Monday, September 18, 2017

The Gate: The Music Video

The wait wasn't too long! The music video for "The Gate" is here, and it's truly breathtaking.



Rightfully so, this video is already getting a lot of praise. It's very sci-fi and video game à la Final Fantasy, but is something special in and of itself, telling a story of a woman's emotional journey to healing. I don't see it as only Björk extending love from herself to her lover through the exchanging of light/prisms, but this song for me is definitely a declaration of self-love, and of hope. I already loved this song from first listen and from reading the lyrics, but it's even better in video form.

Not long now until November....

Friday, September 15, 2017

Utopia




On NOWNESS with Jefferson Hack for a Facebook live chat, in an interview with her collaborator/director Andrew Huang in promoting the film for "The Gate" that will be open to the public FOR FREE in London, Björk was asked what her new album will be called. She was shy and hesitant to say, but she couldn't contain herself: she announced that her new album will be....

UTOPIA

The album cover isn't in print yet, so until it is, she could change her mind, but she seems to have her heart set on this title among the thousands of titles that she considered for this album. As she said, she can't think of a name more perfect, especially for these days when utopia is all we can hope for.


 
  
                                          

LGBT Film Review: Zenne Dancer (2012)




Synopsis (from Netflix):

In this fact-based tale, gay Ahmet is inspired by a male belly dancer and a naive lover to come out to his conservative family, with tragic consequences.

My Review:

This is one of those movies that will make you pause many times for its brilliance. There's the stunning drag performances and so many hilarious scenes in the beginning that invites you at first sight, and then we have the heart of the movie on what Zenne Dancer is really about: how the Turkish military blatantly degrades gay men. All Turkish men are required to serve in the military. Gay men can be exempt if they prove their homosexuality. In the film, that is depicted by how at the army recruiting center, they demand its main characters to show them photos of them having sex with men, all the while they throw homophobic slurs at them. They can even demand video evidence. I can only imagine how groundbreaking Zenne Dancer was at its frank, honest, and devastating portrayal of what's real life for these people. What's also real in this movie is how one man's life was taken by his own father for being openly gay. It was a death that brought widespread attention in Turkey, putting a spotlight on not only just a hate crime, but on Turkey's patriarchal society and how every LGBT person of Turkey is effected by it. This is the movie that gives attention to their story, their lives, and their struggles. It's as beautiful and triumphant as it is truly heartbreaking. Watch Zenne Dancer when you can: LGBT people of Turkey deserve it.

* Currently on Netflix *

 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

The Gate

A new Björk era has begun.



"The Gate" is the first single off her still-untitled new album, and it's BEAUTIFUL.




At immediate listen, I could hear two of her songs that jumped right out at me:

"Batabid"


"Prayer of the Heart"



I love the "Batabid" and "Prayer of the Heart" vibes. It's nostalgic and yet it's new all its own.

It hasn't yet been announced when the album will be released, but Télérama, somehow, is the first and only source I've seen so far that has it:



C'mon, November!

With how Vulnicura was leaked last year which led Björk to have no choice but to fast-release it, the cryptic-ness of this album makes total sense. No album cover, no album title, no official release date, just one single, and it's "The Gate." It may be "slow," it may even be "boring" to some, but Björk is still healing, and she's still finding nirvana, the one within herself, and the one that's in our world. 

It's the Utopia Now.

Monday, September 11, 2017

LGBT Film Review: Oriented (2015)




Synopsis (from Netflix):

The lives, challenges, and conflicted feelings of three gay Palestinian men are documented in this film shot in 2014 in a divided Tel Aviv, Israel.

My Review:

Going into this, I thought this documentary would focus on what it's like being a gay Palestinian through the candid point-of-view of Khader Abu-Seif, Fadi Daeem, and Naeem Jiryes. Oriented is some about that, but is actually more focused on what it's like for them to be gay Palestinian men dating Israeli Jewish men, and how dating and being in love with them goes against their politic beliefs that they hold as not only opinions or ideologies, but an identity in and of itself, where it's as, if not more, important to them as identifying as gay. It was all sorts of remarkable knowing each of these men and their most heartfelt thoughts about the times they're living in and the conflicts they have beyond the sexual, but politically and geographically, while also focusing on nationality, religion, and migration. It's A LOT in one documentary, and somehow, it's not at all overwhelming. It's eye-opening and soul-searching, so honest and real. Whether it's also about coming out to family, about fitting in with the LGBT club scene in Tel Aviv, or just learning to let go, Oriented is a marvelous documentary that educates as it naturally showcases the beauty of what all these four men do best: mastering the art of being oneself.

* Currently on Netflix *

Friday, September 8, 2017

LGBT Film Review: Game Face (2015)



Synopsis (from Netflix):

This documentary follows the struggle of transgender MMA fighter Fallon Fox and gay basketball player Terrence Clemens for acceptance by their sports.

My Review:

This was everything I wanted it to be and more. It's not often that we see LGBT people of color portrayed in such an honest light that doesn't solely focus on their sexuality, but also on what makes them courageous, powerful, and inspiring outside of that too. The main focus of this documentary is on the lovely Fallon Fox who had to undergo so much scrutiny, transphobia, and turmoil from not only when she was rumored to be trans, and when ultimately she was out, and publicly went through the brutal criticism from her fellow peers, but even in her home life. And then we have Terrence Clemens, who's also transgender, and the two bond in sharing their similar experiences in how they're treated as out trans people in the MMA and basketball world. And then we also have Kye Allums, who I've followed for some time over the years in his transitioning and how he's treated in the basketball world as an out trans man who so often gets misgendered and has to constantly explain his identity. Jason Collins gets a spotlight as the "first active male athlete from one of the four major North American professional team sports to publicly do so." They all have so much in common: as a trans woman in MMA, Fallon's fellow teammates feel that she has "an advantage" over them and where some even feel that there should be a separate trans team all together, and then for athletes like Terrence and Kye, their peers feel that their bodies are "too delicate" to be able to possibly compete. Not that anything in this documentary is shocking or surprising since most sports teams are notoriously misogynistic, homophobic, and transphobic, but to see these experiences in the eyes and through the voice and point of view of actual trans and gay athletes is just so important. This documentary in general is so important. It reminds us that even though LGBT acceptance in sports has improved since 2015, we still have long ways to go, and where until the time comes where being LGBT in sports doesn't have to be a big deal, for now, it is a big deal, and their coming out stories still matter.

* Currently on Netflix *