The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of The Desert (1994)

Comedy, Musical | 1h 44min

Director: Stephan Elliot

Two drag performers and a transgender woman travel across the desert to perform their unique style of cabaret.

All About My Mother (1999)

Drama | 1h 41min

Director: Pedro Almodóvar

Young Esteban wants to become a writer and also to discover the identity of his father, carefully concealed by his mother Manuela.

Appropriate Behaviour (2014)

Comedy, Drama, Romance | 1h 26min

Director: Desiree Akhavan

Shirin is struggling to become an ideal Persian daughter, politically correct bisexual and hip young Brooklynite but fails miserably in her attempt at all identities. Being without a cliché to hold onto can be a lonely experience.

As You Are (2016)

Drama, Mystery | 1h 50min

Director: Miles Joris-Peyrafitte

Set in the early 1990's, "As You Are" is the telling and retelling of a relationship between three teenagers as it traces the course of their friendship through a construction of disparate memories prompted by a police investigation.

Audre Lorde : The Berlin Years (2012)

Documentary | 1h 50min

Director: Dagmar Schultz

Audre Lorde, the highly influential, award-winning African-American lesbian poet came to live in West-Berlin in the 80s and early '90s. She was the mentor and catalyst who helped ignite the Afro-German movement while she challenged white women to acknowledge and constructively use their privileges.

The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant (1972)

Drama, Romance | 2h 4min

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder

The film has an all-female cast, and it is set in the home of  Petra von Kant. It follows the changing dynamics in her relationships with the other women.

*Fassbinder is a highly controversial German director. He was only in his third year of directing when he shot "The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant" which is remarkable considering it was his 13th feature film. Fassbinder was openly homosexual and made many films that focused on gay and lesbian themes. In 1971 through 1977, his films brought him international attention, with films modeled, to ironic effect, on the melodramas Douglas Sirk made in Hollywood in the 1950s. In these films, Fassbinder explored how deep-rooted prejudices about race, sex, sexual orientation, politics and class are inherent in society. Ironically, his work has been accused of being sexist and homophobic.

Bad Education (2004)

Crime, Drama | 1h 46min

Director: Pedro Almodóvar

Two kids, Ignacio and Enrique, discover love, cinema and fear in a religious school at the start of the 60s. Father Manolo, the school principal and their literature teacher, is witness to and part of these discoveries.
The three characters meet twice again, at the end of the 70s and in the 80s. The re-encounter will mark the life and death of some of them.

*Bad Education opened the 57th Cannes Film Festival in 2004. It was the first Spanish film to do so.``This film represents me in a fundamental way,'' Almodovar said, ``but the events in my film are not my personal life.''

Beau Travail (1999)

Drama | 1h 32min

Director: Claire Denis

This film focuses on an ex-Foreign Legion officer as he recalls his once glorious life, leading troops in Africa.

Before Stonewall (1984)

Documentary | 1h 27min

Director: Greta Schiller, Robert Rosenburg

The history of the Gay and Lesbian community before the Stonewall riots began the major gay rights movement.

Blue (1993)

Biography, Drama | 1h 19min

Director: Derek Jarman

A year before director Derek Jarman succumbed fully to AIDS, he made his last film. In Blue, the color blue is all there is to see as Jarman tries to bring the audience into his vision-impaired world. Jarmanoffers his insights on life, love, disease, the meaning of art, and the symbology of the color blue over a blue screen

Blue is the Warmest Colour (2013)

Drama, Romance | 3h

Director: Abdellatif Kechiche

Adèle's life is changed when she meets Emma, a young woman with blue hair, who will allow her to discover desire and to assert herself as a woman and as an adult. In front of others, Adèle grows, seeks herself, loses herself, and ultimately finds herself through love and loss.

*The film generated controversy upon its premiere at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival and before its release. Much of the controversy was centered around claims of poor working conditions on set by the crew and the lead actresses, and also the film's raw depiction of sexuality. Approximately 800 hours of footage was shot for this film. It is the first film to have the Palme d'Or awarded to both the director and the lead actresses. The lead actresses join Jane Campion (The Piano) as the only women to have ever won the award.

Born in Flames (1983)

Comedy, Drama, Fantasy | 1h 20min

Director: Lizzie Borden

Born in Flames is a 1983 documentary-style feminist science fiction film that explores racism, sexism, and heterosexism in an alternative United States socialist democracy. 

Boys Don't Cry (1999)

Biography, Crime, Drama | 1h 58min

Director: Kimberly Pierce 

Female-born Teena Brandon adopts his male identity of Brandon Teena and attempts to find himself and love in Nebraska.

Brokeback Mountain (2005)

Drama, Romance | 2h 14min

Director: Ang Lee

The story of a forbidden and secretive relationship between two cowboys, and their lives over the years.

But I'm a Cheerleader (1999)

Comedy, Drama, Romance | 1h 25min

Director: Jamie Babbit 

A naive teenager is sent to rehab camp when her straitlaced parents and friends suspect her of being a lesbian.

*Many critics did not like the film, comparing it unfavorably with the films of John Waters and criticizing the colorful production design. When originally submitted to the Motion Picture Association of America rating board, It received an NC-17 rating. In order to get a commercially viable R rating, Babbit removed a two-second shot of Graham's hand sweeping Megan's clothed body, a camera pan up Megan's body when she is masturbating, and a comment that Megan "ate Graham out." Despite negative reviews it has continued to be a cult classic.

Carol (2015)

Drama, Romance | 1h 58min

Director : Todd Haynes

An aspiring photographer develops an intimate relationship with an older woman in 1950s New York.

The Case Against 8 (2014)

Documentary | 1h 49min

Director: Ben Cotner, Ryan White

A behind-the-scenes look inside the case to overturn California's ban on same-sex marriage. Shot over five years, the film follows the unlikely team that took the first federal marriage equality lawsuit to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Celluloid Closet (1995)

Documentary | 1h 42min

Directors: Rob Epstein, Jeffery Friedman

A documentary surveying the various Hollywood screen depictions of homosexuals and the attitudes behind them throughout the history of North American film.

Circumstance (2011)

Drama, Romance | 1h 47min

Director: Maryam Keshavarz

A wealthy Iranian family struggles to contain a teenager's growing sexual rebellion and her brother's dangerous obsession.

When asked what inspired Keshavaraz to make this film she said, "part of it is based on my own experiences because I went back and forth between NY and Shiraz. Some of my first memories as a young child was taking part in the revolution and later on with the war and extreme repression." The film, set in Tehran, was shot in Lebanon in fear of endangering the crew. They sent a false script to the Lebanese authorities and told them that they were making Keshavarz's thesis film, while in reality, they were making a commercial film. Lebanese authorities did have encounters with the actors while filming occurred. Since the film was released, both the film was banned as well as Keshavarz herself was banned from returning to Iran.

C.R.A.Z.Y. (2005)

Comedy, Drama | 2h 7min

 Director: Jean-Marc Vallée

Extraordinary lives of ordinary people in search of love and happiness - that's the premise of "C.R.A.Z.Y", a family drama unlike any other.

The Danish Girl (2015)

Biography, Drama, Romance | 1h 59min

Director: Tom Hooper

A fictitious love story loosely inspired by the lives of Danish artists Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener. Lili and Gerda's marriage and work evolve as they navigate Lili's groundbreaking journey as a transgender pioneer.

Death in Venice (1971)

Drama | 2h 10min

Director: Luchino Visconti

A great writer suffering writer's block visits Venice and is liberated, uplifted, and then increasingly obsessed, by the sight of a stunningly beautiful youth.

Desert Hearts (1985)

Drama, Romance | 1h 36min

Director: Donna Deitch 

It is 1950s Nevada, and Professor Vivian Bell arrives to get a divorce. She's unsatisfied with her marriage, and feels out of place at the ranch she stays on, she finds herself increasingly drawn to Cay Rivers, an open and self-assured lesbian, and the ranch owner's daughter.

* "Susan Seidelman’s Desperately Seeking Susan and Donna Deitch’s Desert Hearts thrilled a new generation of lesbian audiences and filmmakers and showed it was possible to make a sexy movie that could be empowering to women and even lesbians, and actually play in theaters, something not taken for granted at the time." - excerpt from B. Ruby Rich's "New Queer Cinema: The Director's Cut" 

First Girl I Loved (2016)

Drama,Romance | 1h 30min

Director: Kerem Sanga 

Seventeen-year-old Anne just fell in love with Sasha, the most popular girl at her LA public high school. But when Anne tells her best friend Clifton - who has always harbored a secret crush - he does his best to get in the way.

Funeral Parade Of Roses (1969)

Drama | 1h 47min

Director: Toshio Matsumoto

A loose adaptation of “Oedipus Rex” set in the gay underground of 1960’s Toky., The film follows a group of transgender people as they travel through a largely unseen world of drag bars and nightclubs, fueled by booze, drugs, fuzz guitar, performance art and black mascara.

Go Fish (1994)

Drama, Romance | 1h 23min

Director: Rose Troche

After leaving behind her girlfriend to attend college in Chicago, young lesbian Max is introduced to Ely, a slightly older woman with quirky habits. 

Happy Together (1997)

Drama, Romance | 1h 36min

Director: Kar-Wai Wong

Ho Po-wing and Lai Yiu-fai, a couple from Hong Kong, visit Argentina hoping to renew their ailing relationship. The two have a pattern of abuse, followed by breakups and reconciliations.

Headwig and the Angry Inch (2001)

Comedy, Drama, Music | 1h 35min

Director: John Cameron Mitchell

A transgender punk-rock girl from East Berlin tours the U.S. with her band as she tells her life story and follows the former lover/band-mate who stole her songs.

How to Survive a Plague (2012)

Documentary | 1h 50min

Director: David France

The story of two coalitions - ACT UP and TAG (Treatment Action Group) - whose activism and innovation turned AIDS from a death sentence into a manageable condition.

Je, Tu, Il, Elle (1974)

Drama | 1h 26min

Director: Chantal Akerman

'Je' is a girl voluntarily lock up in a room. 'Tu' is the script. 'Il' is a lorry driver. 'Elle' is the girlfriend.

KiKi (2016)

Documentary | 1h 34min

Director: Sara Jordenö

A group of LGBTQ youths of color unite to form a safe gathering space.

Looking for Langston (1989)

Biography, Drama | 45min

Director: Isaac Julien

This short film combines authentic archival newsreel footage of Harlem in the 1920s with scripted scenes to produce a non-linear impressionistic storyline celebrating black gay identity and desire during the artistic and cultural period known as the Harlem Renaissance in New York. Hughes is presented as an icon and cultural metaphor for black gay men who were confronted with being ostracized if they did not conform to black bourgeoisie standards whose overriding goal concerned fuller social integration.

* "With Looking for Langston in 1989, Julien moved to a syncretic, meditative rewriting of history, queering Langston Hughes only to be censored by an unhappy Hughes estate, which denied copyright and forced the New York Film Festival to screen it with parts of the soundtrack muted. Looking sought to fuse a range of cinematic strategies (a return to black-and- white film, incorporation of still photographs and archival footage, a post-Brechtian embrace of theatricality and artificiality) with his love of pop culture (Jimmy Sommerville, resonances of Robert Mapplethorpe, Andy Warhol) to reclaim history for the queer black kids written out of it. "  - excerpt from B. Ruby Rich's "New Queer Cinema: The Diretor's Cut"

Ma Vie En Rose (1997)

Drama | 1h 28min

Director: Alain Berliner

This film tells the story of Ludovic, a child who is seen by family and community as a boy, but consistently communicates being a girl. It depicts Ludovic's family struggling to accept her.

Madchen in Uniform (1931)

Drama | 1h 31min

Directors:  Leontine SaganCarl Froelich

 

Inspired by Christa Winsloe's play "Gestern und Heute", this film is one of the most memorable and moving of the pre-Hitler German talkies (films with synched sound). Manuela is a new student in an exclusive girls' boarding school. Achingly lonely because she feels deserted by her family, Manuela keeps her distance from the rest of the girls and is drawn to her sympathetic teacher. What starts as a friendship blossoms into a romance.

Mala Mala (2014)

Documentary | 1h 27min

Directors: Antonio SantiniDan Sickles

A documentary about the power of transformation told through the eyes of 9 trans-identifying individuals in Puerto Rico.

Milk (2008)

Biography, Drama | 1h 28min

Director: Gus Van Sant

The story of Harvey Milk, and his struggles as an American gay activist who fought for gay rights and became California's first openly gay elected official.

My Beautiful Laundrette (1985)

Comedy, Drama, Romance | 1h 37min

Director: Stephen Frears

An ambitious Asian Briton and his white lover strive for success and hope, when they open up a glamorous laundromat.

My Own Private Idaho (1991)

Drama | 1h 44min

Director: Gus Van Sant

Two best friends living on the streets of Portland as hustlers embark on a journey of self discovery and find their relationship stumbling along the way.

Nitrate Kisses (1992)

Documentary: 1h 7min

Director: Barbara Hammer

Visually structured around four couples making love, one couple at a time; narratively structured around four chapters in lesbian life: older women talking about what it was like in the 30s, 40s and 50s; a look at the hidden eroticism of movies; the repression of gays under the Third Reich; and, the work of the Lesbian Herstory Archives in New York City. 

*In 1974, Hammer was married and teaching at a community college in Santa Rosa, California. Around this time she came out as a lesbian, after talking with another student in a feminist group. After leaving her marriage, she took off on a motorcycle with a Super-8 camera. That year she filmed "Dyketatics" which is widely considered one of the first lesbian films. She released her first feature film, an experimental documentary, Nitrate Kisses in 1992. It was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the 1993 Sundance Film Festival.

Pariah (2011)

Drama | 1h 26min

Director: Dee Rees

A Brooklyn teenager juggles conflicting identities and risks friendship, heartbreak, and family in a desperate search for sexual expression.

Paris is Burning (1990)

Documentary | 1h 11min

Director: Jennie Livingston

A chronicle of New York's drag scene in the 1980s, focusing on balls, voguing and the ambitions and dreams of those who gave the era its warmth and vitality.

Pink Flamingos (1972)

Comedy, Crime, Horror | 1h 33min

Director: John Waters

Notorious Baltimore criminal and underground figure Divine goes up against a sleazy married couple who make a passionate attempt to humiliate her and seize her tabloid-given title as "The Filthiest Person Alive".

* "Waters predates the New Queer Cinema by decades; he’s a creature of the hippie past, the countercultural revolution, a pre-Stonewall era of shock and awe. John Waters was there first. He and his films were formed by the nutty, exuberant prelapsarian days of the 1970s, after gay liberation, before aids. The trademark Waters style, with its camp sensibility and impatience with both heteronormativity and homonormativity, is well reflected in the New Queer Cinema, as if its traits were lying in wait all that time like a recessive gene." - excerpt from B. Ruby Rich's "New Queer Cinema: The Director's Cut" 

Pink Narcissus (1971)

Drama, Fantasy | 1h 5min

Director: James Bidgood

An erotic poem set in the fantasies of a young male prostitute.

Portrait of Jason (1967)

Documentary, Biography | 1h 45min

Director: Shirley Clarke

The highlights of a 12-hour interview with Aaron Payne, alias Jason Holliday, a former houseboy, would-be cabaret performer, and self-proclaimed hustler who, while drinking and smoking cigarettes and pot, giggles his way through stories and observations of what it was (and is) like to be black and gay in 1960s America.

Scorpio Rising (1964)

Experimental, Short | 28min

Director: Kenneth Anger

An army of gay/nazi bikers make their engines roar and ride the way to pain/pleasure as sexual and sadistic symbols are intercut into the dazing chaos and rhythmic experiences of this underground film.

*When the film was screened at an art theater in Los Angeles, it was protested by the American Nazi Party on the basis that it insulted their flag. The police were ultimately called to the site and arrested the theater manager for public obscenity and canceled the film's run. The case went to the California Supreme Court, where the case was settled in the Director Kenneth Anger's favor. Anger said that when the film was freed "it became, like, a landmark case of redeeming social merit. That was the phrase that was used to justify that it wasn't pornography. And, indeed, there's nothing pornographic about it. Somebody had to break the ice and have that kind of case at that time to establish the freedom, because, before then, the police could seize anything they wanted to."

Shortbus (2006)

Drama, Romance | 1h 41min

Director: John Cameron Mitchell

A group of New Yorkers caught up in their romantic-sexual milieu converge at an underground salon infamous for its blend of art, music, politics, and carnality.

Silver Lake Life: The View from Here (1993)

Documentary | 1h 39min

Director: Peter Friedman, Tom Joslin

A documentary about two gay men as they live through their last months of life with AIDS.

A Single Man (2009)

Drama, Romance | 1h 39min

Director: Tom Ford

An English professor, one year after the sudden death of his boyfriend, is unable to cope with his typical days in 1960s Los Angeles.

Spa Night (2016)

Drama | 1h 33min

Director: Andrew Ahn

A closeted Korean-American teenager takes a job at a Korean spa to help his struggling family, only to discover an underground world of gay sex at the spa that both scares and excites him.

A Sinner In Mecca (2015)

Documentary | 1h 19min

Director: Parvez Sharma

For a gay filmmaker, filming in Saudi Arabia presents two serious challenges: filming is forbidden in the country and homosexuality is punishable by death. For filmmaker Parvez Sharma, however, these were risks he had to assume as he embarked on his Hajj pilgrimage, a journey considered the greatest accomplishment and aspiration within Islam, his religion. On his journey Parvez aims to look beyond 21st-century Islam's crises of religious extremism, commercialism and sectarian battles. He brings back the story of the religion like it has never been told before, having endured the biggest jihad there is: the struggle with the self.

Suited (2016)

Documentary | 1h 19min

Director: Jason Benjamin

A documentary about custom suits, accepting difference, and living bravely in one's own skin.

Sunday Bloody Sunday (1971)

Drama | 1h 50min

Director: John Schlesinger

"Sunday Bloody Sunday" tells the story of a free-spirited young bisexual artist and his simultaneous relationships with a female recruitment consultant and a male Jewish doctor.

*The film is significant for its time in that Finch's homosexual character is depicted as successful and relatively well-adjusted, and not particularly upset by his sexuality.

Tab Hunter Confidential (2015)

Documentary, Biography | 1h 30min

Director: Jeffrey Schwarz

The story of matinee idol Tab Hunter from teenage stable boy to closeted Hollywood star of the 1950s.

Tangerine (2015)

Comedy, Crime, Drama | 1h 28min

Director: Sean Baker

A working girl tears through Tinseltown on Christmas Eve searching for the pimp who broke her heart.

*The film was shot with three iPhone 5s smartphones.

The Times of Havey Milk (1984)

Documentary, Biography | 1h 30min

Director: Rob Epstein

A documentary of the successful career and assassination of San Francisco's first elected gay councilor.

Tomboy (2011)

Drama | 1h 22min

Director: Céline Sciamma

A family moves into a new neighborhood, and a 10-year-old named Laure deliberately presents as a boy named Mikhael to the neighborhood children.

Transamerica (2005)

Drama | 1h 43min

Director: Duncan Tucker

A pre-operative male-to-female transgender takes an unexpected journey when she learns that she fathered a son, now a teenage runaway hustling on the streets of New York.

Tongues Untied (1989)

Documentary | 55min

Director: Marlon Riggs

The film blends documentary footage with personal account and fiction in an attempt to depict the specificity of black gay identity.

*At the time of its release, the film was considered controversial because of its frank portrayal of gay sexuality. Presidential candidate Pat Buchanan cited Tongues Untied as an example of how President George H. W. Bush was using taxpayer's money to fund "pornographic art".

Tropical Malady (2004)

Drama, Fantasy, Romance | 1h 58min

Director:  Apichatpong Weerasethakul

A romance between a soldier and a country boy, wrapped around a Thai folk-tale involving a shaman with shape-shifting abilities.

Un chant d'amour (A Song Of Love) (1950)

Short, Fantasy, Romance | 26min

Director: Jean Genet

Two prisoners in complete isolation, separated by the thick brick walls, and desperately in need of human contact, devise a most unusual kind of communication.

*When in 1966 distributor Sol Landau attempted to exhibit the film in Berkeley, California, he was informed by a member of the local police special investigations department that were he to continue screening it the film "would be confiscated and the person responsible arrested." Landau responded by instituting the case of Landau v. Fording (1966) in which he sought to show Genet's work without police harassment. The court rejected Landau's suit, further condemning the film as "cheap pornography calculated to promote homosexuality, perversion and morbid sex practices." He was similarly rebuffed in the District Court of Appeal of California. When the case reached the U.S. Supreme Court, the decision was confirmed once more, in a 5-4 per curiam decision in which the justices simply stated that Un chant d'amour was obscene and offered no further explanation. Un chant d'amour was described in The Queer Encyclopedia of Film & Television as "one of the earliest and most remarkable attempts to portray homosexual passion on-screen"

The Watermelon Woman (1996)

Drama | 1h 30min

Director: Cheryl Dunye

The Watermelon Woman is a 1996 feature film by filmmaker Cheryl Dunye about Cheryl, a young black lesbian working a day job in a video store while trying to make a film about a black actress from the 1930s known for playing the stereotypical "mammy" roles relegated to black actresses during the period.

*It was the first feature film directed by a black lesbian.

Weekend (2011)

Drama, Romance | 1h 37min

Director: Andrew Haigh

After a drunken house party with his straight mates, Russell heads out to a gay club. Just before closing time he picks up Glen but what's expected to be just a one-night stand becomes something else, something special.