The Lair is a campy fun soap opera that ran for three seasons mainly centered around a coven of gay vampires operating a sex club to lure their prey. Each season is full of subplots with a Dorian Gray-like portrait, an abusive boyfriend, a werewolf, a mad scientist, a killer plant, a Gorgon, a killer head, a magic ring and a disgruntled Vampiress. Oh yeah… and there’s a lot of hot guys and sex!
Directed by Canadian John Palmer and based on the short stories by Bruce La Bruce, the 2004 movie Sugar features Andre Noble as a relatively sheltered suburban teenager named Cliff who is brought into the manic whirl of rough urban life by a street hustler named Butch (Brendan Fehr) and the ensuing complexity of their romance. Also in the movie are Marnie McPhail as Cliff’s mother Madge and Haylee Wanstail in the role of his sister Cookie.
A twist on the concept of trans sexuality, in Pulse, Stevie Cruz-Martin and Daniel Monks deliver an insightful look into the challenges of evolving into one’s true self, even walking head-on into the notion of creating your own ideal, perfect life. Interestingly, this innovative little film can’t help but make you look beyond the physical and consider what really makes you, you.
The made-for-television drama-romance movie You’ll Get Over It (À cause d’un garcon) is a 2002 release directed by Fabrice Cazeneuve. At the center of it all is Julien Baumgartner as Vincent Molina, who comes out as gay to a school friend and finds himself in a social tangle, having to explain to his ex-girlfriend Noemie (Julia Paraval) and father Bernard (Patrick Bonnel) the circumstances of his newly claimed identity.
With increasing political and social justice movements emerging and the trans community receiving more and more pop culture exposure, you might begin to think that going against the grain of society’s gender compliances is not only accepted nowadays, but also praised and somewhat glamorized. Unfortunately, for many LGBTQ members this is merely another glorified media representation that has little to do with the reality of what trans people encounter and deal with on a daily basis.
Broken Sky (El cielo dividido) written and directed by Julian Hernandez, is a Mexican drama film that was released in 2006. Following the hectic relationship between two gay students and their consequent temptations, the film stars Miguel Angel Hope, Fernando Arroyo and features Ignacio Pereda and Alejandro Rojo.
Marcelo Caetano is a newcomer, but ambitious feature director who has a fascinating approach to gay cinema and LGBTQ relationships. His debut, Body Electric, is a candid and tender tribute to Brazil’s racial and sexual heterogeneity, as well as an unbridled, sincere addition to this year’s BFI Flare Festival.
Released in 2008, this Spanish feature film follows a young man who has recently been released from prison. Starring Israel Rodríguez, Clandestinos was co-written and directed by Antonio Hens. With heavy influences of Guerrilla filmmaking, the thriller is an expressive blend of marginalization, love, terrorism and police corruption.
The Naked Civil Servant is camp and unabashedly so- but it has far more going on beneath the surface, and helped usher in more nuanced portrayals of LGBT people and culture in the years to come. It may be dated, but time hasn’t made it feel embarrassing in retrospect. It is still one of the most pivotal works in the LGBT pop culture canon that helped further mainstream awareness and acceptance.
With Handsome Devil, writer/director John Butler, reprises the poignant reflection on the meaning of masculinity he had explored in his fun 2013 debut The Stag (aka The Bachelor Party) but this time he takes the diatribe back to high school – a rugby-obsessed, all-boys boarding school to be precise – and by his own admission infuses the story with inevitable autobiographical references.