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Blister Monthlies: LGBTQ+ History Month Edition (Part 1)

As we've come to the end of LGBTQ+ History Month, we've been reflecting on the Queer films that hold a special place in our hearts. Together with some friends we have put together a bumper edition of the Monthlies - with so many favourites we've had to split it in two parts!


Sophie - Moonlight

(2016)


At risk of sounding like a Film Bro™, Moonlight is less a film you watch, but more a film you experience, as if you are living through the trials and tribulations of Chiron’s life right alongside him. In many ways, it is an artistic masterpiece: stunning visuals marry with an incredibly emotive storyline, but what sets this film apart is how it treats its characters, and in particular its protagonist, with a near unparalleled tenderness. The film is something of a coming-of-age story, yet skims over expansive chapters of Chiron’s life and discovery of his sexuality in favour of an intimate and enduring focus on key moments and phases - moments which you will struggle to leave behind. A crucial study of Queerness, Blackness and masculinity: one of the most essential films of the last decade.


A still from Moonlight, two Black men in the sea, Blue holds the young Chiron's head up in the water, the sea is calm and the moment is tranquil.


Ellie - Queer Eye

Netflix (2018-21)


Never have we needed the feelgood aura that surrounds the Fab Five more than we do in February 2021.


Watching daytime TV in the school holidays of the early noughties, I was always drawn to makeover shows in all their myriad forms. From interior design projects like 60 Minute Makeover, to personal style overhauls like Snog Marry Avoid, and even dirt detective programmes such as How Clean is Your House?, I lived for the unique backstories, the mind-blowing before and after montages sutured together with glittering transitions, the ‘big reveal’ moments featuring tearful family and friends.


Rolling the five makeover elements (fashion, interior design, lifestyle, food and hair) into one, often heart-wrenchingly vulnerable, 45-minute episode, Queer Eye represents a new generation of makeover shows. Leaving behind the twisted trope of ‘shaming’ its subject, it promotes compassion above all else. It faces some hard-hitting issues head on, doing so with sensitivity, understanding and grace, never failing to warm my heart, make me laugh, and bring a tear to my eye.


A still from Queer Eye, the five stylists all dance in a row with one hand up in the air and the other flicked towards them.


Neena - It’s a Sin

All 4 (2021)


This series has been applauded left, right and centre for its portrayal of the young, gay community as they faced the tragedy and the turmoil of the AIDS crisis, all whilst trying to make a life in London. It is as rousing as it is heart wrenching, and walks you along that fine line between smile and sob the whole way through.


The show follows Ritchie, Colin, Roscoe, Ash and Jill, with each character beautifully crafted: from Colin’s wide-eyed, innocent, Welshness, to Roscoe’s unapologetically sensual strength, to Ash’s quiet defiance, to Richie’s brash magnetism, to Jill’s unrelenting, concerned kindness. Each member of the Pink Palace is utterly compelling, and Davis’ lens weaves between their arcs seamlessly. Not only is it a beautiful piece of film, it is a nuanced, thought-provoking representation of the fear, denial and outrage sparked by the media’s coverage - equal parts sparse and scaremongering - of the crisis. Furthermore, the tragedy represented on screen is harrowing to be sure, but is far from the moralistic tragedy porn that often dominates representations of HIV positive people. It’s a Sin manages to be joyous not in spite of tragedy, but in honour of all those who suffered at the hands of prejudice, and the life they lent to the cause.


A still from It's a Sin, five friends is garish 80s outfits are laughing together, all embracing and smiling.


And introducing another new addition to the (ever-growing) team this month: Eleanor!


Eleanor- The Way He Looks


Oh, how I love this gem. Originally a short film which was expanded into what would become Brazil's official entry for the 2015 Oscars in the category of Best Foreign Film, The Way He Looks is the delightful story of a young blind boy, Leonardo, who falls in love with his new classmate, Gabriel. Although certainly not immune to the tropes of coming-of-age films, and almost too saccharine with its constant reprisal of Belle and Sebastian's ‘There's Too Much Love’, this film was (and still is) one of the only ones I've ever seen to address both homosexuality and disability. It's a heart-warming film in a sea of depressing LGBT narratives — I cannot recommend it enough.


A still from The Way He Looks, two young men are stood in front of a window, all we see are their silhouettes. They are laughing and smiling at each other.

Stay tuned for part two of the monthlies coming soon!