Friday, November 24, 2017

Why 2017 Was A Game-Changer for LGBTQ Films

Timothée Chalamet and Armiue Hammer in Call Me By Your Name
The Independent reports:

While a few high-profile films have broken the mould of the type-cast or side-lined LGBT character in recent decades, such as Ang Lee’s 2005 Brokeback Mountain or Todd Haynes’s 2015 Carol, equality of LGBT representation in cinema still seems some way off: a US study on the top 100 films of 2016 showed only 1.1 per cent of speaking characters were gay, lesbian or bisexual, no speaking character was identified as transgender, and only one film featured a gay protagonist. That film was Moonlight.

But Barry Jenkins's film has perhaps turned out to be something of a game-changer. Scooping the coveted 2017 Best Picture Oscar, its success at Hollywood’s most prestigious award ceremony was seen as a coup, not only for featuring a gay protagonist (Brokeback was notoriously snubbed for the top prize back in 2006) but also for its rare depiction of homosexuality within the African-American community.

In its wake, this year’s film festival season has seen an incredible array of high-quality LGBT pictures with explicit representations of sexuality, not only on the arthouse margins of cinema but in the mainstream as well. From Billie Jean King biopic Battle of the Sexes to Oscar-tipped Call Me By Your Name, Francis Lee’s ‘Yorkshire Brokeback’ God's Own Country to Sebastián Lelio’s A Fantastic Woman about a transgender singer, 2017 has seen a diverse range of narratives from the overtly taboo-breaking to the understated slice-of-life, exploring themes such as complex desire and toxic masculinity in authentic, nuanced ways.

See full story here.

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