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Showing posts from July, 2022

Kimi no Koto Dake Mite Itai (Japanese Series) [I Want to See Only You]

This short little mini-series was a welcome change with no usual BL tropes that can sometimes be annoying. A simple, cute, very positive and enjoyable sores that makes you feel good and makes your heart warm with the innocence of a teenage love story. Surely, because it is so simple and straight forward, you sometimes wish something more to happen, but part of me was glad it stayed the way it did. Sakura and Yuma have been friends from childhood and are now entering the senior year of school. Yuma is fun loving carefree guy who is spontaneous and playful and Sakura likes to play piano and hopes to go to a music university. The duo always hang out despite a bit of opposite personalities. As the summer holidays are coming close, Sakura takes the bold decision of confessing his feelings to Yuma and kisses him. Initially taken aback by this, Yuma thinks about it and feels he like Sakrura very much and decides to continue their relationship/freindship. At a camping trip, he confesses his lo

Everything You Wanted To Know About Gay Porn Stars But Were Afraid To Ask (Documentary Series)

In this revealing look at a taboo world, sixteen of the hottest adult film stars provide a candid and raw insight into their careers and lifestyles, describing in shocking detail the dangers of the gay porn industry. At 7 episodes, of about 25 minutes each, this series does try to go deep into many things. Unfortunately, this documentary series has been produced on an extremely low budget, probably shot with hand help camera, fails to really enlighten audience anything additional about the business that an average person doesn't really already know about.  The episodes keep cut to cut moving from one person to another answering basic questions like how they got into the business; their childhood, how did they tell their family, self-image; how they "act" (get it up, basically); they're private lives, drugs, especially their romances--or lack of them; and they're coming-out experiences. It also talks about the silly plot lines that they are made to shoot, what craz

My Beautiful Man (Japanese Series)

A disturbing and creepy little story that was almost going into the master-slave zone before redeeming itself into a cute love story. A story of two complex individuals and how their personality affects their relationship. I wasn't really sure where the series was headed because the entire premise felt so toxic and flawed but thankfully towards the end it redeems itself (to a certain extent). At 6 episodes of about 22-25 minutes each, its an easy watch. Hira is a socially awkward teenager who has never found himself fitting anywhere and is happy being invisible to everyone. In his final year in school, his parents move abroad, leaving Hira by himself alone at home. When new class starts, he is scared to introduce himself but entry of Kiyoi helps him from getting mocked at. Kiyoi soon becomes the most popularly in class and Hira finds himself getting extremely attracted towards him. But Kiyoi thinks Hira is creepy and gross and him along with his friends bully Hira all the time but

You Are My Sunshine (UK)

A gay romance through centuries, an affectionate love story that lasted a lifetime and went through its ups and downs; this is surprisingly a subject we haven't seen much of it this genre. So I was actually looking forward to this film, also given that the film had some really positive feedback, my excitement was quite high. It is a sentimental, sweeping love story set in the British countryside. The film starts with Older man Joe going to meet his sister Ethel on his birthday, but you see that they have clear friction between them and Ethel can't wait to get out. Told through flashbacks, we see Joe meeting Tom when they were both teenagers in the countryside. Joe is quiet and socially awkward while Tom is sociable, gregarious and outgoing. Their friendship quickly turns into chemistry and a very strong romance. Ethel, who is very close to her brother Joe is happy to se him come out of his shell but when he finds out that they are lovers, she is completely disgusted and can'

Chuppan Chupai (Urdu Documentary) [Hide and Seek]

This very interesting documentary is about a group of Pakistani sexual minorities, raising questions about transgender activism, religion, underground gay life, social acceptance and collective familial customs of transgender women in urban Pakistan. The film features four individuals and focuses on their internal conflicts and their constant play of 'hide and seek' from the mainstream population in the urban areas of Pakistan. The film presents the experiences, the interior conflicts, the rights they are denied, the distress and, above all, the impossibility of loving in a country deeply influenced by Islam. The film starts with Neeli, an aging transgender, who has fully immersed herself in activism. She had an important role in the decision by the Supreme Court to legalize the “third gender”. We meet her, her friends, how the birthdays are something she and her group looks forward to and the struggles she faces. We then meet. Jenny is a transgender university student, who has

Dark Blue And Moonlight (Taiwanese Series)

I somehow chanced upon this series and had no idea that it came back in 2017. It is an interesting love story with a difference. Sometimes you can't explain or justify who and why you fall in or fall out of love with. These things are complex and however hard you try, you loose when it comes to matter of heart. Revolving around 3 key players with another fourth, these characters are not straight forward and I liked it because at some level I was able to relate to all of them in one way or the other. Hai Qing is a student who dreams of studying art. At a local swimming club, he almost saves life of Yan Fei and because of instant attraction, the duo engage in a passionate kiss. Yan Fei gives him his number to contact which he loses. Turns out Yan Fei is a CEO of a big company and already has a boyfriend of any years but they are going through their difficulties. Not long after, Hai Qing meets Ping Jun, who poses as a model for art students and the two start dating, which goes on for

90 Days The Series (Filipino Series)

OMG! This was such a bad show. The acting was horrendous. Agreed that maybe the intentions of the writers was noble to may be bring to focus the stigma around being gay, homophobia and HIV, but the way this series was done was so amateurish, very badly written and directed and overall gives an impression of a huge time waste. And I am not kidding. Shown through only zoom chats and videos, I am not even sure of the relevance of the title. Thankfully its 8 episodes of about 10 minutes each.  Greg and Axel, who have been friends for long are now in a loving relationship, but somehow Greg is not comfortable with Axel sharing their pictures online, since Greg's mother is pretty homophobic. Suddenly Patrick, who was Greg's ex-boyfriend is back in the picture and now Axel is confused on where Greg's loyalties lie. Greg clearly still has feelings for Patrick and so he breaks Axel's heart to go back to him. This is when Axel confronts Patrick that he knows that the reason Patric

Young Soul Rebels (UK)

Young Soul Rebels is an interesting piece of Black Queer Resistance, coming-of-age that centers around all  the complexities of being black and/or gay. Set in 1977, this film is told from around the time when it was Queen's Silver Jubilee anniversary. The film has ambition, violent, romance and a whole lot going for it. Whether it makes for a compelling watch or not, let's analyze later. Caz (gay) and Chris (straight) are best friend, who are DJs but they also run a pirate radio network promoting punk music. The film starts with murder of TJ at a local gay cruising park. While Caz is distraught by the death of his friend, Chris seems focused on balancing a professional career in commercial radio without selling out. During this time Chris meets his girlfriend Tracy also. Somehow Chris gets hold of the tape that was recorded during murder making him a suspect but when he calls Caz for help, he is busy with his new boyfriend Billibud. The duo even have a showdown leading to Chris

A un Dios Desconocido (Spanish) [To An Unknown God]

This Spanish film from 1977 is about an agin man, coming to terms with his sexuality and the inevitable mortality. It's quite interesting to see how homosexuality was so openly shown in a film of those times. I wonder how it was received then. Although it doesn't have a coherent story to tell but it does show us the life and events and chapters of its main protagonist Jose. Jose, now in his 50's live alone as a magician. The film starts in 30s in Granada when he is barely a teenager. He had a secret love Pedro, son of owners of the big house where his father used to work. Somehow he is not able to forget his memories even after all these years. He decides to visit his old village, relive some of those memories and also meet his idol a poet, who apparently was also Pedro's lover. Back in present life, Jose has Miguel, a budding politician as his lover, who finds it more convenient in Madrid's high society to marry than assert his homosexuality and meets Jose only as

Saneha Stories 4: Thanon Sai Saneha (Thai Mini Series)

I am guessing that this show is about true stories or something like that. This one specific story is real life anecdote of Nicky. We do see the real life guy in between the dramatized version and its interesting when you actually put a face to the person whose real story is being told, it does make a difference , at least in my mind. Running at a total of about 90 minutes, this 2 part show is almost a full length movie. Nicky is a young boy whose parents run a resort. But his decision to go and study in Bangkok doesn't sit too well with his father who wants him to join the family business. In the university, he has his childhood friend Saibua who is also now his girlfriend. But as he makes new friends, a guy Phat catches his eyes and before you know Phat makes him realize that Nicky might be attracted to men too. For a few days Nicky tries to maintain a dual life till Saibua catches two men in action. Nicky breaks up with Phat and professes love to Saibua promising to change. Four

8.2 Byo no Hosoku (Japanese Mini-Series)

This was such a cute, easy and warm little mini series that tried to combine food (especially dessert) and BL into one. How can such a story go wrong. There are only 5 episodes and each of about 10 minutes. It doesn't waste time in any nonsense fluff, keeps things to the point and just make for an overall easy fun watch. One day Amai Koichi hears two girls talking in the school that they have hard-hat intakes only 8.2 seconds of looking into each others eyes for two boys to fall in love. He is a novice in love and soon begins his quest for finding love with guys on whom he have had crushes in the past. We see a prospective man in every episode, who is going through some trouble and Amai Koichi trying to help him. He is an excellent baker, so in every episode he uses his skills to create a mouth watering dessert, which does help the person forget his problem but somehow every single time he fails to keep eye contact for more than 7 seconds. Its only in the last episode we see there

Boven Is Het Stil (Dutch) [It's All So Quiet]

This extremely slow film, for the most part, is a depressingly grim study of loneliness and sexual repression as well as of old age and family relations, in this case between a father and son. Not much happens and here is hardly any communication between characters (maybe spoken words are just about 15 minutes in the entire duration of the film). It is not an easy film to watch. I would also not classify this strictly as queer cinema and one of the chaplets is also about repressed sexuality here. Helmer is a single farmer in his fifties who lives with and cares for his aged, bedridden father in countryside. His working days are marked by the visits of milk collector, a man of his own age for whom Helmer holds a secret fascination – a mutual need is evident but unspoken. One day Helmer decides to renovate the house, buying himself a new double bed and moving his father upstairs. His life gains even more momentum when adolescent farmhand Henk is hired to assist. Surprisingly, the young l

KinnPorsche (Thai Series)

This has to be the first time when I was recommended to watch this show by a few people and also probably one of the first BL shows that I did end up watching weekly, rather than binge watching at the end. I mean, the pressure was too high to keep up with a show that was so much taken about in almost every forum or website or even some of my friends here on my blog who recommended me to watch this asap. Sure, it took me a couple of days to gather my thoughts around and write my review here because whatever I saw will be scrutinized. The thing that you notice in the very first episode is the extremely high quality production value of the show. No money is spared in making the show larger than life (which is exactly what was needed given the concept). The sets are lavish, the clothes are rich, the personalities are proper, even though the makers couldn't help but bring in some typical BL tropes. More on that later. Also, I am very sure that by now, we are all desperately waiting for

Love Place: Shiawase no Katachi (Japanese) [The Pattern of Happiness]

With just under one hour, its a simple sweet love story. It's relatively short but probably just right to fit in all the ingredients and hold interest with no padding. I like the fact that it was just straight forward, to the point and no unnecessary fluff added just for the sake of it. Souta and Doumoto are very much in love and have finally moved in together. However, the couple's happiness is short-lived since Souta's older sister, Kozue, unexpectedly arrives after fighting with her mother. For some reason, seeing the attention Soumoto gives to her, Souta ends up being jealous of his sister thinking that his boyfriend is into her. Its only later he finds out that Doumoto has been supportive of her because she has been dumped by her boyfriend and his mother just because she cannot have children. Souta finally sees sense and together with his boyfriend they decide to take revenge on that guy. A hilarious scene follows where he pretends to show up as the boyfriend of this g

The Windy City Incident

WTF was this film? A trailer trash campy film that has no reason to exist. In its 75ish minute run time, its just sequences of our leading man having dreams, meeting men and then engaging in some sex. Unless there is a hidden, very deep philosophical meaning to all this, this film was an absolute waste of time (minus some good looking twinkly men and their penises) Channel lives with his boyfriend in Olympia, Washington. In his dreams he is ordered by a drag queen to visit Chicago and visit drag bars. Despite opposition by his boyfriend, Channel follows his dreams to the Windy City where he wastes no time in whoring himself out for living accommodations. He visits drag bar and there he gets into some kind pf trance where his past mystery life collides with present. But now it's too late, and a vengeful apparition named "Ant" has already taken control of Chanel's body and mind. At the house he is staying, he meets another guy and the trio start a journey of sorts follo

The Lavender Scare (Documentary)

This is an eye opening documentary about the  the political repression of homosexuality in America, about the discrimination of gays and lesbians during the Cold War where President Eisenhower had signed the 1953 federal mandate banning criminals, alcoholics, or “sex perverts” from serving in the government. The logic was simple. During and after the Cold War, it was believed that Russian spies and communists have infiltrated the highest levels of government and that homosexual men and women were seen as uniquely vulnerable to being blackmailed into betraying national secrets. In reality, there was never one documented case of that phenomenon. But the paranoia had already set in and it took no time to sign these orders. This documentary looks through the lives of some of these lesbians and gay men who were forced to leave their government positions, sometimes in disgrace, and maybe no place to go to. It’s also about how the FBI instructed police stations across the country to commence

Mr. Cinderella (Vietnamese Series)

Compared to some of the other Vietnamese BL shows I have seen, this one had good production quality, better acting and direction but sadly this is not enough. With a paper thin plot and a story that is unnecessarily stretched far too long. This show which is 8 episode long almost clocking 35-40 minutes each episode, could have been told in 3-4 episodes of 20 minutes each. The things just keeps going in cycle and there is rally not much meat in the basic plot. Dung is a street thug who gets beaten up by local goons. A doctor named Khoa treats him. Dung finds a picture of two kids (a boy and a girl) in the doctor's office and starts wondering about it. It seems Dung knows the picture. The dup have some sort of attraction. Being a graduate of street smartness, he has learned to adapt, be suspicious and not rely on anyone. However, there is something about Khoa that draws him intuitively, as if he knew him previously. Despite his outward appearance, Dung’s heart is utterly pure. The do

Navy Hero (Thai)

This is really a very silly campy film which is not to be taken seriously at all. Now depending on your tolerance level of what kind of comedies you are able to digest, I think whether you like this film or not is going to be very personal. Think of it as over the top, silly, forced humor, politically incorrect for queers. But I feel the idea was to just go out all , make a campy film and see if the audiences laugh. Captain Muengman finds out on his wedding night that his wife is actually a lady boy who ends up taking his virginity that night and leaves him. He is now assigned to take on a very special mission. On a banana cruise ship habited by many other ladyboys with their leader Golden Flower. Golden Flower wants to kill all men and women in the world so that it can be ruled by queers. To accomplish this mission, Captain Muengman need to aboard the ship which can identify of you are queer or not. So in order to complete the mission Captain Muengman and his navy team must disguise t

Race d’Ep! (French) [The Homosexual Century]

This is a 4 part documentary drama feature that argues that 'gay liberation was not born in the 60's' but, instead, had its roots in the mid-19th century. Created by radical filmmaker Lionel Soukaz, Race d'Ep! traces the confluence between the development of photography in the 19th Century, and subsequent representations of homosexual desire. The film’s title is French street-slang for “homosexual”. We witness this through four densely collaged chapters. Starting with “the period of the pose” in the early 1900's. We see actual von Gloeden photos interspersed among fanciful re-creations of the artist’s studio and his models, the beautiful young men indulging in some XXX alfresco fun when not standing motionless in front of a camera. The second chapter in 20s and 30s centered on Magnus Hirschfeld, the valiant Weimar-era physician and sexologist. This is when the term homosexual was coined and the idea being explored. We then move to the 60s where our narrator says, “T

My Fake Boyfriend

I was really really enjoying this film till about mid way and then somehow somewhere things just started going haywire and a bit confused, which left the overall taste in my mouth of that of disappointment, because this could have been a nice gay rom-com. The plot goes clunky and certain things get just too convenient to everyone. But nonetheless, it does take an interesting look at the perils of social media fascination and its impact. Our protagonist here is stunt co-ordinator Andrew. He is in a toxic relationship with soap opera star Nico, who is a self obsessed guy and constantly cheats on Andrew. Andrew is best friends with Jake since forever and Jake and his girlfriend decide that they need to do something to get Andrew out of this toxic mishmash. Jake, who happens to be a graphic designer, creates this fake online profile of the most gorgeous looking hot guy who also happens to be influencer, activist, philanthropist and what not. Overnight, the duo becomes popular and you can s

Kape Barako (Tagalog)

I have to say that this film was a total guilty pleasure. It was very straight forward, silly, totally over the top, yet something about it was endearing. The fact that the film didn't take itself very seriously but at the same time focussed on entertainment, stuck with me. Made with probably with little money, it happens all in a simple coffee shop. Rico owns the struggling coffee shop Kape Barako. The shop only has one regular customer, an agin fashion designer who drools over Rico and a lady who orders nothing but ice water and leeches off their Internet connection. Rico is struggling to pay off his mortgage and now needs to pay off 120,000 pesos to keep the bank from foreclosing on the property in 15 days. He feels off his car but is still far away. He even thinks of selling himself to the fashion designer customer but when he asks for "special services", he freaks to and backs off. Luckily, one of his baristas Jek accidentally stumbles on a solution to the shop’s pro

To My Star 2: Our Untold Stories (Korean Series)

This sequel to a decent simple original show was not needed. But if the makers really wanted to cash in on the popularity of the original one, they should have come up with a better story line. The plot is basic, with no explanations provided whatsoever and things just randomly happen. I was so bored out of my mind, hoping that something would happen, but sadly it never does. With 10 episodes of about 22 minutes each, the series takes forever to come to whatever point it is trying to make.  From original series, we saw that famous star Seo Joon and the ordinary chef Ji Woo eventually fell in love and started living together. The sequel starts off from there. It turns out that Ji Woo has left his boyfriend and has disappeared. Heartbroken, Seo Joon is unable to move on and with help of his talent company he is able to track down Ji Woo, who now lives in a remote village running an Italian restaurant that is not doing well. Seo Joon comes back in his life trying to woo him again and real

Gay Short Films : 98

The Deaf Boy's Disease (USA) Ant starts to wonder about his sexuality when he meets deaf teenager Early. His friend Tremor picks up on Ant’s interest and begins to tease him, leading to some very awkward but revealing conversations. The direction is very artsy , but a lot of random cuts makes it very hard to focus on the short as a whole. The Space Between Us (USA) An old man and a young 17 year old teenager have a chance encounter. The boy is running form home and the older guys brings him to his motel It is a coming-of-age short about a chance encounter between two strangers that results in an intimate conversation about love, life, desire, and secret. This actually had the potential to be an endearing short film, but it turned out to be yet another formulaic, self-indulgent gay creepy old man's fantasy. The Last Kiss (USA) This film and the above two complete the 'Desire Trilogy' by filmmaker Ohm Phanphiroj. The two boys from the first film reprise their roles. Ant a