June 2018 in Film
June is both Pride Month and my birthday month (my birthday was yesterday), so I’m always busy busy busy. This June I found myself going to Miami to introduce Some Like It Hot for Flaming Classics, moderating a panel at Turner on LGTBQ representation in cinema, and recorded a video about how movies helped me growing up queer in a small town. These experiences were life-affirming in that I was able to see our community thrive, but also I was able to help allies learn more about the cultural history of the community as well. A real dream come true. Because of the travel and prep work for these events, I watched far less films than I had intended to. That said, I did cross several landmark queer classics off of my list and saw some films that will stay with me for a long time. As always, you can see everything I watched plus my favorites for the month after the cut.
- First Reformed
- Hedwig and the Angry Inch
- How to Talk to Girls at Parties
- The Rider
- Torch Song Trilogy
- Female Trouble
- Weekend (2011)
- Estiu 1993 (Summer 1993)
- The Feminine Touch (1941)
- Emporte-moi (Set Me Free)
- Mary Shelley
- Hearts Beat Loud
- Aimée & Jaguar
- Paris Was a Woman
I also watched the Stephen Frear’s directed miniseries A Very English Scandal, but I decided since it was definitely in three distinct episodes not to count it on this list of films. It is quite good and currently available on Amazon Prime here in the states. Fans of Hugh Grant and Ben Whishaw will not be disappointed.
Hedwig and the Angry Inch, 2001 (dir. John Cameron Mitchell)
I really cannot believe I hadn’t seen this film before. It’s really something else. A glam rock musical that tackles isolation, queerness, gender, and so much more. Definitely a one of a kind experience anchored by tour-de-force lead performance from writer-director John Cameron Mitchell as the titular Hedwig.
Foxfire, 1996 (dir. Annette Haywood-Carter)
I’ve been a huge fan of Angelina Jolie since I was in high school and have managed to see most of her films, but somehow this one always alluded me. I’m so glad I finally saw it! It’s both a queer classics, as well as one of the truly great films about teenager girldom. Angelina Jolie truly leads the group with charisma and fire for days, but the rest of the teens, played by Hedy Burress, Jenny Lewis, Sarah Rosenberg, and Jenny Shimizu, all bring such realness to their performances. You also get bonus young Peter Facinelli, which is always a plus. This is the kind of movie I really wish I had seen as a teenager, but even though I came to it late I’m so grateful that it exists at all.
Torch Song Trilogy, 1988 (dir. Paul Bogart)
So. Many. Feels. This movie takes you on quite a ride as you follow the life and loves of Arnold Beckoff (Harvey Fierstein) for the better part of a decade (set in pre-AIDS crisis 70s NYC). Fierstein wrote and performed the original stage play (and won a Tony), and he brings so much passion to this role. It is truly astounding. You will laugh, you will cry, you will need a box of tissues.
Female Trouble, 1974 (dir. John Waters)
I’ve read every single book John Waters has written, yet someone how I’m still missing a handful of his films. Now that Criterion is slowly releasing some of his early ones that I’ve missed, I’ve been able to fill in some of the gaps. This movie is completely bonkers and, so far, my favorite performance from Divine. I never knew where this movie was going, but I enjoyed every single moment of the ride. Aside from Divine, I love the style of this movie so damn much! And also want to shout out Mink Stole and Edith Massey, who also give amazing, one of a kind performances. Bless you Mr. John Waters!
Weekend, 2011 (dir. Andrew Haigh)
I’m not sure how I missed this one for so long, but I knew I had to cross it off my list this year. It’s a small, beautifully acted drama about isolation and connection and how no matter what year it is, there will always be people who don’t feel comfortable being their true selves in public.
Emporte-moi (Set Me Free), 1999 (dir. Léa Pool)
A semi-autobiographical period piece set in 1960s Montreal, this film is an utter delight. We follow Hanna (Karine Vanasse), as she gets her first period, explores her attraction to women, finds role models in Anna Karina and her school teacher, and tries to survive life in a slightly broken home.
TransMilitary, 2018 (dir. Gabe Silverman, Fiona Dawson)
This film is still playing the festival circuit, but I hope it gets a theatrical release soon. It is so timely. It follow four trans troops who, as the film begins, are currently serving in the armed forces as they lobby to get the ban on trans troops lifted. As the film began the ban, which traces itself back to WWII, meant that no out trans troops could serve openly. Despite that ban it was estimated that there were 15,000 trans troops in the US Military, making it the largest employer of trans people in the country. We follow their lobbying all the way through the lifting of the ban, then through Trump being elected and his executive order to bring the ban back. It is a real roller coaster of a film, and if seen widely could really do a lot for trans visibility and to help educate those who still don’t quite understand what being trans means.
While those were my favorite Pride Month related first time viewings in June, I also want to give a shout out to a bunch of 2018 releases I saw this month that I really loved. These are all either still in theaters or will be on home video soon and I highly recommend seeking them out before the end of the year:
- The Rider (dir. Chloeé Zhao)
- Estiu 1993 (Summer 1993) (dir. Carla Simón)
- Mary Shelley (dir. Haifaa Al-Mansour)
- Nancy (dir. Christina Choe)
- Hearts Beat Loud (dir. Brett Haley)
So those were my first time viewings for June. I have quite a bit of travel happening in July, so I imagine I’ll have a small number again this month, but there are a whole bunch of documentaries about to hit theaters that I am so excited for so I’ll try not to miss those. If you’re ever looking for suggestions of what to watch, at home or in theaters, feel free to reach out to me on Twitter!
Posted on July 1, 2018, in 2018 in Films and tagged Andrew Haigh, Annette Haywood-Carter, Emporte-moi, Female Trouble, Fiona Dawson, Foxfire, Gabe Silverman, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, John Cameron Mitchell, John Waters, Léa Pool, Paul Bogart, Set Me Free, Torch Song Trilogy, TransMilitary, Weekend. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.