To celebrate LGBTi History month we’re taking a quick look at some of the movies that reached far beyond our own community and effected social change in mainstream society.
The first ever film of same-sex love was produced in 1919 in Germany. ‘Different From the Others’ tells the story of a young man who falls in love with his violin teacher.
42 years later, Dirk Bogarde’s 1961 classic, ‘Victim’ became the first mainstream movie to have a top actor playing a leading gay role, paving the way for partial decriminalisation in the UK in 1967.
“You won’t be content until you know, will you. Until you’ve ripped it out of me.”
‘The Children’s Hour’ also released in 1961, starred Shirley MacLaine as a woman whose feelings for her best friend turn to love after they’re falsely accused of having a romantic affair. The tragic end to the story became one of Hollywood’s old tropes – where the gays always end up dead.
In 1968, Beryl Reid played the lover of Susannah York, in lesbian drama, ‘The Killing of Sister George’, depicting cinema’s first woman on woman love scene – which was cut for being too scandalous.
In 1970, ‘The Boys in the Band’ was released, with critics calling it both ‘a milestone’ and ‘perverse’.
And around this time John Waters was also shooting his art-house movies, starring Divine – with a growing underground appetite for queer content.
In 1972, Cabaret hit the big screen, a powerful reminder that hard-won freedoms can easily be lost.
In 1973, the Rocky Horror Picture Show presented a world of gender diversity and fluid sexualities, set to a rocking soundtrack, tapping into the glam rock era of the time.
In 1980, Al Pacino starred as an undercover cop in the brutal drama, ‘Cruising’. Gay activists protested outside cinemas when the movie was released, accusing it of being unrepresentative.
In 1985, ‘Desert Hearts’ presented a lesbian love story involving a previously straight married woman and a ranch owner’s daughter – set against the rugged landscape that would serve as another gay love story 20 years later.
In 1990, the documentary ‘Paris is Burning’ presented black and Latino gay men finding joy during the scourge of the AIDS crisis in the voguing balls of New York’s gay clubs, revealing the source for Madonna’s hit record.
and in 1993, Hollywood dealt with AIDS head-on, when Tom Hanks starred as a dying gay man – while Denzil Washington played his lawyer in ‘Philadelphia’.
In 2005, a tale of 2 cowboys in love took the world by storm.
“This thing grabs hold of us in the wrong place…”
The story of Harvey Milk, America’s first, out gay elected politician created one of our first widely known gay heroes.
In the decade since then, diversity and representation in the cinema and on TV have exploded, with lesbian romance, ‘Blue is the Warmest Colour’ winning the Palme d’Or at Cannes and ‘Carol’ also taking a host of awards.
The Danish Girl also received numerous accolades reflecting a newfound desire to explore LGBT history.
Korean costume drama, ‘The Handmaiden’ is winning awards for its portrayal of a lesbian affair between a Mistress & her servant, while ‘Moonlight’ has proved that we still have a lot more stories to tell.
Well, that’s all from us for this week.
Don’t forget to watch our daily bulletins throughout the week at Pinksixty News and join us again next time for more Pinksixty Entertainment.