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QMR: the wedding banquet

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The Wedding Banquet (Xi Yan): A Taiwanese-American gay man living happily with his partner succumbs to the pressure of his overbearing traditional parents and arranges an elaborate sham hetero wedding.

Country: Taiwan/USA, 1993

Original Language: Mandarin Chinese and English

Rating: 3.5/5

Available for purchase on Amazon.

Zavi thinks: Many people don’t realize that Brokeback Mountain was not the first major gay film that Ang Lee directed.  This film will always hold a special place in my memory because the first time I watched it was for a Chinese language class (and I think the staff who selected it did so because they knew there were a large number of queer students in the program).  That random fact aside, many scenes in this movie are hilarious, especially the parts where the main character is ‘being straight’ while on various female dates.

Panda thinks: I am a big fan of Ang Lee and really enjoyed seeing one of his earlier films.  It’s neat to see how much …

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QMR: sordid lives

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Sordid Lives: When forced to return to his small Texas hometown for a funeral, a young gay man must finally come out to his family, and the family as a whole must deal with its many secrets.

Country: USA, 2000

Original Language: English

Rating: 4/5

Zavi thinks: It takes a few minutes for this film to get rolling, but once it does, its complex layers of dry humor make it absolutely hilarious.  Billed as a “black comedy about white trash,” this film perfectly captures the unique nuances of being in a large Southern family, from the idea that ‘a-statement-isn’t-judgmental-if-you-say-bless-their-heart-at-the-end’ to the concept that ‘even-though-everyone-knows-we-just-don’t-talk-about-it’.  This movie isn’t just for the Southern niche, however.  Anyone who has ever left a small hometown for a larger city and experienced the challenge of coming home as a different person will relate to it.  This movie is endearing, silly and weird all at once and is great for group movie nights.

Panda thinks: I wasn’t sure what to think of this film …

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