Jenni Olson

Introducing: The VIP Q Movie Pick

Filed By Jenni Olson | November 01, 2011 12:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment, Gay Icons and History
Tags: Alan Cumming, celebrity gossip, Jane Lynch, Jenny Shimizu, kate bornstein, Michael Musto, movies, vip q movie pick

Starting this week on Bilerico, the VIP Q Movie Pick is a weekly series where we ask today's hottest queer and queer-friendly filmmakers, stars and community leaders to answer the question: "One of my favorite LGBT movies is..."

Here's a sneak peek at a half-dozen great "classic" selections (courtesy of the folks at Happy_Accidents_Jane_Lynch.jpgCheck back every Monday for a fresh pick and be sure to share your thoughts in the comments field below -- because we really want to know your answer to the question: "One of my favorite LGBT movies is..."

1. Jane Lynch (Glee, The L Word)

My favorite LGBT film is Desert Hearts. During one summer in the early '90s I had occasion to watch this film via video over 50 times! It was a major transitional time for me and Donna Deitch's beautiful desert landscape and passionate images set my imagination flying. A stranger in a strange land hoping to escape herself only to be faced with herself. It all starts with a train coming into town and ends with a train leaving town; classic. Never had I seen in celluloid such real passion and desire between two women. I also adore Audra Lindley's performance; the scene with Helen Shaver in the lodge over brandy is genius. I could not get enough of this story. Nor would my romantic musings let it go as I created an entire scenario for Cate and Vivian after they got on that train to New York.

We love her on Glee, adored her on The L Word and simply don't have room to list her many, many other fabulous film and television performances. And now she even has a new book out, Happy Accidents: A Memoir. Follow Jane on Twitter @janemarielynch to find out about her book tour dates and more.

michael musto.jpg
2. Michael Musto (gossip maven, The Village Voice)

One of my favorite LGBT films is William Friedkin's The Boys in the Band. The 1970 adaptation of Mart Crowley's landmark play is still stingingly funny and rivetingly melodramatic, its journey into self-loathing coming off not nearly as dated as it probably should. Cliff Gorman snaps off the screen as the film's biggest queen of all.

Check out Michael's La Daily Musto blog every day! You can also find him on Twitter @mikeymusto.

3. Alan Cumming (queer actor/performer extraordinaire)

One of my favorite LGBT movies is Die Mommy Die! First of all, Charles Busch is a genius and I would walk over hot coals to hear anything he has to say. And secondly, this film is such a clever homage to old Hollywood as well as Greek traged -- and you don't get better homo combos than that. It's hilarious and touching and Charles works a costume like nobody else.

Check out Alan's blog at where you can attempt to keep up with his tremendously busy schedule and read lengthy, entertaining reflections on his exploits. You can also follow him on Twitter @Alancumming.

4. Kate Bornstein (author/playwright/performance artist)

My favorite LGBT film is Tipping The Velvet. It's a historical film about show biz, and I'm a sucker for those. (I must've seen Yankee Doodle Dandy over 3 dozen times.) But more than that, Tipping The Velvet is genuinely fun, sexy and full of good-hearted people who win out over the mean, nasty people. It's a wonderful depiction of a full range of the butch/femme dynamic and since I'm seeing less and less of that in the queer world these days, it's good to see it on film. I watch Tipping The Velvet any time I'm short on courage to go out in the world and be what I wanna be, and it always fixes me up.

Check out Kate's Blog for Teens, Freaks and Other Outlaws where you can read all her latest wisdom and find our more about her life-saving book, Hello, Cruel World: 101 Alternatives to Teen Suicide. Follow Kate on Twitter @katebornstein.

5. Jenny Shimizu (fashion model/actress)

My favorite LGBT film is... okay, it's a toss up! Both are old school. The first is Desert Hearts. I liked it because there's nothing like a country dyke who can drive and a hot divorcee' getting it on. The other is I've Heard The Mermaids Singing. I love the hot, older curator, still one of my fantasies... perhaps I have a penchant for older women, perhaps I saw both these flicks at a tender age.

Here's a great Jenny Shimizu fan site. And you can follow Jenny on Twitter @jennyshimizu

6. Ash Christian (director, Mangus!)

My favorite LGBT film would have to be Torch Song Trilogy. It really affected me when I saw it. I think it was the first queer film that I saw - and it's always stuck with me and really made me want to get out of my small town and move to New York. It was a great story with inspired actors and direction. It made me want to make movies to tell our stories to the rest of the world.

See the trailer for Ash's fabulous new comedy, Mangus! (coming to DVD and digital in December and co-starring Ryan Boggus, Jennifer Coolidge, Heather Mattarazzo, Leslie Jordan and John Waters).

Remember to come back next Monday for more VIP Q Movie Picks and share your own picks below!

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Love this! I just watched The Celluloid Closet and it got me thinking about all this.

'Beautiful Thing' by Jonathan Harvey' from 1996. I was 19 at the time and about to come out. The story of 2 teenagers falling in love during
a London summer was beautiful. It was not shown in my local 2 screen cinema in my village in rural Ireland. I took the bus 60 miles to Cork to see it in the multiplex there.

Thanks! I'm very excited about the feature and have lots of great VIP Q Movie Picks on deck.

Steve — I love your story and it reminds me that really there are two questions to be asked. One is: "What is your favorite (or most important) LGBT film?" And the second and sometimes even more interesting question is: "Where did you see it and under what circumstances?"

One of my most memorable lesbian film experiences, a few years before I came out, was seeing PERSONAL BEST at the Har Mar Mall theater in St. Paul, MN with my then best (straight) girl friend (who I had a crush on, of course). It was such an amazing thing to see those images and that story on the big screen.

It was just a few years later that I would read Vito Russo's book, The Celluloid Closet. Which pretty much saved my life and prompted me to start a gay and lesbian film series on campus.

Would love to hear other personal stories from Bilerico readers about the impact of LGBT movies in people's lives. Thanks!

'Beautiful Thing' by Jonathan Harvey' from 1996. I was 19 at the time and about to come out. The story of 2 teenagers falling in love during
a London summer was beautiful. It was not shown in my local 2 screen cinema in my village in rural Ireland. I took the bus 60 miles to Cork to see it in the multiplex there.

Om Kalthoum | November 1, 2011 7:07 PM

Love this new feature, Jenni. I hope it doesn't tend to scroll down the page and slide off after a day or so as the multitude of articles on Bilerico have been doing lately. Thanks for doing this and good success!

Love the new feature as well Jenni...excellent addition with the 2-part question and "Personal Best" was my moment as well. I met Patrice some years later and hung out with her at a gig I did in WeHo. You know "Desert Hears" totally does it for me. I remember watching it in Tucson and the pin-drop silence during the love scene. It changed everything to see images of women on the big screen. I have been hooked on lesbian film ever since.

Flattering words for the VIP Q Movie Pick in Boy Culture blog today from Matthew Rettenmund (stay tuned for HIS Movie Pick in a future posting)!