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Author Topic: Gay Cinema  (Read 623362 times)

Offline tfferg

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Re: Gay Cinema
« Reply #4260 on: August 14, 2019, 10:38:01 PM »
Sounds GREAT Tony!! I'll check YT for it.......thanks!  ;D

It is great, John. I hope you can see it.

Offline tfferg

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Re: Gay Cinema
« Reply #4261 on: August 14, 2019, 11:24:32 PM »
Gay Australian theatre director Samuel Van Grinsven's debut feature film, Sequin in a Blue Room, portrays the erotic story of 16 year-old student Sequin (played by gay actor Conor Leach in his film debut). Sequin is absolutely obsessed, almost 24/7, with using a hook-up app to arrange sexual encounters with anonymous older men who he blocks immediately afterwards. He is distant and uncommunicative with his loving and increasingly anxious single father (Jeremy Lindsay Taylor) and at school with classmates.

There are scenes of Sequin in the back seat in class. He spends the whole time scrolling through and messaging on the hook-up app on his phone held under the desk. Ironically, the unaware and unseen teacher is giving lessons on romance in literature. (I think it is another quiet gay student who mentions Brokeback Mountain as an example.) I was concentrating on keeping up with the rapid flow of messages on Sequin's phone.

Sequin is invited via the app to a sex party - the labyrinthine Blue Room, where the rules demand anonymity and forbid any talking. He is disturbed when he runs into B (Ed Wightman) a 46 year-old hook-up he has had sex with before and then blocked. He is very anxious to avoid him.

Sequin is attracted to a very handsome young adult with a lovely smile (Sierra Leone-born Samuel Barrie) who seems to be good-hearted and genuine. Intuiting Sequin's predicament and checking it with him, he shields him from B behind drapes as the two young men fulfil their desire for each other in a way that seems different from Sequin's previous encounters. The young man leaves, but breaking the rules, he says, "Find me out there" while obeying the rule of complete anonymity.

For the first time, Sequin wants to establish a relationship and, desperately trying to find out the mystery man's name and track him down, he embarks on a very risky course of action and the film becomes a thriller. The director wanted to go beyond what he says has become the mainstream queer coming-of-age genre people are becoming tired of.

I found the film intriguing. The fine-boned, red-haired Conor Leach is a very expressive actor who portrays Sequin in an authentically gay, unstereotypical way. Another fine performance is given by Anthony Brandon Wong as Virginia, an older drag queen Sequin first meets as a hook-up. They come to play a crucial role as a mentor for Sequin. It's his first really human relationship with a member of the gay community. Simon Croker plays Tommy, the quiet, awkward gay classmate who just wants to date Sequin (who leaves him in the lurch). He doesn't resort to hook-up apps as he doesn't want anonymous one-night stands. His character serves to avoid the film stereotyping all younger generation gays.

Erotic and provocative as the story is, it is restrained. I assume Conor Leach is of age. He has quite a mature baritone voice in real life. Most of the sexual encounters are filmed in close-ups of the actors' faces or from behind. Similarly, the film avoids fear-mongering about hook-up apps.

Cinematically and technically, the film is very well crafted indeed. It was the director's final project to qualify for his Master's degree at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School in Sydney.

Highly recommended.








« Last Edit: August 14, 2019, 11:45:04 PM by tfferg »

Offline tfferg

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Re: Gay Cinema
« Reply #4262 on: August 16, 2019, 02:59:47 AM »
Out gay Argentinian director Lucio Castro's 2019m debut feature, Fin de siglo (End of the Century) left me feeling puzzled,

Ocho (Juan Barberini), a New York-based poet, arrives in Barcelona on holiday. After a lonely few days where he doesn't talk with anyone, he hooks up with Javi (Ramon Pujol), a Berlin-based Catalan children's TV series director visiting family in the building next door to Ocho's Airbnb apartment.

After an intense sexual encounter, with a comic interruption before consummation, they meet again in the late afternoon and have a long conversation over wine and cheese on Ocho's rooftop overlooking the city. They talks about their lives and experience as gay men and discuss the challenges of a long-term relationship, fatherhood and children, the allure of personal freedom and loneliness until Javi says something which plunges the film into a flashback to 20 years ago.

A third act is set in an undefined time that might be the future, a dream or a wish-fulfilment fantasy before apparently returning to the present and an Antonioniesque sequence of alienation.

In the three different time periods, Ocho and Javi look the same despite a 20-year gap, which made it difficult to know when things were happening.

The performances by Juan Barberini, Ramon Pujol and Mia Mestre are very good. The photography of Barcelona is mostly beautiful as we see Ocho walking and dining in the streets, going to a deserted beach and walking in parks and woods. One day, Javi takes him (and the viewer) around the city showing things he, as a local, thinks he should see. There are no scenes in Las Ramblas or la Sagrada Familia or other Gaudi points of interest.

The vaunted erotic charge of the film comes in four scenes, but otherwise, the film didn't take me to any emotional highs.

The three acts portray something of the ways life has changed and ways it has stayed the same for gay men over the last two decades.

The key to the film and the viewer's response may lie in a passage from David Wojnarowicz's book Close to the Knives. Ocho finds it in his friend Sonia's bookcase and reads it while he is sick in bed for a few days. He is terrified he may have been infected with HIV. (The writer died of AIDS). Javi finds the book open on Ocho's bed after he leaves. He reads a passage about periods of transition and being disconnected and in an unfamiliar state. The writer prefers this state to being at a destination which he equates to a loss of freedom.

Lucio Castro suggests that gay men inherently feel a sense of freedom while "being controlled by their sexual lives". He asserts that choosing and committing to a partner is "less free in some ways".

The film doesn't seem to resolve the tension between a radically free way of living and domesticity, though the final scenes feel lonely.

After the credits roll, a dedication appears on screen "a Josh", Lucio Castro's husband.


« Last Edit: August 16, 2019, 03:42:55 AM by tfferg »