lobolance: (Default)
Crossposted from dancingbull.net.

Beautiful Boxer is a beautiful film, from lush foggy mornings to flashing legs in bright shorts in kickboxing arenas. It’s also difficult to watch at times; the utterly solo pain of not being able to be who you are, of how stereotypes are used for money-making, of simple family struggles. This is the story of Parinya Charoenphol, a poor child, a “transvestite” in Thai parlance, who discovers a talent for kickboxing, and goes on to be a champion who revitalizes the sport. The ultimate male sport, done to support hir poor family, and to save for sex reassignment surgery.

The actor who plays adult Parinya is a professional kickboxer! How cool is that? Can you imagine a US fighter who would be willing to play an MTF? I was pretty wow’d by the acting throughout the film, from the little boy who was Parinya as a child monk (hungry for lipstick) to the adult fighter.

What I liked best perhaps was that this movie is about *showing,* not telling. It’s not a talking heads movie, despite the interview wrapper. Strong and lovely film.

lobolance: (Default)
was unexpectedly good! Yes a kid's movie, but not a stupid American kid's movie, if you know what I mean. :-) It has humor, but it's not a comedy. It's perhaps a quest story. It follows a young boy who lives with his uncle (who is very afraid of Viking raiders, and is making a great wall) in a monastery. A monk comes, bearing the Book of Iona (which will one day be the Book of Kells). The boy ventures into the forest, meets a fairy/goddess, has adventures, takes risks, grows up. The fairy is unpredictable, adorable but not saccharine. 

The use of art and animation in The Secret of Kells totally surprised me. Celtic art is subtle in nature, right there in the vines and boughs of the woods, then it dances on the page. I love that it's a movie where religion underlies some of what is going on, but it only underlies, it is never brought to the front. Some of the animation is 2D, some 3D. Some of it  is very simple, yet entirely original and effective. 

If you like Celtic art, good kid fantasy, or are interested in animation, go see this movie. Oh yeah, the soundtrack was excellent! 
lobolance: (uncle)
Went to a splendid 70 minutes (no break) play Saturday night, at the Off Market theater in San Francisco; http://www.cafearts.com/santaland2006/.

It was a one-man show on a minimalist little stage. More impressive and effective use of Christmas lights I've never seen! :-)

David Sinaiko did a fine job. There was little space between the actor and the front row, and I was really impressed how apparently effortlessly he handle numerous occasions of looking 'at' someone in the audience. He did a wonderful job of creating the sense of being in different space, though the use of two black cubes and one Santa chair. :-) The play is very funny. It has minor and amusing gay content; less than I would've guessed from the photos on the website.

The little house was packed, which was very cool. The play deserved it. I think the run is nearly over... catch it one day if you get the opportunity. When you consider that we saw it AFTER the holidays, and I'm recommending it now, you'll know how funny it was!
lobolance: (Default)
Oddly, I find myself remaining slightly disturbed by the film *<http://www.barnyardmovie.com/>Barnyard*. I watched it this past weekend. It's a basic kids animated film about growing up and assuming responsibility. It had a few moments which made me laugh out loud, and was otherwise pretty standard American "shrug" kids fare.

The story revolves around a barnyard full of talking, upright walking (when the farmer is away) animals. The protagonist is a young... cow/bull/steer/something. And therein lies the rub. All of the kine were shown with udders; distinct, rubbery, right there in front when they're on their hind legs udders. ??

The protagonist and his dad have these things. They do not have horns, let alone any hint of genitalia (not that there'd be much; I am reminded as contrast of a delightful French film - *The Triplets of Belleville* - about a bicycle racer, his grandma, singing old ladies, and an old fat dog, who was clearly yet unobtrusively male; very nicely done). One distinct bull is shown (a nonplayer character, so to speak :-) ); he is big and thick necked and has a ring in his nose. All of the rest of the male cattle are entirely soft (eg, necks slim to body size), horn-less, and with udders.

I found it disturbing, on a number of levels. I think it's irresponsible to represent animals (and by connotation, people) to kids that way; reality is what it is. Kids aren't stupid, they know about sex and gender, and at that level, it's disrespectful of and possibly confusing (to the very young) to them. I totally appreciate gender-fuck, but I don't think that's what the movie-makers had in mind here.

Instead, it's all about irrational adult fears, not about the world as it is. It reminds me of how human male genitalia is by definition obscene (talking movies here), but female isn't (tho I'm pretty sure that's frontal view only). So maybe this is another incidence of reverse sexism? IMO, being male isn't a thing to hide (whether we're talking genitalia, horns, beards, strength, size, whatever - tho I do also enjoy that male redtails are smaller than female ones; diversity rocks).

I guess we need the French style of cow animation.
lobolance: (Default)
Due to a friend's connection with a promoter, I got to see *Eragon* last night.

It was "ok". A kinda Saturday matinée movie if such were still made.

Review with spoilers. )

*Thanks to didjiman for the typo correction!
lobolance: (Default)
Last night I went to smOdyssey's "south bay premier" of a new BDSM documentary, *Vice and Consent*. The filmmaker, Howard Scott Warshaw was in attendance. After the showing, many of the movie watchers stuck around til pretty darn late to ask questions and hear more stories (two of the film's interviewees came as well). Mr. Warshaw said one of his goals had been to give a gift to the community, and he truly has.

*Vice and Consent* is a number of interviews with well-known-in-leather players, writers, etc., intercut gracefully, exploring the subject of BDSM. Common fears are talked about, and, best of all, common misconceptions are laid open and dispensed with. The truths of passion and intimacy come out in wonderful story-telling by the interviewees, including Evil Mommy Tina, Midori, Michael Blue and Race Bannon among others.

This film is just the thing to show the BDSM curious but nervous. It would be fine educational tool at the university level, and particularly for therapists. I could sit down with curious friends and watch this with them, there to fill in the blanks (such as defining words which are used early on, but not always explained immediately... this film is meant for people who have some very basic understandings of play).

I liked how the film built its themes, and the lovely imagery used to enhance it. There was lots of art (by BDSM players :-) ) as well as some nicely used nature scenes. The music was a plus not a minus, which is really admirable in a small film, IMO.

If you're dabbling in BDSM, if you're a therapist and want to understand your clients better, if you're a sex worker and need a deeper understanding, if you're a player and want to celebrate who we are (you'll laugh), watch this film. And maybe buy a copy to share with your friends.

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