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50 Essential LGBT Films

Querelle

You've sported a red equal sign on Facebook, watched Nancy Pelosi show Michele Bachmann her politically correct middle finger, and read some of those other lists that have compiled lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) films, hailing usual suspects like High Art and Brokeback Mountain as gay equivalents of Vertigo (oh, don't Citizen Kane me; we're talking regime upheaval here). Now, as you continue to celebrate the crushing of DOMA and Prop 8 (and toss some extra confetti for Pride Month while you're at it), peruse Slant's own list of LGBT movies you owe it to yourself to see. Curated by co-founder and film editor Ed Gonzalez, this 50-wide roster is a singular trove of queer-themed gems and classics, spanning the past eight decades and reflecting artists as diverse as Kenneth Anger, Derek Jarman, and Rainer Werner Fassbinder. You won't find The Birdcage among our ranks, but you will find Paul Morrissey's Trash, Ira Sach's The Delta, David Lynch's Mulholland Drive, and Céline Sciamma's Tomboy. Consider the list a hat tip to what's shaped up to be a banner LGBT year, particularly on screen, with lesbian romance Blue Is the Warmest Color taking top honors at Cannes, and Xavier Dolan releasing the masterful Laurence Anyways, which also made our cut. R. Kurt Osenlund

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TAGS: beau travail, fireworks, flaming creatures, in a year of 13 moons, je tu il elle, laurence anyways, law of desire, lgbtq, madonna: truth or dare, mulholland drive, my beautiful laundrette, my hustler, my own private idaho, querelle, rebel without a cause, sunday bloody sunday, superstar the karen carpenter story, teorema, the blossoming of maximo oliveros, the crying game, The Delta, the garden, the living end, the long day closes, the raspberry reich, the times of harvey milk, those who love me take the train, tongues untied, trash, un chant damour


Thomas Dekker

The game of tracking an auteur's muse takes on distinct dimensions when considering the work of Gregg Araki. While Woody and Quentin toy with their awkwardly assured creative types and amazonian blondes, Araki projects his own lust objects onto the screen: slinky, omnisexual brunette males whose fiery post-adolescent hormones are compounded by the burdensome weight of the universe. It's hard to think of another queer filmmaker who remains so exuberantly adherent to his own muse pattern, at least in terms of allowing his presumed pinup fantasies to dictate his lead casting.

It's a pattern he didn't fall into until after his breakout third feature, The Living End (1992), whose Craig Gilmore and Mike Dytri were more beefcake Jason Priestleys, of sorts. But 1993 saw the arrival of Totally F***ed Up, and thus the rise of James Duval, the black-haired, angst-ridden anti-twink whom Araki's camera would follow through the paranoid peaks and camp valleys of the Teen Apocalypse Trilogy. Duval would lead to Jonathan Schaech, the Doom Generation (1995) and Splendor (1999) star whose musculature would slightly tweak the formula, and Schaech would give way to Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the hustler of Mysterious Skin (2004) whose dark features and beanpole build embodied the Araki ideal.

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TAGS: chris zylka, craig gilmore, gregg araki, james duval, jonathan schaech, joseph gordon-levitt, kaboom, mike dytri, mysterious skin, nathan bexton, nowhere, the doom generation, the living end, thomas dekker, totally f***ed up






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