Monday, August 18, 2008

GAY STUFF: Top 10 LGBT Movies

On the back of both Darren and Juliet & Juliette posting blogs about their favorite movies, I thought I'd follow suit...

These two lists were extraordinarily hard to come up with. Mainly because, when asked, it's hard to really think of any movies at all. So, we used the idea of "movies that stuck with me." I'm not saying these are the most incredible movies of all times, but they are movies that have left me with something, or are movies that I can watch over and over and over again. I'll note some obvious missing pics on both lists.

Also, neither of them are in any particular order.

Top Ten LGBT Films of All Time

1) Happy Together (1997, Japan)-- This was the first strictly gay movie I had ever seen, and I picked it up randomly from the "return" bin while I worked at the library at Miami. The reason it stuck with me so long is because it was the first time I had ever seen anal sex handled in a relationship on a film and they made it looked... well, almost natural. I thought that was neat.

2) Better than Chocolate (1999, Canada)-- The only lesbian-exclusive film on the list. It's cute, it's fun, and I love the basis for the title in the movie (ie, orgasms are better than chocolate). It's a cutesy little film from Canada, but it talks about some interesting and strange issues, including censorship and trans-relationships.

3) The Broken Hearts Club (2000, USA) -- It's a really really cute movie, and really sweet and I make recommendations to a lot of straight friends to watch it because I think it talks about the whole "newbie" syndrome quite effectively. It's a little foray in the 20-something gay adolescence we get to go through, and you'll notice (if you know me) that I get a lot of my "gay lingo" from this movie. And there are two great quotes that have stuck with me:

A lot of people ask me when I first knew I was gay. Fact is, I don't know. But what I do remember, what I can recall, is when I first realized it was Okay: It was when I met these guys. My friends.

Everyone can't be straight. Everyone can't be beautiful. Everyone can't be the same, Patrick. Some people are just gay and average. We're the strongest I think

Besides, it has a line-up of characters that you'll spend you're time going -- I know that actor. What's funny is, if you're gay, you'll spend your time going -- I know that guy.

4) The Birdcage (1996, USA) -- I just always have to watch it when its on. I also once had a client who would sit and watch it with me every time we heard it was coming on TV. I really enjoyed watching it with him. It's cute, it's funny... but it also has a lot of really special memories for me.

5) To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar (1995, USA) -- Patrick Swayze, John Leguizamo, and Wesley Snipes in drag... how could you go wrong??? Besides, with lines like "I got more legs than a bucket of chicken," this was destined to be a campy classic.

6) Connie and Carla (2004, USA) -- I watch this movie over and over and over again. I've nearly destroyed the CD. It's not quite the drag classic that, say, To Wong Foo or Priscilla, Queen of the Desert are, but it's still wonderful. And I love Toni Colette. End of story.

7) But I'm a Cheerleader (1999, USA) -- This was fresh in people's mind when I went to college, and it's one of the first DVD's I bought. It's really sweet and ultimately campy as hell. RuPaul out of drag -- that's funny. Sweet little love story, and it's done in an appropriately bizarre way.

8) Unveiled (2005, France) -- Ironically, I saw this at Outreels, our now-defunct LGBT movie festival. It's beautifully done, extraordinarily poignant, and I'm not sure why I liked it as much as I did. I will say that I left the movie theatre feeling uplifted by the whole showing, and it made me very happy to have watched it.

9) Camp (2003, USA) -- Don't laugh at me. This turned out to be an amazingly on-point movie about kids at a theatre camp. The music is excellent, the cast handles everything with grace, and, even though there are moments where you're like "jesus, these low-budget indie films," you got to hand it to them to make such a great, watchable movie from almost nothing. And to have it so widely watched with almost no publicity.

10) I'm throwing three down for the last one because they are all short documentaries:

10a) Meth: The Movie (2006, USA by Todd Ahlberg) -- About meth and gay men. I still reference a line to people who seek a geographical cure to their addiction from this movie: "I landed in Miami to get off the meth... you know, as soon as I used up everything I had on me."
10b) Hooked (2003, USA by Todd Ahlberg) -- About gay men and online hooking up. I had forgotten about this one when I made this list, but it does well talking about the subject matter.
10c) The Gift (2003, USA by Louise Hogarth) -- About gay men actively seeking HIV infection. The director handles the topic matter amazingly well. It is worth a watch.

And I do want to give an honorable mention to...

11) Trick (1999, USA) -- People are going to laugh at me for putting this on the list, mainly because it's usually listed as "typical gay movie" more often than not. And it is. But it's its typicalness that makes it excellent and makes it interesting to watch. And the whole monologue by Tori Spelling in it was darling. Besides, I watch it over and over and over again.

There are clearly some things left off that people are going to go WTF on: And the Band Played On (it translated poorly from book to movie), Philadelphia (I've never seen the whole thing, and I don't know if I'm interested enough to), Priscilla, Queen of the Desert(loved it, but it's not in my "favorites" list), Rocky Horror Picture Show(I can't watch it over and over -- I can only really watch it when you're in the theater), Eating Out(despite having hot naked guys, it didn't have the same ring to me as Trick did), Trembling Before G-d(great documentary, but didn't leave me the same way some of the others did... more of "oh, this is interesting" as opposed to "WOW"), Small Town Gay Bar(shockingly, never seen it), Boys Don't Cry(I had the opportunity to buy it for like $7 and didn't -- that should tell you something), and Angels in America(don't crucify me when I tell you I have never seen it).


Dan said...

What about "Big Eden"!? And "Beautiful Thing"? Both would be on my list.

PIB said...

'The Bird Cage'?

You're showing your youth... The original 'La Cage Aux Folles' was vastly superior and much funnier. Outrageously camp!

Unknown said...

First off, it's my list bitches :-). Make your own and post them.

Second of all:

1) Big Eden -- Never seen it :-(

2) Beautiful Thing -- I though the whole dancing in the courtyard thing at the end of the movie was weird... I didn't like it as much as the others. Though I remember us talking about it on the gay youth listserv I was on when I was in HS.

3) La Cage Aux Folles -- I almost bought the original once, I will never time I see it on your suggestion

Anonymous said...

Small Town Gay bar is pretty cool. I really enjoyed the glimpse into southern gay life. And it's on Logo like every other weekend... haha I've watched it twice now.

Dan said...

You make a list and we are going to judge it! :)

Barry Floore said...

LOL Thanks Dan. I appreciate the heads up. Judge me, bitches. :-)

Funny, so I wrote this list at work last night, got home, and immediately popped in a movie... What movie? TRANSAMERICA.

STUPID! If my gauge is "what I can watch over and over and over again" I've owned the DVD for like 6 months and probably watched it 20+ times.

It's hard to think of movies when people ask.

Where's YOUR list, Dan? I'll start you off...

1) Sound of Music...

Dan said...

Gay movies or movies in general? I am not sure I could pick 10 gay ones. I am not a fan generally of "gay cinema". Does or can 'Sound of Music' count as a gay film for instance? LOL

You are invited to borrow my copy of 'Bid Eden' anytime.

Jing-reed said...

Your #1 film [Happy Together] has no connection whatsoever with Japan.

The director, Wong Kar Wai, is Hong Kong Chinese and all the primary actors are Chinese.