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Gay Hollywood Dad

Gay Essential Documentaries To Watch, Gay Hollywood Dad

Gay Hollywood Dad was originally a web series, directed by Quentin Lee, Frank Howley, Simon Steuri, Oscar Tsai, Jason Tobin and Daric Loo. It was later turned into a feature-length film that follows the struggles of an LGBT man who wants to become a single parent, as well as how his life changes once his biological son is born. Released in 2018, the biographical and documentary-style series stars two of the directors and features Elizabeth Sung and Candy Cheung.

Call Her Ganda

Film Review: Call Her Ganda at Outfest

Following one of the most gut-wrenching events in the history of the Filipino trans movement, Call Her Ganda is a staggering and thought-provoking documentary on the epidemic of violence against LGBTQ people. Part-chronicle, part-tribute, the film is ushered by three central female figures who take on a seemingly never-ending and irremediable quest for justice.

Love, Cecil

Essential Opinion: Love, Cecil

Is it possible to separate the art from the artist? Documentarian Lisa Immordino Vreeland definitely doesn’t think so, as her examination of the life and career of photographer/artist/costume designer Cecil Beaton understands that the many contradictions in his character informed a lifetime of work across a variety of different mediums.

Man Made

Film Review: Man Made at Outfest

The public perception of bodybuilding is currently defined by the idea of warped masculinity – a heteronormative activity exclusively for men who take more steroids daily than they have braincells in total. It’s not entirely clear how media representation of bodybuilders has, in the past few decades, gone from presenting them as idealised men to cultural laughing stocks, but T. Cooper’s documentary Man Made is set to send stereotypes back in the opposite direction.

Studio 54

Essential Opinion: Studio 54

The New York nightclub Studio 54 was so iconic that we feel like we know its story, but this documentary is packed with never-heard details that cast it in a whole new light. The film Studio 54 is solidly well-made, assembled with an insider’s perspective and packed with photos and footage of the top stars of the day partying like there’s no tomorrow.

Believer

Essential Opinion: Believer

At one point in HBO’s original documentary Believer, Imagine Dragons vocalist Dan Reynolds is warned that he’s going to open himself up to criticism for organising a pro-LGBTQ concert – just not predominantly from the religiously conservative, but LGBTQ people aghast at a cis-gender, heterosexual white man co-opting their struggle. This is slightly unfair, as both the film and the charity concert presented within are born of good intentions that deserve the renewed spotlight this documentary will place upon them.

McKellen: Playing the Part

Essential Opinion: McKellen: Playing the Part

This film feels like a dream: a chance to sit down with Ian McKellen and talk about his life and career. McKellen: Playing the Part is a fascinating collection of interviews, snapshots, home movies and film clips, all narrated by the chatty McKellen, who fills every moment with intelligence, humour and emotion.

Every Act of Life

Film Review: Every Act of Life at FilmOut San Diego

Every Act of Life proves to be a surprisingly comprehensive documentary, effectively recounting six decades of a successful career at a brisk pace. For theatre fans, this is essential viewing – and for those of you like me, who shamefully don’t watch as many plays as they should, this is still well worth a look.

Paternal Rites

Film Review: Paternal Rites at XPOSED International Queer Film Festival

Out of all of XPOSED’s thrilling and uncanny candidates for this year’s edition, Paternal Rites is the most touching, brutal and indispensable. The international queer film festival’s heartrending addition allows us access into the troubled world of an abused child and now scarred adult who shyly and desperately seeks help to try and make sense of what happened to him.

50 Years Legal

50 Years Legal, Gay Essential Talks To Simon Napier-Bell

Last year was the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalization of homosexuality in the United Kingdom. Director Simon Napier-Bell created a documentary, 50 Years Legal, to coincide with the anniversary. The film is described as an engaging but informative journey through LGBT rights in Britain since 1967, and how changes in politics and social attitudes, for better or worse, have evolved over the subsequent decades.

The 34th

Film Review: The 34th at BFI Flare

Ireland has been a fairly cold, distant place for gay people for too long. It was only three years ago that the country had passed marriage equality through public vote, under the Thirty-fourth Amendment of the Constitution. An inspiring documentary about the history of LGBTQ rights, The 34th sensibly depicts the long road to marriage equality in the Irish state, as well as the touching love story between politician Katherine Zappone and theologian Ann Louise Gilligan.

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