I love when Person A presents Person A in a Person A film, written by, produced by, and directed by Person A. And when Music and Sets are also designed by Person A, you just know it's gonna be good.
Because people don't realize that being a'gay film' isn't enough. It still has to be good. This is the problem with ALL of the scripted gay programming on Logo and Here. It's CRAP.
I just saw "C.R.A.Z.Y." and thought it was fantastic.
R1, you are so wrong. Most gay movies are direct to video. That's why they're so bad and low budget.
I bought a DVD of lesbian short films (and hope to soon buy the one of gay shorts with "Trevor" on it) and it had a bunch of previews on it. It was hard to judge these films as a whole just from the trailers, but many had awesome production values.
So many really are shit, full of cliches and bland. However, say it's roughly 10% of the population that are gay, if out of 100 straight movies, only 10% are shit, then for gay/lesbian movies, it would be 1 out of ten.
Out of 100 movies, it would be around 10 decent non-gay movies to only 1 decent gay movie.
Because 99.9% are low budget, independently produced with no name actors.
Because most of them are very indie/low budget.. which means many no-talents are making movies. Also, they rarely ever get good actors to play gay roles in movies with bad to mediocre screenplays. usually pretty guys who can't act.. of course, if there is enough skin and R-rated sex, there will always be an audience.
R10 has the best answer. Most of these Gay films are done under microscopic budgets. Even more so than the straight indie films. Most of these films cost in the thousands.
I do have to say that Gay short films are another matter altogether. A lot of them are really good, and I wish they would get more audience appreciation.
I first started going to gay bars in the mid-seventies. In those (olden) days, despite Stonewall, we were expected to be so grateful to be considered acceptable that we wouldn't be concerned with things like hygiene. Siilarly, we are still expected to be so grateful that movies are targeted at us that we won't care about things like quality. Also, the real pros aren't generally associated with such projects, and it shows.
Those movies from TLA are AWFUL! I remember watching one that looked like it was filmed with a 1980's video camera.
The love story in Penelope Spheeris' "I Don't Know" is more than boy-meets-girl. The 18-minute black-and-white short shot in 1972 starts in an elevator where a lesbian meets a transgender man and the two become lovers (then exes) while French music plays.
These are the sort of expectation-defying stories that will be told with "Same Sex/Different Sex: Queer Identity and Culture," part of the Filmforum's Alternative Projections exploring experimental film in Los Angeles. Spheeris, whose later directoral credits include the era-defining "Wayne's World" and the 1981 punk documentary "The Decline of Western Civilization," shot "I Don't Know" while in film school at UCLA. She cast her lesbian sister as the female lead and Jimmy (also known as Jennifer) as her unconventional love interest.
"I always dealt with off-the-beaten-path subject matters," Spheeris said of the short, which will be featured in the collection of rarely seen short films presented by the Los Angeles Filmforum and Outfest on Sunday night at the Egyptian's Spielberg Theatre. "And I happened to be friends with a couple of very fun and colorful drag queens — Jennifer was the beautiful one."
The program opens with the premiere of a recently restored Robert Chatterton film, "Passion in a Seaside Slum," which was shot in Venice Beach in 1961. Taylor Mead, who appeared in several of Andy Warhol's underground films, makes a rare West Coast cameo playing the lead role — known only as a derogatory (and unprintable) term. The 32-minute film shows Mead using a magic wand to morph into various drag dress to woo a fisherman with amusing results.
"The films are realistic depictions and joyful depictions of gay characters," said Adam Hyman, executive director of the Los Angeles Filmforum, who curated the show. "You can really see culture changes in freedom and sexuality that was prominent in the '70s in the queer community that we know changed in the '80s."
The most recent short in "Same Sex/Different Sex" is from the late 1970s. None of the films during Sunday's screening address the soon-to-come AIDS epidemic. "It's kind of a natural cutoff," said Kristin Pepe of Outfest, a film festival and nonprofit that works to preserve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender films. "There was so much fear in the early '80s that [LGBT] films in the mid-'80s were wrestling with emotions and the government. People started banding together in a different way."
Other avant-garde works include Chick Strand's "Fever Dream," a stylized view of a lesbian coupling, and Kenneth Anger's "Kustom Kar Kommandos," a suggestive three-minute short of a young man buffing a hot rod to the tune of "Dream Lover."
The fiction and fantasy of "Same Sex/Different Sex" are spliced with a series of one-minute public service announcements circa the 1970s with gay and straight women introducing their vocation and sexuality to portray lesbians "as just regular folks," Hyman said.
One of Pat Rocco's little-known shorts will also be on the playlist. The filmmaker started his career shooting men posing nude and moved into documenting the gay civil rights movements in the late '60s and early '70s. "He also made experimental films," said Pepe. "I hope we'll get his name in the canon that he's less known for."
Filmforum's Alternative Projections series will have screened some 30 shows by the time it wraps its seven-month run in May, with topics that include politics and punk shot by Los Angeles artists from 1945 to 1980 — a timeframe that becomes particularly potent when applied to sexual freedom.
Through the '60s these sorts of film screenings were mostly kept to small, closeted affairs. Theater programmers in Los Angeles were arrested for showing obscene works, including an exhibitor who in 1964 screened Anger's "Scorpio Rising." The conviction was later overturned in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
They're either bad because of very low production values, or they are massive copouts, trying to appeal to a straight audience at the same time. Or both.
"Up to the '70s, the primary thing for gay people to do was hide," said Hyman. "You didn't want to discuss it; you wanted to get along in mainstream society."
Around 1970, the momentum shifted. "People got really brave and started making films and having these screenings," Pepe said. "Film is a very important vehicle for social change ... and having people come together to show images of themselves was really crucial. These are really the early heroes of the gay rights movement."
I like Latter Days, and that's TLA. In fact, I just watched it tonight. Seems like my life is going that way lately. I doubt my situation will end happy like in the movie, though. Surprised to see the 80% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
The really good ones come from Europe where arthouse type of films are funded through local governments / special funding pools (like UK National Lottery Funding).
I believe most US based gay indie filmmakers lack the creative vision to tell a compelling story without having to compromise (because the low budget can't pay for proper sets, props, actors, crew, lights, camera, postproduction etc.). And as in a previous post mentioned some of them are just blatant self promotion vehicles where people 'show off' (and fail miserably).
What about Texas Longhorns? It got good reviews on Amazon.
People always use the excuse about low budget and unknown actors ..but its doesn't take a big budget to make a good movie..
I have watched movies which were on lower budgets than most gay movies with unknowns that were still miles better than "LGBT cinema"
I agree with R21. Money doesn't necessarily produce a good movie and lack of money doesn't guarantee a bad one. One of the problems with a lot of gay movies is they are stuck in these "coming out" plots. Face it, there's only so much you can say about coming out before it gets boring and cliche-ish.
As someone up-thread mentioned, C.R.A.Z.Y is a pretty good movie, but it was about more than a kid dealing with his sexual identity. It was basically the story of a family falling apart over the years and then trying to pull it back together again. The parents were especially well written characters.
I would love to see more movies where the main character's homosexuality is secondary to the plot. Maybe we don't even know he's gay till half way through the movie.
R22 agreed..i guess i have to check out C.R.A.Z.Y
R22, Roger Ebert just reviewed such a movie that he gave 4 stars called All in the Family or What Makes a Family or something.
because they don't have any jews
There are some really good lesbian movies out there but i have to agree that as it comes to gay homosexuality most films are inadequate.
No to low budgets.
BOUND was an okay lesbo movie
Here's one that doesn't suck, SHELTER with Brad Rowe.
And LOGGERHEADS, with Kip Pardue, was also enjoyable.
And THE MUDGE BOY with Emile Hirsch.
In part I fault the audience. How many of us are not satisfied with a gay/lesbian film that does not include at least some graphic sex? I think when the audience accepts a film for 100% of the story vs the 80/20 story sex scenes more films will become popular.
I saw a 'hilarious' Japanese lesbian drama last night. I'm talking about 'Manji'(1964)
Omg, it was so ridiculous, so unreal and so grotesquely insincere.
I still wonder how it scored 6.8/10 in IMDB.
It's a mystery to me.