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Queer Cinema to Stream on Kanopy

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Queer Cinema to Stream on Kanopy

queer cinema kanopy

In honor of Pride Month, here are some extraordinary films about the queer experience that you can stream on Kanopy using your Livingston Library card.

(Descriptions provided by Kanopy)

funeral parade of roses

Bara No Sōretsu (Funeral Parade of Roses) directed by Toshio Matsumoto (1969)

Matsumoto’s shattering, kaleidoscopic masterpiece is one of the most subversive and intoxicating films of the late 1960s: a headlong dive into a dazzling, unseen Tokyo night-world of drag queen bars and fabulous divas, fueled by booze, drugs, fuzz guitars, performance art and black mascara. No less than Stanley Kubrick cited the film as a direct influence on his own dystopian classic A Clockwork Orange. An unknown club dancer at the time, transgender actor Peter (from Kurosawa’s Ran) gives an astonishing Edie Sedgwick/Warhol superstar-like performance as hot young thing Eddie, hostess at Bar Genet — where she’s ignited a violent love-triangle with reigning drag queen Leda (Osamu Ogasawara) for the attentions of club owner Gonda (played by Kurosawa regular Yoshio Tsuchiya, from Seven Samuri and Yojimbo).

The Garden directed by Derek Jarman (1990)

Half waking dream and half fiery polemic, The Garden was born of director Derek Jarman’s rage over continued anti-gay discrimination and the sluggardly response to the AIDS crisis—he had been diagnosed HIV-positive in 1988. Starring Tilda Swinton, this uniquely kaleidoscopic film shows the filmmaker’s genius at its most coruscating, making space in its breadth of vision for an over-the-top Hollywood-style musical number, nightmare images of tar-and-feather queer persecution, and footage of the particularly menacing-looking nuclear power plant that overlooks Jarman’s own garden, the point from which his film begins, and a cherished spot which he must keep tending to even as his body begins to betray him. Writhing with sorrow and anger, and yet so vividly alive to the loveliness of being, The Garden is a baleful and beautiful epistle from the brink of beyond.

The Early Works of Cheryl Dunye (1990-1994)

Vilified by conservatives in Congress, defended by major newspapers, and celebrated by audiences and festivals around the world as one of the most provocative, humorous and important filmmakers of our time, Cheryl Dunye practically invented a new form of cinema – call it the ‘Dunyementary.’ Made with great creativity on often minuscule budgets, her first six short films represent the first chapter of her oeuvre: Greeting From Africa, The Potluck and the Passion, An Untitled Portrait, Vanilla Sex, She Don’t Fade, and Janine.

go fish

Go Fish directed by Rose Troche (1994)

In this romantic comedy, a young woman sets about finding Ms. Right and discovers that some of life’s best surprises come when you least expect it.

Aimée and Jaguar directed by Max Färberböck (1999)

In 1943, while the Allies are bombing Berlin and the Gestapo is purging the capital of Jews, a dangerous love affair blossoms between two women. One of them, Lilly Wust (Nowhere in Africas’s Juliane Köhler), married and the mother of four sons, enjoys the privileges of her stature as an exemplar of Nazi motherhood. For her, this affair will be the most decisive experience of her life. For the other woman, Felice Schragenheim (Maria Schrader), a Jewess and member of the underground, their love fuels her with the hope that she will survive.

Tropical Malady (Satw Prahlad) directed by Apitchatpong Weerasethakul (2004)

The lyrical and mysterious new film by maverick Weerasethakul (Blissfully Yours) chronicles the mystical love affair between a young soldier and the country boy he seduces, soon to be disrupted by the boy’s sudden disappearance. Local legends claim the boy was transformed into a mythic wild beast, and the soldier journeys alone into the heart of the Thai jungle in search of him.

Tangerine directed by Sean Baker (2015)

Upon hearing that her pimp boyfriend was unfaithful during the days she was jailed, sex worker Sin-Dee and her friend, Alexandra, set out to get to the bottom of this. Their odyssey leads them through subcultures of Los Angeles.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post directed by Desiree Akhavan (2018)

Based on the celebrated novel by Emily M. Danforth, The Miseducation of Cameron Post follows the titular character (Chloë Grace Moretz) as she is sent to a gay conversion therapy center after getting caught with another girl in the back seat of a car on prom night. Winner of a Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.

pelo malo 1

Pelo Malo (Bad Hair) directed by Mariana Rondón (2013)

A nine-year-old boy’s preening obsession with straightening his hair elicits a tidal wave of homophobic panic in his hard-working mother, in this tender but clear-eyed coming-of-age tale. Junior is a beautiful boy, with big brown eyes, a delicate frame, and a head of luxurious dark curls. But Junior aches to straighten those curls, to acquire a whole new look befitting his emerging fantasy image of himself as a long-haired singer.

Swan Song directed by Todd Stephens (2021)

A retired hairdresser Pat, escapes his small-town nursing home after learning of his former client’s dying wish for him to style her final hairdo. Pat embarks on a comical and bittersweet odyssey across town to confront the ghosts of his past.

To browse Kanopy’s complete collection of LGBTQ cinema, click here.

Joe, Adult Services & Acquisitions Librarian

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