June is Pride month and at the library we are showcasing 30 films from our collection that celebrate LGBTQ+ culture and history. Every Friday in June we will post 7 films that highlight positive, inclusive representation and discuss the history and important figures in the movement for equality. This week we will be choosing my personal favorites.
An adaption of Patricia Highsmith’s “The Price of Salt”, this lush film focuses on young photographer Therese and the sophisticated older woman Carol, who meet in a department store. Carol is stuck in an unhappy marriage of convenience and the two strike up a friendship. As their bond deeps, they become romantically involved Carol finds the courage to leave her husband who tries to hold her daughter against her and tear them apart. Watch the trailer here.
Inspired by a true story, the year is 1984 and Margaret Thatcher is the Prime Minister when the National Union of Mineworker’s strikes for trade union protections. This prompts a London-based group of gay and lesbian activists to raise money to support the strikers' families. Initially rebuffed by the Union, the group identifies a tiny mining village in Wales and sets off to make their donation in person. As the strike drags on, the two groups discover that standing together makes for the strongest union of all. Watch the trailer here.
Wil Pang is living in Flushing, NY and her mother is eager for her to settle down with a nice Chinese-American boy. Even though Ma walked in on Wil and her girlfriend years before, she refuses to acknowledge it. After Ma is kicked out of the family home for falling pregnant and not naming the father, she moves in to Wil’s apartment. As Wil falls in love with dancer Vivian, this rom-com takes off as we find out how to accept our families for who they truly are. Watch the trailer here.
Frankie struggles to escape his Brooklyn home life. He balances his time with a new girlfriend his friends, and chatting on the internet with older men with whom he meets up for sex and drugs. He tries to convince himself that he’s not gay, he just "has sex with men". Frankie avoids his hookups during the daytime but this gets complicated as he moves about the area and happens to run into them or lures them to meetings for drugs. Watch the trailer here.
Mirroring the current BLM movement, this film is set in early 90’s Paris, France tells the story of the HIV/AIDS activist group ACT UP. Struggling to gain momentum in the fight against the AIDS pandemic, ACT Up stages public protests that accuse the government of censoring the fight against the disease. A gay, HIV-negative newcomer, Nathan, begins to fall in love with the passionate HIV-positive veteran Sean, but Sean’s health begins to rapidly deteriorate and they wait for the inevitable. Watch the trailer here.
Based on Jane Rule’s novel Desert of the Heart, this classic tells the story of the love affair between the freedom loving casino worker Car Rivers and the repressed university professor Vivian Bell in 1950’s Reno, Nevada. It’s considered one of the greatest early positive portrayals of queer romance, as the nuanced and tender relationship between the women is explored, as well as the backdrop of the consequences of it during the time in which it inhabits. A must-see film. Watch the trailer here.
Considered the reigning party queen of the NYC underground scene, Susanne Bartsch's life and impact viewed through never-before-seen archival footage, verité cinematography, personal testimonials, and highly stylized imagery. From quiet moments at home to the creation of deliciously debaucherous spectacles, Susanne juggles family life with the overwhelming stress of being a one-woman industry. Considered an important ally of the queer party scene, Susanne is at an age when most of her peers have slowed down, Susanne moves forward more determined than ever. Watch the trailer here.