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‘Carol’ Leads the Top 30 LGBT Films of All-Time, According to BFI Poll

Written by on March 15, 2016 

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Todd Haynes‘ filmography is often overwhelming in its intellectual acumen and emotional devastation,” we noted upon the release of his latest film this past fall. “This is true of Carol, which is at once a return to the deconstruction of femininity, social mores, and mild anarchy of privilege, as well as an honest and heartbreaking story about falling in love and the trepidation therein.” Over 100 film experts, ranging from critics to writers to programmers, agree on the emotional power of the drama, as they’ve voted it the best LGBT film of all-time.

Conducted by BFI ahead of the 30th BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival, they note this is the “first major critical survey of LGBT films.” Speaking about leading the poll, Haynes said, “I’m so proud to have Carol voted as the top LGBT film of all time in this poll launched for the Fest’s 30th edition. Carol is in illustrious company with so many films I love, from Brokeback Mountain and Un Chant d’ Amour to Happy Together and My Own Private Idaho.” Indeed, it’s a wonderfully wide-ranging list, from another 2015 feature, Tangerine, to early groundbreaking works such as Mädchen in Uniform, as well some personal favorites from Claire Denis, Pedro Almodóvar, Sidney Lumet, and David Lynch.

Check out the full list below and for individual ballots and much more, head over to BFI.

1. Carol (Todd Haynes, USA 2015)
2. Weekend (Andrew Haigh, UK 2011)
3. Happy Together (Wong Kar-wai, Hong Kong/Japan/South Korea 1997)
4. Brokeback Mountain (Ang Lee, USA/ Canada 2005)
5. Paris Is Burning (Jennie Livingston, USA 1990)
6. Tropical Malady (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand/France/Germany/Italy 2004)
7. My Beautiful Laundrette (Stephen Frears, UK 1985)
8. All About My Mother (Pedro Almodóvar, Spain/France 1999)
9. Un Chant d’Amour (Jean Genet, France 1950)
10. My Own Private Idaho (Gus Van Sant, USA 1991)
11. (tie) Tangerine (Sean Baker, USA 2015)
11. (tie) The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Germany 1972)
11. (tie) Blue is the Warmest Colour (Abdellatif Kechiche, France/Belgium/Spain 2013)
14. (tie) Mädchen in Uniform (Leontine Sagan & Carl Froelich, Germany 1931)
14. (tie) Show Me Love (Lukas Moodysson, Sweden/Denmark 1998)
14. (tie) Orlando (Sally Potter, UK/Russia/Italy/France/Netherlands 1992)
17. Victim (Basil Dearden, UK 1961)
18. Je, tu, il, elle (Chantal Akerman, France/Belgium 1974)
19. Looking for Langston (Isaac Julien, UK 1989)
20. (tie) Beau Travail (Claire Denis, France 1999)
20. (tie) Beautiful Thing (Hettie Macdonald, UK 1996)
22. (tie) Stranger by the Lake (Alain Guiraudie, France 2013)
22. (tie) Theorem (Pier Paolo Pasolini, Italy 1968)
22. (tie) The Watermelon Woman (Cheryl Dunye, USA 1996)
22. (tie) Pariah (Dee Rees, USA 2011)
22. (tie) Mulholland Dr. (David Lynch, France/USA 2001)
27. (tie) Portrait of Jason (Shirley Clarke, USA 1967)
27. (tie) Dog Day Afternoon (Sidney Lumet, USA 1975)
27. (tie) Death in Venice (Luchino Visconti, Italy/France 1971)
27. (tie) Pink Narcissus (James Bidgood, USA 1971)
27. (tie) Sunday Bloody Sunday (John Schlesinger, UK 1971)
27. (tie) Tomboy (Céline Sciamma, France 2011)
27. (tie) Funeral Parade of Roses (Toshio Matsumoto, Japan 1969)

What’s your favorite LGBT film? Did any miss the cut?


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