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Member Lists

Out Gay Directors
List creator: AKrizman
Created on: July 12, 2003 - 2:33 PM PDT
Description: Go Figure: Three of the five nominees for best director at the 2002 Academy Awards were out gay directors. Todd Haynes (director of that year's stunning 'Far From Heaven') wasn't among them.

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Frankenstein: The Legacy Collection (Disc 1 of 2) (1935)
Not Rated
  JAMES WHALE - The Bride of Frankenstein with the fey Dr. Praetorius is the closest Whale ever came to making a gay film.

----------THE VANGUARD----------
European avant garde and American underground directors of the 70's.
Flesh (1968)
Not Rated
  PAUL MORRISSEY - His use of improvised dialogue, amateur actors, and natural sound take awhile to get used to, but ultimately it creates an intimacy that gives his movies a sense of documentary-style authenticity.
Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom (Criterion Collection) (1975)
Not Rated
  PIER PAOLO PASOLINI - How controversial was this Marxist/Atheist/Homosexual? - It's still debated whether he was murdered for being gay or if he was assassinated by his political/religious enemies.
'Teorema' would fit better here, but isn't on DVD.
Fox & His Friends (1975)
  RAINER WERNER FASSBINDER - Fassbinder sets his protagonists in a world populated with sadists and perverts, and let's the hopeless situation unfold in slow motion. This film is his easiest to follow; for the initiated, I recommend 'Querelle'.
Desperate Living (1977)
  JOHN WATERS - Where Fassbinder wallows in human perversity, Waters splashes around in it like a naked baby in a mud puddle. 'Pink Flamingos' was most people's introduction to Waters, but this one ages better. 'Hairspray' is his best mainstream.
Sebastiane (1976)
  DEREK JARMAN - Made experimental art films for the MTV set.

----------NEW QUEER CINEMA----------
Still active directors that are currently making their best movies.

Poison (1991)
  TODD HAYNES - With this, his debut feature, Haynes defines what would later be called the New Queer Cinema. The NQC (as I understand it) explores the effect queer culture and the straight world have on each other, and blurs the lines between them.
Drugstore Cowboy Meridian Collection (1989)
  GUS VAN SANT - Van Sant populates his movies with sympathetic portrayals of fringe-dwellers. This film is a placeholder until any one of his gay films ('My Own Private Idaho', 'Even Cowgirls Get the Blues', or the newest 'Elephant') gets released on DVD.
All About My Mother (1999)
  PEDRO ALMODOVAR - It's remarkable how Almodovar's recent, more restrained work seems to have greater depth and a sharper edge than his outrageously flambouyant early work.
Go Fish (1994)
  ROSE TROCHE - Using remarkably frank sexual situations, Troche questions the nature of sexual identity - but she does so in a subversively lightweight and comic manner. Also Bedrooms and Hallways.
Water Drops on Burning Rocks (2000)
  FRANCOIS OZON - Ozon occupies a space halfway between Fassbinder's misanthropy and Almodovar's cheery camp.

----------THE UNDERRATED ----------
Great directors who have made only one movie (so far).

Parting Glances (1986)
  BILL SHERWOOD - could only make one movie before he died, so he made a masterpiece. Most gay movies released in the 15 years since have been defensive, agenda-laden, and exploitive. None have matched the easy sincerity and authenticity of this film.
Boys Don't Cry (1999)
  KIMBERLY PEIRCE - Missed in all the (well-deserved) hype surrounding Hilary Swank's remarkable performance, was Peirce's skillful direction. She effectively evokes a mood of desperatation and hopelessness that stays with you long after the credits roll.
Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001)
  JOHN CAMERON MITCHELL - With 10 years to make and a rabid cult following, Headwig would seem like a once-in-a-career feat for a lesser talent, but Mitchell may have the inspiration to meet the challenge.
The Watermelon Woman (1996)
Not Rated
  CHERYL DUNYE - A lesbian director that made a movie about a lesbian director making a movie...

----------THE MAINSTREAM----------
Directors that have found success with mainstream audiences

Midnight Cowboy (1969)
  JOHN SCHLESINGER - With this film and it's follow up, 'Sunday Bloody Sunday' (not yet on DVD), Schlesinger was among the first to bring gay themed films to positive mainstream acclaim. He wasn't so fortunate with 'The Next Big Thing'.
Antonia's Line (1995)
  MARLEEN GORRIS - This Dutch director's movies are characterized by their feminist themes. This film won an Oscar (Best Foreign Language Film), and the GLAAD media award.
It's My Party (1996)
  RANDAL KLEISER - His movies have to be considered culturally significant due to their popularity, even if they're critically panned. They range from good ('Grease') to bad ('Blue Lagoon'). This semi-autobiographical film is his only overtly gay film.
Laurel Canyon (2002)
  LISA CHOLODENKO - An impressively thoughtful writer, her characters are multi-dimensional and cliche-free. With this film, and her debut, 'High Art' (not yet on DVD), Cholodenko proves to be a very promising talent.
The Hours (2002)
  STEPHEN DALDRY - Almodovar admitted to wanting to adapt this story. It would be interesting to see what he would have done with it.

Directors who happen to be gay, but don't happen to make gay movies

The China Syndrome (1979)
  JAMES BRIDGES - Oscar nominated Writer/Director of 'The Paper Chase' and this.
9 to 5 (1980)
  COLIN HIGGINS - Dolly Parton has a legion of adoring gay male fans; Higgins is among them. With this, her feature debut, and the follow up, 'Best Little Whorehouse in Texas', Higgins introduces Parton's campy charm to mainstream audiences.
Hellraiser (1987)
  CLIVE BARKER - Best known as a novelist specializing in literate horror fantasy. Barker has directed a handful of his own adaptations, including this cult favorite.
Teaching Mrs. Tingle (1999)
  KEVIN WILLIAMSON - Acclaimed screenwriter of 'Dawson's Creek' and Scream. This is his directorial debut.
Chicago (2002)
  ROB MARSHALL - Unapologetically brings stage-style theatrics to the usually more dignified big screen (and the small screen with Annie) without diminishing the seriousness of the story.

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