Archive for the ‘LGBT themed’ Category

Recommended by friends, this new LGBTQI+ Netflix series is a bit of a drag really. No pun intended.

A woman returns to San Francisco after having left 20 years ago to pursue a career. She used to live in a community house run by a transgender, whose 90th birthday is the occasion of her return. But not everyone is happy to see her. Most definitely not her ex husband and their adoptive daughter.

Laura Linney and her character save this show from total boredom. Her presence is fresh and funny. The rest of the cast is not impressive at all. And the script sucks. Every episode has a few scenes that are worth the rave reviews, but in general this is not a good drama show.

An intriguing character is Jake, a transgender who is confused about his new identity after the transgression. It’s not a stereotypical characterization and the actor isn’t a professional, which makes it more real. His former lesbian girlfriend is having trouble accepting the new identity as well. Yes, this story line is good.

But most of the time the story and characterization is irritating. Why do daddies in interracial/intergenerational couples always have to be white? Why do we need characters that represent the pseudo artistic influencers we now see on social media? Why does San Francisco look sunny and clean? I mean, have they been to San Francisco? Why is the idea of smoking weed every single moment of the day something attractive to look at on tv? Why do producers think Ellen Page is someone people want to watch ‘act’?  It’s also so annoyingly politically correct. It’s terrible.

In fact, the best confrontational scene is the one where a bunch of old homosexuals get reprimanded a younger gay guy because they use the word ‘tranny’. The discussion that follows is quite a powerful moment on generational conflicts.

It’s not a good show. It’s hard to finish. But episode eight is worth the watch. It’s a flashback episode focussing on the Compton Cafeteria Riot from 1966. Though flawed, it’s worth the watch and the only episode that doesn’t make you push the forward button.

www.imdb.com/title/tt7087260

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A Jewish girl has been in lesbian relationship for about 3 years, but hasn’t come out yet to her conservative parents, who already have to deal with a homosexual son and his non-Jewish boyfriend. The chef of the local restaurant that she loves to go eat at with her colleague invites her to a Senegalese party where she’s having a blast, away from her lesbian partner and her conservative parents. But then the inevitable happens: she falls for the chef, a black muslim. Now what?

As far as French comedies are concerned this is quite a funny take on the multicultural and pluralistic society we live in. However, it’s tackling too many issues at once and in the end doesn’t tackle any of them at all. The movie isn’t politically correct (which is great), but it’s also quite superficial and focuses a lot on stereotypical behavior.

Sure, the dilemma of the main character (marrying her lesbian partner or starting an affair with a black muslim) is confusing, but you can always say it’s a french movie. This is not Hollywood. If you’re easily offended about the representation of jewish people, muslims, blacks, lesbians, gays, racists, anti-Semites, then skip this one.

www.imdb.com/title/tt6290418

Ten minutes into this French television movie, you’re wondering if the tourist office of Lille has financed this detective crime story. The drone shots of Lille are fabulous. Perfect for any city trip destination commercial. Then, after some research, it turns out this television movie is part of a French series of ‘murder mysteries’ that take place in tourist destination. And each story is linked to some local legend. It’s a great concept. And this episode makes you want to watch others. Not so much for the acting or the stories, but for the getaway experience.

In this movie, the body of a sculptor is found inside of one of his sculptures, at display in the excellent Piscine of Roubaix (an art museum in a former art deco swimming pool). The local police captain gets the help of a superior from Paris, who grew up in Lille. She’s standoffish and cold and reluctant to revisit the city in the north, where she is confronted with her past. In fact, one of her best friends was an assistant to the sculptor.

The crime story is silly. It’s not exciting or thrilling at all and the finale is a disappointment. But the acting is quite good and again, the location scouts did an excellent job. Too bad it’s not the pilot of a series, because both the captain and his supervisor are great characters. The captain’s assistant is also intriguing.

But it’s a television movie. And when it’s over, it’s over and you only remember how great Lille can look.

Bohemian Rhapsody – **

Posted: November 14, 2018 in 2018, biopic, Dramedy, LGBT themed, Musical, USA, XX

This is a pretty entertaining movie for anyone who knows the songs of Queen, but never really bothered learning more about them or their lead singer Freddy Mercury.

Being a teenager in the eighties, this band had zero appeal to me. The songs were anthems for the masses and the front singer just looked ugly as f***. Those teeth! Yet, a few decades later and the songs still stand and have become rock and pop classics. So, they must have done something right.

It’s clear why this movie attracts large crowds. It’s filled with the songs that people want to hear. In fact, the last 15 minutes or so are a re-enactment of their Live Aid concert in 1985, considered by most as the best performance of that night. It’s a daring choice, but it works. It’s a great performance. As a vinyl collector I have NO singles or albums of this incredibly important band, but next time I see The Works or A Kind Of Magic on the flea market for 5 euro, I’ll take them home.

So, music wise, this is a great movie. Visually it’s quite attractive as well. The acting is silly. 80s Mercury is performed extremely well by Rami Malek. But that’s about it. The story however is so obviously edited for the masses. Just like their music. It doesn’t shy away from Mercury’s flamboyant lifestyle, but it just lets the audience assume things and doesn’t confront them with it. And that’s okay. There’s no need for explicit scenes.

It’s very clear that the band members are the good guys and his personal assistant is the bad guy. That is SO obvious. It’s very clear that the band members and the former wife of Freddy somehow supervised this movie. But that’s okay. Sure, the movie does the all American thing where being gay is okay as long as you have a monogamous relationship, but hey, at least they mention that he’s gay. At least his wife mentions that he’s gay.

It’s very enjoyable.

www.imdb.com/title/tt1727824

Girl – **

Posted: November 6, 2018 in 2018, Coming Of Age, Drama, Flanders, France, LGBT themed, XX

Lara is a teenager with some serious issues. She wants to be a ballerina and is admitted to a ballet school, but lacks the experience of other girls in her class. She is also born in the body of a boy and is about to start a hormonal treatment to finally become a woman. These two ambitions are just too much for a sixteen year old. Becoming a ballerina is already very tough. Becoming a woman is even tougher! Doing both at the same time just isn’t particularly healthy.

Girl is an award winning box office surprise about a serious issue that’s getting more and more media attention. It’s a movie worth watching and it’s filmed really well. But it’s a challenge. You never really get to know the main character. It’s an emotionless being with an aloof smile that is hard to read. It’s interesting because this robotic performance is intentional. It’s like the director wants the audience to not understand the character at all. Halfway through the movie there is a medical specialist who literally tells the main character to stop hiding emotions and start showing them. The psychologist doesn’t seem to be able to reveal thoughts and feelings either. Nor does the father. Or the class mates. Or anybody. This is one mysterious character. Which is quite intriguing and unique. Plus: the camera just follows this main character from upclose.

However, because the character doesn’t give anything, you’re just left wondering. And then the appreciation of this movie all depends on how understanding you are willing to be when it comes to transgenders. It’s very easy to think: boy, just embrace your femininity, wait until you’re an adult to make drastic decision about changing your gender and focus on something else than becoming a ballerina. But that’s not really the point of the story. Girl is the kind of movie that leaves plenty of questions unanswered. Which is great in a time when movies seem to be over-explanatory. But some background info about the character would have been nice.

In recent news (end of 2018) Tanzania is hunting down all gay people and the American government plans to invalidate the existence of transgenders by making it only legal to be a man or a woman based on how you were born. And then there’s this movie, which only shows a little bit of incomprehension or disapproval. The father is super supportive. The doctors are doing their utmost to help with the transition. In school none of the boys have an issue with the fact that one of the girls they need to lift in ballet performances has a penis. The girls initially also don’t seem to mind at all. It’s confusing. The world does not accept transgenders as well as portrayed in the movie.

www.imdb.com/title/tt825455

The Happy Prince – **

Posted: October 12, 2018 in 2018, biopic, Drama, LGBT themed, UK, XX

Oscar Wilde was quite a fascinating man. A popular playwright sentenced to prison because of his homosexual behavior. He was married with two children, but the lust for young men and one man in particular landed him in jail for two years. It was Victorian England and homosexuality was the worst of all sins. Once released he went into exile across to France and lived the last years of his life in poverty and illness. He reconnected with the lover that made him go to prison. He constantly dismissed the advice of his agent. He had no money, yet spent it all on drugs (coke, absinthe) and prostitutes.

Yes, this is what you get to see in this biopic. Misery with capital M.

Yet, it’s a well-directed movie. The late 19th Century atmosphere is well reproduced. The production design is awesome. Costume details as well. Attention to detail is great. And the performance of Rupert Everett as Oscar Wilde is quite exceptional. It’s clear that he’s know a lot of man he portrays. In fact, he’s the director of the movie. It’s worth mentioning that he doesn’t show Wilde as a hero at all. This is a flawed man, with a complex character. The complexity isn’t explained, but shown. Too bad you don’t really get to see what his talent was. It helps if you’ve read a book or play by Wilde before watching this movie. Otherwise it’s just a movie about a sad old queer. There are a lot of references to his life and work and period of living, so it also helps if you have some background when watching this drama.

Still. Worth watching.

www.imdb.com/title/tt2404639

God’s Own Country – *(*)

Posted: September 14, 2018 in 2017, Drama, LGBT themed, Romance, UK, X1/2

Somewhere in the north of England, a young closeted farmer boy has a tough time helping out his crippled dad and his bossy grandmother. He often goes to the local pub to get wasted and from time to time – at a cow market in the movie – he has meaningless sex with pretty boys. Then a Rumanian seasonal worker arrives to help during a cold early spring and after some initial resentment, the farmer boys fall head over heels for each other.

Sounds familiar?

Branded the British Brokeback Mountain, this movie has a tough time being original. Two masculine gay guys falling in love while living in a remote place amongst a herd of sheep. BORING!

Yet, it’s an arthouse favorite and gets good reviews online. But by whom?

Whoever calls this story romantic, clearly hasn’t experienced romance before. Whoever calls this story hopeful hasn’t experienced hopelessness before.

What are the odds that a not so attractive farmer boy in a remote place encounters a handsome Rumanian man, who falls for him even though he’s been calling him a Gypsy several times. I mean, really? Then all of a sudden, without any real flirtation, they go at it in the mud. And they don’t look dirty. They work on a farm, head out into the hills and sleep in a shed, but they look like they just went shopping for fancy clothes. Then within a week, the farmer boy changes from a drunk pseudo-macho loser to a devote sweet guy who suddenly cares for his father. And a week later of finally having found love, he cheats on his lover by fucking some random student in the toilet of the local bar. What are the odds? You tell me, if this all sounds realistic.

Go watch Being 17 (Quand On A 17 Ans) instead. Now thát was a good movie with a realistic story of two people in a remote place feeling attracted to each other and loathing each other for it.

www.imdb.com/title/tt5635086/