25 Gay Films Everyone Should See: The Sequel

Another round of films that helped to define the culture -- and cultural impact - of LGBT cinema'

LAW OF DESIRE (1987)

Long before he buzzed onto your TV as the Nasonex bee, and even before portraying Andrew Beckett’s partner in Philadelphia, Antonio Banderas was the big-screen bottom of 1987. Specifically, it was the dawn of the Pedro Almodóvar invasion into U.S. art houses, and Banderas was ankles-up in Law of Desire. But while the more famous Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, to follow a year later, may have been gay director Almodóvar’s blockbuster, Desire was his LGBT offering. Banderas plays young Antonio, harboring a dangerous desire for Pablo, a gay film director, while Pablo is still carrying a torch for Juan. Despite the era, Law of Desire, refreshingly, had nothing to do with AIDS. Instead, these characters, including scene-stealing Carmen Maura as Pablo’s transsexual sister, Tina, illustrate not the frailties of they physical body, but the passions and perils of desperate longing.

Doug Rule is a theater critic and contributing editor for Metro Weekly.

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