Douchebags of Grindr

16 05 2013

What an amazing site this is, full of such a broad spectrum of different kinds of douchebaggery as well as intelligent people who converge and rant about how awful gay men really are. I love it.

If there’s one thing I really dislike about the gay community, it’s the amount of racism that goes on. I don’t know how many “not into Asians” I’ve read on gay hookup sites, or even online dating sites. It’s utterly appalling, mostly because they somehow get away with it. And then these people have the nerve to be offended when others are offended at their offensive words.

I found these two comments on douchebagsofgrindr that I think really sum up why it’s not acceptable to say such mean things:

1. “If you exclude an entire race of people from your dating pool you are, by definition, a RACIST. It’s one thing to have a preference, but NO blacks NO asians is just racism. How can you know you won’t be into someone until you meet them…unless you’re a racist?

Truth hurts, doesn’t it, racists?

2. “No, it’s racism dressed up as preference. You are okay to be raising the point about preference – but there is a piece missing in people’s understanding of the subject matter.

Anyone who has spent any substantial amount of time in a foreign culture will automatically understand.

Once you go through an ‘acclimitisation’ phase, suddenly, your attraction evolves. What seemed mishappen, different, unattractive shifts. Perception is powerful. In India, Indians start to seem hot after a while and in Asia, likewise.

People are falsely assuming that there is an ‘absolute’ hegemonic, invariant ‘beauty’.

There actually isn’t! And our disgusting words ‘no Asians’ or worse ‘no Rice’ is simply vomitronic language – harmful to the reader – and to non-Asians in more insidious ways for the normalising of racial abuse.”

Thank you, douchebagsof grindr, for such in-depth sociological discussions of life.

Mosquita y Mari

17 08 2012

Alright, so here are my famous reviews for this year’s Queer Film Festival.  I won’t be going to see the big-name movies (ie. Tomboy, North Sea Texas, Invisible Men), as I’ve seen those already (all three of those are fantastic films, btw).  Nevertheless, I have a pretty full schedule lined up ahead of me.  Let’s get this thing goin’!

Mosquita y Mari

Synopsis: two Latina girls in the US deal with a friendship that may be more.

Super awesome things: I needed to think about this film.  I left quite quickly after because I had to run off to the next film of the night, and didn’t have much time to really absorb this very good debut feature film from Aurora Guerrero until, well, about now.  I left the theatre having really enjoyed what I watched, but why?  Could it be the obvious fact of a story between two Hispanic teenagers that wasn’t at all cliched or follow the typical formula of other gay teen romance films?  Could it be the pauses and silences between characters, ones that leave audiences wondering what the people on-screen could be thinking?  And then I realized it: it’s all of these things.  Moreover, all of these things are simple things.

What I like best about Mosquita y Mari is the simplicity.  Guerrero knows the formula (or at least, should be familiar of it) of other gay films, and having the film between the two, wonderfully-acted leads be more about a confusing but rewarding friendship than a super dramatic romance thing was a probably the best choice she made.  From the simple plot point of Mosquita (her real name is Yolanda, but Mari calls her Mosquita, which translates to “little fly”) helping Mari with math, to simply framed shots of the two girls lying in side by side in the abandoned car lot while the sunlight pours in from the open roof — there’s a very great sense of sincerity and genuineness for reality in this film.  It doesn’t strive to have everyone win.  This is a simple, realistic story of two girls.

Not so great things: the film is noticeably low-budget, but frankly, it’s so charming and well-made for an independent film that it doesn’t really matter.  I also didn’t quite understand why Yolanda, who says she is a sophomore, is given college pamphlets by her math teacher.  Really?  I mean, yeah, she’s super smart, but it’s just a tad early, isn’t it?  The dynamics between both sets of parents and their daughters is not excavated much, either.  We see Yolanda’s parents getting in a huff about a “boy” they think is the cause of their daughter’s declining grades, but when her mother makes the discovery of looking out the oft-looked-out-of-window by Yolanda to Mari’s place across the street, there’s a look of realization on her face.  It’s not a boy after all.  Unfortunately, there’s never a confrontation between parent and child, and in a film about an ethnic community said to have voted in large numbers in favour of Proposition 8, the infamous bill that kicked same-sex marriage back in dreamland in California a few years ago, there was a clear opportunity to explore the how and why the Latino community feels about queer issues.  But this film is about Mosquita and Mari, yes, and most, if not all of the conflict in this little film, comes from them, not from external forces such as homophobia.

Good for watching: as an exercise in what you can do with an independent production.

Overall: an excellent, simple first feature from Guerrero.

Grade: A-

Gen Silent

24 08 2011

And now, going back in time…

Synopsis:  A documentary about aging elders in the queer community and the struggles they face including health care issues.

Super awesome things:  I hadn’t seen a film about the older generation queers but this was the film for it.  Featuring intimate interviews with elders, Stu Maddox definitely knows how to pull on audiences hearts with some really good footage.  The stories of the people in the film, particularly, for me anyway, Krys Anne, a transgendered woman with terminal lung cancer whose family doesn’t visit her, is extremely affecting, and one can’t help but feel genuine concern for not only the people on screen, but wonder about the elders in our own community.

The film also does a great job at revealing the conditions of the elderly in nursing homes, and the phenomenom of elders going back in the closet for fear that their caretaker won’t accept them or will mistreat them.  It’s bizarre but their fears aren’t unbelieveable — which makes it all the more disconcerting.

Not so super awesome things:  Despite the engaging subject matter, the film’s editing is its downfall.  There are parts where the words of some of the interviewees aren’t given enough time for the audience to think upon, so its significance isn’t as powerful.  And because this happens multiple times throughout the film, it gives the film a rushed feeling, and running at only 56 minutes, Mr. Maddox’s choice to rush through editing is unfortunate (perhaps trying to fit it into TV broadcast?).  Maddox also sets up interviews feels staged: photographs of the elders and their partners sit conveniently next to them on a table several times, and although it was an interesting choice for mise en scene, it ultimately didn’t work for me. There’s also a little scene where, for some reason, one of the elder’s words are repeated with him in a golden/aged tint in the corner of the screen that, other than clearly out of place and strange, isn’t necessary.

I also felt the film lacked direction, jumping from interview to interview without trying to come to some cohesion and though there was an underlying subject, combined with Maddox’s quick editing, it made the film seem scattered and slightly unorganized in the direction it wants to take. After a while, the film settled down, but until then, it was a little frustrating to hear and see good material that wasn’t as affecting as it could have been.

Good for watching: anytime.

Overall: the audience gave the film a standing ovation and won the Hot Pink Shorts feature film audience award and though I didn’t think the film was as good as people made it out to be, I was nonetheless impressed by the subject matter.

Grade: B-