03 September 2016

Movie Review: Half a Person

There is no gay anything in this movie. It's a Canadian road-trip themed white adolescent angst movie that has no real gay theme or subplot. So unless you're into white adolescent angst of the First World, I'd skip. Not that bad of a movie, just not gay or gay related.

01 September 2016

Movie Review: Holding the Man

This is a film adaptation of the late LGBT activist and writer Timothy Conigrave's book, Holding the Man. Published shortly after Conigrave's AIDS related death, he was awarded the United Nations Human Rights Award for Non-Fiction in 1995.

The movie is the story of how Timothy Conigrave fell in love with the captain of the rugby team, John Caleo -- in 1976 Australia. It was somewhat extraordinary how lovey dovey and carefree they demonstrated their affection in school. However, John's parents were totally against the whole thing and threatened Timothy and his family with legal action. John's parents also wanted to take John to a psychologist. So there is tension. In 1985, the two discover that they are both HIV positive.

It was a provocative and touching movie that tied together the tragedy of the AIDS epidemic, adolescent love, fate and heteronormative-style life partnerships.

30 August 2016

Movie Review: Hot Guys with Guns

I think B-movie is a pejorative term but honestly, gay cinema lacks a corpus of B-movies that could fill a marathon of B-movies on a gay cable television network, late at night. This would make a B-movie par excellence. And because of the dearth of B movies in gay cinema, it makes this movie unique and the slow pace forgivable.

Danny is a struggling writer/waiter. He's still sort of in love with his rich wife ex-boyfriend Pip who has racist, overbearing, Valium popping mother. Pip is victimized at a gay sex party. There have been a string of victimizations at gay sex parties lately but the closeted, Hollywood-important gay guys are more willing to have their watches, jewelry, etc., taken and maintain their privacy than to recover the stolen items and reveal their gay identity to the police and possibly the public.

Pip, however, is openly gay. But because the others at the party are not, he asks Danny to help investigate. Danny has been taking a private investigator class to prepare him for something he is in the process of writing.

Anyways, the movie is more about the interaction between Danny and Pip than anything else. The movie goes a little long and some of the humor seems a little abstract, but like I said, it's worth watching.

28 August 2016

Movie Review: Beyond the Walls

Paulo and Ilir (pictured) sleeping together after Paulo gets totally drunk -- so drunk that sex is not possible. Paulo is living with his girlfriend but he keeps visiting Ilir. Eventually the girlfriend dumps Paulo and he moves himself into Ilir's apartment. This doesn't quite work out according to plan and Ilir ends up arrested and imprisoned on drug charges. Their interactions at prison visits is over the top emotional which eventually end at Ilir's request. Paulo then moves onto an S&M guy who he surrenders to to be taken care of.

The movie had a packaged European sketchiness but the acting was great so it may be worth watching on date night to make yourself feel better about your life or if you like looking at white guys.

26 August 2016

Movie Review: Telstar, the Joe Meek Story

This movie wraps modern cultural history, modern music and gay history all into neat biopic. The movie is about the life of Joe Meek, a gay, manic depressive, music producer who was responsible for Telstar, Have I the Right? and Johnny Remember Me. And yes, that's Kevin Spacey, who plays a supporting role.

If you are interested in a snapshot of his life, please feel free to watch the movie. I discovered that surviving family members of some of the guys who dated Meek in the movie were all outraged by the insinuation that their family members were gay.

What I thought was interesting is how the powers of creativity work and operate through someone who also struggled with depression and paranoia. The Joe Meek story ends tragically but it's an interesting study on human relations.

24 August 2016

Movie Review: Eastern Boys

This is the story of Marek (pictured above) and Daniel (back to camera). Marek is a Ukrainian undocumented migrant to Paris and Daniel is a 50 something businessman. Marek is part of Eastern European gang that hangs out at Paris' North Gate train station. Daniel cruises Marek and they agree to meet at Daniel's apartment the following evening.

The following evening, after Daniel buzzes up Marek, a 14 year old Middle Eastern boy appears and pushes his way in asking him how he could try to pick up at 14 year old. Then, the entire Eastern European gang shows up in Daniel's apartment. They take over the apartment and eventually steal all of his belongings.

Daniel eventually recovers. And then Marek appears one day at Daniel's apartment wondering if he is still interested in having sex. You can watch the slow details of this movie but eventual Marek and Daniel become close and Daniel helps Marek disentangle his life from the gang -- with the leader holding his passport.

It involves inter-generational relations so the ending was a little peculiar.

04 December 2015

Movie Review: Snails in the Rain (שבלולים בגשם)

There was something about this movie that made me think the director wrote the whole thing to leer at the lead actor, Yoav Reuveni. Yoav plays Boaz, a linguistics major at a Tel Aviv university in the late 1980s. He lives with his girlfriend and works after school. Everything is alright until he starts receiving short, anonymous love letters from another man. Now, if you ever wonder whether it is the external object or the internal feeling that really animates life, this movie definitely takes a position.

 I recall writing love letters to this classmate of mine in high school. And I always felt that he had an ambiguous sexuality and that to explore his homosexuality had the feeling tone of a fate worse than death. That being said, in my adolescence, I wasn't so sensitive to that, so I wrote him poetry. After the first one, if any of my friends delivered the poem to him, without looking at it he'd ask if it had come from me (as opposed to a girl). They would reply yes and then he'd chaotically rip it up to shreds with such force and effort and precision that it obliterated the writing completely. He did that every time. It was as though to see what was written would unleash something that must not be unleashed.

Anyways, Boaz reads these letters. He comes to expect them. And then he starts to look at every man around him as though its a possible author. This only intensifies something long simmering in him -- that is, his own homosexual feelings. His girlfriend is sensitive to this and so his emotional wobble disrupts their normalcy. We learn that during his compulsory army service, his homosexual feelings also broke through at one point.

I was disappointed with the end, big time. Korean double suicides feel more authentic than this. Although as I age, I have come to realize that life is not drawn only in black and white -- even if I feel one puts themselves in such a situation, black is much more preferred.