Archive for the ‘Bisexual’ Category

qFLIX Philadelphia 2018

March 8, 2018

Program line-up just announced for qFLIX Philadelphia 2018: The LGBTQ+ Film Festival on March 19-25, 2018.

Lots of hopeful films including many pansexual/fluid entries coming to the festival this year. Reel Charlie’s go-to list starts here:

HELLO AGAIN directed by Tom Gustafson
HIDDEN KISSES directed by Didier Bivel
A SKIN SO SOFT directed by Denis Côté
FOAM PARTY! directed by Roberto Pérez Toledo
BETWEEN THE SHADES directed by Jill Salvino
STILL WAITING IN THE WINGS directed by Q. Allan Brocka
THE FEELS directed by Jenée LaMarque
AFTER LOUIE directed by Director Vincent Gagliostro

See the complete program at qFLIX.


Before Moonlight: 10 films that celebrate the African American LGBT experience (LGBTQ Nation)

February 23, 2018

Great list from LGBTQ Nation featuring ten fantastic films celebrating the African-American LGBT experience. I’ve seen 9 out of 10. The only reason why I haven’t seen them all is I’m waiting for Saturday Church to come out on DVD. I’ve ordered a copy for the library’s collection. Seven are stellar films in their own right and I’d mark them as classics:

The Watermelon Woman – Cheryl Dunye’s indie masterpiece
Moonlight – Oscar finally got something right
PariahMudbound‘s Dee Rees’ debut film
Tongues Untied Marlon Riggs’ late 80’s doc on gay, black men
Brother to Brother – Anthony Mackie’s breakout performance
Looking for Langston – Isaac Julian’s love story to the Harlem Renaissance
Tangerine – Trans women of color in a film shot on an iPhone.

Looking for Langston – Isaac Julian (1989)

Be My Gaylentine 2018

February 14, 2018

When I first heard the word Galentine, I thought it meant Gay Valentine. Silly me. Anyway, it got me thinking. So here’s my Gaylentine, Leslentine, Bilentine list of my favorite LGB films filled with romance and love. Click on the link for Reel Charlie’s review.

Beautiful Thing
Freir Fall (Free Fall)
Giorni (Days)
God’s Own Country
Go Fish
Ha- Buah (The Bubble)
I Do
The Incredibly True Adventures of 2 Girls in Love 
Jongens (Boys)
My Beautiful Laundrette
Parting Glances
Reaching for the Moon

7 Lesbian Movies Hitting The Big Screen in 2018 (GoMag)

February 9, 2018

Lizzie (Saban Films)

It’s nice to see the women in LGB are well-represented this year in film. From GoMag,

Impressive lesbian movies don’t get made as often as we’d like, and when they do, they barely get the recognition they deserve. Other than action thriller Atomic Blonde and the gorgeous, GLAAD-nominated Thelma, 2017 was seriously lacking when it came to the inclusion and representation of queer women in cinema.

But thankfully, this year is ready to change that. Lots of lesbian movies are coming our way that feature lesbian love in an inspiring light, as well as queer women unapologetically being themselves. Here are 7 films to make your 20GayTeen more exciting, and demonstrate that lesbian cinema might just be on the uprise.

I’m looking forward to Lizzie and My Days of Mercy. What about you?
Read more and see the list of all seven films.

Call Me By Your Name

January 25, 2018

Regular readers to Reel Charlie are aware of my trepidation for the new film, Call Me By Your Name adapted from the novel by André Aciman. For background, take a look at my post Call Me By Your Name: Straight Man. I realize there are a million stories to be written about love and sexuality. Actually there are probably as many stories to be written as people existed. Since my previous post focused on the novel and marketing of the film, let me now focus on the film. I’m glad I watched it. I almost bailed halfway through, but I persevered and saw the entire film. I’m happy to now have the complete experience to review.

A lot of people loved this film: 96% of reviewers on Rotten Tomatoes and 88% of viewers. And specifically several people I know whose film opinion I respect. So did I watch a different movie? The first half was lackluster. Armie Hammer’s stilted acting, moments when it felt like the two leads were reading lines from a teleprompter. It didn’t feel like passionate acting to me. I assumed I would have to eat crow over this film and so I was expecting it to exceed my expectations. Instead it proved to be a very uneven film. In the end, Timothée Chalamet carried the film. Elio’s story proved complex and compelling. The rest of the characters served as window dressing to his journey of first love. Hammer’s Oliver blossomed in the second half of the film. But he never did embody the irresistible charmer and erotically charged stranger every character touted him to be. Perhaps his big lug American presence was enough to sway the small town? We’ve all known men like him. Conflicted beings who might open up for a moment only to slam shut once again after they go back to their conventional life. Did that experience make Elio stronger? I hope so. I had an experience like Elio’s when I was 19. It lasted six months with an older man of 25. It took him 10 years to marry a woman, but marry a woman he did. When I look back at the loves of my life, he doesn’t even make the top 5. Perhaps that’s why I personally wouldn’t waste story time on a character like Oliver. Olivers never stand the test of time. They end up dull and quietly miserable with their life. The final scene with Elio and his Dad spawned mixed feelings. I certainly appreciated the openness his father’s sharing allowed, but his Dad’s logic felt less like sage wisdom and more like a middle-aged man who could only approve of passion and authenticity for teenagers. I hope viewers realize the nuance of that scene. Every morning you wake up is the right time to seek passion, adventure and love. If you didn’t get it when you were young, the only moment when time has truly run out is literally when time has run out.

Finally, I want to address the sex scenes, or rather the difference between the male/female and the male/male. Female/female are in a whole other category due to the patriarchy. Normally when I watch a gay male film, there ends up being more straight sex scenes than gay. That’s a marketing ploy to get more than just gay men to watch the film. I have a feeling Call Me By Your Name deliberately attempts to make the straight sex scenes rough and the gay scenes infused with a sense of sacredness. Of course everyone should evolve to the point where they respect all sexualities and points of love. From my 2018 vantage point, many films still feel unbalanced. So much so, I am in awe when filmmakers present gay male sexuality with the same openness as their straight counterparts. I know, I know. I’m so binary. Whatever the reason, most films continue to shy away from showing two men in a sexual situation as equally as they show a woman and a man.

I didn’t hate Call Me By Your Name. The infusion of openly gay director Luca Guadagnino  and a script from James Ivory helped soften Aciman’s awkward story. I think it does a disservice not to pepper the script with conversations around bisexuality if that was indeed the original point. Instead we are once again fed the trope that some men seek out other men when they are young, but in time they find a nice woman to settle down with and live a conventional life because that is what real men do. The only openly gay men in the film were made fun of by the family and given a split second of screen time. I wish Call Me By Your Name presented as a film for us to digest and love or not. Instead, it continues being heralded as the best film of the year, and finally a post-gay film which doesn’t focus on gay identity or AIDS or any other tedious aspect of modern gay male life. Reality check: we still don’t live in a post-gay world. And what does that even mean anyway? I don’t want to be post-anything. I like the perspective I have as an openly gay man in a culture which more often wants to suppress rather than celebrate who I am. 3 out of 5 for Call Me By Your Name.

Hofesh Gadol (Summer Vacation) (short)

January 9, 2018

Amazon Prime apparently now has short films in their catalog. I found the Israeli film, Summer Vacation quite by accident. I enjoyed this 22 minute short. It’s nothing earth-shattering, but the director does well in telling the story of a young father of two, married to a woman and suddenly confronted with his former male lover. Of course his now wife has no idea he had relationships with men before her. The spark between the men has never extinguished. Will the man explore his repressed feelings for his former love? Will there be a declaration to his wife? Watch and see. 3.5 out of 5 for Summer Vacation.

Lesbian Herstory Archives

December 8, 2017

I remember as a young out gay man during the 1980’s understanding the need for my lesbian sisters to have their own space free from the pressures of the patriarchy. I not only understood that need, but supported it. I remember venturing into Charis Books in Atlanta and supporting women’s bookstores as often as I could. Supporting Bluestockings in New York City, Women Crafts in Provincetown, and my own neighborhood’s Bloodroot Restaurant and bookstore. I’m thrilled Megan Rossman made a short film on Brooklyn’s Lesbian Herstory Archives. It’s six minutes long, introducing the viewer to the important archival work Lesbian Herstory Archives continues.

Join the women this weekend for their annual holiday sale:

Annual Holiday Booksale 12-4:30
When: Sat, December 9, 12:00pm – 4:30pm
Where: Lesbian Herstory Archives, 484 14th St, Brooklyn, NY 11215, USA (map)
Description :Find some holiday reads while supporting the Archives. Most items $1-2.

Watch the short film on Vimeo.

Announcing the Award-Winning Films From NewFest 2017 (Out)

October 28, 2017

Thrilled to see so many lesbian films win at this year’s NewFest 2017 in New York City. Especially looking forward to:

The Jury Award for Best US Narrative goes to The Feels, directed by Jenée LaMarque. Two brides-to-be throw a joint bachelorette party that ends up calling their whole relationship into question. Equal parts laughs, tears, and introspection, this modern take on a romantic comedy unravels the secrets that can plague even the strongest relationship. Outstanding performances and an earnest script make up the heart of this crazy-enjoyable film.

The Jury Award for Best New York Short goes to Ace, directed by Morgan Kahn Nichols, in which an unlikely pair of teenagers perform an awkward social dance in a house with no parents.

The Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature goes to Hot To Trot. Set in the swinging setting of same-sex competitive ballroom dancing, this tremendously entertaining documentary highlights the culture and art of dance as it humanistically profiles the compelling stories of four international dancers.

The Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature goes to A Date For Mad Mary, the first feature film by director Darren Thornton. Mary has just been released from a six-month prison stint for a drunken bar fight. Her best friend Charlene is now getting married and wants to keep Mary at a distance, alienating her from their circle of friends. An encounter with a queer musician changes Mary’s perspective and awakens her romantic spirit. The film also won the Breakthrough Award at the Dublin Film Critics Circle Awards.

The Audience Award for Best Documentary Short goes to Love Letter Rescue Squad. Director Megan Rossman reflects on the Lesbian Herstory Archives, home to the world’s largest collection of materials by and about lesbians and their communities.

See the full list at Out.

The Fosters: Season 5

October 19, 2017

The Fosters keeps getting better. Hard to believe the kids are so grown up after only five years. Stef and Lena continue to navigate parenting with a home full of teenagers. Each child has their own life, friends, loves, hopes, dreams. Side stories with the legal parents, birth parents, foster parents. It can seem like a lot, but it’s life and love and creators Peter Paige and Bradley Bredeweg do such a great job. I look forward to a new season each year. 4 out of 5 for this heartwarming family drama from Free Form.

Call Me By Your Name: Straight Man

October 17, 2017

It’s not even been released yet (November 24, 2017), and already Luca Guadagnino’s adaptation of the André Aciman novel, Call Me By Your Name has buzz of a sequel thanks to the film’s director. I personally hated the book. The straight male writer has been quoted as saying he doesn’t believe in “…straight, bi, gay—I don’t believe in any of that. We’re just a mess.” That’s one opinion. Definitely not mine. Aciman’s married to a woman with three children, so he must believe in something. I thought the book was a complete cop-out. As soon as I found out it was written by a straight man, it all made sense. Of course neither character would end up gay. Post-gay hetero superiority strikes again. When the film was completed, gay director Guadagnino announced there were no out actors and no explicit sex scenes in the film. And Guadagnino has decided he wants to create a sequel which follows the ending of the book “with Oliver now married with a wife and children. Guadagnino says unlike the book, Elio’s character won’t necessarily turn out to be gay: “I don’t think Elio is necessarily going to become a gay man. He hasn’t found his place yet. I can tell you that I believe that he would start an intense relationship with Marzia [Esther Garrel’s character] again.” I disagree with Guadagnino. I never felt Elio ended up gay in the book. Just the opposite. Both characters retreated into conventional lives and straight relationships. We have so few adaptations of great gay novels, I shudder to think so much attention is being handed to this project. I enjoyed Guadagnino’s I am Love. I never saw his follow-up, A Bigger Splash. I realize not every film released has to have my big gay seal of approval. I simply worry the green light and pre-release accolades once again prove it’s a straight man’s world. I’m not planning on watching the adaptation. Feel free to send me your thoughts if you do.

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