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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.

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Enjoy over 400 subscription-only classic and cult films from across the decades.  Free for 14 days, then £4.99 a month - cancel any time

Eisenstein in Guanajuato
Eisenstein in Guanajuato
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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.

Before Stonewall
Before Stonewall
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Before Stonewall

Documentary198484 minsDirector: Greta Schiller

Documenting the testimonies from those who dared to challenge the world and helped create the modern gay community.

Love and Death on Long Island
Love and Death on Long Island
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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.

Circumstance
Circumstance
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Circumstance

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
The Square Circle
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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.

Pink Narcissus
Pink Narcissus
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Pink Narcissus

197165 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.

Children
Children
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Children

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
Death and Transfiguration
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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
Madonna and Child
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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.

Break My Fall
Break My Fall
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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
Young Soul Rebels
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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.

Diana
Diana
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Diana

Drama200811 minsDirector: Aleem Khan

A young Indian transgender woman takes a life-changing step in this moving short, set in London the day after Princess Diana’s death.

Fox and His Friends
Fox and His Friends
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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 Friend of Dorothy
A Friend of Dorothy
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A Friend of Dorothy

Drama199532 minsDirector: Raoul O'Connell

A gay man studying in New York develops a crush on his male roommate in this cute and breezy short.

The Fruit Machine
The Fruit Machine
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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.

I Am Divine
I Am Divine
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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
Prick up your ears
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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.
Interior. Leather Bar.
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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
King of Escape
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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
The Lay of the Land
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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.

Les Invisibles
Les Invisibles
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Les Invisibles

Documentary2012112 minsDirector: Sébastien Lifshitz

French gay men and women in their 60s and 70s talk about their lives in Sébastien Lifshitz’s documentary.

B.D. Women
B.D. Women
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B.D. Women

199420 minsDirector: Campbell X

Sassy, stylised documentary exploring the hidden histories of black lesbians.

Nighthawks
Nighthawks
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Nighthawks

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
Nighthawks II: Strip Jack Naked
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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
North of Vortex
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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
Delphinium, a Childhood Portrait of Derek Jarman
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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.

Ostia
Ostia
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Ostia

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
Hit So Hard
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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.

Caught Looking
Caught Looking
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Caught Looking

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.

Relax
Relax
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Relax

199122 minsDirector: Christopher Newby

A gay man awaits the results of an HIV test, drifting into moments of fantasy as he copes with his fears and memories.

Rosebud
Rosebud
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Rosebud

Drama199114 minsDirector: Cheryl Farthing

A lesbian couple arouse the interest of their new neighbour in this erotic tale of voyeurism, power dressing and fantasy.

Tomboy
Tomboy
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Tomboy

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
Totally F***Ed Up
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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
The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant
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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.

Vapors
Vapors
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Vapors

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.

Vito
Vito
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Vito

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
We Once Were Tide
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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
We Were Here
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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?
What Can I Do with a Male Nude?
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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.

Victim
Victim
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Victim

Drama1961100 minsDirector: Basil Dearden

This thought-provoking classic stars Dirk Bogarde as a homosexual lawyer who risks his career to hunt down a blackmailer.

Dream A40
Dream A40
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Dream A40

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.

Duffer
Duffer
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Duffer

Drama197175 minsDirector: Joseph Despins

A bizarre study of obsession focusing on a teenage boy who is torn between the charms of a fleshly female prostitute and the sadism of an older man.

Akron from BFI Flare

More BFI Flare films in our Rentals collection.