June 19, 2023

🌈Pride + Movies🎥

this month on TOILETPAPER

What I've learned from my queer movie canon...

All About My Mother (1999)

Agrado's monologue 
When I first watched this movie as a teen, and specifically this scene with Agrado, it made me realize that another person's truth has nothing to do with mine; that my experience of my own body and gender doesn't preclude different experiences of body and gender. Ultimately, what feels and is authentic to a person is empowering and personal, and not to be questioned. This scene with Agrado about authenticity and presentation is, for me, one of the most iconic monologues ever.

Beginners (2010)

A bittersweet love is love is love. That it can happen at any age. That it can look any way it does between two people, though its joy and elevating power are unmistakable.

Weekend (2011)


What a cis-hetero person like myself can often take for granted: the privilege to freely express your feelings of love for the object of your affection.

Je Tu Il Elle (1974) 

This movie contains the first graphic lesbian sex scene in a mainstream movie (and, on top of that, is a scene directed by and starring a woman, Chantal Akerman). For me, it was eye-opening and liberating to see women-loving women having sex in a movie that wasn't for male enjoyment or titillation. The history of cinema and the male gaze has ruined so much of how we see female pleasure; and this movie shows us it in its purest form.

Moonlight (2016)

The violence and damage wrought by toxic masculinity, and specifically how this looks and feels for Black men. The beauty and possibility of transformative love.

Paris is Burning (1990)

The inventiveness and joy of queerness, when it can flourish and thrive in safe spaces (like the ballroom scene, in particular). A spectrum of humanity that white, patriarchal, heteronormative society is forgoing when it polices sexuality and gender.

Female Trouble (1974)

Aunt Ida! Ooh, Aunt Ida
The whole movie, and body of John Waters' work, is a spewing fountain of filthy, hilarious, riotous queerness. This scene in particular flips the homophobic script on its head and displays how extravagantly stupid it is to demand people have a certain sexuality.

The Wounded Man (1983)

Wedding Banquet (1993)

wedding banquet 1.png

The cultural barriers between East/West, white/non-white, gay/straight, generational; how human differences can be overcome with some measure of humanity and respect.

Blue (1993)

I think this is a movie that should be caught in a movie theater if possible, but here's the movie in its entirety posted on YouTube by the distributor Kino Lorber.
This experimental film has solely the color blue projected for the length of the movie, with accompanying voiceovers/soundscape. The filmmaker, Derek Jarman, had AIDS that developed into CMV (cytomegalovirus). CMV gradually took his sight, with him eventually only able to see shades of blue. Seeing the movie in theater has the effect of sitting inside Jarman's eye looking out, seeing the color that his vision was limited to when he made the movie, along with what he was hearing/experiencing/thinking about. Experiencing this movie is to begin to understand just how cruelly gay people with AIDS were abandoned by public policy, by the medical field, by society. Derek Jarman succumbed to AIDS several months after this movie came out.

Joyland (2022)

The interconnected way everyone in a conservative society is harmed by the expectations of cis-heteropatriarchy. Though obviously, queer people most of all. But amidst the cruelty, how to find moments of joyful transcendence 🎢

Some Like it Hot (1959) 

Color still from The film is in black & white! 
How much fun genderplay can be, how you can love/fall in love with someone regardless of their gender presentation. 

Haven't seen yet, but want to see: 

  • Happy Together (1997)
  • But I’m a Cheerleader (1999)
  • Midnight Cowboy (1969)
  • My Own Private Idaho (1991)
  • Mysterious Skin (2004)
  • The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (1972) (*RIP Margit Carstensen*, who passed on June 1, 2023) and basically all Fassbinder
  • Watermelon Woman (1996)
  • Saving Face (2004)
  • The Children's Hour (1961)
  • Maurice (1987)
  • The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994)

currently reading: The Big Reveal
Oh and: