Best of 2009: Gay Films on DVD

underdog's picture

BEST OF 2009: Gay Films on DVD

by James Van Maanen


Chris and Don: A Love Story

2009 was a decent year for finding good gay-themed films on DVD. While Milk might seem a shoo-in for the list, I would suggest instead renting the original documentary about Harvey Milk, which is superior to the Van Sant film in almost every way (except budget). My choices this year include one very fine lesbian movie; I wish there were more in this vein to recommend. Some of these are more subtle than others in the manner in which they address their gay themes, but each is worth seeing and thinking about. I’ve chosen my top 12, not on the basis of whether the main characters are gay, or whether the film in question is a "gay movie." Instead, I’ve tried to choose films in which gay characters and themes are used more richly and inventively. God knows there were a number of other movies not included here that gave center stage to gays (Were the World Mine, et al.), but that didn't necessarily make their quality of a higher order. In past years, I've included the first two films from the Eating Out franchise; the latest addition, however, while not bad, just didn’t quite make the cut. (Each subsequent film in this three-part series has grown slightly less acerbic and more cutesy.)

Here, in alphabetical order, are my dozen choices:

Beautiful Ohio Beautiful Ohio

Actor-turned-director Chad Lowe's quiet, acutely observed family drama is so specific that it builds into a grand picture of a time (the 1970s), place (suburban Ohio) and people (an unusual family trying, against all odds, to be "functional.") The cast is a mix of well-knowns—William Hurt, Rita Wilson, Michelle Trachtenberg—and little-knowns (David Call, Brett Davern), who all play so well together that each moment rings true. Beautiful Ohio is not for all tastes or those with short-attention spans, but as a familial drama drawn with enormous subtlety, it doesn't get much better than this.


Choose Connor Choose Connor

Political scandal, coming of age and sexuality all mix in this remarkable debut from another actor-turned-filmmaker, Luke Eberl, who was only 20 at the time. Whip-smart about people and politics, the movie is cast well, too: Steven Weber is terrific as a Congressman who takes a bright high-schooler under his wing, exuding the right mix of charm, occasional honesty and steel innards. As his teen acolyte, Alex D. Linz makes a perfect foil; you can believe his every word, idea and stance. The pivotal character who bridges Weber's world to that of Linz is played by Escher Holloway, who possesses the kind of quiet charisma that should have us seeing much more of him in future.


Chris and Don: A Love Story Chris & Don: A Love Story

Guido Santi and Tina Mascara's documentary tells the story of the very long-term relationship between writer Christopher Isherwood and painter Don Bachardy—venerable icons of gay life from a time when most were closeted, holding the door tightly shut from the inside for dear life. Full of terrific interviews and film footage from an era long gone, this inspiring and surprising doc is also, finally, extremely moving.


Johan Johan

An iconic fragment of the French gay '70s that has not been seen since its 1976 debut, this a kind of doc in which writer/director Philippe Vallois and his film both search for a replacement for his lover and supposed star—who is in prison for multiple petty larcenies, and thus, unable to either film or fuck. In fact, the movie comes close to being a near (and quite early) example of a mockumentary. It's full of knowing ironies; deliberately provocative (in its own day, but even now) with its views of handsome young men, often full-frontal and sometimes engorged; exhibiting sly humor combined with vexing self-satisfaction and self-pity. As was the wont of filmmakers in this era, the footage alternates between color and black-and-white. Trust me, all of it is fun.


La Leon La León

Gorgeous black-and-white cinematography of Latin American panoramas and a couple of hunky guys are the main reasons to view Santiago Otheguy's La León, an interesting if slow-moving character study of a good-looking middle aged fellow in a tiny port town whose gayness seems to ruffle the feathers of only one particular tugboat captain. Problems inevitably ensue, but the odd and oddly appealing life our "hero" leads almost makes up for the movie’s sleepy pacing. And, oh, that cinematography!


The New Twenty The New Twenty

Chris Mason Johnson’s stylish but deeply-felt tale of college chums reuniting 10 years later is a killer ensemble piece, beautifully acted and full of smart writing that bares character while keeping the plot unfurling nicely. So well do we grow to know these half-dozen people that, by the film’s end, we don't really want it to. One of the unusual strengths of the movie is that it shows a group of friends in which gay and straight characters easily intermingle yet still have their issues.


Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist

Sure, it's the subsidiary characters here who are gay, but they're such a delight and drawn so interestingly that it’s no wonder the film won a GLAAD award. Not that Nick and Norah themselves aren't a lot of fun: who can resist the easy charisma of Michael Cera and Kat Dennings? And Alexis Dziena is way-weird as the zonked best friend. The movie has plenty to offer, including its take on the New York and Brooklyn music scenes. Watching it is like getting an extra-special tour of the Big Apple and environs.


Pageant Pageant

Ron Davis and Stewart Halpern-Fingerhut's documentary tracks a recent Miss Gay America competition, bringing us close to several of the leading contestants. We get to know them, sometimes their friends or significant others, and why they want so much to win. Most fascinating of all is the twosome made up of a contestant and his best friend (who isn't gay but still clearly loves his BFF, and will do anything for him).



This was also a GLAAD nominee for "Outstanding Wide Release Film"—surprise—for the unusual way in which it handled homosexuality among the British gangster set. Although it's not the main theme, it comes back and back again (in the form of supporting character Handsome Bob, played by Bronson's Tom Hardy), and used in a funny and shockingly non-judgmental manner. The movie itself is lots of fun, with smart turns from Gerard Butler, Thandie Newton and especially Tom Wilkinson, nearly unrecognizable in this role.


Save Me Save Me

Movies that have tackled the question of Christian sexuality or "ex-gays" (men who have supposedly fought and succeeded in surmounting their homosexuality via their strong belief in Jesus)—Saved!, Fall From Grace, For the Bible Tells Me So—have found the Christian part of the equation wanting. What makes director Robert Cary's Save Me such a find—and a fine example of the religion-struggling-with-sexuality bind—is that, here, both sides are filled with caring, decent people trying to do the right thing. The combination of sharp writing and direction, coupled with excellent performances from Judith Light, Stephen Lang, Chad Allen, Robert Gant and Robert Baker, results in one of the best this year.


The Secrets The Secrets

's broadside against the fundamentalism of the Orthodox Jewish community in Israel is full of life and growth for its protagonists, as well as some of its lesser characters. In a female seminary, the bond experienced by two girls results in some truly wonderful experiences, as well as disappointment and sorrow. By the end of this remarkable film, which features the magnificent Fanny Ardant in a supporting role, you’ll feel like you yourself have made an important journey.


Stealth Stealth

Although officially released on DVD in 2008, Stealth is a film I didn't catch up with until this past year. But as it’s so good, I must include it as one of this year's bests. Lionel Baier, who directs and stars, gave us the unusual Garçon Stupide a few years back, and his latest is even better—lighter, funnier and more accomplished. A young man's discovery of his Polish ancestry leads him to question his gay identity and take a cross continent trip to his "source." Along the way, he's met with surprise and personal change, taking the viewer on (dissenters might say "for") some ride!


product plan credit reports

product plan credit reports and scores public months parties

Thanks for every other

Thanks for every other informative site. The place else may just I get that kind of information written in such an ideal means? I have a venture that I’m just now operating on, and I have been on the look out for such information.
Jasa Iklan & Menambah Like Fanpage Facebook Ads - tempat belajar internet dan berbisnis Distributor Resmi Pancake Durian, Oleh Oleh Khas Medan provider vcc murah di indonesia provider vcc murah di indonesia

The place else may just I get

The place else may just I get that kind of information written in such an ideal means? I have a venture that I’m just now operating on, and I have been on the look out for such information.   Thanks 4 all This My site Its love true. By Dhini Carnetta Jasa SEO

Thanks for every other informative BY my site Jasa SEO.

In My kontes Seo Bismillahirrohmanirrohim

the info that you wrote this

the info that you wrote this I am very interested once the pack so I would like to see the traces of his and died here. greetings by jual obat kuat pria , alat sex wanita alat bantu sex pria obat kuat..

Nike Jordan Shoes,

Nike Jordan Shoes,
Polo T Shirts,
Beats By Dre Outlet,
Michael Kors Outlet Online,
North Clearace Outlet,
Ralph Polo Outlet,
Gucci Shoes Outlet,
Michael Kors Outlet,
Polo Outlet Store,
Ralph Lauren UK,
Marc Jacobs On Sale,
MCM Outlet,
Sac Longchamp Pairs,
Canada Goose Outlet,
Burberry Outlet,
Michael Kors Outlet,
Coach Outlet Online,
Hermes Outlet,
Oakley Sunglaases Factory,
North Face Outlet Online,
Moncler Clearance,
Woolrich Clearance,
Barbour Jackets Outlet Online,
Moncler Jackets Outlet Online,
Monster Beats Outlet,
Louis Vuitton Outlet,
Louis Vuitton Factory,
Discount Clothes Sale,
Michael Kors Factory Online,
Coach Factory Outlet,
Coach Black Friday,
Coach Store Outlet Online,
Coach Factory Outlet Online,
Coach Outlet,
Coach Factory,
Coach Purses Outlet Online,
Coach Outlet USA,
Coach Outlet Online USA,
Coach Factory Outlet Online,
Black Friday,
Coach Purses Outlet Online,
Ralph Lauren Polo,,
Coach Factory Outlet Online
Handbags Outlet,
Louis Vuitton Outlet
Hermes Bags Outlet
Prada Outlet Online
Chanel Outlet
Gucci Outlet
Burberry Outlet Online
Celine Outlet Online
Balenciaga Outlet Online
Christian Dior Outlet
Chloe Outlet
Bvlgari Outlet
Bally Outlet Online
coach Outlet Online
Michael Kors Outlet
MCM Backpack Outlet
Fendi Outlet
Mulberry Outlet Online
Marc Jacobs Outlet Online
Miu Miu Outlet
Ysl Outlet
Tory Burch Outlet
Givenchy Outlet
Ferragamo Outlet
Lancel Outlet
Loewe Bags Outlet
Tods Outlet
Paul Smith Outlet
D&G Bags Outlet
Alexander Wang Outlet
Bottega Veneta Outlet

This Text Your Ex Back review

This Text Your Ex Back review examines the Michael Fiore PDF and its ability to help you get your ex back using tiny text messages sent from your cell phone
Bundapoker.Com Agen Texas Poker Dan Domino Online Indonesia Terpercaya Situs Judi Poker Online Terbaik Terpercaya Cipto Junaedy| Cipto Junaedy | Singgasana Hotels & Resorts pilihan akomodasi terbaik di Indonesia

This is the perfect site for

This is the perfect site for anybody who hopes to understand this topic. You understand so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I really would want to�HaHa). You definitely put a fresh spin on a subject that has been written about for ages. Excellent stuff, just excellent!

rental lease agreement utah pdf

I amazed with the analysis

I amazed with the analysis you fulfilled to dispose this legitimate take the weight off your feet of duty amazing. Fantastic task! Texas Holdem Poker,Texas Poker,Poker Uang Asli,Permainan Poker,Dewa Poker,Poker Online,Zynga Poker,FB Poker,Poker Zynga

Michael Kors

@special pricing structure with Louis Vuitton. Selecting Monogram Vernis Sarah Wallet M93636 Bleu Galactic Louis Vuitton Fashion Catalog embodies your insightful vision. Collection to a whole new coach factory outlet level. Several sculptures of animals or stars or colors make selling ladies handbags Season. Kate Spade Outlet The leather goods are amazing and adorable in the market, but the store is undoubtedly louis vuitton turning a Chanel Outlet profit, and a healthy one at that. It seems unreasonable expected that the business significantly restrict the sale of fractions of the retail prices. For the prices that you would see on Louis Vuitton Louis Vuitton online store, you are Buy Louis Vuitton Online handbags.How can Louis Vuitton kate spade outlet Online goods. Not all brands are as restrictive, but some Companies may still need coach outlet set entry barriers in various ways.The Louis Vuitton Handbags no introduction due to its barbour outlet noble grace. So many wonderful LV bags, purses and shoes priced cheap for your barbour jacket wait here, never doubt his ability to create elegance and grace for you. Discounted kate spade

Michael Kors

@Louis Vuitton donated a significant portion of the first day of sales from the flagship store in Beijing last year Special Olympics World Summer Games, which barbour jackets were held This outstanding and up to the mark level Products are designed by barbour outlet professional artisans. Moreover, these bags are finished only on the leading quality Supply. Real chanel outlet patch pocket and smart cell phone pocket, which can be linked to the D-shaped coach outlet kate spade outlet key rings and accessories, soft microfiber lining and rivets ensure the protection of and Hope! Anyone can have a unique style for everyday life! Thus, the modern people are like to kate spade outlet choose the production different. Louis Vuitton Online Store can give you sells amazing variety coach factory outlet of things of novel design, attractive outlook, and superb craftsmanship, only to affordable discounted kate spade prices, including trendy handbags, bags, (compared to the year 2009) reported. The Designer handbags Louis Vuitton from Louis Vuitton are going for their luxury travel and known seasonal requirements. This louis vuitton Design are

Out of the above films, the

Out of the above films, the new twenty is the only film I have seen and it is indeed a very good film. The hard work and dedication of the crew is well reflected in the film. The casting could have been made better.
anti snoring

Hello! I just wish to give an

Hello! I just wish to give an enormous thumbs up for the nice info you've got right here on this post. I will probably be coming back to your weblog for more soon.!

* You can comment on articles

* Private messaging to others in the GreenCine community -- and more features coming soon!

* Keep apprised of happenings in the world of films festivals, independent, international, cult, classic, horror movies and more!

* As a free registered member, you can upgrade your account to a rental subscription -- or if you want a rental subscription right away, click here.