Movies teach us how to be. We learn morals, ethical lessons, how to interact with others, how to fall in and out of love. And we learn from movies how to view others—and how to view ourselves. This has been truly evident in how film has depicted queer characters from its earliest days as visual medium. We have seen people like us reduced to stereotypes—sometimes based in truth, sometimes played by queer performers eager to find work and express their own identities in front of a camera, for better or for worse. Film has also depicted queer people as villains, victims, heroes, and outcasts.
All of these films stand on the shoulders of other LGBT films that have come before. And it had to be Fresh. The final list was culled from a longlist of hundreds, after which the films were ranked according to the Adjusted Tomatometer, which acts as a kind of inflation adjustment, taking into consideration the Tomatometer score, as well as the number of reviews a film received relative to the average number of reviews for films released that same year. We did not include miniseries, leaving out seminal works like Angels in America , nor movies made for TV. And we recognize that some of the films in the list will re-ignite healthy debates that have been fixtures of discussion around LGBT films — straight actors playing gay characters, cis actors playing trans characters, and the historical dominance of white male perspectives.
Foreign gay cinema demands attention. Unlike our rare disco balls gathering popularity along their way into Hollywood , these movies are more erotic and honest than their English counterparts. For those looking for cute, but artsier.
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