Earlier this year, Queer Screen held a survey of the Australian LGBTIQ+ community's favourite queer films. Now, in celebration of their 25th birthday, the top 25 films have been released for all to see (and, no doubt, binge).
From recent award winners such as Call Me By Your Name and Moonlight, to festival circuit hits and 90s fringe favourites, Queer Screen's top 25 films (as voted by the public) make for a great winter bucket list!
1. Brokeback Mountain
Set in 1963 and starring Australia's very own Heath Ledger alongside Jake Gylenhaal, Ang Lee's Brokeback Mountain became an instant classic when it was released in 2005. For many, the unlikely love story between rodeo cowboy Jack Twist and ranch hand Ennis Del Ma has become the benchmark for mainstream queer cinema; receiving eight Academy Award nominations and winning three.
You can stream Brokeback Mountain on SBS On Demand above.
2. Beautiful Thing
Originally intended for television audiences only, Beautiful Thing was so well received that it was released in select UK cinemas. Directed by Hettie MacDonald and released in 1996, the film follows the story of Jamie, who is being bullied at school, and his neighbour, Young Ste, who is being beaten by his father. The two boys soon share a sleepover and everything changes...
3. The Adventures Of Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert
Written and Directed by Stephan Elliot, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert is a 1994 Australian comedy-drama that soon became an international sensation. Starring Hugo Weaving in one of his first roles, the film has inspired musical productions around the world and been enjoyed by audiences the world over.
You can watch The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert on SBS On Demand here.
Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara) spots the beautiful, elegant Carol (Cate Blanchett) perusing the doll displays in a 1950s Manhattan department store. The two women develop a fast bond that becomes a love with complicated consequences.
You can stream Carol on SBS On Demand above.
A gay man's (Tom Cullen) weekend-long encounter with an artist (Chris New) changes his life in unexpected ways.
Last year's Best Picture winner at the Academy Awards, Moonlight takes a look at three defining chapters in the life of Chiron, a young black man growing up in Miami. His epic journey to manhood is guided by the kindness, support and love of the community that helps raise him.
A surfer (Trevor Wright) finds comfort from his problems in the arms of his best friend's older brother (Brad Rowe).
8. But I’m A Cheerleader
Released in 1999, But I'm A Cheerleader is a total classic. Megan (Natasha Lyonne) considers herself a typical American girl. She excels in school and cheerleading, and she has a handsome football-playing boyfriend, even though she isn't that crazy about him. So she's stunned when her parents decide she's gay and send her to True Directions, a boot camp meant to alter her sexual orientation. While there, Megan meets a rebellious and unashamed teen lesbian, Graham (Clea DuVall). Though Megan still feels confused, she starts to have feelings for Graham.
9. Holding the Man
In the 1970s, two teen boys in Australia fight all obstacles thrown their way and refuse to renounce the love they feel for each other. Directed by Neil Armfield and adapted for screen by Tommy Murphy, Holding The Man is a true story and based on the book of the same name by Timothy Conigrave.
You can stream Holding The Man on SBS On Demand above.
10. God’s Own Country
A young farmer numbs his frustrations with drinking and casual sex until a Romanian migrant worker sets him on a new path.
11. Call Me By Your Name
2018's breakaway queer hit, Call Me By Your Name wooed audiences around the world earlier this year, before taking out Best Adapted Screenplay at the Academy Awards.
It's the summer of 1983, and precocious 17-year-old Elio Perlman is spending the days with his family at their 17th-century villa in Lombardy, Italy. He soon meets Oliver, a handsome doctoral student who's working as an intern for Elio's father. Amid the sun-drenched splendour of their surroundings, Elio and Oliver discover the heady beauty of awakening desire over the course of a summer that will alter their lives forever.
12. Imagine Me & You
During her wedding ceremony, Rachel (Piper Perabo) notices Luce (Lena Headey) in the audience and feels instantly drawn to her. The two women become close friends, and when Rachel learns that Luce is a lesbian, she realises that despite her happy marriage to Heck (Matthew Goode), she is falling for Luce. As she questions her sexual orientation, Rachel must decide between her stable relationship with Heck and her exhilarating new romance with Luce.
13. Blue is the Warmest Colour
A French teen (Adèle Exarchopoulos) forms a deep emotional and sexual connection with an older art student (Léa Seydoux) she met in a lesbian bar.
You can stream Blue Is The Warmest Colour on SBS On Demand above.
14. Torch Song Trilogy
Arnold Beckoff (Harvey Fierstein) is looking for love and acceptance, but as a gay man working as a female impersonator in 1970s New York City, neither come easily. After a series of heartaches, Arnold believes he has found the love of his life in Alan (Matthew Broderick), and the couple make plans to adopt. But when tragedy strikes, Arnold's life is shaken to its very core, leading to a confrontation with his overbearing mother (Anne Bancroft), who has never approved of her son's lifestyle.
15. Out in the Line-Up
Two gay surfers travel the globe to uncover the taboo of homosexuality in surfing. A wonderful documentary which won critical acclaim on the festival circuit when released in 2014.
16. Latter Days
Aaron Davis (Steve Sandvoss), a young Mormon, arrives in Los Angeles with three fellow missionaries to evangelise. The group's promiscuous gay neighbour, Christian (Wes Ramsey), makes a bet he can seduce and sleep with one of them, and his flirtatious ways help Aaron realise he is actually gay. Returning home to small-town Idaho in shame, Aaron is sent to a faith-based centre to be cured of his homosexuality -- while Christian, who's fallen in love with him, desperately tries to find him.
In 1909, Maurice Hall (James Wilby) enters Cambridge, where he befriends wealthy Clive Durham (Hugh Grant). Clive confesses he is sexually attracted to Maurice, who realises he is a homosexual when he begins to return Clive's feelings.
18. Paris is Burning
The classic documentary and definitive exploration of New York City ballroom culture.
Paris Is Burning focuses on drag queens living in New York City and their "house" culture, which provides a sense of community and support for the flamboyant and often socially shunned performers. Groups from each house compete in elaborate balls that take cues from the world of fashion. Also touching on issues of racism and poverty, the film features interviews with a number of renowned drag queens, including Willi Ninja, Pepper LaBeija and Dorian Corey.
Realising that they share common foes in Margaret Thatcher, the police and the conservative press, London-based gays and lesbians lend their support to striking coal miners in 1984 Wales.
20. A Single Man
George (Colin Firth) is a college professor who recently lost his lover, Jim, in a car accident. Terribly grief-stricken, George plans to commit suicide. As he goes about his daily routine and puts his affairs in order, his encounters with colleagues, students and an old friend (Julianne Moore) lead him to make a final decision as to whether life is worth living without Jim.
Directed by Tom Ford, you'll want to have some tissues handy as this film is incredibly sad!
Sparks fly when Violet (Jennifer Tilly) sets eyes on Corky (Gina Gershon) in an elevator. Violet is the girlfriend of a violent gangster, Caesar (Joe Pantoliano), while Corky is fresh out of prison and doing renovations on the apartment next door. As the two women launch into a passionate love affair, they assemble an intricate plan for Violet to escape from Caesar, with two million dollars of the mob's money -- but the important part is to make it out alive.
22. My Beautiful Laundrette
In a seedy corner of London, Omar (Gordon Warnecke), a young Pakistani, is given a run-down laundromat by his uncle (Saeed Jaffrey), who hopes to turn it into a successful business. Soon after, Omar is attacked by a group of racist punks, but defuses the situation when he realizes their leader is his former lover, Johnny (Daniel Day-Lewis). The men resume their relationship and rehabilitate the laundromat together, but various social forces threaten to compromise their success.
23. Desert Hearts
Called a "groundbreaking classic of queer cinema", Desert Hearts follows the story of a New York professor (Helen Shaver) who divorces her husband and has an affair with another woman (Patricia Charbonneau) in 1959 Reno.
24. The Way He Looks
A 2014 Brazilian coming-of-age romantic drama based on the 2010 short film I Don't Want to Go Back Alone.
25. Tom of Finland
Touko Laaksonen (Pekka Strang), a decorated officer, returns home after a harrowing and heroic experience serving his country in World War II. But life in Finland during peacetime proves equally distressing. He finds post-war Helsinki rampant with homophobic persecution, and gay men around him are being pressured to marry women and have children. Touko finds refuge in his liberating art: homoerotic drawings of muscular men, free of inhibitions.