Some kind of self made TLA releases hell
June 10, 2016 1:54 PM   Subscribe

ctrl-F "Hazard pay"

No results found. Somebody was robbed.

(okay now reading rest of article)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:02 PM on June 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

Movies on this list I have seen:

I've Heard The Mermaids Singing -- I actually saw this in the theater when it was released.

Rent -- I swear I bought the DVD for this, but I can't find it in my collection. Perhaps I gave it to someone.

And seriously... that is it???

There are so many movies that have been released across the nearly 30 years I have been an out gay man that aren't even a part of this. But then, Netflix streaming is actually not that great for movies that are available (for reasons that I have yet to understand).
posted by hippybear at 2:27 PM on June 10, 2016

I've seen Big Eden, back in the days when you got an hour of streaming per dollar per month your subscription cost. Back then the selection was…sparse. The LGBT movies were probably some of the best, I assume because the rights didn't cost anything.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 2:31 PM on June 10, 2016

There's a bit of a cottage industry in turning out these low budget, direct to DVD/Streaming movies (thus the TLA releases joke) for a nLGBT audience (well actually just G, and then usually white masculine G) so movies with heavily queer themes or even outright mainstream romances (Your Todd Haynes movies for example) aren't going to be shunted to the "Netflix LGBT romance" section, which is shorthand for this kind of marketed only in gay magazines, zero budget paperback romance content.

It is considerably notable when these movies are actually coherent and competently made with actual actors. Say what you will about Hollywood they at least put out movies where it seems like the people involved have a passing familiarity with how cameras and mics work (even something he ranks high, Mambo Italino, gives the impression the director had not only never touched a camera before, but had never seen a movie before.)!
posted by The Whelk at 2:41 PM on June 10, 2016 [5 favorites]

Mr. The Whelk, I'm gonna give you a plus 1 for the title of this because I have had a long work relation with TLA Releasing, which is a bit weird for a straight man to say, and I could tell you stories... But can't because... well no.

As for you slagging Quebec produced Mambo Italiano we might have to fight at dawn. Its got Ginette Reno in it! Ginette Reno is a very famous Quebec singer for my mother's generation (she even had her own stamp). It's got beloved gay positive comedian Mary Walsh in there. The director shot to fame for writing the script for the film that EdTV is based on. His De père en flic (Father and Guns) was a hit... in Quebec.

On second thought... yeah its pretty bad movie and I blame the Quebec star system for its creation.
posted by Ashwagandha at 3:05 PM on June 10, 2016 [5 favorites]

Hey, I thought Beginners was great!

I don't know what the fuck the rest of that stuff is. My main takeaway is: It's weird and disorienting to know that there are more than 10 gay movies in existence. I am old.
posted by latkes at 3:14 PM on June 10, 2016 [4 favorites]

I binge-watch stuff on my computer every Saturday morning (while mainlining sugary cereal straight out of the box, like an adult) and I've tried to watch some of the films on this list, but usually, they're so badly-done that I can only get through about the first 10 minutes. I'll check out a few of the ones they like the best, though. It may be worth sitting through for a little longer.
posted by xingcat at 3:31 PM on June 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

Haven't seen a lot of those but I can vouch for 7. Weekend (2011), and 5. The Duke of Burgundy (2014).
posted by bigendian at 4:03 PM on June 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I put soooo many QLTBG movies at TV shows on disc over the last fifteen years that are not available on Netflix. Some corny, some awful, some actually good, most of them tending to the inoffensive side for late-90s values of inoffensive. We're talking Billy's Hollywood Screen Kiss, Will & Grace, Kissing Jessica Stein, Lost & Delirious, All Over the Guy, Because I'm a Cheerleader, and Better than Chocolate.

Some of these films were banned in otherwise cosmopolitan jurisdictions. Some didn't have advertising in major newspapers (remember those?) because of the word "lesbian." Netflix isn't living up to its promise when I can't follow up a mediocre boarding school same-sex romance with Derek Jarman's Sebastiane.
posted by infinitewindow at 4:03 PM on June 10, 2016 [2 favorites]

Whoa, Eisenstein in Guanajuato is streaming on Netflix right now? That's Peter Greenaway's latest! (And I'm still kicking myself for missing its run at my local arthouse theater, so this is very welcome news).
posted by treepour at 4:09 PM on June 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

Eisenstein in Guanajuato

Its all kinds of bonkers. (I mean that in a good way!)
posted by Ashwagandha at 4:17 PM on June 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

I once read an astonishing review of The Duke of Burgundy that made me desperately want to see it, but then of course I didn't and forgot about it, so I'm delighted to find it again. Streaming, no less!
posted by Jeanne at 4:29 PM on June 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

Duke of Burgundy is well worth a watch on several levels. It treats its characters with dignity and respect, and leaves room for emotional ambiguity which, as I get older, I value more and more in films. Also, it is absolutely drunk with references to less well-known corners of cinema history, particularly the films of Jess Franco. The editing is finely tuned and sublime. You can get a year's worth of geeking out about moths and butterflies out of watching it. It is a gorgeous love letter to autumn. There is also ear-splitting experimental noise throughout the soundtrack. I'm a big fan.
posted by oog at 5:19 PM on June 10, 2016 [2 favorites]

Beginners is at 54? What? I am so disappointed because I wanted to believe in this list-maker's taste (because I want to know what the good gay/lesbian romances are), and yet with Beginners ranked 54 out of 58, I can't really trust much about this. So ... can anyone tell me -- is that Canadian lesbian nursing home movie actually good?
posted by reren at 5:43 PM on June 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

There is also ear-splitting experimental noise throughout the soundtrack. I'm a big fan.

Would highly recommend Berberian Sound Studio if you are a fan of this.
posted by Artw at 5:51 PM on June 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

Would highly recommend Berberian Sound Studio if you are a fan of this.

a natural recommendation, given they are by the same director. not really any LGBT content or themes in that one, for the record.
posted by oog at 5:57 PM on June 10, 2016

Tangential to thread subject, yup.
posted by Artw at 6:07 PM on June 10, 2016

*gets ready to jump into chasm* Beginners is a sub Noah Baumbuch knock-off from someone who should know better and a pile of shopworn gimmicks and *falls backward into abyss* The weekend is booooooooooooooooooring
posted by The Whelk at 6:09 PM on June 10, 2016 [2 favorites]

ACTUALLY Weekend is enchanting but Beginners is even worse than you say.
posted by two or three cars parked under the stars at 6:13 PM on June 10, 2016

(Of course the only guy Christopher Plummer can meet is a middle aged man who acts like a middle schooler! That's not creepy or insulting AT ALL)
posted by The Whelk at 6:18 PM on June 10, 2016

So ... can anyone tell me -- is that Canadian lesbian nursing home movie actually good?



Yes. Yes it is worth watching. I will stream it for anyone who wants and doesn't have Netflix, my god.
posted by sciatrix at 7:44 PM on June 10, 2016 [5 favorites]

its also directed by Thom Fitzgerald, who wrote one of the smartest, heart breaking depictions of queer ascolesent sadness in the Hanging Garden,and a very funny, very sexy history of 1950s LA beefcake.
posted by PinkMoose at 10:17 PM on June 10, 2016 [2 favorites]

I have seen a surprising number of these since discovering gay romance as a genre on Netflix some time last year. I look forward to digging into the list a bit more. I haven't seen most of the lesbian-centric ones, despite my own lesbian past, because I find movie and TV lesbians so intolerable.

I am going to self-indulgently share a blog post I wrote after my first all-nighter watching gay romance on Netflix. I flatter myself it's quite funny. I went into it with no idea that there was so much of this sort of thing on Netflix, and having heard of exactly none of the movies.

I've already spotted some of these in the ranking. Now to dive back in and find the rest, as well as the many others I've watched since then.
posted by not that girl at 10:27 PM on June 10, 2016

Wow, I really have seen at least 75% of what's on this list. There are a few things missing that must have cycled off Netflix since I saw them, including From Beginning to End, a very strange movie about two brothers who fall in love that includes an incredibly hot sex scene.

it also doesn't include Rag Tag, a mess of a movie about two London boys who are separated at age 12 but reconnect 10 years later and fall in love. Rag Tag is unique and interesting in that one of the young men comes from a Nigerian family and the other from a Jamaican one, and it stars so many people of color that it can dip into the tensions between different communities of dark-skinned people in London. Unfortunately, it also wants to cover the temptation to solve problems by committing crimes; the complexities of being a Londoner with strong family ties to Nigeria (the movie actually leaves London to spend some time in Nigeria); the secret child; family tensions over coming out; and more. It wanted to be every single movie at once. It's a terrible mess but not one I'm sorry to have watched, since I nearly always find it worthwhile to read or watch literature created from within minority or marginalized communities.

Do I Sound Gay? is also on Netflix now. I haven't watched it because I live in terror of being offended by internalized homophobia.

I found this list helpful. I am always looking for movies with lesbians in them who seem like real lesbians to me, and so I was glad to learn about Heterosexual Jill: "While most of these movies star shiny, forgettable femmes, this movie’s greatest asset is its star, Michelle Ehlen, an authentically butch lesbian."

And I was glad to have someone tell me whether Boy Meets Girl was going to make my head explode with bad handling of a trans story line. The list says it will not, so perhaps one of these nights when I have nothing else to do, I'll watch it. Heaven knows that Netflix suggests it to me often enough. Between me and my eight-year-old, Netflix thinks I watch nothing but gay romance and SpongeBob. Which is kind of redundant, now that I think of it..
posted by not that girl at 10:50 PM on June 10, 2016 [4 favorites]

My main takeaway is: It's weird and disorienting to know that there are more than 10 gay movies in existence. I am old.

I'd been out of touch with this kind of thing for awhile, and I was astonished by this as well.

Just wait until you find out what's been happening in Young Adult Fiction.
posted by not that girl at 10:54 PM on June 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

This is an absolutely right-on description of this movie:
6. Big Eden (2000)

Henry Hart returns to Big Eden and winds up confronting his unrequited passion for his high school best friend and his feelings about being gay.

This movie, more than any other on this list, nails the feel of an old-school, turn-of-the-millennium romcom. At first glance, you’d think this movie about a successful New York artist returning to his small town would see him battling homophobia, but Big Eden depicts a kind of post-everything utopia that could only exist in the ‘90s. Nearly everyone in this rural town is not only accepting of the gay triangle brewing in their midst, but actively invested in it. As in any classic romcom, the outcome of this love triangle is clear from the start, but each relationship is as exquisitely detailed as it would be in a Nora Ephron film.
But it fails to mention that some of the pleasures of Big Eden are Ayre Gross as the protagonist; Louise Fletcher as a prime mover in the small town; and ubiquitous and wonderful character actor George Coe as Gross's dad. They, and some other strong performances, manage to elevate the movie a bit over its predictable plot, and it really does have the tone of a PG-rated romance from 25 years ago. Which is to say, it's pleasant and has some things going for it and is not a waste of your time if you like that kind of thing.
posted by not that girl at 10:59 PM on June 10, 2016 [2 favorites]

I am suddenly enthusiastic to track some of these down (I am one of the unwashed masses that do not have Netflix). I've spent way to much of my life being cynical about the quality of lgbtq cinema.

I for one quite liked "Weekend", I thought it was sweet. Anyone else remember "Shelter"? It has sexy surfers in it, I remember watching it with my boyfriend and liking it.
posted by selenized at 11:13 PM on June 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

I wish the writer wasn't as determined to razz every single movie and talk about why it sucked so hard. Eisenstein in Guanajuato is derided as masturbatory and too weird, and then I looked it up, and it's a fricken Peter Greenaway movie. Like, of course it's weird, homie. I haven't seen that particular film but he's an auteur, not some film student wanking off and congratulating himself on it.
posted by Juliet Banana at 11:59 PM on June 10, 2016 [5 favorites]

It's a Greenaway movie I had never heard of before. I will have to seek it out.
posted by hippybear at 12:12 AM on June 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

I relish the clear disconnect that exists between Metafilter and the rest of my social media existence, because a shocking number of TLA directors, producers, and actors are friends or acquaintances of mine, yet so many TLA films are the kinds of late-night insomniac miserable hatewatching desperation choices that I assume heterosexuals make when they're so lonesome and alienated that they'll watch Hallmark Channel movies, and I always want to bitch as loudly as I possibly can, but earnest friends have put a lot of hard work into making films that almost always cause me to suddenly exclaim to the dog, "Oh my fucking god I hate gay people so much." No one from my human life has ever bothered to cross the Facebook-to-Mefi boundary in this direction, so let me throw open my arms like an old lady and church for a moment and rejoice.

Way, way too much of TLA and its wannabes are the kind of films made by amateurs and film students who were somehow so traumatized by the eighties and nineties, if they're old enough, that they completely missed out on the cultural realization that coming out stories aren't special. Like talking about how unpopular you were in high school or proudly trotting out the exhausted "recovering Catholic" trope as if to stand-in for literary proof that you're a genuine original with a zany family (show, don't tell), coming out stories are just…obvious and therefore very, very hard to make into anything, and holy crap, have we not heard these over and over and over? It's no wonder the mainstream world still foists stupidity like the Real O'Neals on us, with that "Ho ho ho, the gay kid instinctively knows all about shoes and fashion, what a liberty!"—and attempts to go off the beaten path end up as air-pinchy and artificial as Bear City, which is a grinding, one-note ABC Afterschool Special that's meant to teach us about this thing called "bears" without the delight of, say, Helen Hunt jumping out of a window whilst strung out on crank (see also: "Bears" by Tom Goss or Where The Bears Are for great examples of the kids in the AV club with no budgets luring in the A-listers for softcore porn with the promise of exposure).

The nice thing, at least for me, is how neatly TLA Releasing sticks a glittery vintage hat pin into the precious and long-held gay supremacist cliché sustained by both queer folk and our allies that we're somehow especially talented or tasteful out of some biological imprimatur. We're just people after all, it seems—what a disappointment!

I suppose there's some utility in these things as empowerment for isolated Alabama queer kids in their larval stage, but the afterschool-special-grade gay films of my youth (the stiff and stilted Making Love, for instance) were just wretched, and we knew it even then, when we were trying so hard to like them because they were all we had (at least the grim Boys In The Band had the Harold introduction). When something like My Beautiful Laundrette came along, though, in which the protagonists' orientation was ambient and incidental and not A BIG AND VERY IMPORTANT THING TO BE EXPLAINED TO THIS IGNORANT WORLD AROUND US™, positing an existence in which you could just be a person, just like pretty much every other person, distinctive because of who you are and not who you fuck, and free from the responsibility of having to make earnest, empowering speeches about that special thing about you as the music swells and every eye brims with tears—

But, of course, I still have the habit, ingrained in me by the desperation for representation from my Reagan-years youth, so I tend to watch every one of these stupid things, turning to the dog to say "Oh my god I hate gay people so much" before I stick my finger in her ear because it makes her make the funny little joy groan that always makes me laugh, and I hate myself a little more in the same way I did when I used to masturbate to the men's undergarments pages of the Montgomery Wards catalogue because my mom had located and disposed of my collection of purloined Playgirls, though at least I have the satisfaction of making little mental notes about things like how Arye Gross has resting I-just-farted-and-I-hope-no-one-notices face or how hilarisad it was that Richard Hatch ever rated a cameo anywhere.


For the record, Cuatro Lunas has the most realistic first-gay-fuck scene I've ever seen, though only two of the four narratives are worth watching.
posted by sonascope at 5:39 AM on June 11, 2016 [8 favorites]

Ah, I've been wanting to see 'Cloudburst' since I went through a time of madness and read every single 'Random Roles' on the AV Club and came across a clip in Olympia Dukakis' interview. I forgot the name of it!
posted by h00py at 6:08 AM on June 11, 2016

Cloudburst: 9 kinds of awesome.

Surprised The Girl King is not on the list.
posted by sic friat crustulum at 7:52 AM on June 11, 2016

I clicked hesitantly, thinking "The Way He Looks had better be near the top or I'm going to justifiably angry" but, indeed, I had nothing to fear.

Also, Another Gay Movie is funnier and better than expected. It's a guilty pleasure.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 8:52 AM on June 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

Lesson learned today: Apparently, a scene where guys break up and one has to say goodbye to the cat can overcome A LOT of flaws re: making me emotionally invested in story.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:14 AM on June 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

I'd heard great reviews of Cloudburst, and looked forward to it--I pounced as soon as it dropped on Netflix.

And I enjoyed it SO much...until late in the movie when Spoilery Thing happens. Sigh. I was hoping it would end up a rewatchable favorite for me, but sadly no. And not that I never enjoy/rewatch movies with Spoilery Thing, as I've recently demonstrated over on Ask. It's, I was so wishing for something else.

It's still really good, though.
posted by theatro at 9:22 AM on June 11, 2016

Beginners is at 54? What?

That was my initial reaction to the placement as well, but after reading what the article says about it, he has a point. He's not saying it's a bad movie, he's saying it's incorrectly categorized as "LGBT Romance" when in fact the main character is straight. Yes, Plummer's character has a gay coming out and relationship, but the focus is more on McGregor's character. " sits where it does on this list because you came to this little corner of Netflix to see a gay romance—not to see Ewan McGregor fall in love with Melanie Laurent."
posted by dnash at 4:16 PM on June 11, 2016

So I made this club LGBT Romance According to Netflix because if I'm going to be inspired to watch some of these movies, I'm going to need to talk about them probably.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 4:24 PM on June 11, 2016 [4 favorites]

/not entirely convinced Greenaway's oeuvre isn't "wanking off and congratulating himself on it."
posted by Artw at 4:27 PM on June 11, 2016

I mean, generally with good results, but still.
posted by Artw at 4:42 PM on June 11, 2016

Some of Greenaway's films work better than others but yes, "wanking off and congratulating himself on it" is kind of what he does.
posted by Ashwagandha at 4:47 PM on June 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

Just finished Eisenstein In Guanajuato in response to this post and, while it's about as naturalistic as pornographic Coloforms stuck to a new shower curtain and sprayed with with a sheen of sunless tanner and Hai Karate, it's definitely watchable and distinct in what it's trying to do.

Now I want someone to come over so we can talk about Mexico and death, take a shower, and dish on Upton Sinclair's wife.
posted by sonascope at 6:50 PM on June 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

For the record, Cuatro Lunas has the most realistic first-gay-fuck scene I've ever seen, though only two of the four narratives are worth watching.

Thanks for this tip! This is another that's been on my watch list for a long time that I haven't been sure would be worth the effort.
posted by not that girl at 7:28 PM on June 11, 2016

I'm wrong—he did include Ragtag, which I had thought was two words. It's at number 52.
posted by not that girl at 10:24 PM on June 11, 2016

I mean, almost everyone in this movie is sad, to be sure, but they’re not sad *because* they’re gay, which is some real progress in this genre.

Ha. This is a great, useful list, Whelk, thanks. I wish the meat:snark ratio was higher in some of the reviews but cannot deny the accomplishment of watching the list in full, and there are some hilarious lines in there. I'll vouch for the neat, odd slow-burn of Pit Stop, referenced in the quote above - that thing where the two leads in your romance don't meet until near the end really works - and the oddly sweet and coherent Bruce LaBruce film Gerontophilia, which peters out at the end but is still a fun and transgressive watch. Definitely looking forward to seeing more from the bottom of the list.
posted by mediareport at 8:07 AM on June 12, 2016 [2 favorites]

No Lilies? Shame on you, Netflix.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:15 AM on June 12, 2016

I fucked up the link above but here it is, and here's links to the first two movies.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:08 PM on June 12, 2016

Two great things about Boys, #3 on the list and the 2nd in the new Fanfare club:

1) It's only 76 minutes long, which means I could watch it before work this morning.

2) It's adorable.

It definitely has the slightly-too-chaste feel you'd expect from something that originally aired on a Dutch TV channel aimed at young adults, and doesn't have the well-written supporting characters of the similar classic Beautiful Thing, but the acting is great and the kinda predictable story is still a relatively thoughtful, realistic and empowering one. It's understated, for the most part, with a couple of beautiful young gay love scenes (in a lake, on a trampoline) that use the chaste thing to highlight the growing attraction. Worth watching for its positive portrayal, for sure, especially if you know a budding queerkid who could use one.
posted by mediareport at 1:27 PM on June 15, 2016

Yeah, I'll say more when I actually comment in the post I made about Boys. but it melted my jaded heart when I watched it on Saturday, which is one of the reasons I ended up making the club in the first place. If I had seen it as a youngster, it would have been a gamechanger.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:25 PM on June 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

I went into watching"Boys" all cynical, expecting it to be terrible like all the LGBT dramas I'd seen before. Then there was the trampoline scene and I literally turned into the heart-eyes-emoji. It is such a sweet movie. 😍
posted by selenized at 4:04 PM on June 15, 2016 [2 favorites]

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