Indian Gay DVDs

Saturday, March 28, 2009

YE inspires 5th Tasveer ISAFF's queer focus !

Excerpt from Shahana Dattagupta's article Personal is Political : South Asian Lens on Vibrant Love

When asked about this year’s theme and its relevance, one of the festival’s directors Farah Nousheen said, “The theme actually started out with a queer film focus, a very important genre in independent South Asian film. Last year, we had screened the experimental queer feature film Yours Emotionally by Sridhar Rangayan from India. There were several people who were confused by it or didn't like it. For me, this was a sign that our audience is not familiar enough with this genre or subject matter to understand and discuss this complex film … Our solution was to make the queer film genre the ISAFF theme....

... Most of the films being presented in ISAFF this year revolve around the politics of struggling love: Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender-Queer (LGBTQ) issues, cross-cultural love, arranged marriage and work being done in the HIV positive / AIDS arena. Titles of the films selected include A Jihad for Love, Before the Rains, Every Good Marriage Begins with Tears, Donkey in Lahore, The World Unseen, 68 Pages, Kissing Cousins, Kagbeni, and Milind Soman Made Me Gay. But ISAFF is not simply about screening films. It is about creating a safe, yet courageous space for all types of people to come together to talk about the emergent South Asian lens on love, sex, racism, queerness, marriage … what incredibly rich and complex feelings shall be revealed through this process … ?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Viewers reactions

Postings on Another Subcontinent
I had the occassion to see Yours Emotionally, a gay-themed movie directed by Sridhar Rangayan at MIT this past Friday.

As I understood it from the Q&A with the director after the movie, such movies are rare in India. This one explored the 'gay-scene' in small town India [in Gujarat and in Karnataka (Shimoga)].The director has worked actively on LGBT issues and felt that he should make a movie to express the dilemmas faced by people with differing sexualities -- and so undertook this project. So far he has screened it in a very limited fashion in India before he came away to screen it in NY, SF and most recently in Boston. He is returning to India to further his efforts in promoting it.

Not really knowing what to expect, even whether the movie would be a ham-handed effort in tackling an obviously complex theme, I was pleasantly surprised by the narrative...and even by the acting. The people behind the movie have managed to use a fairly plausible and even engaging storyline to get their point across...

This post has been edited by ananda: Jul 3 2006, 06:46 PM


 saw the movie recently in SF, where it was part of Frameline, the long-running gay and lesbian film festival that coincides with Pride. I didn't know what to expect either, particularly as the title struck me as being rather sappy. I found parts of the movie confusing, and couldn't quite follow the narrative comfortably because of the strange visual effects, abrupt switches from color to b/w and back, and jumpy editing. But I liked the movie nonetheless. 

In the Q&A that followed the screening, Sridhar Rangayan was asked about the visual effects. He explained that he wanted the movie to take place in the protagonist's mindspace, and had chosen the visual effects appropriately. That made sense when he said it, but I'm not sure it worked cinematically. However, I'm not a very sophisticated viewer of cinema. No doubt someone who sees non-mainstream movies more regularly would have a different reaction. 

I also had the opportunity to spend about an hour in a tete-a-tete with Sridhar (about a week before I saw the movie), and ran into him a couple of times after. He's a really nice, warm, and funny guy, and he's been doing some great work with the Hamsafar Trust. So I'm glad I liked the movie--I'd've felt bad if the movie had turned out to be a dud.

Not so sure about the acting; the gora in particular struck me as being somewhat unnatural. The older couple were terrific.

I bought a copy of Sridhar's earlier movie, Gulabi Aaina, off him. Haven't watched it yet, though. Apparently the movie has run into trouble with the censors in India. Sridhar was talking about it. He says he intends to fight a legal battle to fight the refusal of a censor certificate. The censor board says that the movie doesn't treat its theme of crossdressing "seriously." Sridhar says that what this means is that the crossdressers are shown enjoying themselves, which is unacceptable, apparently. 

Posted by  verbose on July 8, 2006 at 5.52 am