Sunday, July 11, 2010



CLASSIC GAY-THEMED MOVIES


1. Brokeback Mountain

Brokeback Mountain is a 2005 American romantic drama film that depicts the complex romantic and sexual relationship between two men in the American West from 1963 to 1983. The film was directed by Taiwanese director Ang Lee from a screenplay by Diana Ossana and Larry McMurtry, which they adapted from the short story "Brokeback Mountain" by Annie Proulx. The film stars Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway, and Michelle Williams.

Brokeback Mountain won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, and was honored with Best Picture and Best Director accolades from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, Golden Globe Awards, Producers Guild of America, Critics Choice Awards, and Independent Spirit Awards among many other organizations and festivals. Brokeback Mountain had the most nominations (eight) for the 78th Academy Awards, where it won three: Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Original Score. The film was widely considered to be a front runner for the Academy Award for Best Picture, but lost to Crash. At the end of its theatrical run, Brokeback Mountain ranked eighth among the highest-grossing romantic dramas of all time.

Plot:

Brokeback Mountain is the story of ranch hand Ennis del Mar (Heath Ledger) and rodeo cowboy Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal), two young men who meet and fall in love on the fictional Brokeback Mountain in Wyoming in 1963. The film documents their relationship over the next twenty years.

Ennis and Jack first meet when they are hired by Joe Aguirre (Randy Quaid) to herd his sheep through the summer. After a night of heavy drinking, Jack makes a sexual pass at Ennis, who initially rejects, then allows Jack's advances. Although he warns Jack it was only a one-time incident, they develop a physical and emotional relationship. Shortly after learning their summer together is being cut short unexpectedly, they briefly fight, during which each is bloodied.

After the two part ways, Ennis marries his long-time fiancée Alma Beers (Michelle Williams) and fathers two children. Jack returns the next summer, but Aguirre, who witnessed Jack and Ennis on the mountain, does not hire him. Jack eventually meets, marries and starts a family with rodeo princess Lureen Newsome (Anne Hathaway). After four years, Jack visits Ennis. Upon meeting, the two kiss passionately, which Alma accidentally oversees. Jack broaches the subject of creating a life together on a small ranch, but Ennis, haunted by a painful childhood memory of the torture and murder of a man suspected of homosexual behaviour in his hometown, refuses. He also is unwilling to abandon his family. Ennis and Jack continue their relationship, meeting for infrequent fishing trips.

The marriages of both men deteriorate. Alma and Ennis eventually divorce. Ennis continues to see his family regularly until Alma, finally revealing her knowledge of the nature of his relationship with Jack, has a violent argument with him. Meanwhile, Lureen has abandoned her rodeo days and become a businesswoman with her father and expects Jack to work in sales. Hearing about Ennis's divorce, Jack drives to Wyoming in hopes they can live together, but Ennis refuses to move away from his children. Jack finds solace with male prostitutes in Mexico. Meanwhile, Ennis meets and later has a brief romantic relationship with a waitress, Cassie Cartwright (Linda Cardellini). Jack and Lureen meet and befriend another couple, Randall and Lashawn Malone; Randall gives the impression to Jack that he is open to homosexuality.

At the end of a fishing trip, Ennis attempts to push back their next meeting. An argument erupts over Jack's frustration at seeing Ennis so infrequently and Ennis blames Jack for being the cause of his own conflicted emotions. Jack attempts to hold him and there is a brief struggle, but they end up locked in an embrace. A flashback of Ennis saying goodbye to Jack during their summer on Brokeback Mountain fades back to Jack watching Ennis drive away.

An unspecified amount of time later, a postcard Ennis sends to Jack is returned stamped "Deceased." In a telephone conversation, Lureen tells Ennis that Jack died while changing a tire that exploded, while images of Jack being beaten to death by three men flash on the screen. Lureen tells Ennis that Jack wished to have his ashes scattered on Brokeback Mountain, but that she doesn't know where it is. Ennis travels to see Jack's mother and father (Roberta Maxwell and Peter McRobbie), where he offers to take Jack's ashes - but the father refuses the request, preferring to inter him in a family plot. Jack's mother asks Ennis if he would like to see Jack's childhood bedroom before he leaves. There he discovers on a hanger in the closet the old bloodstained shirt he thought he had lost on Brokeback Mountain, learning instead that Jack had kept it hanging with the bloodstained shirt Jack himself had worn in that fight. Ennis holds them up to his face, breathes in their scent, and silently weeps. He carries the shirts downstairs with him, and Jack's mother allows him to keep them.

In the final scene, 19-year-old Alma Jr. (Kate Mara) arrives at her father's trailer with the news that she is engaged. She asks Ennis for his blessing and invites him to the wedding. Ennis asks her if her fiancé really loves her, and she says "yes." After Alma's departure, Ennis goes to his closet. Inside, hanging on a nail pounded into the door, are the two shirts with a postcard of Brokeback Mountain tacked above. Now, Jack's shirt is tucked inside of Ennis's. Ennis carefully fastens the top button of Jack's shirt, and with tears in his eyes mutters, "Jack, I swear..." while slowly straightening the postcard, before closing the door and walking away.


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2. The Love of Siam
(Thai: รักแห่งสยาม, RTGS: Rak Haeng Sayam, pronounced [rák hɛ̀ŋ sà.yăːm]) is a Thai romantic-drama film, written and directed by Chookiat Sakveerakul. A multi-layered family drama, a groundbreaking element of the story is a gay romance between two teenage boys.

The film was released in Thailand on 22 November 2007. The fact that the gay storyline was not apparent from the film's promotional material initially caused controversy, but the film was received with critical acclaim and proved financially successful. It dominated Thailand's 2007 film awards season, winning the Best Picture category in all major events.

Plot:

Mew, a stubborn kid, is a neighbour of Tong. Tong is an energetic boy who lives with his parents and sister. After accidentally spitting gum into Mew's hair, Tong wanted to befriend with Mew but was unsuccessful. At school, Mew was cornered by several other students was harassed until Tong stepped in to defend him. Tong was injured and apologized to Mew for the chewing gum incident. Mew was grateful for Tong stepping in and responded that they were even. The two became good friends from that point on.

Mew plays on his grandpa's piano and is joined by his grandma, who begins to play a song. Mew asks his grandma why she liked that song and his grandma responded with telling Mew that it was played for her by his grandpa. It was a way for him to express his love to her and explains that one day, Mew will understood meaning of the song.

Tong's family goes to Chiangmai and returns without Tong's sister Tang since she wanted to stay with her friends a couple days more. Tong bought Mew a present and decided to give it to Mew piece by piece in a game of Treasure Hunt. One by one, Mew found all of the pieces except for the last one which was hidden in a tree. The tree was cut down before Mew was able to retrieve it leaving the present Tong bought for Mew incomplete. Tong was disappointed at their misfortune, but Mew remained grateful for Tong's efforts. Tang called her parents and told them that she would extend her stay at Chiangmai until the 24th of December. Tong looks at his calendar and realizes that Tang will not be able to attend the Christmas play he would participate in.

After the Christmas play, Tong receives a phone call from his parents telling him to stay with Mew and his grandma. After spending the night at Mew's house, Tong awakens to the sight of his parents along with Mew and his grandma. Tong is told that his parents are going to Chiangmai a couple days to look for Tang. Tong lives in depression until his parents come back, only to find out that Tang may be lost. Tong is devastated and cries in front of Mew, who is trying to comfort his friend.

Months have passed and Tong's family decides to move. On the day of the move, Tong finds Mew sitting on a ledge overlooking a pier. Tong says his final words and departs in a car. Tong looks back only to find Mew walking towards the car before coming to a stop and crying for losing his best friend.

Six years pass. The boys are reunited during their senior year of high school at Siam Square. The musically talented Mew is the leader of a boy band called August. Tong has a pretty girlfriend, Donut. The meeting stirs up old feelings that Mew has harbored since boyhood, his love for Tong.

Mew's band, meanwhile, has a new manager, June. She looks just like Tong's long-lost sister, Tang. After meeting June, Tong and his mother, Sunee, devise to a plan to pay June to pretend she is Tang, in hopes that it will pull Tong's father out of his alcoholic depression. "Tang" borrows a story from the Thai film Ruk Jung, saying she has amnesia, which is why she has forgotten how to say her family's Catholic grace at the dinner table.

Mew is also the object of an unrequited crush of a neighbor girl, Ying. But Mew has strong feelings for Tong, which have inspired him to write new songs. The manager as well as the entire band were all impressed with Mew's composition.

The boys share a prolonged kiss in Tong's backyard one night after a party in honor of the return of "Tang". Prior to that Tong also spends the night with Mew, which causes his mother to worry.

At Christmas time, as Tong and his mother are decorating a Christmas tree, they have a heart-to-heart talk about making choices, and Tong asks his mother to let him make his own choices.

Tong then goes to Siam Square for a date with Donut. Mew's band is playing nearby, so Tong abandons Donut and tells her he cannot be with her. He then rushes to see Mew play and is guided there by Ying, who has accepted the fact that Mew loves Tong. After the performance, Tong gives Mew a gift, the missing nose from the wooden doll that Tong gave him when they were children. However, Tong tells Mew he can't be his boyfriend but that doesn't mean he doesn't love Mew.

The movie ended with Mew putting the missing nose back to the wooden puppet, saying "thank you" and crying quietly.

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3. Bishonen...

(Chinese: 美少年之戀; pinyin: Měishàonián zhī Liàn; Cantonese Yale: Meisiunin zi lyun, Japanese 美少年の 恋; literally: Love Between Beautiful Youths), is a 1998 Hong Kong romantic drama film about an ill-fated gay romance.

Plot:

Jet (Stephen Fung) is a handsome gay hustler whose sex appeal seems to know no bounds. Everyone wants to make love to him, but he is in love with no one but himself.

Things change drastically when he notices what seems like a young couple in a shop, Sam (Daniel Wu) and Kana (Shu Qi). At first sight, he falls in love with Sam and begins following the two around.

Jet's friend Ching, who is also a hustler, runs a personal in a gay magazine for Jet, imploring Sam to contact Jet.

At first, Jet is angry with Ching for not asking him, but his wrath subsides quickly when indeed he meets Sam again in what seems like a chance encounter, but actually is an outcome of the personal.

Sam turns out to be a police officer and Jet starts to befriend Sam, hoping this will turn into a relationship. But Sam does not seem to notice Jet's intentions towards him.

Unbeknownst to Jet, Sam had a homosexual affair with pop star K.S.(Terence Yin) five years earlier. At the same time, Ching had been in unrequited love with Sam (then calling himself Fai) when the two were still office workers.

Ching comes to his apartment shared with Jet when Jet and Sam are there, instantly recognizes Sam as Fai and is furious with Jet for stealing his beloved.

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4. Bangkok Love Story

(Thai: เพื่อน...กูรักมึงว่ะ or pêuan ... goo rák meung wâ, literally "Friend ... I love you") is a 2007 Thai film written and directed by Poj Arnon. A gay romantic crime action drama, it is the story of a man who falls in love with a gunman assigned to kill him.

Plot:

A loner gunman named Maek is assigned to kidnap a police informant named Iht, but Maek has a change of heart when he takes Iht to the 'hit house'. Maek is ordered to kill Iht, but because he only kills scum and has discovered that Iht isn't bad, he refuses, turning the gun on the enforcers who had hired him to murder Iht. A gun battle ensues during which Maek is wounded, but Iht grabs Maek's gun and shoots their way out of the mobsters' headquarters. The two men then escape on Maek's motorcycle. Maek tells Iht to leave at gun point but he won't and takes Maek back to his rooftop hide-out. There, over a period of time, Iht tends to Maek's wound and finds himself attracted to him.

In fact, Maek is also attracted to Iht, but keeps it hidden, while Iht cares for his former would-be killer with great tenderness.

While giving Maek a bath one day, Iht kisses him on the mouth. Maek reciprocates and the two men engage in a passionate sexual experience. The next day, however, a conflicted Maek demands that Iht go away and leave him alone. Iht returns home to his fiancee, Sai, but is no longer interested in continuing a relationship with her. Iht spends his days pining over Maek, and tracks down Maek's brother, Mhok, and their mother. Mhok is HIV positive, as the result of sexual abuse by his and Maek's stepfather, and their mother is dying of AIDS.

Maek remains elusive, hiding from Iht when he visits the hideout, but leaving signs that he's there so Iht will return.

Though Maek avoids making contact with Iht, eventually he goes to visit his mother and brother, and Iht corners him at the entrance to the building, declaring his love for Maek and stressing how much he misses him. They kiss passionately. They are unfortunately covertly observed by Sai, Iht's live-in fiancee.

Maek's dream is to take his mother and brother away from Bangkok to the mountains of Mae Hong Son Province. But after Maek's mother overhears that Mhok has prostituted himself to survive after contracting AIDS from his stepfather, she commits suicide by hanging herself. The brothers take her down, and as they are rushing her from the apartment, she is killed by a gunshot fired by an unseen sniper. The bullet is presumably intended for Maek.

Maek's former mobster employers are gunning for him and Iht. Maek decides to hunt them down first, and he succeeds in killing them. After Mohk informs Iht what Maek is doing, Iht goes to the capo's house to try and stop Maek, but he is too late and misses Maek by a second. Iht is injured when the capo's wife shoots at a clock that shatters in Iht's face.

Maek, meanwhile meets his brother at the railway station to leave Bangkok for good. But before he can board the train, he is apprehended by the police and taken away. Mhok breaks down. He's the sole witness to his brother being apprehended.

Years pass by. Iht visits Maek in prison and reveals that he was left blind in the final gunbattle with Maek's ex-boss. Mhok commits suicide while at a Hospice of Watphrabahtnamphu in Lopburi because he no longer has the energy to fight his disease. Eventually, Maek is released from prison, and Iht meets him. But before the two men can leave to start their life together, Maek is shot dead by a single bullet fired by an unseen assassin. A bewildered, blind Iht collapses over his lover's corpse, swearing his love for him again and again.

Iht eventually regains his sight, and is finally able to view on his mobile phone a video recorded by Maek himself many years before, admitting that all along, he had loved Iht and that he would love him to his last breath.


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5. Eternal Summer

(Chinese: 盛夏光年; pinyin: shèng xià guāng nián) is a 2006 Taiwanese film directed by Leste Chen.

Plot:

Three high school students experience the perks and pitfalls of love in director Leste Chen's sensitive tale of friendship and yearning.

As a child living in a seaside town in southern Taiwan, studious Jonathan (Bryant Chang) was asked by his concerned teacher to look after rebellious classmate Shane (Joseph Chang). Ten years later, what was once a good-natured obligation has since blossomed into a warm friendship, with Jonathan still on the academic track and Shane now finding his calling on the basketball court.

Taiwan-born schoolgirl Carrie (Kate Yeung) arrives from Hong Kong to join her mother after a disagreement with her father and transfers to their school. She befriends Jonathan and convinces him to join her on a secret day-trip to Taipei and in the evening she seduces him in a sleazy hotel but Jonathan backs down clearly distraught. Eventually, her observations of his and Shane's friendship leads her to believe that he is homosexual and in love with his best friend.

Carrie then meets Shane through Jonathan after a school day where Shane develops an interest in Carrie. Despite her initial misgivings about the boorish Shane, she eventually gives in to the troublemaker's roguish charms. She accepts his offer to become his girlfriend on the condition that he manages to enter university.

Later, Shane pulls his act together and tests into University, but Jonathan, distracted by his burgeoning sexual identity crisis, does not. Shane does his best to keep his feelings for Carrie secret in order to protect the feelings of his lifelong friend. Despite all their best efforts to keep their personal feelings secret, the truth eventually emerges, forcing all three to view their relationships in an entirely new light.


There is an underlying poetic subtext based on the astrological significance in the character's Chinese names:

The Sun always shines.
The Earth follows its route surrounding the Sun, but cannot approach it.
The Comet brings surprise to the solar system.
The picture is incomplete without any one of them.



“Compelling! Director Leste Chen offers this sweet, poignant film about young people on the edge of growing up and coming to terms with very adult emotions and desires!”
Henry Senecal, CAMPUS CIRCLE

“Sensitively directed and performed with sincere emotion...quite a feat!”

Dan Fainaru, SCREEN INTERNATIONAL

“Touching!”
Rob Lester, EDGE BOSTON

“ETERNAL SUMMER bristles with palpable sexual tension. The film, deceptively simple at its core, packs a powerful wallop, in part because the performances are first-rate. Achingly beautiful and stylishly filmed!”
Gary Kramer, GAY CITY NEWS

“Exceptionally nuanced... touching.”
EXP MAGAZINE

“Gorgeous, evocative and sensual!”
Lawrence Ferber, PHILADELPHIA INT'L GAY & LESBIAN FILM FESTIVAL

“For those of us who believe in love and friendship and true values, this is a film to see. Beautifully made with a touching and intense plot. Vibrant and profound!”
Amos Lassen, CINEMA PRIDE

“Frisky!”
David Lamble, BAY AREA REPORTER

“Superb! Sure-footed and sensitive. A must-have!”
Russell Edwards, VARIETY

“Bathe in the imagery! Beautiful!”
Kathy Fennessy, THE STRANGER

“Nuanced! Gorgeous!”

Frank Paiva, SEATTLE WEEKLY

"The film's deliberate pacing and its knowing, observant camerawork plays to director Chen's strengths.”
ASIAN AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

“All three central perfs have a strong ring of authenticity. Bryant Chang's acutely observed thesping perfectly captures the melancholia of a troubled adolescent, while Joseph (no relation) Chang is superb as the jock who has more sensitivity than anyone has ever given him credit for. On the distaff side, Yeung, from Sylvia Chang's '20 30 40,' portrays both the sharp and sweet sides of Carrie's personality with equal dexterity.”
Russell Edwards, VARIETY

“A sensitively directed film with wonderful performances by all three leads!”
Philip W. Chung, ASIAN WEEK

"Well done! The director has a nice visual sense, with some striking images, and the camera lingers - and lingers - lovingly in close-up on the expressive faces of his three attractive protagonists. "
Rob Lester, EDGE BOSTON