Best Asian Gay Films 1/2
If there is one thing you should know about me, it’s that I LOVE THE GAYS. So much so that I sometimes honestly believe I am a gay guy trapped in a woman’s body. But that’s for another more personal blog post…
Today, I’m in the mood to share with you guys my top favorite gay films because uhm, I LOVE GLBTQ cinema like no other and I have seen a tad too much of ‘em for my own good why, hallo tharr Hikaru, Nagi and Sho of COAT WEST if you know them and understand what the hell I’m talking about OMG gimme a high-five In fact, when “regular” people learn about my knowledge/collection of queer cinema, they kinda step back a bit, feign a smile and have involuntary eye-twitching.
I do, however have a preference for Asian gay films because… I dunno, I love the twinks Orientals like that . Sorry but there’s none of the Pinoy variety here as there’s shitloads of them that they require a different entry altogether.
ps: These are just recommendations and random comments. And because I deem this post special, it would be in 2 parts. Yebbah!
1. NO REGRET
Dir. : Lee SongHee-Il
Cast: Lee Yeong-Hun, Lee Han, Kim Dong-Wuk
This is truly one of the best homosexual-themed movies ever- Asian or otherwise. It’s no secret that I love Koryan cinema with a passion and have so much respect for their directors, and this is but another one of those that made me go “WHY THE HELL DID I NOT MAKE THAT MOOBEH!?”. Btw, Lee SongHee-Il is the first openly-gay director in their country. Uhm. I can’t even count the number of gay directors in MY country.
Anyway, No Regret is considered an Indie film in Korea (but I bet the budget’s more than a feature film’s budget here, marketing included). It’s not your typical “guy-falls-in-love-with-the-childhood-bestfriend” story and the premise does seem very realistic. Koreans are not very forgiving with their gays and a lot of them are forced into marriage to avoid being ostracized. Many of those who come out end up committing suicide because of the hostility towards them. No, that was not the plot.
There’s nothing really extraordinary about the film but it was very well-written. I mean, it will take you to different highs and lows throughout the whole movie that by the time the credits roll, you’d be emotionally… exercised. You’d probably also root for the couple and hate everyone and everything that gets in their way (and there’s a lot) as the story has the tendency to get the viewers attached. Yanno, like a soap opera. Only gayer. And better.
2. LOVE OF SIAM
Dir. : Chookiat Sakveerakul
Cast : Witwisit Hiranyawongkul, Mario Maurer
An entire nation fell in love with the two young lead actors of the movie and for very good reasons. Love of Siam is a light-hearted drama about friendship, family and of course, first love. Yihee! Sure, there were controversies at first, especially since it was marketed as a straight teen flick, only for some viewers to gasp in horror when they realized that OMG THE TWO BOYS WERE KISSING!
I was rather skeptical about the movie at first because I thought it would be another coming-of-age and out of the closet story, which just happen to star cute boys. Really cute boys. So imagine my delight when it started to dawn on me while watching it that it was pretty darn good! There was obviously no sex scenes or anything (I think they Pchy and Mario were minors when they shot this) though honestly, I wouldn’t have complained. Wait. There was. And it was quite graphic and steamy with Mario on top of… Wait. No. That was just my “dream”.
Love of Siam is a story of innocence and pure, unadulterated feelings. No pretensions or exaggerations. Hell, I liked this movie more than I did Bangkok Love Story even though the latter’s cinematography kicked ass. The whole unrequited love shit got to me and I found myself clutching my chest. And did I mention that the boys are cute, too? *insert fangirl squee here*
3. LAN YU
Dir. : Stanley Kwan
Cast : Ye Liu, Jun Hu
Before I even knew about the film, I chanced upon this story online, which was translated to English called A Beijing Story. It was apparently written by an anonymous Chinese man who shared to the world his tale of love and loss. Boy, I tell you- that piece of literature changed me. I don’t think I’ve cried so much reading something online like I did that night. And so when I learned that there was a film adaptation, I literally scoured the net for a possible copy and a chance to watch it.
Lan Yu, the movie, did not make any waves when it first came out (or even until now). Not a lot of people has seen it and it’s certainly not one of the more talked about queer movies out there. I can say, however, that the strength of the film is the story and the motivation behind the characters’ actions. Sure, I say I was more moved (that’s an understatement) by the written version but the movie has that impact as well.
If you’re a masochist like me, give this film a try and watch your eyes implode. If you’re a gay guy, you gotta watch it because it shows a side of homosexuality that many films don’t dare show. If you’re a middle-aged gay man still hiding in the closet (I dunno if there’s anyone in that category who reads my blog), SLASH YOUR WRIST NOW IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THIS FILM YET OR GO TO YESASIA AND ORDER IT NOW.
Whew! That was long… Part 2, coming up!
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