queer culture films available on netflix
I couldn’t find my previous post about the documentary “The Aggressives” but I wanted to let everybody know that I signed up for Netflix the other day (in leu of getting cable television) and I saw that they have many very important films on queer history and culture. The films may be rather difficult to obtain, or view and this is a chance to watch them without money or scarcity standing in the way.
The Aggressives: Director Daniel Peddle spent five years recording the lives of six “aggressives” — lesbians who strive to be as masculine as possible in lifestyle and appearance. The result is a portrait both enlightening and endearing as we watch each woman come up with her own inventive ways of expressing her identity. From prison to the underground ball scene, where lesbians compete for lead “AG” status, this film reveals a largely hidden subculture.
The Celluloid Closet: Narrated by Lily Tomlin, this acclaimed documentary takes its name from Vito Russo’s groundbreaking book. The filmmakers examine the subtext of more than 100 Hollywood movies — including Spartacus, Rope and Thelma and Louise — and chart the cinematic journey of lesbian and gay characters. Film clips are paired with director, producer and actor interviews featuring, among others, Gore Vidal, Tom Hanks and Whoopi Goldberg.
Before Stonewall: Life was very different before the 1969 Stonewall riots put the issue of gay rights front and center in America. Using archival films and interviews with gays and lesbians who were forced to hide their sexuality for fear of reprisals, this documentary by Robert Rosenberg, Greta Schiller and John Scagliotti sheds light on American gay life from the 1920s to the 1960s and the sociopolitical climate that finally led to profound change.
After Stonewall: Melissa Etheridge narrates this documentary that explores the progress and challenges of the post-Stonewall lesbian/gay rights movement through archival footage and interviews with leaders such as Barbara Gittings, Armistead Maupin, Jewelle Gomez and Dorothy Allison. The film chronicles key events from 1970 to the end of the 20th century, including sexual liberation, conflicts with the feminist movement, AIDS and political organization.
If you have a credit card, you can get a two week free trial wherein you can watch all of these videos online without having to deal with sending dvd’s back in the mail.