Monday, June 22, 2015

Lake Carmel and Two Movies


GH and I spent a lovely weekend with C and B at their lovely new home at Lake Carmel. C drove us to the Chuang Yen Monastery, a huge Buddhist temple complex, with a great Buddha hall and a Kuan Yin hall, and 225 acres of land. On our return to their house, we met their friends who drove from Queens for dinner. B went with GH and me on a walk around the lake. Dinner was fun, although we had to move the barbecue indoors when it started to drizzle. J had been working as a tailor since eight. His current job was for a TV series on hip hop from South Bronx. A was a currency trader whose bf G was white and worked as a loans officer for a bank.

On Sunday, B cooked a breakfast of eggs, sausages and peppers. We went for another walk around the lake, this time in the other direction. Many lovely lookouts. The day turned warm enough for a swim at the small artificial lake in front of their house. It was my first time swimming in a lake. G and I enjoyed the time away from the city. It was lovely to rest the eyes on so much greenery and water. We had not known that part of the state to be so saturated with lakes. I'm glad to re-connect with C and B after so many years, when they put up this hapless conference volunteer at their home in Forest Hills.






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Last Sunday, we watched the movie Stealth (2006), written, directed and acted by Lionel Baier. He plays a Swiss man who discovers his Polish roots and becomes obsessed with being Polish. Behind the unlikely premise lies a critique of the ennui resulting from the mainstreaming of gay life and the determined neutrality of Switzerland. History, or family history, is not dead yet, and the proof can be found in Poland. Lionel the protagonist drives there with his more down-to-earth sister (Natacha Koutchoumov), who is pregnant. They find the Polish branch of the family, but more than that, they finf the adventure of living history.

Last night, the movie Beloved/Friend (1999) was also an interesting feature. Directed by the Catalan director, Ventura Pons, the movie centers on a dying gay professor who falls in love with a bi-sexual student. More than sex, Jaume the professor (Josep Maria Pou) wants David (David Selvas) to be his spiritual heir. The parallel plot involves Alba (Irene Montalà), whom David has gotten pregnant, and her mother, Fanny (Rosa Maria Sardà), who talk over whether Alba should get an abortion. In a thematic connection, the mother projects onto her daughter her own desire for her youth and her fear of dying, by encouraging Alba to abort. The last member of the fine cast is Mario Gas playing Pere, husband of Fanny, and the youthful love of Jaume. The complications play out in the course of a day. Time runs out on Jaume, as it does for all the characters in some sense.

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