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TopBilled

Ideas for LGBT essentials

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I'm working on a list of films I want to discuss in the Essentials forum during the upcoming year.

As some already know, I do a monthly theme. In June I want to cover LGBT classics. There are five Saturdays that month.

So I'd appreciate if some of you listed what you consider the top 5 essential LGBT movies. They have to be ones I can find online or order on Amazon (even better if they air on TCM).

I will definitely be reviewing VICTIM (1961) since I feel it's an important title, but the other four slots are open. Preferably I'd like titles from different decades and for one of them to be a lesbian-themed classic.

Suggestions, please...?

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7 minutes ago, rayban said:

"The Boys In The Band" and "Maurice" should definitely be considered.

Yes, those two did cross my mind. Thank you Ray, and happy holidays!

I think figuring out a lesbian-themed one is going to be the biggest challenge. In film school I watched an obscure German title from the early 30s called MADCHEN IN UNIFORM that has lesbian themes. But I've never seen it anywhere commercially (to purchase). It's definitely one I'd consider reviewing if I could find a copy and see it again.

If anyone knows where I can locate this picture, please chime in:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mädchen_in_Uniform

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I think one of the best films is Plan B- a film made in Argentina.  It should be seen and worth discussing.

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21 minutes ago, don96 said:

I think one of the best films is Plan B- a film made in Argentina.  It should be seen and worth discussing.

Never heard of it before, don. I see it was released in 2009; and I would definitely like to cover a more recent title one of the weeks in June. I was reading up on the basic story. Sounds a bit more original than other modern film fare.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plan_B_(2009_film)

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1 hour ago, rayban said:

"Making Love" could be included.

This is a film I like and have discussed a bit before. Though I'm not sure how "essential" it might be, in the way VICTIM and others are truly must-see.

I think one of my selections should be a Hollywood film during the code era, where the homosexuality was muted but obviously there. The John Huston picture REFLECTIONS IN A GOLDEN EYE (where Brando's character is definitely tormented by his sexual desires) is one that would qualify in this regard.

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How about My Beautiful Launderette, Midnight Cowboy, Longtime Companion, or My Own private Idaho,

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Christopher Larkin's A Very Natural Thing is an interesting early one you may be able to watch on YouTube.

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You might want to consider two English films, too - "Sunday Bloody Sunday" (with Peter Finch and Murray Head) and "Entertaining Mr. Sloane" (with Harry Andrews and Peter McEnery).

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You might want to consider these possibilites from my Gay Indie Cinema thread -

1. Our Paradise - France 2011 - Stephane Rideau and Dimitri Durdaine

2. In The Grayscale - Chile 2015 - Francisco Celhay and Emilio Edwards

3. Holding The Man - Australia 2015 - Ryan Corr and Craig Stott

4. The Way He Looks - Brazil 2014 - Ghilheime Lobo and Fabio Audi

5. The Ten Year Plan - USA 2014 - Jack Turner and Adam Hamilton

6. Viva - Cuba & Ireland 2015 - Hector Medina


 

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Thanks everyone for the ideas. YES, there are a lot of possible choices...so to narrow it down to five is tough. I decided to cover the ones listed below. If I can't find the German film then I may cut it from the lineup and move everything up, and add either MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO or BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN the last week of June. I picked the Blake Edwards film because the gay characters and gay themes are just as prominent as the hetero love story between Andrews and Garner. And I thought a musical might give some variety. The other titles are heavy on drama.

June: LGBT classics

Selections that help celebrate pride month.

MADCHEN IN UNIFORM (1931)

VICTIM (1961)

THE BOYS IN THE BAND (1970)

VICTOR VICTORIA (1982)

MAURICE (1987)

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June - LGBT Indie Classics -

Our Paradise - 2011

The Way He Looks - 2014

In The Grayscale - 2015

Holding The Man - 2015

Viva - 2015

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Happy Holidays to all !- Yes this is a good idea- but how about some essential documentaries too-  "Word is Out" (1977)   "Improper Conduct" (1984) about gays were persecuted by the Castro government.  "Paris is Burning"  (1990) dazzling and heartbreaking. 

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Lilies (Les Feluettes) -- one of the most beautiful and innovative gay films, from Canada.

Lilies_marais_film_festival.jpg

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On 12/25/2017 at 5:52 PM, TopBilled said:

Thanks everyone for the ideas. YES, there are a lot of possible choices...so to narrow it down to five is tough. I decided to cover the ones listed below. If I can't find the German film then I may cut it from the lineup and move everything up, and add either MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO or BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN the last week of June. I picked the Blake Edwards film because the gay characters and gay themes are just as prominent as the hetero love story between Andrews and Garner. And I thought a musical might give some variety. The other titles are heavy on drama.

June: LGBT classics

Selections that help celebrate pride month.

MADCHEN IN UNIFORM (1931)

VICTIM (1961)

THE BOYS IN THE BAND (1970)

VICTOR VICTORIA (1982)

MAURICE (1987)

This list must include "Brokeback Mountain".

I would eliminate "Victor Victoria".

The list should include an indie classic, too, like "In The Grayscale".

I would eliminate "Madchen In Uniform".

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I understand that your project has been pretty much finalized after considering some excellent suggestions, but I feel so strongly about a film which I think has been unfairly marginalized that I want to throw it into the mix: To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar (1995). Such a high-profile project from a major studio caught many people off-guard at the time. Who threw up this hairball on the living room rug? It was an oddity then and probably remains so, but it's a very special and endearing film if you suspend disbelief (a cardinal rule for the performing arts) and let it work its magic. It's a movie which understands that it's a fantasy (as when their shabby room becomes instantly transformed a-la "Bewitched") yet gets very real very fast about the things that matter in life. What that says to me is that this project was taken very seriously from the top down. Otherwise, this would have been some kind of Adam Sandler/Will Ferrell-type movie with none of the depth and finesse which the three leads bring to their characterizations. It's a road movie and, like the best of them, it focuses on what the journey teaches you rather than on what to expect at the end. The three straight leading actors morph into the three hapless drag heroines in a way that, in my opinion, has never been sufficiently heralded. There's no self-conscious wink-wink and not one of them holds back in a way which would telegraph that we shouldn't forget that they're only playing a role. These are major performances by established actors, fearlessly done. Anyone who thinks of this movie as a joke or as a trivial footnote in the evolution of "gay" cinema either hasn't seen it or should see it again. It's an experience which has always moved me and I'm rising again to its defense because I think it's existed for too long in the shadows outside the accepted gay "canon". More than that, I think it represents a milestone in the evolution of "gay" cinema and deserves to be seen as essential, if not as one of the five essentials. We all understand what passion means in terms of the films we love, so I hope mine for this movie isn't unwelcome.

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Thanks Dougie. I've never seen TO WONG FOO, but have heard of it, of course.

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I agree with DouguieB about " To Wong Foo..." it's a funny movie with some sweet real moments. Patrick Swazye is very glam in his Vida drag person but Leguizamo is amazing- an Oscar worthy supporting turn- he really makes that character real.

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On ‎2‎/‎14‎/‎2018 at 6:23 PM, jaragon said:

I agree with DouguieB about " To Wong Foo..." it's a funny movie with some sweet real moments. Patrick Swazye is very glam in his Vida drag person but Leguizamo is amazing- an Oscar worthy supporting turn- he really makes that character real.

Agreed. I think Wesley Snipes probably had the most on the line since his specialty had been male-oriented action films. If he had tanked as a performer in To Wong Foo there could have been a very negative effect career-wise, beyond the mere fact of him playing a drag queen in the first place. His seemingly effortless embodiment of Noxema Jackson is a truly heroic achievement for an actor at a career mid-point, where all could have been lost. I have the most respect for him because I think his reach to get the character was the farthest. As you said, Swayze and Leguizamo both nailed it as well. The women in the film are also notable, especially Stockard Channing, Blythe Danner and Melinda Dillon.

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The film critics were all too eager to toss this one into the dust.

Interestingly, the playwright kept the film rights.

He is now hoping to turn it into a Broadway musical.

But the drag performances of the three stars could not be bettered.

 

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