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Showing posts from 2024

Rūrangi: Rising Lights (New Zealand Series)

I remember enjoying Durango series a lot and was hopeful that there will be follow up to this. I got my hands on second season titled "Rūrangi: Rising Lights". In addition to the tile we also saw some actors changing from original season. Caz's friend/boyfriend Jem and his father are now played by different actors; but that doesn't impact the show negatively in any way. At 5 episodes of about 20 minutes each, this show is still very much worth a watch. The first season concluded on a cathartic, hopeful note. And, while it was clear the characters would still have significant external conflicts ahead, they seemed to have resolved most of their inner turmoil by the season’s end. Season 2 focuses less on main character Caz but in the town and its issues more. We see the struggles of town mayors modernizing the town while Maori people trying to fight for their motherland. We slowly see the town starting to get behind banning of the chemical fertilizers. We still see Cam a

Tiến Bromance: Ngoại Truyện (Vietnamese Series) [Double Daddy, Double Happy]

This 10 episode Vietnamese gay family series is actually quite fun to watch. It feels like this show is a sequel of sorts to Tien Bromance, a very confused show 2020. Its got same characters, actors and extended storyline, but so much better than the original one. The episodes are about 18-20 minutes each. And the show primarily shows us everyday joys and trials of a gay couple navigating through life and raising their young child. We meet Tai and Tien again who are now living in a suburban home with their 6-7 year old son. Tien still works in some sort of gang/mafia and Tai is a teacher. There is really not much of a story here. We see multiple issues that these young parents try to navigate e through, while also making sure their relationship and love still stays strong. We see how they both care about their son, there are some funny situations when they both have trust issues, the way Tai treats the mafia gang members when they come (like a jealous housewife), the occasional baby si

Jaggi (Punjabi)

I had been looking for this film ever since I had heard of it running in a few film theaters. The makers recently released the film on Muni, which gave a lot of people an opportunity to eventually watch this film. Jaggi is traumatic, triggering, and shakes you to the core. But it’s also raw, touching, and unnerving. It is definitely not gay cinema, but the subject that says "Story of a schoolboy’s impotence leads to accusations of being gay, triggering relentless bullying" was something I really wanted to see. Id also like to say that the film has some very disturbing scenes that could be triggering for some people. The film starts in present day where we see Jaggi as he goes through rollercoaster of emotions. He breaks down, tries to jerk off, grabs a gun, writes a letter in his diary and gets picked up his uncle to take him home for his engagement the next day. On the way, they give lift to a man who slowly starts to inappropriately touch Jaggi and the film goes into flashb

Commitment to Life (Documentary)

This documentary from 2023 charts the development and journey of the Aids Project Los Angeles (APLA) from 1982 through to the current day. It offers a timely oral history of the AIDS epidemic from those who lived it. The talking heads doc puts the words of the LGBTQ+ community front and centre while revisiting the peak AIDS years. The film starts usual with a thorough account of the mysterious early days of AIDS, reports about gay disease, how it was perceived and archival clips stress the homophobia that ran rampant amid the uncertainty of the disease’s transmissibility. Survivors recall in contemporary interviews the wrenching experience of seeing loved ones die alone. Scenes discussing the APLA’s hotline calls and the need for a buddy system for Aids patients ring home how strong the LGBTQ+ community is and had to be in the face of ignorance, fear, and stigma. “It was discrimination that killed many of us,” we hear at one point. The film shares the events through which celebrities a

Boys On Film 24: Happy Endings

Oh wow ! I cannot believe thatches widely popular short story collection series is coming to an end on DVDs. I hope that they will continue in some format on OTT or digital. Appropriately titles "Happy Endings", it is a bit of a mixed bag, but that is not a slight to the quality of the films. Every entry is worthwhile and well made; it is more a matter of personal taste. The best shorts in the anthology feature two guys navigating sex, love and desire. Many of them deliver the happy ending of the title, but a few shorts may leave viewers wanting more. Aloof (Israel) Flip-flopping between scenes from a family outing and a gay bathhouse, Yariv, a timid photographer cannot seem to decide where he truly belongs. When your identity seems to have so many different contradictions, how do you figure out who you are? Beautiful Stranger (France) After being abruptly dumped by his long-time boyfriend and missing his train, Romain checks himself into a two-star hotel. Deciding to drown h

Sin (Filipino)

Why o why was this film made? With a running length of almost 2.5 hours, the only thought that comes to mind after having finished watching the film is WTF!! Not only was the story problematic , but worse was the execution of the film. The makers probably have never heard of the role of an editor. So many scenes would just go on and on forever, really really testing patience of the audience. No wonder it Tok me a few years to even find this film since it was released and having seen it now, I would loudly scream to not waste your time. A simple young man Liam works in a hotel and the setting is during covid. A rich man Harry comes to stay at the hotel for a week and their first meeting does not go well. Harry is angry and Liam is clumsy, but. Turns out that's because Liam is enamored by how handsome Harry is. Anyway, they eventually become friends and one night while hanging out Harry tells Liam how he is super rich but after his parents separation neither wants them, so they keep

Almamula (Spanish) [Carnal Sins]

After watching the film, it feels like the film is full of metaphors, some that I understand but many that I probably did not. There are some odd moments story-wise, which seem out of place, and it is slow at points, but the film is nevertheless interesting to watch. Homosexuality issues are naturally mixed with religion and the authoritarianism of a patriarchy, showing us a snapshot of the society in a very small town of Northern Argentina. The movie also shows how important the legends of the country people are for that society and how they try to survive with that great weight and trying to solve it with their own weapons. Nino lives with his family and he is in the midst of exploring his early awakening sexuality. At age 14, Nino is already a victim of homophobic attacks. To protect him, his parents decide to leave the city temporarily and the whole family moves to a farm near a rural village. The place is surrounded by the "monte", a huge humid and dark forest where his

Gay Short Films : 112

El Primer Beso (Spain) [The First Kiss] Andi, a teenager lives in a small town. No one knows that he is gay, except his older brother. Today is a special day because he is going to Madrid where he has a date with a boy his age whom he has met online. Things end in a drama, but with. Positive message acceptance and hopefully love. Ili-Ili (Philippines) [Little One] A pregnant mother, unsure of how to raise a child, arranges an interview with her two gay dads but fate intervenes when his dad suffers a heart attack. Her dad reflects on their family’s history, captured on an old camcorder. A heartfelt narrative told through animation, that carries a heartfelt message of love and family. Polywood (USA) A playful, tongue-in-cheek jab at the modern dating scene. Clayton, who has an unlucky love life, is on his first date with August, a guy he met on Grindr. When he meets him his anxiety fades, as he is fascinated by how easily they form a connection. The idyll is broken when August mentions h

Love is Better the Second Time Around (Japanese Series)

I am starting to love this fewer episodes a more concise and focussed storytelling in these BL series. This show is also a great example with just 6 episodes of 23 minutes each, the makers are able to show us a very good love story with an important and nice message. The basic idea of the show is if you get a second chance to love, should you give it a pass or jump at the opportunity and finally be happy? Also, if the second chance happens to be the same person whom you loved in the first place, what would you do? Actually the plot of the series is simple. Miyato works for a publication agency and is assigned a job to meet professor Iwanaga Takashi to write a column for his publication. Its only when Miyato meets Iwanaga, they bth realize they know each other form their school days. Back in the high school, they used to be star crossed lovers. What we are eventually told is how and why that relationship broke up, why Miyato  broke the affair completely, sealed the romantic episode, and

City Of Stars (Thai Series)

I am so glad that I heard my friend Sailor Maan's advice to stick with the show. After the first three episodes, I wasn't very impressed with what was going on and thought of this show as just another one of those regular BL stories (which it is to a certain extent), but by the time the show ended, there were a lot of things that I ended up enjoying and appreciate about the show. I will write those down in more details later. At 12 episodes of 50-55 minutes each, this show requires a good investment of your time, but eventually it pays out. There is an app called Zendaya that tries to focus only on positive comments for stars and their teams keep reviewing and deleting hurtful comments. One of their employees Krom, working in US, goes back on holiday but is also expected to continue to work from there. Once at home, he meet his neighbor Fueng, who also happens to be a popular star. Turns out, ever since he has become the neighbor, he has been visiting their house and has formed

Smothered: Season 1 & 2 (Web Series)

I am really surprised that despite this show having come a couple of years ago, I had not heard of it till very recently. An indie-made sitcom about a longtime gay couple who can’t stand each other and spend virtually every minute of screen time saying so in the most hateful ways possible, sounded fun to watch. In fact, I thought it may end up being like Vicious, one of my fav sitcoms from UK. Over two seasons of 7 and 8 episodes each, the best thing is this is short n short story format of anywhere 5-10 minutes, so it's a very easy breezy watch. Ralph and Randy have ben a couple for forever now. Ralph is a needy romantic still clinging to his fantasy of a happy-ever-after marriage, while Randy is a vain and unapologetically shallow serial cheater who eagerly jumps at any opportunity to spit venom at his nebbish-y spouse. To call their relationship dysfunctional would be putting it lightly, for example they even get turned on the they physically and verbally start to fight; leading

College Boys Live (Documentary)

Reality TV has become part of our everyday life now and most people are used to all kinds of content. But think back to the days of non smart phone, modem internet, technology just coming up with online chats and videos. College Boys Live is, I a documentary feature that follows a group of young gay men living - and performing- in a Florida house in which the inhabitants are under the constant scrutiny of multiple cameras. The footage from the house’s cameras is streamed live on a website.  College Boys Live gives many of its subscribers and performers a chance to experience a truly gay community. The site according to its owner, Zac, is not just about sex and sex chat. He states its main aim is self-empowerment: both for the boys and for the site’s members. Three new members join this house where they have to live minimum of 6 months. Zac likes to give the impression he is doing this for philanthropic reasons, and perhaps he is, we wont know. But the boys, all young and skinny and jus

Greta (Portuguese)

Greta is a very interesting film in more than one way.  The film gives us a very compassionate view on people willing to try be in love against all odds - their own convictions notwithstanding. Looking at marginalization through several lenses; including age, sexuality, gender and criminal life; this is a thematically ambitious but narratively very intimate and compassionate story of human relationships. Gay nurse Pedro is way past his retirement age but still goes to hospital everyday and takes pleasure in taking care of others. One night, his trans friend Daniela, who suffers form kidney failure, needs emergency bed in the hospital. But since doctors wont allow her in female ward , she doesn't want to go in the men's ward, which is the only place with some vacancy. So when a bloodied stranger is brought in at the hospital under suspicious circumstances, the supposedly morally upright Pedro helps to smuggle out the man who might be a criminal on the run from either a gang or t

Summoning Sylvia

A campy horror-comedy would be the best way to describe this film. The tagline of the film says  “she’s here, they’re queer, get used to it". You should ideally know exactly what to expect from the film. Camp laughters an nothing more, nothing less. You it totally depends on your taste whether you will end up liking this queer over the top comedy or not. The film begins with Larry being abducted by his three other friends for his bachelor party in upstate woods. They have managed to get a haunted house and while all fun and games are going on , they have deiced that they will summon the spirit. Rumor is that an old lady killed her son there in the house. Things are just progressing when unannounced, Larry's fiancé's brother shows up. He is clearly ex-military and the straight man to the queer quartet. As strange things begin to happen around the house they all slowly discover that they aren’t alone and perhaps what was meant as a spooky night of fun is slowly turning into

Liuben (Bulgarian)

In a Bulgarian mountain village, where prejudice simmers, a summer romance begins between two boys from different worlds. I just read this line and of course it sounded interesting to spend time on this film. This is apparently first openly gay film from Bulgaria and I must say, what a beautiful film it was ! I had minimal expectations but thanks to the gorgeous landscapes and some great acting, the film kept my attention throughout. Victor, who now lives with his older partner Jose in Madrid, returns to his mountain village in Bulgaria after 11 years to attend his grandfather's funeral. He missed home so he decides to stay for the summer and rekindle his relationship with is old village and his father. Things take unexpected turn, when an unlikely friendship with a local gypsy named Liuben, an 18 year old drifter, things change. Liuben wants to do something with his life. He is outgoing and he literally forces himself for Victor's friendship. Victor finds him attractive for su

For The Love Of DILFS - Season 2 (Reality TV Show)

OutTV's reality show "For the Love of DILF" is back with Season 2. I am not sure how big f a hit or flop was the first season, but I am sure the makers made some money, otherwise no one in their right mind would come up with season 2. As expected of season 1, this continues to be guilty pleasure in this domain and the concept is exactly the same as first season. 5 Daddies and 5 Himbos are out together in a mansion with wild card entries being thrown in here and there to spice things up, eventually leading to the couple winner of the show. The shows once again hosted by iconic  bisexual model herself, Stormy Daniels, who once again steps into the role of host, den mother, friend, and sometimes-relationship-counselor to the cast. The show serves as a platform for deeper conversations about age, appearance, and the diverse spectrum of desires within the gay community. It challenges viewers to question their preconceived notions and embrace a broader understanding of attracti

Bugie Rosse (Italian) [The Final Scoop]

A journalist goes undercover to investigate a serial killer case in the gay scene. Soon he finds himself in CRUISING territory. Sounds familiar? Of course, the1980 Al Pacino film dealt with this subject. I am not privy if this film was a remake or something but this Italian film which came out in 1993, is just about a decent watch. Even if we forget the production quality, the movie just doesn't offer enough thrills or tense moments that would have made this film an exciting watch. Gay men are being murdered ruthlessly and investigative journalist is trying to figure out the case. He has a beautiful wife who is an air hostess and his best friend is a magistrate who keeps asking him to help police with investigation rather than working on his own. He starts cursing in search of serial killer with his camera woman trying to get footage, but murders keep happening and somehow Marco is always near or have met the men who keep getting killed. One day he meets an enigmatic male hustler A

A Secretly Love (Thai Series)

I cant believe that this show is coming in 2024. Stories like this made sense maybe 8-9 years ago, but this show was so bland, uninteresting with bad story, zero chemistry and most importantly awful subtitles by the makers. Watching this show for 10 episodes of 40-45 minutes each was so excruciating. I mean, why did the makers even make this show? Pluem and Khonprot are engineering students and Khonprot is a junior. He has had a crush on Pluem since high school but has never been able to b open about it. Meanwhile Pluem is a womanizer but when his last girlfriend dumps him, he cant take it and he keeps going back to her apologizing. This duo is part of the college hazing team and this is how they know each other. Somehow they end up becoming close because that girl is neighbor with Khonprot and get to spend more time with each other. Khonprot is obviously excited by the prospect, but suddenly, out of nowhere, Pluem also starts taking interest in Khonprot. How/why is never explained. Al

All the Colours of the World Are Between Black and White (Nigeria)

Can anyone remember a gay Nigerian film. One quick search on my blog, I found online such story. SO naturally my expectations were quite up knowing that this Nigerian film had won the Berlinale Teddy Award. The summary said, "An understated but heart-wrenching look at the love between two men in modern-day Nigeria, where such love is forbidden, as the motorcycle courier and aspiring photographer grow closer as they explore Lagos." Sounds good! So let's see what this is all about. Bambino, a delivery bike driver, is a single man, very used to his ways of living. He is looking to a possible promotion, and given that he has a stable job, he doesn't hesitate to help neighbors financially where he can and is generous when people are late repaying him. A girl in his neighborhood that he is close friends with, like shim and make occasional advances but he keeps things at a distance. However, everything changes when he meets Bawa, a charismatic photographer, during a photo co