Sunday, March 12, 2023

Oscars Should/Will Win

 One can't help but feel optimistic this year regarding the Oscars. After all, it can't get worse than last year (with the slap and giving out awards before the show), right? Everything Everywhere All At Once, my favorite film of the year (and the decade so far?), is the seemingly beloved frontrunner. And people actually went out to theaters to see movies this year AND the Academy recognized some of those popular (and actually good?) films!

Plus Rihanna is back and is going to perform! There's going to be a super fun Tollywood number! And in the age of groupthink and numerous voting groups, there are shockingly volatile categories and genuinely close races still including 3 of the acting awards!

So grab those everything bagels and check out my predictions for the big night...


I'm going conservative for the presumed favorite with Everything Everywhere just winning 4 awards and surprisingly, even to me as I filled it out, tying with Elvis. I also predict All Quiet to win multiple awards as the general tone of my predictions is... share the wealth. Even though my heart of hearts is hoping, praying, wishing for a true sweep year for the Daniels' epic movie.

Speaking of, let's go ahead and take a look at my "should wins" aka my personal ballot...


Best Picture:
Everything Everywhere All At Once
Best Director: Daniel Kwan & Daniel Scheinert, Everything Everywhere All At Once
Best Lead Actor: Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin
Best Lead Actress: Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All At Once
Best Supporting Actor: Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All At Once
Best Supporting Actress: Stephanie Hsu, Everything Everywhere All At Once
Best Animated Film: Turning Red
Best Original Screenplay: Everything Everywhere All At Once
Best Adapted Screenplay: Women Talking
Best International Feature: Close
Best Documentary:
Navalny
Best Original Score: Everything Everywhere All At Once
Best Original Song: “This Is a Life,” Everything Everywhere All At Once
Best Editing: Everything Everywhere All At Once
Best Production Design: Babylon
Best Cinematography: All Quiet on the Western Front
Best Costume Design: Everything Everywhere All At Once
Best Makeup and Hair: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Best Sound Achievement: All Quiet on the Western Front
Best Visual Effects: The Batman
Best Live Action Short: The Red Suitcase
Best Animated Short: My Year of Dicks
Best Documentary Short: The Martha Mitchell Effect

A true sweep for Everything Everywhere getting my vote for every category where it's nominated (10) with All Quiet the only other film getting multiple wins (even though I didn't give it International Film). Went queer on that one, went Asian on animated and went with dicks on animated short. Essentially, I voted for me, myself and I.

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Oscars Should/Will Win


Even though last year's award season was a full month longer than this one, it somehow felt less dragged out than this one, didn't it? Perhaps it's because we actually got several on-air, in-person awards and events leading up to tonight.

Then there's the absolute dumb-ass decision to relegate 8 categories for a pre-show ceremony to be edited back into the main show as well as plenty of questionable comments from this year's producers and those in charge clearly displaying a lack of understanding why people watch the Oscars. The self-sabotage and disrespect is unbelievably astonishing. But hey maybe they will surprise us.

So before we get Regina Hall, Wanda Sykes and Amy Schumer to emcee us into another Oscar night, how about some predictions...


Yes, I'm predicting a big night for The Power of the Dog (and Campion) in spite of the very real CODA surge. Dune should have a fine multi-win night as well. Thrice-nominated Flee will sadly walk home empty-handed as will eventually EGOT-bound Lin-Manuel Miranda while Chastain will finally nab that elusive win in the night's most competitive and unpredictable category. I sound SO sure of myself don't I?

But here's something easier and more fun, my "should wins" aka my personal ballot...


Best Picture:
The Power of the Dog
Best Director: Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog
Best Lead Actor: Andrew Garfield, Tick, Tick... Boom!
Best Lead Actress: Olivia Colman, The Lost Daughter
Best Supporting Actor: Troy Kotsur, CODA
Best Supporting Actress:
Kirsten Dunst, The Power of the Dog
Best Animated Film: The Mitchells vs. the Machines
Best Original Screenplay: The Worst Person in the World
Best Adapted Screenplay: The Lost Daughter
Best International Feature: Drive My Car
Best Documentary:
Flee
Best Original Score: The Power of the Dog
Best Original Song: “Dos Oruguitas,” Encanto
Best Editing: Tick, Tick... Boom!
Best Production Design: Dune
Best Cinematography: Dune
Best Costume Design: Dune
Best Makeup and Hair:
Cruella
Best Sound Achievement: Dune
Best Visual Effects: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Best Live Action Short: The Long Goodbye
Best Animated Short: Robin Robin
Best Documentary Short: The Queen of Basketball

Looks like I gave my top 2 favorite Best Picture nominees (Power of the Dog and Dune) 4 wins each plus a couple of wins each for should've been Best Picture-nominated Tick, Tick... Boom! and The Lost Daughter. And opposite of what I predicted, I did give Flee a win and Lin-Manuel Miranda his EGOT. If only I had the power!

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Oscars Should Win/Will Win


Stop me if you're heard this before: It's been a very strange year for films and thus Oscars. Of course it was with the pandemic, the postponement of films, the increased reliance on streaming and extending awards season/eligibility through 2021. But alas, we reach the end with the Academy Awards tonight. 

In a lot of ways, the show and some of the awards should prove interesting and even historic. Looking forward to it. I already tweeted my predictions, which you can see here.

I'm predicting a big night for Nomadland and no big surprises elsewhere. The latter doesn't usually happen though so we'll see which ones I get wrong. And below are my "should wins" aka my personal ballot...

Best Picture: Sound of Metal
Best Director: Chloe Zhao, Nomadland
Best Lead Actor: Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal
Best Lead Actress: Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman
Best Supporting Actor: Paul Raci, Sound of Metal
Best Supporting Actress: Youn Yun-jung, Minari
Best Animated Film: Wolfwalkers
Best Original Screenplay: Sound of Metal
Best Adapted Screenplay: One Night in Miami
Best International Feature: Quo Vadis, Aida?
Best Documentary: My October Teacher
Best Original Score: Minari
Best Original Song: "Husavik," Eurovision
Best Editing: Sound of Metal
Best Production Design: The Father
Best Cinematography: Nomadland
Best Costume Design: Mulan
Best Makeup and Hair: Ma Rainey's Black Bottom
Best Sound Achievement: Sound of Metal
Best Visual Effects: Love and Monsters
Best Live Action Short: The Present
Best Animated Short: If Anything Happens I Love You
Best Documentary Short: Do Not Split

Apart from giving Sound of Metal, my favorite film of the lot, 6 wins, I pretty much spread the wealth. How many of these will actually win? Pretty sure I can only count on 1-2.

Sunday, November 1, 2020

NewFest Film Festival: Wrap-Up

This is me reviewing the films I've seen at this year's NewFest LGBTQ Film Festival. 

After 25 feature films, 2 webseries and 52 short films, my first foray in a film festival in an all-access pass capacity has come to an end. Obviously I'd like for the world to go back to "normal" but I hope virtual film festivals continue being a thing. In any case, more shockingly I actually ended up reviewing all of the feature films that I saw. You can always revisit all of those right here.

There's just one more film left to review, the Closing Night film which won the Teddy at this year's Berling Film Festival...


FUTUR DREI (dir. Faraz Shariat)


There's a youthful energy which pervades this film which is no surprise since it's helmed by 26-year-old Faraz Shariat in his bold debut. FUTUR DREI centers its story on Parvis, a young, out and proud second-generation Iranian-German gay man whose world collides with those of brother and sister Iranian refugees, Amon and Banafshe. The film deftly tackles the restlessness of youth and burgeoning romance and friendship amidst the undeniable culture clash and the spectre of a couple of phobias (homophobia, xenophobia). Bolstered by incredibly moving performances from its three leads, Benjamin Radjaipour, Eidin Jalali, Banafshe Hourmazdi, FUTURE DREI (which is inexplicably titled NO HARD FEELINGS for English audiences) does an admirable job with all three of its main characters especially in developing their relationships as a group and one-on-one with each other giving the film an emotional core which carries it through to the end. Radjaipour though gets the heavy lifting as audiences see his subtle, but real transformation from selfish "dance-your-night-away" kind of guy to selfless "help-your-friends" kind of man by the end. With this film, I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone involve does next. They are the future.

And now some personal awards, because why not...



BEST FEATURE FILM: Breaking Fast
Also:
Cicada
Cured
Dating Amber
Gossamer Folds
Monsoon
Rūrangi
Sublet
Summer of 85
White Lie

BEST ACTOR: Matthew Fifer, Cicada
Also:
Henry Golding, Monsoon
Benjamin Radjaipour, Futur Drei
Steven Silver, The Obituary of Tunde Johnson
Steve Zahn, Cowboys

BEST ACTRESS: Anne Celestino, Alice Júnior
Also:
Lola Petticrew, Dating Amber
Kacey Rohl, White Lie
Rachel Sennott, Shiva Baby

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Amin El Gamal, Breaking Fast
Also:
Antonio Altamirano, Los Fuertes
Arlo Green, Rūrangi
Niv Nissim, Sublet
Ron Rifkin, Minyan

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Alexandra Grey, Gossamer Folds
Also:
Jillian Bell, Cowboys
Molly Gordon, Shiva Baby
Banafshe Hourmazdi, Futur Drei

BEST SHORT FILM:
See You Soon
Also:
A Single Evening
-Ship: A Visual Poem
Mes Cheris

Hope you find some good recommendations! Support the arts! If you'd like follow me on Twitter or Letterboxd.

Friday, October 30, 2020

NewFest Film Festival: Day 12

This is me reviewing the films I've seen at this year's NewFest LGBTQ Film Festival. Click here for my other reviews of the festival.

Tuesday was the film festival's final day and while I still saw a bunch of films, there were still more I didn't get to. Maybe some other times. Onwards...


LA NAVE DEL OLVIDO (dir. Nicol Ruiz Benavides)


There is no age limit to self-discovery as this film shows in the story of recently widowed Claudina, played by the enchanting Rosa Ramírez, who moves in with her daughter and grandson in a town obsessed with UFOs. That latter tidbit must be the town's claim to fame (think Roswell, NM) and though it feels quite random it also colors the slightly fantastical mood of the film especially as Claudina slowly breaks out of her shell first in starting a relationship with her next door neighbor Elsa and then frequenting a neighborhood nightclub with a particular reputation for catering to those kinds of people. Ramírez is captivating especially in the expressiveness of her face as she mourns an old love or revel in a new sense of purpose. With that said LA NAVE DEL OLVIDO (Forgotten Roads) never coalesces into something earthbound and thus feels a tad one-dimensional.


CURED (dir. Bennett Singer, Patrick Sammon)


Gay history is as all-encompassing as everything else in history and yet Stonewall and the AIDS crisis feel like the World War II of gay history in that they seem to be what everyone wants to keep focusing on. This is why CURED is a breath of fresh air because it fills in a part of the gay rights movement that isn't talked about and yet is so vital to it. Imagine trying to fight for your rights as a gay person when psychiatrists have labeled you mentally ill. CURED is an excellent documentary that tells the story of how a group of activists, bolstered by allies and cultural movements, helped changed the American Psychiatric Association's views on homosexuality. As a Psychology major in college, there's another level of interest in this riveting story for me. It's surprisingly comprehensive and wholly affecting especially with the constant back-and-forth from stock footage and photos of the key figures of the movement to them in the present giving interviews for this documentary. This history is still very recent history and this movie is still so very relevant and absolutely essential.


JULIA SCOTTI: FUNNY THAT WAY (dir. Susan Sandler)


What it must feel like to finally start living life to your fullest at age 50, but also to completely start over. This is a common experience for people coming out as transgender later in life. This charming documentary highlights one such story in Julia Scotti, a 65-year-old comedian, who had to completely change what she was (a crass comedian with a couple of failed marriages and two kids) to live freely. What's great about this documentary is that it doesn't shy away from Julia's regrets and mistakes especially with his past relationships and his kids. That said it is still about a comedian so there are a lot of jokes and laughter amidst the deeper truths and emotional pain revealed within. Inspirational, funny, and insightful, JULIA SCOTTI: FUNNY THAT WAY deserves a round of applause.


SHORTS: TIL WE (CAN) MEET AGAIN


Remember going to clubs or hanging out with friends? Neither do I as this pandemic has wreaked havoc on our community and our collective shared spaces. My final shorts program celebrates these in the hopes that we can literally meet again in the future.

The one I connected to the most is DANCING ON MY OWN because it spoke directly to me as a gay Asian who lives in New York City and as a fan of Robyn (isn't that redundant?). Just seeing all the beautiful people dancing and living their truths made me happy. PXSSY PALACE also brought the same feeling as well.

I think the most accomplished film though is KAMA'ĀINA (CHILD OF THE LAND) about a queer teenager not knowing where to go until she finds refuge in Hawaii's largest organized homeless camp. There's a bigger story here that is begging to be told, but seeing homelessness set against the Hawaiian backdrop provide a striking juxtaposition.

This was technically the last day of the festival, but their Closing Night film is available a few days after so my review for that movie will be my last. Follow me on Letterboxd!

Thursday, October 29, 2020

NewFest Film Festival: Day 11

This is me reviewing the films I've seen at this year's NewFest LGBTQ Film Festival. Click here for my other reviews of the festival.

The festival is now done, but I still have to catch up on reviews from the last couple days. Was gone all day on Sunday so that was the only day I didn't see any films, but Monday and Tuesday were a blur of movies. So first up, Monday...


WHITE LIE (dir. Yonah Lewis & Calvin Thomas)


How far would you go to get something you really wanted? For Katie, impecabbly played by the striking Kacey Rohl, getting an exclusive grant means keeping up the lie from everyone including her friends and girlfriend that she's battling cancer and needs money for her treatment. The writing-directing duo of Yonah Lewis and Calvin Thomas craft an immediately exciting thriller as Katie goes from one crazy situation to the next in hopes of getting away with this massive deception. Reminiscent of last year's critical darling Uncut Gems, the tension builds and builds beautifully keeping you on the edge of wanting them to get caught or possibly get away with it all. WHITE LIE grabs a hold of your emotions through to the end.


MINYAN (dir. Eric Steele)


This lovely portrait of a young Jewish gay man growing up in the 1980s trying to figure out his identity requires some patience, but is ultimately worth a watch. The main reason is for the carefully layered performance from Samuel H. Levine as David deftly able to express his character's outer quiet sensibilities as well as his deeper inner longings. Documentarian Eric Steele, surely taking from his own experiences of growing up gay in that time period, infuses the film with authenticity and sensitivity evident in all the scenes of David navigating through the typical coming out journey. If this is all of the movie, it might make for a tighter and breezier watch for some, but MINYAN also focuses on David's faith and his relationship with Jewish elders like his newly-widowed grandfather (played by the always watchable Ron Rifkin) adding more context to David's journey. With that said, the movie does become a bit bogged down by its too deliberate pacing and its too introspective protagonist. But, like all of the sly, but very purposeful shots of David's Adonis-belt area, there are pleasurable glimpses throughout.


WELCOME TO THE USA (dir. Assel Aushakimova)


As someone who is currently living in the United States at this moment of history, it's particularly bewildering why anyone would want to come here. But of course the mythos of the American dream is quite enduring and appealing especially to a queer person living in a more homophobic and increasingly politically oppressed country. When Aliya Nauruz then wins the Green Card lottery to go to America, she sees this as her chance to get out of her rut and start over. WELCOME TO THE USA feels slightly undercooked especially as Aliya still feels like a cipher through to the end. We know she's still trying to figure out if her life somewhere else would really be better than her current life as she spends time with her dependent mom, her traditional sister, her opinionated queer friends, her wishy-washy ex... but I think we needed a stronger ending or something to wrap it all up.


SHORTS: BLACK FAMILY MATTERS


I can't say it better so I'm just going to quote the website by saying that this shorts program features "the importance of Black family, friends, and community in these times of civil and racial unrest in the United States and serves as a reminder that all Black lives matter. Forever and always."

The most striking short film for me is -SHIP: A VISUAL POEM about a young boy taking in a very confusing world especially in relation to masculinity and life and death. The way this short film is structured and edited is a master class of vision.

My favorite short film is MERCURY AFROGRADE because the central family deserves to star on their own TV show. That said, the title is cute, but the whole "Mercury in retrograde" aspect of the film is a bit superfluous since the well-defined characters and their amusing secrets are enough.

The last short film I'd like to highlight is PLUS, about a guy in college reacting to his sudden diagnosis of HIV. The lead performance is heartfelt and aching, but the focus on friendship and self-worth really makes this short film shine.

Which films did I see on the last day of the festival? Come back tomorrow and see.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

NewFest Film Festival: Day 9

This is me reviewing the films I've seen at this year's NewFest LGBTQ Film Festival. Click here for my other reviews of the festival.

As I mentioned yesterday, we're getting down to the wire and it's a bit of a race to get in a few more screenings before the end of the festival which explains why I ended up seeing four full-length films plus a webseries. Apologies in advance for the slightly shorter reviews.


DRY WIND (dir. Daniel Nolasco)


This movie is for everyone who yearned for the Tom of Finland aesthetics which they didn't get from that 2017 Tom of Finland movie. It's hot, a little disturbing, and a lot sexy. The neon-tinged look and feel of the film perfectly complement the often sensual, sometimes haunting images of gay fantasia brought to life here. Its decision to center the film on a regular factory worker whose spectrum of emotions (lust, ecstacy, longing, jealousy, fear, regret) we latch on to is quite well-done. But while the movie's style speaks for itself, DRY WIND comes up short trying to wrap it all up at the end. Technically it ends in a sort of a happy ending, but the journey to get there is muddier than expected.


GOSSAMER FOLDS (dir. Lisa Donato)


Beautifully told with a couple of breakthrough performances and a kicker of an ending, this film is so full of heart, it's impossible not to love. When precocious, dictionary-loving 10-year-old Tate is relocated by his parents to the suburbs, he starts an unlikely friendship with next-door neighbor and bigger-than-life Gossamer who is confident in the decisions she has made and in the dreams she wants to achieve. Jackson Robert Scott and Alexandra Grey, as Tate and Gossamer respectively, absolutely crackle on the screen as they both grapple, apart and together, a world that is increasingly hostile to what they imagine their life should be. GOSSAMER FOLDS is an excellent addition to the well-worn "unlikely friendship from two different worlds" film genre like this year's acclaimed Driveways. I cried at the end.


THE OBITUARY OF TUNDE JOHNSON (dir. Ali LeRoi)


I'm a big fan of time-loop films and often intrigue to see how filmmakers put their own twist on this category of movies. In THE OBITUARY OF TUNDE JOHNSON, writer Stanley Kalu mines the tragic reality of Black people experiencing police brutality as we see the titular character of Tunde, played by the excellent Steven Silver, die over and over again by cops only to wake up anew to repeat the day. It's not an easy watch and the repetition doesn't make it any easier. In fact, as Tunde repeats his day, things don't repeat in the same manner as in many time-loop situations. A handful of things are generally constant like him coming out to his parents, spending time with his closeted jock boyfriend, and dealing with his best friend, but they all never progress exactly the same each time. That's where the movie falls apart a bit as the time-loop aspect isn't given enough structure and logic for it to have narrative weight or cohesion especially by the film's choice for how it ends. Still, I admire it for doing something different and doing so it with such a tricky, but timely and powerful subject matter.


KELET (dir. Susani Mahadura)


Kelet is a Somali-born trans woman who now lives in Finland trying to make it as a model. Through her own words and reflections of her life and her choices, we get an intimate glimpse into the amazing strength she has to come out as trans, cut ties with non-supportive family, move to a new country, and gain more traction as model. This inviting documentary is disarming in the quiet vulnerability and searing honesty of its subject matter. Looking forward for the rest of her journey.


DINETTE (dir. Shaina Feinberg)


This is a webseries about a group of women connected by a local restaurant where they hang out as a safe space and the trials and laughs they go through to hold on to it for as long as they can. The characters are delightful and most of the dialogue are just hysterical, but even at less than an hour total, this 6-episode series weirdly feels like it didn't have enough story to tell. If there's a new season, I hope they work on the plotting a bit more, because the cast is aces.

I likely won't be able to see anything tomorrow, but after that there's two more days. Already freaking out about which final movies to see!

Saturday, October 24, 2020

NewFest Film Festival: Day 8

This is me reviewing the films I've seen at this year's NewFest LGBTQ Film Festival. Click here for my other reviews of the festival.

Yesterday was my birthday so I thought I wouldn't have time to see any movies, but I saw one early on and the other later that night and based on my feelings I probably should've swapped the order. Onwards...


CICADA (dir. Matthew Fifer)


This is the kind of film that lives and dies with the chemistry of its two leads especially because we spend so much time with them together as they learn things about one another and navigate the ups and downs of their burgeoning relationship. Fortunately, Matthew Fifer (also the writer and director) and Sheldon Brown have it in spades especially in deftly portraying the wide spectrum of a relationship from the joy of its start to the difficulty of figuring out the exact meaning of how it is to be a couple. For the latter, in this film, it's about how both of their characters are able to move on from or simply acknowledge past traumas not only for themselves but in order to open themselves up to another person. CICADA walks a delicate tightrope in giving the audience lingering, meandering, seemingly random moments (usually with a dreamy New York City as its backdrop) while also incisively dealing with the specific issues of its characters with sensitivity and heartfelt direction. Some patience may be required, but this intimate journey is worth it. Also shout out to some real interesting cameos from Colbie Smulders, Bowen Yang, Scott Adsit, and David Burtka.


ELLIE & ABBIE (& ELLIE’S DEAD AUNT) (dir. Monica Zanetti)


I really wished I liked this movie more, because the title is fantastic and its premise is probably one of the most exciting, original thing I've come across this whole festival. Basically, after coming out to her mom, Ellie suddenly starts seeing her dead aunt who died a long time ago. You see, Ellie's aunt Tara is also a lesbian and she's come back to be Ellie's mentor and to help her ask her crush Abbie out to the school's formal. Unfortunately ELLIE & ABBIE (& ELLIE’S DEAD AUNT) doesn't really live up to this awesome concept. It instead relegates Tara missing for scenes she definitely should've been in as well as kneecaps what should've been a cute story about two girls discovering they liked one another by giving the characters one nonsensical roadblock after another. The latter gives the movie no real momentum towards the climax and the inevitable resolution. The movie shouldn't be dismissed though since the performances are good and there's a handful of truly lovely scenes. Also they name dropped Roger Federer, which is always a plus for me.

We're getting down to the wire! Perhaps I'll do a triple feature next. Or more. Follow me on Letterboxd if you like.

Friday, October 23, 2020

NewFest Film Festival: Day 7

This is me reviewing the films I've seen at this year's NewFest LGBTQ Film Festival. Click here for my other reviews of the festival.


RŪRANGI (dir. Max Currie)


Heartfelt, funny, and wholly affective, this film really surprised me. Starring Elz Carrad as the brooding trans activist Caz, RŪRANGI tells the story of his homecoming after leaving his small town a decade ago. The expectation for this kind of film is to lean on the drama. But while there's still plenty of that to give due weight to the trans experience, the humor and joy really make a difference. A lot of that comes from scenes between Caz and his ex Jem (adorably portrayed by Arlo Green) as they navigate potential reignited feelings. Does the movie try to do a lot? Yes, it does, but I counter that instead of distracting, it gives us a better idea of the world Caz had left and is now returning to possibly stay. Apparently this was conceived and presented as a TV show, which wasn't too evident for me until I screamed "I need a sequel!" after the last scene. Another details to call out is the film's concerted effort to get participation from POC and LGBTQ people on and off screen.


SHORTS: THE GAG’S ALL HERE (2.0)


I foolishly thought that I would need to see some funny movies after seeing the above film. Thankfully, no, but I stuck to my guns because I thought it'd be good counter-programming to what was on TV at the time (hint: debate). In any case, this shorts program was all about providing an extreme amount of quirk and laughs. Some were better at it than others.

My two favorites begins and ends the slate. The first film is called HEART TO HEART which tells a story of a girl who hears a foul-mouthed voice in her head after heart surgery. Turns out, it's her heart, randomly voiced by the great David Tennant, and it was her to get laid. A lot of the humor comes from the crazy things Tennant is forced to say in that accent of his, but man did I laugh!

MONSIEUR is the last film and as you can tell, it's French. It's about a guy wanting to participate in a pageant and gets to with the help of his best friend. That's all well and fine until it transforms into a musical (which you guys know I love) complete with sassy choreography and a surprise requited love twist. The ending is a bit limp, but the rest soars.

Other standouts for me are 2 DOLLARS (think The Office if Jim were a queer, black woman) and DON'T TEXT BACK (think Little Shop of Horrors except with Men's Rights Activists and a cursed necklace minus the singing).

The next day (i.e. today) is my birthday so not sure I'll have time to see things. What am I saying? I definitely will. Follow me on Letterboxd!

Thursday, October 22, 2020

NewFest Film Festival: Day 6

This is me reviewing the films I've seen at this year's NewFest LGBTQ Film Festival. Click here for my other reviews of the festival.

Didn't have as much time yesterday so I ended up seeing a few short films and a short series. But there were still plenty to recommend!


SHORTS: GIRLS LAUGHING, LOVING, FIGHTING, F**KING


On the website for this shorts program, the first line to describe these set of films is "Who hasn't loved a messy dyke?" and that's just hilariously spot on.

My favorite of the bunch is A SINGLE EVENING mostly because it's a musical and I've been wanting a gay musical for awhile now. I can't keep re-watching Were the World Mine! The great thing about this short film though is have well-done it is? The music is catchy, the choreography is inventive, and the story (bisexual woman trying to figure out love through dating apps) is fun.

Next favorite is BREAK IN which tells the tale of a woman who accidentally texts her crush an erotic story she wrote about them WITHOUT changing anyone's names. As you groan in empathy, think about the lengths you'd go through to fix this and you have this insanely funny short.

Then there's GIRL, SWEETVOICED featuring two women at a bus top as we hear their longing through the poetry of Sappho. It's actually pretty affecting especially with the repetition, the flash-forwards, and the stirring score.

The last film I'd like to single out is ANCIENT METHODS, because I need more of it! It's about a woman who gets dumped by her alien girlfriend. Alien as in from space. The setup is genius and it's a crime that we only have 5 minutes of this story.


SIDEWAYS SMILE


This webseries about one young Asian woman's journey to get in touch with her sexuality is a must-watch. The entire first season is just 53 minutes containing of 5 short episodes and by the end you will wish there is more. Protagonist Alex, skillfully played by Kathy Huynh-Phan, has never had an orgasm, dates a white guy, and has a sex-positive roommate who loves to push boundaries. Need I say more? Okay, fine. Each episode has its own distinct feel giving the series a dynamic energy. My personal favorite is the show's ode to Get Out with its second episode. Scarlett Johannson makes a fun appearance as well.

What will tomorrow bring? Probably more movies.