BFI Flare LGBTQ+
Here are the pioneers, the iconoclasts, the brave - from landmark LGBTQ+ portraits to the next generation of gay classics from the BFI Flare festival.
This collection offers a chance to look back, to revisit and discover - not just the icons of gay cinema but the lesser-known treasures.
Eisenstein in Guanajuato
Biopic2015106 minsDirector: Peter Greenaway
One of Britain’s most inventive filmmakers, Peter Greenaway, tackles the story of arguably the most influential filmmaker in cinema history, Sergei Eisenstein.
Biopic198693 minsDirector: Derek Jarman
Derek Jarman’s unique biopic of the 17th century Italian artist Michelangelo da Caravaggio is a powerful meditation on sexuality, criminality and art.
Love and Death on Long Island
Comedy199689 minsDirector: Richard Kwietniowski
John Hurt stars in Richard Kwietniowski’s comedy of fame and obsession about an older man (Hurt) who becomes infatuated with a young Hollywood actor (Jason Priestley), and proceeds to track him down.
Drama2011106 minsDirector: Maryam Keshavarz
A wealthy Iranian family struggles to contain a teenager's growing sexual rebellion and her brother's dangerous obsession.
The Square Circle
Drama1996108 minsDirector: Amol Palekar
Amol Palekar’s groundbreaking film follows the journey of young woman who reinvents herself as a man after she's kidnapped and attacked.
Fantasy197165 minsDirector: James Bidgood
With its highly charged hallucinogenic quality, its atmosphere of lush decadence, and its explicit erotic power, Pink Narcissus is a landmark of gay cinema.
Love is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon
Biopic199887 minsDirector: John Maybury
Derek Jacobi and Daniel Craig star as artist Francis Bacon and his muse George Dyer in John Maybury’s darkly exquisite biopic.
Sex comedy2008116 minsDirector: Anna Biller
Anna Biller's outrageous sexploitation satire follows bored housewife Barbi as she searches for adventure in predatory 1970s Los Angeles.
The Fruit Machine
Drama1988103 minsDirector: Philip Saville
Berated by his father for his camp behaviour, Eddie runs away from his Liverpool home and joins his friend Michael, a streetwise hustler who is also on the run.
Break My Fall
Drama2010103 minsDirector: Kanchi Wichmann
Four young friends find themselves at a critical juncture in their lives, in this perceptive drama about the lives of young Londoners.
Young Soul Rebels
Drama1991105 minsDirector: Isaac Julien
The Queen's Silver Jubilee beats to the sounds of Funkadelic, Sylvester and the O'Jays in Isaac Julien’s feature debut.
Fox and His Friends
Drama1975124 minsDirector: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Fassbinder's brilliantly caustic and cynical drama follows an ex-fairground worker who wins the lottery but is still mocked and exploited by his boyfriend’s family and friends.
A Special Day
Drama1977106 minsDirector: Ettore Scola
Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni deliver the finest and most nuanced performances of their careers in this understated masterpiece from director Ettore Scola.
Drama2016141 minsDirector: Edgardo Castro
A gritty journey through the sexual underbelly of Buenos Aires, with graphic depictions of the highs and lows in one man’s quest for intimacy.
I Am Divine
Documentary201390 minsDirector: Jeffrey Schwarz
A unique documentary about a unique person – follow Divine’s life from humble Baltimore beginnings to superstar status as the Queen of Cult.
Prick Up Your Ears
Biopic1987110 minsDirector: Stephen Frears
A celebration of outrageous British playwright Joe Orton’s irreverent and charismatic talent, starring Gary Oldman and Alfred Molina.
Interior. Leather Bar.
201360 minsDirector: James Franco
James Franco and Travis Mathews recreate explicit footage cut, rumoured to be lost, from one of the most notorious gay features ever made.
King of Escape
Comedy200990 minsDirector: Alain Guiraudie
A film about tractors, aphrodisiacs and forbidden love from Alain Guiraudie, the Cannes award-winning director of Stranger by the Lake.
The Lay of the Land
199814 minsDirector: Fraser Macdonald
A man with a history of gay-bashing enters a smoky bar and strikes up a conversation with a drag queen in this dark short.
Documentary2012112 minsDirector: Sébastien Lifshitz
French gay men and women in their 60s and 70s talk about their lives in Sébastien Lifshitz’s documentary.
Documentary198484 minsDirector: Greta Schiller
Documenting the testimonies from those who dared to challenge the world and helped create the modern gay community.
Drama1978113 minsDirector: Ron Peck
A schoolteacher juggles everyday life with nights spent cruising for Mr Right in this fascinating landmark in British gay cinema.
Nighthawks II: Strip Jack Naked
Documentary199191 minsDirector: Ron Peck
Ron Peck’s experimental follow up to the groundbreaking Nighthawks is both a making-of documentary and a deeply personal film memoir.
North of Vortex
Road movie199255 minsDirector: Constantine Giannaris
A gay poet, a bisexual sailor and a straight waitress embark on a trip through an American desert landscape in this languid, woozy road movie.
Delphinium, a Childhood Portrait of Derek Jarman
Biopic201013 minsDirector: Matthew Mishory
Delphinium is a stylized and lyrical coming-of-age portrait of Derek Jarman’s artistic, sexual, and political awakening in post-War England.
198726 minsDirector: Julian Cole
Ostia is a fascinating short film directed by Julian Cole and starring Derek Jarman, which reconstructs the events leading up to the murder of Pier Paolo Pasolini.
Hit So Hard
Documentary2011103 minsDirector: P. David Ebersole
Patty Schemel, one-time drummer of grunge band Hole, recounts her turbulent years on tour with the band, piecing together a compelling tale of rock and roll excess, and the personal story of one woman’s survival.
Drama199135 minsDirector: Constantine Giannaris
Years before Grindr, a gay man turns to virtual reality to satisfy his sexual fantasies in this strangely prophetic short film.
Drama201182 minsDirector: Céline Sciamma
A ten-year-old girl, settling into her new neighbourhood outside Paris, is mistaken for a boy and has to live up to this new identity since it's too late for the mistake to be clarified.
Totally F***Ed Up
Drama199376 minsDirector: Gregg Araki
Gregg Araki's typically excessive and eccentric portrait of the lives of a group of six gay and lesbian teenagers in Los Angeles.
The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant
Drama1972124 minsDirector: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Fassbinder's visual and verbal extravaganza about a successful but lonely fashion designer who falls in love with a beautiful younger woman.
Drama196532 minsDirector: Andy Milligan
Set in a New York bathhouse, this gritty but sensitive portrayal of pre-Stonewall gay life, chronicles an awkward encounter between two equally inexperienced strangers.
201193 minsDirector: Jeffrey Schwarz
A profile of LGBT activist, academic and author Vito Russo, the man who changed the face of queer film theory and brought us all out of the ‘Celluloid Closet’.
We Once Were Tide
Drama201118 minsDirector: Jason Bradbury
Anthony and Kyle spend their last night together in this quietly moving short set on a windswept Isle of Wight.
We Were Here
Documentary201190 minsDirector: David Weissman
We Were Here is the first documentary to take a deep and reflective look back at the arrival and impact of AIDS in 1980s San Francisco.
What Can I Do with a Male Nude?
198524 minsDirector: Ron Peck
Ron Peck tests the thin line between pornography and art with his amusing rumination on the difficulties of showing the naked male form.
Drama196516 minsDirector: Lloyd Reckord
A young gay couple’s relationship is put to the test as a road trip takes a sinister turn in Lloyd Reckord's daring underground short.
Drama197646 minsDirector: Terence Davies
The first part of Terence Davies' formidable Trilogy explores the effects of violence on a Liverpool schoolboy, told in a series of flashbacks.
Death and Transfiguration
Drama198326 minsDirector: Terence Davies
The Terence Davies Trilogy reaches its astonishing climax as tortured Liverpool clerk Robert Tucker prepares to meet his maker.
Madonna and Child
Drama198028 minsDirector: Terence Davies
Autobiography as art: the centrepiece of Terence Davies' devastating Liverpool-set Trilogy focuses on his fictional alter-ego in middle age.