Tom of Finland

Tom of Finland, Gay Essential Talks To Dome Karukoski

Dome Karukoski’s latest film, Tom of Finland, is a moving biopic of decorated war hero, art director, and illustrator, Touko Laaksonen. Known for his sexually liberating drawings of muscular gay men, each signed “Tom of Finland,” Touko Laaksonen courageously sparked a leather-clad LGBT revolution with the playful stroke of his pencil.

Center Of My World

Film Review: Center Of My World (Die Mitte der Welt) at BFI Flare

There’s nothing quite as enticing as this year’s BFI Festival selection – Center Of My World, along with its fascinating cinematography, remains one of my personal favorites due to its candid and refreshing approach to gay relationships, as well as its memorable and enveloping performances. Despite using a teenagey framework, which could have easily diverted the film into a bland kitsch romance, Erwa sets the bar high and proves that any type of setting can be molded into a masterpiece with the right tools and sensibility.

This Side of Heaven

Essential Opinion: This Side of Heaven

Shot entirely in black and white, Verow’s film carries an interesting film noir feel to it.  V is the unfortunate victim of circumstance, locked in an ever-present battle with the villainous Shawnith.  A string of sexually motivated young men float in and out of V’s life until Christian arrives – the unexpected femme fatale, or male fatale as it were.

Wild Side

Gay Essential Films To Watch, Wild Side

Directed by Sebastian Lifshitz, this romantic drama film opened at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2004. Starring Stéphanie Michellini, Wild Side explores homosexuality and prostitution, following the dilettante story of a transgendered woman working in the Parisian sex industry.

Out Of Iraq

Film Review: Out Of Iraq at BFI Flare

Scrutinising complex and far-reaching topics like gay military relationships, refugee policies and homophobia in the Middle East, Out Of Iraq is a beautifully gripping and heartwarming account of a truly unique and inspiring love affair and its journey to becoming a protected and legalised marriage.


Gay Essential Films To Watch, Open

Directed and written by Jake Yuzna, Open is a debut drama film that follows the non-conformist love story between two individuals who want to undergo gender reassignment therapy. Released in 2010, the film stars Tempest Crane, Gaea Gaddy and Jendeen Forberg.

Counting For Thunder

Essential Opinion: Counting for Thunder

Released in 2015, in Counting For Thunder an actor unlucky with work and love goes back home to the Gulf Coast of Alabama. Written, directed and staring Phillip Irwin Cooper, the film also stars Mariette Hartley, John Heard and Peter Stebbings.

The Cockettes

Gay Essential Documentaries To Watch, The Cockettes

Released in 2002, The Cockettes is a documentary about the kaleidoscopic theatre group organized by Hibiscus in the late 1960s. The film is set in San Francisco and was directed by David Weissman and Bill Weber. Following the rise and fall of the illustrious Cockettes, the motion picture stars Peggy Cass, Larry Brinkin, Jackie Curtis and Dusty Dawn.

Seat In Shadow

Film Review: Seat In Shadow at BFI Flare

Life is one hallucinatory experience after another for psychotherapist and avant-garde artist Albert (David Sillars). Creating dubious art pieces by day and sporadically working as a psychotherapist to help a friend in need, the man forms an odd, but intriguing relationship with his newest patient.

Japan Japan

Gay Essential Films To Watch, Japan Japan

Imri Khan is front and centre in the Israeli-Berliner director Lior Shamriz’s 2007 film, Japan Japan. The protagonist, who is played by the actor of the same name, is an introspective young man who is refining his dream of moving to Japan from Tel Aviv, and the audience bears witness to the series of encounters that shifts his international whims.


Essential Opinion: Bwoy

Released in 2016, Bwoy delves into deep-seated issues concerning intimacy, race, identity and trust in what seems to be a relevant cautionary tale about the tangled distortions involved in today’s online dating world. Directed by John G. Young the film stars Anthony Rapp, De’Adre Aziza and Jimmy Brooks.

Saturn Returns

Gay Essential Films To Watch, Saturn Returns

Released in 2009, in Saturn Returns director Lior Shamriz has created a work that blends a Punk subculture documentary with slice-of-life melodrama. The piece stars Chloe Griffin as an American who has turned a Berlin rocker named Lucy, Joshua Bogle as her best friend Derek, and Tal Meiri as Galia, the enchanting woman who opens the wandering souls to a quieter and clearer way of living.

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