LGBT

Tim Burton Batman

The best movie culture writing from around the internet-o-sphere. There will be a quiz later. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya?

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Paris is Burning

Happy Pride Month, everyone! The best way to celebrate is to watch documentaries, as is true of all festive occasions. In this case there are plenty to choose from. The LGBT community, as a distinct social group, is arguably about as old as cinema itself. It’s something of a 20th century phenomenon. The moving image has always had a crucial role in the construction of gay identity, whether mediated through the icons of Classic Hollywood or the more recent manifestations of queer people in popular culture. After all, the most recent active attempt to help queer youth define themselves, the “It Gets Better” Campaign, was made up of YouTube videos that directly address an entire generation. The subsequent debate over its unintentional highlighting of the success of upper middle class, predominantly white gay men was also very much about its image. And so, with that said, it’s important to take some time this month and watch honest and celebratory cinematic representations of queer people. The following 10 films span more than 50 years of creative LGBT filmmaking. They represent the great variety of perspective within the vast umbrella of queer experience, a diversity that is central in what we are all supposed to be proud of in the first place. Finally, a programming note. This list features documentaries centered on LGBT culture. Next week we’ll be posting a list made up of much more explicitly political documentaries on the subject of LGBT rights. In a way this is a false distinction. Identity sits on a blurred line between […]

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Sauna Family in Frozen

The best movie culture writing from around the internet-o-sphere. There will be a quiz later. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya?

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Culture Warrior

Thursday is National Coming Out Day. While this annual recognition of LGBT civil awareness on the anniversary of the 1987 Lesbian and Gay Rights March on Washington marks an important milestone each and every year, it seems particularly important within today’s heated political climate. The tide of support for equal rights for LGBT-identified persons has shifted dramatically since the previous election year, when the inauguration of the first African-American President occurred on the same day that the 2nd most populous state in our country voted to take away the rights of same-sex couples to marry. But subsequent the passing of new hate crimes legislation, the repeal of Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell, and the first declaration by a sitting US President in support of same-sex marriage, it seems that support for equal rights is no longer the social boogeyman on the national scale that it once was; in fact, at least generationally, the polarization of anti-gay/pro-gay has reversed. Social politics are changing in favor of progress, and at a dramatic rate. It is now politically beneficial to be for equal rights. 2012 is also the year that has seen more LGBT characters on television than ever before. According to a recent study by GLAAD (and neatly summarized by Buzzfeed), 4.4% of all regular characters featured on scripted network television are LGBT-indentified. And with the popularity of shows like Glee, Modern Family, and The New Normal (and popular cable shows like HBO’s True Blood), the presence of LGBT characters resonates further outside what the […]

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When Gene Robinson became a bishop of the Episcopal Church’s New Hampshire diocese in 2003, it was a watershed moment for organized religion, to be sure. Yet to merely deem the election of the first openly gay non-celibate priest in the history of major Christian denominations a “watershed” is to understate the rather extraordinary significance of a single act that overturned a millennia-old tradition of intolerance. Macky Alston’s documentary Love Free or Die is a film worthy of that momentous event. It follows the courageous Bishop Gene as he faces a wealth of hatred and distrust. He is excluded from the Anglican Church’s once-a-decade Lambeth Conference, and he faces death threats, cruel hecklers, and more while fighting for full-fledged equality in his church and a newfound understanding of the Bible’s most controversial elements.

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As many fellow conflicted yet faithful Netflix subscribers know, last week marked the beginning of the separation of Instant and disc-only memberships. I had been trying to whittle down my streaming queue for a few months, but we all know that is a nearly impossible task with that devilish recommendation list appearing every time you go to the site’s homepage. Suffice it to say, my queue had actually grown since the announcement, making the budgeting decision for me. One of the films at the top of my queue was 2010’s long-awaited gay love story I love You Phillip Morris starring the forever not-sexy Jim Carrey and the always delicious Ewan McGregor as two convicts head-over-heels in love with each other. I could spend an entire column writing about this rapid, surprisingly honest and tender romance sprinkled with deception and humor, however my greatest take away from this man on man sexiness was the unexpectedly hot chemistry (and subsequent love scenes) between Carrey and McGregor.

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Why Watch? Because finding love might be a matter of reaching out through the personal ads. Andrew Blubaugh creates a touching drama here of one man’s experience reaching out and touching someone through the ads. Honestly, it’s sometimes tough to tell whether this is a documentary or simply shot as one, but no matter what genre you want to shove it into, it’s good. Yes, it’s about a gay man trying to find love, but it goes far beyond simple sexuality and nails down 1) something we’re all deeply invested in and 2) the only reason anyone ever creates any piece of art. What Will It Cost? Just 7 minutes of your time. Check out Hello, Thanks for yourself:

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