30 August 2009

Movie Review: Zerophilia


Okay. Now, I know this movie poster does not seem enticing. I know. I know. I was highly skeptical from the cover -- fire the graphic designer please. In any event, something about the synopsis lured me in and I watched it. (It is available at the Malaysian Filem Gay site.)

The movie revolves around a rare (magical) medical condition that affects less than 1000 people globally. They have an extra "Z" chromosome. These people are called zerophiliacs. After their first sexual experience, they change gender whenever aroused -- and completely change genders when they arrive at orgasm. Luke, the main character who is insecure about his masculinity and sexuality, discovers his zerophiliac condition after having sex with a strange woman under unusual, mysterious circumstances.

(Luke)

Luke meets a young woman named Michelle that he falls in love with. However, through experimenting and egging on by his friend, he masturbates and turns into a woman. Max, Michelle's brother, appears at Luke's house while Luke is a woman -- Luca. They are very attracted to one another. I won't give away the ending.

(Max)

This is sort of a gay movie, sort of a transmovie, sort of some other kind of movie. The movie poster totally sucks but its worth watching. Its a fascinating gender fantasy that challenges the whole gay/straight, man/woman system of ordering people and desires.

23 August 2009

Movie Review: Bungee Jumping of their Own

(Korean title: Beonjijeompeureul hada)


This movie is incredibly difficult to find outside of Asia, unless you are looking online like at the KMovie Addicts blog which has posted links to the movie online. I saw this first at the Hawai'i International Film Festival. This was followed by a friend being able to find a legal copy of it from Hong Kong. I cried every time I saw it.

The synopsis. In-woo (above) and Tae-hee meet on a rainy night in 1983. They are soulmates and instantly develop a strong bond for another. In-woo and Tae-hee agree to meet at the train station to elope. However, on the way, Tae-hee is killed crossing the street to the train station. In-woo waits and waits and never finds out what happened to her. Seventeen years later, In-woo has a wife and daughter and teaches at a boys' school.


Unbeknownst to In-woo, one of his students, Hyeon-bin (above), is apparently the reincarnation of Tae-hee. Hyeon-bin does not know the existence of his former life as Tae-woo either. However, the story attempts to resolve the questions around homosexuality through the lens of reincarnations. This movie is up in the top movies I've ever watched (of the several thousands I have watched in my life). I hope you are able to find it and enjoy as I have.

It seems like since this movie gay Korean cinema is showing signs of a life beyond tragedy for the cinematic gay.

17 August 2009

Movie Review: La Virgen de los Sicarios

It is unlikely that you have read or watched all of the various tragedies associated with Orestes, Agamemnon, and Elektra. Yet, La Virgen, shows very well, without leading the viewer to a conclusion about the role of revenge in our lives.

The movie takes place in 1990s Medellin, Columbia, home to the famous cocaine cartel. Fernando is a writer who returns to Medellin after a 30 year absense -- right after Pablo Escobar, the cartel ruler, was executed by the Columbian state. Fernando falls in love with Alexis (below) and brings to discover something beyond himself in his nihilistic world-view. Alexis is eventually killed and Fernando suffers grief and despair. He then comes to meet Wilmar (bottom). Yet, Wilmar complexifies Fernando's perception of the world -- already disturbed by his time with Alexis -- even further. And like Orestes and Agamemnon, the movie presents you with the proof of this life and allow you to determine the moral truth of the matter.


I was very much surprised by the depth of this movie and am happy I watched it. It is also available from the Malaysian Filem Gay website.

16 August 2009

Movie Review: Formula 17


Tien, who is from the province, is a trusting and naive 17 year old. Unlike Waldo in Walang Kawala, though, he heads to Taipei, the big city, deceiving his family about his purpose there and doesn't end up a prisoner or dead. It's a light-hearted romantic comedy.

It is his summer of love and adventure. His transformation from a back-country bumpkin to a in-scene starlet is complete. Yet, his weeakeness, he falls in love with one of the scene's notorious heartbreakers, Bai. That is the central struggle of this light-hearted comedy. Redemption.

You can be the judge. This is definitely one to watch with your partner or on a date. Its available, with patience, at the Malaysian Filem Gay website.

15 August 2009

Movie Review: Clandestinos


I saw this film from the Malaysian Filem Gay website. I had no idea what I was going to watch and forgotten that it was in my Netflix queue. It was an interesting movie although I didn't realize it until about half-way through the movie. The only really good part of the film was the last five minutes and its perhaps because I was looking at it in a way that was not intended. There is some kind of intergenerational gay angle -- which is how I saw the ending -- but the movie over all is mroe or less framed through horny teenagers without adult supervision -- nothing really gay about that at all. The movie would have been better as a short or as two separate movies, one to treat the ETA/Basque angle and one to treat the horny Madrileño teenagers -- or perhaps just one movie on the ETA/Basque angle.

In any event, if you've got some time, I'd say watch it. If you don't, I'd say skip it.

04 August 2009

Movie Review: Were the World Mine


You must see the movie. It is available at the Malaysian Filem Gay website. I thought I'd be seeing another poorly done teen age movie:
When his drama teacher casts him as Puck in his school's upcoming production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream," Timothy (Tanner Cohen) turns in an inspired performance, whipping up a fittingly Shakespearean love potion with the power to turn people gay. He begins, of course, with the school jock -- the object of his affection. Tom Gustafson directs this unconventional movie-musical based on his award-winning short film, "Fairies."
The movie is a spectacularly done thought experiment. The director and editors are able to wholly effect a suspension of disbelief and you are transported into a thought experiment of "what if" regarding your last year in high school, if everyone were gay. There have been a number of movies with this theme, but this movie is just spectacular. I like Wikipedia's synopsis:
Timothy is an openly gay student at a private boy's school. Although in his senior year, Timothy is still persecuted by the aggressive rugby team. Timothy lives with his mother, and his father is not a part of his life. Timothy's mother is struggling with her son's sexuality. Timothy is cast as Puck in the senior play 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'. While reviewing his lines, he discovers the recipe for a magical flower wielding the power of love. Timothy utilizes the flower to have the bigoted town take a 'walk in his shoes'. The entire town is thrown into chaos as previously heterosexual community members fall in love with their same-sex friends, bosses and co-workers. The school drama teacher guides Timothy towards the question of whether his actions have caused more harm than good. This film features several musical numbers.
Please don't take my word for it though. I encourage you to watch this movie and if you still don't believe me by reading this far, watch the trailer:

02 August 2009

Movie Review: Wild Zero


This is another one of those movies that I was like, what is this movie and how did it end up in my movie Queue. This is what the Netflix blurb on the DVD jacket said about the movie:

Japanese music video director Tetsuro Takeuchi applies his talents to this edgy, fast-paced and dizzying film about Ace (Masashi Endô), a young man who worships the popular Guitar Wolf (played by the real-life members of a group sporting the same name). After witnessing the band about to be double-crossed by a club owner, Ace helps them seek revenge. Impressed, Guitar Wolf's leader proclaims him a radical hero, a title Ace takes to the hilt.

I was like, what? How the hell did this end up in my Queue. Wikipedia, which I didn't look at until this morning, says its a cult hit in the Japanese zombie horror B-movie world. But I figured out that it must have slipped in long ago when I put a bunch of Japanese "gay" themed movies in my Queue when I noticed a Thai kathoey (binabae) playing a young Japanese woman.

The movie was strange. The special effects were anything but special, but it did have a thoughtful plot and the acting wasn't as bad as October Moon. I liked its message -- however convoluted it got to it -- "love knows no ethnicity, nationality or gender."