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Showing posts from August, 2022

Gay Short Films : 99

Hey Dude, I Love You (Vietnam) The story is about 3 best friends - 2 boys and 1 girl. The main guy is looking for love oblivious to the fact that both of his friends actually have a thing for him. The other guy would try to gain his affection through playing an online game with him. But when the truth and secrets are revealed , it will take time for our man to accept that love can come in any form. Stranger's Love (Philippines) Two broken hearted guys who bump into each other in the night. They end up spending the night together because of the storm, healing and recovering hope for a happier future. It is about strangers helping each other because it is often easier to talk to a stranger than to a friend. The night leads to friendship to love to sex and hope for better days to come. Xiao Lin (China) A young student goes back home for holidays and has constant pressure to find a girlfriend and get married. But he is bi curious or gay, downloads a gay app and meets a stranger hoping

Sin ti no Puedo (Spanish) [Can't Live Without You]

I knew nothing about this film, so overall I was actually quite happy with the ultimate result. The film doesn't spoon feed you. The viewers have to deduct a lot of inferences and the brother-sister cat and mouse game keeps the proceedings interesting. Sure, towards last 30 minutes, it does get predictable and you know what's going to happen, but still the two very good looking men and a high production quality helps this film to rise above the average script that it does have. Alex and David are a happy gay couple, who have started talking about adopting a child. Alex works at a gym and David has some high profile corporate jobs n they are doing well for themselves. A mysterious figure Blanca soon starts following the couple and she strikes a friendship with Alex at gym, flirting with him. He brings her home for a drink but when David comes home, it turns out that she is David's estranged sister who has come out of jail having spent 8 years for buying down their parents ho

Tom Daley: Illegal to Be Me (BBC Documentary)

Olympic winner Tom Daley, who is openly out gay man in the sports world, embarks on a journey to explore the shocking realities of being a member of the LBGTQ community during the Commonwealth Games, with homosexuality being illegal in half of the countries included in the competition. While most people are only familiar with the lighter side of Tom, this show proves that he can give a serious topic the kind of thoughtful and weighty treatment it deserves. For most of the past year, Daley has been vocal about his call for sporting organizations to be inclusive of LGBT sports folks. Echoing this at the start of the film, he asserts that the Commonwealth Games should consider preventing countries with anti-gay laws from hosting the event. But while speaking to LGBTQ athletes in person, Daley learns firsthand that they don’t believe such a punitive punishment will help their situation. As one of the anonymous Pakistani athletes informs him, the rulers of their country wouldn’t be fazed by

Ruben's Place

This indie film has its heart in the right place but the execution is slow and very amateurish at places. I felt myself yawning and hoping that the story move faster. Mind you, it wasn't boring or anything, but I attribute a little of that t o my personal situation as well. These days I am all about quick and fast stories, unless there is something very ethereal and blissful to spend lingering moments enjoying it. Ruben is a young guy taking a break from college to take care of his alcoholic father. His mother had died in a deadly hurricane that hit their town after which any of its residents have already left. Ruben has no friends, and so his father contacts his brother to give him some job to keep him busy. It doesn't take long to figure out that the uncle is in some kind of drug business. Ruben seems to strive with the business and not too long in the movie his best friend Jimmy from junior high returns to the town. They soon start hanging out and it feels they have some sto

The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name (Cantonese Mini-Series)

This short six-episode series chronicles the relationship between the main characters, from their student days to their workplace experiences. When I say short, they are really short like 2-6 minutes each. So I was in two minds about posting this as a separate post, but then why not? I haven't seen a slice of life drama from Hong Kong in a while and this was a perfect addition. Stories of silent love and unspoken feelings are very few and this one in particular, uses silence and minimal words and brings the impact very effectively. We never get to know the names but our two leads are known as 'The cafe Owner' and 'The Boy'. The two boys met years ago in university when they ended up sharing the same flat. Over that period, they became really close friends and shared this easy going comfort feeling with one another. The Cafe owner doesn't get good marks in university so his friend encourages his decision to open a cafe. The Boy, who now has a high profile job but

The Moment: Since (Thai Mini-Series)

The sequel to the original series follows Bay and Mok and their new love during their beachside vacation. In this five 15-minute each series, the couple is trying to spend sometime together but something keeps interrupting them. Sadly, there is nothing in the name of story here in the show. Literally as the title suggest, it feels just like watching moments of a newly couple trying to confess their feelings and nurturing them. As Bay's birthday approaches, the duo decide to go to beachside resort of holiday. Tok is hoping that he will use this opportunity to take their love further. Unfortunately, Bay's boss Boston, who has a secret crush on him, shows up at the same resort with another friend Jimmy. Now Tok has competition not just from Boston but also from jimmy who shows more than a keen interest in Bay and is not shy from making it obvious. Mok also feels inferior to the two men, since Boston has an accomplished reputation and Jimmy is smoking hot with six-pack abs. Despite

The Moment: I Need You (Thai Mini-Series)

This is a 4 part mini series with average 10-14 minutes duration. It goes at a very fast paced which is a good thing. The primary story tries to focus on the fact that the person you thought you need is actually a person in the past but rather another person that make you truly smile when it matters the most. The story is primarily of two people here. Mok, a veterinarian arrives to a hotel for vacation. At the hotel's bar at night he gets too drunk making a ruckus. The super sweet bartender Bay, escorts Mok back to his room where in drunken state Tok begs Bay to stay back for the night with him. It turns out that Mok has just had. Breakup with his girlfriend, who for whatever reason is in the same hotel with a new guy. Bay makes a deal that he will make Tok smile at least 10 times. He takes him to his favorite night spot and become friends. Meanwhile, feeling refreshed from Bay's kindness and love, he clears up things with his ex, but that leads to a misunderstanding with Bay w

Semantic Error (Korean Series)

Now this is how you tell an engaging story. Just a couple of days back I was complaining about Plus and Minus series, whose biggest problem was weak characterisation. Contrary to that, this show, which is also a love story at heart, has two very strong and amazing protagonists who both have their quirks, but somehow fit despite their differences. The relationship is volatile filled with petty pranks and  arguments but its their sassy attitude and a sizzling chemistry that keeps the show afloat. Also with just 8 episodes of about 25 minutes average each, it was such a easy watch. It keeps itself focussed on the main story without any unnecessary side troops. Sang Woo is an antisocial student, who is very focussed on his programming and needs to finish his project. He is independent, prefers logic over emotions and avoids frivolous social outings. One day, he takes the decision to remove other students who have not contributed to the group project at all. One of the people impacted is hi

La revanche des Crevettes Pailletées (French/Russian) [The Revenge of the Shiny Shrimps]

The original Shiny Shrimps movie was so much fun. So, ever since I had heard about this sequel, you can only imagine how much I was looking forward to meeting the crazy water polo team members again and see what they are unto next. This adventure continues two years after the death of jean in the original film. Does the film meet its expectations, let's analyze later after the summary. Its time for gay games in Tokyo and coach Mathias ha snow brought in a new person Seilme, whom he believes is gay along with Shiny Shrimps. The problem is that Selime has never comes out and is horrified to know that he is actually going for gay games and the team is equally aghast that he may not be gay. Because of a snafu, their connection in Russia is a day later ad they are forced to spend a night and a day in remote Russia. Despite repeated warnings about homophobia in Russia, a couple of team members can't help themselves and want to meet local gays but are horrified to find that they have

Plus & Minus (Taiwanese Series)

Plus and Minus is yet another addition to the growing number of BL shows that keep coming our way. This story focuses on the love that grows between two childhood friends, who are now co-workers. The leads share good chemistry but to be honest, this show doesn't really provide anything new to the table that we have not seen umpteen number of times in many other shows. Friends turned lovers turn temporary break-up and finally back together. The writing is clunky but two charming leads make it ok. The show is 12 episodes of about 30 minutes each with a special episode that shows us how the leads met up in school.  Fu Li Gong and Ze Shou have been childhood friends who now work together in a law firm, specializing in divorce cases. Fu Li Gong harbors a secret crush on his friend for many years. They once shared a kiss during high school, but a drunken Ze Shou doesn’t remember the incident. He is also cynical about love since his mother abandoned his father and goes for blind dates onl


Gay conversion therapy camp meets horror murder mystery would be one of the things to summarize this film. Though it’s an apt setting for a creepy chiller, the simple plot doesn’t leave much room for social commentary. Sadly it ends up being just a limp wannabe thriller drama that soon sizzles out and by the time it reaches its climax, you just feel wtf !! By the way, the title of this Peacock premier film is apparently pronounced as 'They slash Them' which now makes a whole lot more sense than it did while I was watching the film. Based on the title, I was expecting something totally different, to be honest. We meet various queer teenagers and young adults, including gay, lesbian, non-binary folks who arrive at a gay conversion camp. The leader of the camp Owen gives a big speech on how this has nothing to do with Jesus and their only idea is tome some of these people happier than they currently are. He wants these kids to find a sense of gender normativity, but only if they r

Miguel's War (Spanish/Arabic) (Documentary)

I have very mixed feelings about this one. The documentary has received several noteworthy awards and it feels like a therapy session for our protagonist, but I was struggling to get a sense of where is it all going. It started off as a man's journey who changed his identity, moved from Lebanon to Spain and through this film he was trying to reconcile his past, but in the duration of over 2 hours, more than half the time is gone into taking about his sexual escapades, fantasies and tricks that he has done. And only sparsely do we see him an Thera him talk about his childhood, his memories of war which gets frustrating. Thankfully it all seems very honest and a charming lead makes us continue to watch the documentary. Miguel’s life story begins in Lebanon, where he was born in a conservative household. Eager to prove his toughness and escape from the shadow of his more traditionally masculine brother, he decides to enlist in the army during Lebanese civil war, where he possibly witn

Any Mother's Son

It was only after I finished watching the film that I realized it was based on a true story. Made for Tv in 1997, on paper this film seems like a couple of other made for TV movies where a mother not only has to deal with a child's death but also their own issues when it comes to learning that their son was homosexual. This film is all that and a little more. The film also tries to highlight the power (in this case, the Navy) which the forces once had to cover up what went on with men in uniform. The year is 1992 and we meet young 22 year old man Allen who is due to return to Navy and how him and his family are going to miss each other but things are different this time. He is brutally beaten to death so bad that his body could be identified only by tattoos, when he was on leave in Japan. The news devastates his mother, Dorothy, which is made worse when she learns from a reporter that Allen was homosexual and he believes that his death was a hate crime down to a couple of homophobi

The Erotic Films of Peter De Rome

In the late 1960s and early 1970s British-born New Yorker and unsung hero of gay underground filmmaking Peter de Rome produced a number of explicit, painstakingly crafted films each of which took the viewer on an immersive sexual journey. He started by making 8mm erotic films solely for the amusement of his friends. After one of his films was shown at a festival, eight of them were enlarged to 16mm and commercially released in this collection. This collection is an interesting  example of the intersection of artistry and eroticism, in the tradition of Andy Warhol style. This collection also has some extra short films as well. Hot Pants - A guy dancing and stripping before achieving erection and ejaculation. Mumbo Jumbo - A fantastic collage of erotic advertising and pornographic snippets overlaid with commercial jingles Daydreams From a Crosstown Bus - A sweet romantic idyll where a guy images a relationship with a hunky stranger glimpsed out the window when his bus stops at a red l

Baker Boys (Thai Series)

This quirky little 12 episode series, each of 45 minutes, was a nice fun subject waiting to be explored. It focuses on 4 main characters who work in a bakery, including an openly gay main pastry chef. This combined with an ongoing murder mystery and with some backstory of each of these characters bring in new stories every day and some fun, comical and delightful surprises. However, despite the decent start, the makers have tried to cramp in way too many stories and sub plots in one series and after a while you start to loose interest after some repetition. People need to learn from the Taiwan/Japanese counter parts on how to stay focused on main stories for such shows.  Punn, a 30 year old man comes form a wealthy family decides to open up a bakery in hopes to meet the right girl at work. Due to a childhood trauma where he was kidnapped as a kid and forced to eat desserts, he now throws up every time he eats cake. He hires Weir, a talented pasty chef who has just moved from Paris. Wei

Quando A Gente Ama (Portuguese Series) [When People Love]

This six part Brazilian series feels very amateurish, almost like a student's school project. Even though the episodes are just 25 minutes each, they just feel so dragged on, because really not much is happening. It is full of cliches, some very basic acting and some very poor direction. If this was indeed a school project, I am willing to be lenient; but if someone thought of it as something serious, they are in for a rude shock. Ben, a young teenager from the countryside has just arrived in to city for college after receiving scholarship. In his apartment, he meets Edu, whom he mistakes to be his roommate. Every time Edu wants to tell him his reality, Ben just doesn't let them speak. On the first night itself they kiss and have a short passionate affair, till Edu's secret is revealed. He is actually the ex-tenant of the flat and is being evicted. Ben is heart broken and asks Edu to leave immediately. Enter Samuel, his actual roommate, who it turns out is Edu's sister&

Petite Nature (French) [Softie]

This film is an interesting take on intersection of social class and age exploring a coming of age story a ten year old boy's sexual awakening. IT sounds wrong, but th film is actually very tastefully done, as you can imagine, with a subject of a child's budding sexuality, things can definitely go very horribly wrong. Thankfully, keeping an authentic location, some really good acting and strong character development makes sure the film stands its ground. Set in town of Forbach, a community township sharing France/Germany border; we meet 10 year old Jonny, who has had a turbulent life. He now lives in a housing project with 2 siblings and a single mother who is just leaving a man after an abusive relationship. At the local middle school, his intelligence and sensitivity captures the attention of his new teacher, Jean, and somehow Johnny feels comfortable with him. One night after a heated situation at home with his mother, he runs to the teacher's home and luckily even Jean&

Queercore: How to Punk a Revolution (Documentary)

This is an English-language German documentary film about the social and cultural movement known as Queercore. Queercore was a cultural and social movement that began as an offshoot of punk and was distinguished by its discontent with society's disapproval of the gay, bisexual, lesbian and transgender communities. The documentary starts with tracing the roots of Queercore in Toronto where queer revolutionaries were rebelling against macho punks in a bourgeois gay scene. Using multiple overlapping interviews, the film maker details the movement, the overlapping philosophies with punk, and the nuances of what the scene offered to the queer identity, which was ultimately about the shared goals of fighting the dominant ideology and its structures. In the second half, it shows the growth of the queercore music scene and bands including Tribe 8 and Pansy Division that came up alongside acts that went mainstream. At some point, it started to feel repetitive because every interviewee had p

Uncoupled (Netflix Series)

I was really looking forward to this Netflix show ever since the first promos came out. Sadly, I have to say that the show really doesn't live up to its expectations. Created by one of the co-creators of 'Sex and The City' This show also invariably kept reminding me of the similarities with the former show characters, except here, except for Neil Patrick Harris, none of the other characters are actually flushed out and its only towards the end that we get to see a little bit of a character in any of those.  The plot is simple. Michael, a real estate agent, has been together with his boyfriend of 17 years Colin. On his 50th birthday, Colin suddenly leaves without giving a single explanation on the reason of break up and this devastates Michael. His support system are his two best gay friends Billy, a TV weather presenter, who is more than happy to have a different Twink in his arm every night and Stanley, a romantic art dealer always complaining about not having a boyfriend.

Walking With The Ferryman (UK)

Do not be fooled by an interesting poster. This film made absolutely no sense. In the name of art, sometimes the films get so muddy and convoluted that as an audience you could care less of what really is going on. The synopsis of the film says that the film is an emotional fantasy in which a grieving gay man must open disbelieving eyes to the possibility of supernatural and mythological worlds in order to gain opportunity for reconciliation with a lover lost to apparent suicide. Sounds intriguing, isn't it? Only if the execution was even close. The film starts with a naked man being bound and tied to a tree when an angel sort of person comes and rescue him. In parallel, we see a guy talking to a shrink, supposedly going through the grief of his partner's death. In both the scenarios there's a whole lot of talking. In one the angel is sort of showing and talking the importance of living and giving up on one's life to the naked stranger, and similarly in the other one, t