This 1919 German film was made by Richard Oswald and German sexologist Dr Magnus Hirschfeld.
It is known as the first feature film to sympathetically depict homosexuality and queer culture: For example, it contains a scene at a gay-bar, with men and women freely cross-dressing and dancing with whomever they pleased. In another scene, Körner, a violinist, feels plagued by his “illness” and Dr Hirschfeld reassures him that his nature is just fine, and it is society that causes his strife.
It was far ahead of its time— but in a way, it wasn’t, because if it weren’t for Nazi Germany, and the Hays Code (a censorship code that spanned four decades of Western cinema) we might have made leaps and bounds in the social acceptance of queer people back in the 20s, instead of in the 60s and 70s.
“Breakfast on Pluto” is a wonderful tale, following the adventures of Patrick “Kitten” Braden (Cillian Murphy! <3) from close-minded small town, via a run-in with the IRA, to London in search of Kitten’s lost mother. Fabulous! With darker parts dotted throughout, but really heart-warming in the end. :)
The film is based on the book with the same title (but I only saw the film; haven’t yet read the book).
There’s also a pretty cool official site (flash only, unfortunately).
I’m Infamous Sphere and I’m a movie and television reviewer, who mainly focusses on LGBT movies (and period dramas). I like to look at all kinds of queer cinema, from the oldest, the worst, and the most ignored. I’m not always nice to the movies, but I do review them from a queer, humourous perspective and I try to be fair.
I do a separate series of reviews called “Gender Hipster reviews”. Gender Hipster is an androgynous, genderless person, and xie reviews movies that have anything to do with cross dressing, gender bending and all-round gender f**kery.
I started the reviewing because I love queer cinema (and period drama) and I thought that this was a niche which I felt I knew a bit about. I love the idea that there are always more queer films coming just around the corner, and I love it when I realise I’ve dug up something that not many people know about. I like to tell people about queer history, social history and art history in my reviews, while remaining entertaining.
Gender activist Diane Torr held a workshop in Berlin, Germany, where five women learned how to take up space, walk, eat, drink, pick up objects, smile, etc. as men. Their experience was captured by Katarina Peters in the documentary “Man for a Day”.
John Skillpa, a quiet bank clerk living in tiny Peacock, Nebraska, prefers to live an invisible life. This might have to do with John’s secret: he has another personality no one knows about, a woman who each morning does his chores and cooks him breakfast before he starts his day. Then, in a moment, everything changes…
Just take a listen to the lyrics. It describes three sexes — the children of the sun (“that looked like two men glued up back to back”), the children of the earth (“looked like two girls rolled up in one”), and the children of the moon (“they was part sun, part Earth, part daughter, part son”). It’s something of a sad song, but so beautiful.
Based on the true-life story of a Thai who wishes to have a sex change operation. To pay for this, she enters the brutal world of Thai boxing, unnerving her opponents by performing a makeup application ritual before each fight.
Fariba Tabrizi seeks asylum in Germany from persecution due to sexual identity in Iran. A fellow refugee commits suicide, so Fariba assumes his identity. Jasmin Tabatabai gives a wonderful performance as Fariba. You can watch Unveiled instantly on Netflix.
Kill Your Darlings is a film that has that incredibly rare thing: a gender-variant character who is treated like a human being, and whose identity, just like those of the cisgendered characters, is of entirely no consequence whatsoever.
The film itself is a bit of a twist on the typical American road-trip thing, and it took me a couple of watches to understand it, but it left me feeling rather happy for no particular reason, which is always a plus (and it has Alexander Skarsgard in it, which is an even bigger plus…).
Ma Vie En Rose A French film about a young boy who expresses homosexual and genderqueer feelings and thoughts.
I went to a very small alternative elementary school, and one day, one of the parents brought this in to an assembly to educate us all about homosexuality and transgender issues. I have not watched it since then, but I remember it being very beautiful and sad. There was a lot I couldn’t understand then, because I was quite young and couldn’t follow the subtitles very easily, but I think it is a very suitable film to share on this website, and you should all watch it if you have the time. The quality of the link I attached is poor, but do rent it if you can.
I discovered this film while prescreening titles for my History of Sexuality professor in the spring. In the end, this one couldn’t be shown in class because it has too much explicit sex in it, but I would highly recommend it to anyone who wouldn’t be bothered by that. It’s made up of unstructured conversations with nine transmen and their partners where they talk about body issues, sex and romance issues, and everything else. The director does a really good job of smoothly integrating the candid discussion scenes with the candid sex scenes (which can get rather kinky). I found this film really moving; while it may only represent a small segment of the trans community, it felt very personal and true to the lives of the people it portrays.
Play in the Gray a documentary coming out this fall by Planted Seeds Productions
Play in the Gray is Planted Seeds’ first feature-length documentary. The film confronts the gender binary by following the work and individual identity struggles of the members of ALL THE KINGS MEN, a drag-based theatre troupe based out of Boston.
This trailer shows how gender policing and anti-LGBTQ attitudes affect all types of people, including straight persons who feel pressured to avoid certain types of clothing. Several teens mention having fun while bending gender roles, too!