Pride Film Recommendations: LGBTQ+ Representation on Screen

3 min read

By Hannah Smith ’26

Staff Writer

In celebration of Pride Month, here is a collection of films based on LGBTQ stories that the Tripod highly recommends.

Two of the earliest films on this list are Ingmar Bergman’s “Persona” (1966) and Jon Avnet’s “Fried Green Tomatoes” (1991). While neither of these films involve explicit queer relationships, over the years, audiences have decided that the main female characters in both films are icons of early queer cinema.

“My Own Private Idaho” stars Keanu Reeves and River Phoenix as two young men traveling around the world and falling deeply in love while struggling with drug problems and shady characters who pop up along their way. This film is directed by Gus Van Sant who also directed “Good Will Hunting” a few years later.

Gregg Araki, known for his work in the New Queer Cinema Movement of the early 1990s, created films like “Mysterious Skin” and “Nowhere” focused on the lives of teenagers that are completely wild. “Mysterious Skin” stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a struggling teenager who connects with an alien-obsessed teen. The film is narrated by both characters as they recall various stories from their traumatizing childhoods. “Nowhere,” described as “90210” on acid, has a stacked cast of every big name of the 1990s, including James Duval (the rabbit in “Donnie Darko” with one eye and the teenager that lives in a trailer in “Independence Day”), Christina Applegate, Ryan Phillippe, Heather Graham, Scott Caan, Rose McGowan and Christopher Knight (Peter Brady from the Brady Bunch, which is wild). This surrealist film does have a significant amount of trigger warnings to be aware of, but the blend of drama, comedy and science fiction definitely warrants a watch.

From the early 2000s, David Lynch’s “Mulholland Drive” and Bennett Miller’s “Capote” are two excellent films that are significantly different from other films on this list. “Mulholland Drive” is known for its chaotic and confusing style that is so common in David Lynch films, but I can honestly say it gets better with every rewatch. “Capote” is a biopic of Truman Capote, author of “In Cold Blood,” starring Philip Seymour Hoffman. His performance in this film won him the Academy Award for Best Actor at the 2006 Oscars. “Capote” is based on Gerard Clarke’s biography “Capote” that follows the author as he writes his nonfiction book that is now read in high schools everywhere.

The newest releases on this list are “Handmaiden,” “Portrait of a Lady on Fire,” “Close” and “All of Us Strangers.” “Handmaiden,” fair warning, it is not the easiest watch, but it is certainly worth it. “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” won the Queer Palm Award at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, becoming the first female-directed film to win this award as well as the award for Best Screenplay. This French period piece is one of the most beautiful films on this list. “Close” is an amazing story about friendship and love between two 13-year-old boys set in rural Belgium. “All of Us Strangers” stars Andrew Scott and Paul Mescal in this fantastical, devastating love story. Need we say more?

You May Also Like

+ There are no comments

Add yours