Open Up to Me is a Finnish movie about a trans woman trying to find love with a soccer coach. As time goes on, both of the lovers have family members voice their opposition. What follows next is the non trans lover having to decide what he really wants out of the relationship.
Over 95 minutes, Open Up to Me plays out like any typical romantic movie. But, it really asks you to address certain things. Where are your comfort levels? If you like someone, how do you handle societal and personal pressures in dealing with them?
Films like Open Up to Me open up a level of maturity that it seems like most of humanity is backsliding away from now. One side says accept it all or else. Another side says reject it in the name of normalcy. While I believe both sides to not factor the personal nature of romance, Open Up to Me never shies away from the discomfort.
Naturally, it’s not an American movie. Nothing here gets released anymore without an agenda. The only agenda in Open Up to Me is can two people in love stand up to outside scrutiny?
Open Up to Me and the other DVDs come with a wide variety of special features.
Queen of Hearts: Audrey Flack
Queen of Hearts: Audrey Flack is a fascinating documentary about an artist that most of you have slept on. Flack worked for over 40 years, while also parenting an autistic child. Her art style changed as the time changed, but she kept her artistic identity in everything she painted. So, what is the ultimate takeaway?
The DVD comes with a Q&A and deleted scenes as the special features.
Once Upon A River
Once Upon A River was a movie that I was initially going to review at the theatrical level. We were almost ready to rock and then content got pushed around. Things got lost in the shuffle super easy and I hated not being able to go live with my thoughts on the movie back then.
Now, as it gets to make its DVD bow from Film Movement, I found time for a rewatch. Watching a tale of a Native American teenager trying to find her birth mother is melodramatic enough. But, it’s done with honesty and you get the feel of a Gothic Horror tale at points.
I can’t quite put a finger on why, but the overall atmosphere is so creepy and just pushes up against you. This DVD actually has a featurette about the production on it.
Beautiful Darling is a documentary about Andy Warhol superstar Candy Darling. Having transformed herself from her Long Island beginnings into a NYC cult figure, Candy starred in two Warhol films and headlined a Tennessee Williams play. Not bad for someone that gets a passive mention in a Lou Reed song.
The sheer volume of talking head interviews they get for Beautiful Darling is quite amazing. John Waters, Julie Newmar and Scorsese comedy hero Fran Lebowitz show up to share their thoughts. It’s pretty cool and informative for those that don’t know a ton about Candy Darling.
The DVD comes with a trailer and a mini-poster. Still more special features than Open Up to Me got. Why couldn’t we get a commentary on that one? Oh well, enough about Open Up to Me.
The Road to Mandalay
The Road to Mandalay is a look at how Burmese immigrants sneak into Thailand. The Mekong River provides an easy access for the two people, but crooked cops line the path. All they want to do is get to Bangkok, but things aren’t looking good. What are two young hopefuls to do?
The Road to Mandalay DVD comes with a bonus short film.
Let’s talking indie cinema
90% of the junk you watch is basic bitch pop culture stuff that you and every other social media goon moans about constantly. You have an opinion on streaming service and reheated franchise over and over again. People still caring about tired old things and having not watch cultural touchstones that would have been the norm 5 years ago.
So much content growing in leaps and bounds, but you have kids that never saw Home Alone or Aliens. That brings me to Indie Cinema. Independent Film begins its life fighting against the studio system. It then fights for attention from the major markets.
That is until the studios still that independent talent and the slack jawed audience learns more about said talent. I’m not expecting anyone from Open Up to Me to show up on a Netflix show anytime soon. But, it would be nice if they’d be asked at least.
A film fan can dream. Until then, stick with Open Up to Me and releases like this.