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3 min

Vancouver Queer Film Festival – Bangkok Love Story


After a hit-and-miss weekend, I was happy to head down to the Vancity
Theatre tonight and continue the film-high that came with the kick-off
to Vancouver Queer Film Festival's 20th anniversary.

I tagged Bangkok Love Story
as one of my must-sees in my Xtra! West column last week and I know it
is supposed to be a tradgedy, but I would tell anyone considering a
trip to see the second screening on Wednesday to walk in with "romantic
comedy" on their mind. Sure there was the HIV story line (which was
hard hitting), prostitution, multiple unrequited loves and more
tradgedy during the movie's running time than you could shake a limp
dick at, but seriously folks, who could forget the romantic peek-a-boo
scene, genitals being creatively blocked out by fresh visual metaphors
like poles, sexy bathing, the butterfly chimes/tattoos (as my good
friend Amanda coined: Mariah Carey co-producing…anyone?
anyone?)…the list could go on.

Should I say it?

No. I shouldn't.

But I am going to say it anyway:

The plot had more holes than swiss chesse (heeeeyooo!)

On another note: written and directed by Poj Arnon,
the film deconstructs Thai gay stereotypes by dipicting two masculine
gay men falling in love overtop a standard action/thriller plot line.
The cinematography alone is worth your dollars. Here are some stills:

What do I mean by "masculine" and Thai stereotypes? Well, I'm glad you asked…

ex and I spent nearly four months in South East Asia this past
fall/winter, mostly in Bangkok and also in Chiang Mai in northern
Thailand. Wherever we went, the Thais would inevitably ask us: "So
which one is the woman?" I would joke and say it was my ex and the Thai
girls would laugh (word to the wise: few things can make a temper flare
in 40C weather faster than an attack on your manhood) and then we'd all
go and buy a few more litres of Beer Chang from the grocery store and
drink them on the street and bygones were bygones and onward went the
trip. Curious what I'm talking about? Take a look:

(Those two photos are probably enough to make you happy you weren't travelling with me, eh?)

What's the point of this long personal anecdote?

As you may have guessed, there isn't one.

wait. There is. Thai mainstream culture accepts homosexuality, but
stereotypically, it's one a level of man + lady-boy. This film breaks
that converntion, though does it in Thai style: melodramically, with an
ear-drum-popping accompaniment of sugary Thai ballads. And of course,
the smoldering Chaiwat Thongsaeng spends most of the movie in his
underwear, so even if you can't take the paint-by-numbers dialogue,
stop reading the subtitles and focus on this:

If you've been to Bangkok, Bangkok Love Story will
bring back memories (it reminded me of Thong Lor and Sukhumvit
districts and throughout the movie, I swear I could hear the BTS
Skytrain attendant announcing: Nana)

There is a second screening this Wednesday. Take the time to go see it.

In other news: the websmaster at Right Up Your Alley: Kamloops
and I have called a truce. He apologizes and I'm offering him the
same…and hell, I've even added him to the blogroll. In light of all
that drama, there may be some changes coming to our format here. I'll
keep you posted.

Honey Dijon also graced Vancouver with a
stellar perfomace on Saturday night at the Majestic. I managed to chat
with her mid-set (she's as gorgeous as she is talented). Thanks to
Tommy D and Richard for the good times. Here she is:
Lastly, MLA-hopeful Spencer Herbert was on the corner of Davie and Bute today talking up his campaign. Check out his website: Check out his platform. This guy is the real deal.

Get out and see some films, y'all!