Monthly Film Bulletin: GagaOOLala

GagaOOLala is a Taiwan-based streaming service which aims to bring together queer stories of all genres from around the world. As the first LGBT-focused media platform in Asia, GagaOOLala curates feature films, shorts, documentaries, and series from the past few years, as well as producing its own original content. Recently, they have launched a new curated list on their website – “7th Heaven: Seven Days of Free Content” – where you can find a new selection of 7 films and series for free each week! This month, Managing Editor Miruna Tiberiu recommends some of her favourite films from this list.


The Serpent’s Song (2017), dir. Nuntanat Duangtisarn

(TW: the film contains references to self-harm and suicide)


This short Thai drama leads us through a heart-wrenching sensory experience of lust, loss, and violence. Set in a secret monastery in the depths of the Thai countryside, amidst the deafening silence of rural devout life, the film follows the arrival of a music teacher employed to help a young nun be able to speak again. Once passionate about music, a hidden traumatic event has removed all language from the nun’s lips. Running back and forth between the past and the present, in a fragmentary way, the film gradually reveals the layers behind her muteness. In a religious setting which offers no language to describe queer desire, the nun is unable to keep speaking for fear that she is not speaking the truth of her heart. The film’s soundtrack fills in for this wordless desire – a swelling orchestral piece follows each of the narrative’s tense beats, gathering up momentum before descending into chaos, a punctuated silence in the film’s last moments.

Watch The Serpent’s Song here.


Susie (202), dir. Jordan Doig

(TW: the film contains references to domestic violence and abuse)

Another short film bordering on psychological horror, Susie brings the violent out of the mundane. It follows Andy and Susie, a long-term sapphic couple, and centres on Andy’s emotional manipulation which has made Susie, unable to escape this abusive relationship, begin to see the walls of her apartment through a red-tinged, horror-filled lens. Fans of Carmen Maria Machado’s In the Dream House will find a similar discussion of the underrepresented experience of domestic violence in queer, especially female-centred, relationships, using the horror genre to bring to light the complexities of abuse and trauma responses. The film is set almost entirely inside the couple’s apartment, and its poignant sound mixing makes even the most everyday of shots – such as protagonist Susie’s cutting carrots to make dinner for her partner – feel on edge, as if a jump-scare is waiting around every corner. This apartment becomes the film’s biggest monster, constraining and distorting Susie’s mind as if it is a spirit possessing her. “Maybe nothing outside the walls of the room is actually there”, she announces in the film’s closing moments.

Watch Susie here.


Peach (2020), dir. Sophie Saville

A more light-hearted entry to finish off, this Australian short brings in the messy humour of Please Like Me with the crisp dialogue of Gilmore Girls and weaves them together in a biting, hilarious 8 minutes. Peach follows a shy, socially-anxious and endearing dungaree-clad queer woman as she prepares for a date that she isn’t entirely sure is a date after all. We then spend the remainder of this (non-)date at the protagonists house, on the edge of our seat, reading into her (non-)date’s every comment and action, trying to figure out the eternal question: is she queer or not? Did she grab her knee in fear, as they were watching a movie, or was that a way of getting close to her? Acting as her own right-hand man, the protagonist tries to gather confidence by affirming to herself in her bathroom mirror: “You’re a confident young adult, and you’re just gonna go in there, and you’re gonna grab her peach”. Does she? You’ll have to find out for yourself…

Watch Peach here.


If you liked the sound of these, have a look through the “7th Heaven” curated list, and check out more of what is on offer on GagaOOLala!  


Article by Miruna Tiberiu.


Miruna Tiberiu is the Managing Editor of GAY45. She is a student at Cambridge University. Tiberiu has written for numerous publications, including The Cambridge Review of Books, and the Cambridge Language Collective. She is the co-founder and co-editor of Cambridge’s first all-queer magazine, Screeve. Tiberiu is currently long-listed for the International News Media Association (INMA)’s “30 Under 30” Awards 2023.


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