Some comments on one of my previous posts got me to thinking about the portrayal of gay people in movies, and in particular about the movies I have enjoyed and can relate to on a personal level.
I don't think I can understate how important it was to me when I was growing up and coming out, to see images of other gay people in film and tv. Often those images weren't exactly flattering, but I still greedily sought out anything that had a gay character in it. I guess validation is important when you are struggling to put together an identity that goes against the grain of the popular 'norm'.
I think I'll have to take a few stabs at this because I need to rack my brains for all the films I've seen over the years, but here's a start anyway of a list of films that I've seen over the years and gotten some sort of value from:
Parting Glances, 1986
An early favourite, I love this little indie film for its naturalistic portrayal of two guys in a relationship. A bit rough around the edges production-wise, and very '80s, it still remains one of my all time favourites. Notable for an early appearance of Steve Buscemi.
The Wedding Banquet, 1993
A very entertaining romantic farce by Ang Lee, I kind of fell in love with Mitchell Lichtenstein (son of painter Roy Lichtenstein) a little after seeing him in this film. Great soundtrack, which I went out and bought after seeing the film.
The Broken Hearts Club: A Romantic Comedy, 2000
I love this film, it's so funny and has a good heart at its core. I can relate to all the characters in one way or another. One of my favourite gay films.
All Over The Guy, 2001
Richard Ruccolo co-stars in this very entertaining romantic comedy about two mismatched guys and the rocky road to romance. Great cameos by Doris Roberts, Christina Ricci, Lisa Kudrow and Andrea Martin. Appealing Dan Bucatinsky co-stars, directs and also wrote the original play.
Hedwig & The Angry Inch, 2001
What's not to love about this film? Camp, humour, pathos, great songs. Not strictly a 'gay' film, but one about people who don't fit the mould.
Sommersturm (in German, aka "Summer Storm"), 2004
A very sweet film about coming of age, coming out and exploring attraction for the first time. A bunch of teens go away for a rowing camp and competition, and encounter a team made up of gay guys, which galvanises one of the guys to explore his own attraction to guys. A young cast all turn in fantastic performances.
This is not a complete list, I'll post more as they come to mind. Care to comment on your own favourites?