Why is Shelter so good?

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Why is Shelter so good?

Post by eric85 on October 21st 2009, 9:33 pm

Okay, the forum has been pretty quiet the last few weeks so I thought I might get things going again by asking a pretty obvious question for which there are probably a lot of answers.

What makes the movie Shelter so good? Maybe even great?

I've dug around on the web looking for comments that people have made about the movie. Not surprisingly, almost everyone loves or at least likes it. There are quibbles: the ending is too sappy (maybe). Shaun isn't realistic -- he's waaay too patient with Zach (hmm, isn't that what they call love?). The movie is too short (totally agree). But still, the movie has gotten almost universal approval and moved up to second place on at least one poll of the best gay films ever. A lot of people said it was their story or the story of someone they knew.

So why do so many people like it, gay and straight? Why is it the second best gay film of all time according to some?

I'll go first and say that there are three big reasons and they are, in order: first, the script. Second, the actors. And third, the director.

It's a great script -- well written, clever, full of great lines, and human. It isn't just another coming out film but about real people trying to find their place in life. The actors are fantastic. Trevor is awesome and Brad is right up there. Even the secondary actors hold their own. And the director, well, Jonah had a vision and made it happen. There are other things, of course. The soundtrack is perfect. And I like the fact that there were no sets built for the film. Every house, store, restaurant, and beach was a real location.

So, what do you think?

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Re: Why is Shelter so good?

Post by hbdzh on February 6th 2010, 4:28 am

actually ,there is a movie better than shelter ,love of saim ,in thia ,i love shelter too,but it is

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Re: Why is Shelter so good?

Post by baileybrat on February 14th 2010, 10:49 am

hbdzh wrote:actually ,there is a movie better than shelter ,love of saim ,in thia ,i love shelter too,but it is
As I mentioned in the other thread, I adore The Love of Siam, and I DO think it is one of the best films out there to feature a gay relationship, however it's possibly not the right thing to do to try and compare them since they actually focus on totally different things, and the cultural background of each movie will also effect how they will be percieved by different audiences, so what is seen as profound to one might not be seen as profound to another.

(SPOILERISH bit below)

For example, the bittersweet ending to TLOS is usually seen as a perfectly acceptable resolution by Asian audiences who, because they fully comprehend why Tong says what he does within the context of Thai society conventions - ie: he is doing the right thing given the circumstances of the family situation - the movie is seen as having quite a virtuous and poignant outcome; while for Western audiences, Tong's words appear to come out of the blue and are a bit incomprehensible given what the boys have already gone through to reach this point in the story. Tong has every chance to be happy with Mew yet seems to be turning his back on that for no truly valid reason. So, if Western audiences come away from the film feeling less satisfied with the outcome, they are unlikely to see TLOS as a better film, regardless of anything else, as they feel cheated of a perfectly obtainable 'happy ending'

.... err... umm...

I don't really know where I am going with this now. LOL! I'm sure I knew what I was trying to say when I started.

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Re: Why is Shelter so good?

Post by hbdzh on February 17th 2010, 2:53 am

anyway ,thanks for your opinion

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Re: Why is Shelter so good?

Post by eric85 on February 17th 2010, 6:37 pm

Baileybrat,

Your thoughts are always welcome. And I thought of you yesterday when I discovered and read for the first time, a long, thoughtful review of Shelter by someone named Peter Watchorn. It appears on Trevor Wright's Facebook page under "Discussions." If I'm not violating the rules, here's the URL: http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=19300278726&topic=8858.

Eric

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Re: Why is Shelter so good?

Post by eric85 on February 17th 2010, 6:40 pm

Oops!

Sorry. Looks like the URL didn't work. But those of you who want to read the review of Shelter by Peter W, simply go to Trevor's Facebook page and click "discussions." The review is the only item there.

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Re: Why is Shelter so good?

Post by marcosdb85 on April 5th 2010, 11:18 pm

the answer is definitely: TREVOR WRIGHT
this guy put a magic inside the movie that likes all kind of people.
His work was excellent and created the best connection between him and Brad.
I love that all the movie is around him, and he could answer perfect to that director´s idea.

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Re: Why is Shelter so good?

Post by marcosdb85 on April 7th 2010, 10:23 pm

this movie changed my life...

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Re: Why is Shelter so good?

Post by BaniLo on August 2nd 2010, 7:15 pm

Hi, marcosdb85 - we are all "Shelties", otherwise we would not be here. How was your life before Shelter and what is different today?

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a view from UK

Post by tonyinuk on August 22nd 2010, 3:46 pm

Well, I for one have seen it at least 12 times in the last 3 Months here in the UK, since I bought the DVD…. A beautiful film in every way.

For me, Shelter restores faith in human relationships having been through some ugly scenes myself. I think the film gives hope to everyone who perhaps is coming out in that you can find direction and happiness even when life seems to be at the darkest hour. Also that guys can show affection for each other without being ridiculed ( gay or straight ). And that masculinity is as natural to both gay and straight men as is femininity.

I’m very drawn to Zack because of his sensitive nature and deep character. There’s so much softness and kindness about him which just makes you want to hug him… not to mention his big blue eyes.

I have to rate this as one of the best love themed films ( gay or straight ) for a very long time and the films gets better each time I watch it. Every scene seems to produce a new emotion and feeling within the characters which I didn’t spot before.

Some people here in the UK have suggested that the intimate kissing between the two men is kind of awkward and unrealistic, yet did we not all experience initial awkwardness and surrealism when we first initiated kissing with another person. I certainly did and that’s why for me, the kissing scenes in this film are so realistic and energising.

The biggest surprise is the fact that the film is not on general release, quite shocked really. I’m hoping SKY INDIE will be showing on their movie channel here in the UK at some point as they trawl through Indies for 2008/2009

I found this utube link about Shelter’s actors comments, note at 5 minutes. Zacs thoughts on passion.

http://www.youtube.com/user/GPPictures#p/u/2/MqBcM6gCs8M

I love the photos of San Pedro. I have Google mapped the town, its sounds fascinating. Do you think its worth visiting and is it easy to get to as LA and SanFranciso are on my list of places to visit.

tony in UK
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One possible answer...

Post by BaniLo on September 20th 2010, 6:16 pm

When asked why Shelter is so good, I can say that it’s not just the script, the actors and the director.

It is simply the universality of the story.

About Shelter much has been written and the story is understood all over the world.

For me the most telling scene of the movie’s the hug of Shaun und Zach as is certain that there will be a common future – in the garden from which we lack the photos yet.
Take a look at Zach’s eyes – which he only opens for a moment.
The whole world has understood that he has found at this moment his only shelter – with body language and without words.

We all need it anywhere in the world our shelter and who has not yet found his shelter it is always looking for…

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I found Shaun's patience quite believable

Post by Eowyn on September 27th 2010, 12:29 am

I found Shaun's patience quite believable. The director/writer was smart for making Shaun's character 10 years older then Zach's. In addition Shaun has known Zach and his family since Zach was 8 years old. He had to know that the arguement in the truck was driven by more then Gabe coming home. They had just been laying in bed that afternoon saying to each other "they were glad they were there" and BAM ... hours later Zach needs time.

I love that Shaun sent in Zach's application even though they had that row. He loved him enough and believed in him that even if Zach didn't come back to him he didn't want Zach to lose out on an opportunity.
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Re: Why is Shelter so good?

Post by CoffeeKay on August 21st 2011, 6:19 pm

I completely agree with all the things you guys already mentioned as the reasons why Shelter is so good (story, script, acting, direction, music, locations, etc, etc).

I too have read that Shaun's part was called sappy or soft, but I think that's a comment of someone who doesn't fully understand the depth of the characters in this movie.

Shaun is older and he's known Zach since forever, but I think initially he doesn't get Zach's depth. He's probably taken him for a bit of a goofball, as he's best friends with Gabe (his story about Gabe at the beginning of the first kissing scene would suggest so) and the ± 10 years difference in age would have meant he would have hung out with them as kids (mostly surfing I guess), but was still worlds apart. (If he would have hung out with them more, he would have known Gabe and Shaun were on those walkie-talkies for hours (but he didn't), he would have known better than to buy 13 year old kids from San Pedro WINE COOLERS (what in the world was he thinking!), he would have known that Zach knew about his sexual orientation and he would have just known more about Zach's life and personality).
As the story develops and he understands what Zach's life and (inner) world is like, he learns forcing things on him would only drive him away, like we see in the break up scene in Zach's car, after the party when Gabe's back from SB. So he has no choice but to be patient. But since he's also human, he doesn't always stick to that (and outs Zach to Gabe, thereby proving to Zach that Gabe really isn't a problem and will remain his best friend, whatever happens).
He shows his maturity and unconditional love for Zach by - as Eowyn said - sending in Zach's portfolio, not wanting him to lose out on the opportunity to let his talent as an artist grow. Since he's a writer (and fellow artist) he probably understands that part of Zach like no one else in his life.

BaniLo, I get and agree with what you're saying about the hug scene and Zach's eyes.
Trevor's acting is very intense and in a lot of places so subtle and yet so very, very effective.

Have to be honest and say that I was was immediately grabbed by the story, but didn't quite get why I wanted to see it over and over again. So each viewing I (this time consciously) found another brilliant thing about the film: story, acting, direction, locations, dialogue, and the list just goes on and on.
I think the true brilliance of the film is that it all comes together and you - or at least I - unconsciouly did see it all in that very first viewing, but had to sort of disect it, to actually be aware of all of the ingredients melting so wonderfully together. (I hope that makes sense. It does to me, anyway Wink )
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Re: Why is Shelter so good?

Post by Doreen on August 22nd 2011, 2:36 pm

CoffeeKay wrote: (I hope that makes sense. It does to me, anyway Wink )

To me, too. Completely. Yes, we saw all these things in the very first viewing. That's the reason why we can't stop viewing this movie treasure over and over again. And everytime we see it we can explain it a little bit more.

Thanks, CoffeeKay, for your great posts.
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Re: Why is Shelter so good?

Post by CoffeeKay on August 22nd 2011, 4:46 pm

You're welcome, Doreen! Very Happy
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Re: Why is Shelter so good?

Post by hbdzh on September 1st 2011, 4:11 am

long time for not coming here ,i'm back

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Re: Why is Shelter so good?

Post by xKJx on August 17th 2012, 10:05 pm

Hmmm, where did you find this list of top gay movies? You said it was top 2? I'm curious now as to what movie came first. Razz

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Re: Why is Shelter so good?

Post by xKJx on August 17th 2012, 10:23 pm

Where did you find this movie ranks? I'm curious as to what movie took first place Razz

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Re: Why is Shelter so good?

Post by eric85 on August 22nd 2012, 7:06 pm

xKJx:

This particular list was compiled in late 2009, so there are no doubt more recent ones. But this is the list that I referred to:

http://www.afterelton.com/movies/2009/9/greatest-gay-movies?page=0%2C1

BTW, I'm glad to see some activity here on the Forum. Thanks for posting.

Eric

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Re: Why is Shelter so good?

Post by eric85 on August 22nd 2012, 7:14 pm

Gang,

Quick addition to my last post. There is a more recent list from the same source (AfterElton) that you might be interested in. This "Top 50 Gay Films" list was compiled in September, 2010:

http://www.afterelton.com/movies/2010/9/favorite-gay-films?page=0%2C0

Shelter has dropped to #3.

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Re: Why is Shelter so good?

Post by xKJx on August 25th 2012, 8:08 pm

baileybrat wrote:
hbdzh wrote:actually ,there is a movie better than shelter ,love of saim ,in thia ,i love shelter too,but it is


(SPOILERISH bit below)

For example, the bittersweet ending to TLOS is usually seen as a perfectly acceptable resolution by Asian audiences who, because they fully comprehend why Tong says what he does within the context of Thai society conventions - ie: he is doing the right thing given the circumstances of the family situation - the movie is seen as having quite a virtuous and poignant outcome; while for Western audiences, Tong's words appear to come out of the blue and are a bit incomprehensible given what the boys have already gone through to reach this point in the story. Tong has every chance to be happy with Mew yet seems to be turning his back on that for no truly valid reason. So, if Western audiences come away from the film feeling less satisfied with the outcome, they are unlikely to see TLOS as a better film, regardless of anything else, as they feel cheated of a perfectly obtainable 'happy ending'

SPOILER--
Just for clarification and to contribute, I think Tong preferred that they should stay friends instead but that doesn't mean that Tong wasn't Gay per se. In the end, Mew also said thank you as he cried silently. To me that was like him saying thank you for helping him find out his true nature and accepting it openly without being ashamed of it. Love between friends is just as strong when compared to love between lovers. Sometimes it is even more beautiful and stronger since friendship is truly special.

Just my 2 cents. I think this way because the ending is too vague for me and I don't want to think that Tong would choose to date girls again. hahah.

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