Carol

Gay Essential Films To Watch, Carol

Released in 2015, this motion picture follows two women of very different backgrounds who live in New York City during the 1950s. The screenplay is based on a romance novel entitled The Prince of Salt by Patricia Highsmith. Carol stars Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara and Sarah Paulson and was directed by Todd Haynes.

Rafiki

Gay Essential Review: Rafiki at BFI London Film Festival

So much attention has been devoted to the controversy surrounding Rafiki, the first LGBT film produced in Kenya, that discussions on the film itself have been something of an afterthought. To put it simply, the Kenyan censorship board didn’t have the same rapturous response to the film as audiences at Cannes (where it premiered earlier this year), effectively banning it – only to upturn the ban, submit the film as their entry for the foreign language Oscar, and premiere it to sold out audiences upon opening in Kenya.

Nightbreed

Halloqueen Queer Essentials, Nightbreed

Released in 1990, Nightbreed is a gay horror fantasy film that follows the story of a group of misfits who try to escape an unhinged serial killer. The ‘90s classic stars Craig Sheffer and David Cronenberg and was written and directed by Clive Barker. The motion picture is based on Barker’s earlier novella entitled Cabal.

Alpha Delta Zatan

Halloqueen Queer Essentials, Alpha Delta Zatan

Released in 2017, Alpha Delta Zatan is set entirely within the claustrophobic confines of a frat house, the film follows the increased paranoia between members of a fraternity as they start to disappear at the hands of a masked killer. The film is directed by Art Arutyunyan, and stars Jeremy Winter, Jake Kidwell and Connor Field.

Total Eclipse

Gay Essential Films To Watch, Total Eclipse

Total Eclipse, released in 1995, is based on a series of letters and poems and gives a historic account of the passionate relationship between two 19th Century French poets. Directed by Agnieszka Holland, the film starred David Thewlis and Leonardo DiCaprio.

Raw

Michael Varrati: The Queering of Horror Movies

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.

Three Dancing Slaves

Gay Essential Films To Watch, Three Dancing Slaves (Le clan)

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.

Colette

Gay Essential Review: Colette at BFI London Film Festival

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.

Sign Up For Our Monthly Summary

Never miss one of our fabulous film recommendations, subscribe to the Gay Essential monthly summary newsletter.