Queer cinema has existed nearly as long as the movies themselves. You just have to know where to look for it. For the second installment of Queersighted, a series from guest programmer Michael Koresky that views film history through a distinctly queer lens, we turn our sights to a handful of filmmakers—from Jean Cocteau to Cheryl Dunye—who have turned their gazes away from convention, using cinema to eroticize the unexpected and subvert objectification. In 1975, film scholar Laura Mulvey argued that a heterosexual male gaze had been coded into mainstream film. Queer and feminist films, though, have been challenging this order for decades. Men looking at men, women looking at women: the result is, of course, pure pleasure.
Directed by Jean Cocteau • 1950 • France
Starring Jean Marais, Marie Déa, Maria Casarès
Jean Cocteau’s update of the Orpheus myth depicts a famous poet (Jean Marais), scorned by the Left Bank youth, and his love for both his wife, Eurydice (Marie Déa), and a mysterious princess (Maria Casarès). ...
Directed by Stephen Frears • 1985 • United Kingdom
Starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Gordon Warnecke
Stephen Frears was at the forefront of the British cinematic revival of the mid-1980s, and the delightfully transgressive MY BEAUTIFUL LAUNDRETTE is his greatest triumph of the period. Working from a ri...