Archive for the ‘LGBT themed’ Category

The Pass – (*)

Posted: December 14, 2017 in 1/2, 2016, Drama, LGBT themed, UK

If it was the idea of the director to make a total fool of gay footballers in the closet who cover up their sexuality by pretending to be more macho than they actually are, then he succeeded well.. This movie is making a fool of gay people. It’s making a fool of celebrity football players. It’s making a fool of people in the closet. It’s making a fool of anyone who has secret desires, but covers up for ‘the better’.

The main character is such a c*nt. He’s utterly unpleasant from the first moment you see him until the very last. There’s nothing likable about him. He’s played by Russell Tovey, the douche from Looking, not necessarily a good ‘actor’. His over the top pseudo macho behavior is annoying as hell. Especially his Ricky Gervais-like laugh. Then there’s the love interest, buffed actor Arinze Kané, who just looks buffed really.

The movie is based on a play. That explains the very limited settings. Basically all scenes take place in a hotel room or one bedroom apartment. And the dialogue takes forever. Maybe this works on stage. But it does NOT work as a cinematic experience.

What a disappointment.

Look at Wound instead. Another movie about gay men in the closet in a very macho environment. That one feels realistic. This one just feels like a joke.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5160154

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The South African entry for the Academy Awards of 2018 is quite a controversial movie in its home country. If focuses on the ritual tradition of the Xhosa to send their young men up to the mountains where they stay for a few weeks to be ‘initiated’ into manhood. This also means they get circumcised and need to heal. It’s a practice which still occurs these days, even though a lot of modern families send their sons to a hospital for a safe medical ‘cut’. It’s a cultural tradition and a personal affair. So, yes, this movie takes away the secrecy and brings the story to a larger (international) audience. Apart from that, the movie also focuses on three men with homosexual desires. Another controversial topic in South Africa, where being gay is legal, but doesn’t get the support from the majority of the population.

For Europeans, this is a fascinating movie. But it is voyeuristic. It’s not a movie made by and for the Xhosa people. It’s a movie made by a white director for an international crowd. Luckily, this thought only comes to mind afterwards. During the movie, you are soaked up in the story, mesmerized by the acting and in awe of the beautiful setting. The interaction between the three main actors and their characters is the best feat of the movie. The end result is quite respectful for the tradition. And the homo-erotism is very present, but not as sensational as in other movies.

Calling it the African Moonlight doesn’t do the movie justice. It’s actually sad that the latter movie won the Oscar last year, because now voters may not give this one a fair change because it’s again about black homosexuals. If the movie had been released a few years ago, it would have made a great chance of winning the Academy Award for best foreign picture.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt6333070

Check It – **

Posted: August 18, 2017 in 2016, Documentary, LGBT themed, USA, XX

Check It is an intriguing documentary about the E-street prostitute subculture in DC, consisting of several african american gay men who form a gang and cause mayhem wherever they go. The movie follows three of them in particular, who are given the chance to work as assistants to a fashion event organizer.

Luckily for the documentary makers (and the viewers) those three characters are quite entertaining subjects and are easy to empathize with. It doesn’t feel like the scenes were set up. Their naturally dramatic behavior is fascinating enough. There’s definitely a lot of pretending in front of the camera. After all, they are diva’s. But the reality of their life is probably much harder than shown here.

It’s not a nice story. It’s grim and shocking at times. Sure, it has an uplifting feel to it and an indication of hope. But in the end, as a viewer, you’re being a voyeur to the miserable life of others. The intentions of the documentary makers are not really clear. Sensationalism or raising concern?

The movie can be best described as a combination of Tangerine (the indie comedy about transsexual prostitutes in LA), the VICE documentary about gays living together in the gutters of Kingston Jamaica, a bit of Moonlight (kids being raised by crackhead mothers), Rocky (expressing your anger via boxing), a reality tv show on Fashion TV for aspiring fashion event organizers and a video of Mykki Blanco, the extravagant NY rapper who was performing today not so far away.

Check out Check It. 

The movie poster is brilliant as well.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5299014

Sprakeloos – **

Posted: March 24, 2017 in 2017, Drama, Flanders, LGBT themed, XX

Based on a popular book by one of the most successful Flemish writers, Sprakeloos (speechless) tells the story of a writer who has to come to terms with the emotional and physical decline of his mother after a devastating stroke. The concern for his mother is paired with anger and frustration.

The movie isn’t a success. Critics slammed it. Those who’ve read the book and seen the movie don’t like the interpretation of the story. But hey, the writer liked it. And I liked it too. More than a story about a very dramatic butcher’s wife/amateur actress who loses her speech (and rationality), it’s the story of the love/hate relationship of a son who looks a lot like his mother.

Yes, it’s flawed. But it’s well acted by Viviane De Muynck and Marie Vinck as the old and young butcher’s wife. And Stany Crets as the writer. The movie constantly swaps back and forth in time, a bit like what they do in This Is Us, and that keeps it going. It’s too bad it won’t get the audience that it deserves.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5585946

Romeos – **

Posted: February 6, 2017 in 2011, Drama, Germany, LGBT themed, XX

No, this is not the movie about the Flemish crooner trio De Romeo’s.

Lukas is a young transgender who moves to Cologne where he reconnects with an old girl friend of his. He’s put in a dorm for women as he physically still is a woman, but he wants to join the boys next door. His girl friend (who’s a lesbian) takes him to some gay parties, where he meets Fabio, who’s in the closet at home, but pretty popular in the clubs. They bond.

Unlike other movies about transgenders, this one deals with a girl becoming a boy. That’s already something refreshing. And unlike the other movies this one isn’t drenched in sorrow and misery and doubt. Yes, life as a transgender isn’t easy, but at least this character is pretty positive about his/her transition. It’s a low-budget movie. There’s nothing special about the directing or so. It’ll probably cause controversy when shown to a bigger crowd (say as a television movie or in classrooms), but it’s not that offensive either.

The acting is solid, even though it’s bizarre that they cast a boy (Rick Okon) to play the transgender. Maximilian Befort (who plays Fabio) looks like a German Marcello Mello Jr. But it’s Liv Lisa Fries who really steals the show. An actress with potential!

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1830792

Moonlight – ***

Posted: February 4, 2017 in 2016, LGBT themed, Romance, Social Drama, USA, XXX

By the time Moonlight hits European theaters (i.d. now), so much has already been said and written about it that you already kind of know what to expect. And that’s a shame.

It’s a great movie. An excellent movie even. But the story just isn’t as compelling as you’d hope. A black kid is raised by his crack addicted mother in a poor part of Miami. The kid grows up to be a teenager and then later an adult. The same character is played by three different actors who are all unique, but excellent nonetheless. The supporting cast is brilliant as well. That Naomi Harris filmed her scenes in just three days and that should give her a benefit to win an Oscar. Which she probably won’t. But it’s the directing that really deserves all the credits. The way Barry Jenkins tells this story is fascinating. He’s the kind of story teller that doesn’t need much dialogue, but can tell a lot by just shooting a simple everyday scene that tells it all. His choice of music works really well and the camera work is perfect and unique.

The first part is a good introduction, the second part is the most compelling and the third part feels like it’s added on with less inspiration. It’s the kind of movie that you’ll want to watch again (if you liked it the first time around) and then rate it even higher.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4975722

Drei (3) – *(*)

Posted: January 30, 2017 in 2010, Drama, Germany, LGBT themed, Satire, X1/2

A straight couple who’ll be celebrating their 20th anniversary together and finally plan to get married, both encounter the same man who they feel attracted to. She meets him at some congress, he meets him at the swimming pool. And soon they all have an affair. This is why Facebook has ‘it’s difficult’ as a relationship status.

The humor and the conversations are quite elitist, with references to theatre, art, literature, philosophy and science. It’s a bit too much sometimes. The story itself is very simple and predictable. None of that intellectual blabla makes it more profound.

But there are moments, when it’s entertaining. It has a Toni Erdmann feel, but it is less weird and less confronting. The acting (especially by Austrian tv actress Sophie Rois) makes it worthwhile and the editing trick of having several scenes appear all over the screen is fun.

And let’s go to Berlin again and get into that swimming pool !

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1517177