First things first I wanna officially recommend certain films from this class, and then I want to talk about what I’m thinking of doing with Flashback Friday in the future – and I’d really appreciate feedback on the ideas!
Quite a few of these are available for a few dollars through Amazon, even some of the more obscure international ones. I’ve linked to the blog post where I originally discussed each film so you can learn more before diving in. Some posts contain more than one movie so you may have to scroll a bit.
Brokeback Mountain: Duh, yes, it’s flawed but it’s a classic. A little gory, though. Turn on subtitles to understand what Heath is ever saying.
Carol: DUH, YES. Really well-made and a happy ending.
Boys Don’t Cry: Basically the same as Brokeback – flawed but classic, important and well-done but also kind of hard to watch. Graphic sexual assault and violence.
Before Night Falls: Watch it if you’re a writer – it’s interesting how they convey his poetic mind visually.
Madame Satã: Watch if you’re interested in gender fluidity and drag especially.
Lola and Bilidikid: This one didn’t leave a super strong impression on me honestly.
Yossi & Jagger and The Bubble: I’m grouping these together because they’re by the same director and if you watch one you should watch the other too, since he made The Bubble in reponse to the criticism he received for the other. Yossi & Jagger is stressful and predictable but still worth it, I think. The Bubble is… frustrating but it’s still really interesting to watch a film taking place ten years ago in Israel. I don’t know, they’re both really flawed but I got a lot out of them and they really stuck with me.
I Don’t Want to Sleep Alone: Super weird art film I wouldn’t have been able to digest AT ALL without discussing after, but that being said I really enjoyed it? Probably don’t watch if you don’t have art film experience.
Fire: Definitely watch. Kinda stressful but ultimately worth it. Ladies!!!! In India!!!
Tropical Malady: Another art film I needed help to interpret. No strong feelings about it.
Tomboy: Definitely worth watching! A pretty easy watch, too. The little sister is a SUPERSTAR and I miss her.
The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros: Absolutely check this one out – it’s a foreign film and takes place in a different culture and really challenges Western values of what’s acceptable but it’s also REALLY accessible. I loved it.
Mysterious Skin: Yes. Maybe the best thing we watched the whole semester. Major warnings for graphic sexual assault and exploration of childhood sexual abuse. While I have big issues with the adult sexual assault, I’ve never seen anything deal with childhood trauma the way this does, and I’ve never seen a visual medium get into characters’ heads as much as this does.
Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday: I mean, this was bad, but I also don’t know how it compares to anything else Pee-Wee because I’ve never seen anything else. Weirdly, other people in my class seemed to like it.
Captains Courageous: If you’re into movies made in the 30s, definitely check it out from a queer perspective. It’s fascinating. We only watched clips though because it’s a million years long.
For a Lost Soldier: A weird one. I feel better about it than I did in my recap since we discussed it in class but like. It’s weird and not my favorite.
Two Drifters: Holy hell, I don’t know what to tell you. It was fun to discuss. But I only survived watching it because it was the culmination of a four-month film class. I would’ve stopped two minutes in otherwise.
The Celluloid Closet: Super interesting but also super depressing. Good info to have if you think critically about media, for sure.
I’m trying to figure out exactly what I want to do with Flashback Friday in the future. First of all, I think I’m going to take a hiatus until the new year while I lock down my idea. I think when I relaunch it I’m going to brand it as Flashback Friday 2.0 so I can keep it in a separate tag and make it clear that all of Flashback Friday took place in the context of one class and was really one ongoing conversation. I might name it something else entirely though depending on what happens.
I’ve had people ask me to talk about certain things on my blog, before, certain things they want to see my perspective on – but sometimes those are things people have already talked about a LOT. I want to bring a perspective that’s fresh. My idea for this column in the first place was to watch things I liked as a kid and see how they stood up to my current mindset but that’s not exciting enough.
What I’m thinking about doing is watching something and then talking about how it would be different if it was made today, one post for a movie and one post per season for a show. That includes not just, you know, what are we conscious of and accepting of now that we weren’t then but also, for example, how have stereotypes and tropes changed? How would social media play into what happened? Who would be cast as the main characters? My focus isn’t only on LGBT media, but I basically want to look at how yesterday’s gay media would look if made in today’s gay context.
My focus isn’t only on LGBT media, but I basically want to look at how yesterday’s gay media would look if made in today’s gay context.
I’m also floating the idea of doing pay-what-you-can commissions, since people have expressed interest in seeing me talk about certain things. Like, $1 minimum for a movie and $1-per-season minimum for a TV show, or something. Or maybe I should do $5 for a movie and $5 per season? Like, I don’t know if anyone would be willing to pay me $35 to watch and talk about Buffy, but that is a LOT of show to watch and would result in seven separate posts. I don’t know! There’s not really anything to compare to, as far as I’m aware. I might start with $1/pay-what-you-can and raise it to $5 if things go well?
Let me know what you think, and let me know if you decide to check out any of the movies I’ve discussed!