Search Museum of the Moving Image

Queer Cinema, Top to Bottom

May 19 — Jul 1, 2023

For much of cinema’s history, queerness was woven secretly into its fabric. As the decades wore on, and as queer artists wrestled with often inhospitable cultures and government or industry restrictions loosened, they began to assert their perspectives and sensibilities, playing with aesthetics to articulate a sense of queerness, decisively and cinematically. To mark the release of The Queer Film Guide: 100 Films That Tell LGBTQIA+ Stories, out May 16 from Smith Street Books and Rizzoli, author and critic Kyle Turner has guest programmed a selection of films that epitomize the complex, contradictory, and compelling ways queerness finds itself as code, language, or point of view, and underline how cinema can look back at itself, disassembling notions of desire, selfhood, and identity. These ten films are separated into three categories for your viewing pleasure: vers (Mulholland Drive, The Watermelon Woman), bottom (Morocco, Rope, The Fly, Jennifer’s Body), and top (Nitrate Kisses, Querelle, O Fantasma, The Duke of Burgundy). 

Organized by guest curator Kyle Turner.