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Showing posts from June, 2021

TharnType 2: 7 Years Of Love (Thai Series)

I had loved the original show to quite a large extent, but I think this sequel, with its paper thin plot is a sequel that should not have been made. In fact, it wasn't even necessary. You sit through grueling 12 episodes of easily 45-55 minutes each, followed by an hour long special episode and I was so glad when I finally was done with it. All this show needed was that special episode, that too cut down to like 30 minutes or so and that's it. There is absolutely no story here. Tharn and Type have been together now for 7 years. Both busy in their career but Type's boss gives him a hard time at work, because of which sometimes there are arguments between the couple. Nothing crazy. Then we suddenly have this new couple Phu and Cir as their neighbors, who really add nothing to the plot, but hey are just there. We meet Fiat, a basketball player, who when he hurts himself, is being treated by Type as Physical therapist and becomes obsessed with Type and eventually becomes the bi

Amnesia Love (Filipino)

One thing that I have gotten used to watching a Paolo Ballesteros film is that , at least bare minimum it will be a good fun to watch. Sadly, this film is so easily forgettable. There is absolutely nothing worth remembering this film. He deserves better. With a very sub standard story, execution and very below average movie overall, I wouldn't recommend this film. Kimmer is a social media celebrity and influencer who comments of people's outfits. His fame has brought an unsavory attitude against other people. His boyfriend recommends that he should spend time with nature to reduce his stress. During the hike, he falls off a cliff and is saved by islanders. When he wakes up they realize that he has no memory of who he is. On the island, while struggling to remember anything from his past, he parades as a straight man, even to the point of establishing a romantic relationship with a girl. . Every once in a while, he gives off hints of his flamboyance (given he can't even reme

Firebird

Set in 70s during the times of Cold War, a true story of a secret love affair between two soldiers in the Soviet Air Force; the hooklike of the film had me already sold to watching it. Its a love story, its full of emotions, heart break, drama, sex, good looking people; everything that you would expect from a gay romance. Except better. Thankfully high production values, amazing starkest and direction to total justice to this wonderful romance saga between two Russian men. Starting in the Air Force base in Estonia, we meet young Sergey, private in the final weeks of his deployment looking forward to moving to Moscow to become an actor. His closest friend is Luisa, a typist who aspires to become a doctor and harbors secret feelings for Sergey. But things change with the arrival of very handsome and dapper Russian Flight Lieutenant Roman Medveyev. Roman shares Sergey’s love of photography and the arts. And before you know their professional relationship soon blossoms into friendship and

Super 8½

Why? Why? Why? Why do makers make such offerings and torture audiences like us. Its almost embarrassing to admit having seen crap like this and spending anyone's precious time in ludicrous crap like this. I am really not sure if this was documentary, mockumentray or an actual drama film! I feel it was like a biographic mocku-drama. Bruce is a  washed-up gay porn star whose story is being exploited by an ambitious indie lesbian filmmaker called Googie. The film is a collage of Googie and Bruce's old films, Googie's current footage of Bruce and interviews with Bruce's former co-stars and lovers. They're all a pretty vain and hopeless bunch and the conversations are really not going anywhere. Also glimpsed are Bruce’s alleged earlier porn epics, which are graphic. Basically the film is almost an hour and half long confrontation between the two characters.  This was an absolute waste of time and efforts. I have read online that how some people actually thought that the

Gay Short Films : 90

Goût Bacon (France) [Taste of Love] After an ambiguous Snapchat video featuring Bilal and Adil, rumors start spreading about the two friends that they maybe gay. To save their reputation, each of them tries to find a girlfriend. Their hunt for a date doesn't quite go as expected. One of them finds a girl who confides in him that she is a lesbian herself, while the other gets blackmailed for his shoes and jacket just to have a pretend girlfriend. A nice film about an age and about others and about the perspective about love. Au bruit des clochettes (France) [When You Hear The Bells] In Afghanistan, bachas are young male prostitutes obliged to dance, dressed as girls, for a male audience. They are under the control of a master. Story of Saman, a bacha, who feels threatened by the arrival of Bijane, a boy younger than him who is destined to take his place. Jealous of this boy, who might steal the feelings and protection of his master, he is obliged to initiate Bijane but at the same t

The Cornered Mouse Dreams of Cheese (Japanese)

The first very interesting thing about this film is that its about flawed people and characters. Their insecurities and flaws are something you may not want to see in a movie but they are very very relatable, and that's what makes this movie interesting, yet weird at the same time. You would think, why would someone do that, but you also know that this is exactly what anyone in realize would do. And this is when the whole debate of how close to real life vs creating fantasy life should movies focus on. Ootomo is a young married guy, too eager to please and gets easily seduced by women. One day he is confronted by Imagase, a university classmate who is now a private investigator hired by Ootomo's wife to uncover his infidelity. Rather than expose him, Imagase agrees to remain silent in return for a kiss, revealing that he has been in love with Kyoichi for years. Slowly this relationship turns sexual since Ootomo doesn't change his philandering ways. IT turns out that it was
Private Romeo is a modern take on Romeo and Juliet, set in an all-male military school and hence a gay love story. Another very important thing to know about this film is that this is almost all in Shakespearean English with some dialogues straight from the play.  A small group of cadets at a military school is left alone for a long weekend as their superiors and the remaining students go on a military drill. As they continue with their classes and routine, including reading Romeo and Juliet, the students start to find the play overtaking their lives as they begin to recite the dialogue and embody the characters. As love begins to bloom between two cadets Sam & Glenn, they have to deal with jealousy, feuds, and how they can maintain their love once Romeo (Sam) is expelled. This film is soooooo not for me. I mean I can tell how much hard work and genuine effort in performances and direction has gone into making this film, but my god! The original shakespearean English didn't hel

Gay Short Films From India

Gray (Hindi) Nandini is married to Rohit, who is gay. Zoel, Rohit's partner, is aware of Nandini's suffocation. When Rohit tells Zoel that he is planning to have a kid through IVF, so that Nandini will get busy in her life, Zoel felt disgusted with this thought and discards Rohit's intention of managing his life between him and Nandini. If it was a sacrifice for Rohit to get married against his gender's choice for the sake of social integrity, it was a crime to Nandini also whose dreams of a married life devastated.  Pencil Box (Hindi) A young boy Appu lives in a village with his family. They are hiding a secret which is soon revealed to the entire village when a group of eunuchs come to take Appu away from the family. At this point, another struggle begins for the whole family. The struggle of saving Appu from society. Struggle for family’s own space in society and moreover, struggle for Appu’s present and future. The story shows how Appu faces all these odds and leads

Šarlatán (Czech) [Charlatan]

To be honest I would not have reviewed this film on my blog, because according to my definition the sis not a queer film. Its a biography of a man who happened to be a gay and his sexuality is touched upon in the film but that's not the focus. BUT then I realized that the film played in a few LGBTQ film festivals, so I decided to put it down here. This is the story of Jan Mikolášek, a faith and herbal healer (and not a doctor by his own admission). He could diagnose anyone's condition by just looking at their urine sample and treat them with herbs and plants. The setting is post war Europe, so you see the diseases spread throughout. The film is seen in multiple flashbacks starting with death of Czech president who also was apparently treated by Jan Mikolášek. He was arrested in the later part of life and was sentenced for imprisonment and we see through flashbacks his initial formative years. How Jan found an old lady and learned the tricks of trade from her using his natural g

HIStory3: Trapped (Taiwanese Series)

All the series under HIStory that I have seen so far have been pretty amazing to say the least, so I was so disappointed when this specific one doesn't even come close to any of those. Now, in all fairness this story felt more like a revenge drama with a bot of gay romance thrown in to fit in the whole idea of HIStory series; which in my opinion could have been taken away completely from the show and the story could easily have still stayed the same. More on that and/or tin a bit. Four years ago, a veteran cop and an elderly gangster were killed in a gunshot attack. The only survivor and the dead gangster's protegee, the enigmatic and ruthless Tang Yi, is now the new gang leader, who will stop at nothing to find the murderer and plans an elaborate trap to lure him out of hiding. Honest police officer Meng Shao Fei is obsessed with knowing the truth behind this case, to avenge his mentor's death, and spends all his spare time tracking Tang Yi and trying to find what he is up

Maschile Singolare (Italian) [Mascarpone]

This film was really good. It immediately reminded me of some my favorite Italian queer films that I have reviewed here, especially the ones directed by the Turkish director. This one is not by him but somehow the soul seemed like something he would make. The film is not earth shattering by any means, nor does it show anything brand new that we have not seen before but something about this, the way screenplay holds together, just touched me. Antonio is a doting stay at home husband to Lorenzo for almost 12 years and he is only 30 now. Suddenly one day Antonio gets dumped by his husband who has fallen for another man for sometime now. Antonio is shocked since he had depended on Lorenzo for both psychological and economic reasons, and now he needs to find a new place to stay, a job and a new purpose in life. Cristina, his lifelong friend is his emotional support during all this time. Antonio manages to find a room in a apartment owned by Denis, a boy who lives a very carefree life enjoyi

Love, Victor: Season 2 (Series)

One of the popular series from last year, I wasn't aware until very recently that the makers had decided to come up with Season 2 of this show. And after having binge watched it, I am so glad that they not only made Season 2 but also actually developed character graphs for lot of other teens besides Victor, which was one of my primary issue with Season 1. Personally, I feel this season is a huge notch up that the predecessor. As expected, show focuses on Victor, who is now with Benji as a high school gay couple. The show addresses a lots of ups and downs that happens with Victor. The issues addressed includes Victor coming out to his parents, him finding the courage to come out in school and how his basketball team mates react to the whole gay issue. O course a large chunk of this is devoted to how his parents react, who are separated now. The father is shown more supportive and even joins PFLAG group to understand the situation better, but his mother is dealing with a lot of issue

Stone Fruit

I wanted to like this film. Just something about the poster and the subject seemed intriguing and I thought this will be an interesting watch. If only!! And now, I find out that one of the lead actors died after this film and this is his last feature length film, so I can't even be so upset about not liking the film because anyone's death can leave you scarred even if its for a short time. You do feel bad. The plot of the film is simple. Manny (Latin American) and Russ (American white) have been a married couple for a while but have drifted apart in last few months. Before they make their divorce official, they decide to take one last trip together to talk through their issues and get closure. It seems so far that they are breaking up on mutual terms but slowly unresolved issues keep coming up during this wine tasting trip. To Russ' surprise , Manny has invited their common friend Byron for part of their trip. As it turns out Byron has been their sexual partner off and on b

Detroit Evolution

I read that this is a fan made film bu some very dedicated fans of some video game, who decided to take a few characters from the game and make a feature length film out of it. Pardon my ignorance about video games, and not knowing anything about it, I have too say that production quality, acting and anything else about this film is no less applause worthy than any film. I mean there is no way you can say that the film is Mae by amateurs (I am not sure if they are really amateurs) Set in near future, the story focuses on two people: Detective Gavin Reed, who is constantly at war with himself and his past and RK900/Nines, who is a freed android and Gavin's work partner helping DPD. Nines is trying his best to get past Gavin's walls. The mutual feelings between them only seem to drive them apart as neither thinks they are worthy of the other. Soon. The city is troubled with a case of missing parts from various androids and Nines figures out that there is more to what meets eyes.

Nånting måste gå sönder (Swedish) [Something Must Break]

They say 'Misery Loves company'. When people are "different" or "broken" they get attracted to people with similar issues. This film shows us a bit about that. I am not sure how I feel about the film. I wanted to like it and feel the characters but I just didn't. Almost nothing is happening for almost half the film and as I have said plenty of times that you need a certain mindset to watch such films. Sadly, this film didn't do for me on the scale that it has vowed critics all over. Sebastian is a shy young transgender(?). The sexuality is never made obvious. She has taken the name of Ellie, at least on her own, but has not yet told anyone. Instead she lives and works as Sebastian, taking on the world with a bitter resignation and an androgynous wardrobe. She visits seedy places for sex. On one such occasion she meets Andres, a young handsome man who saves her from getting beaten on one such sexcapade. Sebastian is looking fo love and its only at the

Câmp de Maci (Romanian/English/French) [Poppy Field]

Poppy Field is mainly a film about things unsaid. Based in Romania, where open homosexuality is not still acceptable, this film takes inspiration from a real life incident by making a fiction story around it. This film is actually very different from a lot of stuff that I have seen, and I have seen a lot. What starts probably a usual gay love story, soon becomes story of one of the leads who is still too embarrassed about his sexuality. Given that he is a cop doesn't help matters. Cristi is a cop in along distance relationship with Hadi who is visiting him from France. After a passionate time together, we see there is clearly difference in expectations that the two men have of each other and the relationship. Rather than spending time with Hadi, Cristi decide to go back to work. Cristi along with his colleagues are sent a movie theatre where a conservative group has interfered with the screening of an LGTB-themed movie. Among the audience is one of Cristi’s former lovers, who recog

You Make Me Dance (Korean)

I have noticed that Korean BL dramas come out both as episodic series and also as movie versions. Both are ok, since they still show pretty much everything. Its just an observation. Coming back t o t his on, I think the premise could have been interesting with proper execution, but somewhere things faltered and the makers took the easy way out. The drama has lots of plot holes, characters have sudden change of heart, the love story’s pace is messy and many plot lines, like the mother issue, are left unsolved. Shi On is studying dancing and he truly has dancing in his blood, as his mother was also a dancer. He is free spirited and does his best to fit in. Hong Seok works for a loan shark company and he collects debts for them. He, however, hates his job and who it turned him into. That is why Shi On’s case is his last one. But, he finds himself being drawn to the boy’s dance and he wants to help him pay up his dues. He forcefully moves in with me to help him pursue his dream which in tu

HIStory3: Make Our Days Count (Taiwanese Series)

Here I am again with the third in series of HIStory focussing on LGBT theme. This specific series is actually 10 episodes of about 48 minutes each, but for whatever reason they chose to cut each episode into two parts and number them 1 to 20. Make Our Days Count tells the story of a group of high school boys and how they navigate life, love, friendship, and plans for their future. The focus is on two main couples but we get glimpses of their friends and how they handle certain things as well.  Xiang Hao Ting and Yu Xi Gu are high school students.  Xiang Hao Ting is a rebel who frequently gets into trouble. He is intelligent , only if he focusses on studies. Yu Xi Gu on the other hand is a book worm without friends and studies hard so that he can get into a national university as well as receive scholarships for his high school studies. His parents died when he was young, so he works multiple part time jobs so he can ease the financial burden on his aunt who raised him.  Xiang Hao Ting

World And Time Enough

Supposed to be a gay romantic comedy, the big problem with this film is that it doesn't know where exactly does this film want stand. One of the protagonists is shown to be HIV+ but it doesn't take that anywhere. I mean there is no real reason to show that and has no relevance at all. David is the narrator of the story who happens to be best friends with Mark. Mark is an HIV-positive art student who creates temporary "sculptures" on topics including AIDS, abortion and the Bush economy. He cannot hold on to a job for more than couple of days and does that just to survive. HIs boyfriend is Joey, who works as a garbage collector, picking up trash along the roadways. He sometimes brings home interesting items that he finds on the job. Mark and his father are somewhat distant and out of touch. Joey's relationship with his adoptive parents is also strained because of his father's issues with Joey's homosexuality. Although he remains close with his sister, Joey f

Blue Strait

I fail to understand why films like this get made. I mean even if you say that this film is "For people with a very open minded sense of what cinema can be"; it really doesn't give you any right to just make any crap and put it out there. Rather than a film ,it's a montage video where 80% of the video is dedicated to nothingness and long drawn shots of landscapes, which I have no idea represents what in this narrative. The first dialogue and human you see is well after 15 minutes of the start of the film. The entire film (if you can even call it that) is about this older gay couple, who go about their daily life talking about meaningless stuff and also arguing about something (don't ask me what). They bicker about trees and house chores with long camera shots of nothingness. First of all, why would anyone make such a piece of garbage and then why would anyone torture people like me to make us watch crap like this. I was actually cringing big time during this messe

100 Men (Documentary)

This is a very unusual and a very personal documentary. New Zealand filmmaker Paul Oremland, now in his 60s, looks back on 40 years of gay history by interviewing men he's had sex with over the years. He decides to make a list of 100 men he has slept with, primarily in a chronological order that they appeared in his life, except for of course top 10, which were his real top 10.  Growing up in 70s in New Zealand, homosexuality was generally viewed as an aberration. But still mostly men found ways to find a sexual partner. And even in those less tolerant days, there were people who had happy stories to share. As Paul moved from NZ to London to film making to multiple trips around the world, he recounts and even tracks some of these men to give interviews for this documentary.  While on the surface it’s a highly personal tale of one man’s liaisons, in the course of the telling, the tale encompasses profound societal and legal changes from the 1970s to the present day, and how quickly

His (Japanese)

On the surface of it, this film may feel another gay love story, but this is so much more. Instead it was a tender exploration of identity, love, forgiveness, prejudice and community centered around the custody battle for a bubbly, head-strong 6-year-old girl. Gender-preference did play a big role in plot and character development, but the underlying themes felt more universal. And this is what Maes the film exciting. We saw the prequel, a mini series, that I reviewed a few days back. The film starts with Nagisa and Shun living together in university but out of the blue Nagisa asks them to break up leaving Shun surprised and heart broken. Many years have passed since and now Shun lives a live of aloofness and anonymity in a very small town. Suddenly one day Nagisa shows up with his 6 year old daughter at his doorstep. He informs Shun that he had met a girl, fathered a girl, has been extremely happy but now the couple is getting a divorce. Initially confused, Shun allows them to stay wi