‘God’s Own Country’ is traditionally a term used to describe the vast, open, scenic landscapes that mold the county of Yorkshire’s unspoiled countryside. But, Francis Lee’s directorial debut, ‘God’s Own Country’ (2017), focuses less on the poetic beauty of the landscapes. It uncovers and reworks the expression to draw attention to the lands people, who often go unnoticed in mainstream media. What accompanies the land in ‘God’s Own Country’ are the sensations of isolation and solitude that are felt by, and have become an integral part of the film’s protagonist, Johnny Saxby (Josh O’Connor), a young, gay farmer.
Examinations of masculinity are most interesting when viewed either through the female or gay male gaze as we have seen so little of this perspective in the context of the history of cinema. When women do get the opportunity to direct, they frequently, and completely understandably, focus on female protagonists, personal themes and coming-of-age stories. However, when they do turn their lens on a male protagonist, fresh insights can be brought and new truths revealed, through the objectivity of an ‘outsider.’
In Beach Rats (2017), director Eliza Hittman and cinematographer Helene Louvart closely follow Frankie (Harris Dickinson), a young man from Brooklyn who is wrestling with his sexuality. In Lazzaro Felice (2018), director Alice Rohrwacher and cinematographer Louvart (again) tell the story of gentle tobacco farmer Lazzaro (Adriano Tardiolo) in two halves; one in the summery, rural setting of the farm in Italy and then secondly in the cold city. The secondary character of the Marquise’s son, Tancredi provides a counterpoint to Lazzaro’s highly unusual brand of masculinity.
This article is by our guest writer, Isabelle Miller.
Happy pride everyone! During the month of June, we reflect on the Stonewall Riots of 1969 and the activists who started the LGBTQ movement. It’s a time to advocate for the LGBTQ community, celebrate their culture, and naturally, watch some great films (though, when is there not a good time for this?). In the late 1970s, artist Gilbert Baker decided to create a flag in representation of the LGBTQ community. Today, the rainbow flag represents LGBTQ pride all across the world. The different colors carry various meanings such as life, healing, sunlight, peace, spirit, sex, art/magic, people of color, and HIV/AIDS.
In celebration of pride month, here’s a list of LGBTQ films based on some of those colors!