There’s always been a strong LGBTQ+ draw to the world of fright, and it’s really not difficult to see why. Horror, at its very core, is a genre of “otherness.” Often celebrating, venerating, or putting on display the plight of the outsider, horror creates a narrative that those who exist outside of the mainstream can easily identify.
Basically an accidental documentary, Ruminations came about when director Robert James went in search of stories about gay hippies in 1960s San Francisco and stumbled upon Rumi Missabu, a notorious raconteur who calls himself a “male actress”. As one of the original Cockettes, he is an oracle of anecdotes.
This French film focuses on the aftermath of a mother’s death and the life of the family after her tragic demise. Released in 2004, Three Dancing Slaves (Le clan) stars Nicolas Cazalé, Stéphane Rideau and Salim Kechiouche. It was co-written by Christophe Honoré and Gaël Morel and it was directed by the latter.
Outside of its documentation of gender fluidity and same sex relationships during a period where they were scorned by society, Colette still remains a breath of fresh air amongst a field of stuffy costume dramas. The film is often hysterically funny (Westmoreland co-wrote the screenplay with his late partner Jonathan Glatzer), with Dominic West giving an entertainingly histrionic performance in the lead.
The 2013 comedy, Geography Club, follows a 16-year-old high school student named Russell (played by Cameron Deane Stewart) as he explores his sexuality with the high school quarterback, Kevin (Justin Deely) and happens upon a support group for LGBT students, under disguise as the school’s Geography Club.
Originally made for Channel 4 in the UK, this documentary has been returned to its original version, as authorised by George Michael himself shortly before he died. In George Michael: Freedom – Director’s Cut, Michael offers an intimate, honest look at his life, ending just before the iconic singer’s shocking death at just 53 in December 2016.
A coming-of-age film with a twist, Zen in the Ice Rift takes you into the mind of a trans adolescent, but in a slightly different way than your average teen flick. Using overwhelming visuals and impeccable cinematography, Margherita Ferri’s motion picture successfully distances itself from other projects of its genre, and brings a whole new mode of storytelling to the table.
Released in 1998, this French satire film stars Évelyne Dandry, François Marthouret and Stéphane Rideau. Sitcom was written and directed by François Ozon. The surrealistic motion picture is centred on the trials and tribulations of an upper-class family living in a quiet suburb, whose entire dynamic shifts irreversibly when they purchase a small white rat.
The feature debut of director Darko Stante manages to find a new angle on a familiar staple of LGBT storytelling, throwing its protagonist into a world of hyper-masculinity that seems beyond parody. It feels contemporary due to, for the most part, the lack of overt homophobia – here, even the name calling is embedded with a bizarre homoeroticism, so comfortable with their sexuality the (presumably) straight characters appear to be.
Offering a glimpse into a little-known world of candour, fiery love and activism, Hot To Trot takes its viewers through a spirited and heartening journey that they will not easily forget. The film combines the style of dramatic cinema with the absorbing content and form of a documentary cantered mainly on the art of dancing.