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Showing posts from May, 2023

Chains Of Heart (Thai Series)

Clearly a show like KinnPorsche was an inspiration for this series, but sadly, this show is not even half as entertaining. It took me half-a-dozen episodes to understand where the makers were trying to go with the story, because the plot is all over the place. The series is so painfully predictable, that viewers would keep thinking maybe there are some clever twists saved for the last. There aren’t. It's simply a train wreck, that gets stretched beyond reason for on and on. With 10 episodes of each 40-45 minutes, this show gave me so much headache trying tp out things in perspective since it is just so all over the place. The show starts with a couple Din (a forest officer) and his lover Ken running from someone and being shot, fall off the cliff and presumed to be dead. Two years later, Ken is leading some secret mystery life and a mysterious stranger appears and starts to protect him. Somehow Ken feels connected to this person, but can't be sure. Then in all further episodes,

Together Alone

This is one of those 2 actor film set in an apartment that could as well have been a play. This 1992 film and script solely relies on the dialogue heavy screenplay ad whether the two actors can really pull off the whole film on their own. Two young men Bryan and Brian meet at a bar, flirt and end up going to one of them's house for the night. Bryan gets on Brian's case for having given him a phony name earlier, thus setting off what amounts to an 87-minute, nonstop dialogue. Brian is an open, if not practicing, gay man, while Bryan is a married bisexual who needs the security and respectability of married life while venturing out for the occasional tryst. The whiny Brian has to deal with their engaging in unsafe sex, and the weight of the possible consequences provokes a conversation with the usual issues of commitment and the nature of relationships. Their conversation is marked by its candor and exploratory precision as the topics range from poetry, dream analysis, philosophy

The Pity of War: The Loves and Lives of the War Poets (UK) [The War Poets - Forbidden Love]

Starring John Hurt, this ITV film tells the secret story of First World War poets Siegfried Sassoon, Wilfred Owen and Robert Graves. Told in their own words, using their diaries, letters and poems; this film may not be everyone's cup of tea. Told in a very documentary-drama style where scenes have been enacted for audiences to connect, we are passively told their story. The three young men are gay budding poets, thrown together in battle. They soon lose their boyish innocence in the trenches. On the front line an officer’s life expectancy is barely six weeks. They all struggle to cope with the magnitude of the slaughter around them and forge deep, intense friendships. Together they give a voice to the rage of a generation. At the heart of the film is the story of Sassoon and Owen’s forbidden love affair, told through their passionate correspondence. John Hurt plays Sassoon in the 1960s, in the twilight years of his life. He is haunted by his experiences in the trenches and cannot o

Zero Patience (Canada)

Sometime back I had seen the documentary about Patient Zero, a flight attendant from Canada nd how the whole AIDS thing unfolded.. This film is a fantasy musical (maybe comedy?) which tackles such subjects as homophobia, AIDS, the life of Sir Richard Francis Burton, and the ignorance that still exists about how AIDS came, and spread, through North America-- all wrapped up in a boy meets boy story., with a twist hat Pteint zero comes back from dead to clear his name. The film starts with a historical figure Burton, who translate erotic books and is obsessed with doing scientific study of penis size. He works in some museum and there is something going on about him modifying his museum based on patient zero. In meantime patient zero returns as ghost and wants to clarify his name. But no one can see him, except this Burton guy. Burton os convinced that Zero is a killer of some sorts, and agrees to help. Then there is this sudden thing about monkeys in museum and them being blamed for AIDS

Unintentional Love Story (Korean Series)

What started off as a very very enjoyable series with some great chemistry and amazing acting, why did it have to go downhill the last 2-3 episodes. If not for that, this would hav been an extremely high rated series for me. The memorable characters, breezy romance, and polished production create an easygoing atmosphere and is mostly enjoyable and memorable thanks to its leading 4 actors. At 10 episodes of about 35-40 minutes each, this otherwise solid drama would hav benefited if somehow its last few episodes could have avoided the cliched drama. Won Young is an office employee, who gets fired because of a misconduct by his boss (which he isn't aware of). To combat this, he decides to go on a vacation to a remote village. There he visits a pottery shop owned and run by a guy called Tae Joon.  Won Young soon figures out that TJ is the son of a famous painter and that his former company was trying to get a contract with him. Hoping to get his job back, he makes deal with old boss, i

Britain's Great Gay Buildings (Documentary)

This Channel 4 documentary was one of many topics covered by the program '50 Shades of Gay' to mark the 50th anniversary of the decriminalization of homosexuality in Britain. Stephen Fry presents the show and is joined by seven recognizable faces from the gay community, who visit the buildings that have been instrumental in defining Britain’s gay history. I am bad with the names of the celebrities who pick their favorites but I will try to remember as much as I can about the buildings. The documentary starts with one of the most famous nightclub in London named Heaven. The priest who tells his own story with the club also talks to other patrons who remind them all , how as marginalized community this club has always provided them with a safe haven. One of the women then picks Shibden Hall, Yorkshire, where she learns about the revealing diaries of owner Anne Lister. We hear stories of how this women, was a successful lesbian business owner in the 80s. The next celebrity delves

The Raspberry Reich (Canada)

A highly awkward blending of gay porn and political satire, I am very curious to know what was the pitch that the filmmaker made to whoever decided to finance this film. I have seen a lot of garbage, a lot of that can also be found here on my blog, but this one is almost down there almost challenging all the others in the category. I mean there was more than enough graphic sex, for this to not be termed as porno-'something' film. In the name of story, I am not even sure if there was a point being made. Some random dominatrix woman decided to call herself leader and sole female member of titular Berlin revolutionary group inspired by Reich, Marx and legendary 70s German anarcho-terrorist organisation. Some members of her gang kidnap a wealthy young man, whom she orders to have sex with another man, because “Heterosexuality is the opiate of the masses" (whatever that means). Pretty soon there are a few groups who become a subject to man to man sex. All this time random sloga

Love In Country

Set during the Vietnam War in the 60s, This film essentially depicts the "Battle of Dong Ha," which is basically a fictionalized version of the attacks in the area of Dong Ha in early 1968. It takes the perspective of a gay soldier who served but actually immerses us in his experience as the war was happening. Having recently seen two very good movies based in military premise, somehow my expectations of this film were extremely high and unfortunately as what happens most times, they all came crashing down. From a story perspective, the film is more about about the actual war and the attacks. And in between all this we have the story of Sergeants Ian and John. We don't know much about their past or context but we know they are gay. It is never made very evident whether they are open or not, because they are certainly not try to hide it but also not really trying to not hide it. They have great mutual attraction and are almost a couple. Ian wants to become an officer and c

My Bromance 2: 5 Years Later (Thai Series)

Bad and horrible aren't even the worst of words to describe how awful this series was. A sequel of a show (that wasn't great in the first place) that no one asked for. Its so bad. Its like someone in production made a list of things they should do in the show and then another list of things they shouldn't do and they accidentally used the shouldn't do list. What terrible waste of money, actors and most importantly viewers. The show has 9 episodes of 40 minutes each. Also I just realized while I was writing this is that this series is actually a sequel the movie of same name which had same actors and not to the series that I had seen. Honestly I don't even remember watching the film, but it turns out I did see it almost 8-9 years back. None of these factors, however, change the fact on how bad this show is. The show starts with us that when Bank and Golf's parents were against their relationship, somehow Golf faked his death and has been "dead" for 5 ye

My Bromance (Thai Series)

Talk about a train crash. I had no expectations from this show. But after 5 episodes, I was hooked, since it had a very intrinsic storyline and the charters were all well etched and I thought I am going to see something interesting. But oh man, how it just goes down south after this. The story just keeps moving in circles with no substantial addition to the overall thought of what the series was trying to say. The unfunny antics of school students was just annoying and I reached a point where I couldn't sit for this series to end. The fact that I am watching this show 7 years after it came out also makes it feel dated. The show has 12 episodes of 40-45 minutes each Bank, living in US, has just been engaged to his boyfriend and returns home for a trip to sort out some ancestral property. In flashbacks, the tory is told in present time and 8 years back. Bank and Gulf are stepbrothers and Bank's father makes him and his mother stay with Golf and his family. But Golf hates his fath

George Michael: Outed (Documentary)

I still remember that I was in my college when the news of George Michale was all over on how he was caught in a lewd act in public toilet. Somehow, either because of lack of interest or just busy with studies, I never really read more about what really transpired after this and what had actually happened that led to this event. So in that sense, this is a very powerful story of how the musician turned the tables on his homophobic haters, but at the same time, The lack of remorse from those who wrenched star out of the closet is unbelievable. This 2 part documentary was recently telecast on UK' Channel 4. In 1998, Michael, who was in a relationship with Kenny Goss, one of many invaluable contributors here, was arrested for “engaging in a lewd act” in a public toilet in Beverly Hills, California. The arresting officer, an undercover cop had lured the singer in a sting operation. Michael pleaded no contest, was fined $810 and made to do 80 hours of community service: a minor sentence

Queer As F**k: Bizarre Short Films

Queer as F**k collects six short films from the New Queer Cinema movement that simultaneously extol and eat away at gay identity with modes of camp. The title rightly says that it is a collection of 'Bizarre Short Films'. This collection might have been a hoot 20 years ago, when it came out but watching it today felt quite pointless and weird to be honest. Jeffrey's Hollywood Screen Trick: A very funny and witty look at the gay 'dance party' and the associated interaction between gay men at this type of event. Using clever animation involving Billy love dolls, you may actually laugh while watching this one. Though the ending might comes as a shock. Shame No More: An extremely clever send up of the 50's propaganda films denouncing homosexuality and the ability to 'cure', though here it is the heterosexuals with the problem! Beautifully filmed to realistically look like a 1950's film. Soda Pop: A lovely tale of unrequited teenage first love. It'

Bed Friend (Thai Series)

I had heard some decent feedback about this show and with a name like this, naturally my curiosity took the best of me. While the show focused on the lead couple continuing the relationship as friends with benefits, and we got to see some raunchy scenes (although I found myself being amused rather than turned on), the show was still ok. But outside this, the show tries to tackle some very sleazi-ish storylines. The worst part is that somehow the way this side stories are handled are tacky and just insensitive IMO. Bed Friend is not a steamy series about friends with benefits and more about coping with trauma. Also, man, the makeup on the lead guy with his red lipstick and made up face was way too distracting for me. At 10 episodes of around 40-50 minutes each, there is no other way to watch this show except occasional fast forward to get through. Uea is a young graphic designer working in an agency and has a good set of friends. The only person he can't get along with is Kings noto

Le Bleu Du Caftan (Arabic) [The Blue Caftan]

I have to say that I absolutely loved this slow burning film. I feel some sort of connection with middle eastern culture, people, food etc. The film is slow burning, but it shows the endless possibilities of love and how communication and love is important in every relationship. The film is moving , its sensitive, its humane, its slow; but films like these are your cup of tea (which I will gladly admit that its not for everyone), you will love the film , like I did. Set in a traditional Medina in Morocco, we meet Halim and Mina, a couple in probably 40s or 50s running a store. Halim is more than just a tailor. He works lovingly and painstakingly, hand-embroidering silks so exquisitely fine they are like wearing air, while his wife attends to customers and takes care of all operations. Halim, with his sad eyes and melodic, minor-key voice, loves his wife deeply, but the couple live with the secret of his homosexuality – something Mina somehow knows and has come to accept. With occasiona

Lonely Connections (Filipino Mini-Series)

What did I just see? The summary of the show read - Six short chapters that dive into the many possibilities of "sex" and "love." Naturally I was curious a the fact. That it was 6 episodes of approximately 15 minutes each, I was looking forward to it. By the end f it, I am so confused as to what were the makers really trying to say. Also I really couldn't follow the storyline. The detailed description of this series reads something like this - We meet, we get to know each other, we fall in love; we kiss, we embrace, we get physical, and we enjoy the moment, but does it mean that we really have each other? Is it possible that all kinds of desires, both physical and abstract, can make a difference in a relationship? Because even though I love you, I still think of others. Episode 1: Sad Attachment The protagonist and his boyfriend Marco have a steady relationship, but when he meets Joaquin at the same time, he develops an unexpected connection. Episode 2: Engageme

Death And Bowling

This film is clearly meant for arthouse and film festivals. Bordering a thin line between feature, surrealism, art and documentary style of narrative; the film tries to take a look at a trans man’s grief and a mediation on trans lives. It constantly remind you that you’re watching a created object, not peering in on someone’s real life. The one definitely positive things about the film though is that not only the central character, a trans man, is played by a trans actor, but most of the rest of the cast and crew are also trans.  X is a struggling trans actor whose leather jacket cool can’t hide his desperate need for family. He finds a sense of community within a lesbian bowling team led by the tough and fiercely independent queer mom Susan (Faith Bryan). But Susan dies, and expectedly X feels lost. At Susan’s funeral, he meets Alex, who turns out to have an unexpected connection to Susan and for the first time X feels like he is being seen. The two become close as they fulfill Susan’

Ezrah Mudag (Hebrew) [Concerned Citizen]

This film was very very interesting, not necessarily amazing though. With a very novel premise, it is a film that is trying really hard to be about something, and to make meaningful social commentary, but it fails somewhat in its execution. The film sits on an odd balance, and by the time it ended I wasn't sure of this was supposed to be a satire or a pure introspection of a single individual, who wrestles with his own guilt and biases in a manner that doesn’t pay off for anybody but himself. Ben and his partner ar a very happy couple, living the dream in a nice flat they got in a good deal, but the problem is that the neighborhood is a bit run-down and migrant heavy. They have lots of lush plants, drink green juice every morning and are planning to have a baby via surrogate. Ben even planted a tree on the street outside in an attempt to liven up the area. One night, after his pleas go ignored, he calls the police on two immigrant men who keep leaning against it and tilting it pret

Roommate: The Series (Thai Mini-Series)

This 5 episode, 20ish minutes each mini series was unnecessarily stretched to almost 100 minutes. A simple, straight forward, to the point story could easily have been told in a short story of 15 minutes.  Despite the lead characters with their chemistry and charm, it's the annoying side characters of all three girls that annoyed me a lot. Actually if you just removed all those scenes, this may automatically become a short story. James, a university student lives by himself. One day, his mom calls and wants him to take care of Sky, her best friend's son. Sky is a university freshman and their respective moms just decided that it will be best of their sons shared a room together as roommates. Neither of them are enthusiastic to have to share a room together. However, the two roommates get used to each other's quirks and different personalities over time. Unbeknownst to James, Sky is gay. However, he doesn't tell his roommate about his sexual orientation. Sky is out to hi

Os Primeiros Soldados (Portuguese) [The First Fallen]

The film making style and structure of this film was quite unique. A drama set in a nontraditional narrative structure, take son full steam when tragedy becomes real and expected. Characters aren’t developed or fully fleshed out in the usual fashion and seldom does the film consider a first-person perspective for the audience to emotionally connect with a character. This dramatic story of three friends in a small Brazilian town in 1983 at the time with the first wave of the AIDS epidemic takes hold in their community and they decide to form a chosen family of their own.  The film starts very interestingly with a 7-10 minute montage equating young boys with soldiers, a representation of the childhood memories of our lead character Suzano. It turns out he is talking out loud and his nephew feels he is being talked to. Cut to reality. It's new years eve 1982 and Suzano is visiting his small town after a long town where his very supportive sister lives with his nephew. We then meet Ros

Quand l'amour est gai (French Canadian) (Documentary) [When Love Is Gay]

This is a documentary about men who break the silence about their homosexuality. They talk about their difficulty to accept and to make others accept their difference, of the place of sensuality in their lives, of their fierce desire to love freely. A film that ,in celebrating the love of a young couple, proposes to break the sometimes negative image around the gay world. Examining relationships between men - from long-standing monogamous partnerships to brief encounters - the film features men of all ages talking openly about their sexuality and the challenges of self-acceptance in a straight, often homophobic society. Drawing from intimate interviews as well as action scenes ranging from a steamy dance floor in Montreal's gay village to a gay ex-policeman lecturing to future officers, When Love is Gay brushes a realistic portrait of an evolving gay culture. This is an advocacy doc, aimed at giving a voice to gay Canadians as they discuss their experiences and opinions on matters

Memories Of Forgetting (Filipino)

What a train wreck of a film. I am all about experimenting, not just with story but also with film making style, but this film just doesn't work. As if the paper thin story wasn't enough, the various, inconsistent stylistic choices are distracting and annoying. Also, the dialogue  delivery is strange; it gives a feeling of theatre or bad poetry. I saw it as a film, but I believe this was aired as a 6 part series. The premise is very basic and simple. Jim, 30s, is a filmmaker who had a special relationship with Michael, 20s, an actor he worked with five years ago. In the midst of shooting a film, Michael quit from the project. While the city is in a lockdown, the two meet again. Their dynamics becomes volatile, fighting at some point and making love the next moment. During this time, Jim's mother becomes ill, and dies which somehow comes in between the relationship of these two men, halting their relationship once again. After sometime, at a wedding, Jim and Michael meet aga

The Eighth Sense (Korean Series)

I am loving the fact on how some creators are listening to the audience feedback and have started incorporating things that are making these BL shows worth watching. Not many BL shows have captured impacts of mental health on a relationship so profoundly as this show does. The sophisticated narrative thoughtfully captures each protagonist's growth and struggles, while yarning of love and care and provide for one another. It also beautifully shows as different facets of friendships. This show is a perfect combination of romance (feels a lot more matured than it should), emotions, laughter, drama and everything in between. I do have some issues that prevented me from thinking of it as almost perfect, but at least we are making progress. At 10 episodes of 35 minutes each, I still very highly recommend this show. Our main protagonist here is Ji Hyun, a fresher in university who has just moved to the big city from countryside and is trying to fit in. He takes classes, works part time in

A Dice With Five Sides

A promising premise that disappointedly doesn’t live up to its expectations. After the first 20 minutes where I was hoping that something interesting would happen, the film eventually ended up being a very bland and an unerotic experience. We are introduced to the two protagonists wearing masks that take their time to remove, meanwhile they explore different versions of themselves, sometimes with unpredicted or annoying visitors.  Two strangers meet in an apartment for a sex date, but a special feeling immediately arises between them. Too afraid to follow their hearts, Marcello and Herman decide to play a game, using an ancient dice made of stone. They establish six actions to perform, one for each side: telling an uncomfortable truth, doing something the other likes, inviting a third person, doing something blindfolded, leaving the apartment, having sex. And thus the game begins. When the first time the dice rolls leading to one of them leaving the apartment, they decide that one more

My Beautiful Man: Season 2 (Japanese Series)

The first season of this show came a couple of years back. Hire absolutely adores Kiyoi, almost like he wants to be his slave. Hire worships everything about the guy and we find out that Kiyoi also had secretly liked Kira. This season the story takes their relationship forward, while they are in the college. At 4 episodes of 24 minutes each, the show is an easy watch. While first season was about Hira surrendering to Kiyoi, this is more about the evolution of their relationship, although I still feel this wa still very much like about the guy who adores and worships and puts his idol on a pedestal. Season 2 instantly delves into the lives Hira and Kiyoi are trying to build together. Kiyoi attempts to further his dreams of being an actor, while Hira still struggles to find where he fits in. As we know they still have an unconventional relationship. Kiyoi is doing well in his acting career, but Hira is struggling with what do next. He is part of photography club, but still lacks confiden

My Monster In Law: Season 2 (Vietnamese Series)

I remember enjoying the season 1 when it came out. It was an over the top comedy with some really good gags and comedy that somehow worked for me. I distinctly remember that OTT comedy can get ridiculous, but somehow this series kept fun lively and I had smile on my face. The season 2 of the series follows similar pattern, albite here the conflicts are not that innovative, like they were in first season. Ba Do and Jackie are now living separately and now have an adopted daughter. Jackie is a strict parent and their 3 year old daughter uses that as an excuse to throw tantrums around and always keep Jackie on his toes. Ba Do is starting a new job and one of his colleagues starts liking him. Similarly Jackie gets a new admirer in the form of his trans friend's cafe's manager. Re-enter Ba Dong's sister, who is still broke as hell, losing money and using every trick in the book to pay off her debts. She ends up selling her mother's house, which forces both the mother and dau