Queer Shift

Film — SHIFT, Part I

The best movies or films no longer have a “season,” they release year around; they inundate us, and one has to be quite on top of things to be in the know about the best and most promising movies or films. There are many truly amazing films or movies about gay culture, present day, and in the historical past. I have graduate degrees in Film Acting and Directing, and I think about films/movies a lot, and I see a lot of them in dark theaters as well as at home. I am so grateful for festivals like Sundance that promote the best queer films, as well as our outstanding local LGBT Damn These Heels Film Festival — which is constantly superb, and should not be missed! I mean it.

Several times a week I hear LGBT people from various generations simply not understanding or “getting” a different generation. The queer, gender-flowing, gender-neutral Facebook generation with their faces pressed towards their favorite technology — to the LGBT Boomer generation shouting community, or loss thereof, promoting involvement and activism and most importantly ‘OUR history,” at times complaining about how a younger generation just doesn’t seem to care. Not to mention the Will & Grace generation in the middle that are feverishly ladder climbing and really don’t have much time to get heavily involved. I have seriously research and read hundreds of articles from various prominent national publications about this topic — the intergenerational divide. I honestly think it is emergent and we have to find intergenerational ways to build respect, responsibility, reciprocity, resiliency, and true celebration of ourselves. It is a fact, it is true, and we all have to do whatever we can to generationally swap stories, socially share, exchange experiences, hear other’s viewpoints — so we pass on vast knowledge, as well as stick together as extraordinarily unique people.

I have always found movies to be a tremendous way to begin conversations, open up minds, explore new ways of feeling and seeing. The “queer” or “gay” generations, and those in-between must truly find ways of sharing, two-way teaching, honoring, and most importantly understanding the other person first — before you try to superimpose your opinion upon them. Let’s celebrate our differences within our subculture, preserving what we know in our hearts, and being willing to explore new thinking and ways.

Films and movies are an excellent way of doing just that. I was talking to a young man a couple of years ago, and mentioned Matthew Shepherd, and he replied “who’s that?” I was flabbergasted, even though I tried not to show it. I asked how old are you, and he replied “16,” I quickly did the math — and of course he didn’t know who Matthew Shepherd was, let alone the gay movement that occurred after his horrific murder. I shared with him the story, he seemed rather riveted, and we had a very trusted, two-way conversation.

In that vein of trying to better understand ourselves and how we are all connected queer or straight, I am offering a two-part column recommending the top movies every gay person should see to better promote understanding of our past, present and certainly our future. Not all the films are gay-gay, some are super gay in theme, story, characters and plot, some not. What they hopefully do is open the mind to a much better understanding of the human condition and how we are all in this together. I asked a bunch of trusted friends to contribute to the list, and for their contributions I am truly grateful. So here it goes — Part I, please look for Part II next month in this Queer Shift column. This month A-L, next month M-Z.

8: The Mormon Proposition
A Beautiful Life
A Chorus Line
A Clockwork Orange
A Home at the End of the World
A Separate Peace
A Single Man
A Streetcar Named Desire
All About Eve
All Over The Guy
Almost Normal
An Early Frost
And The Band Played On
Angels In America (HBO)
Another Country
Auntie Mame
Babette’s Feast
Beautiful Thing
Before Night Falls
Before Stonewall
Best In Show
Billy Elliot
Billy’s Hollywood Screen Kiss
Big Eden
Boys Don’t Cry
Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Breakfast on Pluto
Breakfast with Scott
Bringing Up Baby
Brokeback Mountain
Broken Hearts Club
Burnt Money
Cat On A Hot Tin Roof
Christopher and His Kind
Cinema Paridiso
Come Back to the Five & Dime, Jimmy Dean
Dallas Buyers Club
Dangerous Liaisons
Death In Venice
Dog Day Afternoon
Doing Time on Maple Drive
Dr. Zhivago
Edward II
Entertaining Mr. Sloane
Eyes Wide Open
Far From Heaven
Female Trouble
Fortune and Mens Eyes
Four Weddings and a Funeral
Fried Green Tomatoes
Get Real
Glen or Glenda
God’s and Monsters
Going Down in LA-LA Land
Gone with the Wind
Gosford Park
Grey Gardens (Documentary)
Happy, Texas
Harold and Maude
Heavenly Creatures
Hedwig and the Angry Inch
How to Train Your Dragon
I Love You Phillip Morris
In and Out
In the Gloaming
It’s a Wonderful Life
It’s My Party
Judas Kiss
Keep The Lights On
Kill Bill
Kinky Boots
Kiss of the Spider Woman
La Cage au Folles (the original)
La Vie En Rose
Latter Days
Law of Desire
Life is Beautiful
Little Voice
Longtime Companion
Love Valour Compassion

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