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Archive for the ‘LGTB’ Category

Scenes of a Sexual Nature (2006)

In feel good, film, Giggles, LGTB, Recommendation, romantic on 28/10/2012 at 4:32 pm

Not a fan of romantic comedy dramas? Nah, nor am I. Make an exception this time.
Scenes of a Sexual Nature is a warm summer afternoon on London’s beautiful Hampstead Heath, capturing brief moments in seven couples’ lives. The scenes are odd, all funny and generally unexpected and surprising. It’s very well written daily life with all the extremes of the ordinary we take for granted. Things stranger than fiction, made into good comedy.

On top of all this praise, it’s all the more fun to watch because the cast is well starry and you’re likely to come across one or two of your favourite British actors making some sort of an idiot out of themselves. Take your pick: Tom Hardy, Gina McKee, Catherine Tate, Hugh Bonneville, Eileen Atkins, Sophie Okonedo and oh yes, Ewan McGregor.

More small independent films like this please.

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Worried about the Boy (2010)

In Amazing, BBC, film, LGTB, Recommendation, Review on 07/11/2011 at 10:52 pm

Boy George that is. This film grabs you by the delicates from beginning to end, taking you on a glam-ride through 1980s London with the very young and yet undiscovered George O’Dowd, pivoting round the drug related crisis period before the big breakthrough of Culture Club.

The make up and costumes are above stunningly well done and the dramatisation by writer Tony Basgallop certainly deserves credit. A lot went on in George’s life in very little time, it’s tough to pick out the bits to elaborate on and what to leave in the shadows. Rising star Douglas Booth does such a convincing job at being George (apart from being prettier) I have no doubt we will see much more of him shortly. There are some surprising appearances by Mark Gatiss as Sex Pistols manager Malcom McLaren and the young Freddie Fox as the ever so feminine Marilyn.

There isn’t much to love about the rough, shoulder-padded, Thatcherite London of the 1980s, but perhaps the movement started by George and his friends, known later as New Romantic, is one of the sparse lovable things of that era. They certainly brought colour – and not to forget androgyny – into night-life. Also, while Boy George has been notoriously vague about his sexuality, this film makes no secret of his being gay.

If this is the BBC making a habit of bringing us fantastic dramatisations of the lives of influential people, I’m all for it.

Here’s the bit where David Bowie visits the Blitz – the night club where George works in the cloakroom.

 

Fingersmith (2005)

In Amazing, based on novel, BBC, Crime, LGTB, period drama, Recommendation, series on 06/09/2011 at 6:54 pm

This is a truly ingenious piece of writing by the talented Sarah Waters. Fortunately, the BBC did a mini-series so good it had me jumping up from my comfy sofa, exclaiming enthused cheers several times. I hadn’t read the book yet, mind, so every twist and turn taken was a surprise. But: if you have read it, watch it anyway. I do think it’s that well done.

Fingersmith (slang for thief) is set in 19th century Dickensian London and tells the tale of the unfortunate orphan girl Sue (Sally Hawkins), who is made to thieve to earn her keep. The deceitful and tawdry conman Richard ‘Gentleman’ Rivers (Rupert Evans) comes up with a scam to trick the beautiful Lady Maud Lilly (Elaine Cassidy) out of her money – and Sue must be part of the plan.

This plan naturally goes tits up in several ways (quite literally). Kudos to the starry and very convincing cast – and, to any lad harbouring the misconception that every period drama must be a chick-flick: this one isn’t. Not in the traditional sense, anyway.

Cambridge Spies (2003)

In Amazing, BBC, LGTB, period drama, political, Recommendation, Review, romantic, series on 01/08/2011 at 11:06 pm

Four Cambridge friends in the early 1930s. We choose to forget, but this was a time that Nazism, with all its xenophobia and ideas of a ‘higher race’, was actually the rule rather than the exception amongst the English educated classes. Guy Burgess, Kim Philby, Donald Mclean and Anthony Blunt did more than disagree: they were secretly recruited as communist spies by Moscow. This is a true story, which the BBC fictionalised in a most marvellous four-part miniseries.

If I had anything to complain about this production it would be that they could have stretched the story out over five or six episodes. That’s actually a compliment. The four friends ( a beautiful cast by the way: Tom Hollander, Rupert Penry-Jones, Toby Stephens and Samuel West) are all in their own way contagiously idealistic and hopelessly romantic. They managed to spring to life and befriend me in just a few hours. Now, that must be brilliant acting and writing, because that hardly ever happens.

The story doesn’t only deal with the great ideologies of the time, racism and class discrimination, it also (necessarily) includes homosexuality, as two of the four friends are gay. Additional kudos to the creators for not letting one theme overshadow any other. A good dose of both charm and humour simply made this miniseries one of the most enjoyable productions I’ve seen over the past years.

 

 

 

 

Wilde (1997)

In Amazing, film, LGTB, period drama, political, Recommendation, romantic on 02/07/2011 at 5:45 pm

There’s only one man in the world who should play Oscar Wilde ever and that’s Stephen Fry, and so he did. Then there’s Jude Law as Wilde’s young lover Bosie, and he plays the part so brilliantly. It wouldn’t surprise me if Jude got a bit of his inspiration from Brideshead Revisited’s Sebastian.

This beautiful two part film on the life on the celebrated and persecuted playwright, poet and novelist shows Oscar Wilde is such a great inspiration to so many artists around the world. I heard Stephen Fry, possibly his greatest admirer in history, say that Wilde’s legacy seems to accumulate with time. I believe that it would be a tremendously good thing if we remember and celebrate this passionate, witty, creative and free soul for at least a couple of hundred years to come. This film does his legacy justice in every way.

Tipping the Velvet (2002)

In based on novel, LGTB, Recommendation, series on 01/07/2011 at 6:47 pm

It’s a shame that any drama centred around a gay person or couple immediately becomes only that. Isn’t it a love story like any other, in which the protagonist(s) happen not to be heterosexual, like 10 % of the world’s population?

It’s obviously connected to the given that since most people in the world aren’t gay, most drama isn’t either. But still, I’m going to say this simply is a good three part miniseries, based on the Sarah Waters novel bearing the same name, about a young waitress in her father’s seaside restaurant named Nancy (Rachael Stirling) and her two loves: music hall star Kitty Butler (Keeley Hawes) and Flo (Jodhi May). Tipping the Velvet succeeds in being a good story on its own: it would have worked if Kitty and Flo were men, too.

I’m sorry I couldn’t find a decent trailer, but here’s a clip of the song ‘Rosie’ – and that’s where it all started for Nancy and Kitty.

Skins (2007-2010)

In Amazing, hilarious, LGTB, new, Recommendation, Review, series on 01/07/2011 at 6:44 pm

Skins has gone and reinvented itself, and it actually works out very well. Where we started off with four series of intense, hyper-real and extravagantly funny teen drama, it strolled into a slur for the last couple of series, but now made an unexpectedly different and good comeback in a slightly different form.

We’re still watching intense drama, but instead of focusing on a group of young friends, we are pulled into the lives of only one of the characters from the earlier series, a couple of years on. They’ve left school and started their lives, or at least they’re trying to. The twin episodes allow for good narrative from beginning to end, they are well made close-ups of these beautifully written characters. Effie (Kaya Scodelario), Cassie (Hannah Murray) and Cook (Jack O’Connel)are an exaggeration of all of us because they are more fucked up than most of us (I hope) – but how they cope with being on their own, with being a grown up, and with messing it up is as frank and human as it gets.

Trailer for series 7.

 

 

Breakfast on Pluto (2005)

In Amazing, based on novel, feel good, film, LGTB, political, Recommendation, Review, romantic on 01/07/2011 at 6:19 pm

The setting is small-town very Catholic Ireland in the 1970s. The protagonist is Patrick ‘Kitten’ Braden (Cillian Murphy), an exceptionally feminine boy – and although we’d say ‘trans-gender’ in these parts, I’d say it’s more fitting to say Kitten is a ladyboy. He was abandoned by both parents and by the time he’s supposed to finish high-school he can take no more and flees to London, in search of his long lost mummy; The Phantom Lady as he calls her. His journey towards relative happiness is harsh and strenuous most of the time, but his poetic soul seems capable of making anything feather light.

Breakfast on Pluto isn’t only a good watch because it incorporates the IRA and terrorism and the conservative views of the 1970s in catholic Ireland into the story. Murphy makes for a very exceptional, likeable, charming and highly eccentric Patrick/Kitten. It’s very difficult to escape the clichés of a feminine gay lad and portray an original one (Murphy is straight in real life, just so you know). It’s quite deserved that he was nominated for a Golden Globe for this part.