Subscription

Gay Cinema - Out of the Archive

Here are the pioneers, the iconoclasts, the brave - from landmark portraits of LGBT life preserved by the BFI National Archive to gay classics that blazed their own trail around the world.
Representation of LGBT characters in film and TV is a contentious subject, interwoven with the fight for equality which gathered pace through the latter half of the 20th century. If lesbians and gay men had cause for concern about how their lives were depicted on screen, bisexual and transgender representation was almost non existent. There have been glimmers of hope: the landmark features of the 60s, the ‘New Queer Cinema’ of the early 90s; the pioneering TV plays of the 70s, and the tabloid-bating serials which saw in the new Millennium. This collection offers a chance to look back, to revisit and discover - not just the icons of gay cinema but the lesser-known treasures. Many of these shorts and features were made with the backing of the BFI Production Board, which championed gay filmmakers throughout the 80s and 90s.
Read more Close
Rent for £1.00

Dream A40Dream 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.

Subscribe to watch

NighthawksNighthawks

Drama1978113 minsDirector: Ron Peck

A schoolteacher juggles everyday life with nights spent cruising for Mr Right in this fascinating landmark in British gay cinema.

Subscribe to watch

RelaxRelax

Drama199122 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.

Subscribe to watch

RosebudRosebud

Drama199114 minsDirector: Cheryl Farthing

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

Currently unavailable

Caught LookingCaught 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.

Subscribe to watch

Young Soul RebelsYoung 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.

Subscribe to watch

Pink NarcissusPink Narcissus

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.

Rent for £2.50

Before StonewallBefore Stonewall

Documentary198484 minsDirector: Greta Schiller

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

Rent for £1.00

Coronation Street - Hayley comes out as transgenderCoronation Street - Hayley comes out as transgender

Soap opera199824 minsDirector: Michael Kerrigan

In this groundbreaking TV moment from the archives, Hayley tells Roy that she’s transgender.

Rent for £3.50

DufferDuffer

Drama197175 mins

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.

Rent for £1.00

A Friend of DorothyA 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.

Rent for £2.50

The Fruit MachineThe 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.

Subscribe to watch

The Lay of the LandThe Lay of the Land

Drama199814 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.

Subscribe to watch

Nighthawks 2: Strip Jack NakedNighthawks 2: 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.

Rent for £2.50

North of VortexNorth 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.

Rent for £1.00

OstiaOstia

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.

Rent for £3.50

Prick Up Your EarsPrick 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.

Subscribe to watch

ChildrenChildren

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.

Subscribe to watch

Madonna and ChildMadonna 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.

Subscribe to watch

Death and TransfigurationDeath 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.

Rent for £1.00

VaporsVapors

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.

Rent for £3.50

VictimVictim

Drama1961100 minsDirector: Basil Dearden

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

Subscribe to watch

What Can I Do with a Male Nude?What Can I Do with a Male Nude?

Comedy198524 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.