Archive for September, 2008

ITTY BITTY TITTY COMMITTEE

Posted in queer cinema, queer issues in film on September 7, 2008 by leaflens

[FROM MY OLD MULTIPLY SITE]

originally posted at leaflens.blogspot.com
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ITTY BITTY TITTY COMMITTEE (2007)

d. jamie babbit

pitch: a pre-college student working in a plastic surgeon’s office finds love and radical feminist advocacy in a girl who’s a member of the appropriately termed group CIA or Clits in Action (i’m not making this up!)

catch: it feels amateurish at times, and not in a good way

 

 

 

fast forward to 13 years since GO FISH and we still get independently-produced films shot in a quirky, edgy way, with characters spewing lines of advocacy of a feminist and lesbian nature. nice. nga lang, mas maganda ang handling ng GO FISH sa ganun, at ito hindi.

maganda naman sana ang kuwento, something that should be close to my heart. er, bosom din. the lead character, a kinda prim and proper chicana who is so out to her loving family, works as an assistant in a plastic surgeon’s office known for good boob jobs. nawindangers lang ang life ng family niya when she joined nga this radical group with chicks wearing black leather jackets. hay, at yun na ang start ng prublema — na minsan naman, para kasing walang prublema yung characters, na pilit lang sinaksakan ng prublema. hay labo, lalo na yung nag-a-angst-angst na si chicana na parang wala sa rason o tamang katinuan, script-wise. tapos yung object of affection niya na kept woman ng isang tanders na feministang may sariling NGO chorva (um, shades of lola darkness ito, minus the evilness hehehehe). hay basta, ang daming malabo kaya sometimes it feels so amateurish. parang di pa tapos ayusin at i-rewrite at workshop-in yung script e shinoot na. it felt that way.

hay. sayang. the title was a catch for me kaya ko to binili. well.. take the good with the bad, i suppose. and no amount of cameos will save this film, kahit pa man sina clea duvall yan o si jenny shimizu.

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GO FISH

Posted in indie films, queer cinema, queer issues in film on September 7, 2008 by leaflens

[FROM MY OLD MULTIPLY SITE]

originally posted at leaflens.blogspot.com
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GO FISH (1994)

d. rose troche

s. rose troche, guinevere turner

pitch: college and post-college lesbians bond, face issues of their community, and help those who need help in the love department find love despite their eccentricities

catch: wala. this film is perfect. pramis

 

 

 

and that it is. i remember watching this a long time ago and ending up liking it. more than ten years after, as i watched it again, i find myself loving it.

and why shouldn’t i? the lesbians here are of my generation, mga kasabayan ko, perhaps in sexuality moda and in creativity, too. the way the film was shot, with all those quirky experimental in-betweeners sandwiched sa more normative scenes and all, huwaw, may tatak nga kami, in fairness. at hindi lang sa pagiging lebsiyana ito. the style reminds me of darren arronofsky’s earlier style, isa ko pang kahenerasyon although syempre iba ang filmmaking focus niya.

simple lang itong film. no more than a little over an hour, pero puno at satisfying sa kuwento, iyon ay kung lesbiyana ka. i don’t think they made this film for non-lesbians, pero those who get it are okay. it means may openmindedness na nangyayari. that’s how i see it.

hay grabe. nakakatuwa at nakakatawa na ganun pa rin ang concerns natin after more than a decade –finding love chorva. hindi talaga ata ito magbabago bilang thematic framework, ng buhay at ng sining. well, okay naman ako don. 🙂

hay. wala na akong masabi… basta. there must be some strange reason why i bought this film and watched it at the time i did, in some kind of lesbianic divine intervention kind of way. yes, the universe has a funny way of reminding you that you are okay.

grabe.

and that, i am.

PUCCINI FOR BEGINNERS

Posted in comedy film, queer cinema, queer issues in film on September 7, 2008 by leaflens

[FROM MY OLD MULTIPLY SITE]

originally posted at leaflens.blogspot.com
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PUCCINI FOR BEGINNERS (2006)

d., s. maria maggenti

c. justin kirk, gretchen mol, elisabeth reaser

pitch: a lesbian new york writer, fresh from a break-up, finds herself having relations with a man and a woman at the same time, not knowing that the two were lovers

catch: wala! happy din ito! biased ako e bakit ba hahahaha

 

 

 

this one’s another good one ha. kakaaliw siya. i love justin kirk esp in ANGELS IN AMERICA and in LOVE! VALOUR! COMPASSION! buwisit yun kasi sa lahat ng mabibigyan ng nominations for acting sa ANGELS, siya wala! bad trip! e role niya kaya yung may pinaka-bearing dun, haller. oh well.

katuwa itong film. nakakatuwa kasi feeling ko, halaw sa tunay na buhay ng writer-director hahaha. i read somewhere na maggenti’s not identifying as a woman-loving-woman daw kasi lately, which is kinda ironic, coming from directing another pivotal lesbian film in the 90s called THE INCREDIBLY TRUE ADVENTURES OF TWO GIRLS IN LOVE. yes, that film kung saan semi-baby butch pa si tina, yung actress sa THE L WORD. yes, siya yun! look at the eyes. they have the same blank stare.

feeling ko ganun nga ang film. isang biyaning na malaki ang commitment issues kaya napasok sa isang masalimuot na hetero at homo relationship at the same time, kasi nagpapatianod lang siya. eto yung mga may rason sa buhay na “it just happened…” like “bakit mo ko pinagpalit? bakit ka nainlab sa iba?” at ang sagot sa iyo ay “it just happened…” hanlabo. nakakainis kung tutuusin pero i let it go kasi kyut yung actress eheheh. i am biased that way. madali akong bentahan.

ayokong ibigay ang ending pero nakakatuwa naman siya, but not in a star cinema mainstream cinema film type of way. in an indie film type of way and in a lesbianic way din. basta happy siya. nakatulong ang magandang script. ito halatang nagdaan sa pagbubuno ng mga makikilatis na mata at utak, at mabuti ang kinalabasan. winner! watch!

THE THANK YOU GIRLS

Posted in comedy film, film students, indie films, Philippine Cinema, queer cinema, queer issues in film on September 7, 2008 by leaflens

[FROM MY OLD MULTIPLY SITE]

originally posted at leaflens.blogspot.com
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THE THANK YOU GIRLS (2008)

d., s. charliebebs gohetia

pitch: a group of visayan gay/trans people, whose livelihood is to join gay beaucons, goes on a roadtrip to find their own inner journeys and outer fabulousness despite the odds

catch: a bit longish, could be edited down a bit pa

congrats to upfi student bebs for helming this first full-length of his. maganda ang topic at hindi siya seasonal: mga gay beaucon joiners na ang tawag pala sa kanila e “thank you girls” kasi lagi silang natatalo o hindi nakakaabot ng first place. premise pa lang, panalo na! kakatawa siya hahaha.

nainis lang ako at hindi ako marunong mag-bisaya. gusto ko pa naman maintindihan yung nuance ng gayspeak nila doon kasi kakaiba e. but the subtitles work naman.

what doesn’t work is that repeating narrative cycle style sometimes, reminiscent of other nonlinear narrative films like some mexican films na di ko na maalala title, basta andun si gale garcia chorva kyuti. may malaki dapat dahilan kung bakit babalikan ang ikot ng isang parte ng naratibo, at dapat e sa ibang anggulo naman ito i-take. yung nangyari kasi, parang iisang anggulo lang, at tight lang ang isa at yung isa e wider shot. weird lang.

may feel din siya ng PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT, this aussie film of yore na ganito din ang tema, na ni-ripoff naman ng american film na TO WONG FOO THANKS FOR EVERYTHING JULIE NEWMAR about the same time. inevitable ang comparison kasi road trip ito ng trannies at may eksenang nasa top ng bubong ng jeep at nagpapalipad ng colorful cloth.

the VO also reminds me of Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN na di mo alam kung sino ang nagsasalita tapos marami siyang alam sa buhay ng mga tao sa film. iffy lang na in the end, yung jeep pala ang nagsasalita. siya ang VO. actually, i think it could work better kung walang VO na lang, totally. ngayon ko lang naisip. hm.

pero other than that, masaya naman. the acting was good, the lines are witty and funny, lalo na yung nagpapraktis sila ng mga QnA portion while travelling. pinaka-paborito ko ito:

maitim na vakler: i have a question for you. define darkness.
vakler na nagre-rehearse: darkness is here beside me.

or something like that. hahahaha! basta aliw ito! if only for the lines. hahaha! saka maganda yung kuwento. nga lang, minsan it felt pepered with advocacy, with the beaucon women spewing lines straight out of taskforcepride hahahahah! well, this is good pero it might not be a bit realistic, kasi sa totoo lang, hindi naman masyadong advocacy-aware ang karamihan sa mga beaucon joiners na ganito e. siguro dapat tinimpla lang. i get the point but sana hindi nasobrahan.

all in all, happy ako na sasali ito sa vancouver. sana manalo! congrats guys!

isa pang naalala kong exchange, thanks to lush’s blogpost.

vakler 1: okay, here is your question. what is your waistline…and why?

hahahahaha nakakatawa! ang dami pa nito e. basta! watch!!!!!!!!

IMAGINE ME & YOU

Posted in queer cinema, queer issues in film, romantic comedy films on September 6, 2008 by leaflens

[FROM MY OLD MULTIPLY SITE]

originally posted at leaflens.blogspot.com
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IMAGINE ME & YOU (2005)

d., w. ol parker

c. lena heady, piper perabo

pitch: a recently married woman gets struck by love at first sight with a lesbian florist, and is torn on what to do

catch: wala! maganda siya! 🙂

okay, this is not the first queer-oriented film that piper appeared in. i liked her first in COYOTE UGLY kahit hindi queer ang character niya, pero napaka-queer lang ng scenario ng film (e kasi mukhang mga tranny performers yung ibang models doon). i liked her in LOST AND DELIRIOUS even if the whole lesbian storyline of that film is soooo whacked! (as in haller, tragic lesbian love na naman, pweh!). i like her here, too, kas siguro okay ang chemistry nila ni lena hedy, who plays the lesbian florist na na-inlababo-han nung just hetero-married character ni piper.

out of the list of films i really want to watch, gusto ko siya simply because of the title hehe. kanta kasi siya, at isa sa kanta na gusto ko mula sa lumang panahon. or more appropriately, first line siya ng kanta ng the turtles entitled “happy together.” well, it doesn’t really get featured so prominently in the film pero ginamit siyang device in the end kaya nagkitang muli ang would-be lovers na itey, in that star cinema kilig fantasy way.

and that’s how the whole film feels — it feels like a star cinema production! palitan mo lang ng hetero loveteam ang lesbian loveteam dito and you get the whole star cinema film shebang: title na halaw sa isang kanta, two gorgeous-looking lead stars, a good storyline with believable characters, humorous sidekicks used as foils (the girl bida’s new hubby’s promiscuous best man best friend who wanted to bed the lesbian florist), smart wisdom-y things from old characters (piper’s dad supportive of her daughter’s experience of “love at first sight” despite the homo odds), the mega kilig muntik-nang-maghalikan-pero-idelay-para-kilig moments (at madami ito ha, piper has perfected acting this out haha!), the mega-kilig plant and payoff devices used to make the characters find each other (complete with habulan sa ending kasi papunta sa airport/vacation ang hurt one, na hahabulin ng natauhang loved one at hahabulin yung isa chuva), grabe lang kulang na lang ang credits nito e sabihing directed by olivia lamasan produced by charo santos concio hahahaha! sobrah! all the elements are really there!

kaya siguro gusto ko. kasi it’s so mainstream that way (but unlike star, laidback lang ang storytelling at hindi magarbong attention-caller) kaya effective ang kilig moments kasi nakaka-relate ako. finally, a true lesbian kilig film! winner!

hotness si lena heady! yun lang. hehe. i was wondering where i saw her before, and a quick imdb search revealed siya nga pala yung nasa spanish/english film na LLUVIA EN LOS ZAPATOS (the man with rain in his shoes) directed by spanish filmmaker maria ripoll, whom we all met when she went here a couple years ago and we had coffee and cake at the upfi office. tama! at siya rin yung hotness na queen sa testosteron-y cgi film 300. ayuz. i love lena hehe especially that british accent niya ha. happy siya.

happiness ito. for a hetero guy writer-director, super sensitive ang approach sa materyal na ang ganda. parang non-issue masyado ang pag-switch ng hetero lead girl sa pag-fall in love sa lesbian, kasi given lang na hey, it’s love, chever. although masyado lang mabait at madaling natanggap ng husband niya, pero sige kineri na rin ng characterization ng dude, so puwedeng palusutin.

but all in all, okay siya. watch!

RENT (movie musical)

Posted in movie musical, queer issues in film on September 6, 2008 by leaflens

[FROM MY OLD MULTIPLY SITE]

originally posted at leaflens.blogspot.com
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RENT (2005)


d. chris columbus


s. from the broadway musical created by jonathan larson


dop. stephen goldblatt


c. rosario dawson and some of the original broadway cast

pitch: a musical about angsty middle class but kinda poor-ish new york artists living in tenement housing chever

catch: er, nasan ang ibang songs?????

 

 

it takes a good director to understand the angsts, the motivations, the desires and the longings and loneliness of the characters of a script (or a play) and to be able to translate that on screen requires an enormous amount of understanding. sadly, chris columbus is not that kind of a director.

from the visual language itself, one could see just how homophobic the person behind the camera is. songs about same-sex love are filmed so very far and with some stupid element foregrounding in the mise en scene that we don’t get to feel the love the couple is expressing (best demonstrated by the song “i’ll follow you” about angel the tranny and tom collins the teacher). minsan din mukhang tanga ang filming ng same-sex eksena na you don’t get to understand the nuance of what’s happening (best exemplified by the “take me or leave me” number kung saan nag-aaway ang lesbian couple maureen and joanne during their engagement dinner! at habang palipat-lipat sila ng lokasyon per stanza e nakatungangang sumusunod lang ang ibang tao sa kanila! nubayun!!!!!!!!!!!!!). the only moments we see the camera capture tenderly the tender moments of couples ay yung sa treatment na sa huli ng hetero couple roger and mimi. pero pag discussions na about people having AIDS and all, nakalayo rin ang camera, except when that montage of roger and april’s love story was being montaged, tutok sa tragedy siya, which felt iffy and sensationalistic a la tv patrol of yore. yes, needless to say, puro long shots at wide shots ang pelikulang ito karamihan. buset.

parang sinayang ni columbus ang musicality ng materyal. hindi siya marunong mag-shoot ng isang musical film, that’s it. he should learn from the masters. like how WEST SIDE STORY was shot, na kahit napaka-gay minsan ng choreo ng sharks and jets hehe e buo pa rin ang masculinity ng gangs kahit maga-jazz-jazz sila sa kalye ng new york! ito…ewan, ang labo. ang pangit. asar na asar ako kasi original dvd ang binili ko nito!!! pang-pirated lang pala dapat ang kaledad niya. hmp. buset.

kulang sa imagination, e! like how “tango maureen” was interpreted. man, iba attack ko dito kung ako magdidirek nito. ang chaks! ang bland! at heartless. wala talaga siyang compassion sa characters, sa situations nila, sa materyal. parang di niya naiintindihan ang angst ng ganitong klaseng mga tao. sayang. sayan sobra. hay… sayang kasi i really really reaaaaaaaaaaaally love the musical. i watched new voice’s staging of this, twice! (the first staging, with monique mooning the audience hehehe was better, yung sa music museum. the second, nawala na ang angst ng roger ni calvin millado, kasi in-love na siya hahaha. ito yung sa gsis theater na)

hay… sayang.

NOTES ON A SCANDAL

Posted in British film, Oscars, queer cinema, queer issues in film on September 6, 2008 by leaflens

[FROM MY OLD MULTIPLY SITE]

originally posted at leaflens.blogspot.com
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NOTES ON A SCANDAL (2006)

s. from the novel by zoe heller

c. dame judy dench, cate blanchett

pitch: a veteran closeted lesbian high school teacher uses a younger new teacher’s scandalous affair with a student to curry favors in her favor

catch: putangina ang homophobic!

 

 

bwisit! bwisit ito! nakakairita! arrgghh! sayang ang talents. pero iyon ang ipinagtataka ko: bakit pumayag ang talents na lumabas dito?????????

the film is about hidden scandals, usually frowned upon by society. cate’s character is an art teacher in a high school and currently undergoing a seven-year itch sa marriage niya with an older man. si dame judy naman is a closeted lesbian pero alam naman ng lahat ba, yung ganun. she had a previous run-in with another teacher na, it turns out in the end, naging stalkerish ang moda niya at the girl had to issue a restraining order pa sa kanya. tapos heto na naman siya, na-focus-an niya ng affection yung new art teacher na halos i-blackmail niya emotionally pero pa-underground ang dating when the art teacher had a sexual love affair with an underage student. haggard! i’m sure hetero ang sumulat ng novel na ito, and not once binanggit nila ang posibilidad ng sexuality chever ng closeted older teacher. nakakainis kasi napaka-homophobic lang ng buong set-up, not to say na walang lesbyanang closeta man o hindi na mangba-blackmail ng ganun sa isang babae para maging emotionally indebted sa kanya yung gelay. maraming ganyan diyan sus i can name names hahahaha. pero that’s not the point. the point is, sobrang condemned na agad ang character ni judy in the beginning, kahit na cate’s character was “punished” for punishing the closeted lesbian, pero iffy pa rin ang whole situation, kasi the older teacher ends up beginning something na maaaring ganun ulit sa isang complete stranger in the end. aaaaah basta! ayoko ito. buset. kakainis. argh. sayang talent! asar.

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