The BFI has released a list of 10 great British films revolving around gay men, following their previous lists relating to lesbians and transgender characters, which we covered here and here. While there are no great surprises on the list, it does serve as a welcome reminder of some classics always worth a re-watch – “My Beautiful Laundrette”, in particular, seems more radical for its time with every passing year (to say nothing of Derek Jarman and the bolt from the blue he represented).
It does however, also remind us just how surprisingly few gay-themed films end up getting made and distributed in Britain. With all due respect, the fact that “Beautiful Thing” remains undisputedly on this list after all these years says as much about the quality and number of similarly-themed films in existence as it does about the film itself.
And let’s bear in mind that this was the only one of the lists that even offered a British focus – gay men are far better represented on screen than lesbians and trans people.
So if you haven’t seen these ten films, give them a watch! They are all worthy of it. But let’s hope Flare turns up more than a few worthy contenders for future lists in the coming two weeks.