Taxi Zum Klo (Taxi to the Toilet) (1981)
Director Frank Ripploh stars in this revolutionary exploration of a Berlin grade-school teacher who's addicted — quite happily — to sex with men in public restrooms, bathhouses and all stops in between. "When I'm old," he wonders, "will I be this restless?" Screening at Outfest on July 21.
Desert Hearts (1985)
While awaiting her divorce papers on a Reno ranch in 1959, an uptight professor (Helen Shaver) finds herself falling for the proudly gay daughter (Patricia Charbonneau) of the ranch owner (Audra Lindley, bless her). This lively, pitch-perfect love story from director Donna Deitch is overdue for rerelease and rediscovery.
Tongues Untied: Black Men Loving Black Men (1989)
There is no single category to describe the astonishing mix of documentary, fictional re-creation, confessional testimonial and poetic recitation that infuses filmmaker Marlon Riggs' testament to the complexities black gay men face within themselves, as well as in a larger white world — gay and straight — that doesn't truly see or hear them. A work of fury and grace.
Show Me Love (1998)
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Agnes (Rebecca Liljeberg) and Elin (Alexandra Dahlstrom) are 16-year-old girls in love, but mostly they're bored — so, so bored — in "fucking Åmål" (the film's original title), the tiny Swedish town where their romance ignites a very dull birthday party. Director Lukas Moodysson's approach to teen life is so nonchalant, and so dead-on, that John Hughes must have been envious.
The Mudge Boy (2003)
Four years before starring in Into the Wild, Emile Hirsch gave the most wrenching performance of his career thus far, in this poorly titled but emotionally devastating drama by writer-director Michael Burke. Hirsch plays a peculiar, ostracized farm boy whose crush on a hypermasculine neighbor boy (Tom Guiry, equally great) gets terribly complicated. An undiscovered classic.