25 Years of queer movie magic

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To fit in the top 25 gay-themed films during this magazine’s illustrious 25-year past, is like trying to fit Russell Tovey’s ears onto the back of a postage stamp.

By LEON VAN NIEROP

During 1994 filmmakers were still searching for the key to free LGBTQ-films from the closet between police raids and homophobic bullying. Philadelphia had just given mainstream Hollywood a wake-up call at the Oscars in 1994, when The Adventures of Pricilla, Queen of the Desert by Stephan Elliot flamboyantly dumped three gay queens onto a bus through Australia and busted the balls of a homophobic, Kangaroo-loving community.

1994 also saw Cuba’s first gay film, which I ironically saw in a cinema in Havana called Strawberry and Chocolate, made by Tomás Huriérez and Vladimir Crus, after which the Cuban audience gave a rousing applause. The Communist closet door was creaking wide open with some chocolate sauce pouring out.

1995 was a quiet year with only a documentary Celluloid Closet delving into the archives, while Gregg Araki’s explosive The Doom Generation rustled some feathers. But during 1996 came a classic ground-breaking film, supported by South African money nogal! Hettie MacDonald’s striking and understated Beautiful Thing where two British schoolboys gave in to their nocturnal desires.

1997’s Bent by Sean Matthias, starring South African Brian Webber…

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