QN Magazine’s film enthusiast Peter Gray has trolled the libraries of Netflix, Stan and SBS On Demand to track down a slew of gems you may not have known existed, are worth a re-visit, or are those you’ve been questioning whether or not to hit play button for.
Other People (Netflix)
Openly gay comedic writer Chris Kelly (a head writer on Saturday Night Live) pens this semi-autobiographical comedy/drama detailing a gay man’s return to his hometown to take care of his dying mother. Moments of heartbreak and anger intertwined with joyous segments of levity (the lead character’s younger brother is a flamboyant pre-tween who puts on a drag show for his bemused family in one of the film’s stand-out sequences) lends the story an emotional realism that is sure to resonate with many a community member.
King Cobra (Netflix)
Not so much a great movie as one that’s rich on guilty pleasure due to its content, ‘King Cobra’ at least looks the part. Centred around a bizarre murder case involving a gay porn director, as well as lightly detailing the early career of performer Brent Corrigan, there’s a dark comedic wit and a sense of uncomfortable sleaze to the film that makes it both difficult to watch and impossible to turn away from.
4th Man Out (Netflix)
A sweet bromantic comedy that proves quite relatable in its depiction of straight male friendships and what the revelation of one man’s admission of being gay can do to the dynamic, ‘4th Man Out’ thankfully never panders to stereotypical archetypes. As the quartet of straight, blue-collar working types have their foundation rocked when one of the four admits he’s gay, the film quite tenderly details how straight men can deal with a situation so foreign to their psyche.
The Birdcage (Stan)
Robin Williams in one of his grandest roles; Nathan Lane proving an absolute knockout; Hank Azaria appearing alarmingly buff; and Christine Baranski reminding us once again as to why we’ve claimed her as one of our patron saints, ‘The Birdcage’ is the type of outlandish yet warm comedy that earns broad appeal across all audience taste. If it’s one you haven’t seen, do yourself a favour and watch it now! And if you’ve already seen it, what’s the harm in another viewing?
Cut Snake (SBS On Demand)
Directed by queer Chinese-Australian filmmaker Tony Ayres, ‘Cut Snake’, on the surface, appears to be a standard crime thriller about an ex-con trying to avoid being pressured back into a life of crime by a former cell mate. A slow-burning film that surprisingly delivers on heart, the 1970’s set Australian production sets itself apart from its genre contemporaries by introducing a romance between the two former cell mates, one that is grounded in a brutal passion that laces the film with a conflict that only enhances its quality.
Blue is the Warmest Colour (Stan)
At almost 3 hours in length, with much of the film improvised, this French romance about two young women and the unbridled passion that ignites between them isn’t the most relaxed of viewings. There’s an uncomfortable realism to its depictions of sexuality but it’s difficult to not find the respect for the film given it refuses to shy away from the rawness of an imperfect relationship.
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