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Jim

June 1998

Movies, Movies, Movies

Hi everyone and welcome to my June article. I'm sorry I missed last month but I didn't have anything to discuss. Well I just had my Birthday yesterday, May 31. I am another year older and perhaps wiser. Things have been going very good for me over the past few months. Some of this happiness I must attribute to Oasis, its writers, and Jeff. Oasis has really helped me come to terms with my homosexuality. Since I accepted myself as being gay and entering the gay lifestyle (making gay friends, going to gay clubs, coffee shops, reading gay publications, etc.) I have really become much happier than I have ever been. The Oasis gang has really been a big help so thanks guys. I do not remember the exact date of my first trip to a gay bar (my first gay anything) but it was about this time last year. So I can officially celebrate the first anniversary of my coming out. I still have issues, mainly family, but at least I'm making progress and not regretting choosing this path in life. I'm glad that I have so many wonderful friends to share this journey with. Thanks guys! Oh I will be going sailing along the Norwegian coast in July. I will be sailing from Narvik to Bodo. Aren't you jealous? I'll take some pictures and if any of them turn out good I will try and include it in my August column.

OK, now on to my column. I have been renting gay/alternative lifestyle movies lately. I am referring to non-porno films, clean stuff. Anyhow, I have trouble picking movies to rent because I don't know anything about any of the gay films out there. So, I have decided to review the movies I have seen and will see in the future to help others know what to rent and what not to rent. Please remember that I am an engineer not an English major so I will not be as critical as Siskel and Ebert. I will mark the film titles that I really think are worth watching with 4 asterisks (*). When possible, I asked my many gay friends what they thought of these films and included their assessments. Where appropriate, I rate the "cuteness" of the actors as well.

Beautiful Thing (1996):
****
Romance
Actor's Looks
-- damn fine!

This film is an adaptation of Jonathan Harvey's successful play about a growing attraction between two British teenaged boys of the working class. This film is set somewhere in Britain in a major city. The two boys, Jamie and Ste, are next door neighbors in a large apartment complex. Ste is being beaten by his father and older brother. Jamie is being harassed at school because his fellow classmates think he is gay. The boys start out just being school friends and soon discover that they are gay and that they like each other. I will leave it at that. I highly recommend this film. It's an excellent story and the acting is good. The last scene is just beautiful. I won't spoil it for you by describing it. My gay friends give it 2 thumbs up!

Jeffrey
****
Comedy
Actor's Looks
-- Mixed age group all of them good looking 30+ yr old men

OK, this is a well known film. The cast is made up of numerous famous actors. It's a fun look at a gay man who gives up sex because of the HIV outbreak. Unfortunately for him, he meets the man of his dreams who happens to be HIV positive. The film follows his struggle with his hormones and emotions. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. It's very funny with a few serious scenes. I would think that most video stores would carry this one. My gay friends give it 2 thumbs up!

The Blue Hour
Drama
German with English subtitles
Actor's Looks
-- damn fine!

This film is about a 23 yr old gay callboy, Theo, who lives in Berlin, Germany, and his next door neighbor, Maria. Theo lives the "good life" working as a callboy and Maria breaks up with her French boyfriend. The two of them become involved and Theo begins to doubt his life as a prostitute. It's a good film if you don't mind subtitles. I'm not sure how much the young crowd would enjoy this film but if you are into art films then you might like this one.

Lie Down with Dogs (1995)
Comedy
Actor's Looks
-- mixed reviews

This film is about a young man from Manhattan searching for his dream man in a gay resort area of Provincetown, Massachusetts. The film has a few laughs but is slow going and I would not recommend it.

Boys Life I, II
Drama
Actor's Looks
-- mixed reviews

Both Boys Life films are made up of gay themed shorts. I believe both films contain 4 short films. I found both films rather weak. If you want to see one, pick Boys Life 2. It was significantly better. The themes are based on young men dealing with and discovering their homosexuality. Perhaps the Oasis crowd will get more out of these two films than I did. I know Boys Life 2 got weak reviews in the Houston Free Press when it was released.

Boys In Love
Drama
Actor's Looks
-- mixed reviews

OK here's another film made up of 4 gay short films. The one titled "Friend of Dorothy" is very good. I found the rest of them boring. But I am older than most Oasis readers so perhaps you young guys might relate better to these shorts.

Priscilla Queen of the Desert
****
Comedy
Actor's Looks
-- damn fine for the most part

OK I like this one a lot. You've probably heard of it since it played on either HBO or Showtime. It's a story about three drag queens who drive across Australia in a bus. The one queen is going to meet his ex-wife and babysit their son while she is out of town. He has not seen his young son in many years. The three queens have plenty of fun and some times serious mishaps and adventures along the way. You should definitely watch this one. You should be able to find this one in most video stores.

To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar
Comedy
Actor's Looks
-- I'll leave this up to you but most say -- "Yummie"

Patrick Swayze, Wesley Snipes, and John Leguizamo play three drag queens who are driving from New York to Los Angeles to compete in a drag queen beauty pageant. Their car breaks down in a small down and they are stuck for several days. Needless to say they transform the town and its people. OK, the first half of the movie is slow but it finishes strong. I found it entertaining but not anywhere as good as Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. I also found it hard to accept Snipes and Swayze as real drag queens because they always play such tough guys. The first rule in film making is to get the audience to suspend reality. I was not able to. There is one major flaw in this film: how can you have a film about three drag queens and never have them perform a big number???? What a waste and major oversight by the writers/director. You should be able to find this one in most video stores.

La Cage Aux Folles (The Bird Cage)
****
Comedy
Actor's Looks
-- I can't remember been too long since I've seen this one.

Alright, you've probably seen "The Bird Cage" right? Well this is the original film of that story. It is much better than the "The Bird Cage." Of course I saw La Cage Aux Folles long before "The Bird Cage" so perhaps this skews my view point just a bit. I highly recommend seeing this film. You will laugh your head off. You should be able to find this one in most video stores.

Love, Valor, Compassion
****
Drama
Actor's Looks
-- Mixed Reviews

This film takes place over a whole summer. It's about a group of gay friends who get together on several occasion through out the summer at a friends country home (on a lake). It stars Jason Alexander (George on Seinfeld). He and one other actor are suffering from AIDS. The film goes from light humor to dealing with some very serious issues. Since the characters are older, 35+, they are dealing with issues that young gays may not understand or even care about but none the less very important ones. This film is excellent and many of my young gay friends enjoyed it so don't be afraid to rent this one. I personally thought it was a bit slow though. You should be able to find this one at most video stores.

Maurice
Drama
Actor's Looks
-- Good

"Maurice" is based on a famous story but I can't remember the name of it. The box in the video store will tell you. It stars a young Hugh Grant. The film takes place in England starting in 1910 and spans a number of years. It follows two young men from their Cambridge days into their adult life. Hugh and this other gentleman fall in love but must deal with the very strict moral codes of their day. If one can be sent to prison and flogged if he is found to be gay. And we thought we had it tough now. I'm not sure how to rate this film. I think it moves slowly but if you're into art films this one might be up your alley.


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