30 April 2012

Movie Review: The Gay Deceivers

I have no idea how I could have gone so long and not have watched this movie. Considering it was produced 43 years ago, I was impressed by the ambivalent look at homosexuality and the ambiguous homophobia.

Danny and Elliot are two friends (Danny is a rich white boy while Elliot is a poor white boy who works at Danny's father's country club and sleeps with all of the wives!) who are trying to dodge the military draft (to go to Vietnam for the US war then on-going). They are able to be determined ineligible because of homosexuality. However, they discover that the Army is investigating their lifestyle to ensure they aren't lying about their homosexuality. They move into a gay neighborhood and try to remake their lifestyle while simultaneously trying to minimize damage to their heterosexual relationships since they don't tell anyone how they got out of the draft.


SPOILER ALERT

It turns out that the officer who determined them ineligible and who is the lead investigator is also gay, sleeping with their next door neighbor and friends with everyone in the gay neighborhood. When the deception starts to have real negative impacts on Danny and Eliot, they go to the Army to confess only to learn that the officer and his staff are actually trying to keep straight people out of the Army and refuse to change the ineligible determination.

There are negative stereotypes of gays, but at the same time, there seems to be a critical edge to those stereotypes by showing the hurt the gay characters feel at being dismissed and making those enforcing the stereotypes look like the bad guys.

Definitely worth the watch although it lacks what I would consider to be a modern normative gay ending.

28 April 2012

Movie Review: R U Invited?

I had anticipated this movie to be a dud. This was really a case of judging a movie by its DVD cover and actually Oscar Contreras, the pudgy Mexican guy in the foreground, was perhaps the only thing that even made me read the name of the movie "R U Invited? 5 Guys and a Sex Party" Oscar reminded me of my first ex (I have no idea why) since by the end of the movie, his character sort of reminded me of ... me. (That's a whole other subject for an emo blogger challenge at another time.)

The movie starts off slow, actually, really slow. I mean, I have never been to a sex party. Yes, for anyone who thought that I was a true revolutionary, here is your moment for having your beliefs crushed. Although I did organize a sex party for my best friend (and I don't consider anything involving 4 or less people a sex party), I have never participated in one so I was interested to see how it would be represented in Texarkana, Arkansas. It wasn't. But I'm actually glad.

R U Invited? Tackles a number of issues that are apparently relevant to young gay men involving monogamy, the nature of relationships, love, infatuation and friendship. The lack of capital is evident in the production value and the slow start. The closest pinoy version of this movie I can think of would be Kambyo.

23 April 2012

Movie Review: Sebastiane

If you saw Caligula, this movie is not that. They were made around the same time so I'm not sure why this looked like a bad Fellini remake while Caligula exploited every sex stereotype projected onto a decadent Roman society.

This movie reminded me hauntingly of 100 days and I felt like it went on and on. I am more curious about St. Sebastian's life since he apparently was an early gay icon -- well before Madonna and Lady Gaga. My only other cultural association to him is that a play about him was a major literary device in Lilies. This movie did not shed any light on St. Sebastian. It seemed like a long drawn out soft porn scene that never comes.... to an end.

If for some reason you are interested in naked Italian men prancing around the desert/ocean scenes that would now be in their late 50s, early 60s, watch. The only redeeming point to this movie (if you can call it that) is that it is filmed entirely in Latin. But that's about it.