By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
ALAN CUMMING (actor, filmmaker, The Anniversary Party)
[via e-mail] My favorite moment in a gay movie is in La Cage aux Folles [1978; Edouard Molinaro, director] when the drag queen is trying to eat toast in a manly way, but failing miserably. It's a really hilarious scene, and even though it's sort of a cliché, it's still an honest and warm movie. I love the U.S. remake, too, but you can't beat the French-toast bit!
MICHAEL CUNNINGHAM (novelist, The Hours, A Home at the End of the World)
[via e-mail] Adam Sandler's Big Daddy [1999; Dennis Dugan, director], which is not likely to strike many as a gay movie of any sort. It's a guy movie, actually. But Adam Sandler's colossally straight character has a posse of dudes he hangs out with, and two of them are gay men, who are each other's lover. It's mentioned, offhandedly, that they met in law school, fell in love, and that's that. The two men are clearly in love with each other; they're neither macho nor swishy (not that we're not entitled to be as macho and/or swishy as we want to be); they're smart and cool, and they rock along in the story with everyone else. Adam Sandler is seldom mentioned on any lists of those helping out with the revolution. And yet. With that movie he told uncountable Americans, the majority of whom are young straight guys, that it's officially uncool to be anything but utterly accepting of gay people, and for that I bless him. Rock on, Adam.
VAGINAL DAVIS (performance artist)
I've got so many favorites, but the one that ä really floored me was Taxi zum Klo[1981; Frank Ripploh, director]. The thing that made the movie remarkable, it was a narrative film that also featured hardcore sex in it. It wasn't a porno film. It was a fascinating story. And the sex was relevant to the film, and it was unabashed. When I saw that movie, I was in high school. My school sent me to the film festival where the film was playing. There I was, 16 or whatever, seeing this really raunchy movie with homosexual sex. That would not happen today. But people back then were smart enough to see that this movie was not just for prurient interests.
Does porn count? Actually, one movie I identify as having to do with my little faglette identity is, believe it or not, The Poseidon Adventure[1972; Ronald Neame, director]. The whole concept of the world being turned upside down, of struggling to follow one's instincts to find the way out, hit me very hard as a little gay boy.
SANDI SIMCHA DUBOWSKI (filmmaker, Trembling Before G-d)
I measure movies by how many blocks I cry after I've left the theater, and Debra Chasnoff's documentary, It's Elementary: Talking About Gay Issues In Schools  really got me. The idea that eight- and 10-year-olds were discussing homosexuality in a serious way at school just floored me. It was too beautiful, too beautifully human.
JIM FALL (filmmaker, Trick)
In 1985, I was in college and Artie Bresson, who was a porno filmmaker, made this movie, Buddies, that was the first film to deal with AIDS. [Arthur Bresson Jr. died in 1987 of complications from AIDS.] I got to work on it as a production assistant. It's about this guy dying in the hospital and this uptight guy who volunteers as a buddy, and it's a very sad film, but it came at a time when there wasn't anything else. We were very much in mourning, and this film was cathartic. New Line Films distributed it. Actually, I just realized that Fine Line, which is part of New Line, released my movie, Trick. That's funny. I never connected that. That's very sort of amazing. Wow.
JOHN FLECK (performance artist, actor, starring in the Outfest 2002 film On_Line)
The first time I ever saw gay people was in Rebel Without a Cause [1955; Nicholas Ray, director]. Sal Mineo, the way he just melted whenever he was around James Dean. Back then I didn't know what the hell was going on, but it was kind of exciting, sexually. And Tony Curtis in Some Like It Hot [1959; Billy Wilder, director] was kind of beautiful. It wasn't very homoerotic but it was gender-bending, which for a young kid in Cleveland, Ohio . . .
RICHARD GLATZER (filmmaker, Grief, The Fluffer)
Todd Haynes' half-hour short Dottie Gets Spanked  is fantastic. He made it between Poison and Safe. It's about a little kid, six or something, who falls madly in love with a Lucille Balltype character named Dottie. His worship of her marginalizes him in front of his parents and his schoolmates. The boy's parents never spank him, they don't believe in it, but he wins a contest to be on the Dottie Show, where she happens to get spanked. The boy instantly falls in love with the idea of spanking, because it's so clean and neat and something his parents won't do. Here is the imprinting of a little kid, and you just know his sexual life will be shaped by the moment. There's a beautiful ending where he realizes that he's got to try to be normal, so he makes this little casket lined with foil and buries this especially sensational picture he'd drawn of Dottie being spanked -- one that had really disturbed his father. And it's not a shameful thing, that burial. It's like he's storing it. You feel it will re-appear someday. The seeds of artistry.