Oct. 27, 2021

S3E9 (Owen, Every Gay Movie)

S3E9 (Owen, Every Gay Movie)

Gil and Eric were thrilled to have Owen Atkinson stop by The Q Lounge to chat with us. Owen is a film critic and reviews queer cinema.  To learn more follow the links below:

EveryGayMovie.com
FaceBook
Instagram
email at everygaymovie@gmail.com

Fenella Beach
Facebook
Instagram

Transcript
Eric:

Hello and welcome to the Q lounge, I'm Eric

Gil:

and I'm Gil.

Eric:

join us as we discuss news stories and life situations, as they relate to the LGBTQIA plus experience, please visit us at theQloungepodcast.com and hit that subscribe button or listen wherever you get your podcasts. If you would like to follow us on social media, you can hit us up on Facebook @theQloungepodcast or on Instagram or Twitter @theQlounge. Hello, welcome to the Q lounge. I'm Eric and

Gil:

I'm Gil.

Eric:

And today we are honored to have our first international guest.Owen Atkinson film critic, and owner. I don't know if it's owner, but you run the, everygaymovie.com movie review blog.

Owen:

Yes, that's me. I didn't realize that was the first international guest. That's very exciting. Yeah. Yeah, so that's my personal project. I've found all of the above. Sole writer, editor, creator, developer, et cetera.

Eric:

You put a lot of thought into your reviews. I will say, like

Gil:

I heard very detailed. I love it.

Owen:

Yes. Thank you. I appreciate that. I'm glad people yeah. I appreciate them again. I mostly write for me, but it's also good to hear the other people like them as well. Yeah.

Eric:

I came across your blog because I think you posted on a Facebook group that we're both in, on Your Name Engraved here in and your take on it was like everything I was thinking. Cause I was like all in, on the watching the movie. Cause I had, everyone was like, oh, what's the number one movie in Taiwan. And I was re watching it and I'm like, I like this part of it. And that had so much potential up to here and then it just fell apart for me. And everything you said, I was like, yep. That's exactly how I felt about that movie.

Owen:

Yeah. Thank you. I really appreciate that. I had some struggles with that review because some people were telling me that my take was like potentially culturally insensitive in terms of like how I perceived because basically slight spoiler for the film for anyone listening the supposed central relationship doesn't really. As a fully, like they never even properly kiss is what I base is my main issue. And like they never really fully flesh out a relationship to surround the so much suppose a tragedy. And yeah, I've had comments from a few people saying that that's a Western idea of what constitutes romance. And I do understand that and I listened to that, but ultimately like I could only really review from my own perspective and from how I've taken the film. Yeah I've tried to be I've yeah. I've replied to people and said, that's totally valid. That's your perception. This is my. That's okay. That's how I appreciate that. That I have agreement as well. Yeah.

Eric:

Although I am coming from also from a Western perspective, so

Owen:

that is true.

Eric:

I do have the Latin perspective, but also I'm still very Western. So really quickly before we go, like really dive into the film stuff. How is life right now for you? How was life in a COVID kind of world in the UK? And,

Owen:

It's interesting. So I'm actually on the Isle of Man. So it's an island. It's not technically the UK it's Britain. So it's like next to the UK in between England and Ireland. And yeah, we've had a really lucky go of it because we're surrounded by so much water, quite a limited population. So we haven't had as many and as. I have a lockdown as a lot of the kind of Europe and the rest of the world, really. We still had some and they're not fun, but yeah, we so I wasn't in locked down for as long as some of the people. So I, yeah, I didn't deal well with not getting to speak to people in person, but I'm through, I'm done with that now. Thankfully, so that's good. Awesome.

Eric:

I'm envious and I'm naturally an introvert and I don't like people, but at the same time, I'm like I'm envious.

Owen:

Yeah. We had probably total, like our very first locked down with only two months, but then we've had probably three or four months more of lockdown in different other chunks here and there. But yeah, but really not that much in total. One of the lowest it's so funny. There's been moments where we've had literally zero cases for months and there's been moments where. Some of the highest levels in any country ever anywhere it's quite the roller coaster, I got Covid at one point but yeah, after I'd been vaccinated so easily so I didn't have too many bad symptoms. Okay. Yeah. I'm glad that

Eric:

your symptoms weren't bad, but I'm sorry to hear that you got COVID. Cause it seems like there are quite a few breakthrough cases I've actually know of a lot of breakthrough cases. Yeah.

Gil:

So yeah, definitely the vaccine is doing its job where it's the goal is for you not to die. That's the reason for it. Yeah.

Owen:

And that's true. Yeah, absolutely.

Eric:

So just a quick, some quick background, how did you realize you were part of the LGBTQ plus community and how did you

Owen:

realize? It's probably many cliches of the whole, always known kind of thing. Yeah. As a teenager really came out small community over here, so it a little bit tricky, but. I went off to university in England and that really helped I have helped me to find my people and learn about myself. I embrace myself and now I'm taking that attitude back back to the island. So it's weird to be here at a very different person in a place where I felt quite repressed, I didn't know, or under wraps, but yeah, so it was, my I'm not I'm I want to be all like, woe is me. Like my childhood was quite nice, but like the whole gay thing was like quite scary. Yeah, so it took me a little minute to, to get to grips with it. And to accept it as I'm sure as it was a story that you'd hear from lots of people, but

Eric:

We've actually, it's actually weird. Cause we ask this question often in our interviews and most of our guests have I feel like I have the only unicorn story about like how wonderful it is and everyone opened the door for us. And I was like, oh wow. Okay. After the first or first two or three, I was like, okay, cool. And then after five and six, I was like, wow. Things are like really up now, like

Gil:

1517 where

Eric:

it was a good to hear. Cause just even like in media and then through cinema, which we'll get into shortly you always see the tragic stories. Yeah. So like we think oh, everything is tragic and everything's going to be horrible. And I know a lot of that actually does exist, but it's good to see that's not necessarily the norm now.

Owen:

Yeah, totally. And like I see it now. I saw. And so like I perform, that's actually where I'm going after this. So I've got to get ready for a show. Fenella beach. So it's the love, it's the name of a beach on the Isle of Man. So like in, yeah, just not too far from where I live yeah yeah. It's really, I feel like I'm slightly more and more of my life is involves with like gay and various different different ways. You've got the blog, we've got the drag and, it's just every single part of my life. Yeah, I, yeah.

Eric:

You had mentioned that you had some struggles that you, what kind of personal struggles did you have or did you, how was your family with you coming out and all that.

Owen:

My family was wonderful to be fair. But that's not always enough to get yourself to the right place. So like school, life was quite tricky. And I remember now why I brought up the fact that I do drag is because yeah, I remember being at school and so I I have a weekly show that I run every Thursday and the queen over here approached me. And she's 13 years old, one, three, I'm like doing drag and she did pride this year, I haven't had our first pride this year and she was on the stage and she approached me and was like, Hey, can I do your show? And she was amazing. And I was like this. Yeah, I wasn't remembering back to when I was 13. And I'm like, I there's absolutely no way I could imagine a me or be literally anyone at all my age, get anything remotely close to that. Wow. Yeah. So I feel like a lot has changed over here since I grew up, but yeah, I really, it really wasn't a great being. So I was I'm in my twenties now and I was only born a few years after it was 1992 was the year that homosexuality became legal on the Isle of Man. It was illegal up until 1992. Yeah. A lot of that still lingers, but it let's feel like it's changing. But yeah, it was still quite a difficult place to be gay when I was growing up. For sure. So there was struggles came from that.

Eric:

Yeah, definitely. That sounds like. Have you had to struggle with any type of internalized homophobia yourself?

Owen:

For sure. Yes, definitely. It's just cause this links to some of the reasons why I started doing the blog, but it's like I started film reviewing is I didn't see options for me around, in any sense in my, not on my island and not in my like own worlds, like tangibly physically around me, but also on screen. So I think internalized homophobia that I have came from that. And with that, it's all, I'm currently, I'm like on my own like gender journey as well. I've just figured out that I like the label of non binary worked for me pronouns and name of say the same, but like I just, I feel like that. Yeah. So I had a lot of internalized transphobia as well and figuring out what the non binary, whether it's, under the trans umbrella. So I'm like, do I use that label? I don't know. I'm figuring these things out. So yeah, that's definitely a lot of but you'd have to grapple with all that stuff. That's this deep inside, right?

Eric:

Yeah. And sometimes you still, I still grapple with it and struggle with it every day. So it takes time. Yeah. I actually came out later in life, so I'm still like, realizing like, wow, I didn't realize I had that issue. And I didn't realize I had that issue. And then oh wow. Okay. And we actually just had we did a panel show, not that long ago. And one of the guests was talking about how a lot of times when you come out, because you were so stifled as a child, or even as a young adult that like, when you come out, you just go full force. And go to the other extreme and people are like, why does that person have to be so gay? And why does that person have to act this way? Because they're finally actually being able to be themselves. And I, myself, I'm like, oh my gosh, I feel like you're talking right to me because I've seen myself even in recent years where I'm like pushing that envelope further and further. Cause I'm like, oh yeah, I've never dealt with that issue and that issue. So now let's just go off.

Owen:

Yeah. Yeah. I totally, I'm totally related to that. I think. Yeah, I th I think it's tricky with that argument because then it's I get what you're saying, but also people go to the other extreme, boys who were told they can't be feminine. Once they're out will become my, it might be extremely my might, like people would say really camp or whatever. But then I think it also. Sometimes when people use that argument. That's not what I'm saying here, but people use that argument. It's I think that's fake as well. That's sometimes the reality for people as well. Like I'm like, I'm pretty like femme in my presentation and it's not because I wasn't allowed to be. It's just because that's who I am. Sometimes that's the journey as well. Do you know what I mean? Yeah,

Eric:

absolutely. I think you have to find, it just takes a while to find your place and your niche and where you're

Gil:

comfortable. All those songs are wearing that mask. That everyone wants to see it. And suddenly it's like unveil, like what is really there. Yeah.

Eric:

So what do you think of, what do you think of the importance of pronouns? Because you alluded to pronouns or you mentioned pronouns.

Owen:

Yeah, so for me I have no preference really at all. But I know that it's important to others. I always have to try. I always try and make that clear when I'm saying, because people ask me my pronouns and I say, I don't mind any pronouns you wanna use, but also if other people have pronouns you want to respect then you should respect them. Yeah, it's definitely, I, so people say that it's difficult, but it really isn't. And if it's difficult for you, then maybe you should try and figure out why

Eric:

yeah. Yeah, no, I absolutely agree. So how do you think Your life and your experiences have I got how am I trying to say this influenced how you look at movies and cinema. And

Owen:

I think I've just, I've always gravitated towards queer representation because I feel like I've been so starved of it growing up and even as it, no, yeah. When I was a kid, especially you getting to the point now over here, to a certain extent while you see like queer representation in like kids stuff. And that was like beyond my even idea of something that, that I wanted to aspire to. Do you know what I mean? That was my idea of comprehension when I was a kid. Like a gay character, not just on an, in a film or a TV show, but maybe even in the kitchen, if a kid's TV show or whatever. Yeah, I've always gravitates towards towards queer representation because it's something we will want to see ourselves represented. And we will want to see ourselves and our community as well. Most of the, most of my friends probably to be honest are queer, so it's nice to see not only myself, but them on screen, and I feel like there's a tendency. You mentioned at the beginning that yeah, you sold me on so some of the posts on one of the Facebook groups, and there is a tendency in like spaces of LGBTQ movies, I have noticed for example, that whenever I post something that's got a gay male storyline gets a lot more engagement than a gay female storyline. And, but I do see that there, there are more men in the group than there are women, but I get as excited seeing lesbians at a film as I do gay men, for example, because it's my community and it's my people I still say, yeah, I will say I don't fully identify as a man, either so. That might be a part of it, but I think

Eric:

that's wonderful. I think that's awesome. We all belong into the same community. So it can't just represent the one and not the other or about the others. I think a lot of times in the, like with gay men, they pretty much just like gay men and that's all they see and that's all they think about and I'm like, oh yeah, there's the others. But they're just very tunnel vision sometimes. And I don't think that's necessarily fair. I know I can be guilty of that myself though, too. I will totally raise my hand. I am completely guilty of that sometimes

Gil:

Because for us, it's the same day. We're trying to look for our own perspective or somebody who represents us. So when I see somebody, a person of color who's gay in the movie, I'm like, oh my God, yes, let me watch that support it. Make sure, it gets the viewing versus, it's like another atypical is no offense. It's just, we've seen the gay white male coming out story. It's, for us right now, it's the big challenge of the U S it's about getting that person of color, especially Latino, or you're getting the African-American view from it because in our, either, like I said, just the cultural things here where it's a little bit, we're struggling still, 300 years. Yeah.

Eric:

And you were talking about earlier about people coming at you saying that there's a difference in cultural representation and some cultural, or looking at it through the Western lens. And I guess I do understand that now after hearing, like what Gil just said. Cause I've seen some movies where it's like Latin representation and people are like, oh why didn't this happen? And why didn't that happen? I'm like that's not really prevalent in the Latin culture or the Latin culture is very much like this. Like I grew up in the Latin culture with a lot of machismo and a lot of like toxic masculine around me. So yeah, I guess we do have different lenses, but yeah, it's just interesting. What influenced you to get into doing film reviews and,

Owen:

yeah, so I guess it's just going further on that train really and of. seeking out queer representation. And I think I it's great for me cause I get to, it used to be weekly. I'm now on every two weeks because my schedule and my life has got busier. But yeah, it means I get to view a new queer film every either week or two weeks. And it means that I'm engaging with this content and I think as well, I, in some ways it's a resource for people to be able to find out about a film. They like, but really it's, as I said, it's mostly I write for myself in terms of I, yeah, I w I just, I wanted to engage more thoroughly with the content, and really dive deeply into it. I studied languages at uni. I did a couple of units on cinema. and on film that those were my, there was always my faves. So it's part of it, it's keeping that alive as well. Which is why I tend to get quite deep and analytical into certain things because I'm bouncing off that kind of CSA background. Yeah. Yeah. So it's somewhere in between like my personal opinion and also like analyzing the cinematography and saying what does this color mean? And thinking about yeah, all the different elements to film, but I learned to analyze yeah, our uni that's something that stayed with the same movie the most, and this is a nice way to keep it alive. I think for me.

Eric:

And do you think your experiences have like really influenced the way you look at movies or the way you watch movies or do you, you can go

Owen:

up. That's interesting actually, because I've never fully considered. I suppose I have subconsciously, but yeah, I've never fully considered how my own experience. We'll change how I view a film because I just I know I notate my honest reaction and that's it really? But yeah, food for thought. Definitely. No, I'm sure. I'm sure they must be because everybody react. Everybody responds differently. You see some people I will say a certain film. I hated this other people will say I loved it. And I'm like, great. That's not for me. And also vice versa. I'll say I love this film. Someone will say I find it boring. I'll say, okay. That's, that's great. That's wonderful. But that you have your own response and your own reaction. I find that really interesting because there were some films that I've, I've got five stars from loads and loads of reviewers. I watched them. I hate that,

Eric:

yeah. Yeah. We all have different opinions and we all have you definitely.

Gil:

And I've done this so many times where we're like almost on the same page where we see it a little bit differently.

Eric:

Call Me By Your Name. Gil didn't really care for it at all. And I was like, I didn't think it was as great as everyone says it is, but I thought it was still a good movie and I still enjoyed it.

Gil:

I love this cinematography. You don't like the way you felt. And I love, Sufjan Stevens and I'm like, okay. But I don't know. I just, it was creepy for me.

Owen:

Yeah. I fully understand that perspective. Yeah. I really, I personally really liked it, but again, yeah I had to grapple with. The problematic elements. So yeah,

Eric:

I think I don't know. I feel like in a lot of ways in gay culture. We let some of those problematic elements slide a little bit. Yeah. Like the age thing. And we're like, oh, that's though

Owen:

I find the age thing really confusing and interesting. And how it's portrayed in the film. Cause it's I don't know what was with Call Me By Your Name specifically. I think it was exaggerated by like bad casting because Armie Hammer looks a lot older than he's in the book. He's 23, 24, whereas definitely. Does that look 23 or 24? That's a little bit exaggerated, but it's still slightly problematic and I think that yeah, I don't know. I found, I just found that an interesting thing to to grapple with and I still found it beautiful and I, I. It felt like the the story with all about Elio anyway, and nothing really to do with Oliver. Like everything, everything we store of Oliver was through Elio anyway. So it was more of an explanation of him than of the relationship, which is why I liked it. But yeah, I did have a complicated that, because then if you think about queer history in some ways it's you go back to like Roman and Greek times I don't sweat, like fucking teenagers. So like we need to like, yeah. Obviously that's not okay, but it's also like in a very weird way, like part of gay history, so

Eric:

yeah. Boys were like concubines, so a lot of the older men. Yeah.

Owen:

Yeah. So it's a very complicated thing to, to grapple with. I agree. But yeah, I did it. Yeah the age,

Gil:

but I still loved your review. When I read, I was like, oh, okay. That's a good perspective. I was like, okay. Okay. Like I said, when I first watched it, my first reaction, like absolutely not. And then I read it. I was like, okay. Okay. I see it.

Eric:

I can't believe you liked that movie. I didn't like that movie. I thought it was good.

Owen:

Yeah. I watched it in the cinema three times. I think I found it. And it's a really, actually, it's a really great film to watch in a cinema because it's so visually it's stunning. Yeah, like kind of the scene scape and the the cinematography is beautiful. And the I very much did let the, when I was watched, not so much when I reviewed it, but when I watched it in the cinema and was just enjoying it and I was just like, I let the age thing pass me by, because I wanted to enjoy the romance, but obviously not everyone can. And to do that,

Eric:

has your viewing of movies changed? Like you were just saying, like you watched it to just enjoy it versus watching it, knowing that you're going to review it?

Owen:

Yeah, I think I do analyze, I analyze stuff. Not meaning to a lot of the time. But I've watched things even if I'm not watching them to review them. Yeah. And yeah, I am, I think my reaction is slightly different now that I know that I have to write or that I'm going to w when I'm writing about something, my, I think my, for one thing, I'm taking notes, so obviously that changes the process of watching a film, but yeah, cause he got a little notepad there, but I think I do approach it slightly differently and there's very, it's really hard for the other reviewer because there's definitely a difference between films that I like and films that I think are good. Okay. Does that make sense? Yeah. Oh yeah. Yeah. There's certain films that I, that, not every film films that I might think I love this so much. I'm going to watch it again, like loads of time. Might not necessarily to get five stars because I have to think. And I think actually is this that good? It's just that good of a film. So I try, I generally my kind of my star rating and my kind of approach to how I write is a balance between those two things. So it's, it can be tricky to grapple with sometimes, but I definitely have to have at least half of a analytical head-on the whole time I

Eric:

can see that.

Owen:

So like for example I really enjoyed Alex Strangelove, have you seen that film, I love that movie. I

Eric:

just watched it for, I think the fourth time, like maybe last week, I love that movie and I watched that. Did we watch that before or after? Call me by your name.

Gil:

After call me by your name. It was

Eric:

last movie we actually watched,

Gil:

I think it was last year during COVID, as we got out of it, when it first was alive.

Eric:

Yeah. Because we were like, cause I'm actually like in a different state than he is. So we're like, let's watch movies together. Yeah. And so

Gil:

we met in college and that's how we yeah. That's how we got. Yeah.

Eric:

So him and his husband watched Call Me By Your Name with me. And then I think just him and I watched Alex Strangelove. But yeah. I love that movie. Sorry. I didn't mean to tangent.

Owen:

Yeah, no, totally. That's fine. Yeah, I really enjoyed that film, but I only gave it three and a half stars. three stars, I don't remember somewhere between the terrible yeah, the cause I don't like there's it's a bit problematic in some places in terms of and it's got looking back at it now I'd probably actually be harsher on it. Cause it was one of the first films that I reviewed for the blog and like having watched so many films now I'm so sick of the like the like basically misogyny and these films of like girl gets fucked over because the guy is gay. Because her boyfriend is gay trope. Like just really grinds me down. Yeah, for that as well, although their relationship like their friendship was beautiful and I think it was acted quite well, especially her Claire. I don't remember the name of the actress now. But I think that was acted really well. I really enjoyed Antonio Marziale as the. Yeah. As the kind of male love interest. Cause I just he's like beautiful obviously, which doesn't relate to how good he is. as an actor, but maybe enjoyed the film. Yeah. Yeah. So I've watched that film probably five times, but and there's some films on there that I've given high ratings, everybody watched once, but I just, I, yeah, I think it's a moderately good. Rom-com

Eric:

ultimately, I think it's such an adorable movie. I really enjoy it. And it's like a sweet, innocent, like cute movie. I don't know. I like that. I go through my mood sometimes. I want like really sweet and lovey airy romcom. And sometimes I want like really, oh, I guess soft core the

Owen:

point

Eric:

like the blonde one was pretty intense. I love that.

Owen:

Yeah. And I think that's, that was an example of a movie that I thought was very good. And also the, I enjoyed it a lot as well. I think the styling and the aesthetic and the pacing was very well judged. Some people say it's slow, but I disagree. I think it's that there's just so much focused on like the body and the tension and the lighting and the like, I don't know. I really liked how it did. It was slow, but I liked that. I really enjoyed that.

Eric:

It was like nuanced. So it kept you. What's going to happen next. And so it make me be, it moves slow, but it was because there was all these little subtle things that were happening, I thought. Yeah. So I loved that movie. I don't know how I stumbled. I stumbled upon it on Amazon. And I was like, let me watch this. Cause I was going through a whole bunch of foreign movies because during the height of COVID, I was watching gay cinema, like every night, like the new movie every single night. And I just happened to come across as oh my God, this movie is way more than I was expecting. And now I'm just going to watch a whole bunch of Argentinian gay films.

Owen:

Yeah. It was very, it's very like steamy, but also like sad which I really enjoyed the combination of like hot sex, but like also like depressing. Yeah. There are much. So

Eric:

I thought the ending was really powerful. And I did like what you mentioned in your review, how like if they had called it, like Un Rubio. I was like, yeah. From, yeah. I yeah, I can see where that moves. If they had just translated it to a blonde it wasn't a lot of ways, I think it would have been more impactful because it would give you the perspective of how he was treated and just yeah,

Owen:

yeah. I think, yeah. Title titles are really important than it. Yeah. I'm glad you remember. I forget.

Eric:

So tell us about your rating system.

Owen:

So yes. I, oh, it's trying to think if I can remember off the top of my head, cause I always have to consult it, but I I have four areas that I judge a film on, but like the whole thing is holistic, so it's not like I did each area remark and then average them up. Like I, I consider four areas when I'm making my judgment. We've got like critical engagement, so what themes does it deal with? Does it deal with them like effectively in like perhaps like an original way? Do I feel like this film has something to say basically that's one of them. We've also got I've got an instructor trying to remember if I can there's four and I'm, I can remember three, but I'll start with the three we've got like staying power and like iconicness, I call it phase too late. So it's am I going to remember this movie in a week, a month again? How am I going to think back and think, oh, I'm really glad I watched that, is it going to stay in my head? We've got like queerness. So like, how are the characters portrayed and like how yeah. W what queer characters are there? How are they. how are they portrayed on screen? Do I feel it's authentic? Does it feel real? Did it feel like it was made for straight people or does it feel like it was made for a gay audience? That's a big thing I look for. I'm never gonna, I'm never gonna write a good, I'm never going to write a film as good if it, if I think it should made for a straight audience, because I've got a film review blog. So I am thinking about queer audience centered thinking about queer perspectives. I'm going to get my my website. I actually have a, I have this on my site, so I'm going to get it up now to make sure that I haven't missed anything. And we've got just when I realized that my work, sometimes I would find it hard to navigate. I would yes. Emotional impact, of course. So cause I cry. Did I laugh? Did I feel some things? And was that something intentional? Yeah. So that's the fourth one. Yeah. So those four areas are what I've officially got down as like these are, my criteria. But I work in and around all of them really. And yeah, if I think that, for example, all three of them are great, would be greater scores, but then there was no emotional impact at all, for example. And I think that really brought down the experience of the film. It might still get like a one or a two-star. So yeah, it depends. Ultimately I'm like, whatever, it's my blog, I'll just put whatever number of words.

Gil:

But it makes for great conversation and I've read through your questions of exactly what defines emotional impact or critical engagement. I agree. I'm just going through, I'm like, yeah, absolutely. Cause I hate it. I like my husband's more of a movie buff. He loves to watch all the queer film me. I don't mind, but I also have a thing of, I don't want to waste my time. Like what the hell are you telling me with this movie? What am I seeing? What are you doing with this? I just hate just to watch. I could, you can Google that. What else are we going with? This I, your I'll give you an hour and a half. Yeah. Something like a level. Perfect. Thank you.

Owen:

Thank you. I appreciate that. Yeah, I haven't I've actually I've just come off a little bit of a break. That's why I'm always slightly rusty on that. Cause I went away for a few weeks and then it came back and then I've been like adjusting back into my kind of work schedule. So I haven't actually released any new reviews and like maybe a month or so. So I need to get back on my kind of, maybe it's probably been like two months by now. Yeah, I need to get back on my posting schedule soon. I haven't I haven't, I've been writing, but I haven't gotten to the, like I'm writing this. Giving us a number of, yeah. Which is why I was a little rusty on my own criteria

Eric:

for I'm rusty on things that happened five minutes ago.

Gil:

So for your your best rated films what is your, which ones have cracked your five perfect five star

Owen:

as a few off the top of my head. If someone said to me what's the best film that you've watched and the best form that you've reviewed the handmaiden is my top is a, what I say to cause that people are like, what the fuck are you talking about? Is a like a lesbian, thriller heist film set in Japanese occupied Korea. In the star of the 20th century and it's two and a half hours long, but it's amazing. It's just it's got so many tweets it's so gripping. I'd like, I'm not really one, generally one for a thriller or a heist. It's not like thriller in terms of like scary or jump scares or anything. But it's very gripping and there were just so many twists and I'm not going to reveal them on here because it's the best feeling when you see the twist and you don't see it coming. And I I didn't reveal them in the, in my review of it either, but yeah, got it. It was just so it really, it just really caught me like there, I just think that the set up of the film was so clever and it's in three parts and the first two parts. So they'll get it just doesn't give anything away. The first two parts, it's the same, pretty much the same story told from two different perspectives. And the second time you watch it you realize. What the first half men, but the first off we're still great, but like you've realized what the what the first half was doing and what was happening, but you hadn't caught the first time round and there's just, so I just find it so fascinating. So yeah, it basically, it's a very complicated, maybe love story between a woman and her handmaidens. So like her kind of, yeah, hers has servent, who goes into just rich woman. But she's also has none of her own power because she's a woman. And this is like a hundred years ago, like 70 years ago. Yeah. And this or the, yeah, the handmaiden comes in and she's yeah, and she she's hired to help this woman, but yeah, there's a lot of crossing and double crossing and realizing. He was in charge and who's in the know and who's stealing from whom or who's doing this and it's just, I was so gripping and it's really beautiful as well. II'm a big one for cinematography and it's stunning. The whole thing is beautiful. Like the landscapes and the setup of the shot. And you can just tell everything so calculated. And so there, there are hints and clues in so many different places. I think this film took took like lesbian tumbler by storm when it came out, as a merely a different blogs people yeah. Comments from people, which I found very helpful being like putting out like, Ooh, this flower is here, which means this and this flower was, these represent this and this means that. And yeah, so that there was a lot of great resources. Thank you. Lesbian tumbler for

Eric:

that's

Owen:

great. Yeah. I think that would be my immediate number one. But some of those up there with the fire stars I've given. But I'm a cheerleader. I love that movie

Gil:

classic

Eric:

It was the first queer filmever saw

Owen:

no way. Oh my gosh. Hi. Yeah. What else have we got? I'm thinking slightly less than nine ones potentially. aa film called Paraiso Perdido or paradise lost a Brazilian Portuguese film. Brazilian, I think Portuguese Brazilian Portuguese. Yeah. And it's about like a night and like in the cabaret club in Brazil. And it's like weird in the way that it like plays time is very bizarre and yeah, that, and then I've got, I've actually got them all up now and there's only two more. So I'll just list them quickly. Handsome devil. Yeah. And Carol as well. It's a beautiful film. Yeah. I've read the book and the book is deeply stunning and I just, yeah, I'm in love with with that film with Cate Blanchett it at all times. So

Eric:

she's

Owen:

fantastic. Yeah.

Gil:

Yeah. Do you have a personal favorite? Cause obviously you, you do the full ratings, to versus you're the one that tugs on your own personal strings

Owen:

that, yeah, that's a good, I'm like, actually it's just quite a recent favorite, but I think again, it's four or four and a half. I'll just film called Henry Gamble's birthday party. If you've seen that,

Eric:

I have seen that. And when I first watched it, I was like, I think it was like confused in it at first. I was like, I don't know that I really liked it. Like, why did I just watch that? And then I, for some reason, like dreamt about it all night and then thought about it all day, the next day at work. And I was like, oh my God, like that movie actually said a lot.

Owen:

Yeah. Yeah. I really liked the social commentary on it. I think again, I like it when when films have a clever concept that actually works. It's not just a gimmick and there's things like like the idea that I don't know if this is in the advertising, but the fact that it's all over, it's all in one location and it's all over a 24 hour period. And there's a lot of Got a lot of like circularity and like roundness in it. So like the first scene and the last scene or in the same spot film in the same way. And there's certain there's so many, like symbols, there's so much like symbolism and metaphor in terms of the pool and the water. So it's very it's basically, it's just birthday party. It's like a pool party. It's this kid he's 17 gay, but not out of probably gay but not out figuring himself out. And there's lived in a deeply like Christian community and and yeah, so it was but like it's all the crack beginning to show throughout the whole part, in various different ways. And we realized that these people aren't. Perfect. And as, yeah, either on, they aren't as like the it's like the Porcelain it's like being like chipped away. I dunno. So that's one of my recent favorites for sure. I think it's critically very good. Quite good. There are some problematic, minor problematic elements, but that's a film that I I don't know. It's weird because it's not really, it doesn't really talk about my heartstrings as many, as much as some others, but maybe, yeah, maybe it's just because I've been analyzing film for so long that I really enjoy something, which I much kind of symbolism.

Eric:

I think it also, like for me, it maybe like part of the reason why I was like, Apprehensive at first it's because it was totally like high school for me. Cause I went to a Christian high school, like a very Christian. Oh, that's too familiar.

Owen:

That's totally fair. That's totally fair. Yeah. I think I'm not, I never, I didn't grow up religious and obviously I'm in the UK, so it was quite like far removed for me in some ways. So maybe that meant I could appreciate it.

Eric:

I agree. Like I said, I, the fact that it like dominated like my thoughts for a day and a half after watching, it says a lot. It's like I said, like all the symbolism, I was like, oh wow. That would be really did say

Owen:

actually. Yeah. So yeah, I think that's up that and I think Alex Strangelove is up there as well. I just didn't it's a comfort film for me now. I really like films that make me cry a lot. And that's almost,

Eric:

Have you seen the movie Beach Rats?

Owen:

No, I haven't.

Eric:

The girl who plays Claire from Alex Strangelove, she's in that movie as well. And she gets screwed over by the guy to cause

Owen:

and see that role once again, very well, but God,

Eric:

but she's a little bit like harder in that one. So it's a good movie. I thought I liked it anyways. I thought it was a good movie

Owen:

for sure.

Eric:

With Alex Strangelove. Cause it gives a lot of comparisons to love Simon. Cause people will say oh, what's it like nice little rom com. I read your review on love Simon. What do you think of you? You actually, I read your review and I was like, I am now in a Creekwood state of mind. I'm like I went through the whole. Three

Owen:

days. Yeah. I've been watching them. I haven't seen the latest season, but I've watched love Victor as well. Yeah, but I love Simon I guess spokes out of my version of my review of the film. So I felt a little bit guilty about I had a sort of clickbait title. I don't think it was clickbait because it, I genuinely addressed this in the review. Absolutely. But I might, they titled the review for their top and same with love Simon. Isn't a queer film. Yeah. And I, yeah, my, I deliberate with what is it a defined as queer? I just thought it was very like they used so many straight rom-com tropes that realizing what, how those. React in a gay film. And it felt very fronted from the straight. Just makes him gay, yeah. No, I

Eric:

actually agree with you. I read your review and then I was like, I'm going to watch it. And then it's very much like made to be palatable to the straight audience. So that it's, I still really liked the movie and I love Victor. I'm also a Salazar kids,

Gil:

literally,

Eric:

And I liked having the Latin representation. So I was like, it's really hard at home for me. But no, I thought it was very much like made for th for the straight audience. If you were mentioning that earlier in the interview, it's yeah, I love Simon very much was like, so the straight consumer could like easily absorb it and digest it and not be like completely freaked out because I don't know why they would be freaked out, but just straight it's

Owen:

like that. And it's very digestible and very yeah. Which I felt like yeah, I enjoyed the fact that Alex Strangelove was a little bit messier and like at like teenagers actually think about and talk about, and sometimes how sex whereas I don't think it would address that anyway.

Eric:

Not really at all. Yeah. I agree. What's your opinion on straight people playing gay roles or queer roles.

Owen:

Oh, I have many opinions on this. That's really, I was just gonna say there's a federal Topia today. Because so it's quite, it's great. Really. I my mum works in a school and I've been in a couple of times, again this shows how far the world has come and how far. My island has come. They have like gay clubs in high school now, which they definitely didn't when I was a kid like at wait, they call it like rainbow cafe. So it's very much like LGBT people and allies, which is important because then, you might not be out at school. You don't want to be branded. If you go to this club, whatever. But, yeah. So I went to go talk to them. The other day they were having like a little like debate slash discussions, live Q and a, and I've hardly, I'm like a notable career fairs. Some of the elephants, they invited me, which was

Eric:

nice.

Owen:

Yeah. Name on the poster and everything. Yeah. They had somebody in the, in this discussion. Asked me about that. I've been talking about it recently. I think like surface level, from my perspective, I don't like straight people playing gay people. I don't enjoy it as much. And I think that's okay. I'm at peace with that. If we get down into the critical nature of why and why it's potentially problematic, I think ultimately there aren't enough. There aren't, there isn't a as, as a represented. Portion of the global population of the actor population that is gay, right? There's not as many gay actors versus straight actors as there are queer people versus straight people. So gay actors, don't the gay roles anywhere. I think it's funny to say it, it's funny. It is frustrating disease, straight actors getting praised to play for for their portrayal of gay people. When the gay actors aren't getting any roles at all anywhere. So I think that's part of it. That's not the, the world that we're living in isn't equal. And there isn't an equal standing point to start off with people say, anyone can play anyone. And like he asked in theory, but also like we're not starting from an even playing field here. There is a lot of, of inequality that. I think it becomes more clean-cut and more obvious for me talking about CIS people playing trans people. But yeah, for the whole like straight people playing gay people, I don't know for me, I just, I there's something extra special about representation that I see on screen that's this person is queer in this story. And then also queer when they are outside of this story and living their life as a celebrity. In the world of social media, we see people's lives, people's lives, we see them out doing, we can, we have the access and it's so wonderful to see. Yeah. Just to be able to see yeah. Gay actors playing gay people. queer actors playing queer people, like on edge, it's a sin, for example, if you say,

Eric:

oh yeah.

Owen:

It's glorious. And all of the the, like the main, I think all of the queer people in it are played by queer actors. And then that was like a thing that That the Russell T Davies that it was like, he was like adamant on that as a director and as a writer. And I really appreciate that. Yeah. I don't know if you're talking about CIS people, playing trans people. But anyone is like confused by what I'm saying, or doesn't quite grasp what I'm trying to explain. Watch Disclosure, the documentary on Netflix, they explain a lot better, but basically it's like, it's a similar thing. It's we're not starting from an even playing field. There aren't any, there aren't, there were barely any trans actors out there. And when you see people playing trans people on screen, a CIS man playing a trans woman, for example, as you don't have as much of an issue when it's like a CIS woman playing a trans woman because that, that is equating, a CIS women with a trans woman they're both women, which is true. But then it's like a CIS man playing a trans woman. Offscreen. He's a man. So people it follows that narrative that so many there's like the media and like transphobic discourse is that it's dress up. This is a man pretending to be a woman because that's what it is on the screen. Right? An actor, a male actor, pretending to be a woman when actually like trans women, I say trans women because there was a lot more trans female representation, I think on screen and trans male. But yeah. You see it? Yeah. Yeah, when it says this man played a trundle and you think, oh, people ignorant people who don't know better will think, oh, that's what trans people are. They are like, dressing up and pretending to be somebody else trying to be a different gender would actually no that's just their life. And that's just the truth. And on the flip side, it can be really powerful to see a somewhat, yeah. Someone like Laverne Cox playing a trans woman and then living like her life as a trans woman as well, and really empowering about that. And yeah, and it's in the documentary they link they link the kind of that misrepresentation on screen, like directly to like violence against trans people in the world. And I can't do it eloquently as that, but again, watch the documentary and. Yeah, it gets fair. I dunno. Sorry. Very long. Very long. No,

Eric:

no, I appreciate it. I love that. I thank you for going into such detail over that.

Gil:

It's such a good question. Especially now we're, like the directors who have their opinions us, you know, out there just regular people and then people trying to go into the acting career. Do I come out as from the get-go out? Am I out, or am I closeted and waiting to get that perfect role? Or, it's a lot that goes in, but representation

Eric:

matters because we hadn't, we had an interview with the director on here and he alluded to sometimes you want that big name because it'll draw the people in to see the film and get your story out there. So like in that category,

Owen:

Yeah, but like just cast the famous person as a straight, especially famous straight person that a straight character in the film. Yeah. cast this role with a cis, with a famous person, whatever. Yeah. I don't really see that as an excuse to myself, but yeah.

Eric:

I know Billy Eichner is getting ready to do a romcom called Bros and it is the first major studio where the entire LGBTQ principal cast is actually LGBTQ. So I love

Owen:

that I will be watching. Yeah.

Eric:

I thought that was really interesting when I saw that, because just quickly going back to Simon, everyone said, oh, this is the first like major queer film to be from a major studio. Like we said, it's still very problematic because it's very much for the straight audience. But this one is actually like the characters are all played by queer actors. I thought that was really. And then I was glad to see that Hunter Schafer from Euphoria and Indya Moore from

Owen:

Pose, I love her,

Eric:

Have also been cast in not trans specific roles coming up, so yeah. As well as Patty Harrison recently as well, so put together. So any thing that you have going on in the future, like big things, any more movies you're going to be rating for us.

Owen:

And so I've just finished watching there's a big talk about it. In the UK. I don't know how how much of it, like for bus she has got in the U S but everyone's talking about Jamie. Yeah. Yes,

Eric:

yes. I actually just started to see that. Yeah, I enjoyed it. I haven't

Gil:

watched it yet. Yeah, it was during pride month in June here in San Francisco, they did a broadcast with Bianca Del Rio. It was wonderful.

Owen:

Yeah. Yeah. It's really, I think it's really good. I think it's not it's hard with a movie musical because there's so many that are so iconic that it's hard to reach that standard. But I think, it's I wouldn't say it's like iconic as like Grease or whatever, but it's very, I think it's very well done. Yeah, so that's getting a mostly positive review for me. I think and then, yeah, I don't know what else I'm yeah, I'm trying to expand. So when I very first started, I was only doing Netflix. But then I got a bit bored of that selection, so I expanded wider. So I'm looking at, yeah, I've got, I'm looking on like on prime and then others I'm looking into other streaming services. I'd like one day I'd really liked to yeah. To go to a film festival like a queer film festival. So that's something that I'm sure. Working on maybe happening at some point. There aren't any queer film festivals on the Isle of Man, because there aren't really any, there's two cinemas and they're both like tiny, so I wouldn't really work. But yeah, at some point, if I could get to attend something like that, I think that would be great. But for now, yeah, just carrying on carry on watching and reviewing and it's really great. Cause I it's really hard when you're doing something regularly. You don't really see the progress. Cause you're doing it every week or every two weeks. But looking back on like the first few reviews I wrote of God did the shit, like compared to what I write now, I think we're really getting better and better.

Eric:

And one last quick question. What do you think of how important do you think queer cinema is to the queer community?

Owen:

I think it is. I sometimes wonder if it is as important now as it used to be. Okay. because of how many, not that we have more queer spaces, but like on the internet, there's more possibility to like connect with queer people in real life. But then I think during the pandemic we realized the, actually it is still a vital tool because yeah. It's, there's never, it never, it's never going to be a bad thing to see yourself represented on screen. And we have a long way to go until that's adequate for queer people. So yeah, I think it's just, it makes me feel, it makes you, sometimes you have to, sometimes you have to see it to be it and it just makes you feel, it makes you feel validated. It makes you feel real. And it's It's a connection. And it's also empathy as well with other members of your queer community. Like I was saying before to see other people in the queer community represented on screen, it means a lot to me as well. I don't just yeah, I don't just like films with gay men and them, not that I have not figured out that maybe man isn't necessarily the words for me, but yeah it's really nice to see. Yeah I do again, like film and storytelling is so important for empathy, and I think that queer people can learn from queer representation that isn't necessarily their own branch. Shall we say? Of the queer community? So I think it's yeah, I think that where cinema is it's really important, I think as we've seen during the pandemic, it, yeah. It's advantages and it's. Importance the connection can't really be understated or overstated. Can't be overstated. Can't be overstated. So that's what I mean.

Eric:

Yeah. No, I think, yeah. Wow. I love that. Yeah. So where can people find you? I know you're on at everygaymovie.com,

Owen:

so yes. So that's the direct, that's the direct link to the website. Yeah. Then I'm across all social media @everygaymovie. So that's Facebook, Instagram. Yeah. And then if anybody, yeah, if anybody has comments or ideas or anything, you can email me everygaymovie@gmail.com. If you want to chat or collaborate or anything like that or message me on. And yeah, that's me. Yeah, if you're interested in the drag as well. Fenella Beach @FenellaBeach across all social platforms as well. Okay. Yeah. If anyone wants to say that

Eric:

and how do you spell that for our listeners?

Owen:

For me? Yeah. Yes. I was F E N E double L a beach, like the beach. Awesome. Yeah.

Eric:

Yeah. That's great. I look forward to that and thank you so much for being a part of this and doing this interview.

Owen:

I'm so glad to have been invited. It's just been wonderful. Awesome. Thank

Eric:

you so much. And thank you to all of our listeners and have a good day.

Gil:

Thank you for joining us. We hope you enjoyed your time in The Q Lounge. If you have any comments, questions, suggestions on topics, or if you would like to be a guest or contributor, please email us at info.theqlounge@gmail.com or through our contact page at TheQLoungepodcast.com while you're there hit that subscribe button or listen wherever you get your podcasts. If you would like to further support us, hit that donation button

Eric:

until next time live in your authenticity