, repressed, and oftentimes denied history of gay America in the days before the famous Stonewall riots. Released in 1985, it helped put a halt on the notion that homosexuality was a product of societal moral decay. Told through the recollections of gay men and women who paved the road to Stonewall by simply living their lives and loving the people they loved, despite draconian laws that ensured that they could be refused employment or fired from their jobs, denied the right to rent apartments and thrown in jail simply for being who they were. The documentary includes vintage news footage that makes it


A film that could have been a very nice thriller and drama on subject like a person is unable to move on from an abusive relationship, however hard you try is something new and can be very novel but as expected, the makers try to just put too much of nudity for thrill sake and lose out on a good opportunity. Ryan is an 18- year old teenager, who is trying to make his mark as an actor. He has finally landed a gig in theatre and is trying his best to make it work. One day out of nowhere, his ex Daniel shows up and asks if he can stay there. Ryan hesitantly gives in in promise for a normal and loving relationship. It turns out that Daniel has history of drugs and random hook ups. None of that has changed. No later than a day, we see Daniel back to drugs and his anonymous sexual escapades, trying to hide from Ryan. But things are not working for Ryan either. He eventually gets kicked out from the theatre and he comes back home to find Daniel having sex with another guy. Instead of getting

Encore (French) [Once More]

This French film follows the lives of its characters over a period of 10 years from 1978 to 1988. The film has romance, coming out, incest, AIDS epidemic, liberation etc. Apparently the film was shot in flat 10 days, which shows in its stage like sets and a play kind of feeling to it. Louis is a married man with their daughter. His wife has a very high libido and it seems Louis has some sort of relationship going on with his daughter as well. He has had enough and he gets separated from his wife. His life goes on and he meets a man Franz with whom he has his first gay encounter. Immediately he falls in love but Franz is not interested. His literal words are "You have a husband’s eyes. I don’t want to be a wife." Heartbroken Louis starts cruising men and before you know he is sleeping with everyone, including a couple of females as well. He has started to get a reputation of being a good lay. Eventually one night while cruising, he meets a man who is more interested in him as

Homo Heights

I had read a lot of articles how this film has some of the best one-liners in this gay camp comedy. I mean, I wasn't expecting any earth shattering cinema, but these kind of films are really not my cup of tea. Maybe 10 years back, but not these days. The background music was so loud that it was really hard to even understand what's unfolding on the screen. Homo Heights is a gay community in town. An older man Malcolm is somewhat of an idol in that community. He wants to move on and leave the town but the gay-mafia boss, a drag-queen named Maria Callous, needs Malcolm in town to keep her power. Then there is a plethora of characters that keep showing up in what I would call a completely disjointed, confusing mess. There are so many side plots in this movie it takes until about 3/4 into the film that you actually understand where everyone stands. I was watching the film but it was as if my brain has refused to function. I couldn't fathom. Thank God for the fast forward button

Your Home: The Series (Tagalog)

Its sad, when you see a series and you feel that possibly the makes have put in all sorts of effort to make this entertaining, but the whole story and screenplay was so directionless in this series, it was a joke. Just about anything was happening at any point. It was very very random. Clearly there are fair share of bad Filipino BL series too. This was 8 episodes of about 20-25 minutes each. Bryce lives alone in Manila and so does Josh. We then meet Bart, who lives in the countryside. He is an orphan and has never left his village. His best friend is Brenda, who also lives in the village. One day when Bryce comes to the village, His car breaks down and he ends up spending the night with Bart. Since Bart always wants to go to big city, Bryce invites him. Turns out Bryce and John are best friends and work in a modeling agency. Bryce comes to the city and also get a job with the same agency. Before you realize, suddenly out of nowhere Bryce and Bart are in love and Josh is full of anger

Supernova (UK)

Performances can sometimes make or break a film and this film is a very good example of how you can take a very simple story and make it really worthwhile with some very amazing and moving performances. It wouldn't be wrong to say that if not for the very dependable actors in this slow moving disease drama between an older gay couple, this movie could have easily fallen flat. Longtime couple Sam, a musician and Tusker, a novel writer, are taking a holiday in their RV in beautiful landscapes of England (we are never told the exact location). It's only when Tusker finds himself haplessly in the middle of traffic, we come to know that Tusker is in the early stages of dementia, and the excursion may be the last time the squabbling but loving pair gets the opportunity to travel together. They visit Sam's sisters home, maybe one last time when extended family and friends are getting together, not knowing where this disease will take Tusker and thereby Sam's future. During the

Together with Me: The Next Chapter (Thai Series)

Time for sequels. I did like the original series, although it did have the usual frustrating moments of most Thai series where there is constant flip flop between yes and no. As it was the case with the original, there are way too many things packed in this series. Even though, it may feel that this is primarily Korn and Knock story, the reality is this time, almost equal footage has been given to all the characters. Korn and Knock are now a couple and are working in a factory doing their probation. Cho (Yihwa's boyfriend) is working with them. Their boss is Pete who is also gay. Knock is noticing the probation seriously and the couple keeps arguing. The constant nagging frustrates Korn who eventually cheats on Knock with Pete. He is apologetic from bottom of his heart but Knock won't give in. In fact, he had just come out to his parents while Korn is still struggling to tell the truth to his father. Turns out that Pete is really a sexual predator. He tries same trick with Knoc

Beefcake (Docu-drama)

This is an interesting mix of documentary and drama which looks at the 1950's muscle men's magazines and the representative industry that were popular supposedly as health and fitness magazines, but were in reality primarily being purchased by the still underground homosexual community. Bob Mizer photographed handsome young men for "physical culture" magazines that appealed to gay men when little other literature for them existed. The documentary-drama tells us about his life and incidents leading to how he became to be the photographer he was. It shows Mizer in his photography studio with his models, whom he found as they literally stepped off the bus from across the country--young men who were new to Los Angeles. The documentary part provides interviews with people from the larger California health and fitness culture, including some high profile models from the time. The interviews offer an interesting counterpoint to the narrative that seems stronger than the dram

Bonding: Season 1 & 2 (Series)

We have not seen many shows, besides the very famous movie, where the main protagonist is a dominatrix. I was very curious about this show since one of the leads is a dominatrix and other is her gay best friend. I couldn't wait check out this funny series. So I binged on two seasons of total 15 episodes of about 15 minutes each. It was actually a nice , funny and easy breezy watch. Tiff is a grad student in New York City who is moonlighting as a dominatrix Mistress May. She is doing that to make money to pay for her classes. When she reconnects with former high school BFF Pete, a recently out gay man, she recruits the cash-strapped man to be her assistant, performing such tasks as cleaning up after her clients and serving as her bodyguard. He takes the gig because he needs money and his career as a standup comedian is not really flourishing by any means. Pete is now Carter. This pushes Pete to get out of his comfort zone, be more adventurous and he eventually meets his boyfriend Jo

Gay Short Films : 86

L'appétit des garçons (Canada) [Starving Boys] A Daddy, a Twink, a Bear and a Hunk are cruising outdoor in a suburban neighborhood of Montreal. Just Ask Him (USA) This LGBT short tells the story of a sweet, but shy and insecure newly out high school student gathering the courage to ask a new transfer student who is his soccer jock crush to a dance, without knowing whether his crush is gay or straight or even homophobic. Trois mois (Canada) [Three Months] Andreas and Marc have been together for 3 months, but when Marc finally tells him about his HIV status, the romance waivers. When is it too soon or too late to have this conversation. Will Andreas understand Marc's pov? Pete Can't Play Basketball (USA) In this short comedy, in a corporate environment where all that matters is a certain ball game, Pete, an out and proud gay man is unable to play. Its a really funny film. Where To Go (South Korea) Ki-hyeok, moves to a new place to overcome his broken heart. One day, he meets

Victim (UK)

There are very few gay crime thrillers which can be called half decent. (I am not counting all the horror gay trash we have been served for many years now). I can imagine this film being way ahead of its time, coming out in 1961 and using the word "homosexual" openly. Not only that, it also deals and brings forward a very important issue of blackmailing, which sadly, exists even today in many parts of the world. Jack Barrett, a young boy is being chased after by the police. He has stolen a huge amount of money from his employers. He constantly reaches out to. Lawyer named Mr. Farr for help but after Farr intentionally avoids him, Barrett is picked up by the police. They realize that he was being blackmailed for being homosexual but he would not give the cops anymore details than that. He later hangs himself in a police cell. It turns out the blackmailer had a photo of him with Mr. Farr and he wanted to protect Farr. Learning the truth, Farr takes upon himself to get justice.

Rapture In Blue

Using the queer horror genre, this film is about the journey inside the soul of someone on the brink of discovering themselves fully, for the first time facing the reality of who he is in the deepest part of himself. Sounds good, right? Sadly, the way it is filmed is not really my cup of tea. Applaud should be given that the film was written and directed by an 18 year old guy. But given the right education, means and story, this chap does have potential. Jason has been using his childhood home for hooking up with his girlfriend Valerie since no one lives there. One such time, they find out that now a mysterious guy Sebastian has moved in, who eagerly warms up to anxious Jason. Wracked with desires he’s long tried to ignore while also being pressured by his girlfriend’s sensual advances, a growing sense of unease and dread permeates Jason's life. He feels being watched. He receives an ‘impossible’ photo of him embracing Sebastian. Does it have something to do with the mysterious boy

Over The Edge (UK)

And yet another piece of really bad cinema. A humorless and a very unprofessional attempt at making a gay crime thriller, this film feels more like a school project than anything else with amateurishly bad performances. Jason is a medical dropout student, and he wakes up to find a corpse lying next to him. Scared, he won’t go to work and stays holed up in his flat. As he becomes increasingly isolated, losing sense of time and perspective, he begins to have blackouts. Intriguingly, as the blackouts become more frequent so too do the discovery of murdered men and women all over town. But when his TV breaks, he is forced to call co-worker Richard to fix it. All is normal, except when Jason mentions that a friend of his may be dead in his bed. Instead of hightailing it out of the potential murder scene, Richard, who has the hots for Jason, instead not only checks the body but also proposes a homemade autopsy. And when the scalpel cuts the flesh, these two young men are now in it together a