Room 69

July 13, 2010 at 12:30 am | Posted in Cinema, Heterophobia | 12 Comments

Did you guys miss me? Hehe, of course not. But, still, I’m back and, to make up for my week of absence in the blogging world, I just created an epic list, a list of my most favorite gay films. Cinema and homosexuality, these are a few of my favorite things. And, with all the descriptions and comments I’ve made, let’s note that I haven’t seen these films in a while, since I rarely go back to watching a film I’ve already seen unless I haven’t seen it in a long time so the comments I’ve made are based on what I’ve vaguely remembered about them. So, forgive me. Here it is, uber-long with pictures and all.

6. Taxi Zum Klo (Frank Ripploh, West Germany, 1980)
Fisting, gloryhole in public toilet cubicles, cum-swapping, and pissing, after cumming, over your sex partner’s face? Definitely, not my kind of thing but that’s just how realistic and bold gay sex is portrayed in this otherwise fabulous film.

The film, a possibly autobiographical one, presents an unsympathetic hero, a promiscuous gay man, definitely quite the stereotypical or archetypal gay man and not the greatest role model for gay people, but depicted as a human being with flaws. Now that he has found a partner who has no eyes for anyone else but him and who loves him so much, he shows more self-destructive behaviour, not wanting to be monogamous and in a real relationship, as he continues to hook up with more men and to live a life of promiscuity and intoxication. And this is all told in the least commercial and least mainstream sense, but still with sweet and romantic scenes such as the lovers’ dance on ice.

5. Happy Together (Wong Kar-Wai, Hong Kong, 1997)
This is the only film in my list that was actually directed by a heterosexual filmmaker, adding to that a contemporary filmmaker known to most cinephiles. And it surely doesn’t seem from an outsider’s perspective but more from someone who knows about human relationships. No matter how many times film buffs whine about how this is not a gay film, this is still a gay film. It is a film about a gay couple, for crying out loud, idiots. It may not be a conventional gay film and it may be made by heterosexual filmmakers, but it is still a gay film. Got that? Okay.

Okay, another film about a gay couple, one a self-destructive person, the other someone who just wants their relationship to work out. See the trend here? But this time, Happy Together, unlike Taxi Zum Klo, is all shown in vivid imagery, lucid colors, and romantic tones. And, this time, the focus is more on the stable guy, played by Tony Leung, as he meets someone who might be more of an ideal partner than his current one who picks fights, gets drunk, needs all the attention and flirts with men in front of his lover. And, sisters, I won’t spoil it for you all but it doesn’t exactly end in an either tragic or happy ending.

4. Tongues Untied (Marlon Riggs, USA, 1990)
It is an essayist film by a black gay director that touches on themes of race, sexual orientation and self-identity in a less sentimental and more gritty way than most saccharine Hollywood films that pretend to be politically correct and socially relevant and on issues one might never get to see being dealt with in contemporary Hollywood films.

Turn the gay black men in this film to any other gay non-white men and lesbian woman in the world, and you’ll see how universal this film is. But, of course, the film deals more with the director’s personal experiences being a gay black man, specifically the difficulties of being black and openly gay in a homophobic community and neighborhood, such as the exclusion of gay black men in the brotherhood or friendship of black men, the homophobic jokes of Eddie Murphy and homophobic comments of black characters in films, and dealing with AIDS-related deaths of friends. But not all of the film is about the social injustice and discrimination and all serious, as we do see part of the gay black culture in certain communities in USA during those times such as the “voguing” and get a lesson from a bunch of divas on the proper way to snap.

3. Scorpio Rising (Kenneth Anger, USA, 1964)
I always thought that the gay culture seems more suiting and more idealistic as an underground culture, not something forbidden and restricted to others but something not easily accessible and with less restraints. I always associated it with non-conformity, non-conventionality, idealism and obscurity so it does seem right that most of the best queer films are art house, experimental, and avant-garde films.

Although overt gay themes in the film are not obvious and clear especially to an outsider and as far as I remember the film does not blatantly show gay men in love or having any kind of intimate or sexual acts together, Scorpio Rising does appeal and reach more to its gay audiences with its fetishistic gaze on biker boys all clad in black leather, its gay iconography and the gay filmmaker’s indulgence and masturbatory pleasures on these images of mostly biker gangs set to 1960’s pop music, mostly songs by female singers singing about love. And there’s James Dean and Marlon Brando, and I don’t think you can get any gayer than that. The whole thing was just a hallucinatory and dreamlike experience, as if I was in Cloud 9.

2. Un Chant D’amour (Jean Genet, France, 1950)
Jean Genet’s lyricism in his novels mostly about amorality, gay sexuality and crime is evident in his only film, Un Chant D’amour (translated to A Song of Love). In this silent short art house film, the wall between two cells prevents two horny, gay prisoner studs from having any kind of intimacy or physical contact with each other. Just like Kenneth Anger’s Scorpio Rising, Jean Genet’s film also shows the filmmaker’s pleasures in his own sexual fetishes and his camera’s seductive gaze on the young men.

Normally, the cinematic gaze would be on women, such as Bunuel’s fetish for female legs and Rohmer’s whole film about a hero’s obsession with the titular character’s knees. Maybe, one of the many reasons why I love this film is its subversiveness, now the gaze being upon men and their sensual bodies. The erotic dancing, touching of one’s own body and the sharing of cigarette puffs through a tiny hole on the wall. The warden’s sexual frustration and jealousy as he beats up one of the prisoners and puts a gun in the prisoner’s mouth. Phallic imagery, much?

1. The Raspberry Reich (Bruce LaBruce, Canada, 2004)
Obviously, this is my most favorite gay-themed film, since I even named my own blog title after this one. That’s how much I love the film. So, yes, neither am I a neo-Nazi or do I love raspberries. But I do love the didacticism, subversiveness, wildness and fun of it all, not to mention the softcore gay sex scenes.

Gudrun, the female leader of an otherwise mostly male terrorist group, is determined to destroy everything normal and conforming to social norms. Unlike most who have seen it, I didn’t see the whole thing as a parody or satire on leftist politics. I saw the flawed characters as people who do have great revolutionary ideas but who don’t have the right means and resources and who, most of the time, don’t know the heck what they’re doing. And, in the end, instead of continuing to be terrorists, they become normal citizens, not conforming but learning to deal with society. But, let’s overlook the filmmaker’s intentions with his story for the time being and enjoy the film’s over-the-top campiness, its arousing sex scenes and its political statements enormously written across the screen. There is no revolution without sexual revolution. There is no sexual revolution without homosexual revolution.

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12 Comments »

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  1. Nice post.

    (This means, i don’t understand a damn thing but looove the pics you put in here.)

    • As long as you’ve gone through the trouble of reading it (you did, didn’t you?), I am happy.
      You’ve just posted the 666th comment in my blog. =O Hmmm, hehe.

  2. Ahh that’s why your URL’s named like that haha after all this time. sorry, i had no idea about that movie :/

    But I think I remember Happy Together. πŸ™‚

    • Hehe, most of the films I watch are pretty obscure and not that known, outside the cinephilic world, hehe. So, yeah :P.
      If the film you rememeber is something so artsy and amazingly vivid in its visual detail with its image quality seeming to be from the 1980s, then, yes, that must have been Happy Together, with the gay couple and all!

  3. make sure you’ll let me watch The Raspberry Reich when I get there ha? πŸ˜›

    • This is the comment you came up with? After days of not commenting and trying so hard to please me? πŸ˜› Hahaha, peace.
      Of all the films I mentioned, you’re only interested in The Raspberry Reich? Da why? But I think I know why, bohaha. For the softcore porn, of course! πŸ˜›

  4. Kaya pala Raspberry Reich. Nakakatuwang malamang nagsasubscribe ka sa concept na rebolusyonaryo ang tunay na pagbabago sa ideya ng sekswalidad. Apir! πŸ™‚

    • Apir!
      And I agreed with pretty much most of the radical ideals mentioned in the film like “Patriotism is an inflated assertion of imaginary superiority.” πŸ™‚ The film is a must-see. Too bad, it’s not that widely available.
      Again, a revolution is anything against what’s already been structured and maintained in society. And despite the supposedly positive attitudes of heterosexuals towards homosexuals, I don’t think they’re really ready for raw and real sexuality and the real sexual revolution yet ;).

  5. I miss you! πŸ˜€

    • Hey, where the heck have you been lately?
      Uh, I don’t seem to be that active in blogging myself too anyways, hehe. And it’s the same for other fellow bloggers as well. Hopefully, we go make a beautiful comeback in the blogging world :), hehe.

      • HAHA. IDK about that. I have no inspiration to write right now, even though my heart aches, and I’m best when I write about broken hearts, still, I don’t think I can make a good comeback. HAHA.

  6. WOW! πŸ˜€ I love this line up! I also recommend a Jean Genet rip-off, Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s Querelle (198?) Its glorious!


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