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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

Film 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.

Geography Club

Gay Essential Films To Watch, Geography Club

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.

Zen in the Ice Rift

Essential Opinion: Zen in the Ice Rift (Zen sul ghiaccio sottile)

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.

Sitcom

Gay Essential Films To Watch, Sitcom

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.

Consequences

Film Review: Consequences (Posledice) at BFI London Film Festival

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.

From Beginning to End

Gay Essential Films To Watch, From Beginning to End (Do Começo ao Fim)

Released in 2009, From Beginning to End is a Portuguese drama film dealing with the topics of homosexuality and incest. Filmed mostly in Rio de Janeiro and partly in Buenos Aires, the film was directed by Aluizio Abranches and starred Júlia Lemmertz, Fábio Assunção and Jean Pierre Noher.

Full Speed

Gay Essential Films To Wach, Full Speed (À toute vitesse)

This French drama film was released in 1996 and follows the lives of four children, including a young writer and a gay Algerian who mourns the loss of his partner. Full Speed (À toute vitesse) was directed and co-written by Gaël Morel and stars Pascal Cervo, Élodie Bouchez, Meziane Bardadi and Stéphane Rideau.

Beginners

Gay Essential Films To Watch, Beginners

Released in 2010 and directed by Mike Mills, Beginners is a romantic comedy about a man reeling from his father’s revelation about his sexuality, and subsequent death. The film won an Oscar for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role for Christopher Plummer. Shot in Los Angeles and New York, the film features actors Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer and Melanie Laurent.

My Life With James Dean

Essential Opinion: My Life With James Dean (Ma vie avec James Dean)

A young filmmaker is hoping to catch his big break after being invited in Normandy to premiere his first independent feature film. Once there, however, he faces a harsh reality – the audience is really only interested in romantic comedies and American action movies. There is a silver lining though; the filmmaker meets the cinema projectionist who has fallen head over heels in love with him.

Two Drifters

Gay Essential Films To Watch, Two Drifters (Odete)

Released in 2005, Two Drifters (Odete) is centred on the lives of two couples and the challenges, separation and grief that they go through. Directed by João Pedro Rodrigues, the Portugese motion picture stars Ana Cristina de Oliveira, Nuno Gil and João Carreira. It was co-written by the director and Paulo Rebelo.

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