The Lair

Essential Feature: The Lair 10th Anniversary

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!

Sugar

Gay Essential Films To Watch, Sugar

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.

Pulse

Essential Opinion: Pulse

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.

You’ll Get Over It

Gay Essential Films To Watch, You’ll Get Over It (À cause d’un garcon)

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.

Free CeCe

Film Review: Free CeCe at BFI Flare

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.

Body Electric

Film Review: Body Electric (Corpo Elétrico) at BFI Flare

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.

Clandestinos

Gay Essential Films To Watch, Clandestinos

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

Essential Opinion: The Naked Civil Servant

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.

Handsome Devil

Film Review: Handsome Devil at BFI Flare

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.

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