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Showing posts from March, 2024

Pornomelancholia (Spanish)

This film (which often feels like a documentary, given its real life subject) is study of a guy trying to make it in the gay porn industry, but done with sensitivity, wit and thoughtfulness. Combining reality and fiction, is a compelling portrait of loneliness in the times of social media where there is no place for privacy. And this is evident from the very first scene of the film where all, a good looking guy is standing in a busy street and unexpectedly breaks down in tears. Lalo Santos. A good looking man in his 30s works in a factory in Oaxaca, where to fit in he has to pretend to be a married man and a machista, but moonlights by uploading hardcore images of himself to Twitter. He finds validation by checking the comments and likes. He clearly is in need of money and that is what he is trying to balance with the two worlds. Thanks to social media Lalo learns Mecos Films offers money for doing porn, they require a photo of the face and naked body with an erection. He likes to be s

Time - The Series (Thai Series)

Honestly, what the fuck was this series about anyway? The storyline was all over the place and to be honest I didn't understand this series at all. I tried hard, I really did, but it just did not make any sense. And guess what's the worst thing: The lead pair or the couple looks so much alike. They have similar features, similar color hair, similar hairstyle, and more than half the time I would be confused on who's who. I had to focus on their ear-rings to know which of the two main protagonists we are talking about. Not that it made understanding this show any way. And with 10 episodes of almost 40-45 minutes each, the show goes on forever. From a synopsis perspective, this is wha this show is supposedly about. Foam, a famous actor sees Chris, his lover, killed in front of him by the police. Magically he meets someone who transports him 6 years back into the past to correct the past for what he did wrong, causing Chris's death. Foam doesn't flinch at all realizing

Collar Confessions (Web Series)

Somehow I just know that this series from Here TV is going to be just bad. In they hope to keep suspense and thrills, the way the screenplay is written is nothing but a mess. To a dd to it, the editing of the show is on o of the worse that I have seen in recent times. This is yet another addition to the list of decent stories executed really bad in the name of entertainment. In the six episodes of this show, each of average 10 minutes, almost 2 minutes goes into recap and in almost every episode scenes from previous episodes gets repeated at least a couple of times in the name of flashbacks. We are told that Pastor Eddie and his husband Quentin had some argument when the Pastor was exposed to be having an affair because of which Q burned down his church. But months after they decided to reconcile and move on. The show starts with their first day having moved into their new house. But it feels like there is a stranger who keeps locking doors or knocking on the door, making both of them

Gay Short Films : 111

Bytost (Slovakia) [Only Human] Pornstar Philip and pianist Christoph are in love, but they are from completely different worlds. A collision of their professional lives leads to tension and questioning the nature of their relationship. While Christoph persuades Philip to change his career, he feels trapped in the vicious circle of the industry.  Are porn and romance disparate? An interesting subject indeed but I wish the treatment was little different. It fails to make the impact, that a subject like this should. The Pass (USA) On holiday, Ben declines an offer from a handsome man, Sam, to go to a private beach, The Pass. There, Ben meets Christopher who grows aggressive as he struggles to mask his desires for Ben, leaving him afraid to get out of the water. The film is disturbing and ambiguous with probably trying to delve into some complex relationship shit but overall was strictly ok. Estranghero (Philippines) A farmer finds a young man badly wounded and he nurses him to health. Tur

LCV - Lütfen Cevap Veriniz (Turkish) [RSVP - Please Respond]

This script was likely written as a play and pretty much plays out like that. A film with just 3 characters in a large room just talking. Sounds boring, isn't it? But trust me it is not. It is such a wordplay. With each of these conversations layers and layers of deceit, truths, lies, friendships, love, relationships all come out. The title LCV is like RSVP in English, which is an interesting title for sure for such a film. Semih (a pilot) and Ceren (flight attendant) are about to get married. Semi and his best man Mert are spending time getting ready whenever Ceren also walks in saying she needs a break form her family. With the three of them together,   Mert, begins questioning if the couple is really ready for this marriage. He pokes and makes them question fifths is too soon or are they marrying under family pressure. A weird seed gets planted but Mert doesn't stop here. He then asks each of them if they have ever cheated. Of course, both say no, but slowly the players are

Dead Friend Forever - DFF (Thai Series)

Horror in one genre that I have tried my best to stay away from. It's just not my thing. So, when I came across this Thai BL horror series, my expectations were very low. I expected either one of those old trashy campy gay horror American films from 90s or just very dramatic show. To my extreme surprise, the script if this series is a huge winner. Will talk about this more later, but this show offers a captivating horror story with constant thrills. There's never a dull moment and how everything comes together is really nicely done full of twists, suspense, shock and drama. There are 12 episodes of average 50 minutes each so this one is quite a dedication. 8 friends decide to go to a cabin in the woods for farewell o one of their friend Jin who is going abroad for further studies. We slowly find out that 5 of these friends have been friends for a long time while 3 of the others joined them almost in the end of high school, one of them being Phee. Phee and Jin hooked up but Phee

Little America: Episode 8 'The Son'

An Apple TV original series inspired by the true stories, the show goes beyond the headlines to look at the funny, romantic, heartfelt, inspiring, surprising stories of immigrants in America, more relevant now than ever. I am here reviewing only episode 8 from the season 1, called "The Son", the story of a Syrian gay man's journey of seeking asylum weaves a brutal story of homophobia. In a small town in Syria, Rafiq is having dinner with his family when he gets a text from a male lover. The father suspects something and he finds his son and the other guy kissing after they hook up. The father burns his arm in the name of protectional Rafiq moves to Damascus, where he is now working in a restaurant. There he meets Zain, a local effeminate gay man, who tells him that he’s filled out his asylum papers and will be moving to America soon. Although afraid to be seen with him, Rafiq finally finds a friend who understands him for who he is. But all along Rafiq's brothe has be

Diving Into Love (Filipino Series)

One more of those Filipino series that were probably made right when the BL content is Asian countries was starting to pickup big time during the covid crisis. It is an extremely basic and simple story with a very confused ending that didn't make any sense at all. Anyway, there are totally 8 episodes of about 13-15 minutes each. Andrei has just broken up with his girlfriend is taking a trip an island. In the journey he meets Sam, who turns out also just broke up with his boyfriend. Surprisingly his ex-boyfriend also shows up at the island annoying Sam very much especially since he cheated on Sam multiple times and there is no way Sam will take him back. Sam and Andrei get rooms next to each other and strike a friendship. Turns out Andrei's girlfriend was trans and he considers himself bisexual but is not ready to come out. They both start hanging out as friends and at some point feelings start to develop. One night Sam confesses his love to Andrei but he is still confused about

Anything's Possible

Portraying marginalized identities can be a tricky business for celluloid. You wanna make sure you do a fine balance on just representing / identifying them, but instead you wanna show the faces and their stories that starts normalizing things. This is what this simple rom-com tries to do. The story is primarily of a black trans teen, who wants to thrive in her senior year of high school rather than just survive, while also navigating potential love with a person who wants to be with her and not because she is trans and that would be woke. I had no idea until after I finished watching this film, that it has been directed by the now famous Pose actor Billy Porter. Kelsa is trans teen who along with her two other girlfriends are ready to go back to school after summer. Kella wants to soon finish school and move to a bug city like New York. As a trans teen, she is also trying to find balance between unihibited expressions (like loud clothing) while also expecting to be treated like normal

Drifter (German/English)

In very simple words, this film is about a young gay man's journey of self-discovery through Berlin’s progressive LGBTQ+ community. You could say that there I snot much happening in the film, but actually, there isa lot going on. You see how circumstances and people around him change him and how a young man is learning to break free of cultural expectations and fully embrace his true self, with very fluid ideas of gender and sexuality. Drifter is the story of a 22-year-old boy named Moritz  who moves to Berlin to be with his boyfriend Jonas. But his life and future soon change when Jonas, who wasn’t hugely committed to their relationship, breaks up with him. But this also happens when we are given a hint that as a person Jonas is more outgoing, clubs and party kinda guy where Moritz prefers comforts of home, a more heteronormative life style. So now shunned as a person with no place to live, and feeling lost, directionless, and alone, Moritz finds himself drawn into the lifestyle h

7 Days Before Valentine (Thai Series)

This Thai fantasy series about supernatural powers is not something I would classify in the BL genre. Sure it has elements of it since our protagonist is trying to win back over his ex-boyfriend, but when you go into the details, the story doesn't focus on romance at all. Instead it focuses on morality and moral dilemmas and philosophical messages encourage viewers to think about how we lead our lives. So the fact that this was not strictly a BL already reduced my excitement for the show. And then secondly it takes 12 episodes of 45 minutes each to come to the point. The slow narrative gets tedious after a point with too long and heavy dialogues and excessive angst. The story is simple, straight forward yet weird. Sunshine is an actor who has got his first major role. The shoot takes a break of 7 days before making the big announcement of the project n valentines day. And this is the day it happens his boyfriend Rain decides to breakup within saying it is not working between them.

Young Royals: Season 3 (Swedish Series)

Almost everyone's favorite show, the third and final season of  Young Royals just finished with a bittersweet farewell, packed full of emotion, scandal, and unexpected twists. Although there are many painful goodbyes, it’s a refreshing change for a queer show to conclude on its own terms—no sudden cancellation or rushed conclusion. I think the edn was predictable but the show uses enough twists, sweet and tense moments and a finale which is both emotional , tense yet very much justified. Like previous season, this time also we had 6 epodes and I could not wait to see where Wille and Simon are headed in their relationship. The private school has to now deal with aftermath of Crown prince's speech the end of season two where he comes out as gay. Simon and Wille still have to reel with the aftermath of their leaked video. While we get moments of joy and fun between the two leads, there’s still drama or tension. Homophobia is rife as Simon contends with online abuse as journalists

Kiseki: Dear to Me (Taiwanese Sereis)

This series started off really well, especially given the sizzling chemistry that the leads have and the situations that lead to their first meeting and eventual spending time together. Things go on fine till episode 8, but oh man!! what a nosedive after that. The show completes different route from there on and it feels like I was watching another show altogether. The focus suddenly shifted on many other things and it felt that the main couple was sidelined only to be brought back in the last episode. I am not sure what happened there.  Anyway, with 13 episodes of about 24 minutes each, at least it goes by fast. Bai Zong Yi, a 17 year old exemplary student has dreams of becoming a doctor and he works hard for it. One day he finds an injured stranger Rui, who literally forces himself on Bai to help him out and nurse him by getting bai's fingerprints in the knife. Bai's medical knowledge helps Rui's recovery and somehow he starts falling for Bai (or maybe just flirting, we d

Ossan's Love Returns (Japanese Series)

And we are back in the world of Haruta and Maki. I was so excited when I saw the first episode came out. This was definitely a show that I have enjoyed watching multiple spin offs , not just within Japan but also the Thai version. Although I guess since they came in quick successions, somewhere the novelty had worn off. I am glad that this well deserved sequel came after a gap, where people like me had started to miss the characters. And man this show doesn't disappoint.. In fact, I will say that the show has grown with the characters and in many surpasses the original. This 9 episode show of 45 minutes each was so much fun to watch. Haurta and Maki have now been married for sometime and Maki is returning from his stint in Singapore. The couple will finally get to love together and experience each other's company. But with increased work pressure, how do they maintain. Enter the chief (remember him, the guy who was and still is madly in love with Haruta). Chief now runs a clean


Swallowed, a very low-budget sci-fi/body horror with an out-and-proud gay angle, although I would still not call it a film that belongs in the LGBTQ+ genre. The film starts well with potential but somehow just goes downward hill. On a bright note, the lead actor is gorgeous, but sadly that can only take one's interest so far. It is Ben's last night in town. He is moving to LA to become a gay porn star. On his last night, he parties with his closest friend, Dom, a straight guy who loves Ben in a profoundly platonic way. But Dom is also bit of a mess. He wants to send off Ben with some cash, so due to poor judgement from Dom, they both find themselves involved in smuggling of some dodgy looking parcels (that they are made to swallow) across the border. Turns out that the little slug-like thingies the boys swallow are not conventional drugs but living bugs that have aphrodisiac properties if harvested correctly, but which cause grave harm if they hatch while inside the couriers’ b

Abu: Father (Documentary)

Abu (father) is an autobiographical film about a gay son’s relationship with his devout Muslim father. Arshad Khan, the filmmaker and subject, examines how his father ABU went from an open-minded man to a devout Muslim and breaks down the reasons for such a radical change in personality. Issues of psychological, sexual and physical abuse, and the pangs of rebirth through migration and through coming out, are laid bare using over 30 years of archival family footage that give a glimpse into an extraordinarily well documented family. The story of the Khans begins around the time of Partition.  Arshad Khan’s father, orphaned, comes to the newly formed Pakistan with his siblings. Under the care of relatives, he gets educated, enrolls in the Pakistan Army, gets married and has a brood of children. He is among the few in his social circle to own a video camera, and he records picnics, home parties and festival celebrations. And many of the footage from these home videos is used. We are told h

The Revival

We have seen a few films that looks at a person's inner turmoil when it comes to balancing religion with homosexuality. Some all these films have christianity as the religion. I cant remember many other films where a similar theme has been tackled. So in that sense this film is not breaking any ground. But in its own subtle way, it tries to tell a story at the excruciating inner tug-of-war between a preacher's homosexuality and his religious devotion. Eli, a young educated preacher has recently returned to his hometown with his pregnant wife to take over services at his late father’s struggling church, where he delivers cerebral sermons intended to “bring progressive thinking” to tradition-bound parishioners. Since he needs to compete with more modern churches, at the insistence of a pushy alcoholic man, Eli agrees to host a revival to help boost attendance and fill the coffers. One day in church, he meets a homeless drifter Daniel. He is dirty and looks homeless but you a stil

I Can't Reach You (Japanese Series)

Childhood friendship urning to love can be a fascinating story if done right. The names escape me, but I am sure I have seen many in the past that fall in this category. This show started off really well. Our protagonists and their friendship had some amazing chemistry. Clearly both care and love each other but neither can make up their mind or muster the courage to confess to the other which leads to indecisiveness and erratic mood swings. All the time spent in weird drama could have been instead channeled into romance which is barely there towards the last episode. The show is standard 8 episodes of 20 minutes each, so thankfully it is an easy watch. The story is extremely simple and straight forward. Yamato and Kakeru have been childhood friends and are in same class. Yamato is a brilliant student, is a good athlete, is gentle and soft and good looking, so naturally all the girls are after him. But besides Kakeru, he can barely manage to chat with anyone else in the class. Despite t

Mary & George (UK Series)

When the synopsis of a show reads "The Countess of Buckingham who molded her son to seduce King James I and become his all-powerful lover, through intrigue, becoming richer, more titled and influential than England has ever seen", anyone who enjoys historical drama and bring in the gay angle; this is gold! So I was totally sold on watching the show as soon as I could. This mini series is 7 episodes approximately 50 minutes each. Sky’s new miniseries Mary & George takes on the flamboyant and outrageous reign of King James I and his ‘favorite’ the Duke of Buckingham. The result is a funny, debaucherously and riveting tale, bolstered by a fantastically catty Julianne Moore. The story is about Mary and her family. After the death of her husband, the family is in financial stress and Mary decides to take matters in her hand.  She sends her meagre, feeble son George off to France to learn how to become a gentleman. Meanwhile, she attempts to cling to financial security by marry