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 focus on 90's films.
Check out last week's list here.
The quintessential road trip film for a LGBTQ+ 90’s fan, Priscilla is actually the name of the RV that two drag queens and their trans friend take across the Australian outback from Sydney to Alice Springs. Drag performer Mitzi is invited to a resort by his estranged wife and along the way they meet both welcoming and unwelcoming townspeople and discover that sometimes the best surprises come when you least expected. Winner of the 1994 Academy Award for Costume design you can enjoy the beautiful outfits and iconic soundtrack by placing a hold. See the trailer here.
My Own Private Idaho (1991) Rated R
Considered one of the most important films in the New Queer Cinema movement and loosely based on Shakespeare’s Henry IV Part I, Henry IV Part 2, and Henry V, this trippy road trip films follows two Midwest hustlers that are searching for home and for cash on the fringes of society. With a sensitive look at a gay man suffering from narcolepsy and poverty, it ushered in a wave of films in the same vein. This film is also important to our local culture, as Keanu Reeves drove from Canada to Micanopy to share the screenplay with River Phoenix in order to convince him to join the film. Watch the trailer here.
Another landmark film from the New Queer Cinema movement, this romantic comedy about Black lesbians in Philadelphia is sure to please. Cheryl starts watching many films from the 30’s and 40’s, noticing that almost all of the black characters are based on the problematic ‘Mammy’ archetype, and slowly become obsessed with one actress known only for being ‘The Watermelon Woman.’ After discovering that she’s was a local lesbian of note, Cheryl begins a search to create a documentary about her and to unearth the life of this mysterious woman. Noted for its positive portrayal of Studs, this film would be great for anyone who enjoys a good 90’s rom-com. Watch the trailer here.
Set in 90’s India, this film tells the story of two women in unhappy marriages that discover that their love of one another can uplift them from horrible situations. Sita agrees to an arranged marriage with womanizer Jitan, who is openly carrying an affair with another woman. Her sister-in-law Radha is unhappily married to Jitan’s brother Ashok who refuses to bed her as she is barren. Though considered controversial for its portrayal of unhappily married women turning away from men and towards other women, it still ends on a positive note and helps normalize the idea of queer relationships. See the trailer here.
Based on Vito Russo’s 1981 book, The Celluloid Closet: Homosexuality in the Movies, this documentary explores queerness throughout the history of Western film and explores the way that the LGBTQ+ community is portrayed by Hollywood. Interviewing those close to the filming industry, they discuss the Hollywood Code, common stereotypes in films, and their treatment by peers. See the trailer here.
This Belgian-French drama tells the story of the young Ludovic Fabre, who was born as a boy but identifies as a girl. Going by the nickname Ludo, she struggles to be seen by her family and her community by her correct gender, she experiences many instances of transphobia from both the outside world and at home, culminating a tumultuous journey that ends with a final acceptance. This heart-wrenching film is great for those who love a good foreign escape. Watch the trailer here.
A continuation of the plot of director Pedro Almodóvar’s previous film, La Flor De Mi Secreto (The Flower of My Secret), it focuses on the grieving mother Manuela, whose son Esteban has died from a car accident. Seeking her son’s father, a trans woman named Lola who did not know of her son. As she makes this emotional journey, she reconnects with her old friend, the sex worker Agrado, and takes on a new family to ease her pain and connect with others. Winner of the 1999 Oscar for Best International Feature Film, this love letter to mothers and women everywhere is a surefire win. Watch the trailer here.