Phillip Coupal

Counselling + Coaching + Bodywork

Awaken Studio Toronto



A selection of Movies we have seen.

Over the Past 6 Years we have watched over 150 movies.

Movies from all over the world and often, movies that have had little or no cinematic release because of their QUEER content.


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January 24

Son Frere - France - 2003

Son frère (English: His Brother) is a 2003 French film directed by Patrice Chéreau. The screenplay, based on the Philippe Besson 2001 book Son frère (English title His Brother) was written by Chéreau and Anne-Louise Trividic.

Brothers Thomas (Bruno Todeschini) and Luc (Eric Caravaca) have an estranged relationship. One day, Thomas comes to Luc's apartment explaining that he is ill and asks if Luc will accompany him to the hospital. Thomas has an undetermined platelet disorder which is treated with cortisone and splenectomy—neither help. Luc, who happens to be gay, and is in a relationship with Vincent (Sylvain Jacques), is viewed by their father as the stronger of the two and wishes it was Luc that were ill, as he could beat the illness.

Thomas's girlfriend, Claire (Nathalie Boutefeu), leaves Thomas when she realizes he only wants his brother Luc around. Luc's relationship with Vincent is also strained as Luc takes Thomas to the family home in Brittany. The film jumps forward in time to allow about 18 months to be covered during the course of the film. By the end of the film, the brothers reconcile their relationship.

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February 7

What We Have - Canada - 2014

What We Have (French: Ce qu'on a) is a Canadian drama film, written and directed by Maxime Desmons.[1] It was the first feature film ever made under Telefilm Canada's new microbudget funding program.[1]

The film stars Desmons as Maurice Lesmers, a gay French expatriate living in North Bay, Ontario who takes a job tutoring Allan (Alex Ozerov), a high school student, in French while auditioning for a stage production of Molière's The Miser.[2] Drawn to protect and defend Allan from the bullying that he faces at school for being gay, their student-teacher relationship is soon complicated when Allan falls in love with Maurice, in turn triggering Maurice's own repressed memories of childhood sexual abuse.[2]

The film had its theatrical premiere in 2014 at the Cinéfest Sudbury International Film Festival,[3] but wider release was delayed until 2015 due to producer Damon D'Oliveira's commitments to the promotion of the television miniseries The Book of Negroes. It won the juried award for Best Canadian Film at the 2015 Inside Out Film and Video Festival.[4]

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February 21

From Beginning to End - Brazil  - 2009

From Beginning to End (Portuguese: Do Começo ao Fim) is a 2009 Brazilian romantic drama film directed by Aluizio Abranches, starring Fábio Assunção, Júlia Lemmertz, Gabriel Kaufmann, Lucas Cotrim, João Gabriel Vasconcellos and Rafael Cardoso. It premiered in Brazil on November 27, 2009. The film deals with homosexuality and incest, two types of relationships that are often considered to be taboos. Abranches claims that his only intention was to tell a love story.

1986 — Thomás is born with his eyes closed, and he does not open them for several weeks following the birth. Julieta, his mother, is unconcerned, believing that when Thomás is ready and wants to open his eyes, he will. These events instill a strong belief in free will in young Thomás. Two weeks after his birth, Thomás opens his eyes, apparently to look directly at his five-year-old half-brother Francisco.

1992 — Julieta is a wife and a loving mother, working in a hospital emergency department. Her free-spirited youngest son, Thomás, is the product of her marriage to her second husband Alexandre. Pedro, her first husband and father of her eldest son Francisco, lives in Argentina. Pedro and Julieta remain good friends. During childhood, Francisco and Thomás are very close, perhaps too close according to Pedro, with whom they spend a Christmas holiday in Buenos Aires. Julieta is aware of their close relationship and tries to remain understanding. Not long later, Pedro dies.

2008 — Years later, when Francisco is 27 and Thomás 22, Julieta dies. The brothers become lovers and an unusual love story ensues. Thomás is invited to live and train in Russia for a few years in preparation for the Olympics. Though it is the first time they will be apart, Thomás leaves. Francisco struggles without Thomás. He meets a woman in a club and though he tries to pursue a relationship with her, they both realize he is dedicated to someone else. Unable to be apart any longer, Francisco travels to Russia and the brothers reunite.

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March 6

Ausente "Absent" - Argentina - 2010

Ausente (English translation and title Absent) is a 2011 Spanish-language drama film directed by Argentine director Marco Berger. The film tackles the notion of sexual abuse of students, but director Marco Berger flips the dynamic. In this film, a young man wants to lure his teacher into a sexual relationship, rather than the other way round (i.e. where an older individual in a position of authority or trust becomes infatuated with a minor and lures the minor into a sexual relationship).

The story is told by Sebastián (Carlos Echevarría), the sports coach who becomes the object of a student's affection. Martin (Javier De Pietro) is a 16-year-old young student who is attracted to his coach, Sebastián. Sebastián tries to keep Martin at a distance, but at the same time tries to be kind and nurturing. Martin goes to great lengths in his attempt to get close to his teacher. When Martin hurts his eye during his swimming class, Sebastián initially takes him to the hospital. After treatment, Sebastián offers Martin a ride home. However, Martin was supposed to spend the night at a friend's house, so no one is expecting him to come home that night. Martin spends the night at the Sebastián's house. Things come to a head when Sebastián realizes that he was being lied to and punches Martin in the face. He is not angry from disgust for being the object of Martin's desire, rather because Martin's dishonesty could potentially cost the coach his job. Offended, Martin taunts Sebastián, telling him to call the police and suggesting it would cause greater problems for Sebastián. Later, Martin accidentally falls off a roof after retrieving a neighbor's soccer ball, and Sebastián finds himself filled with remorse.

Ausente "Absent"

March 20

Snails in the Rain - Israel - 2014

Snails in the Rain (Hebrew: שבלולים בגשם‎ Shablulim BaGeshem) is a 2013 Israeli drama film. Set in the 1980s, the film revolves around Boaz, a student, who receives love letters from an unknown man, which undermines his sexual identity and threatens his stable relationship with his girlfriend.

In this intelligent and emotional Israeli film set in 1989 Tel Aviv, Boaz (incredibly sexy male model Yoav Reuveni) is a linguistics student committed to his loving girlfriend, Noa. But soon Boaz is questioning his life when he begins receiving a series of obsessive love letters from another man. They expose the inner world of their author, who is deeply closeted — and knows plenty about him, including Boaz’s past attraction to other men.

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April 3

Bromance - Argentina - 2016

Bromance is a 2016 comedy film written by Lucas Santa Ana and Diego Mina and directed by Lucas Santa Ana.


When four friends go on a camping trip in a remote part of Argentina, sexual tensions quickly bubble to the surface. Once in virtual seclusion by the beach, Juli (the only girl) quickly recognizes that that the boys seem to have a closer relationship than what she would consider normal . The line between friendship and love fade further for two of the boys in particular as their desire becomes too much to bear. When what started as a simple getaway quickly becomes tinged with sex, romance, and conflict, everyone is forced to confront who they really are for the very first time..


April 17

Regular Guys - German - 1996

Regular Guys (German: Echte Kerle) is a 1996 German comedy film directed by Rolf Silber.

After breaking up with his girlfriend, a cop (Christoph M. Ohrt) wakes from a drinking binge in another man's (Tim Bergmann) bed and questions his sexual orientation.

Christoph, cop and self-confident macho, has trouble with his fiance. After a long night he wakes up in the arms of Edgar, a good-looking, gay auto-mechanic. His live gets more and more troublesome after his girl friend throws him out of their apartment and as last resort he moves to Edgars place. Working together with a new, good-looking, very self-confident, female collegue, but living with a good-looking gay guy makes him pretty uncertain about his sexuality and his role as a cop.

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May 1, 2020

Coming OUT

Awakening our Queer Lives Part of the Awaken Festival Toronto

Lives and Stories of Gay/Queer/Bi/Trans Men

Do you have a coming out short film you would like to see?

Do you have a coming out story you would like to share?

Come on OUT

Short Films and Coming OUT Stories

This is a possibility...

Trailer - Coming OUT -

May 15

Dorian Blues - United States - 2006

Dorian Blues is a 2004 comedy-drama film about a gay teenager coming to terms with his identity in upstate New York. The film was written and directed by Tennyson Bardwell and is loosely based on Bardwell's college roommate.[3]

High school senior Dorian begins a gay man's odyssey when he determines that he's gay and decides to come out. Chief among concerns is the reaction of his father, who has never liked him.

Dorian Lagatos (Michael McMillian). Not only is he going through high school purgatory but also struggling to move out of the shadow of his star athlete brother(Lea Coco) while dueling with his domineering, homophobic father.

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May 29

Inside Out Film Festival 2020 - TBD

Spending the afternoon and evening at Canada's largest LGBTQ Film Festival

Inside Out is a not-for-profit registered charity that exists to challenge attitudes and change lives through the promotion, production and exhibition of film made by and about lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) people of all ages, races and abilities.

For nearly three decades, Inside Out has brought Toronto's LGBT community together in celebration of the best queer film from Canada and around the world. Through our annual Festivals in Toronto and Ottawa, our filmmaker initiatives, our youth engagement and our year-round events and screenings, Inside Out is engaged every day in challenging attitudes and changing lives.

June 12

McQueen - UK - 2018

McQueen is a 2018 biographical documentary film, directed by Ian Bonhôte, written by Peter Ettedgui, and produced by Ian Bonhôte, Andee Ryder, Nick Taussig, and Paul Van Carter under the banner of Misfits Entertainment, and Salon Pictures. The documentary is based on the life and career of British fashion designer Alexander McQueen.

This moving documentary looks at the legacy of Lee A McQueen, the mercurial, anti-establishment fashion designer better known as Alexander McQueen. Co-directed by Ian Bonhôte and Peter Ettedgui, it divides his life into chapters or “tapes” titled after his most iconic collections. It’s a thrill to relive McQueen’s shows, from Jack the Ripper Stalks His Victims to Highland Rape and Plato’s Atlantis. Their theatrics have a tense, cinematic quality, only helped by Michael Nyman’s twisting, needling score.

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June 26

Perfect Obedience - Mexico - 2014

PERFECT OBEDIENCE by Luis Urquiza Mondragón (Mexico 2014; Drama) - Based on a true story, the scandal related to the priest Marcial Maciel, the Head of “Legion of Christ” (Los Legionarios de Cristo)!

Mexican Luiz Urquiza’s debut feature, “Perfect Obedience,” examines the pedophilic relationship between the spiritual leader of a Catholic seminary and the comely, naive young lad he selects as his newest disciple. Attempting both to validate the affair from the young seminarian’s p.o.v. and to condemn the hypocrisy of the corrupt priest, the film’s conflicting agendas wind up canceling each other out in an uneasy amalgam of pious devotion and heavy breathing.

This winner of the top prize at Montreal has proven hugely popular at home, its explosive subject matter, powerful script and elegant cinematography elevating what might otherwise be described as tastefully salaciousness.

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July 10

Performance - UK - 1970

Performance is a 1970 British crime drama film directed by Donald Cammell and Nicolas Roeg, written by Cammell and photographed by Roeg. The film stars James Fox as a violent and ambitious London gangster who, after killing an old friend, goes into hiding at the home of a reclusive rock star (Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones in his second film).

The film was produced in 1968 but not released until 1970 due to the reluctance of Warner Bros. to distribute the film owing to its sexual content and graphic violence. It received a mixed critical response initially, but since then its reputation has grown in stature; it is now regarded as one of the most influential and innovative films of the 1970s as well as in British cinema.

In 1999, Performance was voted the 48th greatest British film of all time by the British Film Institute; in 2008 Empire ranked the film 182nd on its list of the 500 Greatest Movies of All Time.

The film has gained notoriety due to the difficulties it faced in getting on screen. The film's content was a surprise to the studio. It has been reported that during a test screening, one Warner executive's wife vomited in shock. Nicolas Roeg notes in Richard Lester's TV series Hollywood UK: British Cinema of the Sixties (originally broadcast on 3 October 1993 and repeated on BBC Four in 2005 and 2006) that a Warner exec said of the scene depicting Jagger in a bath with Pallenberg and Breton, "Even the bath water was dirty." The film was shelved by Ken Hyman, head of Warner Brothers, when he concluded that no amount of editing, re-looping, or rescheduling would cover up the fact that the picture ultimately made no sense.[5] The response from the studio was to deny the film a cinematic release.

Performance was released in 1970, after major re-editing (performed by the uncredited Frank Mazzola, working under the close supervision of Cammell, with a brief from Warner Bros to introduce Mick Jagger earlier in the film) and changes in Warner's administration. When the film was first released in the United States the voices of a number of the actors in key roles were dubbed because the studio had feared that Americans would find their Cockney accents difficult to understand. Different edits were shown around the world with the film gaining a following through to the late 1970s, by which time a variety of versions of varying quality could be seen in a handful of independent cinemas around London.[citation needed] A Warner Home video version was eventually released in 1980 but contained the dubbed US version.

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July 24

Liquid Sky - United States - 1982

Liquid Sky is a 1982 American independent science fiction film directed by Slava Tsukerman and starring Anne Carlisle and Paula E. Sheppard.[1] It debuted at the Montreal Film festival in August 1982 and was well received at several film festivals thereafter.[2] It was produced with a budget of $500,000. It became the most successful independent film of 1983, grossing $1.7 million worldwide.

The film is seen as heavily influencing a club scene that emerged in the early 2000s in Brooklyn, Berlin, Paris, and London called electroclash.

Liquid Sky was produced and directed by Slava Tsukerman, who, prior to making Liquid Sky, had a successful career as a documentary and TV film maker in the USSR and Israel. The screenplay was written by Tsukerman, his wife and ubiquitous co-producer Nina V. Kerova, and Anne Carlisle, who also enacted the film's two leading roles. The director of photography, Yuri Neyman, a Russian émigré, was also the film's special effects expert. Anne Carlisle also wrote a novel based on the film in 1987.

Although the film is loosely centered around early 1980s punk subculture, the film's score uses a series of strident synthesizer music pieces. The music was composed by Slava Tsukerman, Clive Smith and Brenda Hutchinson using the Fairlight CMI. Most of it was original, but included interpretations of Baroque composer Marin Marais's Sonnerie de Ste-Geneviève du Mont-de-Paris, Carl Orff's Trionfo di Afrodite, and Anthony Philip Heinrich's Laurel Waltz. All of these were orchestrated in a series of ominous, dissonant arrangements and nightmarish marches.

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See YOU at the Movies!

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Phillip Coupal - Counselling + Coaching + Bodywork 

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