Front Cover

Front Cover (2015)

Gay people “…must exist in China.”

“Yes, many time, but never someone like you, so… no shame.”

Synopsis from IMDB: “…a gay New York City fashion stylist, Ryan, … detests and rejects his Asian upbringing. He is given an assignment to style Ning, a foreign actor, for an important photo shoot. After a rocky start, an unlikely friendship develops between them leading Ryan to examine his identity and make a major decision about an enticing new path for his life and career.

Front Cover approaches gay culture clashes in a unique way.  Ryan and Ning have grown up differently – Ryan rejecting his Chinese culture in favor of a more American life, and Ning is still fully a part of his Chinese upbringing.  For Ryan being gay and out is just another day at the office.  For Ning it’s still something shameful and detrimental. Continue reading “Front Cover”

Handsome Devil

Handsome Devil (2016)

“Reveal to me who you are… if you dare!”

Adapted synopsis from IMDB: Ned and Conor are forced to share a bedroom at their boarding school. The loner and the star athlete at this rugby-mad school form an unlikely friendship until it’s tested by their peers and their own fears.

One of the most recent and well-done coming of age films, Handsome Devil is ripe with layers of ideas, metaphor, and lessons to be learned or remembered.  It transcends the teenage angst and burdens of “coming out,” and translates the tale into themes of friendship, courage, and being yourself.

At first, we start out with Ned who is the school loner because he is known by his peers to be gay.  He struggles constantly, and his most prized fantasy is to be expelled.  While we might think he is the one in this story who is true to himself, we start to see that like everyone around him, he is not.  One of the first lessons in Dan Sherry’s English/Literature class is designed to reveal who the students are, Ned plagiarizes a song during which Mr. Sherry points it out in grand fashion.  Sherry tells his students to “Never speak with a borrowed voice!” Continue reading “Handsome Devil”

The Falls: Covenant of Grace

The Falls: Covenant of Grace (2016)

No one should ever be forced to choose between God and love.  After all, shouldn’t they be one and the same?

Synopsis from IMDB: “This third and final film of the Falls trilogy revisits former Mormon missionaries Chris and RJ, six years after they first fell in love and were disciplined for it, as they formulate a plan to be together at long last.”

Each of these films deals with a different aspect of the characters’ lives.  The first one was most about discovering oneself and figuring out if one has the courage to make a go of it.  The second dealt with finding what was lost and the courage to assert the truth.  This one felt like it specifically handled the feelings of being torn between God and love, and having to make choices that we shouldn’t have to make. Continue reading “The Falls: Covenant of Grace”

The Falls

The Falls (2012)

 

 

The Heavenly Father sent RJ and Chris on their mission for a reason.

Synopsis: RJ and Chris are two young Mormons who have embarked on their first mission.  As they get into routines, they begin to question things including their faith and themselves.  They also find that they have something in common – an attraction to each other.  While the Church threatens to tear them apart literally and emotionally, they each must find their own path.

I watched this film for the first time several years ago, and recently watched it to review The Falls Trilogy in sequence.  I forgot how much I liked this film, and how true to life it is for so many LGBT Mormons.  For so many people, they have been forced to choose between the truth and human nature, or everything else that their Community holds out for them as what their lives should look like. Continue reading “The Falls”

Esteros

Esteros (2016)

Being dampened is like a TV in a hotel room that you can only turn the volume up so far.

Synopsis from Netflix: “A decade after being separated, childhood friends Matías and Jerónimo reconnect as adults and find that their mutual attraction hasn’t faded.”

There are a few themes that we see in Esteros.  One is about living one’s life openly, unafraid – undampened.  In this instance, Jero has become the role model in that he is openly gay and accepted who he is.  We also consider how internalized homophobia can make people afraid to be themselves, and prevent them from being truly happy. Continue reading “Esteros”

Taekwondo

Taekwondo (2016)

Leo Tolstoy asks, “Is it really possible to tell someone else what one feels?”  Taekwondo attempts to do just that through making the entire movie about one feeling.

Quick synopsis: Fernando invites his friend from Taekwondo, Germán, to his home to spend some time during vacation.  All of Fernando’s friends are there who have known each other for years and spend vacations at the house.  What will happen when the new guy shows up?

Taekwondo, an Argentinian film, is one that wants to make you feel.  It’s all about the emotions of wondering if someone likes you – if they are capable of liking you.  Imagine you are in high school and you know you are gay, have a crush on a guy, but can’t figure out if he is gay or not.  And of course, all this takes place where everyone else is straight. Continue reading “Taekwondo”