Film Bitch History
Oscar History

The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R. Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. All material herein is written and copyrighted by Nathaniel or a member of our team as noted.


Powered by Squarespace
Don't Miss This!
Comment Fun

Soundtracking: Hustlers

"YES, this soundtrack was soooo good!!! The Fiona Apple 'Criminal' dance, instantly iconic." - JWB

"Does anyone remember Demi Moore in STRIPTEASE? They had her dancing to sad Annie Lennox songs. smh." - David

Keep TFE Strong

We're looking for 500... no 461 Patron SaintsIf you read us daily, please be one.  Your suscription dimes make an enormous difference. Consider...

I ♥ The Film Experience



Directors of For Sama

Lulu Wang (The Farewell)
Ritesh Batra (Photograph)
Schmidt & Abrantes (Diamantino)
Wanuri Kahiu (Rafiki)
Jia Zhang-ke (Ash is Purest White)

What'cha Looking For?
« Review: Dark and Tired Phoenix | Main | »

Sunday Shorts: Seven Must-See Gay Films

by Nathaniel R

The Armoire (2009)

We thought it time to indulge in one of our least documented movie interests: short films. This new series might become anything or nothing but we love alliteration so Sundays it is. To kick things off let's discuss queer shorts for Pride Month. Short films don't tend to last the way features can, given that it's hard to be reminded of them, culturally, and they aren't "for sale" or advertised on streaming often in the way TV shows or movies are. Short films are no longer the primary calling cards they once were for up-and-coming directors given the prevalence of TV work and DIY webseries. Now, though, shorts are often direct sales pitches for features. Consider a recent popular movie like  Brazil's The Way He Looks (2014) which was first a short film named I Don't Want To Go Back Alone (2010). The American comedy Gayby (2012) and drama Pariah (2011) also started their lives as celebrated queer films of 12 and 20 minutes respectively before their feature expansions.

But the current in-flux state of the form aside, it's worth finding cinematic gems in whatever size or form they come in. See these famous and/or underseen gems, please. And we'd LOVE to hear recommendations of other short LGBT films that caught your eye in the comments.

(in chronological order)

LOOKING FOR LANGSTON (1989, US) 45 minutes
The British artist Isaac Julien first claim to cinematic fame (before his documentaries and narratives) was this hard to describe dreamy poetic tribute to the black gay scene in Harlem and the poet Langston Hughes. 

TREVOR (1994, US) 
We wrote about this sweet Oscar-winning thing a few years back.  

ACHILLES (1995) 11 minutes
Barry Purves's animated short about the Greek myth was BAFTA nominated. It's 1000x sexier than Troy (2004) when it comes to the 'special' relationship between Achilles and Patroclus. Watch it in full on YouTube.

A SUMMER DRESS (1996, France) 15 minutes
Prolific filmmaker François Ozon made about 15 narrative shorts and/or documentaries before the features began, the last of which was this perfectly judged brief snapshot of an 18 year-old on vacation with his boyfriend who impulsively hooks up with a woman on the beach. You can see a lot of Ozon's regular preoccupations here including presentational direct-to-camera music performances (see also: Water Drops on Burning Rocks, 8 Women), matter-of-fact sexuality and nudity (see also: almost everything he's made), youthful lust (see also Young & Beautiful, Criminal Lovers), and mysterious psychology with watery backdrops (see also Swimming Pool, Under the Sand, Frantz). Watch it in full on Amazon Prime

THE SADDEST BOY IN THE WORLD (2006, Canada) 13 minutes
THE ARMOIRE (2009, Canada) 22 minutes
The amazingly creative Jamie Travis sadly never became the feature director we were hoping he'd become (he only made one feature -- For a Good Time, Call... back in 2012) but the shorts from the first decade of his career remain miracles of the form. The quality is so consistent and the films really linger. Since then it's been commercials and TV directing gigs including multiple episodes of Faking It, The Bold Type, and Claws. We used his "Saddest Children in the World Trilogy" for an episode of Hit Me With Your Best Shot some years back. You can watch The Saddest Boy... and The Armoire in full on Vimeo. 

IN A HEARTBEAT (2017, US) 4 minutes
Shortlisted for the Best Animated Short category at the Oscars but then egregiously snubbed. Ugh, shame on them. Better than some of the nominees that year. We wrote about it at the time and still love it madly



PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (7)

Well, I mentioned it on that other post, and it's an obvious one, but "Dottie Gets Spanked" is always worth reminding people of.

Also, anything by Barbara Hammer! Especially "Dyketactics" and "Women I Love."

June 9, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

Ah, I've seen A Summer Dress. Amazing short from Francois Ozon.

June 9, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterthevoid99

JONATHAN -- gah! I knew i was forgetting something. Dottie Gets Spanked OF COURSE.

June 9, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

The animated title-character in Achilles is sexier and more expressive than Brad Pitt never dreamed to be. I didn' t know it till this post, thanks. Now I think everybody should watch. They don't waste their eleven minutes that look like half of this time and in the end you want more. Pure poetry.

June 9, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterFeline Justice

There's a good short from a few years ago called Petit Homme (Little Man). It's by a Swiss filmmaker called Jean-Guillaume Sonnier. It's about two apprentice jockeys and a largely unspoken attraction one jockey feels for the other. It's well-made and well-acted. I saw it on French TV when it was first shown but I don't think it's on video or online anywhere, but keep an eye out for it.

June 9, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterEdward L.

Cool post

Have you guys seen Doors Cut Down?

June 9, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Peggy Sue -- i have not. i am making a list of the films people are recommending. wish there were more!

June 10, 2019 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>