Welcome to LGBTQ+ Literature & Film, both classic and contemporary. This ongoing site, begun in 1997, features original reviews, essays, recommendations, and additional resources.
LGBTQ+ literature encompasses 5,000 years, from the ancient epic of Gilgamesh (a profound same-sex love story), to such canonical authors as Plato, Shakespeare, Whitman, Wilde, Woolf, Baldwin, to today’s diverse Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer-Plus (LGBTQ+) writers in every form: fiction, drama, poetry, non-fiction, and astonishing experiments.
Explore film’s history, aesthetics, technology, and more. Includes reviews (my Jim’s Film Website), “Best” lists, a tribute to Robert Wise. Also a major section on LGBTQ+ Cinema, from such foundational directors as Eisenstein, Murnau, and Cocteau, to Hollywood titans like James Whale, George Cukor, and Dorothy Arzner, and contemporaries including Chantal Akerman, Pedro Almodóvar, Isaac Julien, and Wong Kar-wai.
Fassbinder | Pasolini | Jarman
These three multi-talented gay artists – Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Pier Paolo Pasolini, and Derek Jarman – created provocative works that span film, literature, theater, painting, philosophy, and more. Their influence today, in art and ideas, is stronger than ever. Pasolini galvanized Fassbinder; both inspired Jarman.
About This Site
Hi, I’m Jim. This is my independent website, focused on LGBTQ+ Literature & Cinema, and arts, including their many overlaps with general culture, such as authors Plato, Shakespeare, Woolf, filmmakers Eisenstein, Murnau, Cocteau, artists Michelangelo, Dürer, Kahlo, composers Handel, Schubert, Tchaikovsky, and our contemporaries. The site features original movie best-lists, reviews, a guide to film, essays (including “Why a LGBTQ+ Focus?” – short answer: all part of our diverse shared humanity), book recommendations, and more. Opinions are based on close readings – the words on the page, or pictures and sounds from the screen – plus historical context.
What makes a work outstanding? An imaginative bond between content (feelings/ideas) and the form the artist uses. That ranges from the visionary simplicity of Emily Dickinson’s poetry to the psychological complexity of Henry James’s fiction. I advocate discussion (here are tips for starting a group), not censorship, even when disagreeing with a particular viewpoint. I abhor dehumanization (racism, sexism, homophobia), value diversity, and try to live by the Golden Rule, treating everyone how I want to be treated, with respect, kindness, and a sense of humor.
A few of the creators presented here – including for film, Fassbinder, Pasolini, Jarman, and for literature, Genet, Mishima, Highsmith – explore dark aspects of human nature. I appreciate being able to understand (self-)destructiveness through the safety of thought-provoking art. By happy contrast, there’s my original LGBTQ+ Lit category, Fun Stuff!, light but substantial works. Another section highlights LGBTQ+ Genre Literature: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Suspense/Mystery/Adventure.
NEW SECTION: LGBTQ+ Scientists. Added because our common humanity, beyond the arts, includes the natural world, with science as the key. First entries are physicist/mathematician Isaac Newton, naturalist/explorer Alexander von Humboldt, foundational computer genius Alan Turing, plus resources for LGBTQ+ people in the sciences/STEM. From a certain point of view, the star-swept night sky and Shakespeare both embody a transcendent wonder that we all can share. In a post, I recommend a free introductory science course, Principles of Evolution, Ecology and Behavior; not directly LGBTQ-related but for me its ‘big picture’ insights, from genetics to climate science and geology to evolutionary biology, were life-changing – that post includes links to many more free university courses in the arts and sciences, open to all.
+ AN *INCLUSIVE* WARM WELCOME! This site is for everyone interested in literature and film. It launched in 1997 as “GLBT Literature,” before a consensus on which acronym best fit the diverse community. Happily, we now have LGBTQ+, with a wonderfully inclusive + that expands to LGBTQIAN2S+ for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, Nonbinary, Two Spirit, Plus More, including all the amazing Straight Allies, and those who choose no labels. Orientation is about transformative honesty, to yourself and to others. All part of our shared humanity, that can be enriched through the arts and sciences, by embracing cultural, racial, gender differences and connections, plus each of our unique personal experiences. To Life & Peace!
ANNOUNCEMENTS (May 2021)
- Celebrating *ASIAN AMERICAN PACIFIC ISLANDER (AAPI) HERITAGE MONTH* May 2021
- Celebrating *JEWISH AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH* May 2021.
- BRIEFLY *FREE* (TO OWN) COMPLETE SHAKESPEARE, plays and poetry plus biographies and criticism. https://www.amazon.com/Complete…/dp/B01LZV3T6F/
- NEW SECTION: LGBTQ+ Scientists – beginning with Newton, Humboldt, Turing, more to come.
- NEW RESOURCE: Start a Discussion Group.
- NEW PAGE: Selected Book Resources – background materials, including discussion questions.
- UPDATED BOOK & FILM RESOURCES: LGBTQ+ Literature, LGBTQ+ Cinema, and Film.
- UPDATED: Brief Guide to Film, how visual and sound design enhance story, and shape ideas. NEW section on special effects.
- THROUGHOUT 2021: Completing film reviews for all of Fassbinder, Pasolini, and Jarman, using notes from screenings for the few pictures not available for home viewing. Plus new film and book reviews.
- QUESTION: Why a LGBTQ+ Focus?
CONTACT (Please note that I’m finishing a large project on a deadline, and can only respond when time permits. Thank you for understanding, and for your interest.)
Website begun 1997 / Updated May 7, 2021 – 5,134 hours