No spoilers here.
- Weekend- This beautiful, beautiful, beautiful movie is a story that every gay man lives, 20 or 30 times in our lives. You meet someone wonderful, and you spend an amazing weekend together where everything works. And then you leave each other.
- Hedwig and the Angry Inch- Until Weekend came along, this was my favorite movie, and has been so for 10 years. This amazing, hilarious and human look at love, gender and sexuality is as wonderful a movie as can exist.
- A Single Man- Tom Ford can’t do anything wrong, and when he creates a movie, every scene is a work of art. This story of a professor going through the emotions of losing a lover with no one to share his pain is poignant and visually and emotionally heartbreaking.
- Dog Day Afternoon- Discover Al Pacino before he was famous. If you’re wondering why this movie is on a list of gay movies, wait until the end.
- Beautiful Thing- I have an emotional connection to this movie mostly because it was the very first movie I saw where two gay boys found each other, fell in love, and had a family that was supportive of it. Of course, the Mama Cass soundtrack sure helps.
- Ma Vie En Rose- A young boy discovers he wants to be a girl. What follows is pure beauty.
- Paris Is Burning- If there is one documentary everyone should see to understand the marginalized gay world, this is it. Better yet, watch this movie and then read up on everything that it talks about, and you’ll understand gay activism, drag, Madonna, New York City, white people taking ownership of black culture, AIDS, and true heroes better.
- Brokeback Mountain- The most mainstream movie on the list. It’s a great story of closeted lovers.
- Rocky Horror Picture Show- Everything is allowed in this ridiculously horrible movie. But it’s so bad, it’s amazing. Like really amazing.
- Milk- For Americans, Milk is the first true gay activist. The fact that Sean Penn plays him here makes it great. It is emotional, raw, and beautiful.
- Angels In America- If you want to understand AIDS in the 80s and 90s, you can’t. But this movie can take you through the rollercoaster of emotions. It’s long (over 5 hours), but worth every minute.
- Heavenly Creatures- Kate Winslet as a hallucinating, murderous lesbian in New Zealand. Need I say more? Oh, and it’s directed by Peter Jackson.
- Pride- The unlikely true story of gays and mine workers collaborating for the rights of everybody. This movie will make you want to be an activist.
***I apologize for the Western-centricity of this selection. Unfortunately, I am not familiar enough with non-Anglophone, non-Western cinema to write about it.***