25 Gay Films Everyone Should See: The Sequel

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

LILIES (1996)

It’s fitting that this list starts with And the Band Played On and ends with Zero Patience, because while the two films share the AIDS epidemic as a subject, they couldn’t be further apart than A and Z. Where Band is didactic, Zero Patience is unabashedly polemic. Director John Greyson rehabilitates the story of Gaëtan Dugas — the flight attendant and alleged ”Patient Zero” who some claimed initially spread HIV to Canada and the U.S. — as an AIDS musical that tries to demolish the myths and hysteria about the disease. Many films claim be radical, few actually are. Zero Patience is one of those few. Also worth catching is Greyson’s equally radical approach in Lilies, a tragic love story in a 1952 prison, where the inmates present a play about three students – and their loves and denials – from 40 years earlier (all the roles are played by men). As the bishop forced to watch the play witnesses, there is power in everlasting love and the consequences of long-forgotten actions. It’s stunning, lyrical masterwork.

Read the original 25 Gay Films Everyone Should See, from Feb. 19, 2009.

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

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