17 December 2016

Movie Review: Man on High Heels (하이힐)

This is a strange and super violent movie (its a Korean cop movie and it involves a transgender so what do you expect?). Detective Ji-Wook is like the most kick ass detective ever known to the force. He's a homicide detective who always gets the bad guy. But he secretly is working towards becoming a woman permanently. He resigns from the force so he can become a woman but a criminal syndicate that is looking for revenge and sucks him back into the violence by taking Jang Mi -- who is like his best friend or the person helping him become transgender or something -- as a hostage. It's like a violent Korean police drama meets Beautiful Boxer.

15 December 2016

Movie Review: The Skinny

The Skinny is a great story about Black middle-class LGBT social life. The protagonist of this story is Magnus. He is in a relationship with Ryan. They have pledged to be together for six months before having sex. The story takes place during the weekend of gay pride in New York. Magnus' friends come and visit him. There are several threads in this story that include a drug induced rape of one friend. We also learn that Ryan is sleeping around with everyone while Magnus is being celibate. It's an interesting story and worth watching.

The one thing that I found troubling is the "morning after" pill (series) for HIV exposure. Pre-exposure and post-exposure prophylaxis for HIV exposure is available and in the context of being raped, it sounds like a good idea. However, the use of these medicines is apparently widely used by people that simply don't want to use condoms -- in the countries where these medicines are readily available. But let me tell you why nobody should be taking these as an alternative to wearing condoms. First, HIV is not the only thing that can be contracted that may not be curable. Second, the use of prophylaxis in this way allows genetic mutations to advance more quickly so that that it is possible that at some near future point, there may be no effective treatment for mutated types of HIV.

13 December 2016

Movie Review: Floating Skyscrapers

This is the story of Kuba, a professional swimmer. He has a live in girlfriend, Sylvia, who is disliked by Kuba's mother, Eva. Kuba's got gay tendencies which he acts out at the gym/training center. In one instance, we learn that he likes gay sex but is not ready for the more emotionally intimacy. Kuba goes with Sylvia to an art show and meets Michael. Michael and Kuba become friends and it gets complicated. Sylvia ends up pregnant and Michael comes out as gay. It's a complicated story that is at times hard to follow, but as a snapshot of how gay works its way through into Polish living.

11 December 2016

Movie Review: Do I Sound Gay?

David Thorpe is Southern filmmaker who lives in New York City. He's single and he thinks its because he has a high voice. So he makes a film about it, tries to change his voice and interviews celebrity gay people. He interviews academics and his own friends and family about his voice. He comes to some conclusions.

09 December 2016

Movie Review: Drown

Apparently in Australia, there is a thing called competitive open ocean lifeguarding. This movie is about Len, who is the champion of this competitive lifeguarding world. When the younger and better (and gay) Phil shows up, Len can only bully and intimidate him to repress his own homoerotic desire. Things seem to patch up. After another competition, they celebrate. Alcohol gets mixed into it and we look into the dark abyss of human nature. Be warned that like many Australian mancentric movies, its violent and because there are gays, the violence gets sadistic. Be warned.

07 December 2016

Movie Review: Helicopter Mom

Nia Vardalos of My Big Fat Greek Wedding fame places Maggie Cooper, a helicopter mom. A helicopter mom is a mom who is overbearing and "drops in" like a helicopter on their child's life. When I think of helicopter, its more like Apocalypse Now. The parent thinks they are just dropping in, but actually most of the helicoptering is carpet bombing.  Maggie Cooper does this to her son Lloyd.Because he's sensitive and likes to write poetry, Maggie locks him as gay. She then helicopters by carpet bombing him psychologically until he outs him as gay to his classmates.

The most interesting aspect of the movie is Lloyd's relationship with his hippie father and his own processing of his sexuality. It's mostly light and could have been a made for TV movie.

05 December 2016

Movie Review: Grandma

Lily Tomlin stars as Elle, a lesbian poet who is still mourning the death of her long time partner. The movie begins where she has just ended a short relationship with a young graduate student admirer when her 18 year old granddaughter Sage shows up pregnant. The bulk of the story is grandmother and granddaughter driving through Grandma's long history as they look for a solution to the pregnancy. A light family comedy whisks you into something much more significant.

03 December 2016

Movie Review: To Be Takei

This movie is a documentary about George Takei's life. George Takei played Lt. Sulu in the original Star Trek. Takei is a survivor of the mass deportation and incarceration of American citizens of Japanese descent. He spent a part of his childhood in a concentration camp in the mid-West and then in California. He returned to Los Angeles, graduated from high school and went onto graduate from UCLA in Theatre.

The documentary showcases Takei's life and all the different pieces that make him him -- the most notable being his gay rights advocacy.

01 December 2016

Movie Review: Before You Know It

In the world where same-sex marriage is coming to a country near you, it is easy to forget that the views of people within the same generation are not so easily colonized. Before You Know It tells the story of three gay men who are elderly. It is the story of Dennis, who is a widower and exploring his transgenderness, that is the most interesting to me. He struggles with loneliness while he explores aspects of his transgenderism. His story is in contrast to Ty and Robert -- the other two subjects of the documentary. Ty and Robert have a community while Dennis is looking for one. And the story of this documentary is the story of growing old and what that means in the context of one's history and one's present.

And it is the traces of their stories which come from the other side of the same-sex marriage curtain that will haunt all LGBTs who come of age on this side of the curtain.