It’s pride month! And since celebrating love has never been so important, I decided to make a list of alternative LGBTQ movies you can watch, because let’s face it, who needs Blue Is the Warmest Color in another list? The features gathered here goes from my personal favorite LGBTQ films to some pretty special ones that I have watched during the last couple of years, so I hope you like it!
Departure (2015) by Andrew Stegall
Being one of my favorite films of 2015, Departure is Andrew Stegall’s director debut that tells the story of a mother and a son who travels to their country-side house in France. While the mother tries to reorganize her life after a divorce, her son takes interest on a french young boy from the village. Playing with identity archetypes, Departure becomes a special film for bringing the “stranger” figure from Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Theorem who comes to seduce the family and by portraying its characters on a constant state of submersion, transforming this in a very special and beautiful movie.
Closet Monster (2015) by Stephen Dunn
While Closet Monster is not an amazing movie, Stephen Dunn did a pretty good job by telling this story in a creative and unusual way comparing to most GLBT drama’s out there. The archetypes of sexual discovery and trauma are represented in a very interesting way and when some Michel Gondry influences are thrown into the mix, this definitely becomes a film worth watching. The movie tells the story of Oscar, an 18-year-old teenager that wants to leave his hometown to become a photographer. However, his childhood traumas won’t let him break through his coming of age period, resulting in physical em emotional catharsis.
Being 17 (2016) by André Téchiné
André Téchiné is already famous for his LGBTQ themes and tropes throughout his body of work, but Being 17 is his latest film that deals with the subject in an explicit manner. With a very simplistic and realistic approach, Being 17 is a subtle film that portrays human relations between social classes, skin color, and teenage boys. I say this because there are no over-dramatization about “being gay” or identify problems with the characters. Téchiné is more interested in the study of the relationship between his characters and how their attitudes will shape who they are. The film follows the story of a young boy who is bullied by a black student at school. When the mother of the boy discovers that the student who is bullying her son is the child of one of her patients, she decides to put them together under the same roof.
The Ornithologist (2016) by João Pedro Rodigues
From the same director of the incredible and controversial O Fantasma, also known as Phantom, The Ornithologist is a dream-like tale about identity, sexuality and religion. Full of symbolism and surrealistic characteristics, the film tells the story of a supposedly gay ornithologist who suffers an accident while observing birds. When rescued by two female pilgrims, the man starts to doubt her intentions once they tie him up on a tree and says he doesn’t know who he is. The man manages to escape, but the girls’ prophecy seems to haunt him through the woods, initiating an adventure where the lines between dream and reality seem to fade each step he takes.
Free Fall (2013) by Stephen Lacant
For those who like to watch Max Riemelt on Sense 8, the German actor plays Kay in this incredible and tense film about a straight, married, father and policeman who ends up falling in love for one of his co-workers. If turning this man’s life upside down is not enough, the film also portrays masculinity in a very interesting way, questioning the unknown side of male’s sexuality, the emotional effect through the flesh and the love of people over gender. Probably the spiciest film of the list, Free Fall gets closer to become a LGBTQ classic each day that passes.
Tom at the Farm (2013) by Xavier Dolan
Being one of my favorite directors active today, Xavier Dolan’s first genre film – and probably the most underrated of his career – is a dark, sexy and tense thriller about a young man who goes to his boyfriend’s mother’s house to attend his funeral. Even though his relationship with their son wasn’t a secret, the young man finds a mother in denial and a brother who wants to get rid of him as soon as possible. The relationship between the young man and the brother of his ex-boyfriend starts to get extremely tense and dubious as the day of the funeral arrives, resulting in a very interesting and twisted queer film.
Weekend (2011) by Andrew Haigh
From the list of films that always get mentioned, such as Blue Is the Warmest Color, Strange By The Lake, Boys, Brokeback Mountain, A Single Man, etc; I think Weekend is the one who always deserves to be mentioned. Not only because it’s an incredible film and by far the best film of this list, but also because it’s the most real, accurate and human film about the LGBTQ world. From the same director of 45 Years and the TV show Looking, Weekend is a tale of two strangers who meet in a club and after spending the night together, they decide to spend the next 24 hours with each other after one of them reveals that he is leaving the country. This period of time is where they discuss their life, their dreams, fears and insecurities, creating a very simplistic and touching movie.