artsandyouthlove

Books, Music, Movies, Youth Issues, Random Stuff

Posts Tagged ‘glbtq

Short Film Spotlight: ‘The Language of Love’ by Kim Ho

leave a comment »

I know what a monologue is, but I’ve never seen one before. Until recently, I’ve never seen a short film. After seeing seventeen year-old Kim Ho’s short film  ‘The Language of Love’, I’m awed by the power of both.

This short film features a boy named Charlie who falls in love with his best male-friend. Charlie struggles to come to terms with his feelings as he ponders how to answer an exam question instructing him to write a letter to his best friend in French. The story itself is fictional and was originally a monologue that was entered into a contest for Australian playwright.

The thing that I enjoy most about this film is its raw honesty. The struggle is clearly painted on Charlie’s face, but the words and the way that they are said are very poignant. My favorite part is when Charlie is beating around the bush about how he feels about Sam and then all of a sudden blurts out, “I’m in love with Sam.” During this moment you can tell how anxious Charlie is and how much he wants to express himself.

Another thing that I enjoyed about the short film is how the objects around Charlie are used to express his feelings. A particular scene I like is when Charlie’s breathing gets heavier and then all of a sudden he is alone and the desks are closing in on him. I found it a powerful way to express feeling like you are trapped and no one understands you.

Perhaps the most beautiful thing about this film is Charlie’s thoughts about love. There’s a moment he compares it to the French language in a lovely metaphor. However, the best thing he says is, “You always hear people say it’s weird and just not normal, but isn’t that the point of love?” To transcend normalness and become something special?”

To conclude, I absolutely love this film and look forward to more from Kim Ho.

Written by Serena Zola

July 17, 2013 at 10:00 AM

Movie Review: Pariah (2011)

leave a comment »

Movie Rating: R
Source: Wikipedia

Plot Summary:   To her family, Alike is just a regular seventeen year old girl. However, Alike has a secret. She is actually a butch lesbian who is caught between the person she wants to be and the person people expect her to be. As Alike slowly comes to terms with her sexuality, friendship and family relationships become at risk.

My Review:  One of the things I enjoyed about this film was how authentic it is. Despite being a pariah and a lesbian, Alike is also a smart and creative person. These qualities made her a well-developed character and someone to root for. Another thing that made the movie unique is using poetry to show Alike’s character development. Furthermore, the homophobia is realistically portrayed in the film, especially when it comes to strangers and family members. Lastly, the romance between Alike and her love interest was handled respectfully by showing love without being explicit.

Besides the authenticity, some of the acting was great. Adepero Oduye delivered a stirring performance as Alike. Likewise, Kim Wayans was powerful as Alike’s mother. Both actresses best scenes take place during the climax and resolution of the film.

Last but not least, the film’s soundtrack. It stood out because it was eclectic, ranging from hip-hop, soul, and rock. It also provided  a cool way for Alike and her love interest to connect.

Overall, this was a poignant film. I recommend this for anyone struggling to come to terms with their sexuality, especially if they are a minority. If you are in the GLBTQ community, this is an excellent film for celebrating pride.

 

Written by Serena Zola

July 4, 2013 at 10:00 AM

Book Review: I Am J by Cris Beam

with 2 comments

Plot Summary: J had always felt different. He was certain that eventually everyone would understand who he really was: a boy mistakenly born as a girl. Yet as he grew up, his body began to betray him; eventually J stopped praying to wake up a “real boy” and started covering up his body, keeping himself invisible — from his parents, from his friends, from the world. But after being deserted by the best friend he thought would always be by his side, J decides that he’s done hiding — it’s time to be who he really is. And this time he is determined not to give up, no matter the cost.

My Review:  One of the great things about this book is its main character J. He is fleshed-out well enough that he is just a person rather than a transgender person. He is a photographer, a comic book geek, and his ethnicity is Puerto-Rican and Jewish. J’s ethnicity and interest in photography adds depth to J as well as the plot.

In addition to the main character, the supporting characters were fleshed out well too. They are diverse enough that they provide a different view of Jay’s world. A few characters represent the uninformed and narrow-minded view of  transexuality and homosexuality. Contrastly, some represent the tolerant or supportive side. Also, the inclusion of gays and bisexuals is an honest and fair aspect.

Besides the characters, the plot is emotionally charged. J’s journey to become the person he wants to be is internal and external. By following the story from J’s point of view, you can see and feel what it is like to go from hating yourself to embracing yourself. Through the supporting characters, you can see what it is like to feel like misunderstood, excluded, and accepted by others.

Finally, the author’s writing style is amazing. Using photography, he cleverly displayed J’s self-worth. It literally progresses from a shadow of his true self to his true potential being realized. Furthermore, he uses a photography term called “parallax” as a metaphor for how people view each other.

Overall, this was a poignant and authentic read that was well researched. I recommend this to anyone who wants a better understanding of transgender community or any transgender youth.

Written by Serena Zola

June 13, 2013 at 11:00 AM

Book Review: The House You Past On The Way

leave a comment »

 Even though she is the grand-daughter of celebrities and the daughter of an interracial couple, fourteen year old Staggerlee is lonely. Then, her aunt Hallique dies and Staggerlee meets her cousin Trout. Trout is everything Staggerlee wants her to be, and also a good friend. However, both girls have secrets that affect who they could love and become.

The highlight of this book is the main characters Staggerlee and Trout. They are brought to life very well by the author’s writing style. It uses metaphor and prose in a way that reads like poetry. Some of the best lines from the book involve Staggerlee being together and apart from others by using music and the moon.

Some pitfalls in this book are its pace and length. Since the book has short chapters and only one hundred fourteen pages, this book is good for reluctant readers. However, for readers who connect to the characters, it will feel too rushed. There isn’t enough time to be with Staggerlee and Trout when they are together. By the novel’s end, readers might want more when there might not be.

All in all, this book is good for preteens questioning their identity or their sexuality. However, it could have been drawn out a little more.

Similar Review:

After Tupac & D Foster- https://artsandyouthlove.wordpress.com/2012/06/25/book-review-after-tupac-d-foster/

Written by Serena Zola

August 24, 2012 at 7:57 PM

Movie Review: RENT (DVD)

with 2 comments

 Rating: PG-13

 

RENT is a film that is based on the broadway musical of the same time and  features six members of the original broadway cast. Set in New York city, the film follows several bohemian young people as they struggle to pay their rent and live under the shadow of HIV/AIDS. Director Chris Columbus and the cast have done a fantastic job, but the film has some flaws.

One of the best things about this film is the music. Without the broadway show tune sound, it sounds a little like something you could listen to on the radio. There are many genres that the songs incorporate such as rock, gospel, and pop, so there is something for everyone. Also, some of the songs help to create themes for some of the characters. For instance, the scene for the song “Today 4 You” does a good job of capturing the character of Angel and her unselfish and friendly nature.

Another thing about the film that was well done was the characters. They are very diverse because they come from different ethnic backgrounds and sexual orientations. Despite these differences, they have a few things that unite them together. One of the most prominent things is their passion and pride in their art, which is best seen through the scenes for the song “La Vie Bohéme”.

A more tragic thing that binds them together is the threat of HIV/AIDS. Half of the main characters have the disease and so suffer physically and emotionally. Since the film is set in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the disease is treated as a threat and so those who have the disease are faced with prejudice and made to feel that no one cares about them and that they are alone. A touching thing in the film that shows the emotional vulnerability of those with HIV/AIDS is the support group Life Support and the song “Will I”?

At the same time, those who do not have the disease are also suffering, because they are aware of the fact their friends are slowly dying. While this isn’t shown very well in the film,  there is a good show of grief that makes up for it a little bit, especially with the song, “I’ll Cover You Reprise”. Another flaw that ruins the film a little is the story duration, i.e. the length of the storyline. Toward the end of the film, it becomes rushed. There were moments that could have been drawn out more.

Overall, the film was very good. I was impressed with the singing talent of the cast and have a few favorite songs and characters from the film. I recommend this film to any young people, particularly those who struggle with coming to terms with who they are. Also, I recommend this film to anyone who needs comfort coping with any disease or loss.

Here is the scene “Will I?” from the film:

Written by Serena Zola

April 28, 2012 at 1:34 PM

Op-Ed: Minnesota’s War on Gays

with 4 comments

I was typing up a completely different new post until I came across this article via the Huffington Post: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/one-towns-war-on-gay-teens-20120202

My immediate reaction: ANGER.

How can anyone let these kids feel so bad that they chose to kill themselves?

How can the teachers in the school, who are supposed to be role models for the students, remain neutral on the subject of homosexuality, when showing and teaching tolerance could have prevented these deaths?

How can the others adults and students turn a blind eye to a student crying out for help?

How can some of the adults outside the school judge these poor kids based on stereotypes as well as what others have told them?

More people need a mind of their own and a compassionate heart.  People say, “Children are the future” but with every senseless death like these that future diminishes.

Written by Serena Zola

February 4, 2012 at 8:55 PM

8 Things to Save a Life Part 2

with 3 comments

In honor of Jonah Mowry as well as all the victims of bullycide, I have created a two-part post featuring songs and books that can be used to comfort any suicidal or bullied person. However, these posts are especially for children and teens.

Since part one featured the songs, this second part will feature the books.

The Geeks Shall Inherit The Earth by Alexandra Robbins

Many teens are bullied because they are different from most of their classmates. Some of them resort to suicide because they believe they will suffer the same treatment all throughout their life. With this non-fiction book, the author presents what she calls “the quirk theory”, which states that the things that cause them to be bullied in high school will be the things that people appreciate later in life. To support this theory, the author follows several real characters that are ostracized for being different and issues them a challenge to change their situation without changing who they are. In addition, the author features celebrities that were outcasts in high school before they were famous.

On the Fringe edited by Donald R. Gallo

This book features several stories by many prominent young adult authors. These stories tell what it is like to be an outcast, to be excluded for being different. Some of these stories are hopeful, while others are shocking, but all of them have a lesson to be learned.

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Leviathan

This fiction book tells the story of one gay teen and one straight teen who share the same name and what happens when they meet. A humorous yet serious story featuring love and friendship, this is a great book for anyone.

Rage by Jackie Morse Kessler

Another thing that teens may resort to when bullied is self-injury. Jonah Mowry did it and so does the main character in this book. After a humiliating bullying incident, Melissa Miller accidentally creates a fatal wound while cutting herself with a razor. However, when Death comes he offers her the chance to become War, a Rider of the Apocalypse. When Melissa Miller takes the job, she slowly learns something that helps her conquer her pain: control.

Written by Serena Zola

December 16, 2011 at 10:45 AM

%d bloggers like this: