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.

Prepare yourself for the greatest film of all time.

March 31, 2010 at 10:30 am | Posted in Cinema | 17 Comments

Nope, it’s not Casablanca or Citizen Kane. For all I care, Citizen Kane can suck my dick then Imma pound the shit out of The Godfather. You need to watch more films before you can go giving that title to anything, really. Nope, it’s not even from the US of A. Fuck their solipsistic xenophobia and ethnocentrism. There are also other films outside America, dammit. It’s from Japan!

NEKO!

I know, I know. I hate it when people list their greatest films of all time, they’ll just list only films from the 1990s and 2000s. Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t know that the world started during the 1990s. Cinema has been here since the 1890s, cunt. Just say, it’s a list of your favorite films; please don’t use the phrase “of all time”. It just shows how little you know. But I am of course exaggerating when I say Hausu is the greatest film of all time. There isn’t a single best film of all time. There are a lot of greatest films of all time, and we should also put personal preferences and biases into consideration.

Prepare yourselves for the brilliance that is Hausu!

I mean, duh, it has just about everything you need and expect from a film. Fun. Fun. Camp. And fun.

Caricatured characters, and the masterful mocking of these cliches and stereotypes. Martial arts. Melodrama. Horror. Epic. Even a bit of animation and western. Blood-spurting cats. Flesh-eating pianos. Dancing skeletons. Laughing heads. An argument about which is better: watermelons or bananas. I say, it’s watermelons but please don’t go all Freud on me.

I am about to cry at the sheer beauty of all this.

It makes fun of the genre conventions, especially of the horror/giallo genre. You can compare it, if you please, to Dario Argento films, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Japanese pinku films, and other films of the kind but there’s really nothing like this, trust me. And I can even describe it with a bunch of adjectives like psychedelic, ludicrous, colorful, silly and delightful but the feeling while you watch this is practically indescribable so just go ahead and watch it right now instead of reading this until the end. This is anime gone live and haywire.

This is pure bliss.

And this is all in the fast pacing of a TV show. Now, stop watching those mind-numbing music videos and reality TV shows. You got all the entertainment you need right here. Where else do you need to go to for laughs and silly entertainment? Just watch Hausu.

I just finished watching an almost 6-hour film. What have you accomplished lately?

March 14, 2010 at 4:00 am | Posted in Cinema | 4 Comments

I just finished watching a 5 hour and 45 minute film, La Commune (Paris, 1871) and there’s no way that I am not going to take this opportunity to talk about this epic, and they keep telling me that I’d never amount to anything. Hah, what have you achieved lately?

Truth be told, the whole thing is fucking amazing. Every single minute of it. Sure, I dozed off probably two times but I just went back through the couple of minutes that I just missed. I watched a part of it on a late Friday after an early class and work so that’s why I dozed off, ok? So, it wasn’t the film’s problem.

I want to talk so much about the film but I don’t even know which point to start with. I could go on for ages talking about this film, if I just knew where to start.

How can I not love this film when it tackles issues such as socialism, separation of religion and the education system, feminism, capitalist government and its indifference towards the needs of the poor, and the manipulativeness and inaccuracies of the media?

La Commune (Paris, 1871) is Peter Watkins’ most ambitious film, not only because of its length but because of it all being filmed in apparently an unoccupied factory in Paris with a bunch of non-professional actors. Peter Watkins, the filmmaker of Punishment Park and The War Game, makes another quite compelling piece of liberalist propaganda with disheartening human drama.

After overthrowing the government, the working class decides to take power and builds a government that is solely for the benefits of the working class, and not for the selfish and consumerist interests of the bourgeoisie and the upper-classes. For equality, not for oppression. They plan to create an education system maintained by the state, and not by the Church. They plan to get rid of rents. They demand for gender equality and better work conditions. And of course, the capitalists and bourgeoisie find this as a threat to their security and comfortable lives so they plan to put things back to the way it were. They have civil wars while their country is also fighting against Germany.

In the midst of all this, the media, particularly the TV news coverage, covers all these events and puts them into celluloid, into paper. The ultimate point of this film is, despite the story being set in the 1870s, how the mass media, with all of its personal biases, manipulates and changes the truth for the selfish interests of the ones in control of it, usually the ones in power, and treats their subjects in a subjective yet detached manner, sometimes to the point of putting its own words to their mouths. Exaggerating the truth, shoving its own propaganda down our throats, choosing which ones to mention and which not to mention, and putting in their own damn opinions about the events when nobody fucking asked them what they thought. There seems to be no room for letting us think for ourselves. This way, the media is easily capable of convincing us of one thing or another. And Peter Watkins even shows this to us in a sneaky way. There were no TVs in the 1870s. There were no news coverages of the Paris Commune, or of any other events during the 19th century for that matter.

And isn’t it disheartening that nothing much has changed after almost two centuries and that we are still dealing with almost the same issues at this modern day and age?  The only difference is that back then they actually stood up and tried to fight back for what they thought was right while we just lay passively with the comforts and fake reassurances of our capitalistic society. We’re so busy that we have no time for revolutions.

Wouldn’t life be better with all these?

  • The separation of the state and church– Religious matters and political matters are two different things so it does make sense that the church should not dwell in subjects and issues that it doesn’t really know much of and that doesn’t fucking concern them.
  • The education system being maintained by the state, not being controlled by the church (yet again!)– The church keeps oppressing women, making them feel guilty for decisions that they make of their own free will and teaching them to be passive and submissive to their husbands among other wicked things. They are not teaching us the essential things we need to know in order to live; they are just teaching us their own belief systems.
  • In the eyes of everyone, everyone, without any exceptions, is equal– Yes, women are now dominant forces in the workplace. So what? That doesn’t mean anything. They already work outside the home and yet they’re the ones who are still expected to do all the housework at home!? Fuck no, that’s not good. If misogyny is still prevalent and women are still being treated as the weaker and inferior sex and seen as sex objects, I don’t see how anything has changed at all. Sad.
  • The government catering to the needs of the working class– Instead of sucking up to the faceless and powerful corporations and clinging on to them for support, why not focus more on the people who really need the help and who need to be heard out, the working class? I myself am not a part of the working class but why should it always be about me?
  • The working class has more say on how things should be– Why should we let the wealthy, the corporations, drown in their own wealth while they keep sucking the blood and money out of the ones who really sweat for it? Shouldn’t we protect the needs of the ones who need it the most? The multi-billionaire, multinational corporations have their trademarks, their copyrights, the media, and the law (that has been changed for their own interests) by their side to protect their name and wealth that there is almost no way we can ever destroy them without facing even bigger obstacles. Let’s hear what the working class has to say!

Inglorification of the Glorious Bastards

March 9, 2010 at 2:57 am | Posted in Cinema | 11 Comments

Note: Quentin Tarantino’s not a genius. He doesn’t even know to spell. Yes, Quentin, what kind of torture do you have in store for grammar Nazis like me?

Post-Academy whining. Okay, first and foremost, winning an award for all the work they have put into something they truly treasure and treat like their own baby is a special moment in their lives. Especially when it’s from a pretentious so-called prestigious institution. For works of more artistic merit, just submit your films to other film festivals because you’ll have no luck with the pea-brained voting members of the Oscars.

It must be the time of their lives, especially when it’s their very first award, especially to those small-time filmmakers and newcomers. You mustn’t go ruin it by setting a time limit for their speeches. You must not turn off the mike for them and play that annoying tune once they go over the limit. It’s rude, and you call yourself high-class, hmpf.

They should be allowed to bask it in. It’s the time of their lives. It’s the moment they’ve all been waiting for. And there you are, trivializing it and prioritizing the ceremony’s sponsors over them. Oscars, you wouldn’t even be a golden trophy and given around to others like freebies if it weren’t for them.

So I say, let them cry. Let them pause and let them remember it as a great moment. Let them dedicate the award to their children’s cousin’s parents’ neighbors and whoever else. It’s your moment, woman, and they ought not to take it away from you. You’re allowed to take your time, for all they care. The heartless and faceless sponsors can fucking wait. They have no dreams but that doesn’t mean they have to ruin it for everyone else.

I propose that they just entirely get rid of the tacky and mediocre presentations by those celebrities. They’re unfunny most of the time, anyways. They basically just say the same thing over and over again. They just change some stuff every year. They just read off a screen anyways. Even I could do that.

**********

And the Best Picture award every year just goes to the most sentimental, most predictable, and most crowd-pleasing film. For a second there, I actually thought they’d choose Avatar, based on their previously poor choices (The Departed? Crash? A Beautiful Mind? Lord of the Rings!?). Its jury, probably a very conservative group, never seems to choose the more controversial and less accessible ones, to avoid any heated-up debates/discussions about it. Instead, the members choose self-indulgent, saccharine, all-American tripe. They seem to have this awful preference for films that seem to have some socially relevant themes like poverty, racism, and war but that just deal with those themes in a trivial and banal manner.

The Hurt Locker? Well, it’s about fucking time that they gave the Best Picture award to a film directed by a woman (and the Best Director award to a woman), noting the fact that there have been relatively more numbers of films directed by women now than there were decades ago. I haven’t watched this myself but I do love Kathryn Bigelow’s Point Break, if that means anything. Point Break’s probably the only Keanu Reeves film where his robotic acting seems plausible enough. That, and The Matrix. It’s a good thing he’s a pretty boy. I’m getting off-topic again.

Psychological effects and the horrors of war ought to do the trick, showing it for the hell that it really is.

Sure, The Hurt Locker‘s about the current war in Iraq but again, based on what I know and have read, it doesn’t show the ugliness of it all, unlike films like The Big Red One or Come and See (Only in The Big Red One will you find a soldier who loses one of his balls in war). Knowing America and its sense of superiority and narrow-mindedness, its message is probably something along the lines of, the war is inevitable, war gives people thrills, and we are all stuck in this twisted cycle of war that there’s nothing we can really do to avoid it. Well, show what’s really happening in Iraq and, maybe, the Americans might probably have second thoughts about it, if the average American had any conscience at all.

I say, paraphrasing a quote from The Big Red One: “There are two kinds of men in this [war]: the dead, and those who are about to die.”

Why smoking only looks good in the movies

March 3, 2010 at 2:45 pm | Posted in Cinema | 12 Comments


Because they look so classy, cool and poised while they’re doing it.
Especially in black-and-white movies!

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