Sunday afternoons demand some leisurely pleasure, where you can destress yourself and enjoy some quiet moments of bliss and happiness.
As such, we are back with the second edition of our Sunday Feature “My All Time Favorite BL Movies”. We are constantly surprised with our author’s choices that range from intriguing to riveting. Without further ado, let’s check out this week’s repertoire!
When it comes to discussing queer Asian Films, Japanese big budget film “Double Mints” is always first on my list. It is a dark and unique story of two men who meet as teenagers in high school and share the same name of “Mitsuo”. While one boy is a blank canvas as well as average, the other is dark and twisted even at an early age. Prone to cruelty and sadomasochistic tendencies, he fixates on the blank Mitsuo as his victim/lover. The manga version of the story showcases the years of emotional back and forth as well as the acts of obsession and pain the two cause each other. While the film picks and chooses only their gay moments; as adults the dark Mitsuo calls the still blank Mitsuo to say he killed a woman. Together they bury her body in the woods that kick starts a string of events which changes both men. The sexual tension, repressed sexuality of the darker Mitsuo smash against blank Mitsuo’s unconditional love for him. It is so arresting to see blank canvas Mitsuo force a kiss on the dark Mitsuo, or the way he assumes dominance now that he is in every way bigger and more mature of the two. The darker Mitsuo seems emotionally stunted to that age of when he was in high school; to the point that he pisses off a mob boss and the blank Mitsuo assumes responsibility for him.
Bangkok Love Story
When I first got engaged into loving the Yaoi culture and everything Asian, I came across the film “Bangkok Love Story”, I absolutely hated it. Bear in mind back then, I hated sad endings and it took me five years to actually fall into love with this tragic love story. Now it’s one of my all-time favorites, even though I still pause it before the ending. A motorcycle driving, long haired, sunglasses wearing hitman named Maek is given the job of killing a police informant named Iht. Maek does these sorts of jobs to help his poverty-stricken family and only kills bad men. Once he realizes Iht isn’t evil, he tries to do the right thing by going after the men that ordered the hit. But along the way he falls head over heels for Iht and in a slow burn way the two love/lust over one another; while the film shows the fates of Maek’s family and how the sexual abuse affects them. By the end of the film, after facing every tragedy together, when the two are finally getting to love one another; unfortunately one more bullet finds its home.
Here I am, back again with my usual struggle of having too many favourites to choose from. That’s why I decided to mention only the ones which have been already written about in older posts (there go all the Japanese and Taiwanese BL movies I love), and I’ve limited myself to five of my favourite BL movies of all time. Also, fair warning: I’m more into short films—I owe it all to my horrible attention span—so most of my mentions are Korean shorts I’ve watched over the years.
I have an affinity towards media that wreck me (in a good way, of course). This Thai movie definitely did. Fathers has everything—from issues surrounding same-sex marriages in Thailand to difficulties and stereotypes that affect adoption and childcare. All the actors did such a wonderful job. My obsession with Nat Sakdatorn (Yuke) started here, unlike most people, whose obsession for him starts from GMMTV’s Friend Zone series. Uttsada Panichkul, who played Phoon, was such a good match for him—their chemistry is amazing, almost unmatched.
In Between Seasons (2018)
Also known as Hwanjeolgi in Korean, this movie has been adapted from the graphic novel of the same name. Although it deals less with the romance between the main leads and is more about a mother’s journey towards the understanding and acceptance of her son’s love for his best friend, I’d still consider it a BL-adjacent queer movie (GagaOOlala seems to think the same thing as well). Bae Jong-ok plays her part to perfection, along with newcomers Ji Yoon-ho (who played her son Soo-hyun) and Lee Won-geun (who played his best friend Yong-joon).
My Pistachio (2018)
This cute Korean short film stole my heart from the very moment I saw the character Moo-young (Park Hyun-joon) rolling around in bed trying to figure out how to confess his feelings to Han-bit (Kim Hyun-joon), who’s his senior from the drama club. It may have been only 19 minutes long, but they’d made the most of it by managing to do so much in such a short period. Strongberry (the same people behind the production of Long Time No See) did a great job again, turning something so simple into a beautiful love story.
Some More (2018)
I’m a huge fan of city-boy-meets-country-boy scenarios like the one in this movie. Our city boy Dong-soo (Park Chan-ung) injures himself after a fall from his bicycle while on a long-distance bike ride. He finds a farmhouse where he meets In Pyo (Kim Joon-bum), who then invites him to stay until he heals. Their romance is just precious, and In Pyo’s openness about being gay (those Pride month goodies!) is so refreshing. This movie is also created by Strongberry and is 27 minutes long—just perfect enough to let the story unfold.
As If You Whisper (2019)
It’s another one from Strongberry! And it’s a short film—this may be getting old, but I guess that’s how I work. Strongberry may be a small company, but it has a vast collection of queer movies (ones that I love). This movie (known as Sogsagideut Haejweo in Korean) is longer than the other short films mentioned above at around 45 minutes. It revolves around Bum-soo (Kim Jin Tae) who meets his fan Hyun-woo (Kim Soo-ah) while busking one day. I love musical movies. This movie may have had more sequences about the creation of singing guides than those of producing and creating new music, but it still was a good watch. I love how their relationship developed into a romantic one, and how they free themselves from the shackles of what is expected of them as part of being in the music industry or life in itself.
I always make sure I have this section because I just can’t seem to make up my mind. I end up having way too many options when it comes to things like these. So here are a few movies that I really like:
Antique (an amazing Korean live-action adaptation of Yoshinaga Fumi’s BL manga Antique Bakery), Your Name Engraved Herein (for being one of my favourite Taiwanese BL movies), Seven Days (for helping me get back to watching Japanese BL after being thrown off by Boys Love and the Takumi-kun series), Ossan’s Love: Love or Dead (for more Haruta and Maki moments), Restart After Come Back Home (for another brilliant adaptation of a manga), Present Perfect (for being one of the very few Thai BL movies I like), One Last Order (for reasons I’ve mentioned in my review), Step for Me, Hold Me and Secret Spectacles (for being some of my favourite Strongberry shorts).
We will be back next week with the third edition of this feature. So till then, keep watching this space as we bring you more exclusives from the Asian BL World!