June marks the arrival of Pride Month: a celebration of LGBTQ+ people, history, and culture. While we still have a long way to go before everyone is truly treated equally, one of the best ways to celebrate and learn about LGBTQ+ culture is through movies, something that everyone here at ANDERSON loves! The world of film has explored the topic of sexuality practically since it began and our favorite queer films truly explore the depths of every imaginable genre.
Let’s Get Dramatic
Drama tends to be where LGBTQ+ films thrive the most, as this genre provides so much context to the depiction of queer people throughout the years. Here are the top pics among our very diverse staff!
Creative Director Sara Cody’s favorite LGBTQ+ film is Jonathan Demme’s Philadelphia (1993), an important look at the AIDS epidemic told through the lens of a court case. This film was one of the very first to even address the HIV/AIDS epidemic and is also unafraid to address the rampant homophobia of the time period that still exists today. On the other hand, modern drama films of the 2010s also address the hardships that queer people still face.
Digital Media Manager Austin Kreitler’s favorite is the Academy Award-winning Moonlight (2016). Barry Jenkins’ film is a gorgeous look at being queer in the face of inequality and as Austin says, “It allows the audience to be taken through the journey of a man’s life throughout three pivotal stages and how he is able to overcome obstacles while understanding the meaning of acceptance of others and himself.”
These dramatic films are important to queer representation for a multitude of reasons and another subgenre that is finding its way more and more into contemporary filmmaking is the period piece. Associate Art Director Allie Fullmer’s favorite queer film is Call Me By Your Name (2017), Luca Guadagnino’s beautifully tender ode to lost romance. Allie says, “It shows love of all kinds regardless of sexuality, in a very real, non-stereotypical way. Love is love is love.” The period piece can explore any time period in any region, and while 1980s Italy was the setting for Allie’s favorite, the 1970s rock scene is the basis for our VP of Public Affairs, Matt Grodsky’s favorite: Bohemian Rhapsody (2018). This biopic chronicles the life and legacy of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury and his constant struggle with sexuality and being accepted. Queer people have always and will always exist throughout history, even in the late 1700s.
My personal favorite LGBTQ+ film is Céline Sciamma’s Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019), a stunning tale of romance in early period France. It is truly the perfect inclusion of queer representation into a period piece drama while maintaining a compelling and original plot of forbidden love between a painter and her subject.
Just like other subject matters, there will always be multiple genres through which stories can be explored and comedy is no exception. Our VP of Account Services, Adri Dalpiaz says her favorite queer film is Mike Nichols’ The Birdcage (1996) because “It was groundbreaking because it was one of the first films with queer leading characters in a comedy —loving who they are, being proud of who they are and having literal joy in being exactly that.”
Copywriter Jenny Moss’s favorite LGBTQ+ film is The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994). Stephan Elliott’s comedy is a musical riot and according to Jenny, “What’s not to love about drag queens rolling around Australia in a bus?” These two films broke ground in the world of queer comedy and paved the way for new generations to not be ashamed of having joy in being themselves.
Project Manager Lauren Larson’s favorite is Lisa Cholodenko’s film The Kids Are All Right (2010) and Social Media Coordinator Rowan Franks’s favorite is Greg Berlanti’s Love, Simon (2018). Lauren loves the former because it’s “heartwarming and funny, my favorite combo!” and Rowan adores the latter due to the “more cliché and heartwarming aspects of the movie.”
Queer films these days should always be unafraid to be whatever they want to be. The more representation and perspectives on queerness that we get in movies, the more unique stories that we get to see each and every day!