LGBTQ+ Favorites

LGBTQ+ Favorites

14 Episodes

Proud, rebellious, colorful, intimate, and frank, these visions of LGBTQ+ life include beloved modern classics as well as hidden gems. From staples of the art-house canon (JE TU IL ELLE, QUERELLE) to highlights of the New Queer Cinema explosion (PARIS IS BURNING) and contemporary showstoppers from emerging talents (PIER KIDS, SHAKEDOWN), these films represent just a sample of the wide world of queer cinema, but they offer a taste of its breadth, creativity, and defiance in the face of adversity.

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LGBTQ+ Favorites
  • Portrait of Jason

    Episode 1

    Directed by Shirley Clarke • 1967 • United States
    Starring Jason Holliday

    On the night of December 2, 1966, Shirley Clarke and a tiny crew convened in her apartment at the Hotel Chelsea to make a film. For twelve straight hours, they filmed the one-and-only Jason Holliday as he spun tales, sang,...

  • Je tu il elle

    Episode 2

    Directed by Chantal Akerman • 1975 • France
    Starring Chantal Akerman, Niels Arestrup, Claire Wauthion

    Chantal Akerman’s first narrative feature is a startlingly vulnerable exploration of alienation and the search for connection. In a performance at once daringly exposed and enigmatic, Akerman pl...

  • Jubilee

    Episode 3

    Directed by Derek Jarman • 1978 • United Kingdom
    Starring Jenny Runacre, Little Nell, Toyah Willcox

    When Queen Elizabeth I asks her court alchemist to show her England in the future, she’s transported 400 years to a post-apocalyptic wasteland of roving girl gangs, an all-powerful media mogul, fa...

  • Greetings from Washington, D.C.

    Episode 4

    Directed by Lucy Winer • 1981 • United States
    Starring Rob Epstein, Jan Oxenberg, Terry Lawler

    On October 14, 1979, LGBTQ+ history was made when tens of thousands of people converged on America’s capital for the first ever National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. This empowering ...

  • Querelle

    Episode 5

    Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder • 1982 • Germany
    Starring Brad Davis, Franco Nero, Jeanne Moreau

    Director Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s final film is a deliriously stylized tale of hothouse lust and simmering violence. Set amid an expressionistic soundstage vision of a French sea port, this da...

  • The Times of Harvey Milk

    Episode 6

    Directed by Robert Epstein • 1984 • United States

    A true twentieth-century trailblazer, Harvey Milk was an outspoken human rights activist and one of the first openly gay U.S. politicians elected to public office; even after his assassination in 1978, he continues to inspire disenfranchised peop...

  • Desert Hearts

    Episode 7

    Directed by Donna Deitch • 1985 • United States

    Donna Deitch's swooning and sensual first narrative feature, DESERT HEARTS, was groundbreaking upon its release in 1985: a love story about two women, made entirely independently, on a shoestring budget, by a woman. In this 1959-set film, adapted...

  • Mala Noche

    Episode 8

    Directed by Gus Van Sant • 1985 • United States
    Starring Tim Streeter, Doug Cooeyate, Ray Monge

    With its low budget and lush black-and-white imagery, Gus Van Sant’s debut feature MALA NOCHE heralded an idiosyncratic, provocative new voice in American independent film. Set in Van Sant’s hometown ...

  • I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing

    Episode 9

    Directed by Patricia Rozema • 1987 • Canada
    Starring Sheila McCarthy, Paule Baillargeon, Ann-Marie MacDonald

    Structured around a video-recorded confession, this charming, whimsical story about a waifish daydreamer with artistic aspirations won the Prix de la Jeunesse at the 1987 Cannes Film Fest...

  • Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt

    Episode 10

    Directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman • 1989 • United States

    A tremendous, handmade monument to lives lost to AIDS, the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt demonstrated that grief and activism together could forge a powerful symbol of resilience. Winner of the Academy Award for best documen...

  • Tongues Untied

    Episode 11

    Directed by Marlon Riggs • 1989 • United States

    Marlon Riggs’s landmark documentary uses poetry, personal testimony, rap, and performance (featuring poet Essex Hemphill and others) to describe the homophobia and racism faced by Black gay men. The stories are often devastating: the man refused en...

  • Paris Is Burning

    Episode 12

    Directed by Jennie Livingston • 1990 • United States
    Starring Dorian Corey, Pepper LaBeija, Angie Xtravaganza

    Where does voguing come from, and what, exactly, is throwing shade? This landmark documentary provides a vibrant snapshot of the 1980s through the eyes of New York City’s African America...

  • Weekend

    Episode 13

    Directed by Andrew Haigh • 2011 • United Kingdom
    Starring Tom Cullen, Chris New

    This sensual, remarkably observed, beautifully acted wonder is the breakout feature from British writer-director-editor Andrew Haigh. Rarely has a film been as honest about sexuality—in both depiction and discussi...

  • Shakedown

    Episode 14

    Directed by Leilah Weinraub • 2018 • United States

    Charting the eight-year run of Shakedown, a peripatetic black lesbian strip club in Los Angeles, director Leilah Weinraub attempts “to portray the before and after of a utopic moment.” Weinraub presents a world unto itself, shaped by the desires...