1. The Way He Looks
The Way He Looks (Portuguese: Hoje Eu Quero Voltar Sozinho – literally, “Today I Want to Go Back Alone”) is a 2014 Brazilian coming-of-age romantic drama film based on the 2010 short film I Don’t Want to Go Back Alone (Eu Não Quero Voltar Sozinho). It was directed, written and co-produced by Daniel Ribeiro, and stars Ghilherme Lobo, Fabio Audi, and Tess Amorim, reprising their roles from the short.
The Way He Looks opened in the Panorama section of the 64th Berlin International Film Festival in February 2014. It was released to cinemas in Brazil on 10 April 2014. The film was met with positive reviews from critics and audiences; both groups praised Lobo, Audi, and Amorim’s performances, Kerchove’s cinematography, the soundtrack, and Ribeiro’s direction. It ranked as the 5th most viewed film in the country on its first day of release.
The film won two awards at the 64th Berlin International Film Festival; the FIPRESCI Prize for best feature film in the Panorama section and the Teddy Award for best LGBT-themed feature. It was selected as the Brazilian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 87th Academy Awards, but was not nominated.
2. God’s Own Country
God’s Own Country is a 2017 British drama film written and directed by Francis Lee in his feature directorial debut. The film stars Josh O’Connor and Alec Secăreanu. The plot follows a young sheep farmer in Yorkshire whose life is transformed by a Romanian migrant worker. The film was the only UK-based production to feature in the world drama category at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the world cinema directing award.
Milk is a 2008 American biographical film based on the life of gay rights activist and politician Harvey Milk, who was the first openly gay person to be elected to public office in California, as a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Directed by Gus Van Sant and written by Dustin Lance Black, the film stars Sean Penn as Milk and Josh Brolin as Dan White, a city supervisor who assassinated Milk and Mayor George Moscone. The film was released to much acclaim and earned numerous accolades from film critics and guilds. Ultimately, it received eight Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, winning two for Best Actor in a Leading Rolefor Penn and Best Original Screenplay for Black.
Attempts to put Milk’s life to film followed a 1984 documentary of his life and the aftermath of his assassination, titled The Times of Harvey Milk, which was loosely based upon Randy Shilts‘s biography, The Mayor of Castro Street (the film won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature for 1984, and was awarded Special Jury Prize at the first Sundance Film Festival, among other awards). Various scripts were considered in the early 1990s, but projects fell through for different reasons, until 2007. Much of Milk was filmed on Castro Street and other locations in San Francisco, including Milk’s former storefront, Castro Camera.
Milk begins on Harvey Milk’s 40th birthday (in 1970), when he was living in New York City and had not yet settled in San Francisco. It chronicles his foray into city politics, and the various battles he waged in the Castro neighborhood as well as throughout the city, and political campaigns to limit the rights of gay people in 1977 and 1978 run by Anita Bryant and John Briggs. His romantic and political relationships are also addressed, as is his tenuous affiliation with troubled Supervisor Dan White; the film ends with White’s double homicide of Milk and Mayor George Moscone. The film’s release was tied to the 2008 California voter referendum on gay marriage, Proposition 8, when it made its premiere at the Castro Theatre two weeks before election day.
4. Paris Is Burning
Paris Is Burning is a 1990 American documentary film directed by Jennie Livingston. Filmed in the mid-to-late 1980s, it chronicles the ball culture of New York City and the African-American, Latino, gay, and transgendercommunities involved in it. Some critics consider the film to be an invaluable documentary of the end of the “Golden Age” of New York City drag balls, and a thoughtful exploration of race, class, gender, and sexuality in America.
Carol is a 2015 drama film directed by Todd Haynes. The screenplay, written by Phyllis Nagy, is based on the 1952 romance novel The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith (republished as Carol in 1990). The film stars Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Sarah Paulson, Jake Lacy, and Kyle Chandler. Set in New York City during the early 1950s, Carol tells the story of a forbidden affair between an aspiring female photographer and an older woman going through a difficult divorce.
Carol had been in development since 1997, when Nagy wrote the first draft of the screenplay. British company Film4 Productions and its then-chief executive Tessa Ross financed development. The film had a troubled development period, facing problems with financing, rights, scheduling conflicts, and accessibility. Number 9 Films came on board as a producer in 2011, when Elizabeth Karlsen secured the rights to the novel. The film is co-produced by New York-based Killer Films, which joined the project in 2013 after Haynes’s collaborator Christine Vachon approached him to direct. Principal photography on the British-American production began in March 2014, in Cincinnati, Ohio, and lasted 34 days. Cinematographer Edward Lachman shot Carol on Super 16 mm film.
Carol competed for the Palme d’Or at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, where Mara tied for the Best Actress award. The film received many accolades, including five Golden Globe Award nominations, six Academy Awardnominations, and nine BAFTA Award nominations; as well as five Dorian Awards and awards from the New York Film Critics Circle, Los Angeles Film Critics Association, and National Society of Film Critics. It became the best reviewed film of 2015, as calculated by Metacritic. The film premiered in the United Kingdom on October 14, 2015, followed by theatrical release on November 27, 2015. It opened in limited release in the United States on November 20, 2015, and wide release on January 15, 2016.
6. Blue Is the Warmest Colour
Blue Is the Warmest Colour (French: La Vie d’Adèle – Chapitres 1 & 2; French pronunciation: [la vi da’dɛːl]), known as Blue Is the Warmest Color in the United States, is a 2013 French romance film co-written, co-produced, and directed by Abdellatif Kechiche, and starring Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos. The film follows Adèle (Exarchopoulos), a French teenager who discovers desire and freedom when an aspiring painter (Seydoux) enters her life. The film charts their relationship from Adele’s high school years to her early adult life and career as a school teacher. The premise of Blue Is the Warmest Colour is based on the 2010 graphic novel of the same name by Julie Maroh.
Production began in March 2012, and lasted six months. Approximately 800 hours of footage was shot, including extensive B-roll footage, with Kechiche ultimately trimming the final cut of the film down to 179 minutes. The film generated controversy upon its premiere at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival and before its release. Much of the controversy was centered on claims of poor working conditions on set by the crew and the lead actresses, and also the film’s raw depiction of sexuality.
At the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, the film unanimously won the Palme d’Or from the official jury and the FIPRESCI Prize. It is the first film to have the Palme d’Or awarded to both the director and the lead actresses, with Seydoux and Exarchopoulos joining Jane Campion (The Piano) as the only women to have won the award. The film had its North American premiere at the 2013 Telluride Film Festival. The film received critical acclaim and was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film and the BAFTA Award for Best Film Not in the English Language. Many critics declared it one of the best films of 2013.
G.B.F. (Gay Best Friend) is a 2013 American teen comedy film directed by Darren Stein and produced by School Pictures, Parting Shots Media, and Logolite Entertainment. The film made its first official screening at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival in April 2013 and got its theatrical release on January 17, 2014 by Vertical Entertainment. G.B.F. focuses on closeted gay high school students Tanner and Brent. When Tanner is outed, he is picked up by the cool girls and he begins to surpass still-closeted Brent in popularity.
The film stars Michael J. Willett, Paul Iacono, Sasha Pieterse, Andrea Bowen, Xosha Roquemore, Molly Tarlov, Evanna Lynch, Joanna “JoJo” Levesque, and Megan Mullally. G.B.F’s soundtrack includes new compositions by “Hi Fashion” and “Veva”.