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QMR: beautiful boxer

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Beautiful Boxer: Based on a true story, this film explores the life of Parinya Charoenphol (Nong Toom), a famous Thai kickboxer, who uses the money and influence gained from her winning matches to facilitate her gender transition.

Country: Thailand, 2003

Original Language: Thai and English

Rating: 4.5/5

Available for purchase on Amazon.

Zavi thinks: This is such a powerful story, and it’s even more amazing because it’s true.  This is one of the best representations of a trans character that I have ever seen in a film (other representations of similar caliber include Brandon Teena in Boys Don’t Cry and Bree in Transamerica).  I also found it incredibly refreshing that this film is both a “trans” film and an “overcoming obstacles” story, even though it is an unfortunate testament to trans exclusion in media that Nong Toom’s story of eventual success was so surprising.  Another random refreshing aspect of this film is that this is the first time I’ve ever seen a …

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QMR: a shot at love

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A Shot at Love:  In this bisexual reality dating show, model and singer Tila Tequila must select her one true love from a houseful of  straight male and lesbian female contenders.

Country: USA, 2007

Original Language: English

Rating: 1/5

Available for purchase on Amazon.

Zavi thinks: This review is timed to contrast with the one we put up a few days ago of Logo’s “Can’t Get a Date” tv series, another reality dating show featuring queer characters.  I thought “Can’t Get a Date” was handled quite well, but yikes, “A Shot at Love” was both mind-numbingly boring and incredibly offensive to the lesbian community.  Why did I ever watch this show?  Because Dani Campbell is that hot.  While the other lady characters were busy wrestling in pudding and jabbing each other with their inch-long glittery nails, butch character Dani was being kind, fair and an overall good role model to the queer community.  It’s so very rare that butch women are ever …

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QMR: when night is falling

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When Night is Falling:  After the death of close friend, Camille, a teacher at a conservative Christian college, starts questioning everything in her life and embarks into an unexpected romance.

Country: Canada, 1995

Original Language: English

Rating: 4/5

Available for purchase on Amazon.

Zavi thinks: The romance in this movie feels very real, and that’s probably my favorite part.  Camille’s struggle to make sense of her desire for a woman is fully played out, and anyone who has ever experienced unexpected romantic feelings will relate to her story.  Definitely a good movie to watch on a date night.

Panda thinks: I think this is definitely the best film that Patricia Rozema has ever made (some of her earlier films were just a bit too strange and arthouse-y).  I felt that Camille fully examined and dealt with her conflicted feelings, as opposed to some lesbian films where main characters seemingly without care throw their past life away.  The complexity of this movie made it feel very …

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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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