Water Cooler: Films to watch during Pride month include ‘Hedwig,’ ‘Happy Together’ and ‘Swoon’
June 7, 2021 Updated Wed., June 9, 2021 at 2:58 p.m.
Celebrate Pride month by watching trailblazing cinema focused on or created by members of the LGBTQ+ community. Here are some titles to check out.
“Happy Together” – A story of a turbulent romance in which a couple from Hong Kong take a trip to Buenos Aires and find themselves drifting apart along the way. Directed by Wong Kar-wai. 1997. 96 minutes.
“Hedwig and the Angry Inch” – Based on the 1998 stage musical of the same name, this film follows Hedwig, a genderqueer punk rocker during a tour through East Germany with her backing Band, the Angry Inch. Directed by John Cameron Mitchell. 2001. 95 minutes.
“Desert Hearts” – A straight-edge literature professor awaits the finalization of her divorce when she finds true love in a confident and eccentric woman during a road trip through the western United States. 1985. 91 minutes.
“The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson” – A documentary that investigates the mysterious death of Black gay rights activist Marsha P. Johnson, which was initially ruled as a suicide. Directed by David France. 2017. 105 minutes.
“Tangerine” – On Christmas Eve in Tinseltown, transgender sex worker Sin-Dee finds out her pimp boyfriend was unfaithful while she was locked up and decides to go on a hunt across Los Angeles with her best friend until she tracks him down. Directed by Sean Baker. 2015. 87 minutes.
“My Beautiful Laundrette” – A British-Pakistani man renovates a laundrette with his male love while under the constant scrutiny of his family and persistent threat of the local skinheads. Directed by Stephen Frears. 1985. 98 minutes.
“Pariah” – A Brooklyn teenager struggles to establish her personal identity and sexuality without risking her relationship with friends and family. Directed by Dee Rees. 2011. 86 minutes.
“The Wedding Banquet” – A Taiwanese-American man conspires a marriage of convenience to a Chinese woman so she can get a green card and he can continue living happily with his American boyfriend without the scrutiny of his parents. Directed by Ang Lee. 19993. 109 minutes.
“Paris Is Burning’’ – A documentary made over the course of seven years that explores the Black and Latinx Harlem drag-ball scene of 1980s New York City. Directed by Jennie Livingston. 1990. 71 minutes.
“Personal Best” – During an unsuccessful tryout for the 1976 Olympics, a young athlete meets a more experienced track and field competitor and their friendship develops into a romantic relationship. Directed by Robert Towne. 1982. 124 minutes.
“The Watermelon Woman” – A young Black lesbian works a day job in a video store while spending her free time making a documentary. Directed by Cheryl Dunye. 1996. 85 minutes.
“Young Soul Rebels” – An examination of British youth subcultures of Punks, Skinheads and Soulboys and the cultural and political tension between them. Directed by Isaac Julien. 105 minutes.
“Swoon” – A provocative story about two teenagers who are bonded by a sexual relationship and amoral outlook on life, participating in an escalating series of criminal activity. Directed by Tom Kalin. 1992. 82 minutes.
“The Living End” – An unapologetically dark and rebellious film about a movie critic and a gay hustler. Both men are HIV positive and together they go on a journey that challenges their morality. Directed by Gregg Araki. 1992. 92 minutes.
“Rafiki” – Two Kenyan girls support and love one another in the face of their conservative society and rival families. Directed by Wanuri Kahiu. 2018. 82 minutes.
“Edward II” – In 14th century England, King Edward II falls in love with a young man and drives Queen Isabella to an envy-fueled plot to overthrow her husband. Directed by Derek Jarman. 1991. 90 minutes.
“The Times of Harvey Milk” – A documentary about one of the first openly gay elected public officials and the legacy that survives his 1978 assassination. Directed by Rob Epstein. 1984. 90 minutes.
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