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Image for 10 gay films you must see

10 gay films you must see

On a recent trip to the city a friend and I killed some time waiting for a train by perusing one of the video shops near the station. Being a Central Coast boy, I was pretty shocked to discover just how many gay themed movies there were – in my local the only place you’d find those would be up the back, collecting dust among the four or five foreign movies they have.

If you’re anything like me and you don’t live in a cultural hub, then you might understand just how frustrating it is to try to find a film which features homosexual characters that aren’t two dimensional stereotypes. Now that the weather’s getting a little chillier I thought I’d share a few with you. Some are arthouse, some are Hollywood blockbusters, some foreign and some homegrown, but all of them are truly great.

The Hours

2002 film directed Stephen Daldry and starring Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore and Nicole Kidman in her Oscar winning role.

This film is a must see if you haven’t already. The story focuses on three women set in three separate periods in time, all bound in one way or another by Mrs Dalloway, a novel written by Virginia Woolf. The story is cleverly written, Streep and Kidman are fantastic and the soundtrack by composer Phillip Glass is powerfully haunting, but it is an intimate kiss between Julianne Moore and Toni Collette that steals the show, and the question of why these two married women from the 50’s – a time where homosexuality was still considered a mental illness – to act as if nothing had ever happened stays with you long after the credits roll.

Milk

2008 biopic by Gus Vant Sant and stars Sean Penn as slain gay rights activist Harvey Milk.

Gus Vant Sant is the Steven Spielberg of gay cinema. His film Milk, another big Oscar contender, is the truly remarkable story of Harvey Milk, a San Franciscan gay rights activist and politician who, in the 1970’s was assassinated by former colleague Dan White in City Hall. The film is an inspiration for homosexuals everywhere, and shows Milk’s role in preventing the introduction of Proposition 6, a law that if passed would prevent gays and lesbians from teaching in public schools.

I loved this movie because its gay main character is assertive, strong, and stands up for what he believes is right. The toughest of you will be fighting back tears by the end. James Franco is also featured in a supporting role as one of Milk’s lovers and is brilliant eye candy.

Angels in America

2003 miniseries, based on the play and starring Meryl Streep, Al Pacino, Justin Kirk, Mary Louise Parker and Patrick Wilson.

OK, technically this is not a film, but this six hour long miniseries about AIDS and angels is not to be missed. The cast is brilliant, most actors playing at least two roles. Weeds fans will recognise Mary Louise Parker and Justin Kirk, Parker playing the insane wife of a gay Mormon and Kirk playing an AIDS patient who is continuously visited by an Angel.

The miniseries sheds light on the devastating impact AIDS has on the lives of sufferers and their friends and families, and shows that the ‘cure’ for the human condition lies in love for another. Streep is fantastic as usually but Pacino is the standout here – he plays as a ruthless lawyer, closeted homosexual and all-out bastard who is dying of the virus.

Running With Scissors

2006 film directed by Ryan Murphy and starring Joseph Cross, Annette Bening, Evan Rachel Wood and Alec Baldwin.

If any of you have had an older boyfriend, a bastard psychologist, and/or a clinically insane overbearing, alcoholic mother, then this is the movie for you. Based on the memoirs of Augusten Buroughs, the film follows his adolescent years spent living with his mother’s therapist and his insane family, showing how he copes with the anarchy around him. Some parts in the movie are painfully relatable, mainly it is a story about a diamond growing from the rough and trying to find an identity in a place where those around you often have more than one.

Brokeback Mountain

This 2005 epic by Ang Lee is an obligatory entry in all countdowns of gay films.

Starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger in one of his final roles, Brokeback Mountain is by all means a tragedy but the rare moments the two main characters spend alone together, away from the discriminating and hateful eye of society, make it one of film’s greatest love stories.

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Matt Akersten

Matt Akersten said on the 5th May, 2010

Great suggestions! I haven't seen The Doom Generation but will look for it now.

jdh1974

jdh1974 said on the 5th May, 2010

Two others comes to mind: "The Sum of Us" and "Stonewall".

clintyminty

clintyminty said on the 5th May, 2010

I like the look of Head On.. Wonder if I can get it here in NZ

pantone801

pantone801 said on the 5th May, 2010

GO SEE THE DOOM GENERATION. Greg Araki is a genius director! There are a few on this list I need to see too :)

fabrik_maddie

fabrik_maddie said on the 5th May, 2010

Short Bus - is explicit in many ways but that wears off pretty quickly. Mostly its about people reaching out to one another.

Lost and Delirious with Piper Perabo, Jessica Paré and Misha Barton.
I love the first half, the second half is a bit melodramatic like many coming of age stories… maybe it was because I was in the closet when I first saw this one :).

My Summer of Love -
Fingersmiths - amazing BBC period piece

eurolad

eurolad said on the 5th May, 2010

I loved the movie y tu mama tambien! such a cosy movie :)

iwaswayoff

iwaswayoff said on the 5th May, 2010

I gave all of these Gay movies at least 4 stars. They are all available on Big Pond Movies. Every who hasn't already seen it, must see C.R.A.Z.Y. . It's French Canadian but just amazing. My other 4 star movies are - Headwig and the Angry Inch, Tarnation, Transamerica, Different for Girls, Mysterious Skin, Poster Boy,
The Trip, Urbania, Dorian Blues, The Curiosity of Chance, Summer Storm, Get Real, Torch Son Trilogy, Walk on Water, Latter Days, All over the Guy, Eating Out 1 and 2, Shelter, Borstal Boy, 200 American, East Side Story, A Home at the End of the World, The Ever Lasting Secret Family, Stupid Boy, Cowboys and Angels.

Deek

Deek said on the 5th May, 2010

The Bubble - simply beautiful yet tragic- a love story between an Israeli and Palestinian man

mjw88

mjw88 said on the 5th May, 2010

Korean film: The King and the Clown (Wang-ui namja)!

Lorenzo

Lorenzo said on the 5th May, 2010

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gm1-tDY-esU

ammonite

ammonite said on the 5th May, 2010

am i the only one who didn't like angels in america?

the only other one in this list i have seen is brokeback mountain- that was really good

Travis de Jonk

Travis de Jonk said on the 5th May, 2010

Hedwig and the angry inch! Love that movie. Another Gay movie 1.

victoraloi

victoraloi said on the 5th May, 2010

Les Chanson D'amour (Love songs) French one.

Licketysplit

Licketysplit said on the 5th May, 2010

I very much wanted to put Hedwig and the angry inch, Transamerica, Home at the End of the World and C.R.A.Z.Y in, but their going to have to wait until my "1001 gay films you must see before you die" book - just have to find that many!

Licketysplit

Licketysplit said on the 5th May, 2010

Oh and My Private Idaho - a young Keanu Reeves and River Pheonix playing two gay hustlers - awesome

Zakalwe

Zakalwe said on the 5th May, 2010

am i the only one who didn't like angels in america?

the only other one in this list i have seen is brokeback mountain- that was really good

Yeah, I found Angels in America to be rather dull. The acting and production side was great, maybe it's better in the theatre?

Phazz

Phazz said on the 5th May, 2010

Head On and Milk are both great. I also like Shortbus.

par3182

par3182 said on the 5th May, 2010

Parting Glances
Presque Rien (Come Undone)
Mysterious Skin
Longtime Companion
The Boys In The Band
Victim
Stonewall
Chuck & Buck

Light-Bearer

Light-Bearer said on the 5th May, 2010

The Doom Generation is a great film

hazyinseptember

hazyinseptember said on the 5th May, 2010

i was just watching Head On last night.. very cool film, makes me homesick for melbourne..

Grumpy

Grumpy said on the 5th May, 2010

Cruising with Al Pacino

http://thisdistractedglobe.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/12/Cruising%201980%20Al%20Pacino%20pic%203.jpg

weathervain

weathervain said on the 5th May, 2010

Short Bus - is explicit in many ways but that wears off pretty quickly. Mostly its about people reaching out to one another.



I believe Shortbus to be a weapon we should use against straight women friends who try to Notebook us.

Light-Bearer

Light-Bearer said on the 5th May, 2010

Cruising with Al Pacino

http://thisdistractedglobe.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/12/Cruising%201980%20Al%20Pacino%20pic%203.jpg

I LOVE THAT FILM

Grumpy

Grumpy said on the 5th May, 2010

Yeah was a bit risque move for Al to star in it. Loved it too.

Light-Bearer

Light-Bearer said on the 5th May, 2010

That movie is so hard core.

Considering the time it was made.

coast_boy_21

coast_boy_21 said on the 5th May, 2010

If anyone is looking for a gay themed film, and its difficult to find. I recommend you checkout Bentdvd - they have one of the most comprehensive film selections in Australia. Bentdvd is based in Brisbane and their website is: http://www.bentdvd.com.au/ where you can purchase online. Im a customer and Ive never had a problem with their service.

sammysf

sammysf said on the 5th May, 2010

[URL="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9CDP3cRFR4"]wild reeds by andre téchiné

[URL="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlkhZwZ0c8g"]show me love (Fucking Åmål) by lukas moodysson

twinstar

twinstar said on the 5th May, 2010

I gave all of these Gay movies at least 4 stars. They are all available on Big Pond Movies. Every who hasn't already seen it, must see C.R.A.Z.Y. . It's French Canadian but just amazing. My other 4 star movies are - Headwig and the Angry Inch, Tarnation, Transamerica, Different for Girls, Mysterious Skin, Poster Boy,
The Trip, Urbania, Dorian Blues, The Curiosity of Chance, Summer Storm, Get Real, Torch Son Trilogy, Walk on Water, Latter Days, All over the Guy, Eating Out 1 and 2, Shelter, Borstal Boy, 200 American, East Side Story, A Home at the End of the World, The Ever Lasting Secret Family, Stupid Boy, Cowboys and Angels.

Yes!! C.R.A.Z.Y. is brilliant. One of my all-time faves - it was going to be at the top of my list. I'd also chuck in Nowhere, Far From Heaven, Bound, Love and Human Remains, Poison, Psycho Beach Party and Mulholland Drive.

Ash Rehn

Ash Rehn said on the 5th May, 2010

My favourite coming out films include Torch Song Trilogy, Latter Days, Summer Storm and 'När Alla Vet' (aka 'Sebastian'). You can find them and more here:

http://www.gaycounselling.net/films-about-coming-out-gay-life.php

I also really like Shortbus.

marmingr

marmingr said on the 5th May, 2010

Broken hearts club made a huge impact on me, mostly the opening and closing quotes where one character says he didn't know when he first knew he was gay but he did know when he knew it was ok to be gay, when he met his friends, then ends on the same quote from another character who met the core group and had come out.

badamj2000

badamj2000 said on the 5th May, 2010

My local video shop in Surry Hills used to have a dedicated gay section BUT now it seems to have been subsumed by something called BlueRay ( and they cant spell). I like how the public libraries have little rainbow flag and Abo flag stickers on the spines of books for ease in detection.
I didnt know The Hours was based on VW book. I prob have to see it now. Thanks

davidb

davidb said on the 5th May, 2010

AT least 2 of the 10 selected are largely homophobic; I' d substitute Irreversible - possibly also problematic in its relationship to homosex, but ideologically

badamj2000

badamj2000 said on the 5th May, 2010

Isn't it excellent how inclusive the Information Revolution is , as long as you white or north Asian?

badamj2000

badamj2000 said on the 5th May, 2010

By,for, from, about G/L? It cant be all rainbows and fabulousness 24/7. light and shade I say

poolboy jackson

poolboy jackson said on the 5th May, 2010


No it isn't. And it was made for aspirational American bogans

PJM1

PJM1 said on the 5th May, 2010

I saw Torch Song Trilogy and it broke my heart and then I made my mum watch it! I would also consider In Bed With Madonna quite possibly the gayest film ever - Madonna at her peak

weathervain

weathervain said on the 5th May, 2010

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=by_4IDH5h1U

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqxEdzPakOI

weathervain

weathervain said on the 5th May, 2010

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pi_z6YOeWcA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-vUl-1FJ9E

dugite

dugite said on the 6th May, 2010

I guess the '10 you must see' is really subjective. I'd dump half of these and ad 'Victim' 'Fogi is a bastard' and a few Japanese titles and a heap of French ones. Each to their own. Bigpond movies has dozens of GLBT titles, by the way. Heaps also come up on eBay.

keanonn

keanonn said on the 6th May, 2010

Brought to us by Ang Lee way before Brokeback Mountain, The Wedding Banquet. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATIOjjcqku8

schecter

schecter said on the 6th May, 2010

but i'm a cheerleader has to be one of my faves

Licketysplit

Licketysplit said on the 6th May, 2010



My bad. It's based on the book "The Hours" by Michael Cunningham, which is heavily influenced and includes references to characters and dialogue from "Mrs Dalloway" by Virginia Woolf. Mrs Dalloway is crucial to the plot of the novel

Paul581

Paul581 said on the 6th May, 2010

Camp, is a little bit of sunshine: p if u liek musical numbers u will love it
My beautiful launderette a brilliant bit of British Gay movie making..
and not to forget ...Fruit Machine ..Which has Robbie Coltrane as a Drag Queen..Not to be missed
9 dead Gay Guys ..and its a comedy so dont worry
last but not least In and Out ..another comedy

Dion

Dion said on the 6th May, 2010

Curiosity of Chace, Mmmmm Brett Chuckerman, and with a character name of Levi, Mmmmmmmm.

Cheers,
Dion.

xxxVioletxxx

xxxVioletxxx said on the 6th May, 2010

Not all are must sees, but I'd have to add:

Beautiful Thing and Fucking Amal (Show Me Love) - very sweet.

When Night Is Falling - a positive love story for women (for a nice change).

XXY - interesting and a tad confronting sometimes.

Nina's Heavenly Delights, D.E.B.S. and But I'm a Cheerleader - fun, silly and sweet.

Trans America - I enjoyed this and the actress did quite well, but I still believe it would have been great if a real Transwoman had've played the role instead.

Fire - lovely but sad in a way.

Otto: or up with dead people - interesting kinda horror (I like Zombies and monsters and shit like that).

That's all I can think of at the moment, apart from TV and trashy films. I'm sure I've missed heaps of great queer cinema.

Does anyone have a list of uplifting GLBTQ movies and novels?

Licketysplit

Licketysplit said on the 7th May, 2010

I'm not debating how good of an author Cunningham is, merely giving background information for the film, which you so kindly corrected me on. you seem to feel pretty strongly about it though. Its pretty clear that he's not just ripping off Mrs Dalloway, throughout "The Hours" he acknowledges the book directly, ripping it off would imply that he is passing Woolf's work off as his own. He simply took an existing idea and put his own spin on it, whilst fully acknowledging the original work and its author.

FCER

FCER said on the 7th May, 2010

ok this isn't a film with some vaguely gay sensibility, this is all GAY - Boys in the Band - from 1970 but you'll probably still see similarities between the characters and your friends.

guru_g

guru_g said on the 7th May, 2010



It's an absolutely brilliant, classic piece of cinema.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqC7ru2ycT8

guru_g

guru_g said on the 7th May, 2010

It's an absolutely brilliant, classic piece of cinema.

I don't want to be thought pedantic, but BB is a filmed stage play. It's not 'cinematic' in the true sense of the word.

Oh I think it is darling. Truly cinematic.

Dion

Dion said on the 8th May, 2010

Some of us will have seen Defying Gravity, a movie about two young American College men.
I have now seen another American movie, also called Defying Gravity which is about NASA.
I prefer our Defying Gravity better.

Cheers,
Dion.

rawrbie

rawrbie said on the 9th May, 2010

what about shortbus and summerstorm? two amazing films.

tonyhic

tonyhic said on the 9th May, 2010

Gods and Monsters
Last Exit to Brooklyn
Walking on Water
Priest
The Iron Ladies (Satree Lek)

globe rave

globe rave said on the 26th May, 2010

Y tu mama tambien is definitely one in the top ! Not so much of gay story though, just about life, sex and growing up. Love it! I guess Gael Garcia Bernal probably helped too.

perkin

perkin said on the 26th May, 2010

Parting Glances
Shelter
Were The World Mine

gjm1981

gjm1981 said on the 29th Jan, 2011

Try Get Real - Coming of Age Drama, cute!

jungle_stress_fever

jungle_stress_fever said on the 29th Jan, 2011

Kiss of the spider woman, watched it when i was 18 and straight

jungle_stress_fever

jungle_stress_fever said on the 29th Jan, 2011

my Beutiful Laundrette
also I was straight but good flick

TheOldie

TheOldie said on the 29th Jan, 2011

I fell in love with Daniel Day Lewis in My Beautiful Laundrette.

The way he had sex with the guy and am talking about the kissing and passing the champagne to each other.

Sigh.........................

jungle_stress_fever

jungle_stress_fever said on the 29th Jan, 2011

yes he is a somewhat underated, but totally awsome.
I didn't even kniow it was Daniel Day Lewis.

TheOldie

TheOldie said on the 29th Jan, 2011

yes he is a somewhat underated, but totally awsome.
I didn't even kniow it was Daniel Day Lewis.

yep one of his earlier pics. And even now its anytime you want it Daniel :)

sneakos

sneakos said on the 29th Jan, 2011

summerstorm
shelter
transamerica

christianbaines82

christianbaines82 said on the 2nd Feb, 2011

Too many worthy omissions to list!

But you knew that, writing the article, right? :)

Light-Bearer

Light-Bearer said on the 15th Jun, 2011

Another Country

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDw_oPPDVlw

kozi_kozi_kozi

kozi_kozi_kozi said on the 11th May, 2012

No mention of A SINGLE MAN? And definitely C.R.A.Z.Y

Cazsuane

Cazsuane said on the 11th May, 2012

I think you can't go past Just Une Question D'Amour (Just a question of Love), Mysterious Skin, The Kids Are Alright, Kinsey (which I know technically isn't a "gay movie" but the guy was instrumental in realising the extent of human sexuality), Patrik 1.5, A Single Man, Were the World Mine, Shelter and possibly Velvet Goldmine.

distoria

distoria said on the 11th May, 2012

I think bear city deserves a mention here, might not be a hard hitting drama, but its a great movie :D

555Sean

555Sean said on the 11th May, 2012

Excellent thread! Thank you for reposting it or I probably wouldn't have come across it. I just watched CRAZY for the first time. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Loved it! Many others here were great too, so no point mentioning them again.

A couple of others on YouTube I have watched recently and really enjoyed and would recommend were:

Christopher and his Kind - Matt Smith (Dr Who) A true story.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hjidIaTYiE&feature=related

24th Day - James Marsden This was good, too. A bit creepy though.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvNuLuM-E-M&feature=related

moviefan84

moviefan84 said on the 12th May, 2012

Personally these were the GLBT films that I really liked.
Beautiful Thing
A Single Man
Summerstorm
Shelter
I Love You Phillip Morris
Latter Days
Rocky Horror Picture show
Priscilla Queen Of The Desert
Transamerica
Brockback Mountain

The One With No Name

The One With No Name said on the 12th May, 2012

Not exactly focused entirely on the gay aspect, but I love The Kids Are All Right and Beginners.

cubbyxface

cubbyxface said on the 13th May, 2012

Gayniggers from Outer Space is an absolute classic!


http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0274518/

mark29

mark29 said on the 20th May, 2012

"Gus Vant Sant is the Steven Spielberg of gay cinema. "

well, now i've heard everything.

The_Freak

The_Freak said on the 3rd Jul, 2012

A lot of films previously mentioned........plus....."Boys Don't Cry" with Hillary Swank and "And The Band Played On" with Matthew Modine, Ian McKellen & Lily Tomlin

andyy

andyy said on the 3rd Jul, 2012

The list includes the usual suspects I would say.

I am running a non-profit website dedicated to gay themed movies. Our current TOP 5 is:

1. Prayers For Bobby
2. Shelter
3. Watercolors
4. Edge of Seventeen
5. Milk

Matt Akersten

Matt Akersten said on the 1st Sep, 2012

At last! Here's our version for the girls. x

http://www.samesame.com.au/features/8847/10-lesbian-films-you-must-see.htm

matheryn

matheryn said on the 1st Dec, 2012

i dont think its entirely gay movie genre'd but a movie with Whoopi Goldburg called 'boys on the side' is a fantastic movie and has a semi strong gay feel to it especially when whoopi sings to the dieing lesbian

observer

observer said on the 1st Dec, 2012

I liked "Presque Rien" a lot.