Periodical Political Post *73

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Good Manners

milkboys Films, Films & Cinema 4 Comments

There is the family you are born into, and the family you make; lovers who stay with you a long time, and ones whose time with you is brief, but make a lasting impact. What then is the nature of love and devotion? Can we love both the person and the monster inside? In  Good Manners, a magic-realist fairy tale, love and devotion, class division, and the monster inside us all are deftly explored.

Clara  is a lonely nurse living in poor conditions who takes a job as a nanny and housekeeper to the equally lonely Ana , a wealthy white woman soon expecting her first child. Clara moves in, and the two women quickly form a strange but powerful bond that moves beyond friendship. As Clara learns the truth behind Ana’s unexpected pregnancy, she finds she must take on a far greater burden than she had originally intended, with devastating consequences.

The film begins as almost an erotic love story and particular view of class struggle: Clara, a black woman, is looked down on by her counterparts, even though she is a native Brazilian; her taciturn nature and verbal economy make her a mystery, perhaps even to herself; in contrast, Ana is little but verbose, constantly moving whether in exercise and dance, to the point of sleepwalking. Ana’s home, and her view of the city, is given as a kind of fairy tale, one that should be filled with the handsome prince and the princess (Ana in the tower); but this princess has been deserted by her family and left to her fate, and it is Clara instead who must come to her rescue.

After a fast labour and childbirth that ends in Ana’s dramatic and bloody death, and birth to a child that is more than just a baby, Clara must again come to the rescue. She takes the infant, whom she names Joel away, from the fairy-tale city of pink skyscrapers and cold, emotionless surroundings, to the poor streets of her home. Clara might be poor, but her home and heart are filled with love that she focuses on Joel, and the importance of raising a good son. A few people bat their eyes at the black mother and her white son; but despite their working class conditions, Joel grows up healthy and happy. Well, somewhat healthy; his strange persona requires Clara’s constant protection, and attempts to stop his more dangerous, innate nature that she hopes he will never become aware of.

Read on…

Two Gay Boys, a Cake & many “concerned” Social Media Users

milkboys News & Opinions 13 Comments

A video of a 12-year-old birthday boy kissing his 14-year-old boyfriend during his birthday celebration has gone viral throughout Brazilian social media with discussions alternately celebrating the young person’s love and happiness and criticising him for being too young to have a boyfriend or identify as gay.

The video (which was reportedly posted on social by the 12-year-old boy himself) shows the younger boy being hugged from behind by his taller boyfriend as his friends sing the “Happy Birthday” song to him. The boys briefly poke at the yellow icing of the cake, upon which is a picture of drag queen Pabllo Vittar, a popular Brazilian singer and drag performer. The entire party, in fact, seems to have a Pabllo Vittar theme with images of the entertainer decorating the walls.

After they finish singing the birthday song, the boy’s friends follow with a naughty parody of a popular birthday song called “Parabéns da Xuxa” (“Congrats to Xuxa”). They sing “é big, é big…” followed by “é rola, é rola…” and then “rá ti bum!” However, they change the words slightly so that they’re saying, “It’s cock, it’s cock…” and then “it’s dick, it’s dick…” and then “in your ass!”

This might seem weird or alarming to non-Brazilian viewers, but it’s basically a bunch of kids making an adult joke. They’re not singing about penises and anal sex because the kids are gay necessarily, they’re singing a birthday song that’s sung at countless birthdays across the country, and they’re repeating a dirty gay sex version of the lyrics adults often use as a joke. In the video, the young gay boys even happily join in the singing, showing that it’s just playful, naughty fun.

The social media users are somewhat shocked to see someone so young expressing his same-sex attraction so openly, and for those who are not used to seeing it, it’s understandable. But it’s also kind of wonderful to see a young gay person dating another boy, celebrating in a room full of loving friends because it’s not something we get to see very often in media or real life.

 

Call me by your Name

milkboys Films & Cinema 4 Comments

Call me by your Name is a sensual tale of first love, based on the novel by André Aciman. It’s the summer of 1983 in Italy, and Elio, a precocious 17-year-old American-Italian boy, spends his days in his family’s 17th century villa transcribing and playing classical music, reading, and flirting with his friend Marzia. Elio enjoys a close relationship with his father, an eminent professor specialising in Greco-Roman culture, and his mother Annella, a translator, who favour him with the fruits of high culture in a setting that overflows with natural delights.

While Elio’s sophistication and intellectual gifts suggest he is already a fully-fledged adult, there is much that yet remains innocent and unformed about him, particularly about matters of the heart. One day, Oliver, a charming American scholar working on his doctorate, arrives as the annual summer intern tasked with helping Elio’s father. Amid the sun-drenched splendour of the setting, Elio and Oliver discover the heady beauty of awakening desire over the course of a summer that will alter their lives forever.

Guadagnino’s telling of the development of this romance, which changes both parties, is like the feeling of getting gently drunk. It’s smooth but a little dizzying. He fills every scene with life. Trees are heavy with fruit; people are always eating; the chirping of crickets a constant soundtrack. He thrusts life at you and wills his characters to live theirs. Long summer days drift away in a gentle routine of swimming, cycling and nothing, but each day that passes with feelings unvoiced is a day lost — they will never have it back.

The screenplay, written by James Ivory, is elegant and full of small surprises. The level of attention given to even the smallest of characters means so many of them have an impact even with minimal screen time — Elio’s brief girlfriend breaks your heart with a handful of lines. What few vocal emotional outpourings are present are earned — a paternal monologue by Stuhlbarg in the final minutes is as verbose as the film gets and, good lord, it makes it count (bring tissues). But much is conveyed in the many silences which are entrusted to an excellent cast.

Chalamet is the centre and he gives the kind of performance that immediately sends you to Google to find out where the hell this kid came from (he may be familiar from Interstellar or Homeland). All Elio’s teenage emotions are raw on Chalamet’s skin. He plays him as a person still forming, not scared by his feelings but surprised. In a film in which every performance is terrific, Chalamet makes the rest look like they’re acting. He alone would make the film worth watching, but he’s just one of countless reasons.

 

Periodical Political Post *44

milkboys News 5 Comments

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Periodical Political Post *25

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The Boy who Twerked

milkboys Clips & Spots 37 Comments

A video of a 12-year-old, twerking and having a great time at a Pride is going viral. The short clip filmed at São Paulo Pride in Brazil last week was uploaded just days ago, but in that short time it has attracted a huge amount of negative backlash.

The boy is seen dancing in denim shorts to RuPaul’s Sissy That Walk, while being applauded by drag queens and revellers. Posted by Ovenworthy, they wrote: ‘This kid is such an inspiration! Progressives need to work together to create a whole generation of kids like this.’

But others were not so positive. While you should never go into YouTube comments looking for logic and reason, most of the comments were especially vitriolic. The comments may have been especially bad as the video was also posted onto a white supremacy website.

‘This is exactly what I expect from a gay pride parade,’ one said. ‘If you pay attention you will notice that the homosexual agenda very clearly focuses on converting children to homosexuality.’ Others claimed ‘his “parents need to be shot in the street” while others were calling to ‘kill the faggots’. ‘This is nothing new. This is what the Jew/white liberal celebrates,’ a commenter on that forum said. ‘This is why they have been pushing the faggots for so long.’

Hundreds of thousands gather every year in Sao Paulo for Pride, one of the largest LGBTI festivals in the world.

via GSN

Of course videos like these will always draw criticism, even from gay folks who argue that kids at that age have no idea what they’re doing and are being instrumentalized by the queer movement but personally I have to say that I knew very well what I wanted and who I was with 12 and I think it would be somewhat arrogant to just assume this lad isn’t doing exactly what he wants to do.