26 October 2009

Movie Review: Antique

I have to admit that its been years since I've watched a gay Korean film in public. I can tell you. It was when I was in Honolulu at the 2001 Honolulu International Film Festival and it was Bungee Jumping of their Own. Since that tragic time when I was finishing graduate school, I have watched all such gay Korean films in the comfort and privacy of my own home. I had put this film on order to do just that. Then, it turned out, I was going to be in Honolulu during the Honolulu International Film Festival this year and Antique was going to be showing.

I wasn't sure if this person was a man or a woman when I saw trailers so I became more interested. The Korean version of Bb. Gandanghari became the most important aspect of this film and doesn't end in the tragic variety of the Korean "The King and the Clown" or most other films of this variety.

It would be a fascinating synchronicity then that a movie that layers three different periods in the two main character's lives like the recipe for a French dessert was preceded by reminders of layers of different periods in my life.

This movie is highly layered. It weaves humor, detective-thriller, psychological suspense and romantic comedy into a sweet movie totally worth watching. It is fortunately available for viewing at the Malaysian site and perhaps youtube as well. It was nice to be reminded of everything I had forgotten about life ten years ago and now like the movie -- a resolution of that pain is available and ready for new life. I hope you enjoy it as I did.

25 October 2009

Movie Review: Boy Meets Boy

This short film is so gay -- and precisely what young gays need to be exposed to more of. These kinds of images -- circulating in steady supply will revolutionize life everywhere. Its too bad these kinds of images weren't around when I was a teenager -- the dark ages of gay cinema. Fear not , I found it on youtube and is rated somewhere between G and PG-13.

Part I

Part II

24 October 2009

14 October 2009

Movie Review: My Fair Son

I had only heard really bad reviews of this movie but they were written by older Americans. A short summary:
Ray moves back in with his father, a construction businessman, after having been sent to spend most of his childhood with his grandfather. They seem to mend the wounds of Ray having been sent away including Ray's disclosure that he's gay.
I only have access to gay Chinese life through the movies I've seen and a brief friendship I had with a crush in college who was from Hongkong and the day he left kissing me.
Anyhow, there are strange scenes were Ray and his gay friends all get naked and play video games and then all fall asleep (naked) together in a semi-cuddled fashion. The father, as the stoic Chinese elder, just watches but keeps himself from saying anything. But then, Ray falls in love with one of his father's long time employees -- who apparently has a girlfriend somewhere. This becomes the father's moment of truth.
Ray's life felt very much like a reflection on the complexity of my adolescence although I am not Chinese.

The movie does have the classical "zoning" moments that all gay Chinese cinema I've watched in the last ten years have -- and I can see why that would irritate older white American gay men who are used to other genre's of Third World gay cinema. I still liked it and it affected me. (That is Ray with his father's long time employee in a tragic embrace on the movie poster, by the way.)

09 October 2009

Nagmahal ang Bishop ng mga lalaki?


Youth endangered by music with suggestive lyrics, Filipino bishop says

Songs like that, he said, including another hit “Nagmamahal Ako ng Bakla (I’m Loving Gay Men),” have a double meaning.

“They should be banned because of its sexually explicit lyrics,” said Bishop Iñiguez, who heads the Committee on Public Affairs of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.

These songs and others like them “will affect their thinking and their concept of morality regarding those matters” and could encourage teenagers to engage in casual sex, he worried.


Sorry this is late, I've been busy over the last month and haven't had time to really work on this blog. J.A.N. posted a much better video of a condescended version of the song on the Rookie Blogger last month -- includes entire lyrics of song.

Now, I was thinking about what kinds of suggestive media might promote casual sex or immoral (from the Catholic dogmatic perspective) influences on impressionable youth:

Example One
(Practically nude ASF dancers)

Example Two
(Practically nude Jake Cuenca)

But perhaps Bishop Iñiguez really wants the love of the young men of Dagtang Lason:



08 October 2009

Movie Review: The Country Teacher

If you've ever been to Disneyland's "Fantasy Land" or watched Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, perhaps you will not find this movie interesting. They could have snipped off about 20 minutes from the beginning and still been a feature length film. The movie, however, is about a early 30s school teacher who flees the urban Czech gay life (and gay community) for a rural village where he can pretend not to be gay.

That ends up not working when he falls for a seventeen year old. The movie had the opportunity to provide a resolution to the problem of those who concretize and sexualize their puer complex and end up engaging in intergenerational sexual with inappropriate partners -- yes, a loaded position. I think, like rural life in general, it doesn't quite go that far and disappoints in the end.

Otherwise, the movie is a snap shot of the strange world of rural Eastern European life -- yes, Europe too still has peasants. If you have never seen a cow give birth and are grossed out by nature in its most fecund, feel free to skip the movie. There are no Luka's Story type Czech porn starts in this movie so if you watch these kinds of independent movies, I'd also skip it.

05 October 2009

Movie Review: The New Twenty

This photograph best captures what worth watching about this movie. This story takes place in the background of the movie The New Twenty which focuses on a college barkada that went through their 20s together in post-9/11 New York. Late capitalism in urban New York is not itself interesting. But Tony's story pictured above is moving. Its a post-adolescent look at love.

Available here at the Malaysian Filem Gay website.

04 October 2009

Movie Review: Mulligans

Just days after writing about an NPR story about a gay grandfather and gay grandson, I watched Mulligans. Even though the plot synopsis clearly states what it's about, I had the impression that it was the same kind of movie as Outing Riley.

Actually, the synopsis read:
When college pals Tyler Davidson and in-the-closet Chase arrive at the Davidson family lake house to spend the summer, clan patriarch Nathan Davidson soon finds himself irresistibly attracted to his son's handsome friend. When their feelings turn into an affair, Nathan must find a way to embrace his long-hidden sexual identity without losing the family he loves.
Well, that about sums it up well. The only thing I would have done was cast "Chase" as someone other than Charlie David. The over plucking of the eyebrows interfered with the "suspension of disbelief" about the fact that no one thought he was gay. He was very gay. The acting was excellent otherwise and so the great acting sort of compensated for the visual mis-cues.

Available here at the Malaysian Filem Gay website.