Archive for the ‘LGBT themed’ Category

120 BPM – **

Posted: May 7, 2018 in 2017, Drama, France, LGBT themed, XX

It’s the early 90s. The AIDS epidemic is still widespread amongst homosexuals, prostitutes, immigrants… and nothing is being done. The press ignores the disease. The government isn’t spending any money on prevention. And the pharmaceutical companies aren’t really in a hurry to find a cure.

Nathan decides to join the radical activist group ACT UP and falls for both the president of the organisation and one of the fiercest members of the group. He starts a relationship with the latter, even though the kid is already in a final stage of the disease.

This romantic premise isn’t really the focus of the movie. The activism is much more important. The actions, based on true facts, are well re-enacted and give you a good idea of what the movement did. It’s part of the LGBT history that needs to be told. The movie also shows how even in an organisation with a common cause, opinions can differ a lot. It’s all filmed in a pseudo-realistic way, but never tries to look like a documentary. Which is a good thing. And it’s a French drama, which automatically implies that characters aren’t necessarily there to please the audience and endings aren’t necessarily happy. Which is a good thing as well.

It’s fascinating until one of the main characters’ health deteriorates. The beginning is informative and intriguing. But towards the end it becomes a real drama. And the 120 bpm tempo slows down to a flatline. The last 20 minutes are just dragging on and on and on.

It’s a good movie. But it’s not nearly as good as what reviewers want you to believe. There are a lot of characters and all are introduced in a superficial way. Maybe a miniseries would have been better.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6135348

 

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Hurricane Bianca – *

Posted: April 25, 2018 in 2016, Comedy, LGBT themed, USA, X

Bianca del Rio is a riot. The Joan Rivers of drag queens. An insult comedian who makes Ricky Gervais sound lame. Roy Hanlock, who gives life to Bianca, is a riot too. So, why is this movie not as funny as it should be?

Because it feels restrained. It’s not offensive at all. A movie with Bianca del Rio should be extremely offensive, not just fun.

Here’s the synopsis: a queer math teacher accepts an assignment in conservative Texas. He loses his job as soon as his sexuality is revealed, but he doesn’t return to New York. No, he decides to apply for the job as his alter ego, Bianca del Rio, a woman that nobody will mess around with.

Some scenes are funny. After all it’s a light-hearted lgbt comedy. The idea of a teacher throwing shade at the bullying students is excellent. But the story isn’t original and almost all the performances are done by amateurs. It’s so over the top though. It’s so camp that it’s almost good. Almost. It’s just not offensive enough. And if you do use stereotypes, go full force, make sure it’s brutal.

For someone who complains about the political correctness in this world, this is a very pc  comedy. Disappointed. Hopefully the sequel is edgier.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4007248/

 

Elio Perlman is a cosmopolitan kid who resides with his parents in their fancy summer-house somewhere in the north of Italy. Most of the time he’s just bored. He excels in the arts. Plays the piano, the guitar, reads a lot of books and is a bit of loner. His father does some archeological research in the area and has invited an American man to come help him. The man is dashing. He has the whole village under his charm. From the teenage girls to the poker playing seniors. However, this is Elio’s story and Elio falls in love with him.

The directing is fine. The shots are great to look at. The soundtrack really works well. Combining piano compositions with silly 80s italo-disco. The acting by newcomer Timothée Chalamat is remarkable. So different from the shy and uncomfortable appearances on talk shows. The movie makes you want to book a trip to Italy and it makes you want to retreat to go write a book or something and to fall in love with the first attractive stranger that comes around.

BUT. It’s a silly story. Boy falls for man. Man first keeps a distance. Boy starts exploring his sexuality with his best female friend. Man then lures boy into his bed. Boy dumps girlfriend. Man and boy have a holiday fling. The end. Two and a half hours long! Yawn. Yes, it’s a bit awkward to watch a blossoming relationship between an adolescent boy and a man. But watching Lolita is also awkward. But hey, it’s all consensual. The kid is a cool kid to empathize with. The man however is boring as hell. Why on earth is this kid interested in this man? That’s the big failure of this movie. The object of love and lust has the charisma of an abricot. Or no. The abricot has more charisma. Watch the movie to find out why.

Disappointed. The story is boring. The audio-visuals are beautiful.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5726616 

Philadelphia – **(*)

Posted: January 27, 2018 in 1993, Courtroom, Drama, LGBT themed, USA, XX1/2

Philadelphia was groundbreaking back in 1993. Tom Hanks playing a homosexual with Aids! Of course he won an Oscar. But the real star of the movie was/is Denzel Washington, who never got the credit he deserved for his role as the initially homophobic counsellor who decides to represent Hank’s character against the company that first sabotaged and then fired him once word got out about his disease.

It’s interesting how a movie feels exactly the same 25 years after you’ve last seen it! Tom Hanks is okay. But Denzel is phenomenal! The direction is good, but simple. Those close-ups though, they still work, attracting the viewer to the characters. The opera scene is way too long and you don’t really get to learn much about AIDS or the patients who suffer from it.  It’s a court room drama and the victim happens to have AIDS. That’s it really. The ‘gay’ aspect is just trivial.

It’s a good movie. Worth watching in 2018. Apart from the IBM computers looking very outdated, it feels like it could have been made last year. Which is great. For the viewers. Which is not so great. For those who still get discriminated for being gay or being hiv positive.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0107818/

 

 

Dream Boat – (*)

Posted: January 27, 2018 in 1/2, 2017, Documentary, Germany, LGBT themed

Every year, the Brussels gay event La Demence organizes a cruise on the Mediterranean for their party clubbers clientele. It’s an international affair with guys form all over the world cruising during a cruise.

This documentary was shot on that cruise, but there is no mention of La Demence at all. Which is a good thing. It’s not really making the viewer want to book a cabin for next year’s journey.

This is a terrible documentary.

It sounds interesting though. A cruise full of muscle queens enjoying a themed party every night. All kinds of question arise: what does the crew think about this gay exclusive cruise? How do these clubbers get their drugs on board? How busy are the dark rooms? How many men actually go off the ship during the day and visit the ports of call? What’s been done to encourage safe sex? Where are all these guests coming from ?

Yet, the director seems to only focus on the last question. He’s following a camp Indian guy, a confused Polish stud, a confident Palestinian guy, a disabled Frenchman, an hiv positive German sucker… some of the most boring gay characters ever to have made it onto a screen. Their stories may be of interest in another kind of documentary, but if you make a documentary on a party cruise, make it a party cruise documentary!

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt6627466

Loev – *

Posted: January 21, 2018 in 2015, Drama, India, LGBT themed, X

Hm.

It’s a bit bizarre to watch a movie where a rape scene is considered an act of love. Especially in these #metoo times… The scene happens in the final act of the movie. The victim clearly says ‘no’ and is clearly not able to physically stop the abuse. Yet, somehow he’s okay with it all and acts like it was nothing. Moreover, throughout the entire movie the abuser is represented as a descent, honest bloke and the victim acts like a whimsical diva, both luring his abuser into romance and pushing him back.

It’s a story about a three gay men in Mumbai. Sahil (a musician) and Alex (an actor) are in a relationship, but clearly have their issues. The other, Jai, is a mutual friend and a successful businessman who’s in town for a couple of days. Sahil has planned a surprise trip for Jai and Alex is fine with them heading off together. However, Jai is open and honest about his feelings for Sahil and it’s clear that Sahil loves Jai as well….

Loev is very slow. Until the actual rape scene, nothing really happens. Sahil and Jai drive for hours and talk about all kinds of things. When they arrive at their destination the everyday conversations and situations continue, but nothing exciting happens. Every time a scene seems to turn into something intriguing, it’s cut short. And the rape scene isn’t even a turning point in the story. So it’s pretty redundant.

The movie gets a lot of positive buzz. Probably because it’s an Indian movie. And the characters aren’t one-dimensional (true). It’s definitely not a commercial Hollywood movie. But if you want to see a really good movie about an ‘exotic’ gay love triangle than watch the excellent Wound. 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5050788

Any article about the lack of gay soccer players in major competitions mentions Justin Fashanu as ‘the first openly gay soccer player’. His basic story is known to a larger (British) audience as well: rose to fame, came out gay, was shunned by the sport competition he loved, got accused of raping a young adult and killed himself. However, this documentary tells a lot more about this peculiar celebrity. Still not enough, but it’s an intriguing story. Fashanu was abandoned by this father and mother as a kid, grew up with his younger brother John as the only two black kids in a small British town, turned out to be a talented soccer player and became the first 1 mio £ black athlete in the UK. Then he didn’t perform well at his new team and was fired because of his homosexual activities… And then his life became a mess.

It’s a good documentary. Very chronological. Well filmed. With some nice shots of places he used to live in (Toronto, LA), young actors who interpret the young brothers, interviews with family members and friends, use of old footage from interviews (eloquent Justin clearly loved the attention) and also interesting tit bits from the news that matter to the story.

Too bad that when the documentary is over, you still feel like a lot of questions are unanswered. And you can’t find the answers online.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt6538102