There’s nothing I hate more than a movie that has so much going for it, but has no idea how to deliver a great narrative. “Promare” is a movie that, by all accounts, should have blown me out of my seat. But by the middle of it, I was counting down the minutes, and waiting for it to get to the point. It’s so sad that a movie that looks so amazing could be so lacking in originality with government corruption, clandestine organizations, and an evil politician who has plans for the world, yadda, yadda. It’s all so old hat for such an epic looking animated movie.
When I was a kid growing up in the Bronx, everyone knew who Walter Mercado was. When he was on Telemundo we would all remain in complete awe and silence as he dominated the screen with an almost supernatural presence. Filled with charisma, theatrical enthusiasm, and flamboyance, Mercado gave the latinx community astrological readings that were almost always steeped in hope, optimism, and spirit. Along the way he broke barriers becoming a worldwide sensation as a guru who defied gender, sexual, and style barriers everywhere he went.
Long before America accepted the Luchadore as a part of modern wrestling, Lucha Libre has been an immense force of the wrestling world. It’s broken so many barriers and allowed the culture to seep through, even integrating what’s known as the “Exótico.” Cassandro is a kind of luchadore who mixes the art form of drag along with the art form of professional wrestling. Often times Cassandro is no different than Gorgeous George or Ric Flair, but he’s different in the way he embraces his homosexuality so openly and absolutely without apology.
Most of my knowledge and experience with “Horrors of Spider Island” (aka “Body in the Web,” aka “A Corpse Hung in the Web” aka “It’s Hot in Paradise”) begins and ends with “Mystery Science Theater 3000.” It was lampooned in easily one of the funniest episodes of the series, and as it was nothing but goofy thinly veiled porn then, it’s goofy thinly veiled porn today. It’s somehow become something of a cult classic today, which is shocking considering the movie has almost nothing to offer. Even in its original uncensored form, the narrative is non-existent, and the movie is teeming with uncomfortable rapey overtones and very obvious lesbian overtones.
Danish film master Carl Theodor Dreyer’s “Michael” is a very good LGBTQ drama that tackles a lot of the sexual politics of the period and the often unrequited loves between queer individuals. The entire taboo nature is explored very subtly with Dreyer’s fascinating narrative. Here, “Michael” dissects the relationship between a master artist and his apprentice and how their love for one another fueled their love for art as well as their misguided affections for a young woman.
I vividly remember watching “The Case of Hana & Alice” for the Fantasia Film Festival in 2015, and it was a movie that managed to stick with me for a while. I wouldn’t call it a masterpiece, but like a lot of its ilk, it’s a movie you have to go in with some knowledge acquired. “The Cast of Hana & Alice” is primarily a prequel, and a loose one at that, but it’s at least charming in its way, and allows a mystery to become the catalyst for an adventure with two best friends one fateful day.
Mostly unknown for years and years, Reinhold Schünzel’s musical comedy is a very good musical comedy that would set the template for the LGBTQ iconic movie and musical “Victor/Victoria.” Although known as “Viktor und Viktoria,” director Schünzel creates a funny, adorable, and entertaining musical that mixes cross dressing and heavy queer overtones. It otherwise salvages the pretty clumsy finale that doesn’t resolve much when all is said and done.
Often times when you’ve been indoctrinated to conform to what is perceived as societal norms, the emotions between two people can be mixed and misguided. Leontine Sagan’s romance drama is a brilliant tale of unrequited love between two women and the confusion of identity amidst such an archaic institution. There’s nothing really discreet when it comes to what happens behind the walls of the boarding school as the girls within have essentially adapted to turning to one another for comfort.