Angered by the homophobic policies of Reaganism and Thatcherism and defiant against the terror of the AIDS epidemic, a crop of young queer filmmakers emerged in the early 90s with formally radical, transgressive films that rejected heteronormativity in favor of unapologetically queer stories directed toward queer audiences. Twenty years ago critic B. Ruby Rich posited in an influential Sight & Sound article that these films were part of a New Queer Cinema movement and that many of them were linked by methods of “appropriation and pastiche, irony, as well as a reworking of history with social constructionism very much in mind . . . irreverent, energetic, alternately minimalist and excessive.” BAMcinématek marks LGBT History Month and the 25th National Coming Out Day with this look back at a seminal cultural movement.
This playful entry in the feminist cinema canon is the first feature directed by a black lesbian.
Diverse feminist factions unite to fight for their rights in this lo-fi, sci-fi polemic.
John Lennon and The Beatles' gay manager engage in a verbal tango in Christopher Munch's debut.
A riot grrrl coming-of-age/coming-out drama set in a fiery mid-90s Hell’s Kitchen.
Todd Haynes' debut is a jolt of queer energy that explores alienation, paranoia, and AIDS.
A groundbreaking camp chronicle of New York's costume ball gay subculture.
An abrasive, vibrant portrait of gay teens in LA living under the specter of AIDS.
Queer-core godfather Bruce LaBruce’s grainy, dirty first feature.
Keanu Reeves and River Phoenix star in this seminal road movie cum Shakespeare pastiche.
A delirious portrait of a king's rise and fall, from UK's queer enfant terrible.
Two powerfully polemical touchstones of black gay cinema.
A collection of essential short films by Sadie Benning, Su Friedrich, and Peggy Ahwesh.
Ira Sachs' Memphis-set debut is a languid portrait of unfulfilled desire and alienation.