Monthly Archives: July 2004

The Joy Luck Club (1993)

OK, I’ll admit to being a pussy and confess that I teared up during this movie.

I think I’m comfortable enough in my pussiness not to resist getting swept up in weepy moments of a film.

But I’d much rather tear up from something in a story resonating with my experience than from being manipulated by a scene full of sobbing.

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Agnes of God (1985)

I don’t remember who in my family wanted to tape this movie off of a network broadcast, but that was how I first saw this film.

And I’m not sure exactly when I started watching this movie repeatedly, but it must have coincided with the era in my life when I started recovering from Catholicism.

Agnes of God wasn’t a very likely movie for me to appreciate, let alone enjoy. I was extremely bitter at religion at the time, especially since so many years of doctrination made me hate myself for desiring other men.

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Priest (1994)

I’m thinking of hosting a Recovering Catholics Movie Night. Or perhaps curating a series of them.

Agnes of God one night. Dogma another night. And Priest on another.

Predictably, church-going folks protested Priest before its release in 1994. With obvious cause, of course — the main character is Father Gregg, a gay priest who doesn’t keep his vow of celibacy.

But that’s the least of his worries.

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The Wedding Banquet [喜宴] (1993)

Without The Wedding Banquet, Miramax would not be a Disney company, and “commercial arthouse movies” would still be an oxymoron.

Back in 1993, The Wedding Banquet became the most profitable film ever. It was made for practically no budget but went on to become an international hit. The film pretty attracted the attention of “The Industry” and made them realize arthouse does not equal box office death.

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Speedway Junky (1999)

I feel like a pervert for admitting this, but I think Jesse Bradford is hot. The guy is seven years my junior — I don’t usually go for younger guys.

But I’ve said it — Jesse Bradford is hot.

So when it came time to divvy up who was screening what when Austin360 covered aGLIFF back in 1999, I volunteered to do Speedway Junky.

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Better Luck Tomorrow (2002)

Other reviews will probably mention the implausbility of some of this movie’s plot. How, for instance, do a bunch of Asian-American high school overachievers become drug dealers and, in the end, murderers?

Having spent high school with a number of Asian-American overachievers, my question would be, how not?

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The Debut (2000)

[OK. So I’m cribbing Jette’s format for movie reviews. I had even considered jacking her logo and temporarily renaming my site “Celluloid Ears” in tribute. For now, I opt to be an amateur and imitate, rather than be a genius and steal.]

It’s usually not a good sign when the story of how a movie gets made and distributed is more interesting than the movie itself.

In the case of The Debut, that story is so extraordinary, it could be a documentary in and of itself.

Pitched as the very first film to deal with the Filipino-American experience, The Debut managed to snag stars of the Filipino cinema — Eddie Garcia, Tirso Cruz — and won various awards at a few film festivals, including the Hawaiʻi International Film Festival where it won Best of Festival. But no distributor would touch it.

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