Queersighted: Turn the Gaze Around

Queersighted: Turn the Gaze Around

9 Episodes

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.

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Queersighted: Turn the Gaze Around
  • Queersighted: Turn the Gaze Around Teaser

    Episode 1

  • Queersighted: Turn the Gaze Around

    Episode 2

    This new conversation between critic and programmer Michael Koresky and film and food writer Mayukh Sen, discussing the films in "Queersighted: Turn the Gaze Around", was recorded in 2019.

  • Orpheus
    Episode 3


    Episode 3

    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). ...

  • Purple Noon

    Episode 4

    Directed by René Clément • 1960 • France, Italy
    Starring Alain Delon, Maurice Ronet, Marie Laforêt

    Alain Delon was at his most impossibly beautiful when PURPLE NOON was released and made him an instant star. This ripe, colorful adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s vicious novel “The Talented Mr. R...

  • 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...

  • My Beautiful Laundrette

    Episode 6

    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...

  • My Own Private Idaho

    Episode 7

    Directed by Gus Van Sant • 1991 • United States
    Starring River Phoenix, Keanu Reeves, William Richert

    River Phoenix and Keanu Reeves star in this haunting tale from Gus Van Sant about two young street hustlers: Mike Waters, a sensitive narcoleptic who dreams of the mother who abandoned him, and ...

  • The Watermelon Woman

    Episode 8

    Directed by Cheryl Dunye • 1996 • United States
    Starring Cheryl Dunye, Guinevere Turner, Valarie Walker

    Cheryl Dunye’s bitingly funny, deeply personal feature debut is a landmark look at the black lesbian experience. The director herself stars as Cheryl, a twenty-something lesbian struggling to ...

  • Water Lilies

    Episode 9

    Directed by Céline Sciamma • 2007 • France
    Starring Pauline Acquart, Louise Blachère, Adèle Haenel

    During a summer in Paris, a love triangle develops between three girls in this provocative and perceptive portrait of teen angst and nascent sexuality. The awkward Anne, the bad girl Floriane, and ...