DON'T MISS THIS!

Best Heroes & Villains of 2016

THE SHALLOWS, THE WITCH, ZOOTOPIA, and more...

Oscar History
Welcome

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

Like The Film Experience on Facebook

Powered by Squarespace
What'cha Looking For?
Comment Fun

Comment(s) Du Jour
To Catch a Thief

"Cary Grant and Grace Kelly are not humans. They are gods!" - Jennifer1994

Keep TFE Strong

 

LOVE THE SITE? DONATE 

Your suscription dimes make an enormous difference to The Film Experience in terms of stability and budget to dream bigger. Consider...

I ♥ The Film Experience

THANKS IN ADVANCE

For those who can't commit to a dime a day, consider a one time donation for an article or a series you are glad you didn't have to live without.

Subscribe

Entries in LGBT (373)

Saturday
Jun252016

Great Moments in Gay - 'This kind of stuff' in Weekend (2011)

In June we're celebrating favorite queer moments in cinema. Here's guest contributor Bill Curran on a pivotal low key scene in Weekend... 


Jamie: "What's going on?"

Russell: "Nothing… nothing's going on."

Pride is hard. We’re in a month filled with delirious rainbow floats, umpteen “Yass Queen” gifs, and appropriately lascivious street dancing down many city streets around the globe, and yet I’d like to pause and consider how pride is not merely happiness or acceptance, but respect. And respect is hard. 

Respect—one’s own worth in relation to others—is the motoring theme behind much of Andrew Haigh’s Weekend (2011). In this sense, if Weekend can be considered a landmark 21st century film (as indeed it should be, by any number of artistic rubrics), then the pivotal scene is this exchange between Russell (Tom Cullen) and his best (straight) mate Jamie (Jonathan Race). It is the sea change climax before the more expected bittersweet one... 

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jun222016

Best Shot(s): The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant (1972)

Hit Me With Your Best Shot
Season 7 Episode 16


The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant
Written and Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Cinematography by Michael Ballhaus 

When you watch a lot of movies you inadvertently end up drawing comparisons between films that you wouldn't have thought to put in conversation previously. It's as if you've accidentally become a guest programmer of a repertory theater or a local festival. Such was the case this week when I (not intentionally) watched Whos Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1966) and The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant (1972) nearly back to back and shook my fists to the heavens and cursed the name of anyone who ever regurgitated the lie that you have to "open up" stage plays to make them work on screen. 

Tears. not totally bitter yet but she's getting there.

Sometimes half the power of a text is in its site-specific constriction. So I went from George & Martha's messy drab campus housing with a bar (or at least its contents) in every room, to the stylish studio apartment of fashion designer Petra Von Kant which was paradoxically both over-decorated and minimalist, and both frozen in place and ever-shifting without explanation (Wasn't the bed over there in the last scene? Can these mannequins move around the room at will like the toys in Pixar movies?). I loved every second of both films and especially, perhaps paradoxically for someone who prefers short movies, the foreboding sense that there was no way to exit either film, ever, unless you accepted your fate and drowned in their contagious neuroses.

All it takes to make a play cinematic when it becomes a movie is great filmmakers. That's it. That's the whole formula...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Jun182016

Great Moments in Gay - Sexual Confusion in "Kissing Jessica Stein"

Team Experience is sharing favorite LGBT scenes in cinema for Pride Month. Here's Deborah...

Kissing Jessica Stein is one of my all-time favorite movies, and I could make a whole list of “great moments in gayness” just from Jessica Stein scenes, but there’s one in particular that’s my favorite.

Here’s the quick plot summary: Jessica (Jennifer Westfeldt), cute, quirky, neurotic, single, is reading the personal ads (for you youngsters, that’s the paper equivalent of Tinder or OKCupid), and is struck by one ad in particular. Realizing she’s accidentally been reading in the “Women Seeking Women” section, she throws the paper away, but then decides to answer it anyway. 

Helen (Heather Juergensen) and Jessica begin tentatively seeing each other; Helen, too, is exploring bisexuality for the first time. Helen wants to dive right in, but Jessica is nervous, skittish, and afraid. 

Cut to Helen at Jessica’s place. Jessica presents Helen with a pile of brochures, dons her comically serious reading glasses, and says one of the greatest lines ever uttered in the movies: 


I was surprised to learn that lesbians accessorized.

BWAHAHAHA!

I love everything about this. First, because the word “accessorize” is inherently funny, like “pickle”. Second, because it’s even funnier when referring to a dildo. Which is another inherently funny word. Finally, because there’s an underlying truth: No one seems to have any idea what two women do in bed together. Both straights and gay men seem to kind of go all cross-eyed with, “But, but, but…What do you do?” And studying? Getting brochures for a date? That’s just hilarious, but also not horribly removed from anything that might really happen. 

I love movies about sexual ambivalence. I love straights having gay sex and gays having straight sex and people trying to figure out the difference between love and love. Can I love you and not desire you? Can I desire you and not want to desire you? Why is “best” friend” so different from “romantic lover”? I love the exploration of the gray space where we try to figure all that out. (See also: The Object of My Affection.) Kissing Jessica Stein is a movie that gives us real gay people, and real straight people, and real people exploring the space in between. It’s funny about family, funny about desire, funny about being confused, and funny about coming out. Also, it has Tovah Feldshuh, and she makes everything better. 


previously in this series...

Saturday
Jun182016

Tweetweek: Skarsgård, Fences, and... yes... Politics 

Time for a quick diversion - tweets that amused or edified this week, somewhat randomly selected.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jun162016

Great Moment in Gay - Pariah

In Great Moments in Gay, Team TFE looks at our favorite queer scenes in the movies for Pride Month. Here's Kieran Scarlett on Pariah (2011)

Writing this piece this week, in the wake of tragedy is especially difficult. Thinking about all of the incredible, vital voices that make up Team Experience, as well as the readers who this blog touches on a daily basis, it's impossible not to think that a great number of us could have been (and have been) in places just like that Orlando night club. Safe spaces for marginalized people—queer people in this instance—are sacred, rare and often self-forged. This is especially true of safe spaces for queer people of color, who face an even greater burden of those added identity politics. Now more than ever, it is important to recognize that being queer and open remains a revolutionary act. It's a sad truth to intuit—something so innate and unchanging being a cause for notice and affirmation in the face of a world that is still struggling to understand. It's also beautiful to observe the strength of the queer community, who continue to push forward, forging those safe spaces, making room in spaces that are not yet totally safe, prospering, thriving and living.

Which brings us to Dee Rees' 2011 debut feature film Pariah. This coming-of-age tale charts a young, black lesbian Alike (a magnetic Adepero Oduye) as she struggles to find herself. in the face of a home and school life that are not entirely welcoming to her identity...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jun152016

Great Moments in Gay - Defiant Humanity in "Bent" 

For Pride month, we're celebrating our favorite queer moments in cinema. Here's guest contributor Steven Fenton...

Bent is the story of two men who fall in love while imprisoned in Dachau concentration camp during WWII. When the original play premiered in 1979 it made waves for its powerful depiction of Nazi persecution of homosexuals. By the time the film was released eighteen years later, the AIDS epidemic had ravaged the global gay community, giving further significance to the story’s exploration of survival and freedom.

In the camp, Max (Clive Owen) and Horst (Lothaire Bluteau) are assigned the sisyphean task of hauling stones from one rubble pile to another. On a miserably hot day, Horst attempts to distract Max from the maddening heat and labor. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jun072016

Best Shot: Trevor (1994)

For Pride Month... A great moment in Oscar gayness

This week's Best Shot spotlight shines on an adorable miniature. Since June is Pride Month we're looking at Great Moments in Cinematic Gayness throughout the month. Great Moments in Oscar Gayness are rarer things and usually come with significant caveats. When they award actors for playing LGBT characters it's literally only when they are straight and labelled "brave" for playing the character and the character is either dying or victimized in some way. Their ultimate Best Picture rejection of a universally acclaimed frontrunner in Brokeback Mountain (2005) left another stain on the Academy's rainbow colors.

But in Oscar's gay history, there is a beautiful moment that comes without so many uncomfortable footnotes.

Trevor, a sweet funny short about a boy who realizes his schoolmates have figured out his gayness took home an Oscar in a surprise tie, one of only six in their history, at the 67th ceremony. To make the moment even gayer in retrospect, the late producer and casting director Randy Stone thanked Jodie Foster ("Jodie, I love you") from the stage. (Stone and Foster were frequently each other's dates at film events in the 1990s and he was even rumored to be the biological father of her sons.)

More...

Click to read more ...