Pioneers of Queer Cinema

March 3–May 3, 2023

Pioneers of Queer Cinema celebrates the groundbreaking achievements born from visionary queer filmmakers, ranging from landmark to little-known works.

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  • Paris Is Burning

  • Confessions

  • Watermelon Woman

  • Upcoming
  • Past
  • Past

Past Films

  • Tongues Untied

    • Wednesday, May 3 7 PM
    Marlon Riggs
    United States, 1989

    Marlon Riggs’s riveting combination of interviews, performance, stock footage, autobiography, poetry, and dance reveals the revolutionary potential of Black men loving Black men. With shorts by Todd Haynes (Dottie Gets Spanked), Michael Wallin (Decodings), Kenneth Anger (Fireworks), and Mike Kuchar (Seascape).

    Mike Kuchar in Person

  • The Times of Harvey Milk

    • Sunday, April 30 5 PM
    Rob Epstein
    United States, 1984

    New Restoration

    Rob Epstein’s powerful record of the beloved San Francisco activist/politician Harvey Milk’s inspirational life and work, from his improbable, heroic rise to his horrific murder. With shorts by Barbara Hammer (I Was/I Am) and Arthur J. Bressan Jr. (Coming Out).

    Introduced by Jenni Olson

  • Paris Is Burning

    • Thursday, April 27 7 PM
    Jennie Livingston
    United States, 1990

    An influential documentary on New York City’s proudly queer and trans Black and Latinx Ballroom scene of the late 1980s. With shorts by Nikolai Ursin (Behind Every Good Man) and Pat Rocco (Changes).

    Introduced by Allegra Madsen; Jenni Olson and Susan Stryker in Conversation

  • Hide and Seek

    • Wednesday, April 19 7 PM
    Su Friedrich
    United States, 1996

    Hide and Seek is one of the most piquant memory films I know, at once roiling with the tenderness and cruelty of adolescence and marbled by the wisdom of age” (Scott Foundas). With shorts by Jan Oxenberg (Home Movie), Sadie Benning (If Every Girl Had a Diary), and Jenni Olson (Blue Diary).

    Introduced by Jenni Olson

  • Blackstar: Autobiography of a Close Friend

    • Thursday, April 13 7 PM
    Tom Joslin
    United States, 1977

    New Restoration

    Tom Joslin’s prequel to Silverlake Life: The View from Here is an experimental, “self-ethnographic” documentary on gay love. With Choosing Children (1984), one of the first documentaries to challenge the assumption that being a lesbian means you can’t be a mom.

    Mimi (Kim) Klausner In Person

  • Word Is Out: Stories of Some of Our Lives

    • Sunday, April 2 4:30 PM
    Mariposa Film Group
    United States, 1977

    New Restoration

    Perhaps the first feature-length documentary on gay and lesbian identity, this film features interviews with a diverse group of individuals, including poet Elsa Gidlow, activist Sally Gearhart, inventor John Burnside, civil rights leader Harry Hay, and filmmaker Nathaniel Dorsky.

    Members of the Mariposa Film Group in Person

  • Parting Glances

    • Sunday, March 19 7 PM
    Bill Sherwood
    United States, 1986

    New Restoration
    BAMPFA Student Committee Pick

    Several friends and lovers navigate friendship and romance in this joyful, independent look at gay life and love. A snapshot of a funky, proud, defiantly gay 1986 New York City. With shorts by Jim Hubbard (Memento Mori) and Peggy Rajski (Trevor).

  • My Hustler

    • Saturday, March 4 7 PM
    Andy Warhol, Chuck Wein
    United States, 1965

    Warhol’s brilliantly bitchy masterpiece of voyeurism, desire, and boredom on Fire Island. With shorts by Curt McDowell (Confessions), James Broughton (Testament), and José Rodriguez-Soltero (Jerovi).

  • The Watermelon Woman

    • Friday, March 3 7 PM
    Cheryl Dunye
    United States, 1996

    New Restoration
    BAMPFA Student Committee Pick

    A Black lesbian video store clerk and would-be filmmaker becomes obsessed with an early “race film” star in Dunye’s pioneering “funky screwball comedy in the key of queer” (B. Ruby Rich).

    Introduced by Allegra Madsen