Queer Cinema(s)

Shu Lea Cheang – I.K.U. (2000)

Reiko is a sex robot programmed to accumulate sexual experience. She goes through seven body types to experiences a variety of couplings. She returns to the company to download her accumulated info and escape from their control. Read More »

John Cromwell – Caged (1950)

Pregnant nineteen-year old Marie Allen (Eleanor Parker) is sentenced to prison as an accessory to robbery. The warden, Ruth Benton (Agnes Moorehead), dedicated to reforming even the most hardened of the prisoners, deals fairly with Marie, even upon learning of her condition. The naïve Marie comes up against tough block matron Evelyn Harper (Hope Emerson) and must decide whether accepting the friendship of the toughest prisoners will rub off on her and affect the future of her unborn child. Read More »

John Waters – Polyester (1981)

For his first studio picture, filth maestro John Waters took advantage of his biggest budget yet to allow his muse Divine to sink his teeth into a role unlike any he had played before: Baltimore housewife Francine Fishpaw, a heroine worthy of a Douglas Sirk melodrama. Blessed with a keen sense of smell and cursed with a philandering pornographer husband, a parasitic mother, and a pair of delinquent children, the long-suffering Francine turns to the bottle as her life falls apart—until deliverance appears in the form of a hunk named Todd Tomorrow (vintage heartthrob Tab Hunter). Enhanced with Odorama™ technology that enables you to scratch and sniff along with Francine, Polyester is one of Waters’ most hilarious inventions, replete with stomach-churning smells, sadistic nuns, AA meetings, and foot stomping galore. Read More »

Francisco J. Lombardi – La Ciudad y los perros aka City and the Dogs (1985)

Based on a novel by Mario Vargas Llosa, City and the Dogs is set in a brutal boys` military academy. Juan Manuel Ochoa plays a tough young cadet who rules a student clique called The Circle, which supplies the other boys with forbidden cigarettes, booze and pornography, and even provides answers to upcoming tests. When Ochoa is caught, he places blame on Eduardo Adriazen, the weakest member of the Circle. Adriazen informs on Ochoa, who subsequently kills him. During the investigation of Adriazen’s death, the academy tries to cover up the crime lest the institution be destroyed by the scandal. The principal whistle-blower, a sensitive young “outsider” (Pablo Serra), is himself discredited because it is he who has been writing the pornography that Ochoa has been selling. Read More »

Sylvie Verheyde – Combats de femme AKA Amour de Femme (2001)

“Amour de Femme” is one of those rare movies that are moody, subtle, and yet powerful all at the same time. A French film with English subtitles, “Amour de Femme” tells the story of Jeanne, a 35-year-old masseuse living in Paris, who has spent her entire life making other people feel better. Attending a party with David, her husband of seven years, Jeanne instantly connects with Marie, a dancer performing at the party. They spend the evening conversing about their love of dance, something Jeanne used to do, but has given up as her life took a different turn. Vowing to begin dancing again, Jeanne decides to take one of Marie’s classes, and rediscovers not only the passion that’s been missing from her life, but that she has feelings for this mesmerizing woman. Read More »

Julián Hernández – Yo soy la felicidad de este mundo AKA I Am Happiness on Earth (2014)

Julián Hernández eroticizes nude men like no other filmmaker. His camera practically caresses the actors’ bodies, and viewers who appreciate his distinctive style of cinema often share the palpable desire his characters feel. His latest film, “I am Happiness on Earth” is not unlike his earlier film, “Broken Sky,” in that it tells of a love triangle where much of the communication is done without dialogue. Read More »

William Friedkin – Cruising (1980)

A 1980 psychological thriller film directed by William Friedkin and starring Al Pacino. The film is loosely based on the novel of the same name, by New York Times reporter Gerald Walker, about a serial killer targeting gay men, in particular those associated with the S&M scene.
Poorly reviewed by critics, Cruising was a modest financial success, though the filming and promotion were dogged by gay rights protesters. The title is a play on words with a dual meaning, as “cruising” can describe police officers on patrol and also cruising for sex. Read More »