While the accusation is false, it nearly ruins the women's standing in their community and threatens their friendship—and forces one of them to reevaluate her own identity. Starring Mariel Hemingway and a raft of real-life track and field stars, Personal Best follows a young bisexual pentathlete vying for a spot on the U.
Olympic Team and exploring a relationship with her lesbian coach—played by Olympic hurdler Patrice Donnelly. Eliza Hittman's dark and moody film plays out a bit like a thriller, one in which a Brooklyn teenager named Frankie a superb Harris Dickinson, in a nearly wordless performance , who spends his idle hours hanging with his delinquent friends, fooling around with his girlfriend, or hooking up with men he meets online.
Beach Rats is a provocative look at the personal and secret urges we often fear will come out into the light. Gus Van Sant's loose Shakespearean adaptation brought the New Queer Cinema movement into the mainstream, with River Phoenix as a young, narcoleptic hustler and Keanu Reeves as his best friend and unrequited love interest. Even if this weren't a beautiful, affecting film, Hugh Grant's hair alone would earn it a spot on this list.
Peter Jackson was journeying through fantasy worlds long before Lord of the Rings —albeit one conjured up by two very real New Zealand school girls played by then-newcomers Kate Winslet and Melanie Lynskey who escape their own realities through their imaginations. But their connection turns intense and dangerous when they conspire to commit murder in one of the most notorious true crime stories of all time.
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An antidote to the "soft-focus" lesbian movies of yore, Go Fish is urban, black-and-white, and shot on a shoestring budget. Starring co-writer Guinevere Turner and directed by Rose Troche, Go Fish was the lesbian film of the '90s indie-movie boom. The first wide-release studio film with a homosexual relationship at its center and for decades, the last. It's not a perfect film, but it took a giant risk, and gives us a rare snapshot of Los Angeles' gay life in the moment just before AIDS. Long before his groundbreaking Brokeback Mountain , Ang Lee directed this sweet, comic tale about a Taiwanese immigrant living in New York with his partner.
When he offers to marry a Chinese woman so she can obtain a green card, the marriage of convenience spirals out of control when his parents find out and throw a lavish wedding party. Mike Mills's sweet film concerns a Los Angeles artist, played by Ewan MacGregor, building a relationship with his newly-out father Christopher Plummer in the last year of the older man's life. In short, it's pretty much perfect. The debut film from the Wachowski siblings, it shows what the future Matrix directors had in them when it came to boundary-pushing, mind-blowing moviemaking.
Gregg Araki at the top of his form. Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Brady Corbet play boys who deal with having been abused by their Little League coach in markedly different ways.
Mysterious Skin is at once difficult to watch and strangely heartwarming. When Megan Natasha Lyonne shows more interest in being a vegetarian and female-fronted folk rock, her parents send her away to have her presumed homosexuality cured. Conversion therapy is no joke, but Jamie Babbit's satire perfectly skewers puritanical homophobia on its head—and it has a joyful, happy ending.
Plus, RuPaul! Dee Rees's gorgeous directorial debut stars Adepero Oduye as Alike, a Brooklyn teenager who comes to terms with her own sexuality and puts the comforts of friends and family at risk as she discovers how to express her identity. On a scorching August day, Al Pacino's Sonny attempts to rob a bank in Brooklyn, and…things do not go well.
The instant, intense media fame Sonny earns feels more relevant than ever, and things turn surprisingly tender when we learn he plans to use the stolen money for his lover's gender confirmation surgery. A Pakistani Brit and his former lover, who has become a fascist street punk, reunite and run a family laundromat. The characters deal with the materialism and anti-immigrant furor of Thatcher's England—elements that feel just a little bit too relevant at the moment. Based on the autobiography of gay Cuban poet Reinaldo Arenas, Julian Schnabel's film brought Javier Bardem to the world's attention and highlighted the cruelty and homophobia of Castro's Cuba and Reagan's America.
John Cameron Mitchell brings his cult musical about "internationally ignored" transgender rock star Hedwig to the screen. In this version, Mitchell shows us the backstory he was only able to tell on stage, and introduces us to Michael Pitt's Tommy Gnosis. The rare rock musical that actually rocks. Tom Ford's directorial debut adapts Christopher Isherwood's novel about an English professor in returning to life a year after the death of his lover. As you would expect from Ford, it is a relentlessly stylish affair, with indelible performances by Colin Firth and Julianne Moore.
Some might find this adaptation of Paul Rudnick's off-Broadway play to be a little dated with its treatment of the dating scene in early to mid-'90s New York City. But Jeffrey 's strength is found in its comic and playful look at a search for love amid the AIDS crisis, offering the kind of unabashed joy most of its contemporaries were unable to match. Lisa Cholodenko's chic directorial debut features a revelatory performance from Ally Sheedy as a prematurely retired photographer, and Radha Mitchell as the young woman who can revitalize her career.
After the death of her son, Manuela seeks out to find his father—who now goes by the name of Lola. Along for the journey is a young nun played by Penelope Cruz who is newly pregnant with Lola's baby.
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Stephen Beresford's Golden Globe-nominated screenplay underscores the need, as urgent as ever, for oppressed groups to join forces. There is power in a union! Norman Rene's film follows a group of gay men through the early years of the AIDS crisis, one day per year, starting on the day the New York Times first covered the story of the "gay cancer.
What do a recently divorced woman and a middle-aged gay man have in common? They're both having an affair with a charming and stylish artist—and they're aware that the lover they share in common isn't exclusive to them. John Schlesinger's acclaimed drama depicts two people who seek surprising ways to break free of their dull lives and reclaim their untamed youth.
When her older lover, Orlando, dies suddenly, Marina must put her grief on pause as Orlando's ex-wife and family immediately shun her because she is transgender. In her film debut, Whoopi Goldberg plays Celie, an African-American woman in the early 20th century, who fights her way through oppression and abuse and finds an unexpected love along the way. This slice of gay life in mid-'80s Manhattan gave Steve Buscemi his first major film role, and tackled the AIDS crisis in a frank, non-sensational, even humorous manner.
Shot on iPhones along Santa Monica Boulevard's unofficial red light district, Tangerine follows two transgender sex workers and one lovesick cab driver through a particularly eventful Christmas Eve. Director Sean Baker found his leads—two first-time film actors—at the actual donut shop where much of the movie's action takes place.
Two drag queens Hugo Weaving and Guy Pearce and a transgender woman Terence Stamp travel across the barren Australian Outback in a giant pink bus named Priscilla en route to a cabaret gig in Alice Springs. Hilarity ensues as their travels involve misadventure after misadventure, but the trio come together as a family unit as they learn more about each other and their personal lives.
The first mainstream queer film of the new millennium, Brokeback Mountain ushered its themes into the mainstream. Heath Ledger's shy Ennis del Mar falls in what he cannot articulate as love with Jake Gyllenhaal's Jack Twist over a long, lonely winter, and their lives bounce off each other's for years afterward. The greatest, most achingly beautiful gay male romance movie.
What begins as a contentious friendship turns into a full-blown love affair as the two young men spend their idle summer days in the lush Mediterranean locale, bracing themselves for an inevitable heartbreak. If any film can be credited with kicking off our cultural conversation on gender, this is it. Hilary Swank's breakthrough performance anchors Kimberly Peirce's film about the murder of Nesbraskan trans man Brandon Teena. Boys Don't Cry was originally given an NC for even addressing trans issues, but was later downgraded to an R. Mike Nichols's American remake of La Cage aux Folles features Robin Williams as a gay nightclub owner whose son announces his engagement to the daughter of an ultra-conservative politician.
In typical farce style, his partner Nathan Lane —the star of his club's drag show—poses as his dowdy wife in order to convince his son's future in-laws that they're a wholesome American family. While highlighting the dramatic and powerful work from ACT UP, the film also depicts the personal stories of those fighting for their lives, delivering a human and urgent remembrance of the plague that afflicted millions across the globe—and continues on today.
Todd Haynes brings Patricia Highsmith's cult novel to the big screen in this lush and seductive film following a young shopgirl named Therese Rooney Mara who finds herself charmed by an alluring older woman named Carol Cate Blanchett. The two set out on a road trip on which they consummate an unspoken passion for each other—one that ultimately brings ruin to Carol's marriage and awakens dark desires within Therese.
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The only film on this list to earn an Oscar for Best Picture—and deservedly so. Barry Jenkins explores masculinity and repression in his study of Chiron, a young man coming of age in Miami and played by three different actors at various stages of his life who grapples with his sexual identity amid his troubled relationship with his crack-addicted mother. Chiron longs to break free of the predetermined path set out for himself by his environment, a journey set into motion by encounter with one of his male peers. Tom Hanks won his first Oscar for his performance as Andrew Beckett, a successful lawyer who is fired from his firm once the senior partners discover he has AIDS.
Jonathan Demme's searing drama was the first mainstream film to tackle the AIDS crisis, and it gave a familiar face and voice to a marginalized community often ignored by their neighbors and left to suffer because of an intolerant society.
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Based on the play by Mart Crawley, and released less than a year after the Stonewall riots, The Boys in the Band perfectly depicts the complex experience of being a gay man at the time—at times joyful, often times confusing, painful, and informed by self-loathing. This comedy still manages to balance the bite and the tenderness for its collection of characters, with its group of young gay men in New York City falling in and out of love and friendship , and unknowingly on the brink of a cultural revolution.
Type keyword s to search. Today's Top Stories. There's Never a Bad Time for a Bellini. Everett Collection. Advertisement - Continue Reading Below. Wolfe Video. Amazon iTunes When Cyd goes to Chicago to stay with her aunt for the summer, she doesn't expect to fall for a girl who lives in the neighborhood.
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United Artists. Magnolia Pictures. Amazon iTunes The life of Cuba's "transformistas" is captured beautifully in this father-son story about a boy who wants to perform drag and his father, newly released from prison and unable to accept who his son is. The Samuel Goldwyn Company. Miller argues that gay men should examine their relationship with power. Where do you align when it comes to being dominant or submissive? One way to question this, he posits, is to approach something other than penetrative sex. If you received the kiss, you're the submissive one. There is no aspect of sex that doesn't have, at its core, an aspect of power.
So part of the thing that you have to ask yourself is, 'What am I comfortable with? Do I like initiating sex? Do I like telling my partner what to do, or do I like being told what to do? You might like taking your car for a service just as much as servicing it yourself. As Miller explains, there are outside forces that, dating back to the ancient Greeks, have prevented gay men from truly digging into what sexual behaviors we might actually enjoy.
The ongoing fetishization of masculinity means that the traditionally submissive role of the bottom is associated with effeminacy.