As Pride Month approaches more corporate-sponsored, it''s becoming less important, but the truth is that LGBTQ+ creators, narratives, and content have barely had the opportunity to shine. Pride remains as relevant as it historically was, and the month of June gives the opportunity to reflect on how far LGBTQ+ rights have come, and how far they have still to go.
Pride Month is a time to learn about and celebrate the fight for LGBTQIA+ rights while also promoting a future that is still worth fighting for. What better way to celebrate is by looking into the queer cinema history and seeing some films you might have never seen before.
Parting Glances (1986)
In the film Parting Glances, many gay men died, not only causing a homophobic stigma about the disease, but also reaffirming the progress of the community.
The sequence of the two-year romance takes place in New York City, followed by gay couple Michael (Richard Ganoung) and Robert Bolger as they prepare to leave for Africa on a two-year working trip. It''s important to look forward to the story of their sweetheart, Nick, who is diagnosed with the disease. While the movie isn''t explicitly about AIDS, it also shows how their partner,Steve Buscemi, has revealed a real sense of belonging to a man who believes
The film from 1961 reveals a closeted gay lawyer being blackmailed about his sexuality, even if it destroys his life. Although the subject was initially used for shock value, the film proved itself to be a surprisingly progressive film for its time.
The film helped kickstart discussion about homosexuality, putting a key to its eventual decriminalization in the United Kingdom in 1967. Victim stars Sir Dirk Bogarde, who was effective a closeted homosexual in real life, as Melville Farr, who makes the courageous decision to confront the blackmailer in order to ensure they can''t do it to another homosexual man. He essentially sacrifices the life he had built for himself for the greater benefit.
The Children''''s Hour (1961)
The Children''s Hour, based on a 1934 play and first released in the same year as Victim, challenges homosexuality, this time through two schoolteachers who are accused of being lesbians. This time, screen legends Aubrey Hepburn and Shirley MacLaine, as Karen and Martha, are two of the best friends who start a private boarding school for girls.
After Martha''s Aunt Lily (Miriam Hopkins) accuses the two of meeting an "unnatural relationship," a student spreads the rumor around the school. Their reputation is broken, and they face intense public scrutiny and shaming. They go to court for the claims and fight to protect their reputation. The film isn''t particularly powerful, but it''s still pertinent today. It will leave you in jeopardy, but it is absolutely worth watching.
A Fantastic Woman (2017)
The notion of trans people is thrown into a box and/or dismantled as invalid. Cinematic stories like A Fantastic Woman can help in opening the eyes of people who are too close-minded to see trans people as valid people.
A Fantastic Woman is a documentary about trans rights, but rather rather than in a way that feels too direct. Instead, it focuses on Marina, a trans woman, exquisitely portrayed by Daniela Vega, who died after her boyfriend''s death. In 2018, the film was a nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film, and its appeal is, certainly, quite as well.
God''''s Own Country (2017)
The homosexual experience is often described on screen in a more targeted way. Over and over again, gay men are described as a sarcastic individual. It isn''t a monolith. It cannot be placed into a box. Francis Lee''s God''s Own Country is a beautiful and poignant drama about two men who fall in love while working a farm. It''s very quiet and emotional, and over all, it feels real.
Johnny, an Emmy-winning actor who has fallen into a rut of divisive drinking and casual sex, is recruited to help him live in the farmland by Gheorghe (Alec Secareanu) and develops a deep and lasting bond. This is a breathtaking film that reveals the beauty of the mundane.
The Wachowskis made their directorial debut with the neo-noir, erotic, crime thriller, Bound. Many people refer to The Matrix as a metaphor for their transgender experience, but Bound is the most direct queer film.
Violet, a woman who gets away from her mafia boyfriend, is featured in the film. When she meets Lesbian boyfriend Corky (Gina Gershon), the two develop a scheme to steal $2 million from the mafia and return together. It''s a classic film that was revolutionary for the time in its depiction of a lesbian romance at the core of the film, and it holds up in a modern context.
But I''''m A Cheerleader (1999)
Something that has evolved into a mainstream gay pop culture is an affinity for anything that is campy and over-the-top. So, you don''t have to look any further than gay cult classics like What Happened To Baby Jane? and The Rocky Horror Picture Show for proof. So, it''s kinda strange when something as hilarious and campy as But I''m A Cheerleader has flown seemingly under the radar for as long as it has.
Megan, a high school kid who confesses to being a lesbian, is sent to a gay conversion camp headed by Mike, by a famous RuPaul, according to Natasha Lyonne. While there, she meets a cavalcade of wacky homosexuals who try to sue them. She also meets Graham (Clea DuVall), who shows Megan how to remain true to herself without causing suspicion.
One thing that separates LGBTQIA+ people from straight people is that socialization is so restrictive and judgmental that being anything but straight and cisgender is something that must be kept secret until you are prepared to come out and embrace your truth. Sometimes the coming out story is so cliche, it takes over the story and becomes a homogeneous version of what it takes to be LGBTQIA+.
Maurice, based on the classic novel by E.M. Forster and directed by James Ivory, talks about men coming to terms with being gay in the early 20th century. Clive (Hugh Grant) ends Maurice''s life in order to maintain his social status and marries a woman. When Maurice re-entrys Clive''s life and develops a relationship with Alec (Rupert Graves), emotions are recalled.
Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert, (1994)''s Adventures
The world is being dominated by Drag queens. RuPaul''s Drag Race has introduced drag to mainstream pop culture. Many have been discovering the lesser known, but equally famous film, To Wong Foo, thanks for everything! Julie Newmar. If you like To Wong Foo, then this is your chance to see the Adventures of Priscilla, Queen Of the Desert.
Hugo Weaving and Guy Pearce are seen as two drag queens who, alongside a transgender woman played by Terrance Stamp, travel across the Australian Outback to see their next show in Alice Springs. While Priscilla has been awarded an Oscar for Best Costume Design and serves as the inspiration for a Broadway musical, it remains unwelcome to the audience, especially outside Australia.
Happy Together (1997)
Wong Kar-wai is a master filmmaker. The Hong Kong film scene is known for its striking style and emotional depth, and his filmography is encapsulating those qualities perfectly. His equally beautiful and romantic friendship Happy Together is less known, however.
Tony Leung and Leslie Cheung are the stars of a gay couple who ended their marriage before discovering each other again in Argentina. The plot''s appeal is simple, meaning you should go through trials and tribulations before seeing them meet again.