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Showing posts from May, 2021

Depravity (Mandarin) [Break]

Just when I thought I have seen all kinds of weird films, here comes this one. I saw this film (thankfully just an hour long) and I really have no idea what I just saw. The plot was confusing as hell. Constant jumps between current. Time, past time and the film shoot made it even more confusing and the fact that the actors look so similar to one another was not helping at all. Fang and Lin were sort of dating in college but things didn't go down well for them. Fang is now a film director and somehow manages to get Lin to act in his period film about two secret male lovers. Lin is now seeing another guy Hesen, who is also been signed as the other lead of the film. Fang records all Lin and Hesen activity including when they are making love. When Hesen finds out about this, he tries to kill Fang but Lin saves him and dies in the process. I am really not sure if this was in fact the story line of the film or not, but this is as best as I can summarize. Even the title of the film makes

Quaranthings: The Series (Filipino)

Its such a shame when the series starts off well but somewhere midway loose handle of really what they are trying to say. A cliched put of meet, fall in love, create misunderstandings and brings them back together is getting a little too cliche. Also, I am realizing that there are still so many Asian BL shows from last year that I have to catch up on, especially the ones centered around quarantine and alll since they are lot more relatable at that point. Only if I had more time. This series is 8 episodes of about 20-30 minutes varying duration. Quarantine is about to start and every one has gone home except Judah. His mother works in Canada and he doesn't want go live with his granny since he feels she is homophobic. To his surprise another guy Rocky is also staying back. The two barely know each other. Judah is openly gay, rich and loving for love. A Friend of his Glenn has a crush on him but Judah doesn't feel same way. Rocky comes form a lower background and because of covid

La Confusion des Genres (French) [Confusion of Genders]

It's going to be really hard to put this film in a specific genre. An uninhibited romantic satire, a racy sex comedy are just some of the adjectives that comes to mind while I write this. I can very well see people pointing out all sorts of problems with this film, but I will be honest I quite enjoyed the humor and acting. It was quite different and the gags were all in the right place. Alain is a middle age lawyer, who wants them all, another way to say he doesn't know what he wants. He likes both men and women (men more than women) and perpetually runs away from commitment and prefers token his freedom. There is so much going on in his life. His boss/work partner wants to marry him. She fears being lonely and even though they both know they can't love each other, they both openly talk about making beautiful babies and living together. Surprisingly, she gets pregnant the first night they sleep together. Then you have a young boy Christophe, who is totally smitten by Alain.

Todo a la vez (la mirada de Paco y Manolo) (Spanish Documentary) [Everything At Once]

Documentaries are a tricky thing. First of all, they are not everyone's cup of tea and secondly unless they make for an engaging viewing, a lot of time you question the content of such things. Sadly, this documentary falls in the latter category. Paco and Manolo are two Catalan photographers from the outskirts of Barcelona who have been together for thirty years. Both have managed to work as photographers and have captured their images in a Kink magazine, a very personal photography fanzine with a Mediterranean homoerotic aesthetic. They record the sex appeal of the working class with use of natural light, abandoned places and stark rooms. The artists become discreet witnesses of the subjects and intimacy of those men who want to be photographed. They contact the artists through social networks with the desire to be portrayed naked and in doing so not only bare their bodies but their inhibitions as well. The clothes fall, the bodies are freed, and the souls end up being captured b

Summer, The First Time (English/Czech)

This is clearly a gay erotica film, whose whole intent is to seduce the audience with its simulated sex copulating scenes. The good thing is that the boys are extremely gorgeous and good looking. But besides that there isn't much happening here. A straight couple, Ryan and Issy arrive for their summer vacation at a magnificent beachside villa. This vacation is meant to solve their stormy relationship problems and rekindle the lost flame. One night when Ryan can't sleep, he goes for a walk but gets mobbed and badly beaten only to be rescued by beach boy Pavel. Ryan becomes utterly infatuated with the boy and his long denied yearnings for another man come to the surface. And then there’s Pavel’s promiscuous boyfriend Pasha, who is just going around town having sex. I'll be honest, I am not sure what the eventual end of the film is but somewhere Issy becomes the unwanted female in the male trio.  The film is soft porn erotica aiming to simulate your mental thoughts. The produc

Homme au bain (French/English) [Man At Bath]

A self indulgent relationship drama is the best way to describe this film (if you can call it that). I am sure casting a famous gay porn star was an idea to create more hype and visibility to the product than anything else. Having said that, actually the lead is not bad at all. But when the film itself has no merit to speak of, what can actors do. Emmanuel is a hustler and live in lover of Omar in Paris. He has brutal sex with Omar before he is about to leave for a week for work, which angers Omar and asks him to clear out the home before he comes back. Omar leaves with his director friend and then we viewers are subjected to long scenes about her film making process, lecturing students and QnA sessions. Omar has a fling with a student while out and meanwhile Emmanuel has sex with men desperately looking for cash. He creates a painting on the walls of the apartment, an ode to Omar before he leaves him for good. Had the film just focussed on the relationship between two men, it still co

Happiest Season

I must have missed this Holiday movie from last year when it was released on Hulu last year around Christmas. Also, I am realizing I don't review many lesbian movies on my blog (Ahem ! Ahem!); so here we go. I finally managed to see this film now. I am sure had I seen the film around the festival, with the spirit, I would have enjoyed the film lot more. It's a very basic rom-com, a story done to death million times, but it's the setting that makes it different. Abby and Harper have been in a relationship for a year. Abby, though not a huge fan of Christmas, agrees to go with Harper to her family for Christmas. Secretly she is also planing to propose her during that time. Plans change when Harper confides to Abby that she is not exactly out to her family and they think she is bringing her roommate for the festivities. Abby is shocked but Harper assures her that she will definitely tell her highly-critical, affluent, social-climbing parents right after Christmas. Back in the

To My Star (Korean)

A new Korean series (also available as a film, which is what I saw), made by the director of 'Where yOur Eyes Linger'; so I was naturally looking forward to watching this. In this past over one year, Asian BL stories have taken huge leap and these days I am finding myself struggling to keep up with all the new content that is constantly being produced.  The story of the film is pretty straight forward and simple. See Joon is a popular actor who has recently being embroiled in a controversy about having hit his best friend. To avoid paparazzi, his talent management company make him live with Han Ji Woo, a handsome chef, so that he can stay away from public eye. The personalities of the two men could not be any different. While See Joon is optimistic, cheerful, happy guy, Ji Woo is a quiet person who is actually not enjoying the sudden company of a stranger. Him being popular and an actor doesn't affect Ji Woo at all. Meanwhile a female reporter is on her mission to find the

A Tale of Thousand Stars (Thai Series)

Its been a while since I reviewed a Thai series here. This show was recommended to me by a couple of folks here, so naturally I was looking forward to it. A BL story not set in a university campus is definitely something to look forward to. I believe this series was one of the most sought after series and fans were anxiously looking forward to it. The show is 10 episodes of 55-65 minutes each; so this requires a good amount of viewers time. Torfun is a volunteer teacher teaching village students in northern Thailand close to the border. But she does in a tragic car accident and her heart is transplanted into an engineering student Tian, who belongs to a very rich family. Slowly, Tian is interested in knowing more about the donor and manages to get his hands on her diary through which he learns her secrets and desires and wishes. Included is her promise to count a thousand stars with Chief Forest Officer Phupha. Tian decides to leave his rich life and go to the village as a substitute t

El baile de los 41 (Spanish) [Dance Of The 41]

A historical and a period piece based on a true story. You already have my attention. After finishing watching the film, I still cannot believe that this is based on true events from back in 1901, almost 120 years back. A scandal shook entire country of Mexico when an illegal raid was conducted at an annual ball where 41 gay men were arrested and publicly shamed for the act. Congressman Ignacio is doing well and also has high ambitions from his political career. He is marrying Amada, the daughter of Mexico’s President so that his new status as son-in-law of the president will help push him into new territory. The only problem is Ignacio is gay and struggles to consummate his marriage. Soon he meets Evaristo, a man with whom he is slowly falling in love with. Ignacio brings Evaristo to a secret club of high profile group of queer men that meets regularly to party, have sex, and entertain one another. Ignacio thinks he can keep the two lives separate but increasing suspicion and snooping

Lupe (English/Spanish)

A film about identity, self-discovery and immigrants sounds like the perfect recipe for a soul stirring film and to be honest I really wanted to like the film, but somewhere I felt that the makers were trying to mix two subjects. Yes you could argue that using our protagonists search for his sister is more of a metaphor about searching himself, it would be a little too meta. It could have been left a bit simpler. We meet Rafael, a young Cuban immigrant in New York, who trains at a boxing gym. He is in search of Isabel, his sister, who is apparently an escort. Through flashbacks we learn that Isabel was responsible for raising Rafael back home in Cuba, and he believes that she was taken to the states and sold as a prostitute against her will. Even as a kid, since Rafael was different, she would always encourage him to be strong for himself. While searching, he ends up finding Isabel's best friend from back home and he brings her with him. Through her he gets the information about wh

The Man With The Answers (Greek/ German/ Italian/ English)

I am very conflicted about calling this a gay movie. The protagonist happens to be gay, which we find out in one scene, and besides that this film has absolutely nothing to do with the sexuality. At its core, this film is a road movie, a kind of travel-and-talk friendship/romance. Victor, loves diving and is now looking after his sick grandmother on an island in Greece. He is a loner with a part time job. When his granny dies, he decides to leave town. We find that he has strained relations and some unresolved issues with his mother, who many years ago, left him and married a German guy and lives now in Bavaria. On the ferry enroute Italy, he meets Matthias, a very confident and outgoing German man. As odd as the two are, Matthias convinces (while flirting) Victor to take him along for the ride and he will take him through some scenic routes. Jere begins a road movie with gorgeous landscapes and a couple of incidents leading to the two men realizing their growing feeling for each other

Beyto (Swiss German / Turkish)

Stories about migrant families in relation to the queer aspects have always fascinated me. Normally, you see subjects that deal with these families' inherent bias towards their own traditions and trying to assimilate themselves in the western culture. Stuff like homosexuality always throws them off leading to conflicts which is always a subject for wonderful drama. Set in Switzerland, this story is about a Turkish migrant family. Beyto is the only son of migrant Turkish family in Switzerland who own a kebab store. Beyto is ideal son, student and well liked at work. As he spends more time with his swimming mentor Mike, they both realize that they like each other. In love with Mike and tired of hiding himself, the news soon reach his family and spreads fast in the community. The parents who are still bound to the patriarchal and heteronormative society of their Turkish village, they trick Beyto into going with them to Turkey with a secret plan to get him married to his childhood frie

Tchindas (Creole) (Documentary)

Tchinda is one of most beloved women in Cape Verde, especially after she came out as a transgender person in the local newspaper in 1998. Since then, her name has become the term used by locals to name queer Cape Verdeans. This documentary follows the people in the island trying to make something very beautiful out of nothing during the festivities leading to the carnival. The documentary zeros in on one neighborhood’s communal transformation for the annual event being led by spirited creative leadership of a trio of transgender and gay residents. Tchinda is an elder stateswoman of sorts, having come out publicly in 1998 and lives her life with her rules. Although she will not be marching, she oversees the community effort, and does her best to defuse the mounting tension. Working with two of her best mates, they conceptualize the ocean-themed float and costumes for the collective fantasy and, with limited funds and limitless inventiveness, they take every detail seriously. The documen

Gay Short Films : 88

Have We Met Before (UK) Short docudrama exploring the history of sex in the homosexual community from the 1970s to the present day, and how the internet has changed the way gay men meet forever and the impact on the gay dating scene. Foucault Who? (USA) A noir crime drama showing several characters visiting a gay bar before it opens for "Foucault Night", including a runaway murderer. Suddenly, Last Summer (South Korea) A student is in love with his teacher, which borders on obsession. He chases his teacher in an attempt to get the teacher to admit his feelings. They spend the day together, with teacher finding himself gradually attracted to the passive-aggressive seduction. Thrive (UK) When is the right time to tell someone you are HIV+? A hook-up between two young men - they make a connection, but something is holding back one of the guys while the other wants to explore the connection further. HIV+ people find it hard to find love (and sex) and are rendered lonely because o

Boy Meets Boy (German/English)

Most of us have seen the film "Weekend" and is probably one of the top ten most liked gay films. Its no surprise when film makers take inspiration from the said film to comeuppance with something new. Following the similar pattern, this film explores the story of two gay men at a crossroads spend a summer day in Berlin together. British guy Harry and local Berlin boy Johannes meet in a club and end up kissing each other. Earlier we see Johannes is a dancer while Harry is busy hooking up with random guys on this vacation courtesy Grindr. When the two boys meet again in morning after the club, Harry mentions that he forgot to print his boarding pass to fly back home. Johannes offers to help and in the process also offers to show him a bit of the city. They hit off well. Harry is a doctor , who prefers hooking up without having to deal with drama or the commitment of a relationship. Johannes on the other hand, reveals towards the end that he has a boyfriend and he is in an open

The Big Gay Musical

This film may not be very original but you cannot deny that the film and narrative is extremely likable and also relatable to a certain extent. Its like a show within a show. We see a film which is a musical where members are partaking in a musical called 'Adan and Steve'. Paul and Eddie are the leads of the gay musical 'Adam & Steve' but they are full of offstage drama in their personal life as well. Paul like monogamy and cuddling, something that most of his potential suitors don't get. And Eddie hasn't come out o his very staunch Christian parents yet. To top this he has never had sex yet and now they are supposed to visit his play, his debut on off-broadway on the premier night. Paul becomes disenchanted about monogamy and tries being promiscuous, but he finds this lifestyle unsatisfying. He constantly bumps into Charles, a fan that has developed a crush for him. Eddie comes out to his parents over the phone on Paul's recommendation. Despite feeling

Shang Yin (Chinese Series) [Addicted aka Heroin]

I am This is one of the most popular Chinese BL series. Actually, in my opinion, it is a bit overhyping calling this a BL series, because in the truest form, this is more of a bromance with the themes of teenage love and friendships. The love, connection and friendship between the boys leads to sexual nature as well eventually (or at least that's what users can believe, because nothing is ever shown); and that's why it is important to let people know that a lot here is something that you will have to imagine what's happening. Are the protagonists gay or just looking for love is something we will all have our own interpretations of. Luo Yin is a young, stubborn, introverted and intelligent high school student who comes from a impoverished background being raised by a single father. He was abandoned by his mother at a young age, who harbored a life of comfort, hence Luo Yin rebukes her attempts at reconciling with him years later. We then meet the extrovert, reckle