Tag Archives: LGBT Filmmaker

Hollywood is Still Not Up to Scratch When it Comes to LGBT Representation

Shock! Surprise! Utter disdain and disgust for Hollywood’s continued failure to represent the diverse moviegoers who pay to see their films!

All emotions that we’re still feeling in 2014, despite people of colour and women being the most frequent cinema ticket buyers and LGBT buying power reaching $830 billion in the United States alone. Alas, even with TV shows’ improved success when it comes to representing LGBT characters, movies just can’t get it together.

We could chalk it down to the fact that it’s a lot easier bump off a character – through a death or just by writing them out of the show – if the show gets too queer for its heteronormative boots or that the characters in TV shows can grow into their non-heterosexual or non-cisgendered selves through a beautifully written bit of character development, but when no one’s (noticeably) avoiding TV shows just because they have queer people in them, why on Earth isn’t Hollywood up to scratch yet?

And it’s not even as though LGBT characters aren’t there either as according to GLAAD’s second annual Studio Responsibility Index, across the films from the 7 major studios they surveyed just 17 films with LGBT characters passed GLAAD’s benchmark. That benchmark is the Vito Russo test and it determines that a film must have an LGBT character who isn’t defined by their sexual orientation or gender identity and that they must be tied to the plot in such a way that if they weren’t there you’d notice it.

That’s not a lot to ask but these 7 studios still mucked it up as two (Paramount and Warner Brothers) received “failing grades” and no one received top marks of “excellent” which isn’t surprising when you consider the fact that some of these films not only included anti-gay slurs (there are instances where these might be necessary – e.g to highlight the discrimination a character is facing – but I don’t think that’s the case here) and one (Anchorman 2 from Paramount) decided to throw around trans slurs just for comedic value.

Understandably, GLAAD has recommended completely valid things such as LGBT characters being leads, not just support and they’ve recommended that LGBT characters in films are made more diverse too as the lack of queer female characters and queer people of colour has clearly been transferred from all of those other erroneous times when Hollywood has failed to put (straight) women and people of colour in their films either.

It’s also worth noting that things might have been different if GLAAD had been willing to take smaller studios into account as despite leaving them out due to the fact that most smaller studios’ films are marketed less and shown in less theatres, they do tend to get it right most of the time, likely on account of the projects being seen as ‘risky’ anyway and therefore the ‘risky’ inclusion of LGBT characters is probably alright.

That’s really tragic to type, if I’m honest and it’s just as tragic to know that the same old heterosexual slice of life is being shown in cinemas time and time again so here’s to crossing our fingers, wishing on our lucky stars, horseshoes and clovers that next year’s GLAAD report will suggest that for queer characters in Hollywood, things are really getting better.

Watch 3 LGBT Filmmaker Discuss Their Films with Outfest

Sophie Hyde – 52 Tuesdays

Watch ’52 Tuesdays’ director Sophie Hyde talk with Outfest on rethinking the label “queer filmmaker,” the challenges of filming over a year, and questioning how we live.Director Sophie Hyde on rethinking the label ‘queer filmmaker’, and the challenges of filming over a year, and questioning how we live.

Film Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old Billie (played by rising Australian star Tilda Cobham-Hervey) is blindsided by the news that her mother, James, is planning to transition from female to male and that, during this time, Billie will live at her father’s house. Billie and James agree to meet every Tuesday during their year apart. As James transitions and becomes less emotionally available, Billie covertly explores her own identity and sexuality with two older schoolmates, testing the limits of her own power, desire, and independence.

Jane Clark – Crazy Bitches

Writer / Director Jane Clark on choosing an awesome title, the challenges of filming on a farm (lamas!), and having a good time at the movies.

Film Synopsis: So what is the film is about, well 8 “crazy bitches” reunite for a weekend of gossip and girl-talk at a remote cabin in the woods. A few drinks into their weekend, they learn of a gruesome crime that occurred at their campsite. Dismissing it as a tall tale, the gang continues their celebration with red wine, hanky-panky and cat-fights – until one of them disappears. Wooooooooo…

Sandrine Orabona & Mark Herzog – Lady Valor: The Kristin Beck Story

Directors Sandrine Orabona & Mark Herzog have the cameras turned on them as they discuss what drew them to the project, challenges, and misconceptions.

Film Synopsis: Lady Valor: The Kristin Beck Story is about Kristin Beck was a tough male Navy SEAL assigned to the world’s most dangerous missions. Now, with bravery and no shortage of wartime scars, she’s embarking on her most difficult journey yet. Kristin discovers that living her truth publicly (starting with an appearance on “Anderson Cooper 360”) can be as much a challenge as any military manoeuvre she’s survived. Uplifting and powerful, this documentary skilfully weaves archival footage and interviews with friends and family alongside Kristin’s current travels.