When you think about a movie musical, a lot of truly iconic productions come to mind. From the Gene Kelly classic like Singing in the Rain (1952), through the 70s and 80s tortured showstoppers like Grease (1978) and Fame (1980) and even onto the modern exclamation marks of Moulin Rouge! (2001) and Mamma Mia! (2008) ー there’s a lot to live up to. Though I would be pressed to say that this film has managed to reach those dizzying heights, some moments do ー like the eponymous Jamie that everyone is talking about ー stand out from the crowd. […]
Intergenerational connection is an often-forgotten but vital aspect of building community. In the LGBTQ community, the HIV/AIDS epidemic that attacked the gay scene of the 1980s and 90s has made such connection that much more difficult today ー simply, and devastatingly, there are not as many gay people who survived that era. Therefore, a film which orbits on the friendship between two drag queens, one in her 70s and the other in her 20s, is very much welcome. Beyond this relationship, the following film plays daintily with timelessnrss and identity to make us question the boundaries of gender, of queer aesthetics, and of queerness in an of itself. […]
As queer people ー specifically, gay men ー we are used to relationships not lasting forever. People get scared ー of their own romantic and sexual impulses, of how they feel about their identity ー and they run away. Encounters are often hidden: we meet at night, in dark corners, away from prying eyes. Sometimes the light of day eclipses what went on in the dark, and we are left wondering if our desperate minds fabricated the whole thing. And then the night begins again, and he comes back, and we know that, even if just for tonight, it’s real.
It’s amazing how a film can be so rooted in the present when it’s really about history. Personal history, romantic history, cultural and religious history all permeate the thematic presentation; and yet, the film’s almost hyper-realistic style plants it so firmly in its present that you can’t help but feel that you’re there. Let me explain. Disobedience (Sebastián Lelio, 2018) tells the story of Ronit, a woman who, upon learning of the death of her father, returns to the Orthodox Jewish community where she grew up. Having fled the community in North London for New York as a teenager, she is now confronted with what she left behind: principally, her childhood friends Dovid and Esti. We witness the trio’s internal struggle as they try to grapple with their conflicting cultural views and complicated history. And boy is it vivid. […]
First off, a warning: don’t start watching this whilst eating. You’ve got vomiting, calving and barebacking (and in that order) all in the first ten minutes. Although the movie soon becomes more palatable, it is worth noting that this is not a comfortable film to watch. Comforting maybe, especially by the end, but far from comfortable. […]