Movies

Y - GuRl's picture

oh I do like your film.

Why hello. It's been a while.. not too much excitement going on at the moment. The queer film festival starts this weekend and I was kinda bummed thinking I didn't have any queer film goers to take advantage of such festivities with.. until my friend Jamie asked me to come along with her and others to see one of the films they're screening!

msydor's picture

DVD Trading Idea

I just had an idea about the contests Jeff has been setting up.

Lots of the movies that have been removed, I would like to see, as I'd imagine everyone else would. And since they are relatively difficult to find (for some people) it'd be nice to trade around the ones that have been won.

So maybe it'll work something like this:

The Graffiti Artist: DVD Review

By Jeff Walsh

"The Graffiti Artist" is a small, hypnotic gem of a movie. Nick lives a world detached from other people, just skateboarding through Seattle and Portland, spray-painting his signature tag "Rupture" everywhere he can, stealing what he needs, and crashing where he gets tired.

It's easy to dismiss this movie (in fact, someone watching it with me couldn't stand it, because they said nothing happens and the acting was so stilted), but that wasn't my take on it. I saw the tagging as his version of leaving his mark on the world, the only way he learned how to fully express himself. The constant need to tag seems to be that he has so much inside of him he wants to get out, he just doesn't know how.

At a skate park, Nick can't stop watching this one guy, following him after he leaves. He sees the other kid tag a wall, and then skate away, making eye contact right before he leaves.

Boys Briefs 4: DVD Review

By Jeff Walsh

In "Boys Briefs 4: Six Short Films About Guys Who Hustle," the question that never gets answered for me is why this has become such a pervasive image of gay culture. For a while, it seemed impossible to go to a gay film festival without at least half of the stories being about gay hustlers. And, most of the time, they don't have all that much to say.

This DVD is certainly the rule, and not the exception, as far as that stuff goes. Here we have six films and, aside from one, they are all about hustlers who don't really like their situation.

I can't really recommend this collection, because it's all so self-hating and negative overall. The positive moments are too few and far between. In this one, our host pretends to be a hustler, but it's more of the same stereotypical street hustler talk that is pretty familiar at this point.

Boys Briefs 3: DVD Review

By Jeff Walsh

I'm always of mixed opinions about short films, for much the same reasons I don't read a lot of short stories. They always seem to fall into three categories: art pieces that barely say anything, pieces that hold promise for a lot more that end too fast, and intricate pieces that would never be able to sustain their "house of cards" structure in a longer form. So, I guess it's safe to say I'm biased going in: to me everything is viewed in relation to its ability to be addressed in a longer form.

"Boys Briefs 3: Between the Boys: 8 Gay Short Films About Hooking Up" is very clear from the get-go about its intentions when its cute Asian host, Erwin Saracho G., starts the proceedings off by taking a shower with the roving camera panning up and down his body, then he towels off, sits down on the edge of the bathtub, and introduces the first film. All of his interstitial content is done in little tight bikinis, or shirtless, and as much as I'm fine with cute naked boys, I guess I felt a bit slighted that it was felt that I needed this stuff to keep me interested. As you'll read, though, sometimes I did.

A Love To Hide: DVD Review

By Jeff Walsh

"A Love to Hide" takes place in 1942 Paris, as the country is under German occupation during World War II. As the movie opens, we see Sara escaping, and learn to find that she is Jewish, her family was killed, and she barely escaped alive.

She goes to see Jean, an old friend she knows from when their families used to vacation at the same place each year when they were just kids. She always had a crush on Jean, who sets her up to live with Philippe, his friend. Jean's family owns a laundry that has no choice but to deal with a lot of German military officials to stay in business, so it isn't safe to keep her with his family.

As Sara wonders whether her childhood crush on Jean will turn into something again, now that they are adults, she sees Jean saying goodbye to Philippe, and their kiss lets her know her future with him isn't likely to happen.

Garcon Stupide: DVD Review

By Jeff Walsh

There exists a subset of movies that tries to make you think there is a good movie happening at a level that you don't understand. There is vague symbolism, knowing glances between characters, shifts in shooting style, all a clear tip-off to people who "get it." The subset keeps you quiet for fear of dismissing a movie that seems dull and contrived on its face, but where you risk being exposed as a cinema fraud if you say the emperor isn't wearing any clothes.

On the high-end, I've felt this way about critics' darlings like "Syriana" and "Half Nelson," and on the low end, part of me thought there certainly had to be more going on in "Garcon Stupide," a French movie by Lionel Baier. The movie centers on its young protagonist, Loic, who meets guys online and has sex with them. He doesn't want to know their stories; it isn't intimacy, just sex. He lives with a girl who lets him crash for free, and listens to his vague plans to better himself.

Hellbent: DVD Review

By Jeff Walsh

For gay horror fans, "Hellbent" is a dream come true. A killer is loose in West Hollywood, decapitating his gay victims, on the night of a huge Halloween carnival.

The film follows most of the traditional horror conventions: the killer who walks slowly yet always seems to catch his victims, sex leading you to an early death, and the lack of any real motivation for why the killings are happening in the first place.

The movie begins with a gay couple making out in a car near a park. We see silhouettes nearing the car while they pull their clothes off, but with not much room in the back of the car, one decides to hang his head out the window to give them more room. And just as his partner is pulling down his pants, instead of getting head he loses one. Roll title sequence.

In Her Line Of Fire: DVD Review

By Jeff Walsh

"In Her Line Of Fire" finds Mariel Hemingway as a Secret Service agent assigned to protect the Vice President of the United States (David Keith). While en route to a diplomatic tour of Asia, their plane crashes in the South Pacific, leaving the survivors on a remote island where they are kidnapped by rebel soldiers that intend to sell the vice president to the highest bidder.

The movie is a taut, action-packed thriller. No gaping holes in the plot. The main issue is that for this story to work its magic on you, you really have to buy into the notion that it's a woman kicking all these guys' asses. That is the conceit of the story. If that seems empowering or makes you want to see the movie even more, then you're off to a good start. If your reaction is "So? She's a woman, and...?!" then there's a good chance it will seem like a formulaic movie with a woman playing the Stallone role. Maybe some people really are attracted to a movie where a tough, no-nonsense woman, aiming to teach rebel soldiers a lesson, straps on a huge

Queens: DVD Review

By Jeff Walsh

As Spain is about to wed its first gay couples ever, five women have to confront their pasts, presents, and prejudices before seeing their sons marry in "Queens," a glorious Almodovaresque film from Manuel Gomez Pereira. This Spanish film (with English subtitles) may be about gay sons getting married, but the headstrong matriarchs steal the show.

One mother has to confront the fact that her son is marrying the son of their gardener, who she's never even let set foot in their house for decades. Another comes a little too well packed from Buenos Aires, with her dog and no real plan to go home anytime soon. One is sexually compulsive in awkward situations and finds herself alone with her future son-in-law. One runs the hotel where all the gays are coming for the reception, but the chef (with whom she's having an affair) decides the whole kitchen is going on strike right before the reception. And, well, you get the idea...

Dante's Cove First Season: DVD Review

By Jeff Walsh

"Dante's Cove" is a sexy, gothic, campy soap opera that combines elements of Melrose Place, any horror movie involving centuries-old legends and spells, and Queer as Folk. Watching the first season on DVD (a second has already run on here! TV, and a third season has been ordered), my first impression is that watching this with a group of people would have definitely heightened the experience, primarily because it is the kind of movie that begs for people to cry out in disbelief, but at the same time it walks the line fine enough to pull off the whole crazy premise.

In a nutshell, a woman catches her groom-to-be having (graphic) sex with another man in the 1840s. Sadly for him, she has magical powers and sentences him to spend eternity in a sub-basement of the house chained up until some "handsome young man" kisses him. But then, she makes him look into the mirror to see that he is no longer the striking gay lothario he formerly was, but a wrinkled old coot with crazy-long grey hair. Somehow the inability of no one to find him there in the first place is now compounded by the fact that no one would want to kiss him anyway? But this isn't the kind of show where you sit around and dwell on these things for too long.

Poster Boy: DVD Review

By Jeff Walsh

"Poster Boy" tries to be so many things, you end up wishing it just picked one thing and stuck with it. The movie is about a closeted gay son of a powerful right-wing Senator up for re-election. His father wants him to introduce him at a campaign stop at the son's school. The son has kept a low profile there and doesn't want to be associated with the campaign. Another guy hooks up with the senator's son and decides to out him at the event. And the movie is told with the framing device of the son finally telling a newspaper reporter the whole story of what happened leading up to the father's speech on campus.

Reading that, it sounds like a pretty decent movie, so let's drill down a little further. First of all, let's examine the framing device. Four months after a political scandal, the son is going to tell his story to the press? In politics, there's no such thing as four months for something like this. It would be an entire non-story at this point. The other thing, we have a reporter from a fictional San Francisco newspaper who seems to not get the gist of homosexuality, telling him he's a handsome boy, didn't he even try to hook up with some of the co-eds on campus?

Shock To The System: DVD Review

By Jeff Walsh

In "Shock to the System" (out this week on DVD), Chad Allen plays gay detective Donald Strachey in a noir murder mystery set against the backdrop of a gay "reparative" therapy program, and the crazy part is, it's actually an enjoyable, well-written, worthwhile movie.

I'm not sure why, but whenever I would see books like this in the gay bookstore with jacket copy exclaiming thrillers being solved by gay and lesbian detectives, well, I pretty much thought it was silly and a subgenre I really didn't want to know anything more about. I mean, what does being a gay detective bring to the picture exactly?

So, when I got the review DVD for this movie from Here! films, the second Donald Strachey movie at that (after 2005's Third Man Out), I was hesitant. My hesitancy didn't last long.

Robin De Jesus Interview

By Jeff Walsh

Like many people, I first saw Robin De Jesus when he played the lead role in the movie Camp, which continues to be one of my favorite gay movies. The movie features teens dealing with their emotions, crushes, and sexualities at a summer camp that puts on different plays and musicals the whole time. I felt that he was the heart of the movie, and beautifully captured the awkwardness of that age.

Since that time, I've kept tabs on Robin, seeing if he's in any shows whenever I'm planning to go to New York City and such. This past trip, when I saw the Rent theater, for a moment, I wondered if he was still in the company, but I already had tickets for other shows.

The day before I flew back west to San Francisco, Robin posted a bulletin on MySpace that previews for the new show he's in were starting the following day, so while I was landing in Oakland, he was performing in "In The Heights" at the first preview. The show opens tonight Off-Broadway (Break a leg tonight, Robin!) and sounds like a fun night out at the theater. I'll let you know in a few months.

Innocent: DVD Review

By Jeff Walsh

"Innocent" is a movie about a 17-year-old character named Eric who is surprised to learn early in the film that his family's vacation in Canada from their homeland of Hong Kong is permanent. They intend to stay.

Eric is dealing with his homosexuality, but is not the shy waif innocent we're used to seeing in movies, despite the film's title. He stars as his cousin's ass in the shower, sleeps with a middle-aged man who sees him buying a gay porn magazine, goes right in for the kiss with his schoolmate, and seems like there might be a spark with a worker hired at the family's restaurant. He may be awkwardly dealing with his sexuality, but he seems pretty clear about it.

The movie, by Simon Chung, seems to lack a central narrative that pulls you through the experience as a viewer. Eric has these dealing with his sexuality. His mother is trying to start a restaurant with the help of someone who seems romantically interested in her. The father is getting some extramarital action on his neighborhood jogs, and ends up returning to Hong Kong in the middle of the movie.

Another Gay Movie: DVD Review

By Jeff Walsh

Before I say another word, I need to point out that this movie is not for the younger viewers of the site. In the commentary track, the director mentions wanting to make the "gayest movie ever," and succeeds, but it is way, way over the top. Not that that is necessarily a bad thing.

The movie is about four friends, all high school graduates about to enter college after summer vacation. The foursome are also, to use their term, "booty virgins." So, they all make a pact to have anal sex before the end of summer. The movie is patterned off of both the American Pie and Scary Movie series, so there is nudity, gross-out humor, and parodies of other gay movies throughout.

adrian's picture

Just watched Shortbus

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shortbus

The new film by John Cameron Mitchell (AKA Hedwig, from Hedwig and the Angry Inch).

It's an x-rated drama / comedy, with tons of real , unsimulated, incredibly graphic sex scenes. The simple fact is, it's not really a porn film, as the sex is kind of integral to the story.

Any attempt to censor the film would completely destroy it, but as it stands, it's one of the most earnest and frank portrayals of human sexuality I've ever seen.

Also makes me wish we had a shortbus club where I live =)

'Wedding Wars' Review

By Jeff Walsh

"Wedding Wars" (airing Monday, December 11, 9 p.m. ET/PT, on A&E) is the story of two brothers. Shel is a gay party planner hired to plan his brother Ben's wedding. Ben is marrying the daughter of the Governor of Maine. It's an election year, and the governor ends up going on the record that he opposed gay marriage, which offends Shel. Shel goes on strike and causes a nationwide movement of gays who refuse to go to work.

OK, I'll go on the record right up front that it isn't the most realistic movie, if you're looking for politics. But, that said, if someone like me, living in the Castro in San Francisco, watched this and thought it really hit the mark... then people that really need to see it would hate it completely.

Anatomy of a One Night Stand: Jim Fall Interview

First-time Director Jim Fall brings gay romance to the screen with "Trick"

By Jeff Walsh

The best movie I saw this summer was "Trick," a story about a nervous composer whose one-night stand with a go-go boy is never consummated. In what could have been very cliché and poorly executed, Trick rises above the fold due to its amazing performances and direction by first-time movie director Jim Fall.

Powerful new movie provides history lesson

By Jeff Walsh

A new film documents the era and events that led to riots at the Stonewall bar in New York City in 1969. "Stonewall," the movie based in part on Martin Duberman's book of the same name, tells a powerful story about drag queens who refused to be hassled by police any longer, and fought back. The riots are considered the birth of the modern day gay and lesbian rights movement.

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