Archive for the ‘Independent Film’ Category

Watch Three Clips from the Gay Drama ‘Beach Rats’, Due Out This Friday (Towleroad)

August 22, 2017

I’ve heard buzz this year about the new indie film, Beach Rats. Now that it’s being released in theaters this Friday, there’s more news including three new clips released on Towleroad today. From the earlier blurbs on various websites, I wasn’t interested in watching a negative film about coming out. Should filmmakers be able to make work without happy ever after endings? Absolutely. From Towleroad,

Wrote on commenter on Towleroad (andrewd215) a month ago (possible SPOILERS):

I had Beach Rats as one of my must see movies when I went to the Provincetown Film Festival in June. After watching the movie I left wondering if they had shown a different version than the one I had read about getting all the praise. The film did a good job of drawing you into the character and the struggles he was going through, especially in the hyper sexual heterosexual normative male environment he was in. However, it was interesting at the conclusion of the movie to hear more than a few scattered boos but rather a good number and vocal comments among people as they stood to leave and walking out making comments such as “such a f**king cop out” and other like statements. It seems that among those most verbal, that an ambiguous ending for movie can be exceedingly frustrating after the build up the movie because the ambiguity of the ending was so complete and that it would be hard to have a discussion as to how Frankie’s life went from there. Maybe the harsh reactions at the end of the movie were because it showed the anguish, the angst, and his struggles but did not portray or provide that anything resulted from it all so that any dialogue would have to been abstract.

From what I remember about the movie the cruising that went on was a result of Frankie’s online cam site sessions, that in addition or rather than a JO session, lead to an arrangement to meet up. The active cruising scene was the exception but was the result of a failed hook up that lead him to approach a car in the hookup cruise parking area that lead to a very successful night of hot sex. I don’t think this movie is one that will reach people that need to be reached, or in pain and conflict or questioning their sexuality because of the ending of the film. If anything the movie will probably lead those in similar situations and environments to stay in the closet. At least in a 90’s coming out movie you had some idea that come out was a positive thing to do.

I will say that I’m not seeing (for now) Beach Rats. I can handle difficult films with ambiguous endings. I adore French cinema after all. But I’m too wrapped up in politics right now to deal with films that don’t at the very least offer a glimmer of hope to young gay characters. For similar reasons, I’m avoiding Call Me By Your Name. I read the book. Hated it. It’s a story about two straight-identified men who have an affair one summer and then go back to being straight. Whatever. Fluidity be damned. Maybe this story makes sense to hetero men who dipped their toe in the pool in their youth. If you’re going to show bisexuality, show it with satisfying and positive relationships on both sides of the sexual aisle. Otherwise, you’re simply reinforcing heteronormativity. Personally I rarely get to see myself on the screen. I’d rather not have to share it with a straight male’s interpretation of what a gay experience is. And to reinforce this interpretation, the director made a choice not to show any male/male intimacy. Just longing. Give me a freaking break.

Watch the Beach Rats clips.
Beach Rats trailer.

Call Me By Your Name trailer.

In a Heartbeat (short)

July 31, 2017

Closing out the month of July 2017 with a beautiful animated short film, In a Heartbeat from filmmakers Beth David and Esteban Bravo. From YouTube,

A closeted boy runs the risk of being outed by his own heart after it pops out of his chest to chase down the boy of his dreams.

Watch the adorable film on YouTube.

Shock to the System

July 29, 2017

The second Donald Strachey murder mystery adaptation, Shock to the System is as my late friend Bruce Kingsley said to me on Facebook, “much better than the first.” Based on the Richard Stevenson detective series, Shock to the System is number two of four books made into television films for HereTV. Chad Allen plays Strachey perfectly. Sebastian Spence plays Timmy, Don’s romantic partner. They live in Albany where Donald solves crimes. There’s nothing earth-shattering about the series other than the persona of Strachey follows a quiet, masculine appearance which older viewers may find refreshing. I’m giving this one a 3 out of 5. Decent detective murder-mystery fun.

Oops, almost forgot to mention Morgan Fairfield has a small role in this.

The Brother from Another Planet

July 23, 2017

John Sayles’ 1984 indie film The Brother from Another Planet blends the best elements of several genres using a science fiction overlay to tell the story of race, class, and immigration and the many ways these issues frighten the dominant culture. With now historic outdoor scenes of Harlem in the early 80’s along with many trips on the A train north to 125th Street, New York City becomes synonymous with the issues of the time. Location shooting on the streets, in crowded tenements, in dreary offices, and a neighborhood bar set the ambiance of this classic indie film. Sayles’ long-term life and work partner Maggie Renzi produced and has a small role in the film as one of the office workers. Sayles wrote, directed, and edited his fourth film using funds he received from a 1983 MacArthur Fellows award. He even has a role along with one of his regular actors David Strathairn as they play the men in black seeking the alien who escaped from his imprisoned planet. Other John Sayles’ regulars include Joe Morton in the title role playing the alien who never utters a word, Bill Cobbs as a reminiscing bar patron, and Tom Wright as another frustrated office worker. The Brother from Another Planet stands out as a snapshot of the early 80’s and an excellent example of the creativity indie films can produce. 4 out of 5.

13 Essential LGBT Indies From the Post-‘Brokeback Mountain’ Era (Indiewire)

July 22, 2017

Good mainstream list of LGBT indies (I’d question a few of these titles being called “indies”) released after the success of Brokeback Mountain in 2005. Reel Charlie agrees with the following films from Indiewire’s list,

A Single Man
I Killed My Mother
Laurence Anyways
Tangerine
Stranger by the Lake
Pride
The Kids are All Right
Weekend
Carol

Missing from the list in order of release date 2006 –
Ha-Buah (The Bubble)
Shortbus
Avant que j’oublie (Before I Forget)

Clapham Junction
Itty Bitty Titty Committee
XXY
Were the World Mine
Hollywood je t’aime
Contracorriente (Undertow)
Bashment
Les amours imaginaires (Heartbeats)
Mine Vaganti (Loose Cannons)
Cloudburst
Pariah
I Do
Mommy is Coming
Freier Fall (Free Fall)
Interior.Leather Bar.
Reaching for the Moon
Test
The Way He Looks
Holding the Man
Moonlight
Paris 05:59: Théo & Hugo

Remember these are indie films, so Milk doesn’t qualify for this list.
Does not include documentaries.
Culled from Wikipedia lists.

Read the full article on Indiewire.

Deep Water on Netflix

July 13, 2017

The outstanding Australian murder-mystery mini-series, Deep Water finally streams on Netflix. Add this one to your queue now. If you need more detail, click on the image below to read Reel Charlie’s review from earlier this year.

I’m a Pornstar: Gay for Pay

July 5, 2017

With 23 billion visits and over 91 billion videos viewed last year on PornHub alone, we can no longer deny the world’s love affair with porn. As a result, I’m always interested in documentaries which explore our relationship to porn, the people who participate in the industry and what it says about our culture and those of us who partake. Actor Charlie David (Mulligans, Judas Kiss, Dante’s Cove) created a series of short docs called, I’m a (Pornstar, Studlebrity, Stripper) all focused on men who work in an industry which captures the eye of their viewer. Enter the sequel, I’m a Pornstar: Gay for Pay focusing on men who identify as straight in their personal life but do gay porn. If you’re new to this, you’re probably thinking what the? If you’re heard this before, you probably have an opinion. The gay porn industry is littered with men who claim to be straight but do gay porn. The documentary didn’t give me any new information. I wish it had dug deeper and asked better questions. But I will say out of the men they interviewed, two seemed to be straight and were just in the business for the money. The rest seemed to fall somewhere on the Kinsey scale. Which makes sense. I do think after decades of working out at the gym, there is a certain type of man who so infatuated with his own beauty, doesn’t really care who is interested in him and if he could would have sex with himself rather than any other man or woman. Narcissus Muscle for lack of a better term. So there’s that aspect of the straight-identified men in this film. In our world of non-labels, I continue to believe in the importance of people standing up and being counted as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or whatever term they want to call themselves as long as it’s not no term. Until we are all truly equal and equally not judged by our sexual orientation and identity, it will be difficult to determine what is real and what is created by simply asking people to tell us. If you’re not sufficiently confused by what I just said, you’re smarter than the average bear. Speaking of which, I wonder when David will do the obvious follow-up documentary, I’m a Bear. 3 out of 5 for I’m a Pornstar: Gay for Pay.

Unplanned America S1

July 4, 2017

Unplanned America (not to be confused with Unplugged America – my poor cursive, getting worse every day) places three Australian millennial men in subcultures of America even Americans rarely discover. I will admit I breezed through season 1 to find the fun bits including a visit to NYC’s ballroom (vogue) dance scene still thriving long after Madonna’s appropriation 25 years ago, on location at the filming of an Austin Powers XXX parody porn film, and interviewing the non-sexual participants of Portland’s Annual Naked Bike ride. The three guys are fun and respectful of whatever world they happen to fall into. Although niche, I definitely see the appeal to this show. It’s got three seasons in total. 3 out of 5 for Unplanned America which could be the alternative name for Teen Mom.

The 20 Best Foreign Films On Netflix (Decider)

June 29, 2017

Decider offers you 20 great foreign-language films to add to your Netflix queue. From Decider,

Sometimes, expanding your horizons can be exactly the thing you need to revitalize your Netflix queue, and those horizons can exist all the way across the Atlantic sea. Some of the best films of the last twenty years have come out of countries from all over the world, and luckily, a lot of them are available to stream.

The platform is fully stocked with more options than you could ever imagine; Spanish-language films, Bollywood hits, and Korean horror are just some of the massive selection available to you. You can be in pretty much any mood and find something that will satisfy your streaming needs, and subtitles are bound to fade away as you get sucked into the stunning variety of cultures that await you.

Included in the mix are two gay male films Esteros and Who’s Gonna Love Me Now? I’ve add those two plus Asoka, The Propaganda Game, Girlhood, and Train to Busan.

Check out the complete list at Decider.

Frameline 41: Genre Queer

June 14, 2017

San Francisco’s amazing LGBTQIAA yearly film festival turns 41 in 2017. This line-up is as always fantastic. Information on dates and links to Frameline’s site below. I’ve also listed the film titles I’m most interested in watching when they come to a streaming service near me:

Frameline 41: Genre Queer
San Francisco, CA
June 15-25, 2017

100 Men
After Louie
Bayard & Me
Rusalka
The Colour of His Hair
Lavender Scare
Center of My World
My Friend Dahmer


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