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Queers do Cinema
Queer Film Institute
A conversation about queer cinema, LGBTQ+ films and filmmakers, and more -- from queer film festival experts and enthusiasts.
Dec 8, 2023
Queer Horror with Kay Lynch
No film genre is more preoccupied with our culture’s sexual anxieties than Horror, so of course there’s a fine line between Horror and Queer Horror. We are joined by Kay Lynch, founder of the Salem Horror Fest, to unpack the complex history (and promising future) of Queer Horror. Since even the earliest horror films are laden with “horrific” depictions of gender and sexuality and camp in a way that makes it sometimes feel like all horror is Queer horror. But contemporary filmmakers have ditched the coding and consistently make explicitly Queer horror films on all budgets. Plus: Is there a Queer horror film that earns a comparison to “Get Out”? Our hosts debate!
Nov 10, 2023
“Problematic” Queer Films with Sav Rogers
We dive deep into the problem of the “problematic,” joined by special guest Sav Rogers, whose 2023 documentary Chasing Chasing Amy dives deep into his relationship with Kevin Smith’s problematic 1997 “lesbian falls for a straight guy” rom-com. We dig into the problematic films we hate and the problematic films we love anyway. We talk about Chasing Amy, about the usefulness of outrage, and how to preserve our cinematic past without throwing out everything that offends.
1 hr 3 min
Jun 19, 2023
Black Queer Cinema with Cheryl Dunye
Happy Juneteenth! To celebrate, we are joined by the inimitable Cheryl Dunye to talk about the canon of Queer Black cinema. What makes a movie Queer Black cinema, and who gets to tell Queer Black stories? How did New Black Cinema and New Queer Cinema historically converge to create a new movement, with The Watermelon Woman as an iconic debut from Cheryl? We talk about Cheryl’s television work (Lovecraft Country) and what’s it like to be telling Queer Black stories onscreen today. PLUS: Our hosts share some of their favorite Queer Black films we think you should watch!
1 hr 11 min
Jun 10, 2023
Happy Pride from Queers do Cinema!
June is here, and the world is covered in rainbows once again. Our hosts take some time to reflect on the institution that Pride has become in our culture, and explore our own ambivalence about Pride — the joy and the cynicism. What is the relationship between Pride and Queer film festivals in the cities we serve? What happens when Queer community organizations need to compete with each other for corporate dollars? What does it mean for our community to be so heavily marketed to? ALSO: We share what films embody the spirit of Pride for us, and make some recommendations for inspiring, feel-good, or fiery Pride pics to watch this month!
1 hr 13 min
Apr 28, 2023
The Wide World of Queer Film Festivals
We take a moment to reflect on the passing of a great friend of Queer cinema, Michael Gamila, and to discuss the role that Queer film festivals play in our history and in our communities. We are joined by Steven Weisenreder from ImageOut and Shane Engstrom from Out Film CT to discuss the history of their film festivals and what it means to run a Queer film festival outside of a major city. We chat about how 80s activism led to a wave of creation of Queer film fests, in places from community meeting rooms to mob-run porno theaters, and we talk about the role that Queer film festivals can still play for a contemporary audience who are now generations removed from their founding.
1 hr 10 min
Mar 31, 2023
The Trans New Wave with Chase Joynt
We are joined by director Chase Joynt (Framing Agnes, No Ordinary Man) for a discussion of trends in Trans cinema. In recent years, the world has seen an outpouring of innovative, formally inventive, and emotionally compelling Trans films. While traditional Trans narratives still have a place, the films of the Trans New Wave are being made for and by Trans people, and look past explainers and transitions to explore in full the complexity of Trans lives on screen.
1 hr 14 min
Mar 17, 2023
Back from Berlin; Queer Genres Part II
We kick off with a chat about what we saw at the Berlinale Panorama, the unofficial kickoff of the Queer film festival season. Why is Berlin so important to Queer Cinema? And then we dive back into the discussion of Queer genres — and why are there so many the lesbian period drama? How do years of Queer cinema build us up to expect our gay characters to meet bad fates? PLUS: Is the “coming out film” the only genre that belongs to Queer cinema?
Feb 10, 2023
How do you Queer a Genre?
Everyone knows what film genres are: science fiction, horror, mystery, comedy. But what does it mean to make a genre Queer? Is it telling the story of a genre with Queer people included? Or does it involve changing how the story is told, and finding new surprises in old structures? Plus: How can filmmakers subvert homophobic genre tropes, like Queer/Trans villains and victims? Whose job is it to undo decades of harmful representation?
1 hr 5 min
Jan 27, 2023
Remember the 2000s?
WARNING: WHITE LOTUS SPOILERS! Blast from the past! Remember the early 2000s? While the world was reeling from 9/11 and the beginning of new wars, literal and cultural, a lot was going on in Queer film in this changed landscape. The digital video revolution helped make it cheaper to make Queer films (for better and for worse), and Hollywood was producing some good Queer work too -- though now some of it feels problematic in hindsight. But can we still approach and appreciate those films for what they were at the time? PLUS: were the 2000s the golden age for the lesbian comedy?
1 hr 5 min
Dec 30, 2022
What was Good in 2022?
We talk through the highlights (and some lowlights) in Queer cinema from 2022. What were our favorite movies and TV shows? Where are all the lesbian movies? Are the streamers our great hope for the future of queer film and TV? Or maybe it's Canada!
Dec 2, 2022
Is it All About History?
No film form explores Queer history more frequently or enthusiastically than the documentary — showing our past, showcasing amazing Queer people of history, and unearthing images of Queer lives from times and places we don’t see. What makes the Queer documentary such a powerful format? What are the techniques and topics that make Queer docs shine through?
Nov 11, 2022
Is it All about The Sex?
A common question about Queer cinema is always: is it all about the sex? While Queer cinema can get pretty hot and heavy, is sex necessary for a film to be Queer? What do Queer audiences expect from Queer cinema? Plus: Our hosts recommend some of their favorite sexy queer films!
1 hr 13 min
Oct 28, 2022
What Makes a Movie Queer?
Time to clear something up: if we’re going to talk about Queer film, what makes a movie Queer? Is it a function of who it’s by? Who it is for? Or is it just a vibe? We play a challenging round of “Is it Queer?” — The Birdcage? Power of the Dog? Philadelphia? Plus: how Queer is teen television today?
Oct 14, 2022
To commemorate the big screen release of Bros, we reflect on the recent abundance of Queer-themed films and tv from major media companies. What does it mean for Queer cinema to go from the scrappy independent margins to major releases by big studios? Is this a long-awaited change for the better, or just cynical corporate politics? What does it mean for independent Queer film? Plus... our hosts share their favorite Queer films of all time.
1 hr 1 min