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Showing posts from September, 2023

Stay With Me (Mandarin Series)

Sometime back I had reviewed this Chinese series Addicted. Even though when I started watching this show, I didn't remember much about the original show, but this revisited version of the original show (whether ir not you compare to the original) is a brilliant show in many aspects. First of all, let me make it clear, this is not a gay show or even BL for that matter. I would classify it more of a bromance but thats probably because of China's strict rules. And I am willing to ignore that and still review the show here because it deserves to be seen. Everything about this series starting from the story line, characters, settings to the direction, was topnotch. Having said that, this is not a small commitment. The show has 24 episodes, each of about 35-40 minutes long. Su Yu is a high school student, top of the class and brilliant. He lives with his father, have. Great bond and they just get by with modest earnings. Life hasn't been same since his mother left the father and

Three Headed Beast

Three Headed Beast is the story of the joys and sorrows of a bisexual polyamorous relationship. Containing almost no dialogue, nearly all of the story is told in movement and body language. There is just one long scene where all the protagonist meet for dinner and we get a screens for 15ish minutes where we finally hear some talk, but other than that it is a film with no sound. The film Starts with us meeting Peter and Alex, when Peter is helping Alex move in to his new house, they have sex and goto bed. On the other side of the town, Nina wakes up beside her lover. They hug and Nina departs. It’s revealed that Peter and Nina are partners and have been together for the past eight years. They have an open relationship, which was initiated by Nina to explore her sexuality. She is aware of Peter's proximity to Alex, and somehow this has started to bother her. Nina, while she has explored her sexual desires has not been able to form a strong bond with anyone as Peter and Alex have been

Instructions for Survival (Georgian/Russian) (Documentary)

Instructions for Survival is an exquisite documentary portrait and a profoundly honest window into one couple’s struggle to live openly. Set in Georgia, we see the life and struggles of a trans man, trying olive his life, be at constant risk of people finding out. Even though, now it's no longer illegal to be gay in this East European country, and trans people are theoretically protected from discrimination, there are all sorts of barriers which make it difficult just to get by. At about 80-85 minutes duration, this documentary powerfully humanizes the statistics and headlines about migrants seeking asylum with its deeply personal, moving and ultimately hopeful narrative. Nobody would look twice at Alexander if they met him in the street. He blends in perfectly, and all he wants is to be able to get on with life like any other man, but his situation is complicated because he's trans. This makes it hard for him to find employment, access reliable medical care or marry the woman

I’m Not Gay: A Musical

This was a weird film. Overly stylish and a very stagey feel, it just felt like a mish-mash of things and unsure of what it really wants to say. The film employs split screen is more than a few scenes, includes several sequences shot with backlighting that more often than not silhouette the characters and obscure their expressions. I felt this film was more like an experiment or a gimmick for a new narration style, but personally for me, it failed. Both story and the execution. MMA fighter Misha is a black guy who is dealing with his demons (we don't hear about it till much later, on what they are). He likes to dance but somehow never does, because of being perceived as gay. His ex-girlfriend is dropping off his daughter by a one night stand and the duo are not on best terms. After repeated self harm attempts by Misha, his doctor recommends him to see a transgender psychiatrist in Fire Island if he wants his pain prescriptions refilled. Once in the gay mecca, Misha falls in love wi

Limited Partnership (Documentary)

Limited Partnership is An American documentary, that covers a 40-year marriage between two gay rights activists using archival footage and modern interviews. This documentary brings an important personal dimension to the long struggle for equal marriage and points up the problems that being unable to get married can create. Richard Adams, a Filipino-American, and Tony Sullivan, an Australian national, met in 1971 when Sullivan was in the United States on a tourist visa. After hearing about a county clerk in Boulder, Colorado, who was marrying same sex couples, the two were married in March 1975. However, the Immigration and Naturalization Service refused to recognize the marriage, and, in a rejection letter, used a homophobic slur. In the face of impending deportation, the couple sued the U.S. government. The resulting case, Adams v. Howerton, was decided against them. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear their case. When Sullivan was deported, the couple spent time in Europe before

Laws Of Attraction (Thai Series)

It's been a while since I saw a Thai series, but here I am with this one. Heads up, the episodes are almost 55 minutes plus, with no breaks or product advertising (thankfully) and with 8 episodes , we are talking of an almost 8 hour commitment to watch this show. With tighter editing, a skill, which I feel I should learn more and more just so I can edit these unnecessarily stretched shows and make them edgy and crispier. The story definitely has potential. A possible attraction and love developing between a deceptive yet witty and charming lawyer and a martial arts teacher in the aftermath of a terrible tragedy. Charn, a high profile lawyer who is ruthless and not above bending the law to further his will and benefit his clients. And then we have Tinn, a martial arts coach who believes the law is just. Fate brings them together a couple of times, the most notable being when they meet as plaintiff and defense in the case involving the death of Tin's niece in a car accident by th

Stranizza d'amuri (Italian) [Fireworks] aka [Strangeness of Love]

This was such a wholesome film to watch. I enjoyed every single minute of this beautiful shot, exquisite, loving film with a ghastly air of menace throughout and a devastating conclusion. After seeing the film, when I started reading about it, this is when I realized that the film is  inspired by true events, the murder of two young boys in a Sicilian small town in the ’80s. This was a crime that changed forever the perception of homosexuality in Italy. Its emotional impact on public opinion was so deep and vast that it opened the way to the creation of the first association aimed at safeguarding homosexuals’ rights. Reading these statements suddenly made the impact of the already beautiful film even more. I couldn't believe what I was reading. So, now with even more vigor, I highly highly recommend and urge people to watch this beautiful love story of two teenagers. Set in early 80s in Sicily, we are slowly introduced to the two young boys. Gianni is bullied by the locals of his s

Rotting In The Sun (English/Spanish)

At virtually every opportunity, Rotting in the Sun is daring you to hate it. It feels like the film is a meta version where the actual director plays a fictionalized self-loathing version of himself. But not just him, the other main character Jordan Firstman, playing himself in the film (I wasn't familiar with the guy, so I did my homework) is also an odd mix of comedy/meta/sattire, almost to the point of annoying. I still haven't made my mind on what really I think of this film. Also , just to put it out there there are scenes of male nudity, dick shots and sex, like full on. If you have ever complained that movies are scared of realistic depictions of sexuality; then this film is a dick-stravaganza with contextually relevant full-frontal male nudity on nude beaches and at orgies and more. The story is also interesting, Sebastian is a fading director living in Mexico City. He should be working but instead he spends his day with his dog, snorting all kinds of drug, slightly dep

En af Drengene (Danish Mini-Series) [One Of The Boys]

Taking a break from Asian BL (and yes, I desperately need that), I just finished watching this 4 episode Danish mini-series about two young boys who join a “man camp,” only to embark on a complicated exploration of masculinity, sexuality and queerness. With about 15-20 minutes of each episode, this was such a welcome change from BL stories. It’s a sensitive, yet heart breaking and poetic glimpse of a small, hyper masculine provincial town in Denmark as one boy feels pressure to fit in with other boys, while struggling with his romantic feelings for a charming new boy. Shy and awkward teen Lau is on an all boys weekend trip to the woods called as "Real Man" camp. Together with two adult counsellors, the weekend s going to be a series of challenges and tasks that will prove that these boys are ready to become men and there will be one winner. Years back, Lau's father who dies when Lau was young won the competition and his friend (one of the counsellors) is motivating Lau to

Jun & Jun (Korean Series)

Koreans and a few Japanese BL series have done a good job of showing us office romance. To be honest, some of them have been a bit concerning where the boss shows misuse of power but then there are others which fall under the cute category. This show, with all its shortcomings, falls into the latter category, where the drama is minimum and the idea is to give you a warm cozy and quietly funny, in it sown way, a love story. The show is an easy watch of 8 episodes with run time of about 25-30 minutes each. Lee Jun is starting as in intern at a marketing agency. He used to be a former idol but he left that life behind. We are told later that a friend of his from those days, Heyon, is the one who got Jun this job. We also find out that Heron is secretly in love with him. It turns out that Lee Jun's new boss is Choi Jun, a childhood friend of his who left him long time ago as a kid when his parents moved to America. Choi recognizes him instantly but it takes Lee a while. Choi leaves no

Aedan (Filipino Series)

Here we go. And yet another ones of those low budget, cringe acting, paper thin plot and a story that should not hav been made in the first place. I don't know the name of this production company, but they seem to have a template: Bring in a few good looking boys, 2-3 over the top trans actors, a few shirtless scenes, an emotional conflict and drama and just weave a story around that. Most importantly everything has to be shot in some resort. Sitting for these 6 episodes of about 20 minutes each was itself torture. Evo loves his boyfriend , who is full of himself and has been cheating on him with a girl. Evo's friend Joshua loves him a lot but Eva never sees him this way. Now heartbroken, he decides to take a break, go on holiday and get his life back in order. He thinks that he will try to open his heart for Joshua when he is back. But at the holiday place, he finds an attractive. Young man and fuck his heartbreak, the firstling he does is start stalking him. He is infatuated

Gay Short Films : 106

Homebird (Ireland) Having left his parents without warning, Conor has returned to his hometown after dropping out of university, meeting up with his father for a tense reunion on the town’s seafront. The film explores the relationship between an emotionally reclusive father struggling to reconnect with his estranged gay son, and a son learning to forgive. Innocent Boy (USA) Off a lonely Texas highway, a group of hustlers prey on the desperados who come for sex and drugs. As the boys begin to fall one-by-one, a young trans boys finds himself caught between a cowboys lustful rage, greed, and corruption. Very weird film. Loving Martin (USA) A dramatic real case inspiring a short film. Erik is an easy-going, middle-age gay male who has everything. Martin, a young, feisty gay male is trying to find his way in life. They're total opposites whose love holds them together through the rough times. How far is Martin willing to go to test Erik's love and how much is Erik willing to take?

Metro Sexual: Season 1 (Australian Show)

Metro Sexual is an Aussie mockumentary comedy following the doctors Steph (lesbian) and Langdon (gay), who work at Metropolitan Sexual Health. As per the show's creator and actor also playing Langdon, the show is the story of the doctors, the staff and the patients in an inner-city Melbourne sexual health clinic and all the unknown struggles that these doctors sometimes face. Spread across 8 episodes in the first season, the exiles are about an average 10 minutes each. Over the course of these 8 episodes, the doctor duo takes us through the various STIs possibilities out there with their own quick ways. Langdon is the ultimate enthusiast, he's always coming up with 101 ideas to promote their little sexual health clinic. Whereas Steph is the typical prank player, who doesn't leave any opportunity to embarrass Langdon. The different episodes focus on different sexual issues like syphillis, cervical screening, crabs outbreak in a retirement community, a celebrity RJ, tough bik

My Beautiful Man: Eternal (Japanese)

After two midday successful and decent seasons of this Dom-sub (ish) love story, we see the story continue and this time in a film format. And I think the film format worked really well for our beloved characters who are also flawed. Just for a reminder, this is the story volatile romance of Hira and Kiyoi. Hira is madly, almost slave-like in love with Kiyoi and treats him as a king. Kiyoi is a TV star and enjoys the attention but also craves for love from Hira and not just his care. By the end of season 2 we saw that the love birds were co-habitating together and Hira had started to work as an assistant to a photographer. The film continues and takes through further journey and bot more growth between these two characters. Hira's cousin is now going through a divorce and would like her home back leading to Hira and Kiyoi needing to look for a new place and hunt for it, leading to more discussions. Around the same time, the love affair of Kiyoi's female colleague becomes talk o

Summer Love - Luke and Olly (Australian Episode)

Summer Love is an Australian ensemble comedy series showcasing an 8 part anthology. The series sees eight very different sets of people rent the same beachside holiday house through the theme of love. Episode 5 of the show is about the gay couple Luke and Olly, who confront societal expectations of being gay men versus what they actually want as a happy couple. Even though the episode is just 0 minutes, I feel it was funny, and charming and worthy enough of its own post. Luke and Olly are going to a beach house to celebrate their one year anniversary, an event organized by older and richer Luke. Olly has got some kind of romantic dinner planned with a chicken hidden in an esky. Many funny incidents give us a hint of the wealth and maturity gap between the two guys including meeting a gay couple, a rich fancy beach house rental. Thinking of spicing things up, unknown to Olly, Luke has arranged for a guy for threesome from an app. The scene gets very funny, yet awkward and eventually the

Love Is (Filipino Series)

Pinoy shows other are really well made and classy or they end up being almost trashy with nothing relevant to offer. This one was somewhere in between. A show that showed promise when it started, got completely messed up in middle and then just a meh ending. Even though this was a 10 part series, I saw the one combined version that made it bearable slightly. But, I still think this is a show that can be given a complete miss. The story is about 6 different individuals. Vlad in a young rich boy and have a driver/care taker. One night on their way back from a meeting, the car breaks down and they have to spend a night in the driver's poor home. This is where they meet the driver's younger brother who takes instant crush on Vlad. The brother also has gotten a job offer in the city to work in a restaurant, where his best friend Bam will take care of him. Meanwhile Vlad slowly, out of the booze, starts to get feelings for his driver. Also this best friend Bam apparently plays has ha

Easy Tiger (Sign Language/English/French)

A few of us may have seen some of those European arthouse films, sometimes they are abstract and sometimes they are wonderful, so every time when I watch one, I am always skeptical. This film was one of those. It had barely any dialogues, very abstract setting, confused sexuality of the protagonist and a message, that I personally didn't understand as to what the point of this film in the first place. Thankfully the film ends in just an hour. The story is basic, if you can call that. A good looking psychologist believes that he is living the perfect life both professionally and personally. During a session with a deaf male client, after the passing away of his boyfriend, the lead man feels a strong attraction to him and that stirs up feelings that have been long buried inside him. As he tries to maintain his relationship with his girlfriend and resist his desires, the psychologist is drawn to his client and the new feelings that he can no longer hide. They start having an affair an

Papa, What Is Love? (Filipino Mini-Series)

Some of these so called BL series are trying to experiment with "different" stories, which is good, but sadly, not all different stories are good. This 6 part Filipino series (each episode of 12-20 minutes), has a unique premise, but the execution is quite dull, devoid f emotions, even though there is a lot of crying in such a short span of time. Also, I am not sure why the title of the show? Rich, is a middle aged guy who has recently lost his wife. He is closet gay and eventually comes out to his son also, who happens to be pansexual. The son is concerned about loneliness of his father and arranges for. Housekeeper interview and the father finally hires a young boy Tupe. With is good looks and boyish charm and a sad sob past, before you know the old man falls in love with this much younger boy. After a long time, Rich feels happy and alive. One day suddenly his son Greg shows up an dis initially outraged but Rich makes him see sense and asks him to Gove Tupe a chance. Rich

Individual Circumstances (Korean Series)

Honestly, this is the BL series that we did not need. With an extremely basic storyline, paper thin screenplay, this would hav been better off as a short story rather than stretching it for 8 episodes. Having said that, the duration of the episodes is just 15-18 minutes, so at least you don't feel you have wasted time. Also there are no unnecessary side stories, which I always always appreciate. Had this show come maybe come during Covid times, it would still have made sense, but everything is changing so fast, including audiences getting far more better content, there is little to no space for mediocre stuff. A young famous director is going through a slump phase. Despite a hit behind his name, he is unsure of his next film a the production company is forcing him to direct a raunchy adult film. Then we meet this fiction writer, who has been writing a love story and our director is interested the story, even though it is not complete. Director tries his best to find contact of this