You are here: Home Articles Entertainment
               
Entertainment
Eternal Summer… Eternally Frustrating
Articles - Entertainment
Written by Indu   
Friday, 11 May 2007 00:00

 

 

Warning: Spoilers ahead. Do not read if you don't like the plot revealed at all. If there are any major spoilers, I will put it as a footnote.

You can call this the chinese version of Brokeback Mountain. Or maybe the directors saw The Journey, and decided that torturing the audience was the way to go. Certainly, if there was an invisible criteria in film festivals and awards to honour a gay film... wait, what am I talking about? 90% of independent films at Film Festivals are gay or gay-themed. And then you get the occasional, tear-jerking documentary/film which gives you the urge to do a Mother Theresa, such as Born Into Brothels. Anyway, as I was saying, if there was an invisible criteria for gay films, it would be that the film has to boost the sales of Kleenex, or it has to make the audience stomp out of the theatre, utterly confused and frustrated. Or both.

The film follows two young men, Shane and Jonathan, from childhood to their continuing friendship in young adulthood. Jonathan, the good boy, is predictably in love with his best friend Shane, the bad boy. Indeed, every time he appears on screen, Jonathan has this sad, lost-puppy-dog look on his face, especially when he is looking at Shane, that just makes you want to either f*** him, or slap him.

Their world is disrupted by Carrie Tu, a young girl at their school. Initially, Carrie is shown to be dating Jonathan, a relationship which ended when Carrie and Jonathan try to sleep together, but he just could not bring himself to do it. Carrie realises Shane is in love with Jonathan, and pledges to keep his secret. And she turns into the most wonderful ex-girlfriend, hooking up with Shane for the most unfathomable reasons within the next 15 minutes of the show.

The rest of the show is taken up by subdued drama due to the linkages between the three hearts, unspoken love and tensions. It is extremely frustrating, accentuated by the slow pace of the movie, and the sometimes non-sequential writing. Shane spends half his time saying 'Oei, Jonathan' and exhorting him to talk and spend time with him. Jonathan spends half his time studying, or at least trying to pretend the sight of a half-naked Shane in his bedroom does nothing to him. And Carrie spends half her time creating phone drama between the three of them.1

Last Updated on Thursday, 25 February 2010 16:51
 
The L Word Season 4 Review: The Best of the Season
Articles - Entertainment
Written by Indu   
Sunday, 29 April 2007 00:00

Read Part 1 and Part 2 here

Every season, the L Word gives us some completely unforgettable moments. Some of these scenes and dialogues are so strong, they have even made their way into lesbian lingo and culture. Who can forget one-liners like Tina’s “Did you f*** all night before you told her I was the love of your life?”, or “We are not faggots, we are dykes, you a******e” by Jenny? Or the scenes that are simply too emotional to put into words, like Bette and Tina having angry violent sex after discovering Bette’s infidelity. Whatever that caught your fancy this season, this is my personal best of the season: the scenes and lines that makes the agony worth it.

Top 10 scenes

1. Bette, Alice and Shane stealing the '17 Reasons Why' sign [episode 12]

2. Phone-tree drama [episode 6]

3. Shane and Alice vandalising Shane's Hugo Boss ad [episode 9]

4. Argument/mediation scene between Bette and Tina, as Joyce convinces them to settle it amicably. [episode 1]

5. Angus at Tina's straight-and-gay mixed party talking about 'BoyButter' [episode 3]


6. Signed argument between Jodi and Amy [episode 10]

7. Alice's monologue in the sex scene between her and Phyllis [episode 4]

8. Jenny freaking out at Curve magazine receptionist [episode 2]

9. Basketball game [episode 4]

10. “Intervention” by all the friends when Bette runs off with baby [episode 1]

Best line from each episode

Episode 1: Helena to Alice- I can't even buy a pair of shoes with 3500 dollars!

Episode 2: Jenny to Curve receptionist- Do you know what merkin means? Vagina-wig

Episode 3: Papi to Shane- You're just a skinny little white girl.

Episode 4: Papi to Alice - What are you going to call yourself, the bourgeoisie girls?

Episode 5: Jenny to Alice- Would you kiss me? Please kiss me! I beg you. I'll buy you starbucks for a week.

Episode 6: Bette- Some lesbians, you need to break up with them more than once

Episode 7: Kit – “I once gave a blowjob to a home-player. For a line of cocaine!” Helena – “Afterwards, how did you feel?” Kit – “High. I was a high whore.”

Episode 8: Tasha to Alice- The question is, why the hell am I here? Alice- Because we want to fuck each other!

Episode 9: Leonard to Phyllis- What are they doing that is more important than helping me understand why my life is suddenly falling apart?

Episode 10: Amy to Jodi [about Bette]- Does she whisper sweet nothings in your ear? Make you feel like a part of her world?

Episode 11: Kit to Angus- You should have thought of that before you had the nanny's lips wrapped around your dick.

Episode 12: Alice to Bette- I’m stuck! I’m stuck! Go without me! Leave me behind! Save yourselves!

*****
I would have a done The Worst of the Season, but doing so would indefinitely destroy my faith in the show. And I, like a besotted lesbian who knows her lover is really bad news, but just can’t find the strength to let go of her because the time they spend together can still be wonderful sometimes [in other words, like Bette with Jodi], am not ready to let go of The L Word. Here’s to hoping for Season 5, full of lesbian drama, hot girls and lots of sex.
Last Updated on Thursday, 25 February 2010 16:03
 
The L Word Season 4 Review Part 2
Articles - Entertainment
Written by Indu   
Thursday, 26 April 2007 00:00

Read Part 1 here.

As usual on the L Word, characters undergo personality transplants at the beginning of each season. Helena became the nicest person in the world in Season 3 after being a bitch in Season 2. Possibly calling on the same hypnotist that Helena did, Max suddenly became a righteous, gentle dude who started standing up for women's rights, a complete turnaround from The Hulk he was in Season 3. He even became likeable, after he stopped saying, 'You don't understand!'.

Of course, when someone becomes nice, someone has to be a bitch. And this season, Jenny got the short straw. If viewers grudgingly started liking season 3 Jenny, shocking us all with her display of backbone and feminist observations, they would be quick to return to their fast-forward-when-Jenny-comes-on-screen ways in Season 4. While we've always known Jenny is crazy, to say the least, her new malicious, arrogant, self-absorbed Paris-Hilton-like behaviour [complete with an adorable dog] would be quick to turn off even the most ardent of Jenny fans. Starving artistes who write about their own tortured childhoods are seriously so much more likeable than rich accomplished 'writers' who rip off their friends' life-stories.

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 25 February 2010 16:07
 
The L Word Season 4 Review
Articles - Entertainment
Written by Indu   
Tuesday, 24 April 2007 00:00

Another season over, another 12 episodes of drama come to an end. The fourth season of the groundbreaking lesbian drama series based in Los Angeles, USA has more ups and downs than all the rides in a Disney Theme Park put together, more drama than Bold and the Beautiful, and less sex than Friends?

To talk about the beginning, we must talk about the end. Season 3 managed to do an extremely good job of alienating everyone from stone butches to bisexuals to goldstar dykes to Dana-fans. And if that was not enough, the continued and annoying presence of a certain Band That Shall Not Be Named [here's a hint, their name starts with B, and ends with y. Shh! Don't say it out loud!] and the refusal to remove the world's most annoying theme song, turned dykes against the show by the score.

Season 4, then had a lot of slack to pick up. It had to bring back the humour, the drama, the fun that Season 3 somehow lost along the way.

The wait for the first episode was fraught with suspense over all the cliff-hangers in the last episode. The biggest cliff-hanger, to me, was not knowing whether Bette was going to be in prison: I just wanted to know whether the theme song was going to be changed. And in a few short minutes after playing the episode, everyone around me should have gotten the answer as I let out a desperate wail and started pounding my head against the computer keyboard.

My patience at not turning off the show at this point was rewarded, as I was treated to a sumptuous good episode of The L Word, back with full gusto and drama that put my faith back in Ilene. It set a very good tone for the rest of the season as it set up everyone's plotlines.

The rest of the season, similarly, met my expectations, with occasional letdowns. The writing, as usual, was off sometimes, and on occasions, extremely painful. I thought I was sitting through an episode of Whizzes of the Void Deck as Shane and Paige stumbled through 'educating' a class of 9-year olds on homosexuality. This scene was an example of a storyline in the show with so much potential, but went down the drain due to bad writing. And then sometimes, the writing was simply amazing, as with Episode 6, where all the women were shown on the phone-tree, doing what lesbians do best: creating drama.

This season also introduced four new characters, which greatly increased the diversity of the show. The introduction of the African-American lesbian, Tasha, pleased me the most, as the lack of non-white queer women on the show was an issue bugging me from the beginning. To add to that, her position in the military, as well as her role in the Iraq War, provided us with the interestingly conflicted perspective of the LGBT person in the army. Jodi, the deaf lesbian was a welcome addition, as the issue of physically challenged LGBT people is hardly ever broached in our community. Phyllis Kroll, the chancellor, is the story we all know and hope to never live: the woman who comes out very late, after living a completely heterosexual life.

Last Updated on Thursday, 25 February 2010 15:54
 
The L Word Season 4 Review Part 1
Articles - Entertainment
Written by Indu   
Tuesday, 24 April 2007 00:00

Another season over, another 12 episodes of drama come to an end. The fourth season of the groundbreaking lesbian drama series based in Los Angeles, USA has more ups and downs than all the rides in a Disney Theme Park put together, more drama than Bold and the Beautiful, and less sex than Friends?

To talk about the beginning, we must talk about the end. Season 3 managed to do an extremely good job of alienating everyone from stone butches to bisexuals to goldstar dykes to Dana-fans. And if that was not enough, the continued and annoying presence of a certain Band That Shall Not Be Named [here's a hint, their name starts with B, and ends with y. Shh! Don't say it out loud!] and the refusal to remove the world's most annoying theme song, turned dykes against the show by the score.

Season 4, then had a lot of slack to pick up. It had to bring back the humour, the drama, the fun that Season 3 somehow lost along the way.

The wait for the first episode was fraught with suspense over all the cliff-hangers in the last episode. The biggest cliff-hanger, to me, was not knowing whether Bette was going to be in prison: I just wanted to know whether the theme song was going to be changed. And in a few short minutes after playing the episode, everyone around me should have gotten the answer as I let out a desperate wail and started pounding my head against the computer keyboard.

My patience at not turning off the show at this point was rewarded, as I was treated to a sumptuous good episode of The L Word, back with full gusto and drama that put my faith back in Ilene. It set a very good tone for the rest of the season as it set up everyone's plotlines.

The rest of the season, similarly, met my expectations, with occasional letdowns. The writing, as usual, was off sometimes, and on occasions, extremely painful. I thought I was sitting through an episode of Whizzes of the Void Deck as Shane and Paige stumbled through 'educating' a class of 9-year olds on homosexuality. This scene was an example of a storyline in the show with so much potential, but went down the drain due to bad writing. And then sometimes, the writing was simply amazing, as with Episode 6, where all the women were shown on the phone-tree, doing what lesbians do best: creating drama.

This season also introduced four new characters, which greatly increased the diversity of the show. The introduction of the African-American lesbian, Tasha, pleased me the most, as the lack of non-white queer women on the show was an issue bugging me from the beginning. To add to that, her position in the military, as well as her role in the Iraq War, provided us with the interestingly conflicted perspective of the LGBT person in the army. Jodi, the deaf lesbian was a welcome addition, as the issue of physically challenged LGBT people is hardly ever broached in our community. Phyllis Kroll, the chancellor, is the story we all know and hope to never live: the woman who comes out very late, after living a completely heterosexual life.

Last Updated on Thursday, 25 February 2010 15:47
 
Huang He River
Articles - Entertainment
Written by Indu   
Monday, 25 December 2006 00:00

 

Warning: Movie spoilers ahead

Last night, I went to watch Water1 with my family. Water, for those who do not know it, is the latest edition of Deepa Mehta’s elemental trilogy, which opened with a bang 9-10 years ago, in the form of the explosive film known as Fire.

Ah yes, Fire. Rings a bell, does it not? The controversial lesbian film which caused a fair bit of damage to theatres in India when it first opened. The story is about two sisters-in-law in a typical Indian household who fall in love, and the consequent problems. It was consequently banned in India [and might I add, Singapore too], while it went on to garner awards in international film festivals.

After Fire made its own, pardon the pun, firestorm in India, it was 9 years before someone broached the topic again, the hideous creation known as Girlfriend not withstanding. This time, it touched me a lot closer to the heart: a wonderful woman known as Ligi Pulapally made a lesbian film in my language[Malayalam]: The Journey, or Sancharam, released in 2005. The story is about two rural girls who grow up together as best friends, and wouldn’t you know it, fall in love.


So why in the world am I talking about these two films most of you probably have not watched?

Last Updated on Thursday, 25 February 2010 15:53
 
A long take on SIFF, read at your own risk! (Some film recommendations too!)
Articles - Entertainment
Written by pure ego   
Saturday, 08 April 2006 00:00
Ok ok, the time is here again! Yes, it’s the 19th Singapore International Film Festival! So, is anyone out there who is excited? (Waiting and tapping finger on the table)…

All right I know the SIFF isn’t something which is terrbily exciting to everyone, but here is a little insider’s story that might help you appreciate this yearly local film event a little better…

Just not too long ago, like maybe last year? A friend told me that the SIFF might not happen this year because their main sponsor Asia Pacific Brewery, had been warned by the government not to fund the event. The reason? I think a documentary on Chee Soon Juan was made and the SIFF tried to screen it in the local short films competition non-finalist screening. That made’YOU KNOW WHO very, very much unhappy. Moreover there was the Royston Tan’s fiasco a few years back when he made ‘Cut’ to poke fun at the film censorship here. Yes,’’Cut’ was screened in the festival.

Then rumours surfaced that the men dressed in white wanted to stop the event! Horrors! What will happen to the future of Singapore film-makers?! Wait, I need to take a deep breath to calm down…

Fine, fine…’dramatics aside, the government isn’t that bad afterall, they are pumping money to fund local talents here to encourage film-making via the Singapore Film Commission funding programme. We are a developed country so how can we do without the arts right?

Anyway, came DHL to the rescue. Phew! Fortunately for them , the SIFF is still running. So let’s get to the main point here: FILMS.

The film festival has been a yearly pilgrimage for me since it’s tenth run in 1997. I saw numerous films and was a huge fan of Hou Hsao Hsien, Tsai Ming Liang and Edward Yang. Yes, but that only lasted two years, because I could no longer keep up with their soporific films with incomprehensible meanings. Except for Edward Yang whom I still admire, years of SIFF experience has thought me to pick films carefully. To date, I think out of ten films I saw, probably only two were worth the time.

Last Updated on Thursday, 25 February 2010 15:51
 
« StartPrev1234NextEnd »

Page 4 of 4