First Published - June 2019

For the LGBTQ community, film has long been a vehicle for challenging society’s pre-conceptions. While furthering inclusion and embracing a community rich in history, art and culture. The film journey of the LGBTQ community reflects the history of its people. Providing a road map of the discrimination, isolation and fight for equality and representation, each individual has made over the decades.

Film has often assisted in building wider public understanding of the lives of LGBTQ people. While also exploring some of the most challenging and heart-breaking periods in the communities global history. Reflecting and representing a community that was once kept silent and hidden. In turn building individual and community confidence to tell important stories on screen. This journey has over time increased the confidence of filmmakers to challenge their audience with themes and stories that were once taboo. Bringing the rich diversity and creativity of LGBTQ culture and history to global communities.

However, it is only recently in the history of cinema that confidence has grown, and even now studios openly censor LGBTQ content to appease global markets where freedoms are still oppressed. Therefore the journey of LGBTQ cinema is not over, in fact its only just coming of age. Film still has a unique and important role to play, alongside theatre and art in challenging views, encouraging dialogue and furthering inclusion. Ensuring filmmakers bring more LGBTQ inspired stories and experiences into mainstream cinema. Reflecting the history, culture and pride of people who have fought for equality and representation.

So join us in celebrating the films that made us laugh, cry and feel proud of our history and culture. With our essential list of LGBTQ films.

Brokeback Mountain

Director: Ang Lee (2005)

Brokeback Mountain could have easily been a melodrama. However, in the hands of Ang Lee the result is a beautiful and deeply moving story of hidden love, lost opportunities and escape. Set against the backdrop of rural Wyoming in 60’s America. Ledger, Gyllenhaal and Williams give performances that play to the isolation, suffocation and danger of hidden desire in rural America. Issues that continued to prevail and haunt Americas rural communities long after the 60’s depiction of Brokeback.

Watching the final harrowing scenes you can’t help but be reminded of the horrific murder of Matthew Shepard in 1998. Demonstrating that rural America’s journey to acceptance was and still is a work in progress.

Carol

Director: Todd Haynes (2015)

Carol is an unforgettable journey into female sexuality, strength and love in a repressed 1950’s society. Based on Patricia Highsmiths 1952 novel The Price of Salt. Carol explores a world where women are subject to societal views of femininity in male dominated communities and family constructs. Haynes, expertly navigating the fragility and paranoia of secret love, alongside sublime performances and delicious cinematography. Carol is a true masterclass in filmmaking.

“I don’t know what I want. How could I know what I want if I say yes to everything?”

Therese (Carol)

Love Simon

Director: Greg Bertanti (2018)

Love Simon is a defining millennial LGBT movie. With a wonderful script and excellent performances. Berlanti takes the best-selling young-adult novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda and treats it with reverence and respect in its translation to film. Creating a film that pays homage to the late great John Hughes. While providing a truly modern view on the coming out journey, full of humour, love and warmth.

However, where Love Simon really excels is in its ability to bring fresh and engaging gay romantic comedy to a young audience with major studio backing. With a 12A certificate Love Simon was and still is a game changer in LGBTQ representation on screen for teenagers.

 

The Favourite

Director: Yorgos Lanthimos (2018)

Full of dark humour, passion, love, sexual politics and humanity. The Favourite is another game changing film in LGBTQ representation in mainstream cinema. From it’s beautiful cinematography to script. The Favourite delivers on every possible level while placing female sexuality front and centre. With men left in the shadows of a bittersweet tale of sexual power, conflict and desire for acceptance.

The Favourite is a stunning piece of film making that never needs to point out its place in LGBTQ film history. This is a female led, female empowered and sexually driven study of love, power and place. Wrapped up within a box of social commentary, humour and reflection.

“Some wounds do not close; I have many such. One just walks around with them and sometimes one can feel them filling with blood.”

Queen Anne (The Favourite)

Weekend

Director: Andrew Haigh (2011)

Andrew Haighs Weekend is one of the most grounded and real films ever made in its exploration of gay male relationships, belonging and identity. Filmed on a low budget in Nottingham. Weekend centres on a one-night stand and the burgeoning reality that it may provide more than pure physical enjoyment for Russell and Glen. As sex moves on to conversation and connection, Russell and Glen begin to stumble into the first steps of a deeper relationship.

There is something uniquely intimate in Haigh’s film. Providing a realism, intensity and journey that never hides the complexities, fun and fear of first meetings. While embracing the ability of sex to transition into love and belonging.

All About My Mother

Director: Pedro Almodovar (1999)

Playing homage to Tennessee Williams 1947 play Streetcar Named Desire and 1950’s All About Eve. Pedro Almodovars film mixes heartfelt humour, tragedy and soap opera to glorious effect. All within a story that embraces diversity, colour and love. While exploring the human need to re-create our dreams and aspirations. All About My Mother is funny, sad and beautifully filmed. Providing a multi-layered and gorgeous piece of modern filmmaking.

My Own Private Idaho

Director: Gus Van Sant (1991)

You may think that a film based around male prostitution would focus on sex. But Gus Van Sant’s 1991 picture does not wrap itself into the normal prostitution themes or subject matter. My Own Private Idaho plays with Shakespeare’s Henry IV part I and II. While placing its central characters into the urban bustle and rural beauty of Portland, Oregon. Dovetailing the freedom of wide-open landscapes with a suffocating yet intoxicating cityscape. Scott (Keanu Reeves) and Mike (River Phoenix) care for each other, sharing their hopes and dreams in a nuanced mesh of male love and unrequited longing.

Idaho takes us on an unforgettable journey of love in the midst of hurt, companionship and a dream like need for belonging and safety. Idaho is a journey you will never forget, and reminds us all of the unique and beautiful River Phoenix, who departed our world way too soon

 

Show Me Love

Director: Lukas Moodysson (1998)

Lukas Moodyssons debut feature is a touching and beautifully performed portrait of emerging sexuality. Focussing on first love between two young girls in the small backwater Swedish town of Amal. The challenges, excitement and restrictions of female sexuality in a town of limited potential and opportunity are perfectly portrayed.

Show Me Love reflects the feelings of all LGBTQ people who come of age in communities where freedom of expression and love are stifled by insular attitudes.

Tomboy

Director: Celine Sciamma (2011)

Celine Sciamma’s follow up to Water Lilies, explores gender identity, freedom of choice and coming of age without any hidden agendas. Tomboy follows 10 year old Laure as she moves with her family to a new suburban neighbourhood in France. Laurie refuses to confirm to the images of girlhood that surround her. Dressing in clothes that challenge societies gender stereotypes. Laurie’s image and identity become more complicated on meeting a new friend Lisa, who believes she is a boy. As Laurie adopts the new name Michael to confirm to Lisa’s pre-conceptions. A long hot summer of self-expression, exploration of identity and friendship ensues.

Tomboy is a beautiful exploration of innocence, identity and perception. Never seeking to define the outcome for Laurie or her creation of Michael. Instead, Tomboy simply asks the audience to accept the need for self-expression of identity during childhood, wherever that may lead in adolescence.

Boys Don’t Cry

Director: Kimberly Peirce (1999)

Stark and foreboding, but ultimately compelling in its narrative. Boys Don’t Cry is a truly ground breaking slice of late of 90’s LGBTQ cinema. Loosely based on real events. Boys Don’t Cry takes us on a rollercoaster of danger and risk as Brandon Teena (Hillary Swank) plays a dangerous game in a small town of deep and dark secrets. As we watch, the town and its dark corners unravel consuming Brandon and the secrets he harbours. Nothing about Boys Don’t Cry is easy to watch, and it is certainly not for the faint hearted, but this is brave and stark film making with performances to match.

“Dear Lana, By the time you read this, I’ll be back home in Lincoln. I’m scared of what’s ahead, but when I think of you I know I’ll be able to go on. You were right. Memphis isn’t far at all. I’ll be making a trip out on the highway before too long. I’ll be waiting for ya. Love always and forever, Brandon.”

Brandon (Boys Don’t Cry)

Girl

Director: Lukas Dhont (2018)

Providing us with a transgender coming of age story Lucas Dhonts debut is not without its controversy. Especially in casting a young cis male actor in the main role. However, despite these debates. This is a film that offers us a truly immersive journey, and a huge step forward in transgender lives on screen. Film carries a unique power to change public perception and understanding, and Girl does that with beauty and engaging performances that offer true emotional resonance.

Victor Polsters performance is exceptional, a nuanced and deeply emotional portrayal of a transitioning teen, showing a complexity of emotions and feelings alongside an urgent desire to lead a full new life. Within the performance we grow with Lara, feeling her pain, her joy and her urge to complete the transition already begun. Powerful teenage emotions are set to a backdrop of gruelling and beautiful ballet, the struggles of body conformity, change and dance interwoven into a breathtaking and urgent piece of intimate filmmaking.

Family life for Lara is full of love, support and warmth, never playing to dated stereotypes, but at the same time demonstrating the isolation of teenage emotions even in families of great support. Lara’s dad (Arieh Worthalter) is full of care and love for his daughter, while also feeling powerless to speed up her transition and ensure her happiness.

Sexual awakening, peer groups and gender identity are handled with care, while also allowing the audience to develop their understanding of the challenges faced by transgender young people in a society of set gender boundaries. Read our full review here

 

Pride

Director: Matthew Warchus (2014)

Pride knows what it aims to be, a classic British comedy/drama that wears its heart on its sleeve. Taking the classic comedy/drama blueprint of The Full Monty and Billy Elliot. Pride accomplishes its core purpose in spades, delivering a truly feel good film that is designed to have you cheering by the end.

Based on the real life story of equality campaigner Mark Ashton and the support of the LGB community for the miners strike of 1984/85. Pride delivers humour, warmth and messages of solidarity throughout.

While sometimes too soft in its portrayal of an LGB community striving for acceptance during a period of Thatcherism and AIDS. Pride lifts your spirits and belief in the ability of communities to come together for a greater good.

Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Director: John Cameron Mitchell (2001)

Released in 2001 Hedwig and the Angry Inch brought post punk/glam rock back from the grave in a way not seen since Rocky Horror. With a film adaptation of the truly unique 1990s Broadway Musical. From the outset, Hedwig the film has no intention of toning down or distilling its kaleidoscope of colour, humour and raucous energy. Helped by the writer, director and lead performer (John Cameron Mitchell) bringing his vision and creativity to a film that never forgets its Broadway roots. All songs are performed live on film showing the bravery of the creative process and direction. While also giving the film a real sense of the Broadway spectacular of 1998. Just sit back with a huge glass of your favourite drink and let Hedwig wash over you with its glorious visuals, humour, music and performances.

“Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Saviour?
No, but I… I love his work.”

Tommy and Hedwig (Hedwig and the Angry Inch)

Victim

Director: Basil Dearden (1961)

Cleverly using the thriller genre to explore social development and injustice is now a staple of modern cinema. With new directors such as Jordan Peele threading social themes into mainstream horror. Victim was the first major film to focus on the lives of gay men in a society where intolerance, legal threats and undercover investigations were still rife. This is a film that takes the archaic notions held within the Sexual Offences Act of the time Delicately unpicking the personal and community experience of damaging legislation on screen.

It is easy now to dismiss the effect Victim had on the gay rights movement, but I urge you to revisit this classic. As this was a film that helped change the landscape of representation and law in the United Kingdom.

 

Beautiful Thing

Director: Hettie MacDonald (1996)

Beautiful Thing is still one of the most tender, warm and relevant films exploring coming of age for young gay men ever produced. Covering serious issues alongside the first throws of love. This is a film that breaks down stereotypes, shows gay love positively, and embraces change. Beautiful Thing it not only an amazing gay film, but also a statement of inclusion and diversity in a changing 90s Britain.

Death in Venice

Director: Luchino Visconti (1971)

Death in Venice probably divides opinion more than any other film on our essential list. With public and critic responses equally split between love and hate for a film based on Thomas Mann’s novella.

So let me start by setting out my stall. Death in Venice is one of the most powerful pieces of art house cinema produced in the 20th Century. This haunting and beautiful film not only explores the regrets and lost opportunities of a man nearing his final days. But also the vibrancy, exploration and fleeting nature of youth. Dirk Bogarde gives the performance of his career, never allowing his character too close to the audience. While capturing the awakening of Gustav’s long suppressed desires, and longing to be young again.

Many have commented that Death in Venice focusses too much on Gustav’s growing obsession with 14 year old Tadziu (Andresen). A beautiful enigma of a boy, holidaying with his mother and siblings. However, while this view may play to modern sensibilities, it does not reflect the direction of the film. While Gustav is obsessed with Tadziu’s beauty and freedom, this is never sexualised. Gustav sees in Tadziu what his life could have offered given different opportunities and personal courage.

Set to Gustav Mahlers fifth symphony, with sublime cinematography. Visconti’s film is a nuanced and beautiful portrait of a life never lived to its full. Death in Venice is the closest you can get to a beautiful painting in celluloid format.

 

A Fantastic Woman

Director: Sebastian Lelio (2017)

A Fantastic Woman is a truly remarkable exploration of the destructive power families can wield when a LGBTQ partner suddenly dies. Bereaved and alone, her security gone. Marina (Daniela Vega) must find her way through the now hostile world she inhabits. Her trans identity a barrier and perversion to the family of her dead partner and many others in her local community. This is a beautiful, often upsetting and heartfelt character study of isolation and discrimination in the face of sudden bereavement and change.

120 Beats Per Minute

Director: Robin Campillo (2017)

Bursting with a vibrant energy and youthful passion for change. 120 BPM is a truly stunning piece of LGBTQ cinema that changes the landscape of films devoted to HIV and AIDS. Following the Act Up movement in Paris, 120 BPM is not afraid to challenge the 80’s and 90’s onscreen story of AIDS. Placing LGBTQ people who fought to increase public awareness and push for government action centre stage. These were heroes to us all, whether you identify as LGBTQ or not.

Fizzing with the energy of life, equality and love in a way few films have managed. 120 BPM asks us all what we believe, and whether we would have stood up in society of judgement and fear to make our voices heard. This is a celebration of life in all its stages, that seizes your heart and soul in equal measure.

 

Maurice

Director: James Ivory (1987)

Offering everything you would expect from a British period drama. James Ivory’s adaptation of E.M Forster’s 1914 novel, not published until after his death in 1971, shines with British charm. However, what makes Maurice a truly essential film in the history of gay cinema, sits within the novel at its heart. A novel that only found daylight 15 years before a major film adaptation was released. Clearly demonstrating the journey taken in public acceptance. While highlighting the fear of authors to release material that could have led to personal controversy.

As a film Maurice is assured in its approach, exploring the barriers to long term love present in Edwardian British society. While also demonstrating how class and position played to public views of acceptable sexual behaviour. Maurice has become a classic of British gay cinema. A deserved accolade for a film that talked about love and belonging in a 1987 Britain of Section 28 and AIDS based discrimination.

Gods Own Country

Directed by: Francis Lee (2017)

Many commentators falsely describe Gods Own Country as the British Brokeback Mountain. Not giving credit or power to story that is truly unique and different to Brokeback in so many ways.

Gods Own Country is a love story that never seeks to explore the more political side of sexuality. Favouring the exploration of rural isolation and modern British xenophobia. It talks to 21st Century Brexit Britain while also demonstrating the loneliness and isolation that leads people of all communities to destructive behaviour. At its heart Gods Own Country is a beautiful redemptive love story, demonstrating the power of unions between people in building happiness and breaking down cultural and national walls.

 

Orlando

Directed by: Sally Potter (1992)

Inspired by Virginia Woolf’s classic novel, Sally Potters film adaptation plays fast and loose with novels timelines and structure. While keeping the beating heart of Woolf’s vision and style. This is a film that transcends the gender boundaries of the era to which it was born. Taking art, literature and film into a sphere of identity exploration in all its forms. Performances are truly stunning, as are some wonderful cameo appearances. Orlando is a true classic and visionary piece of literature meets that truly challenged its 1992 audience.

Call Me By Your Name

Director: Luca Guadagnino (2017)

Adapted from the novel by Andre Aciman. Luca Guadagnino’s film is a rich exploration of young love, hidden desire, burning want and sexuality. Set in Northern Italy during the early 1980’s. Call Me By Your Name is unafraid to show the complexity of feelings, actions and emotions surrounding sexual desire and discovery. This is a film that understands the intensity of teenage sexuality and the burning want, jealously and vulnerability of early sex and love.

Timothee Chalamet gives a performance of layered emotion and emerging self confidence. Bringing Elio to life while sharing his inner most feelings and thoughts through a single look, gesture or action. Call Me By Your Name is one of the finest portrayals of teenage love, identity and belonging in a generation.

“We rip out so much of ourselves to be cured of things faster than we should that we go bankrupt by the age of thirty and have less to offer each time we start with someone new. But to make yourself feel nothing so as not to feel anything – what a waste!”

Mr Perlman (Call Me By Your Name)
 

The Long Day Closes

Directed by: Terence Davies (1992)

Following the outstanding Distant Voices, Still Lives. Terence Davies The Long Day Closes offers a tender and loving view on family life. 11 year old Bud is wrapped in the warm and tender family cocoon of a caring mother and supportive brothers and sisters. His father dead (Just as in Davies own childhood). However, despite his family support Bud is essentially a lonely boy. With his first thoughts of gay desire interfacing with the weight of Catholic guilt built into him from a young age.

Davies exploration of religious guilt and burgeoning sexuality is personal, nuanced and beautifully shot. With performances that echo the challenges of coming of age and sexual discovery interfacing with religious doctrine.

Moonlight

Directed by: Barry Jenkins (2016)

Barry Jenkins OSCAR award winning film defies the boundaries of genre categorisation. Moonlight is a beautiful symphony of love and friendship, in a society of cultural restrictions and poverty. Beautifully shot and performed. Moonlight isn’t afraid to challenge its audience and the racial stereotypes born from media and news. Jenkins three age study, is awash with pure poetry and reflection. Deserving every accolade it received in bringing a diversity of life and love to our screens.

“I wasn’t never worth shit. Never did anything I actually wanted to do, was all I could do to do what other folks thought I should do. I wasn’t never myself.”

Kevin (Moonlight)
 

Bent

Directed by: Sean Mathias (1997)

There are few films exploring the direct effect of Nazism on the LGBTQ community. Despite the community being subject to the concentration camps and Holocaust of Hitlers Third Reich.

Bent is an incredibly powerful, emotional and stark representation of a German society that embraced inclusion and diversity, falling into division, segregation and ultimately Holocaust. The story of the LGBTQ community during holocaust remains largely untold in film, theatre and literature. And while Bent is not a perfect film in delivery or performances it does the important job of reflecting the experience and horror of those identified by and forced to wear the pink triangle.

Papi Chulo

Directed by: John Butler (2018)

At its heart Papi Chulo is a buddy film, but in its soul it’s a multi layered character study of a gay man on the edge of an emotional breakdown. With Sean finding his own recovery through the company of a man culturally and emotionally different to himself. There is much to praise in the films effortless and nuanced exploration of cultural divides in masculinity, friendship and belonging. Wrapped into a city where life can jump from energetic interaction to isolation and loneliness.

 

Benjamin

Directed by: Simon Amstell (2019)

This is a film that truly shines in its realistic and tender exploration of love. As Benjamins anxious hopes for film success are replaced by a new romantic relationship with French musician Noah (Phenix Brossard). Amstell explores the feelings of apprehension, fear of commitment and joy of first dates in a way many other romantic comedies fail to grasp. While Morgan and Brossard explore male love and companionship with beauty, never resorting to damaging stereotypes.

 

Maedchen in Uniform

Directed by: Leontine Sagan (1931)

Its almost hard to believe now that a film where female sexuality sat front and centre, came out of Germany just two years before Hitler was appointed Chancellor of the country. Maedchen in Uniform is not only a stunning piece of early female empowerment on film. But also achieved critical success around the world, a feat that was truly amazing in early 1930’s society.

When watching this film you can’t help but reflect on the devastation that was to come. Taking Germanys role as a leader in equality and empowerment into some of the darkest regions of world history.

Pink Narcissus

Directed by: James Bidgood (1971)

An unflinching and joyous celebration of the male body. Pink Narcissus is were art meets film in an explosion of vibrant colour, day dreams and eroticism. Shot over seven years on 8mm film in his own apartment using homemade props and sets. Pink Narcissus was a labour of love for James Bidgood. With a short and highly controversial cinema release that led to the film being edited by a distribution company. Bidgood chose to withdraw his film from public view.

Shrouded in mystery for many years and thought lost. Pink Narcissus was thankfully found and restored, a cult classic of early gay cinema finding its place in the history of LGBTQ film once more.

Midnight Cowboy

Directed by: John Schlesinger (1969)

Whether Midnight Cowboy can truly be described as a LGBT film is an interesting question, and one that still causes debate among critics. For me this is a film that not only shines a light on a range of issues still taboo on its release in 1969. But also a film the bravely centres on male love and bonding.

The films core narrative lays in the relationship of Joe (Voight) and Ratso (Hoffman), a relationship that still endures in its onscreen chemistry. While elements now seem dated and the characterisations may appear conflicted within modern sensibilities. Midnight Cowboy is still a powerful exploration of masculinity and sexuality in a grim world of male prostitution. The first and only X rated movie to ever win an Oscar. Midnight Cowboy owes much to the creative vision of Schlesinger and the performances of Voight and Hoffman in its enduring ability to reach new audiences.

“I gotta get outta here, gotta get outta here. Miami Beach, that’s where you could score. Anybody can score there, even you. In New York, no rich lady with any class at all buys that cowboy crap anymore. They’re laughin’ at you on the street.”

Ratso (Midnight Cowboy)

My Beautiful Laundrette

Directed by: Stephen Frears (1985)

In a mid 80’s British society where capitalism was in full swing, money was the new drug and AIDS was ravaging the gay community. Frears adaptation of Hanif Kureishi’s play was a refreshing break and critique of a dramatically changing society. Challenging 80s society on two fronts. My Beautiful Laundrette not only took square aim at homophobia, but also Britains racially divided society. Using a comic slant, alongside a complex cultural dissection of 80’s Britain. Laundrette remains a beautiful portrait, and time capsule of changing decade where race and sexuality dovetailed with politics, family and belonging.

 

Un Chant d’Amour

Directed by: Jean Genet (1950)

The only film to be written and directed by French novelist and playwright Jean Genet. Un chant d’amour is a groundbreaking and important turning point in gay cinema. Shot on 35mm film in stark black and white, this 25 minute feature set in a French prison challenges societies concepts of sexual freedom versus control and oppression. With no dialogue two inmates in solitary confinement communicate their feelings and desires to each other through a small hole in the wall. Genet using photographic imagery to portray the control of the prison versus the freedom of love and sexual desire.

The power of this short film can not be understated, banned in the UK and USA for many years after its release, it still captures an artistic intensity that many feared.

L.I.E

Director: Michael Cuesta (2001)

Michael Cuesta’s film is an outstanding exploration of gender, sexuality and isolation in adolescence. Packing a punch in its honest and powerful portrayal of vulnerability and desire in adolescence. Paul Dano gives an exceptional debut performance that delicately and powerfully explores the turbulence of sexuality and gender in youth, and the vulnerability of unrequited love.

Controversial from the start to finish L.I.E is a nuanced exploration of adult grooming, control and belonging, this is a film that stays with you long after the credits roll. Highlighting not just the vulnerability inherent in young people as they explore their sexual orientation, but also the realities of their own control of those around them.

“I think you are just like James Bond, except James Bond doesn’t go around blowing boys.”

Howie (L.I.E.)

Angels in America (Mini Series)

Director: Mike Nichols (2003)

Despite Angels in America being a HBO mini-series, we simply could not ignore the power of HBOs TV adaptation of Tony Kushner’s outstanding play. Taking on the Reagan years of 1985 and 1986. While dovetailing themes of sexuality, love, discrimination, religion and societies fear of AIDS. This is a true masterclass in storytelling and character development. Unlike any other on screen story surrounding the rise and destruction of HIV/ AIDS, Angels in America plays with a fantasia of themes. Making it essential viewing for anyone in or outside of the LGBTQ community.

“I have sex with men. But unlike nearly every other man of whom this is true, I bring the guy to the White House and President Reagan smiles at us and shakes his hand.”

Roy Cohen (Angels in America)

Disobedience

Director: Sebastián Lelio (2017)

Sebastián Lelio’s English language debut following on from his critical success with A Fantastic Woman. Disobedience focuses on the interface between religion and sexuality in the orthodox Jewish community. Adapted from the novel by Naomi Alderman. Disobedience expertly weaves its story of love through the moral maze of religious beliefs that control community structures and rules.

Disobedience never seeks to judge or dismiss religion, but does raise questions about the interface between personal freedom and control. Never predictable, this is a film that challenges the audience to explore their own thoughts on the relationship between faith and sexual orientation.

 

Patrik, Age 1.5

Director: Ella Lemhagen (2010)

This highly underrated Swedish comedy is a gem of LGBTQ cinema, that is rarely reviewed or mentioned. Taking a classic situation comedy predicament and adding real texture and soul. Patrik expertly delivers a message that single sex families can play an important role in the lives and development of at risk young people seeking a home. This is a sweet, unassuming and engaging comedy exploring gay family life, fostering and adoption in a heartfelt manner.

Transamerica

TransAmerica is a beautifully nuanced comedy/drama that takes on big social issues. While never falling into the trap of embracing moralistic messages. With truly engaging performances from both Huffman and Zegers, TransAmerica embraces diversity in all its complicated attributes. Allowing the audience time to reflect, laugh and build a sense of belong with its characters, during a truly unique road movie.

“My body may be a work- in- progress, but there is nothing wrong with my soul.”

Bree (TransAmerica)
 

Tucked

Directed by: Jamie Patterson (2019)

Jamie Patterson’s exploration of mortality, identity, family and inter generational friendship sores in its narrative and delivery. Jackie or Jack (Derren Nesbitt) is an ageing drag queen on the Brighton scene. Delivering a mixture of old fashioned comedy and lip sync performances every night on stage. On finding out he has terminal cancer Jackie befriends a new 21 year old drag performer at the club, Faith (Jordan Stephens). With a friendship developing that offers hope and joy in the face of limited mortality.

Sexuality and gender are explored against inter generational concepts of gender conformity, sexuality and drag; allowing for a convergence of generational learning in both characters.

Bad Education

Director: Pedro Almodóvar (2004)

Pedro Almodóvar Bad Education is perhaps one his most personal films. Set in 80s Madrid, a young filmmaker (Fele Martínez) is searching for a story that could become his next film project. His world turned upside down when a man claiming to be his old school friend and first love, Ignacio (Gael García Bernal) walks into his office with a script. The script focussing on the abuse they suffered at the hands of school priest, and a revenge fantasy journey into both men’s memories.

Almodóvar weaves his story through a maze of Hitchcock like puzzles, never allowing the audience to rest on their laurels. Sexuality sitting front and centre as the roles both men play twist and turn, memories colliding and submerging the viewer in mystery, fantasy and reality.

 

A Single Man

Director: Tom Ford (2009)

Based on the novel by Christopher Isherwood, Tom Fords 2009 film beautifully explores bereavement and repression of emotion and sexuality. Following George Falconer (Colin Firth), a teacher at a Los Angeles college, who is unable to come to terms with his partners death. A Single Man exquisitely takes on a journey into one mans exploration of his past and present life, moulding both into a symphony of human emotion and self reflection. The present offering hope and sexual adventure, while the past engulfs the inner most thoughts.

“For the first time in my life I can’t see my future. Every day goes by in a haze, but today I have decided will be different”

George – A Single Man (2009)

LGBTQ Films - The Essential Collection Clips

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More Great LGBTQ Films


Happy Together (1997)

Fox and His Friends (1975) 

Scorpio Rising (1963) 

The Terence Davies Trilogy (1983) 

Caravaggio (1986) 

A Home at the End of the World (2004) 

Knife and Heart – Review
2019

Dog Day Afternoon (1975) 

C.R.A.Z.Y. (2005)

Bound (1996) 

Mulholland Drive (2001) 

Sauvage (2019)

Blue Is the Warmest Color (2013) 

Get Real (1998) 

Paris Is Burning (1990) 

Paris Was a Woman (1996) 

Gods and Monsters (1998) 

Giant Little Ones – Review
2019

Socrates Review (2019)

Querelle (1982) 

Pariah (2011) 

Torch Song Trilogy (1988) 

The Watermelon Woman (1996)

Portrait of Jason (1967)

But I’m a Cheerleader (1999) 

Beach Rats (2017)

North Sea Texas (2011)

Making Montgomery Clift – Review (2019)

Consequences (Posledice) – Review (2018)

Boy Erased (2019)

Sunday Bloody Sunday (1971)

Sebastiane (1976)

Milk (2008)

Edward II (1992)

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

I Am Michael (2017)

Love, Scott (2018) 

Hard Paint (Tinta Bruta) – Review (2018)

We the Animals – Review
(2019)

Nevrland – Review
(2019)

Men of Hard Skin
2019

Rafiki (2019)
2018

The Killing of Sister George (1968) 

The Normal Heart
HBO.

Tangerine (2015)

Mysterious Skin (2004) 

Tom of Finland (2017)

The Miseducation of Cameron Post (2018) 

The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994) 

The Happy Prince (2018)

Lilting (2014)

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