Thursday, December 22, 2005

Queer Screen

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?


Bodhi said...

Aside from those you have already mentioned TOA, some that immeditately come to mind for me are:

Rocky Horror - 1975
Priscilla, Queen of the Desert - 1994
Sum of Us - 1994
Head on - 1998
But I'm a Cheerleader - 1999
Iron Ladies - 2000
Cowboys and Angels - 2003
Latter Days - 2003
Camp - 2003
Mambo Italiano - 2003

Michael said...

I haven't seen a single one of those. Couple that with my recent fixation on Gisele and I'd say there's reason for concern. I did see Capote. Does that count? And Rent! I saw Rent twice. (Or as they say in these parts, twice-t)(oy, now I'm rambling because I'm so nervous about not having seen any of this). School me, boys. What's the best film to deflower me?

freakgirl said...

I love "All Over the Guy." Love, love, love it. I've seen it several times. Richard Ruccolo = Cute.

freakgirl said...

Oh, also "Beautiful Thing."

And "Trick." Because, hello, Tori Spelling!

Michael said...

It's as I've always suspected. Freakgirl is more 'mo than me.

freakgirl said...

Can I have my honorary 'mo badge now?

Michael Guy said...

This one doesn't fall specifically under 'gay genre'. Well sorta maybe: I saw "CABARET" [1972/Liza Minelli/Michael York] as an impressionable young man. I swooned for Michael York for weeks/months. I wanted Michael York's naughty bits in my face. Years later my wish came true!

Not Michael York's 'naughty bits' but bits just the same.

I ADORE "All Over The Guy"

Michael said...

Your time with Michael York certainly begs for a post. Have you/Will you?

The Other Andrew said...

Ah yes, Beautiful Thing, Latter Days, Cowboys & Angels and Sum of Us are all list worthy. Rocky Horror has a special place, as you all know. The others I've enjoyed (although I find Head On depressing), but not enough to add to this list. I left off Eating Out too! How could I? One of the hottest BJ/seduction scenes on tape!

Michael, do they have DVDs where you come from? You've got some educatin' to be done!

Freakgirl, we love your inner 'mo.

Mr Guy, I had a similar reaction to La York in Logan's Run. Hey Mr Sandman!

Bodhi said...

Eating Out, I can't believe that I forgot that too!

Head On is quite depressing, but I also find it quite a powerful movie as well. The speech to Ari (Alex Dimitriades) that Johnny (Paul Kapsis) gives after they were bashed and harrassed by the police I find extremely potent.

And the near opening scene where the always beautiful Dimitriades is playing with himself in full frontal nekkid glory to the camera is enough to take ones breath away. Now there a young actor with an impressive talent. Have I ever told you that I have seen Alex in the flesh a number of times? Once when he shared at table next to mine at a Pizza Restaurant in Neutral Bay, and another time The Kid and I spotted him in HMV in the city. He is so f**king gorgeous!

And he's a greek boy too ... and we all know what that means, huh? ;-)

Bodhi said...

... did I tell you that I now own a copy of Eating Out on DVD? That BJ/seduction scene is indeed incredibly hot, and gets me going every time. How I lurve my remote control, allowing me to watch that scene again and again and again ... stop, rewind, pause, stop, rewind, pause ...

Is it possible to get RSI from overuse of a remote control? At least, I think the RSI is from the repetetive ... use of the remote.

In fact Mikey, I own just about all of the movies listed here on DVD. Just another reason for you to come Down Under (*giggles*). We can all sit together on TOA's couch and edumacate (to use the Rabbit vernacular) you on Queer cinema. It may be a little sqeezy on his hobbit sized couch, but if need be you can always sit on my lap ;-)