GB Film Club Screening on Sunday, March 30th
GB’s super popular film screenings return this Sunday with three excellent films (and possibly some short films if we have time). As always, the screenings will take place in National College, Bandra and will have the long breaks with chai and samosas for people to chat and catch up with friends.
The films will be from 1.30 pm (before that the conference hall is booked for another engagement so please don’t just open the doors and enter) till 8 pm. If you haven’t come before, National College is on Linking Road in Bandra and is easily accessible from Bandra station by auto, or you could even walk. And entrance is FREE.
The films shown are all excellent quality original DVDs that have been purchased for us by friends. The films do NOT contain anything pornographic, but in the interests of everyone who attends we restrict entrance to those over 18. Also in the interests of everyone watching the films, mobile phones must be kept on silent and anyone going out to take a call won’t be let back in. We will let people in for about 10 minutes after a film has started, but then not till the next film. The door of the hall is close to the screen and constant going in and out is disruptive for everyone.
These are the films we plan to show:
1) Mixed Kebab
Bram is Belgian-Turkish, as totally integrated with any other young European, works at parties, is gay and is hitting Kevin, a hot young guy who works in a café run by his (Kevin’s) mother) who is totally cool with her son being gay.
Ibrahim is Turkish-Belgian, a dutiful son, about to have an arranged marriage with a cousin in Turkey he has never seen and is in the closet because his family is very conservative. Bram and Ibrahim are the same person and the differences are driving him crazy.
What definitely helps is that, even when conflicted, Bram/Ibrahim is a really cool, confident and fearless guy, something that will count crucially at the climax. This is not a film where the gay guy is a helpless, fearful victim, and it is one of best parts of the film.
What definitely doesn’t help is Bram’s younger brother Furkan. If anyone is vulnerable here it is the straight Furkan. He’s a street punk and thief, but this also makes him vulnerable to the lure of fundamentalist Muslim groups who look for young guys like Furkan to brainwash and fill their minds with ideas of how to find outlets for their anger against aspects of the decadent West, including homosexuals. And Furkan knows that Bram is gay…
This is a complex, layered film about cultural differences which shows us how things are both as we expect and not – Bram’s fiancée, for example, when he goes to visit her in Turkey (rather crazily taking Kevin along) is not quite the demure village girl he thought, which he first likes – and then doesn’t. Her story is cut a bit short, which is the only criticism I’d make of an otherwise excellent film, full of drama, comedy and lots of really moving moments
http://www.mixedkebab.com/mixed_kebab/HOME_PAGE.html (includes link to trailer)
Bridegroom is a documentary and the reason it was made is so sad one wishes it was not needed. Yet once made, the film was so moving and powerful that it has started to help make the changes that perhaps, one day, might mean such things never happen.
Bridegroom is also one of those cases where the central person had an improbably apt name, the sort that you would never give in fiction, but existed in fact. Because the sad irony of the film was that if Tom Bridegroom had been a bridegroom in fact as well as name to his partner, Shane Bitney Crone, then some of what happened need never have.
Bridegroom and Crone seemed to have been the perfect gay couple. They were deeply in love with each other, living together, both doing interesting creative things in a cool part of the world and, also, as it happens, young and very good looking. They had plans to raise a family and see the world, including India, which gets an unexpected look-in right at the end.
And then Bridegroom died in a stupid, inexplicable accident. And if that wasn’t bad enough his family, who had angrily refused to accept his sexuality or his relationship with Crone, just swept in and took over and excluded Crone from anything to do with his dead partner. Even more, Bridegroom’s father told Crone that if he dared come for the funeral or try to get involved, he would kill him.
It is some measure of the balance the film achieves that while it could go all out condemning Bridegroom’s parents, it does show their own loss fairly – and that sympathy effectively underlines the lack of their own to Crone. If anything the anger is shown about the inequalities that differences about same sex marriage throw up and which is why equal rights are a must.
Bridegroom has helped push the arguments on this issue. A number of people like Oprah and Bill Clinton saw the film and were moved and advocated both for the film and the argument it makes. It was a contender for the Oscars and was promoted by DVD rental services in the face of criticism from homophobes.
It is an important film and, in the end, not a depressing one, because it is about the importance of love, in the face of loss and hate, and why it is also important to affirm that love in every legal way.
3) Comme Non Detto (Tell No One)
A closeted (and very cute) central character. Who is Italian and is being suffocated by his family. Which includes a very heterosexual (and homophobic) father, a hyper mother, a bully old sister and a cool grandmother. Who also has a female best friend who is in love with him and a gay best friend who is a drag queen. And who has an (even cuter) boyfriend who wants him to come out of the closet – and is coming home to make sure.
All these together constitute the usual elements of gay coming out comedies. Looking at them you probably feel, as I did, you have probably seen this film before. Even down to the Italian setting (Mambo Italiano, which we have screened before). And yet the real wonder of Comme Non Detto is how it takes every cliché and makes a wonderfully light, sweet and charming film out of it all, totally worth watching even if you think you know it all.
Another mystery of this film is how it has been marketed. The gay film market is really rather strange. Films that are really quite bad often get hyped, especially if they are American, while really goods films like this one – and others, especially if they are European, Asian and South American – get ignored.
There are almost no reviews, no blurbs, few blog-posts praising this film and, I’ll be honest, the makers don’t even seem to mind it going on Vimeo for full viewing (but with French subtitles, while our DVD has English ones, so that’s why you should come see it). Even the title is misleading – Come Non Detto translates to something like Never Mind, whereas the marketers have called the English version Tell No One, which is almost identical to another gay coming of age movie (Peruvian and not half as good as this).
So the chances are that if you don’t come and see Come Non Detto at GB’s Film Club screening you may never see it, which would be a real pity. It’s a wonderfully fun and enlivening film, the perfect way to wrap up one of the best film packages we’ve ever had.