A major part of this site is dedicated to film, both classic and contemporary, often focusing on LGBTQ+ cinema. When the site originally launched in 1997, this section was called Jim’s Film Website. Now in 2021, I’m bringing back that subtitle (tiny pun? yup).
As described below, you will find several original resources, including many 10-best lists, 50 landmarks of film history, a film guide (covering dramatic structure, visual and sound aesthetics), over 200 reviews, and linked sites for Fassbinder, Pasolini, and Jarman.
Reviews over a hundred selected classic and recent pictures, including Murnau’s Nosferatu, Dreyer’s Michael, Fellini’s La Dolce Vita, Resnais’s Muriel, 11 films by Robert Wise, all of Fassbinder, Jarman, and Pasolini; and more. FILM BOOK REVIEWS: includes Niall Richardson‘s The Queer Cinema of Derek Jarman, that explores connections to gender, history, and politics.
Works in over 30 genres ranging from comedy to documentary, science fiction to Westerns.
Essential pictures, silent era to today, from all major genres and international cinemas, with brief critical remarks.
Shot-by-shot comparison of Hitchcock’s film with Patricia Highsmith’s novel and Raymond Chandler’s screenplay.
From 1930 to today, with no fixed number of titles, including pictures from the US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and more.
UPDATED March 28, 2021: My introduction to how visual and sound design enhance drama and shape ideas.
Detailed reviews of over two hundred pictures, from classic to contemporary.
Introduction to Fassbinder’s life and work in theater and film, with reviews of all of his pictures , including The Merchant of Four Seasons, The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant, Ali: Fear Eats the Soul, Effi Briest, The Marriage of Maria Braun.
Introduction to Pasolini’s life and work as poet, novelist, theorist and director, with reviews of all of his pictures, including Accattone, Mamma Roma, The Gospel According to [Saint] Matthew, Oedipus Rex.
An overview of his career as artist, author and filmmaker, his role in British cinema, and reviews of all of his films, including Sebastiane, Jubilee, The Tempest, The Last of England, Edward II.
A tribute to one of Hollywood’s greatest and most versatile filmmakers, with reviews of Born to Kill, The Day the Earth Stood Still, West Side Story, The Haunting (1963), The Sound of Music, more.
Start a film and/or book discussion group – or discuss both books and their movie adaptations (linked example relates to LGBTQ+ works, but adapt to your group’s particular focus).
Directors, great films, books, more — described below.
Recommended Film Books
- Best Overview of Cinema: James Monaco’s How to Read a Film: Movies, Media, and Beyond offers concise discussions of film history, technology, theory, and more.
- On Film Narrative: Syd Field’s Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting clarifies the mysteries of narrative structure. This is the best “how to” screenwriting guide that I’ve seen and used.
- Study of Visual Style: Rudolph Arnheim’s Art and Visual Perception, Second Edition: A Psychology of the Creative Eye is a revelation for understanding visual structures. Although focused on painting, its principles apply equally to film. Densely-written, but worth the effort.
GLBT experience explored from diverse perspectives, in pictures made between 1924 and today.
Released between 1919 and today, these extraordinary works cover a wide range of genres, from comedy to drama, fantasy to documentary.
Introduction to Fassbinder’s life and work in theater and film, with reviews of all of his pictures.
An overview of his career as artist, author and filmmaker, his role in British cinema, and reviews of all of his films,
Introduction to Pasolini’s life and work as poet, novelist, theorist and director, with reviews of all of his films.
Updated! Films based on a diverse range of LGBTQ+ literature, from ancient classics to contemporary fiction.
Wikipedia has a comprehensive list of LGBTQ+ directors, with each filmmaker’s name linked to information and resources.
Recommended LGBTQ+ Film Books
- Comprehensive Reference: Raymond Murray’s Images in the Dark: An Encyclopedia of Gay and Lesbian Film and Video – excellent entries on LGBTQ+ pictures, directors, writers, actors, themes – out of print but available used or in libraries.
- Focus on One Genre: Harry M. Benshoff’s Monsters in the Closet: Homosexuality and the Horror Film – scholarly, engrossing LGBTQ+ perspective on horror, fantasy, and science fiction films, and the evolving social history of LGBTQ+ identity from the 1930s to today.
- History of LGBTQs in Film:: Vito Russo’s The Celluloid Closet: Homosexuality in the Movies; a wonderful complement is the documentary film, The Celluloid Closet.
- Pre-Stonewall Hollywood: William J. Mann’s Behind the Screen: How Gays and Lesbians Shaped Hollywood, 1910-1969 – by a multi-talented historian who’s also a wonderful novelist.
More LGBTQ+ Arts Resources
Begun 1997 / Updated April 1, 2022