Youth — Foxes

2 02 2014

Really digging this song right now.

Don’t tell me our youth is running out, it’s only just begun…

“Tatá Aeroplano” — Juliano Polimeno

24 11 2012

For those who have seen the adorable short film I Don’t Want to Go Back Alone, you’ll smile when you hear this too.

Head of the Class short film program

24 08 2012

I’ll do my best to be somewhat brief in the reviews of these short films.

Only Fags Listen to Pop Music

Synopsis: a hand-drawn film about the repercussions of a teen listening to Britney Spears in high school.

Super awesome things: this film was made to be screened for Out in Schools.  Cute, accessible, relateable == not to mention a clear and easy theme.  I like the storyboard quality and look of the film.  Very cool.

Not so awesome things: You know what?  It’s too mean to really criticize this film when it doesn’t try to be anything more than what it is.

Grade: A


Synopsis: a longer short film about a young, gay, African-American boy full of hope just before the 2008 Presidential Election.

Super awesome things: it’s always cool to watch films with people of colour.  Jamie is exactly what this generation is or at least show be: he’s ever so hopeful (that Obama will win and so certain that Prop 8 won’t pass in a liberal state like California); he’s aware of his feelings but doesn’t ever say the word gay, nor does he seem to want/need to.  At the other end of the spectrum, his family, particularly his parents, are more conservative, and this contrast really sets them apart.  It genuinely feels like when they’re glad Prop 8 has passed, they’re wrong.

The best scene is the morning after the election.  Jamie sits down at the breakfast table, happy that his country is heading in a new direction with a new leader.  His father is also happy, as Prop 8 passed.  The camera closes on Jamie’s blank stare as he digests what that means to him.  But even more powerful is his (straight) sister’s reaction: she cries.  Right beside Jamie, she bawls, and one can’t help she’s not only crying for her brother, but for all gay people who are denied, possibly forever, the right to marry the one they love.

Not so awesome things: shortly put, it’s too long.  Add to the fact that the film tries to tackle a bunch of issues like politics, family dynamics, being in the closet, gay bashing, and even a premature romance, and as hard as the film tries, it doesn’t quite balance things out.  Perhaps the biggest thing afflicting this ambitious film is the ending, which I will have to spoil.

Shortly put, why??????  There are enough films where gay people are beaten, killed, or kill themselves, and if anything the ending of Change suggests that there is actually little hope and change in the foreseeable future.  The bashers outnumber the accepting, and we know, based on how liberal youth are today, that this is just not the case.  amie is finally brave enough to be physically close to the token out-white boy and he gets a punch in the face from his friends?  Really?

Grade: C+

The Queen

Synopsis: a gay, Korean-American, working in his mother’s tailor shop, daydreams (or rather, nightdreams) about being the prom queen to a hunky classmate.

Super awesome things: shot on film, this movie looks great.  It’s a simple, straight-forward story with a cheeky ’80s soundtrack.  I’ve seen this film twice already, and I still enjoy it.

Not so awesome things: I always thought it was too weird that he puts on the dress but now I understand that he does it to imagine being with the cute white boy.  I would’ve liked a bit more interaction with the two boys but otherwise, I like this.

Grade: A-


Synopsis: while walking down the street one day, a young woman finds herself being stared at by everyone, and realizes someone has been handing out flyers that out her as a lesbian.

Super awesome things: interesting premise with a fairly good sense of “What the hell is going on here?” tension and thrill before the twist at the end.

Not so awesome things: predictable and lacking a strong point.

Grade: B-

I Don’t Want to Go Back Alone

Synopsis: the arrival and integration of a new classmate changes the friendship between a girl and her blind guy friend.

Super awesome things: how can anyone with a heart not love this movie?

I first saw this film a year ago online, and loved it so much that I sent the writer/director, Daniel Ribeiro, an email telling him to send a DVD screener to the festival so that others on the programming committee could see it and love it as much as I did.  He did, and everyone did!  Everyone who saw this film loved it, and said it was so cute.  And it was because of me.  You’re welcome, #festies.

Great acting, a simple story that doesn’t deal with homophobia or a difficult coming out — this film just feels natural in its progression and its execution.  There are moments of tension, like when Leonardo confesses to bestie Giovana, that he is gay, while clearly being unable to realize that she has a crush on him.  I just can’t get enough of this wonderful, wonderful film.

Not so awesome things:  some of the subtitling is slightly off.  That’s my only complaint.  Really.  Also, when will they finally finish the full-length feature film already?!

Grade: A++


15 08 2011

Day 2 of the festival for me, but really Day 4.  Only got to watch one movie tonight because I have an exam at 8:30 tomorrow morning.  Again.

Synopsis:  A teenager hermaphrodite named Spork must learn how to dance for the upcoming school Dance Off and defeat her enemy– the uber bitchy Betsy Byotch and her group of cronies.

Super awesome things: the throwback to ’80s and ’90s music and culture is really cool.  The film is drenched in nostalgia and faded colors that could’ve fell flat on its face but it works.  It’s glitzy, glamorous (aestetically speaking), and all the characters are ones you love or you love to hate.  Spork, played by Savannah Stehlin is great and understated in the title role as the extremely awkward and quiet hero of the film.  Despite the fact that she is only 15 — as is the case for many of the other high schoolers in the film — and that they look noticeably younger than, say, the “kids” on Glee, what doubts I had of their talents were cast away when the actors danced, sang, and acted with such ease.  This is largely due to the humorous script of writer and director J.B. Ghuman Jr., who has a good balance between comedy, believable (ie. not melodramatic) drama, and coming of age scenes that work cohesively to cement the themes of the film.  Even during serious scenes, Ghuman Jr.’s wicked sense of humor reminds us to not take the film too seriously (in one scene, Spork runs home crying and along the way, kicks a dog who barks at her, or the very last scene of the film which I won’t spoil).

Not so awesome things: The film appears to be set during the ’80s sometime, what with the big hair-dos and undertones of post-Civil Rights Movement, but then Charlie, Spork’s romantic interest, mentions Justin Timberlake, which places the film much later.  When is really taking place?  It’s not a make-or-break question by any means, but it did leave me questioning things.  Other irks that I’ve come across among other reviews for the film suggest that it’s been done before– the outcast, freakish hero/heroine vs. the popular kids, a la Juno, Mean Girls, etc.  And I have to agree with that; although Spork may not have a completely original plot and the structure is largely the same as other teen movies, what makes the film stand out from those other ones are the characters.  That being said, I know some people may have issues about how clearly stereotypical it makes Black people (they’re all good at dancing, they’re all sassy) that at times, it almost comes across as offensive, but because of the light tone and how everyone was laughing, I guess that makes it okay somehow?  Sort of?  Another review I read commented on the film’s lingering on scenes, and it was particularly evident when Spork and Tootsie Roll go to the dance club.  Sure, there were some crazy lighting, color, and slow-mo experimenting in those scenes, but it did feel a little redundant.  And finally, despite me cheering her on throughout the film, the climax of the film, at the Dance Off, is a little too convenient.  I suspended my belief for almost 80 minutes but there’s only so high I can do it.

Good for watching: for a nostalgic trip.

Overall: A hilarious, quirky comedy that has the potential of becoming a cult classic.  I’d recommend it to youth thoroughly.

Grade: B

30 Day Movie Challenge: Day 19: Film that made you cry the hardest

2 07 2011

Back in my VFS days, I was in a documentary class and had to put together a project for an idea that I wanted to be made into a documentary.  I was concerned about gay teen suicides because of the fact that there was no real solid number that said how many teens were killing themselves a year, and it was something I really wanted to explore.  So I did research and found out about many publicized gay teen suicides in history (we’re talking mainly US), including that of Bobby Griffith.  A book had been written about his life and his mother’s gradual shift from conservative Christian to understanding gay rights activist.  It was called Prayers for Bobby, and this was 2007.

I picked up a copy of Prayers for Bobby and after reading, found out that it was going to be made into a Lifetime TV movie.  Super excited, I checked up often on the film, anxious to know when it was going to be shown on TV.  I ended up *cough* downloading it because I don’t have Lifetime here at home and man, it made me cry like nothing ever has.  So many good, emotional moments that I really can’t put into words.  You have to see it yourself.

With the highly publicized recent teen suicides in the US, I think this film is more relevant than ever.  I read somewhere that an estimated 3000 teens a year kill themselves because of their sexual orientation, and some of them aren’t even queer but bullied and harassed that it gets to that point where they can’t think of anything else to do.  My documentary project is still with me, waiting to be made, and after last year, I seriously thought about realizing it.  I’ve decided that if I don’t get into UBC when I apply next year, I will go around the US and Canada, interviewing people and speaking with those affected by gay teen suicides.  I will try my best to finally make my project.

We’ll see how that goes.

In the Mind of a Wise Idiot

4 03 2011

While in the New Shoots Creative Writing program in high school, I think we were supposed to write something performance-y or at least something that our mentor, whose name I have forgotten… no!  Ben!  Yes!  Ben was supposed to look over and give comments.  I went through a phase in high school where I thought that writing the most random things that came to mind equalled great poetry.  How very, very wrong I was.

This initally consisted of 3 pages, both sides, of the most random things I could think of.  Some were inspired by what was around me, mainly Math class.  Of these three pages, I then took passages from all three and condensed them into one prose/poem thing.  There’s no story, so it’s not really prose but it’s not structured like a poem (then again, free verse = anything).  I remember thinking this was the most brilliant thing I had written.  How Ben was able to read and make any sort of sense of this is beyond me.

In the Mind of a Wise Idiot


“Not at all”, he said to me as I wondered what it would be like to finally taste the sweetness of his lips.  Don’t tell me I’m dreaming again, I think to myself.  Well, how can I be dreaming if I can think?  Maybe it’s that even the first time I saw him that it changed everything for me.  The randomness of school makes it impossible for me to do anything.  At all.  At all, at all.  Somehow, I find myself wondering about him all…yes, all!  The times are changing; perhaps I will feel different tomorrow.  Perhaps, perhaps not.  Perhaps he will finally notice me…


Why am I so scared anyways?  It doesn’t make sense, well…we’re all scared of something, especially the truth; it blinds us, it tortures us, it shows us things we’re hiding from All!  this time.  And yet we can’t seem to accept it!  It is like we want another reason, but we are given the reason; we just refuse to believe it.  How stupid of us, all of us.  Why are we all! so stupid?  It doesn’t make sense.  Then again, nothing ever makes sense.  It probably never will.  We will all! continue to blind ourselves from the truth that we refuse to believe.  I don’t understand.  And I probably never will.


I wonder if I should do anything about it.  About what?  There’s nothing to do and nothing anyone can do.  Well, except for both of him.  Perhaps he’s scared.  Perhaps he doesn’t know if I am or not.  Perhaps he himself isn’t.  Perhaps this, perhaps that.  Only time will.  Tell me what you think.  Make sense of ALL!  Look, there he is again.  I think he was looking at me. But I didn’t look back.  Should I have?  Who cares anyways?  But it’s not impossible right?  I don’t know what to think anymore.  Should I keep chasing after him, or in that case, anyone if I don’t get high?  Hmm…maybe.  Maybe not.  Maybe I should stop.  Stop.  Stop.  Stop, yes…that sounds quite right.  Hmm…everything seems so wrong.  What is right?  What does it mean?  The brightness of his shirt is overwhelming.  Who is this?  Who are you?  Who is everyone?  Who is anyone?  How do we know who we are if nothing is right? Math is stupid and endearing ’till eternity.

Nothing can escape a black hole; its black, black, black heart swallows all.  This reminds me of when I thought about not breathing ever again before.  Nope, not fun at all.  Why don’t everyone just shut up?  Please, shut up!  Get out now, you stupid opossum!  And stay out!  Don’t forget to shut up!  It makes no SENSE!  Yes, that’s what we all need; some sense.  How can I make sense of sense if I can’t sense it?  Hmm…perhaps my binder holds answers.  I don’t know anything. “Funner” is not a word, you stupid hoe.  I really should just stop because I’m not making any sense…yes, that word again!  I’m confusing myself.  What should I do?  If today is gone, would we be on February 14th?  Quite strange really, but maybe…maybe not.

I wonder if people wonder.  I wonder if people wonder about the same things as I do.  Perhaps, perhaps not.  Perhaps they are normal.  Perhaps, no one is normal.  Perhaps we are all queer and I’m normal.  Perhaps my people are the normal ones.  Perhaps, perhaps not.  That seems to make so much more sense…there’s that word again.  No!  My god!  Your god sucks!!!  Math sucks.  Here sucks.  Do I suck?  I don’t know but probably.  Imagine all the people, living in hell.  That I can do.  Hmm…cards can be fun if you’re a hobo.  The pink fluffy bunnies will continue to hop until their legs fall off.  Alive, then dead.  I wonder about him and the future.  Perhaps it will all! change.  Perhaps, perhaps not.

Wow.  I am so obviously sane.

A Formula for Idiocy

5 01 2011

Something I conjured up in non-fiction class.  Does it make sense?  I was never good at math.

Formula for Idiocy

a = a person
b = ridiculous things people say

Formula:  a + a = b
if b takes place on a bus, b (ridiculousness) multiplies by 2:

so, a + a = 2b
What you do to one side, you must do to the other:

Formula: 2(a + a) = 2b

Exercise: if a = typical skateboarder, and there are two of them on a bus, find b.

Answer: 2(a + a) = 2b
b = talking about absurd television show involving a warden owning a jail, telling the inmates to wear rabbit costumes.

New formula:

x = stereotypical straight men’s behaviour
y = stereotypical gay men’s behaviour

if b ≠ x, ∴ b = y.

Exercise: Prove b = y.

Answer: ?


31 08 2010

Something I wrote for my poetry class.  It feels like a complete departure from what I usually write but I like pushing myself to explore different subjects.


Florescent lights, like a hospital patient room
Sanitized floors, trying to hide scuff marks
A crimson neon exit sign hangs above my head,
Me, a grim reaper with a gun

Number 1 and 2 fall soundlessly,
their hands in the other’s like I’ve always seen them
Always clutching, touching
3 screams before a silver reply pierces her lungs.
My devilish hands, puppeting my sight, spy 4, eyes closed
as if content for having lived only sixteen years.
I must turn away as my demon fingers pull the trigger
After wounding 5, she crawls on elbows, reduced to a human rowboat
But as I gain on her, cannon in hand, the boat sinks, a hole too many, liquid rushing out instead of in.

A sound startles me.

6 sits slumped, rocking back and forth, a pendulum
fingers creating trenches behind a crying face, moaning like a siren.
The sight slashes into me, deeper than any round I’ve fired
I nod in recognition of the pain he endures and will endure and continue
At the end of the hallway stand two white doors,
and before I pass, I turn around
It smells of death:
Blood tainting the floor
Flickering lights, like a morgue
They lie there, sleeping kindergarteners
Sons and daughters.  People’s children.
Suddenly, pain surges and I unleash a fury of gray tears upon myself.

It started with a bullet.  It will end with one.
My hands, still possessed, perform one last sin.
“How did it come to this?” I wonder as I christen myself number 7.

I’m From Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

26 08 2010

I came across this site about a year ago and thought it was utterly fantastic, so I decided to contribute a story that happened to me.  I’m From Driftwood is a site featuring real-life stories from and about queer youth (and some older folks, too) and it also looks like they’ve expanded to include trans people and allies, which is cool.  A lot of the stories on the site are coming out stories, but I decided to write about something different.

Here’s the link to my story:

10 Defining Moments of My Life (so far) — #8: Coming out to my mom

10 05 2010

8.  I was trying to teach myself to play the guitar when my mom walked in and sat on the bed next to me.  Immediately, I knew she had something serious to talk about.  She looked at me and asked if I was gay.  I said yes, and already I could sense the tears waiting to be shed.  We had a long, long talk about it; she couldn’t seem to understand how I “became” gay.  She kept trying to make up excuses for it, but when I told her it was just who I am, she didn’t believe it.  Tears kept falling down my face, and some of them fell between the strings of the guitar and on the frets.  Needing to know how my mom felt about me now, I asked her if she still loved me.  She replied, “You are my son.  I’ll always love you.” and that was when I really bawled.  I hugged my mom tightly and cried on her, still not believing that she would really accept me for who I was because I knew she was the traditional Asian kind.