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

Season of Love Gives You All the Queer Holiday Feels

Season of Love Gives You All the Queer Holiday Feels

Season of Love is the first-ever lesbian/LGBTQ+ holiday rom-com. I was able to watch the press screener of this ground-breaking Christmas movie, so in this spoiler-free blog post, I can tell you all about this new movie and why you should watch it. Below, you can also find a review video, in which Dominique Provost-Chalkley talks about her role and music in Season of Love. Screenings and purchase/rent options can be found at the bottom.

‘Season of Love Gives You All the Queer Holiday Feels’ Season of Love is the first-ever lesbian/LGBTQ+ holiday rom-com. I was able to watch the press screener of this ground-breaking Christmas movie, so in this spoiler-free blog post, I can tell you all about this new movie and why you should watch it. In it, you will also find a video, in which Dominique Provost-Chalkley talks about her role and music in Season of Love: http://bit.ly/SeasonOfLoveMM

Season of Love is a queer holiday movie

In short, Season of Love is a queer holiday movie with an ensemble cast, romantic storylines, and general good feelings. If you are the first queer holiday movie with LGBT+ women, expectations are high. There is much pressure to do things right. What if this movie, the only holiday movie we now have, had sucked? That would have been terrible.

Well, I can tell you the movie is terrific. It delivers. Season of Love made me very happy. I watched it last night, and I still have good feelings. Sometimes I wondered if I was the only one loving this movie, but then I looked at my wife. She was all smiles throughout the entire movie. That confirmed my overall judgment of the movie: it is simply a good movie!

I even laughed out loud a few times, especially with some well-timed slow-motion moments. They are hilarious. The lesbian gaze gets what it wants.

Here’s my review + interview with Dominique about her role and music in Season of Love

Season of Love has picked the perfect cast

Season of Love has found the ideal cast. I can say that I hardly knew anyone before watching the movie and I loved looking at every single one of the actors. They did a great job. I also loved how diverse the cast was (can we have more deaf characters please?). I loved seeing some familiar faces in the background, and I loved seeing Lily Richards make an appearance or two.

Music

I know that one thing that people are looking for is the movie’s music. After all, Dom and Bonnie Ferrar have an original song in it. Look, I don’t know much about music, but my untrained ears loved it. The songs in this movie are definitely songs that I would like to listen to more often. Indeed, I’m ready to buy the soundtrack and can’t wait for an album by Dom. She truly has a fantastic voice.

Small room for improvement

The things that I think could have been done better are little things. For instance, I didn’t particularly appreciate how a camera was spinning around the room in an early scene.

Also, both holiday movies and movies with an ensemble cast often have little time to establish the background story. The filmmakers want to focus on the here and now, to build the holiday spirit. And when you have an ensemble cast, you need to have more than one background story. Season of Love starts with four days before Christmas, counts down, and then moves to New Year’s Eve. It wants to focus on the events happening in those days.

Consequently, I saw some starts of storylines that were easy. It would have been nicer had they been fleshed out more and made more believable. Nevertheless, we tend to forgive holiday movies more quickly because we mostly want something easy to watch and to feel all the holiday feels. And that is precisely what you get here.

Where can you watch Season of Love?

So, where can you watch Season of Love? The movie premieres in Los Angeles on November 21. It also has screenings in London, Nashville, New York, Toronto, and Seattle. If you cannot visit the screenings, you can pre-order the movie for $15. The film will be available for rent and purchase in early December. Enjoy!

Here are some other lesbian and LGBTQ+ movie/series tips: Becks, With A Kiss I Die, Anne+, Different for Girls, Freelancers Anonymous, The Date, Rafiki, Carmen & Lola, Good Kisser, and Passage.

Passage the Series: A New Lesbian Show with Paranormal Activities

Passage the Series: A New Lesbian Show with Paranormal Activities

About 1.5 years ago, I was at the table reading of Passage at ClexaCon. I loved witnessing a table reading, and I am excited that this web series will finally premiere this Sunday (Oct. 6th) on Tello Films. Passage the Series is an episodic paranormal thriller centered around paranormal operative and queer mom Ali Prader as she balances her personal and professional life during a crucial shift in power. I have watched the five episodes of this new show before the premiere date, so I can tell you why you should watch it. In this blog post, I will describe three things that I like about this series. In the video included, you will find me reacting to what I see as I watch Passage.

‘Passage the Series: A New Lesbian Show with Paranormal Activities’ Passage is a paranormal webseries centered around paranormal operative/queer mom Ali Prader as she balances her personal and professional life during a crucial shift in power. I have watched the 5 episodes of this new show before the premiere date, so I can tell you why you should watch it: http://bit.ly/PassageSeries

The story of Passage

Passage the Series is an episodic paranormal thriller centered around Janus Agent Ali Prader. This queer mom is a top paranormal operative within the government for a secret division called Caelus. Caelus relies on her special capabilities to handle the different situations that can arise from interacting with paranormal entities. Ali can balance her professional and personal life only until she starts to discover things that can open the door to a new crucial shift in power.

Watch me watch Passage!

What I love about Passage: the paranormal aspect

The first thing that intrigued me about Passage the Series was the paranormal aspect of the show. Usually, web series have a small budget and frequently, that small budget limits even the basic plans of content creators. I expect that adding sci-fi to a story, and all the special effects that come hand-in-hand with it, requires a big chunk of the project’s budget.

I can imagine that it is quite tricky. You do not want to cut corners with special effects either as it will diminish the quality of your show, no matter how good the storyline is. I have to admit I was a little worried because there is enough proof on YouTube where shows have not handled that aspect well.  

A few months ago, I was fortunate enough to watch the first episode when it was ready, and I was relieved to see it was done well. I guess big TV shows have tons of extra tricks (and money) to make it look even smoother, but this web series makes the special effects look great.  

Watch me discover Passage. And please subscribe to my channel!

What I love about Passage: the queer mom life

Hillary Esquina, who wrote Passage, and I agree on at least one thing: there should be more stories about queer moms. Passage is just that. That’s one point for the Passage team already.

I am a queer mom. I do not know if you remember me talking about it earlier, such as when discussing Different for Girls, but it always seems as if marriage and having a kid is the end game. That is all we strive for in life, and then after that, we have no more stories to tell. I mean, if you believe most current films and series.

So yes, with Passage, there is finally another story that we are in, and it does not just focus on our motherhood. It is a part of the story but not the center.  

Watch me talk about lesbian mom life some more!

What I love about Passage: the cast

Passage stars Shannan Leigh Reeve, whom I loved in I Hate Tommy Finch. I am excited to see her on screen again. Also, Nicole Pacent is in it, and they were both in I Hate Tommy Finch! It is good to watch them together again on screen. Mandahla Rose is in it as well, so you have at least three cool people in one show. Oh, Mandahla will make you laugh…

Where can you find Passage?

You will be able to find Passage on Tello Films as of October 6th. You will have to subscribe, but there is a free trial, so you can test whether you like the website. You can find queer movies and series on it, and at the end of the year, they will also have Season of Love, which many Earpers probably cannot wait to watch.

You can also find Passage on Twitter and Instagram.

Interested in other queer content? Here are some reviews and interviews of

Liked this blog post? Please consider buying me a virtual coffee!

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.

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