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Je Tu Il Elle (#110 of 2)

50 Essential LGBT Films

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50 Essential LGBT Films
50 Essential LGBT Films

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

The Criterion Collection’s Eclipse Series 19: Chantal Akerman in the Seventies

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The Criterion Collection’s Eclipse Series 19: Chantal Akerman in the Seventies
The Criterion Collection’s Eclipse Series 19: Chantal Akerman in the Seventies

In this country, at least among cinephiles, Chantal Akerman is mainly known for her masterpiece, Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975), which was released on DVD by Criterion last year. She herself admitted in one of the extras on that disc that Dielman, which was really her start, might also be her best work, but it’s been difficult to know that for sure since her other films are so hard to see. After watching Jeanne Dielman again, I combed through Akerman’s IMDb page and was intrigued by how much of her filmography consists of shorts and documentaries, fragments and self-portraits; even just looking at this list, it was clear that Akerman has not been interested in pursuing a tidy career, or work devoted to any kind of commercial narrative. In this valuable new Criterion Eclipse set, which brings together work she made before and after Dielman, it’s possible to put together a sharper picture of who she is as an artist, even if it left me, at least, with more questions than answers.