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Two Soft Things, Two Hard Things

Film Review: Two Soft Things, Two Hard Things at BFI Flare

You’re probably familiar with Pride Toronto and other popular, long-awaited festivals and activities that happen during the summer. But have you ever heard of a gay parade in the Arctic? Well, it just so happens that an unusual pride event in the capital of Canadian Nunavut spurred interest among two filmmakers and was the decisive spark in igniting a desperately needed discussion about LGBTQ rights within the Inuit community.

Tom of Finland

Film Review: Tom of Finland at Tribeca Film Festival

Upon the Centennial celebration of Finland, award-winning filmmaker Dome Karukoski presents a moving biopic of one of the country’s most beloved sons. Tom of Finland is a roughly 115 minute biographical dramatization that aims to reveal the creative genius behind the famous homoerotic illustrations. Shot across 3 different countries, the film presents nearly 50 years of Laaksonen’s life, from his time in the war until his death in 1991.

Ekaj

Essential Opinion: Ekaj

Ekaj is a gritty 2015 film about a young runaway who escapes a disadvantageous situation at home — for a disadvantageous situation on the streets of New York. Ekaj is a skinny, strikingly pretty young man with soft features who doesn’t necessarily dress as a female but is often mistaken for one and therefore presents himself more femininely than not.

1992

Small But Perfectly Formed, BFI Flare Shorts Our Highlights

Just as reliable as the Spring thaw, BFI Flare once again presents an exquisite showcase of the world’s best LGBT films. As one of the longest running LGBT film events in the world, BFI Flare attracts storytellers from all walks of life. This year’s Short Film category was no exception, offering everything from quirky to melancholy in bite-sized portions that can be consumed while you’re awaiting your next Uber.

Jewel’s Catch One

Film Review: Jewel’s Catch One at BFI Flare

Being different is not a blessing or a curse, it’s what you make it – and you have the power to make it into anything you want. This is the seemingly idealist, but sublimely compelling message of Jewel’s Catch One, a heartening documentary on the most revered and cherished disco for the LGBT community in Los Angeles. Despite its historical roots, the film focuses less on providing a comprehensive chronicle of the club’s evolution and more on shedding light on the ethnic violence in Hollywood, as well as how bravery and a strong purpose can impact the lives of thousands of people.

Out Run

Film Review: Out Run at Outfest Fusion Film Festival

LadLad is the world’s first LGBT political party. Established and based in the Philippines, the party ran two unsuccessful campaigns for seats in their Congress – the first in 2010 and the second in 2013. That 2013 campaign is the subject of the 2016 documentary Out Run, which chronicles an entire year leading up to that election.

Forbidden: Undocumented and Queer in Rural America

Film Review: Forbidden: Undocumented and Queer in Rural America at Outfest Fusion Film Festival

The documentary, titled Forbidden: Undocumented and Queer in Rural America, puts a lot of the politics behind the ongoing immigration debate aside to give us a personal take on what it’s like living in the United States under the constant threat of deportation – all the while trying to pursue the American Dream it has promised despite the road blocks that come with being undocumented.

Guys Reading Poems

Essential Opinion: Guys Reading Poems

Life is a puzzle that’s not meant to be solved, just experienced. The same is true of Hunter Lee Hughes’ ingenious feature film, Guys Reading Poems – a majestic, all-embracing account of how a vulnerable young boy learns to glibly mold his childhood suffering into art, tenderness and creative literature.

Grinder

Essential Opinion: Grinder

Before you ask, the answer is no. Grinder has nothing to do with the popular hookup app. While Writer/Director Brandon Ruckdashel’s film may not be buried in your iPhone menu, the metaphor is far from lost. This is a story about the meat grinder many young gay men must try to survive, weathering a gauntlet of homophobia, confusion, and the discovery of one’s self-identity.

Such Good People

Essential Opinion: Such Good People

Richard and Alex are looking for a house as they await approval to adopt a child, when they are asked to housesit they stumble upon a secret room where a large amount of cash has been hidden. Released in 2014, Such Good People is directed by Stewart Wade and stars Michael Urie, Randy Harrison and Scott Wolf.

Seed Money

Essential Opinion: Seed Money: The Chuck Holmes Story

With Falcon Studios, gay porn mogul Chuck Holmes built an empire on flesh and fantasy. Chuck fought against the FBI, vice squads and an AIDS epidemic in order to document emerging gay culture and provide homosexual men across the country with a vision of life that was unashamed and celebratory. Seed Money: The Chuck Holmes Story is the story of one of the gay rights movement’s more unlikely – and spirited – pioneers. Released in 2015 and directed by Michael Stabile, the documentary features Jeff Stryker, Chi Chi LaRue, Steve Cruz, Tom Chase and legendary filmmaker John Waters.

King Cobra

Essential Opinion: King Cobra

King Cobra tells the story of Sean Lockhart who chose the stage name of Brent Corrigan for his appearances on video. Lockhart, however, didn’t just gain popularity in the porn industry for his saucy roles but also because he got caught up in a true crime case involving Cobra Video’s producer/director. Directed by Justin Kelly, the film stars Garrett Clayton, Christian Slater and James Franco.

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