Category: Short & Sweet LGBTQ Movie Reviews (page 1 of 2)

Good Kisser: The New Sexy Lesbian Movie You Didn’t Know You Needed

Good Kisser: The New Sexy Lesbian Movie You Didn’t Know You Needed

Good Kisser is a new lesbian movie that I have been dying to watch since I discovered it on social media a few months ago. All I knew was the plotline: “Jenna agrees to a sexy weekend fling with materialistic girlfriend Kate and the worldly Mia. As the night unfolds, Jenna realizes she’s bitten off more than she can chew, and the love triangle begins to crack.”

In this blog post, I describe why this movie started to intrigue me a few months ago and how I feel after watching Good Kisser. This way, you know exactly how quickly you should go and watch it. I have also recorded a video if that is more your cup of tea. You can find it below this image (don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel!)

‘Good Kisser: The New Sexy Lesbian Movie You Didn’t Know You Needed’ Good Kisser is a new lesbian movie that I have been dying to watch since I discovered it on social media a few months ago. All I knew was the plotline. In this blog post, I describe why this movie started to intrigue me a few months ago and how I feel after watching it. This way, you know exactly how quickly you should go and watch it: http://bit.ly/GoodKisserMovie

Why the idea of Good Kisser was intriguing to me

The first thing I want to mention is the fact that this movie centers around lesbian sex lives. I find that refreshing because I clearly remember the time when we had to settle for a kiss. Or there would merely be a glance. I do always get scared when productions take this route because so often, sexy f/f scenes are directed for the male gaze. So, will these scenes actually be sexy for us? Given the fact that Wendy Jo Carlton is the writer and director of this movie, I trusted things would be fine sexy.

The second thing that intrigued me is that the feature film, in large part, focuses on three people in a timeframe of one night. To me, that gave the movie a bit of a theatrical vibe, focusing on characters and their development rather than on action. I like diving into characters, so that is what made me even more enthusiastic.

As you can probably tell, I was really excited when I received a screener.

The first thing I liked about Good Kisser: the quality of production

I do not know if it is because this production had a decent amount of funding or because most of it was shot at one location (well, it seems that way; they may have fooled me 😉) but the quality is really good. Sometimes when you watch an indie movie, you can immediately list a few things that could have gone better had the production had more money. The drone shots with which the movie starts, the lighting, everything just seems to be really well done.

The second thing I liked: the cast

I cannot talk about Good Kisser without talking about the cast. If your movie focuses on three people in a timeframe of one night, the cast can make or break the movie. If the actors are not interesting to watch or if there is absolutely no chemistry between them when they have to portray people in love or lust, the movie is doomed.

Fortunately, Kari Alison Hodge, Rachel Paulson, and Julia Eringer were cast as Jenna, Kate, and Mia. When watching, you want to pay close attention to every single actor. Oh, and that chemistry? Don’t worry about it…

The two supporting roles are needed to further the development of the story. Those actors (Courtney McCullough and Carter Rodriquez) obviously contribute to the movie in their own charming ways.

The third thing I liked about Good Kisser: the lines

I think it was within three minutes that my wife and I looked at each other like: “What?!” Within about ten minutes, I must have alternated ‘Jesus’ with ‘oh my god’ and ‘WTF?’ at least twenty times. I guess you could say I was hooked from the beginning. I wish I had been a fly on the wall that first table reading. You will have some feelings about the comments that Kate makes.

The fourth thing I liked: the soundtrack

Another worthy mention is the music in this movie. The songs match the scenes perfectly. I usually don’t need the soundtrack to a movie but this is something I could listen to more often!

The fifth thing I liked about Good Kisser: the sexy scenes

I don’t think you can review this movie without mentioning the sexy scenes. Remember that fear I had of them not being good? Eh, yeah, not necessary. Are they sexy? Yup.

Where can you watch Good Kisser?

Good Kisser, shot in Seattle, will have its world premiere at the Seattle International Film Festival, which runs May 16 – June 9, 2019. Other dates/film festivals will be announced on their website and social media pages, so make sure to follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Who knows, you might find out when you will be able to purchase the movie yourself.

In a few weeks, I will show you the interview I had with Kari Alison, Rachel, and Julia at ClexaCon. Have you read my first ClexaCon interview? It was with Julia and Shantell Yasmine Abeydeera, who work together in Girls Like Magic.

 

Carmen & Lola: A Lesbian Love Story in the Roma Community

Carmen & Lola: A Lesbian Love Story in the Roma Community

This month, the 22nd edition of the Amsterdam LGBTQ Film Festival will take place. In Dutch, it is called De Roze Filmdagen. March 14-24, you will be able to see 44 feature films, 10 documentaries, and 84 short films from 48 countries. The festival opens with Carmen & Lola, a lesbian feature film from Spain. In this blog post, you will find my review. You will also find their social media accounts to support them online and to see when the movie will be screened at a festival near you.

‘Carmen & Lola: A Lesbian Love Story in the Roma Community’ This month, the 22nd edition of the Amsterdam LGBTQ Film Festival (De Roze Filmdagen) will take place. The festival opens with Carmen & Lola, a lesbian feature film from Spain. In this blog post, you will find my review. You will also find their social media accounts to support them online and to see when the movie will be screened at a festival near you: http://bit.ly/CarmenAndLola

The storyline of Carmen & Lola

Carmen and Lola are two young women from the Roma community on the outskirts of Madrid.  Like every other woman she has ever met, Carmen is destined to live a life that is repeated generation after generation: getting married and raising as many children as possible. Lola is supposed to do the same, but she is different, as everybody describes her. Lola dreams about going to university, draws bird graffiti, and likes girls.  The two women fall in love. As a result, they have to face up to a culture where family honor and centuries of tradition are still very strong.

Divided opinion

I am divided in my opinion about Carmen & Lola, and I will describe why. Carmen & Lola is a lesbian coming-of-age and coming-out story. As some of you say, we already have so many of these stories. We are not defined by our coming out. There is more to our lives, and I am sure we have plenty of other stories to tell, preferably ones that do not only center around our sexual orientation.

That said, if you are in that stage of your life where you are struggling with your sexual orientation and coming out, a story like that of Carmen & Lola might be just what you need. It has all the classic elements. Is she gay? If she is, is she into me? If she is into me, what will that lead to? How will our families react? What do we do?

However, if you are at that stage, a movie that shows a positive image of our lives as a whole might give you more hope than a movie that focuses on that one (possibly) big, scary moment. Let’s be honest, coming out continuous to occur throughout our queer lives.

Roma culture

That said, if you get over that fact, Carmen & Lola is a beautiful movie. I was interested in it precisely because the story plays in the Roma culture. I had heard of it, but I had never really seen anything about it. This movie is brutally honest about this culture. It shows the good parts, and it shows the discriminations and lack of hope for a prosperous future the Roma people face. It also shows the traditions that seem very suffocating to me.

Engagement

I mean, it starts with two seventeen-year-olds getting engaged. They are not allowed to interact much with each other even though they both know they will be getting engaged soon. Then, the dads have to have this big talk about why this marriage would be good for the families and what the kids have to offer. Only after ‘the deal is sealed,’ the two see each other, fully dressed as if they already are getting married. It is quite the spectacle, and this scene could occur in one of my nightmares, I am not going to lie.

Perfect cast

At the same time, this otherness is what makes the movie so interesting to watch. However, let’s not forget about the actors. The entire time, I was wondering where they got these actors from. After all, they look like they could be Roma themselves. As you learn from the movie, career prospects for Roma women are not abundant. If they are lucky, they can become a hairdresser. So how did these people end up in this movie?

After watching the movie, I learned these actors are indeed from the Roma culture themselves, and they are not professionals. However, there is nothing unprofessional about their performances! They are all so very good, and it made me so happy to learn about this opportunity for them.

Follow Carmen & Lola on social media

As said, you can watch Carmen & Lola at De Roze Filmdagen in Amsterdam. If you are unable to attend, you can best follow the movie online to see when it will be screened at a film festival near you. They are active on Facebook and Instagram.

Are you going to De Roze Filmdagen? Please also watch The Date, Rafiki, Cassandro, the Exotico!, Dante vs. Mohammed Ali, Yulia & Juliet, and Vlam!

Rafiki: A Lesbian Love Story from Kenya with a Happy Ending

Rafiki: A Lesbian Love Story from Kenya with a Happy Ending

What do you think when you hear that there is a lesbian movie from Kenya? Is that even possible? Homosexuality is illegal in Kenya, so my biggest fear was that the movie was going to be full of hurt and pain, with no hopes of a good future. Can you imagine my surprise when I found out Rafiki actually has a happy ending?! This movie is wonderful, and I want to share with you what I liked about Rafiki and where you can watch it. You can read the blog post but you can also watch the video below this image.

‘Rafiki: A Lesbian Love Story from Kenya with a Happy Ending’ What do you think when you hear that there is a lesbian movie from Kenya? Is that even possible? Homosexuality is illegal in Kenya, so my biggest fear was that the movie was going to be full of hurt and pain, with no hopes of a good future. Can you imagine my surprise when I found out Rafiki actually has a happy ending?! In this blog post, I share with you the 3 things I liked about Rafiki: http://bit.ly/RafikiKenya

Feelings

Let me first tell you that you will have lots of feelings. Knowing the situation there, I was constantly scared for Kena and Ziki. You follow Kena, so you’re more scared for her as you see her in more situations.

The moments when she talks to friends and families, you are constantly wondering whether they are going to ask something or whether Kena reaches a point where she can’t take it anymore and yells out something. For instance, she is not “the only gay in the village.” There is a gay man, and everybody knows about him. Her friend laughs at him, has probably beat him up at one point, and bumps into him on purpose.

When Kena and Ziki find moments together, you are constantly worried they will get caught. And as I was not familiar with Kenyan culture, I did not know what the consequences would be if that were to occur. That adds to the tension even more.

A lot of feelings

Yes, they do get caught. Yes, bad things happen. It is bound to happen; you know it will at one point, and you will feel every fiber of your body object when you see the consequences.

And you will have a lot of feelings about the two town gossips. My biggest question is: what does it bring them, to hunt them down like that?

You will also have feelings about the two dad’s different responses. And then, you will have a LOT of feelings about the happy ending.

Basically, Rafiki is a rollercoaster ride of emotions, but you can now be assured that you will not be crying for days. In fact, now that I know about the happy ending, I might want to watch it again just to be able to enjoy the story without having these feelings of tension the entire time.

The first thing I liked about Rafiki: the sheer fact that it is a lesbian love story from Kenya

Yes, critics who might say that Rafiki is another coming out and another coming of age movie are right. We get it: we want different narratives too. However, for a movie from Kenya to talk about a lesbian romance is huge. Homosexuality is illegal in Kenya and signs of it will be met with violent responses.

In fact, Rafiki was banned from screening in the country by Kenya’s Film and Classification Board (KFCB). KFCB said it banned Rafiki because of intent to “promote lesbianism” in the country: “The film has been restricted due to its homosexual theme and clear intent to promote lesbianism in Kenya contrary to the law.”

Lawsuit

Director Wanuri Kahiu filed a lawsuit earlier challenging the censorship board’s ruling. She won, and the ban was temporarily lifted for seven days. This way, it could be eligible to be submitted for the Best Foreign Language film at this year’s Academy Awards. As a result, Kenyans went to the cinema’s “en masse” to watch it.

Can you imagine the impact Rafiki can have on Kenyan queer women watching this movie? The hope and sense of community it can bring? And it does not even end badly, which I had to experience often growing up. I am so very happy for Kenyan queer women to be able to watch a high-quality lesbian movie with a happy ending.

The second thing I liked about Rafiki: getting a glimpse of Kenya

Not all is bad about Kenya. As a queer woman, I find it easy to be against everything Kenyan when I know about the situation there for my community. Consequently, I was hesitant to find Kenya’s beauty in this movie. However, the colors, the people, the language, the accent when they speak English, the games played in public, its nature; there was just so much to enjoy for me in my first introduction to Kenya. I always love seeing different cultures and countries, so this movie being set in Kenya definitely adds something for me.

The third thing I liked about Rafiki: the chemistry between Kena and Ziki

The chemistry between Kena and Ziki is certainly there. It is well played. Being in such a restrictive environment, you find ways to find a connection with a person. It starts with looks and with small talk. I was actually surprised that they went on a date quickly. It was at night, in the dark, but it still took me by surprise that they found that opportunity.

I also think that because it is illegal, a lot of people are not used to seeing our community. Therefore, they might not recognize things. I think that if you put Kena in the western world, many gaydars will go off. Here, she constantly gets hit on by men. When she puts on a dress, she is described as a proper lady. People do not seem to see it.

When the two town gossips start staring at them, I think it is more because they are the daughters of two political enemies rather than because it might be a starting romance.

Where can you watch it?

January 23-February 3, International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) takes place again and there, Rafiki will be screened.  Also, you can follow them on social media to find out when and where their movie will be screened. These are their Facebook and Twitter accounts.

According to a Facebook post, “Rafiki screened at over 100 film festivals and won 14 awards since May 2018, and this year is starting strong! In January you can catch the film in the US, Germany, Australia, and the Netherlands.” Therefore, there is a good chance you will be able to see the movie at a festival near you.

Want more tips on what to watch? How about The DateDifferent for Girls or Anne+? Subscribe to my YouTube channel to hear my suggestions the moment they are uploaded!

Freelancers Anonymous: The New Queer Movie for Everybody

Freelancers Anonymous: The New Queer Movie for Everybody

Freelancers Anonymous will be released November 16 and as I have already seen a screener of it, I can tell you why you need to pre-order the movie now. I love the fact that the movie revolves around female freelancers like me and that some characters are simply brilliant. At ClexaCon London, I have briefly talked to Natasha Negovanlis about the movie. She plays Gayle and is happy to share with you why she thinks you will enjoy this movie. Read my blog post or watch the video below the image.

‘Freelancers Anonymous: The New Queer Movie for Everybody’ Freelancers Anonymous will be released November 16 and as I have already seen a screener of it, I can tell you why you need to pre-order the movie now. I love the fact that the movie revolves around female freelancers like me and that some characters are simply brilliant: http://bit.ly/FreelancersAnonymous

Freelancers Anonymous is about me

Being a freelancer myself, I love seeing that part of my life in a movie. Freelancers Anonymous shows how hard it can be to start something. It does not show how hard it can be to keep your company (about 70% of companies founded stop after only four years!) but you definitely gain insight into all the work it takes.

The movie also shows how it really takes a community to make it happen for you. Everybody adds a piece. Finally, it shows how you need to convince everybody that you have a solid product or service every single day.

Freelancers Anonymous is mostly created by women

Freelancers Anonymous is written by two women (Lisa Cordileone and Amy Dellagiarino), directed by a woman (Sonia Sebastián), produced mainly by women, and all the main characters are played by women. That is rather fresh in today’s entertainment industry.

In fact, Freelancers Anonymous made it to ReFrame’s list as a gender-balanced production. ReFrame is a coalition of industry leaders founded by Women in Film and the Sundance Institute that launched a data initiative in an effort to recognize and promote gender-balanced films and television shows.

It collaborates with IMDBPro and relies on IMDBPro’s data to analyze films and television series to see how many women were involved in the production and how much screen time female characters had. To earn the ReFrame Stamp, a film or TV show must meet some requirements that call for women in key roles like starring, directing, producing, and writing. Additional points are given for having racial diversity.

I admire this movie for having such a female energy!

Freelancers Anonymous has Gayle

For me, the highlight of this movie was seeing Gayle’s second freelance job that she needs in order to support her first freelance job. I do not want to give away what it is but I can only imagine how hard Natasha Negovanlis had to laugh when she first read the lines that she would eventually have to say out loud.

Freelancers Anonymous has queer characters but…

Freelancers Anonymous has queer characters but does not make a big deal out of it. Billie and Gayle are shown in the final few months before their wedding and that is all you need to know about that relationship. Yes, obviously, their wedding plays a big part in the story but not how it has historically been done. It focuses on how they prepare for it rather than on the queer part of it. Because no deal is being made of it and the movie shows the things we all encounter in our wedding planning phase and in our struggles at the office, it is a movie for everybody.

Freelancers Anonymous has Larry

Do I need to highlight one of the few male characters in the movie? Yes. Who is Larry? What does Larry do? What does Larry add? Those are all legitimate questions. I do not have the answers for you. That is precisely why I need to mention him. I love random stuff like that in a movie!

Representation matters

What are you going to do this weekend? My guess is watching Freelancers Anonymous! On the Freelancers Anonymous website, you can pre-order the movie now or order the movie starting from November 16. Would you please share this post with every queer person you know? Representation matters and the more we know what movies are out there for us, the better!

Lesbian web series tip! Different for Girls is a rather new UK lesbian web series. It has crazy talented actors, like Rachel Shelley and Victoria Broom. I cannot wait for another season!

Indiegogo campaign tip! Short film The Date is now looking for funding. It is the story of two women looking for love in the dating world of the 21st century and aims to offer positive lesbian representation in the media. With what I have seen of it so far, I can say that it looks promising!

PS here are my interviews with Natasha, Elise & Annie, Kat BarrellJamie Clayton, the team behind I Can’t Think Straight, Nicole Pacent, Mandahla Rose,  the writer and producer of Different for Girls, and the directors of ClexaCon.

Different for Girls: UK Lesbian Web Series

Different for Girls: UK Lesbian Web Series

This weekend, the creators of Different for Girls will visit ClexaCon London. It was quite weird to me that I had never heard of this UK lesbian web series before, especially since Rachel Shelley is in it, who is my favorite The L Word actor. They were kind enough to send me a screener of the show so that I could properly prepare for ClexaCon London. I liked it so much that I thought I would share it here with you. I cannot be the only one who missed this show, can I?

‘Different for Girls: UK Lesbian web series’ This weekend, some of the actors and creators of Different for Girls will visit ClexaCon London. It was quite weird to me that I had never heard of this UK lesbian web series before, especially since Rachel Shelley is in it, who is my favorite The L-Word actor. They were kind enough to send me a screener. In this blog post, I tell you why you should see this three-part web series! http://bit.ly/DifferentForGirlsUK

Different for Girls started with a book

Different for Girls first was a book written by Jacquie Lawrence. You can find it on Amazon. It is funny; if you read the reviews, the reviewers often say that they want to see the book adapted to the screen or turned into a web series. Well, Jacquie Lawrence did just that.

According to Lesbian Box Office, which is a channel dedicated to programming lesbian and bisexual women’s content set up by Jacquie and Fizz Milton, Jacquie realized that there had not been a lesbian-specific drama on British television since 2010 (Lip Service). Jacquie and Fizz understood that the only way to watch a drama with lesbian content was to make it themselves. And so, the 2015 book turned into this three-part web series in 2017.

Much information to process

If you search for Different for Girls online, you will find articles describing the show as ‘your new favorite lesbian soap opera,’ ‘the antidote to TV’s treatment of LGBT characters,’ and ‘addictive & mesmerizing.’ Now that makes me feel even more stupid for not knowing about Different for Girls, but let us not dwell on that.

The show starts in an incredibly confusing way. In the first fifteen minutes, you will see some fight, love, drug use, and vomiting scenes rapidly succeeding each other. In these scenes, you will meet every character on the show. To be clear, there are quite a few characters on the show. The Amazon reviewers are right when they said they needed some time to figure out who was who and who was dating whom.

Still, you immediately know that this something you want to get into. You want to know the answers to who is who and what is happening. There is much information to process but the rest of the show will slowly make it clear to you. Also, rewatching the first fifteen minutes after watching the entire series is helpful.

An underrepresented age category

I am so very, very happy that this show revolves around women my age. If you want to know, I am in my thirties. I usually have to watch teens or people in their twenties when I want to watch a lesbian-themed show. That is fun but at the same time, it seems like the moment I got married and had a kid, I gave up on an exciting life. Apparently, content creators do not think we can handle adventures after we had our thirtieth birthday or wedding day.

Different for Girls shows women who are about to get married or have kids or who have young kids already. This web series aims to “represent lesbians who live in the suburbs, who are more likely to meet their future partners at the school gates than at a club in Soho,” as Jacquie said. That does not mean you will not see any drinks, drugs or sex…

Adventures

That being said, I do feel sad that when you finally see two married women, the story centers around cheating and being cheated on. Where are our adventures? Still, I understand that the other storylines revolve mostly around relationships too, so it is not like they saved that for the married women.

Also, I sometimes felt moments of the storylines were a little far-fetched. I now understand why some would call Different for Girls a soap opera. So much is happening in such a short amount of time. I noticed that I did feel inclined to ask myself the questions of would I or would I not? How would I respond in these situations? That means I was still emotionally involved, so that proves the quality of this web series and the incredibly talented actors.

More to come?

The story leaves a few openings for another season of Different for Girls. I honestly would like to see the second season of this web series. Who knows, I might be able to find out more at ClexaCon London. You can watch Different for Girls on Lesbian Box Office, where you can rent or buy it. I hope can show you some ClexaCon Different for Girls footage on my YouTube channel in a few weeks, so make sure to subscribe!

Update February 19, 2019: Here, you can read my interview with the writer and producer of Different for Girls.

New Trans Movie: Girl

New Trans Movie: Girl

Last Friday, I was invited by IFFR (International Film Festival Rotterdam) to visit their Mash-Up evening with Kunsthal Rotterdam, which is a museum of contemporary art. They had a pre-premiere screening of Lukas Dhont’s Girl and after that, we had the opportunity to visit the Action-Reaction exhibition and enjoy some music. In this blog post, I will briefly describe this new transgender movie. I do not want to give away too much because I highly recommend it and I just want you to see it for yourself. Below the image, you can find a video of me visiting the Mash-Up evening and discussing the movie. Please subscribe to my YouTube channel if you have not already!

‘New Trans Movie: Girl’ Last Friday, International Film Festival Rotterdam had a Mash-Up evening with Kunsthal Rotterdam. They showed a pre-premiere screening of Lukas Dhont’s feature-film debut Girl. In this blog post, I describe why you should go see this new transgender movie: http://bit.ly/GirlTrans

Girl

Girl is the astonishing feature-film debut of Flemish filmmaker Lukas Dhont. The movie tells the story of Lara, a 15-year-old girl, is born in the body of a boy and wants to become a ballerina. She is working really hard on her dancing and takes extra classes for this. At the same time, she also starts her hormone therapy. You can already tell this is going to be a massive challenge.

The leading role is played by Victor Polster, whose impressive performance was awarded the Un Certain Regard Prize for Best Actor at Cannes Film Festival. Girl took home more awards from Cannes 2018. The film also won the FIPRESCI Prize, the Caméra d’Or, and the Queer Palm for best LGBT film.

The idea for Girl

In an interview with Screen Daily, which you should read in full, Lukas Dhont said that he was just 18 years old and still in the closet with his own homosexuality when he got the idea for Girl. He read a newspaper article about a girl in Belgium who had been born in a boy’s body but wanted to become a ballerina. “This story struck me so much. This 15-year-old has the courage not only to say, ‘I was born in the wrong body,’ but also to strive for this high form of femininity, to be a ballerina. She was a hero. I was 18 and up until that point, I had hidden a big point of myself. I said, ‘If I make a feature, I want it to be about this!’”

Girl is intense

I am glad Lukas did. What an intense movie Girl is. The entire time I felt Lara’s pain. Her pain is both emotional and physical. I mean, ballet dancing is painful and transitioning is painful; there is just so much pressure and tension 24/7. I was also constantly on guard for her, watching everybody closely to see how they would react to her. Already after twenty minutes, I was ready to find a relief. It made me wonder how Lara would find it. They sure know how to convey those feelings! Lara does find her relief in the end but is it really relief? Let’s just day the entire room of people gasped… Go watch it!

DVD algemeen

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