Inside Out  has partnered with Toronto’s newly refurbished Paradise Theatre to present Queerly Beloved, offering a full slot of of 18 queer-themed programming during the month of March.  It offers a retrospective programme of films that shaped the landscape of queer cinema alongside contemporary favourites.

From early, groundbreaking works (Different from the Others, Olivia) and immersive documentaries (The Queen, Paris is Burning) to crowd-pleasing classics (Desert Hearts, Bound, The Wedding Banquet) and breakthrough contemporary favourites (Tangerine, Moonlight), the Queerly Beloved series offers up an exciting and eclectic line-up of films representing powerful LGBTQ2S+ stories on-screen, and over 100 years of filmmaking.

Highlights in the inaugural edition of Queerly Beloved include the 1919 landmark Different from Other Countries. Richard Oswald’s silent film was the picture to feature openly gay characters. Doc fans can dress to their best and vogue in the seats with a presentation of Jennie Livingston’s groundbreaking 1990 film Paris Is Burning. The recently restored film remains unparalleled with its influential portrait of the Harlem drag ball scene. On the Canadian front, moviegoers can have a gay old time with John Greyson’s campy AIDS musical Zero Patience.

Contemporary works include an encore presentation of Barry Jenkins’ Best Picture Oscar winner Moonlight. Moviegoers who swooned for the come hither looks of Céline Sciamma’s Portrait of a Lady on Fire can catch the director’s second feature Tomboy. Finally, cinephiles who like to do it with a group can bang with the gang in John Cameron Mitchell’s controversial Shortbus.

Screenings at Queerly Beloved also include guest introductions and Q&As along with special events. See below for a short synopsis of each film being screened.

Queerly Beloved continues Inside Out’s mission to spotlight voices and stories from across the queer spectrum. It offers a retrospective programme of films that shaped the landscape of queer cinema alongside contemporary favourites. Films screen throughout the month of March.

Click here for a complete list of film screening dates and times.

Most tickets are $14 for ground floor, and $21 for premium balcony with table service.

This series precedes the 30th edition of the Toronto Inside Out LGBT Film Festival, that takes place May 23 to June 2, 2020.

Films Synopsis 

Bound  Directed by Wachowski Sisters (1996) – Double crosses and genre twists abound in this neo-noir mob caper from the Wachowski Sisters. With Jennifer Tilly, Gina Gershon, Joe Pantoliano, John P. Ryan and Christopher Meloni.

 Desert Hearts  Directed by Donna Deitch (1985) – This bold and beautiful tale of a budding romance was named one of the best lesbian films of all time. With Helen Shaver, Patricia Charbonneau, Audra Lindley, Andra Akers and Gwen Welles.

Different from Other Countries  Directed by Richard Oswald (1919) – A violinist falls in love with his student in this courageous silent film: the first to feature openly gay characters. With Conrad Veidt, Leo Connard, Ilse von Tasso-Lind, Alexandra Willegh, Ernst Pittschau and Fritz Schulz.

Drunktown’s Finest  Directed by Sydney Freeland (2014) – Trans filmmaker Sydney Freeland’s trailblazing drama about three interconnected characters on unique paths to self-discovery. With Jeremiah Bitsui, Carmen Moore and MorningStar Angeline.

Double bill: Knife and Heart and Equation to an Unknown – French gay porn joins forces with French Vanessa Paradis in this sexy noir double bill.

Knife and Heart – Directed by Yann Gonzale (2018) – With Vanessa Paradis, Nicolas Maury, Kate Moran, Jonathan Genet and Félix Maritaud.

Equation to an Unknown – Directed by Francis Savel (1980) – With Gianfranco Longhi, Jean-Jacques Loupmon, Reinhard Montz, Éric Guadagnan and Jean Denis.

Fox and His Friends  Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder (1975) – Prodigious filmmaker Rainer Werner Fassbinder plays the titular Fox in this sharp social drama. With Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Peter Chatel, Karlheinz Böhm, Adrian Hoven and Christiane Maybach.

Moonlight  Directed by Barry Jenkins (2016) – A groundbreaking exploration of a young Black man’s search for identity in a rough Miami neighbourhood. With Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris, Trevante Rhodes, Janelle Monáe and Jharrel Jerome.

Olivia  Directed by Jacqueline Audry (1951) – Olivia arrives at a new finishing school and is caught in the middle of an emotional turf war between two headmistresses. With Edwige Feuillère, Simone Simon, Marie-Claire Olivia, Yvonne de Bray and Suzanne Dehelly.

Paris Is Burning  Directed by Jennie Livingston (1990) – A landmark documentary and cultural time capsule about the influential Harlem drag ball scene. With subjects Brooke Xtravaganza, André Christian, Dorian Corey, Paris Duprée and Pepper LaBeija.

Shortbus  Directed by John Cameron Mitchell (2006) – John Cameron Mitchell’s explit, sex-positive coming-of-self dramedy stars Toronto’s own Sook-Yin Lee. With Sook-Yin Lee, Peter Stickles, PJ DeBoy, Paul Dawson and Lindsay Beamish.

Tangerine  Directed by Sean Baker (2015) – A transgender sex worker combs LA for her disloyal pimp boyfriend in this wild and satisfying dramedy. With Kitana Kiki Rodriguez, Mya Taylor, Karren Karagulian, Mickey O’Hagan and James Ransone.

The Queen  Directed by Frank Simon (1968) – Following a 1967 national drag competition, this documentary’s cultural influence is still seen today. With Jim Dine, Jack Doroshow, Bruce Jay Friedman, Bernard Giquel and Rachel Harlow.

The Watermelon Woman  Directed by Cheryl Dunye (1996) – An aspiring Black lesbian filmmaker researches an obscure 1930s Black actress in this cult favourite. With Cheryl Dunye, Guinevere Turner, Valarie Walker, Lisa Marie Bronson and Cheryl Clarke.

The Wedding Banquet  Directed by Ang Lee (1993) – A fake marriage to appease visiting Taiwanese parents is the centrepiece of Ang Lee’s under-seen comedy of manners. With Winston Chao, May Chin, Ah-Lei Gua, Sihung Lung and Mitchell Lichtenstein.

Tomboy  Directed by Céline Sciamma (2011) – Upon arriving in a new neighbourhood, tomboy Laure is mistaken for a boy and takes the opportunity to explore. With Zoé Héran, Malonn Lévana, Jeanne Disson, Sophie Cattani and Mathieu Demy.

Wild Combination: A Portrait of Arthur Russell  Directed by Matt Wolf (2008) – An inspiring documentary about enigmatic songwriter Arthur Russell, followed by a live performance of cover songs. With subjects Bob Blank, Ernie Brooks, Allen Ginsberg, Philip Glass and Steven Hall.

Zero Patience  Directed by John Greyson (1993) – This legendary “AIDS musical” brings camp, pop tunes and a discerning lens to the myth of Patient Zero. With John Robinson, Normand Fauteux, Dianne Heatherington, Richardo Keens-Douglas and Bernard Behrens

About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.