I wanted to make a list of my favorite gay-themed films for reference. A lot of these tend to be coming of age stories, which I tend to have a more personal connection with. Hopefully you guys enjoy some of these films as much as I did.
“Sometimes I feel like if you just watch things, just sit still and let the world exist in front of you - sometimes I swear that just for a second time freezes and the world pauses in its tilt. Just for a second. And if you somehow found a way to live in that second, then you would live forever.”
Big Eden (2000) Gay artist Henry moves from NYC to small hometown to take care of sick grandfather. A really sweet, heartwarming story. Bonus points for no homophobia (!!) plot line & a gay native american man, Pike, who is adorable and crushes on Henry.
Brokeback Mountain (2005) Who hasn’t seen this? Two shepherds and their tumultuous love story over the years.
But I’m a Cheerleader (1999) Girl gets sent to a boot camp meant to alter her sexuality. Funny and aesthetic and really cheesy but worth the watch.
Carol (2015) A young woman in her 20s, Therese Belivet is a clerk working in a Manhattan department store and dreaming of a more fulfilling life when she meets Carol, an alluring woman trapped in a loveless, convenient marriage.
First Girl I Loved (2016) Girl falls in love with the most popular girl from her school. Bonus points for a nuanced and realistic portrayal of teenagers.
The Way He Looks (Hoje Eu Quero Voltar Sozinho, 2014) Brazilian coming-of-age drama about a blind boy who falls in love with his classmate. Based on a short film called “I don’t want to go back alone”, which you can find on youtube.
Holding The Man (2015) In the 1970s, two teen boys in Australia fight all obstacles thrown their way and refuse to renounce the love they feel for each other. Based on Australia’s “most famous gay biography”.
I Killed My Mother (J’ai Tué Ma Mère, 2009) Biographical drama. Directorial debut of Quebecois actor Xavier Dolan, which he also wrote, produced and starred in. My favourite film by him.
Kill Your Darlings (2013) Biographical drama/thriller. A murder in 1944 draws together the great poets of the beat generation. Peep Daniel Radcliffe and Dane DeHaan.
Laurence Anyways (2012) A drama that charts ten years in the relationship of a transgender woman’s relationship with her lover. Directed by Xavier Dolan.
Maurice (1987) The story of a gay man in the early 20th century. A really sweet film with bonus points for being a gay period drama that - spoilers - has a happy ending.
Moonlight (2016) (see title card) A chronicle of the childhood, adolescence and burgeoning adulthood of a young black man growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami. First lgbt film (and film with all-black cast) to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards 2017.
Pride (2014) U.K. gay activists work to help miners during their lengthy strike of the National Union of Mineworkers in the summer of 1984. A truly feel-good movie every one should watch.
The Handmaiden (2016) A woman is hired as a handmaiden to a Japanese heiress, but secretly she is involved in a plot to defraud her. It’s been called a “South Korean Gothic Lesbian Revenge Thriller”. Just watch it. Trust me.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) A cult-classic and must-watch. Need I say more?
Rest of movies in alphabetical order under cut, with some commentary by yrs truly (me. a gay.)
Putting these two movies together is not coincidental. Apart of different places of filming (Brazil and The Netherlands) they have a lot things in common. Acting plot is about awaking sexual consciousness in growing up boys. They share first innocent kisses and experience overwhelming fascination towards each other. The drama turns out slightly childish and kind of cliché in a manner of further movie scenes. However, you cannot blame an ordinary teenage life which is captured here at school, summer camp and while fooling around in the lake or chilling at the swimming pool. Speaking of water, it seems to have a dual meaning and it can be perceived as a birth of something new and unusual - the beginning of uncomfortable yet tempting feeling. There’s something charming and moving in this attraction-repulsion fight that main characters are forcing with. Nevertheless, they need to face up to an inner struggle with their own identity. Only then, they’re finding a peace riding away on a (motor)bike. Together.
Freier Fall/Free Fall (2013 - Germany) A promising career with the police, a baby on the way,
Marc’s life seems to be right on track. Then he meets fellow policeman Kay and during their regular jogs Marc experiences a never-before-felt sense of ease and effortlessness, and what it means to fall in love with another man.
Jongens/Boys (2014 - The Netherlands)
A sexually awakening gay teen athlete finds himself in a budding relationship with his relay race teammate.
He engages in a lonely struggle with himself when it emerges that Marc is also in love with him.
Noordzee, Texas/North sea, Texas (2011 - Belgium)
Pim lives in a run-down house in a dead-end street somewhere at the Belgian coast, together with his mother. As a kid Pim dreams of a better life, imagining princesses and beauty queens. But when Pim turns 16 he dreams of Gino, the boy next door, instead.