Calling all Tilda Swinton fans! The short film The Human Voice premieres today at the 77th Venice International Film Festival. Directed by Pedro Almodóvar, starring Tilda Swinton, and adapted from a play by Jean Cocteau—all icons of queer cinema in their own right—the film is in consideration for the prestigious Queer Lion Award, which has honoured the festival’s “Best Movie with LGBT Themes & Queer Culture” since 2007.
Although this is the first collaboration between the pair, Swinton is no stranger to queer film, having previously appeared in nine films by the late Derek Jarman, auteur and gay activist. As well as her work in LGBT-themed films, her trademark androgynous style and portrayals of sapphic and genderfluid characters over the years have left a big impression on the LGBTQ+ community!
To celebrate Tilda Swinton’s long-standing contribution to LGBTQ+ cinema (and her latest film), here are 6 of some her most iconic queer films. Let us know what you think on social media using the hashtag #LesflicksFilmList! Find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Orlando, 1992 (dir. Sally Potter)
Young nobleman Orlando is commanded by Queen Elizabeth I to stay forever young. Miraculously, he does just that. The film follows him as he moves through several centuries of British history, experiencing a variety of lives and relationships along the way, and even changing sex. Based on the novel by Virginia Woolf.
Female Perversions, 1996 (dir. Susan Streitfeld)
An ambitious female attorney wallows in excess and meaningless sex with both male and female partners, while dealing with her personal life problems including helping her kleptomaniac sister.
I Am Love, 2009 (dir. Luca Guadagnino)
Emma left Russia to live with her husband in Italy. Now a member of a powerful industrial family, she is the respected mother of three, but feels unfulfilled. One day, Antonio, a talented chef and her son’s friend, makes her senses kindle.
Edward II, 1991 (dir. Derek Jarman)
The gay king of England meets his doom in this update of Christopher Marlowe’s play.
Caravaggio, 1986 (dir. Derek Jarman)
A retelling of the life of the celebrated 17th-century painter through his brilliant, nearly blasphemous paintings and his flirtations with the underworld.
The Human Voice, 2020 (dir. Pedro Almodóvar)
One woman’s final phone conversation with her longtime lover, who has plans to marry another woman.
Constantine, 2005 (dir. Francis Lawrence)
Supernatural exorcist and demonologist John Constantine helps a policewoman prove her sister’s death was not a suicide, but something more.
Want to find more queer and lesbian films? Why not:
- Check out other list articles we’ve suggested; and if you have a list – let us know.
- Join our mailing list to get emails relating to upcoming lesbian film releases.
- Explore our ever-expanding film database with almost 300 films listed so far!
- Sign up to Lesflicks VOD, our video on demand platform with 100% lesbian and bisexual content.
- Check out our existing Film Club locations, and if we don’t have one near you yet, request a film club in your area!
This article was written by:
Reviewer & Writer
Maya Owen writes, sings, and cares about LGBTQ+ representation, among other things.
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