Mike Roma had great success with his web series, Danny The Manny. Now he’s segued into the movies with Dating My Mother, which he both writes and directs. The semi-autobiographical movie follows Danny (Patrick Reilly), who’s finished studying film at college in LA and is now back in small-town New Jersey while he works out what to do next. [Read more…]
GAY INTEREST MOVIE REVIEWS
The latest gay interest film reviews from BGPS
Bruce LaBruce has long been a provocateur, making the sort of movies that seem designed to push buttons and get people talking. Often they’re so busy pressing thosee buttons that there seems little point to the film other than to get people out of their comfort zone – but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. He’s mixed explicit gay sex and Nazi skinheads in Skin Gang, gay porn and zombies in Otto, and even when he went comparatively ‘mainstream’ with Gerontophilia (and I use the word mainstream advisedly, as it’s merely mainstream for LaBruce), it’s about a relationship between a teen and an octogenarian.
With The Misandrists LaBruce keeps pressing buttons but focuses on something that hasn’t played a huge part in his career so far – women. The film is set in a dystopian world where the FLA – the Female Liberation Army – has holed itself up isolated in the woods as it plots its revolutionary take on a world without men. Unsurprisingly no men are allowed inside the building, but when new recruit Isolde spots an injured young man who she knows is also being persecuted by the authorities like they are, she decides to hide him in the FLA’s stronghold. [Read more…]
Dutch couple Sjors and Pepijn invite the younger student Cas to stay on their couch for a couple of days until he finds a place of his own. Pepijn is initially uncertain about this arrangement, especially when he discovers his boyfriend of seven years has already met up with the young man a few times before and hasn’t mentioned him. However, the tension soon begins to develop into something else as both men start to fall for Cas’s charms. As the barriers come down and the couple moves towards becoming a throuple, it could either destroy Sjors and Pepijn’s relationship or take it to places neither expected.
Although relatively short at 50 minutes long, Cas is an interesting and at times a rather sexy movie about three good-looking guys who aren’t afraid of wandering around in their underwear or hopping into bed with one another. It’s also a smart look at one of the issues that seems to be becoming more pressing in modern gay culture, of whether the tendency to separate sex from relationships and to be more open to bringing in a third (or more) person – either for the night or for longer – has consequences and issues that need to be looked at. It may seem like a good idea, or even a desirable political statement, but is there more to it than that? [Read more…]
Every so often a film comes along that beats all expectations at the box office. Film commentators then race to come up with reasons for its runaway success. They tried to do that for Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, but generally came up short. After all this is a film that initially people thought would be lucky to clear $200-$300 million worldwide at the box office, but which ended up with $900 million+ and is now the highest grossing film Sony Pictures has ever made.
Is it down to the box office power of The Rock? Was it because there wasn’t much family film competition at the time it was release? Did box office watchers underestimate the love people had for the 1995 Robin Williams Jumanji movie, especially as many of those that grew up with that film now have kids of their own? [Read more…]
I sometimes think the people who panic about ‘the gay agenda’ really ought to pay more attention to kids’ movies. If you’re looking for queer narrative – that never say its queer – you don’t have to look much further. For a start, nearly every animated movie revolves around the theme of being true to yourself. You also have numerous movies about parents finding it difficult to accept difference in their child, that child being a misfit who’s not the same as others and is often bullied for it, and who must will eventually win by accepting themselves and being proud of it.
All that could just be coincidence, but then there are things such as the fact a lot of animated movies consciously deal with ideas about chosen families, something you normally only hear about in a queer context. It was this that got me considering the queer side of Ferdinand. Partway though the titular character is insisting the dog he grew up with is his ‘brother’, while the dog he can’t be the family of a bull because that’s not the way things work. Ultimately that becomes the main theme of the movie – a bull rejecting the toxic masculinity other bovines believe is their only choice, and learning that you can choose your own way and your own family, and it doesn’t matter if others think it’s ‘queer’. [Read more…]
We have reviewed 1978’s classic La Cage Aux Folles before, so if you’re just interested in the movie, you can click here to see what we had to say about it. The movie has just had a Criterion Collection release in the UK, so here we’ll concentrate on this first Blu-ray appearance in Britain.
As the film opens it seems like the HD upgrade isn’t going to be worth it as the first few shots in the drag club are quite soft and grainy. However, as soon as the action moves into gay couple Renato (Ugo Tognazzi) and Albin’s (Michel Serrault) apartment, things improve considerably, with the picture getting sharper and more detailed. [Read more…]
My Own Private Idaho is the sort of film that really shouldn’t work. The movie apparently came about when writer/director Gus Van Sant was working on three separate scripts and then decided to merge them all together. The result is a movie that ought to be a mess. The tone and story jump about, some of its pretty random and surreal, and its Shakespearean pretentions are a bit bizarre.
However, it works. These disparate elements and tones come together, helped by an astonishing performance by River Phoenix as young hustler Mike. His character – an outsider living a marginal and disintegrating existence – is a reflection of the film itself. It ultimately becomes an unexpected masterclass of montage – where by placing seemingly disparate things side-by-side and throwing in unexpected imagery (not least the famous falling barn), it creates something unique and pulls you into a character and world in a way few other films have ever managed. [Read more…]
Coffee House Chronicles was originally an anthology Youtube web series, but here the episodes get pulled together and slightly recut to turn them into a movie. While that may sound like a slightly cheating way to monetise the show, it actually works surprisingly well. As individual episodes they were quite fun, but pulled together thye add up to more than the sum of their parts, allowing it to layer together a light look at the way modern gay men relate to one another.
The film consists of a series of first encounters (mostly) between gay men, most of which – as the title suggests – take place in coffee houses. These meetings range from a man realising his ‘date’ is much younger than he’s said he was, to someone in a long-term relationship trying to organise sex with a porn star for his boyfriend. There’s also a trans man on his first date with a woman after transitioning, and two zombie extras in a movie figuring out if they want to go on a date even though they don’t know what they really look like under the makeup. [Read more…]
120 BPM has been eliciting praise ever since it debuted at Cannes last year, including winning the Grand Prix and Queer Palm at the festival. It’s gone on to win multiple other awards, including Best Film at the Cesar Awards (France’s equivalent of the Oscars). It was also France’s entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards, although sadly it missed out on a nomination.
Written and directed by Robin Campillo (who also made the very good Eastern Boys), 120 BPM is a fictionalised take on the true story of the AIDS activist organisation, ACT UP Paris. Campillo and co-screenwriter Philippe Mangeot were involved with ACT UP themselves, helping to give the movie an authenticity and power it may otherwise have lacked. Thankfully though, despite being close to the story Campillo is objective enough to be able to acknowledge the flaws and problems within the organisation, while also having a clear-eyed view of why these things happened. This allows it to be a powerful and empathetic testament to both ACT UP and those who were/are affected by AIDS, without becoming hagiography. [Read more…]
You can’t win with a gay audience. Whenever a gay-themed movie or TV show comes along that’s given a higher profile/mainstream release, it ends up generating controversy. The problem seems to be that their rarity mean people want these releases to be all things to all men (or at least reflect their personal conception of what gay entertainment should), but often course one film/show can’t represent everything.
It’s already happened with Love, Simon, with some complaining that it’s ‘yet another’ coming out story (despite the fact that coming out is one of the few nearly universal gay experiences and that the films audience of teens – and not just gay teens – won’t have seen lots of coming out movies). Others have moaned that its mainstream sensibilities deny the oppression that many LGBT people face, even though Simon’s experience is probably closer to the reality for many young gay people in the West nowadays than a ‘right on’ tale of misery and oppression. [Read more…]