jain: (niou and yagyuu)
[personal profile] jain
Shelter -- dir. Jonah Markowitz

A charming film about a 20-something kid, Zach, who's trying to balance two jobs, his passion for art, his responsibilities to his family (including his needy, overwhelmed older sister and her five year-old son), and his relationship with a girlfriend who's one of his best friends but to whom he has trouble fully committing. Enter Shaun, the older brother of one of Zach's friends, who sends Zach's balancing act into a tailspin but who ultimately helps Zach find a new direction and purpose in his life. This coming-out story covers a lot of common themes, but manages to feel unique and interesting despite that, with nice doses of humor and quite a few heart-tugging moments.
jain: Two Asian women kissing, eyes closed. Text: "jain" (girls kissing)
[personal profile] jain
Tipping the Velvet -- Sarah Waters and
Tipping the Velvet -- dir. Geoffrey Sax

It's been a number of years since I read the book, but the miniseries (which I just watched this week) seems to be a very faithful adaptation, to the best of my recollection. Both are highly recommended.

Tipping the Velvet is about a young woman in Victorian England who leaves her job in her family's oyster restaurant to join a theatrical act as a male impersonator. It's a gorgeous, fascinatingly detailed, and frequently pornographic tale that's part coming-of-age story, part exploration of lesbian society in Victorian London, and part romance. Specific to the miniseries: I found some of the editing techniques more distracting than evocative; on the plus side, I was pleasantly surprised by the relative explicitness of the sex scenes, which I feared might have been toned down or cut entirely. I've no criticisms of the book, which (again, to the best of my recollection) is involving, well-researched, and beautifully written.

ETA: Spoilers in the comments.
sqbr: A happy dragon on a pile of books (happy dragon)
[personal profile] sqbr
This is a very cute funny yuri manga about two 16 year old girls working as idols (singers/models/actresses) The feisty Julia is assigned as a mentor to the more laid back and space-y Ran and objects strenuously...until she meets her and falls for her immediately. Hijinks ensue :)

It's very silly (there's a pop band who seem to mainly spend their time acting as lesbian fairy godmothers) and has a lot of the usual manga issues with seeing intolerance of difference or sexual harassment as hilarious etc, but at heart it's good natured.

I can't find anywhere to buy it in English (woe :( ) but you can read the scans at Lililicious (scroll down).
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[personal profile] von_geisterhand
Wild Zero (2000)

"Wild Zero" is a crazy film, a japanese zombie-rock'n'roll-b-movie to be precise, offering ample riches in the departments of gore, rock and silliness. It follows Ace, a major fan of the (real) band "Guitar Wolf", in his quest of getting to the band's latest concert. On his way, he stops at a gas station and inadvertently thwarts a disturbed young man's attempt at robbing said petrol station (or maybe he wasn't robbing it. That point never becomes totally clear.), leading to Ace finding himself eye-to-eye with a lovely young woman by the name of Tobio. Love immediately (and colourfully) ensues, but the Number-1-priority in Ace's life is still Rock'n Roll, so he rides off on his bike, leaving Tobio behind.

Not much later he encounters a car that has veered off the road on account of a zombie attack, as well as the zombies that attacked it. Being on a motorcycle, it would be easy for Ace to escape all of this but as a vision of Guitar Wolf (á la True Romance's Elvis) points out to him, this would sentence Tobio to a grisly doom. Ace therefore rides back to the petrol station and just about manages to save Tobio from the zombies.

Avert your gaze to avoid spoiler.

It's a bit difficult to avoid this, I'm afraid )

You can look again.

"Wild Zero" is not exactly deep, except maybe deeply silly but it plays the aforementioned call for tolerance absolutely straight and follows it through to its logical conclusion. So if silly zombies don't make you run in terror, "Wild Zero" is definitely something you should check out.
jain: (niou and yagyuu)
[personal profile] jain
False Colors -- Alex Beecroft

An Age of Sail historical romance novel about a captain and lieutenant serving in the British navy. The book explores a lot of popular romance tropes--miscommunication between lovers, hurt/comfort, jealousy--and is a fun and engaging, but fairly lightweight, read. Although the writing is generally good, I will say that the plot seemed a bit disjointed, to the point where I felt I was almost reading three books rather than one, with only the developing romance between the two main characters holding the pieces together. The characters are worth following, though, and each sub-section of the novel holds up decently when considered on its own rather than as part of the broader narrative.


Mar. 30th, 2010 03:50 pm
angelikitten: Lia and Fiona kissing (Love - I'm so excited)
[personal profile] angelikitten
D.E.B.S. - dir Angela Robinson
[D.E.B.S. at IMDB]

Amy Bradshaw isn't just a student at the D.E.B.S academy - a secret school for secret agents - with her perfect score in the entrance exam, she's quite literally the academy's poster child. But then she falls for criminal mastermind Lucy Diamond, and her whole life gets turned upside-down...

If you're looking for something serious, this film isn't it. Its visual effects aren't the best either, mainly due to the film's small budget. But I love this film. It's a light and fluffy action-comedy - a great film to watch after a really bad day. It also doesn't make a big fuss about the main relationship being between two women - most of the time, the main problem about the relationship is that it's between a trainee spy and a criminal mastermind, regardless of gender - which is something that doesn't happen often enough.
jain: (niou and yagyuu)
[personal profile] jain
Third Man Out -- dir. Ron Oliver

A made-for-TV movie based on the mystery novel of the same name by Richard Stevenson. Donald Strachey is a gay private investigator who's approached by an infamous figure in the Albany gay community: a man who outs closeted gay men in a newsletter and who believes his life is in danger as a result. Strachey is initially unsympathetic, but gets pulled into the case anyway. The film strikes a good balance between classic mystery and hardboiled detective story. There's some nice humor, too; I really loved the bits about the house that Strachey and his partner are attempting--sometimes with great difficulty--to renovate.

Shock to the System -- dir. Ron Oliver

Sequel to Third Man Out. Strachey gets involved in another case affecting the Albany gay community. An ex-gay conversion therapy clinic is linked to a suspicious death that the police have ruled a suicide, but that Strachey is convinced is murder. Nicely nuanced depictions of the staff and patients at the clinic; most of the people we get to meet are more misguided than they are over-the-top evil, self-loathing, etc.
jain: Two Asian women kissing, eyes closed. Text: "jain" (girls kissing)
[personal profile] jain
What is this community?

It's a place for people to post recommendations of books, movies, television series, graphic novels, etc. featuring queer and/or genderqueer protagonists with happy endings. Despite the word "gay" in the community name, those protagonists by no means have to be restricted to gay men; I just liked the pun. Anything with gay, lesbian, bisexual, asexual, transgender, or intersex protagonists works.

Who exactly is a protagonist?

Ideally, it'll be the main character(s). Most people aren't going to be interested in reading 350 pages or watching a twelve hour miniseries just because there's one scene where the main character gets her hair cut, and the male hairdresser's boyfriend brings him a bagged lunch. They might be totally happy and sweet together, but that's still only a few minutes out of a long narrative.

On the other hand, if there are secondary queer characters whose story constitutes a significant subplot, that's okay. Use your best judgment.

What constitutes a "happy ending"?

This is obviously a matter of interpretation, as well as one that looks a little different based on the medium. Stories about dying of AIDS, being killed by gaybashers, turning straight, being dumped because one's partner discovers the protagonist's gender assignment at birth, or being dumped because one's partner turns straight are obviously ineligible. Stories where the protagonists are unwillingly outed, break up for non-straight conversion related and non-transphobic reasons, or have to stay in the closet for the whole story might not be eligible. Few narratives are going to have Disney perfect endings, but don't recommend anything where the angst outweighs the happy, fuzzy vibes.

Tackling the subject of the medium: if a book or a movie has a happy ending for its queer protagonists, it's eligible even if a sequel later breaks them up, kills off one of them, etc. A miniseries, manga series, or similar multipart narrative needs to have a happy final episode or volume. Television series and long-running graphic novels (e.g. The X-Men)...are a little more complicated. For now, let's say that a series with closed canon needs to have a happy final episode or volume. If a series is still running, you ought to note that in your recommendation, and should one of the queer protagonists die or turn evil or turn straight or whatever, please edit your entry with a non-spoilery note saying that the series becomes more problematic in its depiction of queerness later.

Is it okay to recommend fanfiction?

Given that fanfiction is one of the few media where finding stories with happy endings for queer protagonists is immeasurably easier than finding stories with unhappy endings for queer protagonists: no, sorry.

Do happy endings require romance?

Not necessarily. Say you have a book about a lesbian spy that's focused on a particular assignment she's been given. Her lesbianism is an important part of her characterization--maybe it affects her relationship with her primarily male targets, or maybe she has a couple of one-night stands over the course of the story--and there's little to no angst about the fact that she doesn't have a longterm partner. In that context, a happy ending would be the spy completing her mission safely.

Just be careful that the protagonist's queerness really is integral to the story and that the angst about being single and/or queer is kept to a minimum.


Behind a cut-tag, please, with warnings above the cut. If you're going to discuss spoilers in the comments to someone else's post, give fair warning there, too.


If you could tag your own posts, that would be awesome. Recommendations should be tagged by author, artist, director, or editor (a:[name], i:[name], d:[name], and ed:[name], respectively; names should be written family name first, given name second); genre (g:[genre]; e.g. mystery, sf/fantasy, etc.); medium (m:[medium]; e.g. film, play, book, manga, etc.); and variety of queerness(es) represented in the work (q:[type of queerness]; e.g. gay, lesbian, transgender, etc.).


Gay Also Means Happy

January 2012

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