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Iron Galaxy's Pride Film Recommendations

06/23/2021   •   Written By Margaret Dax

I'm Margaret Dax, a programmer here at Iron Galaxy. I thought it'd be nice to give some movie recommendations from LGBTQ+ folks here at the studio. For me, growing up queer was often a pretty isolating experience. I didn't have access to queer spaces (or the knowledge that they existed) when I was younger. Even after becoming an adult, I struggled to find a community where I felt I belonged as my full self.

When I was in this space of struggling to find my community, film was incredibly important in discovering new aspects of myself. The first time I watched House of Games (1987), Lindsay Crouse's portrayal of Margaret Ford, who I eventually named myself after, helped me imagine a future where I could live my life as someone other than a man; an identity and presentation I never felt any attachment to. When I was suppressing this aspect of myself at a young age, I loved watching films like The Parent Trap (1998) and The Princess Diaries (2001) over and over, for some feeling of the socialization as a girl I was missing.

Even now that I have found myself and my community, film continues to help me dig deeper, see into experiences outside of my own, and appreciate the history of those who came before me. Amy's queer cinema crash course gave me a huge jumping off point to even more film that I was unaware of, that I may not have given a chance otherwise. Their list also inspired me to start my own list of films called Harold, They're Lesbians (named after this Tumblr post) to help friends find solid films centering lesbians and women loving women. For pride this year I wanted to hear from other folks at Iron Galaxy and see what films they recommend to others looking to dig deeper into queer film outside of the mainstream.

I look forward to watching the films recommended by my colleagues, and I hope you find something that speaks to you in here as well!

The list below is a collection of some of the favorite queer movies by multiple collaborators from the Iron Galaxy LGBTQ+ Affinity group. You can also find this list on Letterboxd.

TitlePoster Description
Penda's Fen
(1974)

Penda's Fen explores the coming of age of a vicar's son, Stephen, through his own queerness, his religious upbringing, and England's ancient pagan past, including an encounter with King Penda himself. The movie is a conflict between England's present and the power of its ancient past as well as the conflict between Stephen's queerness and the tradition of his upbringing.
- Alex

The Rocky Horror Picture Show
(1975)
A classic that never goes out of style. A tale of science fiction and a celebration of being whatever you like. Come up to the lab and shiver with antici-
- Austin
Go Fish
(1994)

I love how much lesbian discourse is packed into this film. How much playfulness, so many hot gays, are all set in Chicago. I love lesbians and I love lesbian film, if you do too, you owe it to yourself to watch this delightfully earnest lesbian romcom!
- Margaret

The Watermelon Woman
(1996)
Cheryl Dunye stars in her own film about her search for more information about a black actress from the 1930s and finds more than she was intending. An incredible film that touches on the intersection of race, sexuality, and the history of both, and the first feature film directed by an out black lesbian.
- Margaret
D.E.B.S.
(2004)

Angela Robinson's feature film debut D.E.B.S. is one of my favourite lesbian films. It's an over the top, self aware, and hilarious romcom that I can't recommend highly enough.
- Margaret

The Gay Bed and Breakfast of Terror
(2007)
A trashy, slashy, John Waters-lite romp.
- Austin
Ratatouille
(2007)
A surprisingly queer Pixar story about a sensitive protagonist who realizes he wants much more the the standard way of life in his small community. The main character moves to the city, finds his people, and proves that outsiders can not only compete, but win the game.
- Austin
Were the World Mine
(2008)
A bullied and demoralized gay student at an all-boys school uses a magical flower derived from Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream' to turn many in his community gay, including a comely rugby player for himself. This one is a wild ride and one of my comfort films to this day. It's Midsummer but gayer, if that's really even possible.

- Claire

Private Romeo
(2011)
A modern take on Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet'. Set at an isolated all-boys military academy, it follows the forbidden relationship between two cadets. A fantastic retelling of R&J, seriously worth the watch, I promise.

- Claire

As Boas Maneiras (aka Good Manners)
(2017)
Lesbian romance turned werewolf motherhood for a movie that tackles both racism and classicism as much as it does the queerness of the movie's main romance.

- Alex

Thelma
(2017)
Absolutely love this, gave me some serious Unbreakable vibes at points of just like a person figuring out there’s something more going on than they have noticed before. We absolutely need more representation of queer stories in superpower films!
- Margaret
BPM (Beats per Minute)
(2017)
BPM gives a glimpse into the events of AIDS activism in Paris at the height of the HIV epidemic told through a small subgroup of activists. BPM blends beauty and heartbreak, life and death, anger and joy, silence and club music to form one of the best films to capture the terror of the HIV epidemic and the indifference of those in power to those who were most vulnerable.
- Margaret
What Keeps You Alive
(2018)
An excellent chiller where a woman discovers her wife's terrible secret on their anniversary.

- Alex

Un couteau dans le cœur (aka Knife+Heart)
(2018)
A deeply queer horror film with flawed characters, love, and heartbreak, an essential film for anyone with interest in queer media!
- Margaret
The New Mutants
(2020)
New Mutants is a tight cast of superpowered teens in horror, including a notable lesbian romance that cannot be missed. I WILL STILL NOT REST UNTIL THE WORLD REALIZES HOW GOOD NEW MUTANTS IS

- Alex

The Half of It
(2020)
A story about friendship, coming of age, falling in love, and longing. Alice Wu is an amazing director who deserves all of the film deals she wants.
- Margaret