'I think therefore I am.'  Descartes            'I AM THAT I AM.'  Exodus.3.        'I am what I am.'  La Cage aux Folles

01 March 2011

Gay Films That Speak In The New Millennium

In my DVD collection of around 5,000, I have well over 1600 gay movies. As you see I do love cinema, but I buy excessively of course. Shown here are some of my favourite recent films by Directors who have things to say. Among these are several directors and actors who have become 'friends' on facebook, as I wish to follow their work. Occasionally I have corresponded with some of these talented gentlemen. There are great older films and there are the obvious topic films but I only mention some that a special and provoke new thoughts and inspirations.

'Unfaithful' by Claude Peres 2009
Claude Pérès invited Marcel Schlutt to make love with him.

They do not know each other. They do not know whether they like each other.
They do not know what will happen.
They meet in a flat. They are alone. For one night.
For more privacy, Claude Pérès will record images and sound.
There is no contract, no obligation. They remain free to say and to do whatever they want.
They can stop anytime
Taken from Claude's Web Site for Unfaithful
Judging by the comments I have read and the short films I have seen, Claude is a passionate man who believes in his ideals. He is charming and has much to say. This film does speak and keeps your mind active contemplating the discussion and the quiet, aesthetic and explicit activity taking place before your eyes.

'Fit' by Rikki Beadle Blair 2010

Fit is a British fil that takes a great, honest look at love among a bunch of boys and girls brought together somewhat unwillingly in classes for Drama and Dance with wise 'in your face' teacher Loris (Rikki Beadle Blair). Bad attitudes hide secret loves, uncertain sexuality and release outbursts of homophobia. No one is what the seem. The straight kids look gay and the gay students are likely to act straight. All are confused but handled with sympathy and good humour. Mr Blair is a man full of thoughts and a constant promoter of happiness and individuality.

'I Killed My Mother' by Xavier Dolan 2009

The remarkable, beautiful and oh so young (born 1989) Xavier Dolan is producing films that both impress for their depth and sensitivity and also the visual intrigue they portray. 'I Killed My Mother' explores and reveals the complex and changing love-hate relationship he has with his mother. An honest somewhat autobiographical (apparently) film which was written and directed by and also stared this talented and highly praised young Canadian. This film has won 22 awards including at the Festival de Cannes.

'A Very British Sex Scandal' 2007

A Very British Sex Scandal tells the true story of royal correspondent for the Daily Mail Peter Wildeblood. He ensures his life is secret as homosexuality is against the law. He meets Eddie McNally, who is on leave from the air force and they began a passionate affair. However,revealed details of their weekend away with other gay friends at the estate of Lord Edward Montagu in 1953 lead to their arrest and a scandal that rocked modern Britain and led to an examination of the repercussions of the law as it stood, and then eventual decriminalisation of homosexuality in Britain and which still slowly evolves throughout the world at a varying pace depending on the impact of the religious or conservative voice. This reflects on the past where as the classic film 'Victim' of 1961 with Dirk Bogard itself also had an impact on, and helped change the laws which as they stood had made men subject to the possibility of blackmail as well as social stigma.

 'Tarnation' by Jonathan Caouette 2003

A masterpiece documentary with 19 years of Super-8 home movies and photos create a narrative that is both moving and psychedelic. To this is added short early films and dramatic re-enactments to create a grand portrait of a troubled family life. In 2003 Jonathan learns that his schizophrenic mother, Renee, has overdosed on her medication. From here he goes back into his real and horrifying family legacy of rape, abandonment, promiscuity, drug addiction, child abuse and psychosis. As he grows up on camera, he finds the escapism of musical theatre and B grade Horror movies. Into the future Jonathan confronts almost unbearable love he shares with his beautiful, damaged mother.

 'Raging Sun, Raging Sky' by Julián Hernández 2009
Stunningly beautiful 'Rabioso sol, rabioso cielo' is a passionately symbolic exploration of love, sex and destiny. Kieri and Ryo, two stunning young Mexican men share a love that gives meaning to their lives and is expressed through intense sexuality. Ryo is abducted and Kieri begins a journey to find his soul mate while under the watchful eye a spirit named Heaven’s heart. who protects the lovers on their quest to reunite but events test the lovers’ devotion, The Teddy Awards Jury applauded "its masterful cinematography and its visionary use of colour and sound - for its explorations of love, desire and sexuality within the framework of ancient mythology, juxtaposed with modern urbanity," Raging Sun, Raging Sky is a visually stunning ode to the power of desire and unconditional love. 

'The Mudge Boy' 2003
An early great performance by the wonderful Emile Hirsch that follows the fourteen year old Duncan, trapped on a farm with his 60 year old father after the death of his mother.  He is unable to let go and in his loneliness he imitates her voice and wears her fur coat to bed. His father, doesn't understand and believes his son must eventually take on the family farm. Duncan finds attraction in a neighbouring older boy and submits himself to the 'affection' offered. This film by Michael Burke is an expansion of a short film 'Fishbelly White" which he made in 1998.

'A Love to Hide' 2005
 Brilliantly acted, particularly by Jérémie Renier, this film centres on the persecution of homosexuals in France during the Nazi occupation. While protecting a young Jewish girl, two lovers are discovered and entrapped by the SS. Scenes of murder, informants, bribery, betrayal of brother by brother, the harrowing labour camps and insane medical abuse make this a film of sweeping power. Even when the deaths were being remembered and shrines erected, still the victims of the 'third sex' were ignored. A grand epic film.

'La Maison De Himiko' by Isshin Inudou 2005
Starring the beautiful Japanese star Jô Odagiri 'The House of Himiko is a sensitive homage to love, friendship and old age, A young woman Saori meets the handsome young Haruhiko who claims to be the boyfriend of her estranged father Himiko, who runs a rest home for elderly gays. The young man convinces Saori to work at the home. Initially she is hostile towards all the residents, especially her father who dresses as a woman and is dying of cancer. He abandoned Saori many years earlier, changed his name and disappeared. Wonderful performances make this a very successful, touching, bitter-sweet tale of acceptance, forgiveness, and reconciliation.

'Beautiful Boxer' by Ekachai Uekrongtham 2003
A poetic, sensitive, luxuriously vivid and colorful film from Thailand telling the story of the beautiful Parinaya Charoemphol (Nong Toom), a famous champion Muay Thai (kick) boxer who took up the sport to earn enough money to help his family and pay for his sex-change surgery. Wonderfully directed and superbly acted by a first time actor who was himself a champion kick-boxer. It is a true story of incredible dedication and sacrifice of a boy who abandoned the monastery to follow his growing love of the feminine and the make-up he experienced in the theatre. The real Nong Toom is now a famous actress and model living in Bangkok.

Solange Du hier bist (While You Are Here) by Michael Genpart 2006

George (Michael Gempart), an elderly German pensioner is excited because Sebastian (Leander Lichti), the young hustler he’s been hiring of late, has decided to stay the night. A magnificent film from young writer-director Stefan Westerwelle, who made it as his senior project at Cologne’s Academy of Media Arts. Both men need the company, and both gradually find resonance in the other’s haltingly told stories of the various men (fathers, lovers, etc.). This exquisitely designed and photographed film vividly displays the physical sense of how a man such as George surrounds himself with photos and objects whose nearness soothes his soul. Sensitive and observant of the needs of youth and the comfortable joys of age.

Others I want to include are 
'Sexus Dei' by Philippe Vallois 2007
'Shortbus' by John Cameron Mitchell 2006
'Country Teacher' by Bohdan Sláma 2008
'Bloedbroeders' by Arno Dierickx 2008
'Clay' by Andrew Gunn 2008
'Cazuza - O Tempo Não Pára' by Walter Carvalho and Sandra Werneck 2004
'Big Bang Love, Juvenile A' by Takashi Miike 2006
'Little Ashes' by Paul Morrison 2008
'Born in 68' by Olivier Ducastel, Jacques Martineau 2008

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