“Heterosexuality is not normal, it’s just common.” ― Dorothy Parker. Most, if not all, of us have perennially looked at cinema to define the crazy, all-encompassing, unfathomable thing called love. It is cinema that has taught us that love knows no limits, no boundaries. Yet it is saddening that, for ages, our most beloved visual medium treated a specific “abnormal” kind of love with chagrin and cruel stereotypes. Forget LGBT movies, films from the early 20th Century showed characters who were gay (even though the movies pretended not to know) either as the “sissies” or sadists, psychopaths, nefarious, anti-social villains.
The 1970s, saw films like ‘The Boys in the Band’, ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’ and ‘Cabaret’ break ground, with a more honest portrayal of gay/trans characters. But the gradual improvement in the 70s was put to standstill in the 80s, with the emergence of the AIDS pandemic and the raving homophobia associated with it (It was a common myth in the 80s that being gay caused AIDS). The only silver lining of this lunacy were some cinematic gems based on the milieu, like ‘Parting Glances’ and ‘Philadelphia’. In the new millennium, Lesbian and gay characters are finally getting their due through a number of heart-wrenching yet intimate takes of filmmakers on love like never seen before on celluloid. I know there’s a long, long way to go, but till then, here’s the list of top LGBT movies ever honouring the most heartfelt depictions of the LGBT community in cinema.
12. Closet Monster (2015)
With striking visuals and a world in between reality and surrealism, “Closet Monster” presents a strong and captivating coming-of-age story about finding one’s identity in an oppressive surrounding that might make what should be easy, hard. Oscar’s parents divorce when he’s 8 years old. This makes him retreat into his own creative world where he sometimes feels the loneliness a teenager should never feel. With a unpleasing homophobic father and strange traumatic memories of the past, Oscar, now 18, deals with his confusing state of mind in which he isn’t certain of how he feels, especially when he meets another boy named Wilder, and “feels something in his stomach”. A beautiful, raw and at times dark voyage with three-dimensional characters that embody this story in a visually and emotionally grabbing and meaningful way.
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11. Laurence Anyways (2012)