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iCMFF: LGBT Thread
Topic Started: Nov 20 2017, 02:01:44 AM (438 Views)
outdoorcats
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Welcome to the 2017 iCheckMovies Film Festival!

This is the first annual festival to be held here on the iCM Forum, and the third of its kind which originally started on the IMDb message boards (you know, back when those existed).

For the full program guide and a brief explanation of what the festival is, look no further than here.
For the unofficial challenge thread, look no further than here.

Please rate the films the films you've seen on a scale from 1-10 to help contribute to this year's Audience Award. This is not connected to the Unofficial Challenge and therefore it does not matter when you saw the films in question.

Other sections:

Main Slate
English-Language Independents
International (I and II)
Animation
Arthouse
Documentaries
Just Before Dawn
Shorts Programs

This is the thread where we discuss the films in this year's LGBT section:

Quote:
 


Closet Monster dir. Stephen Dunn. 2015, 90 min. Posted Image
Starring Connor Jessup, Aaron Abrams, and Isabella Rossellini.
One of the surprise breakthroughs of 2015, Newfoundland director Stephen Dunn wowed audiences with this brilliantly written, psychologically compelling and deeply personal coming-of-age story. Bizarre (Isabella Rossellini voices a talking hamster), funny, and wholly original, Closet Monster gives us a unique protagonist worth rooting for.

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Girls Lost dir. Alexandra-Therese Keining. 2015, 106 min. Posted Image
Starring: Louise Nyvall, Tuva Jagell, and Wilma Holmén.
Fairy tale meets raw coming-of-age story in this Swedish import, in which three bullied teenage girls discover a plant whose nectar changes them into boys - temporarily. Their newfound sense of freedom comes at a cost, however, as dangerous influences, jealousy, and romantic rivalries threaten to tear their friendship apart.

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How to Win at Checkers (Every Time) dir. Josh Kim. 2015, 80 min. Posted Image
Starring: Ingkarat Damrongsakkul, Thira Chutikul, and Arthur Navarat.
In Kim's big-hearted yet clear-eyed film, an 11-year-old boy takes matters into his own hands to stop his gay older brother from being drafted into the military. Needless to say, not everything goes according to plan. Thailand's official entry for Foreign Language Film for the 88th Academy Awards.

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Spa Night dir. Andrew Ahn. 2016, 93 min. Posted Image
Starring: Joe Seo, Youn Ho Cho, and Haerry Kim.
Korean-American David has a lot to worry about: he's applying for colleges, his struggling family just lost their business, and he's secretly gay. His problems only grow when he takes on a job at a Korean Spa where he discovers a clandestine world of gay sex. More of a character study than a sexy romp, Spa Night deserves comparison to the early films of Wayne Wang with its incisive portrait of working-class Asian-Americans.

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Edited by outdoorcats, Nov 20 2017, 02:20:51 AM.
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xianjiro
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Well, I'm able to get the first two from my library, so will be watching those. Thanks! :)

edit: I think I can watch the other two on Netflix.
Edited by xianjiro, Nov 23 2017, 09:32:13 AM.
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jvv
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How to Win at Checkers (Every Time) - 8/10

The actors that played the two brothers had great chemistry together.
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te18
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Girls Lost (2015) 5/10
Unconvincing, over-the-top fantasy drama about a trio of girls who discover a plant that turns them into boys, stoking identity and romantic crises among them. There are bouts of relief from the plot -- which sacrifices its early tenderness for over-indulgence -- in the form of poetic imagery, but not nearly enough of it. I was left thinking that a director like Celine Sciamma would have done something much more impressive with this material.
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sacmersault
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How to Win at Checkers (Every Time): A very refreshing way of having homosexuality at the front but normalizing it in such a way that it is seen as normal in everyone's eyes. This is one of the only movies I've seen that deals with homosexuality, but doesn't make it a feel bad for me story. It is never about coming out, or being excluded; if anything it is very interesting that everyone sees it as a normal part of a person's life. On the other side, the story lacked a direction for most of the movie. It unraveled very slowly but not in an interesting way. Towards, the end it was kind of frustrating that it reverted to the LGBTTTIA-movie standard of oversimplified emotions. The depth it had created at the beginning was lost in it's attempt to try to process several events in a very simple, short way. If it wasn't for the normalization of homosexuality, this movie would be just average. 7/10
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beavis
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Sadly I won't have time to fit this section into my viewings and I've only seen one so far...

Girls Lost - 7
I liked it mostly. It's always cool to use the fantasy genre to explore personal and social issues. The fantasy side of it was also handeled well I thought. But the exploration could have been more thorough. I felt the idea wasn't fully developed and lacked something in the end. Cool use of Fever Rey music.
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jvv
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Girls Lost - 7/10

Maybe it's aimed a bit too much at teenagers, but I'm a sucker for girl/boy gender switch movies. :P
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jvv
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Closet Monster - 5/10

The talking hamster was an unnecessary gimmick and the movie tries too hard to be cool.
Edited by jvv, Dec 5 2017, 09:05:30 PM.
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jvv
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Spa Night - 7/10

Very understated movie that ends rather abruptly.
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Perception de Ambiguity
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Spa Night (Andrew Ahn, 2016)

The self-image of Spa Night's adolescent is to a large degree created by his parents' expectations in him. He has a heavy cross to bear because of all the (costly) hopes they invested into their offspring over the years, of becoming the rock star or movie star that they themselves shamefully didn't get to be in the Land Of Equal Opportunity, while the boy himself seems perfectly happy being working class for the rest his days. This painful realization coincides with his sexual awakening.

Result: Fuck college, let's fuck! And he discovers a new world in the process, but not without also a lot of feelings of guilt. While he comes to embrace his sexuality his acts of defiance solely behind the back of everyone who has known him doesn't break the mold, but something as small as his seemingly insignificant act of not sitting down in church in clear sight of the whole community when he was supposed to is a great act of defiance that, if pursued, bodes well for his coming into his own and answering to his own God.


Screenshots
Edited by Perception de Ambiguity, Dec 6 2017, 10:22:32 PM.
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sacmersault
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Girls Lost: I really wanted to love this movie. There's just a bunch of small negative things. It seems like a work with lots of potential but from a filmmaker who's barely developing her craft. It overuses stereotypes and cliches to advance a story that would have been enriched by being more simple. The story is very interesting and the exploration of Queer themes is amazing. 7/10
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sacmersault
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Closet Monster: Good movie. It was very much a wannabe Xavier Dolan-esque LGBT coming out and accepting yourself movie. Well made. Nothing Special though. 7/10
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blocho
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Checkers 4/10
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Perception de Ambiguity
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you are your faith - lose it and you're not
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How to Win at Checkers (Every Time) (Josh Kim, 2015)
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A coming-of-age film that kind of leaves off where ‘Good Time’ began for me, namely with the youngster learning the lesson that any actions that ensure his survival as a reasonably free human individual are legit regardless of what the state proclaims the correct moral behavior of the day to be.


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Pojkarna / Girls Lost (Alexandra-Therese Keining, 2015)
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“All my life I was afraid of you…what a waste of time that was.”

What I found interesting about it is that it transcends the literal in some respects. There is of course the gender confusion as a topic with the characters themselves thinking in those black or white terms (am I girl who likes girls, am I boy who likes girls, etc.) but in conclusion the film leaves the question open to the protagonist's gender confusion just as likely being a symptom of a more overarching issue, but it also makes no attempts to reduce the what most people would consider fantastical element to logical explanations. In a for me especially resonant moment the protagonist senses (in the form of a "wet" dream) that something is happening with the newly planted flower in the greenhouse, which goes very much beyond what can be perceived with the conventionally accepted five human senses, establishing a powerful connection between the two.
Edited by Perception de Ambiguity, Dec 11 2017, 06:54:57 PM.
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Perception de Ambiguity
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you are your faith - lose it and you're not
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Time to decide on a winner, gang!

My ranking and ratings:

Spa Night dir. Andrew Ahn. 2016, 93 min. - 6.8
How to Win at Checkers (Every Time dir. Josh Kim. 2015, 80 min - 6.6
Closet Monster dir. Stephen Dunn. 2015, 90 min. - 6.2
Girls Lost dir. Alexandra-Therese Keining. 2015, 106 min. - 5.9

So those were all pretty close together for me. In the end I'd still very much pick 'Spa Night' as my personal favorite with 'How to Win at Checkers' feeling like a worthy enough winner too. The other two not so much, but I wouldn't veto them.

Objections? Contact me, let's talk about it. ^_^
Edited by Perception de Ambiguity, Dec 13 2017, 12:54:26 AM.
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Eve-Lang-El-Coup
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How to Win at Checkers (Every Time) - 7
Closet Monster - 7
Spa Night - 7
Girls Lost - 6
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