LGBTQ+ Journeys: Q Special

29 mins read

Pariah (2011)

Buzzing with repressed sexuality breaking free of all its socially imposed shackles. Pariah follows teenager Alike (Adepero Oduye) as she embraces her queer identity. Simultaneously, offering us a visually stunning exploration of identity and sexuality finally allowed to fly free. Consequently, sharing the exhilaration and tingles of first love as Alike meets Bina (Aasha Davis). In a film that pulsates with energy, humanity and love. While never downplaying the bravery and cost of being who you want to be.

Rebel Without a Cause (1955)

Based on the 1944 book of the same name by Robert Lindner, Rebel Without a Cause is far more complex than a mere critique of the emerging American fear of juvenile delinquency.

Rebel is a stunning and nuanced study of youth, family, identity and love that still speaks to our modern society—challenging the 1950’s American family ideals while also exploring themes of masculinity, sexuality and love. Making Rebel one of the finest examples of the coming of age genre ever produced. While also embracing male desire and unrequited love long before LGBTQ was acceptable in mainstream cinema in America. Ultimately catapulting James Dean to international stardom. While equally mirroring the eventual cause of his early death. Rebel has earned mythic status in the decades since its release while providing the template for teenage filmmaking.

I Killed My Mother (2009)

In 2009 Xavier Dolan burst into the public consciousness as one of the most exciting young writers and directors of a generation with I Killed My Mother. Providing us with a film the echoes the anger, frustration and hurt of teenager life. While equally providing a dance of conflict, unspoken love and pettiness. 

Dolan wrote the film aged 16, with the intensity and dynamism of teenage experience oozing from his script. At the same time as themes of family breakdown and sexuality dovetail with the need to escape the maternal bonds of fractured parental relationship. The resulting picture a work of cinematic art that reflects the complexity of teenage/parent relationships and the and sheer anger of youth.

Blue is the Warmest Colour (2013)

Based on the 2010 graphic novel of the same name by Julie Maroh. Blue is the Warmest Colour has earned its well-deserved place as a classic of modern LGBTQ cinema. Delivering a beautiful snapshot of first love in all its complexity while dovetailing this with the emotional rollercoaster of coming out. However, this is also a film that embraces female sexuality while being unafraid to explore the interface between sex and love. While equally exploring themes of public acceptance and belonging in the arms of another. The changes of growing maturity and social confidence impacting the long-term feelings of love and sex on the journey to womanhood. 

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