“Here are 10 LGBTQ+ movies in hopefully something like 10 LBGTQ+ minutes.”
Inspired by “Instagram thirst trap and movie buff, Jack Howard“, Jazza John is putting his own spin on the “over tread genre” of movie recommendation videos. How is he to do this, you might ask? Well, the idea hit him like “a silver camper van driving through the Australian desert”. What sets Jazza and Jack apart? “Homosexuality, of course.”
First, let’s clear up some classic features of LGBTQ+ cinema: “Hands? Gay. Secondly, water – also, gay.” Most importantly, “bicycles are the most gay”. Jazza’s top 10 list is sure to feature all three, while leaving out the trope of LGBTQ+ movies being “pretty sad”.
Imagine Me & You
An early noughties feel-good rom com starting Lena Headey and Piper Perabo. A girl meets girl story that Jazza describes as “kind of cookie cutter, but that’s one of the reasons I quite like it”.
This next recommendation comes with a small prologue, “If you haven’t seen Paris Is Burning. how dare you.” It is a documentary so ingrained in queer culture, it is essential homework. But before Paris Is Burning, there was The Queen.
Following the story of a 1960s drag queen beauty pageant, this is a “crystallised little time capsule of what it was like to be a queer person way back then”. Jazza explains the documentary can be “problematic sometimes”, but has become iconic due to the monologue given by Crystal Labeja, founder of the House of Labeja. Just like Paris Is Burning, The Queen is “necessary homework”.
The Half of It
Netflix’s original The Half of It is Alice Wu’s first film in 15 years “and, quite frankly, how dare she”. As Jazza shares, “She is very good at her job and we have been deprived of such wonderful cinematic storytelling [for] such a long time.” Ellie Chu is paid to write her classmates essays for them, but when she decides to help “the most adorable himbo” write love letters, she discovers “how to fall in love herself”.
Of course, Jazza is enforcing rules we can all agree on that the sequel to this movie should obviously be The Other Half of It.
Starring Michael J Willett, directed by Darren Stein and written by George Northy, all three of which Jazza interviewed for the Peccadillo Sofa Club, his simple summary of this movie is that it is a “funny, silly, joyful movie” and a “lovely homage to the teen trash genre”.
“A bloody masterpiece” shot on the IPhone 5S. Taking its name from the orange haze of long LA evenings, Tangerine follows the story of two trans characters and is directed by Sean Baker. “It ends with tenderness that really represents the trans and the queer community quite beautifully,” Jazza explains.
Co-Dependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same
“Yes, that is the full title of the movie.”
Despite “the overlaps of the experience”, LBGTQ+ sci-fi films are few and far between. “So, imagine our joy when we discovered Co-Dependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same,” Jazza emphasizes. “A lot of this movie, in terms of how it’s made, is not great.” Despite this, he does admit that he “had a really great time watching it”.
If this is one you’re interested in, “just buckle yourself in and go wee… And then eat cheesecake at the end”.
The Miseducation of Cameron Post
Conversation therapy movies naturally lend themselves to more serious interpretations, but this film is “more young adult” and gives “John Green vibes”. As Jazza shares, “The best part of this movie is the acting and the characters and how they’re portrayed by the actors.”
Circus of Books
Directed by Rachel Mason, who “does a fantastic job here of telling a loving story about parents and her family”, Circus of Books is a 2019 Netflix documentary sharing the story of a couple who take over an adult book store, which becomes the largest distributor of gay porn in the US. More than anything, is it “candid and moving”, a “really lovely family portrait”.
This is what he describes as a “star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet-style” story. “We don’t get many queer voices in filming coming out of Africa,” Jazza begins, before explaining how it’s important for different voices to be heard in LGBTQ+ cinema. While there isn’t a large amount of mainstream LGBTQ+ cinema anyway, there is even less told from voices like director Wanuri Kahiu.
The Way He Looks
This is the “least pretentious foreign language LGBTQ movie” of the pretentious LGBTQ+ movie genre, one Jazza watched a few weeks ago – an experience where “our hearts melted”. Set in Brazil, The Way He Looks is a “high school movie, technically” about seeking independence and the desire to run away, a feeling which Jazza recalls having experienced as a queer child.
During isolation, they have started The Queer Movie Club, which takes place every Saturday evening, where they sit down and press play on a new LBGTQ+ movie. Anyone can take part in the discussions about the movies on Twitter and Discord, so if that’s the kind of “jolly good gay fun” you’re needing, Jazza and Rowan have got you sorted.