Archive for the category Reviews

Reviews of Queer films, books, events and everything else under the colorful rainbow

106 posts

From Sambhaji Park To Q-Fest Pune 2010

Given the roaring success of Q-Fest Pune 2010, it would have been difficult to digest the fact that 10 years ago, being gay in Pune was almost equivalent to a life sans social interaction. With the renowned Sambhaji Garden at Deccan and unsavory loo-cruising, the only means of interaction with the queer community, it indeed was a sea change for many in Pune, to witness the metamorphosis.

Movie Review : Black Swan

On dreary winter nights, movies billed as ‘psychological thrillers’ are probably not the cheery fare I am looking for but having heard rave reviews about Black Swan, a few nights ago my sister and I ambled along into the theatre that was packed with people. I assure you - a packed theatre is a considerably rare occurrence out here. So after squeezing into 2 seats together padded by our parka jackets, we settled in for the ride. And my! What a ride it was!

Book Review : Jaya

Jaya is seamlessly woven from the story of Ancestors, Parents and Birth to the ultimate war and what happened after that, making it an eye-opening read. It not only includes tales from the classical Sanskrit but also regional and folk variants from across India and even South East Asia. I got introduced to the queer narratives such as Aravan, Budh and my favorite Ila, who was a woman when the moon wanes and a man when the moon waxes.

Movie Review : Room in Rome (Habitacion en Roma)

6 pm …A cold winter evening in Chicago after a sufficiently bad day, I venture to the Gene Siskel Film Center to watch Room in Rome (Habitación en Roma) Upon entering the stark white and clean environs of the film center, I acquaint myself with some popcorn and a glass of wine [clearly I was intent on making my day better] I shuffle my tired feet into the theatre and suddenly, stop and stare.

Movie Review: The Kids Are Alright

*SPOILER ALERT!

I walked out of the theater at the end of this movie feeling really depressed. I couldn’t figure out whether I liked it or not, but the more …

Movie Review: Bijli

Bijli is about a person who passes as "Fayaaz", a man, during the day, and dances as "Bijli" in drag, to Bollywood songs at night. Fayaaz has fond memories of his deceased parents, but has a bittersweet relationship with his faith, and the Mosque.

Movie Review : Family Tree (L’arbre et la forêt)

The story centers around the family having gathered to mourn the death of the eldest son. However, Frederick fails to attend the funeral and this does not go down well with his younger son, Guilliame (François Négret) who enjoys the plentiful drink but in a charming French way - so I watch it and think, “my god he’s a falling drunk and slimy in some ways but I still don’t dislike him” .

Book Review : The Truth About Me

The book is an autobiography by Revathi, a transwoman from a small village near Namakkal, TamilNadu who talks about her upbringing, despair, struggle in the sex community and eventually as a social activist working for Sangama in this fascinating book. She weaves through a story that I can only believe is and should be untrue to every individual. At times, I cried for her - reading about the things that she had to put up with in her life, and selfishly for myself because of the struggle I did not have to go through.

Movie Review : Sasha

Sasha (Saša) is a coming-of-queer story. Sasha (Saša Kekez) – the main protagonist – is a gay teenager of Montenegrin-German origin (Mommy: German, Daddy: Montenegrin) who returns from holiday in Montenegro back to Germany only to find that his Piano teacher, Gebhard Weber is moving to Vienna to take a teaching position. Sasha has a massive crush on Gebhard and at the start of the movie, no one knows he is gay. And thus, hilarity ensues!

Movie Review : A Jihad For Love

It portrays on the confusion of every Muslim individual that they face in loving their religion and accepting themselves as gay . The movie travels across from Egypt to India and everywhere in between and to South Africa. I really liked the clarity of the Imam from South Africa who made a big impact on me. He talks about the different facets of Islam and the way the modern world has embraced it.

Book Review : God Loves Hair [And Gaysis Love The Book!]

God loves hair. And God loves wankers. And God loves homosexuals. And if he doesn’t, all he needs to do is read Vivek Shraya’s book. I was lying on an air mattress in Broom’s beautiful little flat (do I sound too much the little girl when I say I love what she has, and want that sometime?

Book Review: The Palace of Illusions

Growing up in a conservative Indian household, I was always given examples from the shastras and the epics on how I should live my life. On what the right and the wrong thing was. For some reason dharma was such a favorite word in the family. Except that people did not realise that it was adharmam for showering unsolicited advise on a poor, dreamy-eyed kid.

Book Review : The Dead Camel And Other Stories Of Love

My love for Parvati Sharma’s writing began when I read The Quilt, an adaptation of Ismat Chugtai’s Lihaaf in Electric Feather and now with her debut book “The Dead Camel and other stories of love” , I am just seconds away from begging her to marry me. For those of you who don’t know Parvati Sharma, let me give you a brief introduction. She is a lesbian writer based in New Delhi and has worked as an editor, journalist and travel writer among other things. I am told, she is lovely, fantastic, gifted with an ironic sense of humor and foremost, an extremely talented writer. Perfect partner choice, isn’t she?

Review : Queer Store, Azaad Bazaar

I realized that Azaad Bazaar, housed in Mumbai’s suburban Bandra is not about shopping alone. Tagged as 'India’s first LGBT store', but for regulars at the store and I, it’s also about finding a space to be! I’ve found myself spending hours chilling in the chairs outside with friends and sipping coffee (on their fabulous honour system) or meeting a new queer face every time I pop by the store. I’ve seen random strangers walk in with questions about looking for the perfect something to jazz up their outfit for a pajama party and share their angst over how they look, their hair and their love life! I’ve come in to find common friends get advice, support from everyone as they came out to family and dealt with the aftermath within its walls.

Book Review : Hostel Room 131

Funny, honest and dramatic. A great novel written ever so elegantly. Being my first ever desi queer book,I found it amusing yet knowledgeable. It was cathartic at times and the love amongst the protagonists almost left me in tears. Yet I read it on only to complete it in a straight 72 hrs and with a feeling of "happily ever after".

Profiling : Dosti.Ca

Dosti is a Toronto-based social and support group for South Asian gay, bisexual, questioning and transgender men. Dosti has been around since the mid 90s and has come to mean a number of different things over the years. Dosti is a place where you can meet friends, cruise for guys and explore the community. Every month Dosti has social gatherings that take place in different venues where guys can chat it up with other like minded desi dudes and reconcile the fact they can be both Queer and Desi.

Review Fabulis : An Online Gay Community

Fabulis appears to sit on top of the Facebook framework (it requires a Facebook account to login) and works more like an extended application than a network in itself. I guess this has its advantages since Facebook is an Internet phenomenon now and anybody who is anybody is on it (or is that Twitter, again?).
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