Archive for the 'Gay DVD Review' Category
Most are familiar with the Berlin of Bob Fosse’s masterpiece “Cabaret” (1972), with Liza Minnelli and Michael York’s memorable performances; Minnelli taking home the best actress that year. What some forget is that the iconic film is based on Christopher Isherwood’s “Berlin Stories” (1946).
“Christopher and His Kind” (2011) is a BBC television adaptation of Isherwood’s memoir of the events that inspired his “Berlin Stories,” thus giving us a new slant on a story already told in a novel, a play, a musical and two films.
Matt Smith, aka the eleventh current Dr.Who, stars as the young, wide-eyed Christopher Isherwood as he sets off to spend a week in Berlin with his friend and occasional lover W. H.”Wystan” Auden. Finding Berlin to be so wonderfully different from repressive English society, Isherwood would then decide to extend his stay for ten years, until 1939, when he arrived in America.
While Bob Fosse’s “Cabaret” hinted at gay life in pre-Nazi Germany, “Christopher and His Kind” corrects many of the film’s omissions.
In a seriously repressed economy, at an extraordinary time of transition, with high unemployment and high inflation, young men were especially willing to sell their sexual favors for cold, hard cash.
Isherwood’s first serious affair was with hunky Caspar (Alexander Doetsch), with a wonderful scene with him doing push-ups on a jetty, bulging rather splendidly in his tight bathing suit – but the relationship turns out to be too transactional for his liking. The boys “love” him as long as the money keeps flowing.
Isherwood eventually experiences more romance with an innocent street sweeper, Heinz Neddermayer (played by the extremely sexy Douglas Booth). As the Nazi ideology and symbolism begins to dominate, Isherwood is drawn into the political realm, rebelling against the strictures of English and Nazi German society as he attempts to save his boyfriend, Heinz, from the Nazi.
Personally I think that Matt Smith did a brilliant job portraying Isherwood with perfect mannerisms and those famous gentlemanly, plummy vowels.
If you enjoy plenty of young man-on-man sex with some frontal nudity and if you are a fan of Isherwood, Matt Smith, or simply gay history, this is a must-see film.No comments
The Israeli movie Antarctica opens with a brisk ten-minute montage of extremely steamy, frenetic sex scenes with numerous dark-eyed, dark-haired and hard-bodied men. Then a title card announces the passing of three years. As I was concentrating on reading the sub-titles, I found myself confused and lost with the plethora of characters and plots and sub-plots. Who was who, where was the supposed main character from the beginning and what in the world was really going on? Since I was sharing a bottle of wine with a friend while viewing, I decided to watch the movie again the next evening.
Those first sexually-charged ten minutes of vignettes was actually a clever way to introduce all of the main male characters, as they experience Boaz’s revolving bedroom door. And Boaz (Ofer Regirer) is outrageously attractive with movie-star looks.
In a series of split-screen encounters we meet the young shy dancer Danny (Yiftach Mizrahi), sexy journalist Ronen (Guy Zo-Aretz), slightly flamboyant Miki (Yuval Raz) and the somewhat reclusive librarian Omer (Tomer Ilan). Each encounter is a perfect snapshot of the characters’ personalities.
Omer is miserable because he’s about to turn 30 in two days, not having found his place in life or his ideal man. In the meanwhile, Omer’s friends Eitan (Oshiri Sahar) and Miki (Yuval Raz) have lots of wild sex and vex over the meaning of life.
After going on a blind date with Danny, Omer becomes intrigued by the young 20-year-old dancer, who energizes his libido but not his ambition. Meanwhile Omer resists the attentions of Ronen, the handsome journalist, who understands him and sparks his imagination.
Oh by the way, Danny is Ronen’s roommate and the relationship between ex-boyfriends and current roommates is a minimalist study in jealousy and still flickering desire.
While Omer’s sister Shirley (Lucy Dubinchilk) breaks off her engagement for a lesbian relationship with her boss, Boaz runs into Danny at a dance studio, they having had enjoyed a month-long fling three years earlier.
While the guess-who’s-coming-to-the-birthday party doesn’t quite result in the climax that seems to be slowly building, there are surprising twists at the end in who picks whom for a mature relationship – and don’t forget the potential alien invasion plotline.
Except for the disquieting use of an Israeli drag queen as Omer’s mother, I really did come to fully enjoy the depth and scope of Antarctica after a second viewing and highly recommend it.No comments
“Shank” has its sweet and tender moments but it generally is a dark and gritty movie. With the opening scene of thugs filming their brutal assault on a man, with jarring gangster rap music in the background, I questioned if “Shank” was my cup of tea. But by the end of the film, I was sitting on the edge of my seat wondering if any of the fascinating characters would live happily ever after, especially after the brutal climax, which left me in tears.
The story is a look at the sociology of gang members, where two of them are closeted gays. Baseball-capped, gold-chain-adorned teenager Cal (Wayne Virgo) is obviously deeply attracted to fellow testosterone-fueled gang member Jonno (Tom Bott), who in turn hasn’t even recognized he is attracted to Cal.
|During one scene when the two are shirtless and smoking pot in Cal’s car, Jonno gives Cal a “blowback” or “shotgun” and it just reeks of raw male sexuality. If a cellphone didn’t go off a few seconds later, these two stoned lads would have been all over each other.|
The gang leader is Nesse (Alice Payne), a ruthless leader who appears to be Jonno’s girlfriend, but also has a history with Cal. The gang goes about looking for immigrants, gays, anyone not like themselves, to beat up.
When Cal unexpectedly rescues French Art student Olivier (Marc Laurent), the victim of a gay bashing by the gang, and embarks on a tender romance with the gentle student, his relationship with Nesse and Jonno changes radically.
Being both disturbing and erotic, “Shank” skillfully tackles the issues of working-class British homophobia, and youth and gang violence, building a convincing picture of gay life at street level.
“Shank” is a unique “coming out” story – a highly recommended dark cinematic tale worth experiencing. 1 comment
I have always enjoyed Christmas and being gay – so I just knew that I would enjoy Make the Yuletide Gay.
Olaf “Gunn” Gunnunderson (Keith Jordan) is a 22-year-old gay college student who is totally out on campus and yet remains closeted to his quirky parents. So much so that on the way home for the Christmas holiday, he stops at a public restroom to “de-gay” himself.
Originally from the Midwest, Gunn’s father (Derek Long) is now a Southern California College professor and a heavy pot smoker who appears to have killed a few brain cells over the years.
The character of the Wisconsin mother Anya Gunnunderson, played by Kelly Keaton, provides most of the spirit and humor to the film with her ever-bubbly “don’tcha know” accent that reminded me of the St. Olaf tales that The Golden Girls’ Rose used to tell.
Everything is fine until Gunn’s more flamboyant and wealthy boyfriend Nathan, played by out Canadian Adamo Ruggiero, surprises him by showing up on the Gunnunderson doorstep. With Nathan not knowing Gunn was still closeted this leads to all kinds of awkward and amusing situations.
Jordan and Ruggiero are adorable together and if you are in a mood for a sweet, simple gay-themed holiday comedy – then Make the Yuletide Gay is for you, don’tcha know? No comments
“Were the World Mine” is a wonderful gay-themed musical adaptation of William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
The film takes the familiar scenarios of high school angst and adolescent crushes and gives them a wonderful musical spin.
Timothy (Tanner Cohen) is a gay student in an all male prep school located in a bigoted small town. Even Timothy’s blue-collar mother, Donna (Judy McLane), is unsupportive – asking him, “Why are you gay? What did I do?”
Timothy frequently has lucid daydreams – sexually themed musical interludes that release him from the misery of the daily put downs and beat downs by towel-snapping jocks. The film blends spontaneous fantasy sequences with brutally honest high school dialogue. In the meantime Timothy harbors a secret crush on school’s über-jock, rugby star Jonathon (Nathaniel David Becker).
The school’s drama teacher (Wendy Robie), a witch for all seasons, pulls the strings behind the production of the senior play and casts Timothy as Puck in an all-male version of “Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
While studying his lines in the play’s script, he deciphers a hidden formula for Cupid’s love-juice, a potion that causes love at first sight, just like the one in the Shakespeare play.
Creating his magical pansy that spurts dust, everyone begins to fall in love with the first person that they see, forcing him or her to speak in iambic verse. In time-honored tradition, merry havoc reigns but Timothy is having too much fun to think about the lives he’s altering. Soon the entire rugby team is paired off, the coach has declared his love for the principal, and Timothy and Jonathan are officially an item.
“Were the World Mine” has the theatrical spirit of a Broadway show, complete with dancing rugby players and a rock-opera finale. Using Shakespeare’s verse as lyrics, the enchanting songs not only work, but most soar.
“Were the World Mine” is a highly recommended enjoyable “feel-good” gay musical fantasy.