Tuesday, May 15, 2007


Bisexuals get no respect. Straight people wonder why they don't just go straight, and gay people wonder why they are pretending to be half and half. And despite the potential for drama, Hollywood doesn't do much with this genre. Here are my top 10 picks for best bisexual films:

10. Water Drops on Burning Rocks
This French classic is at times painful to watch, because the lead can be so cruel. And, the entire movie takes place in one apartment, highlighting that this film was adapted from a theatrical production. Still, the tale of an older man who seduces both a younger man and his girlfriend and the nature of obsessive love has been rarely done this effectively. The movie displays the older man's seduction of both sexes without judgment in a manner that seems very natural. Definitely one of the better bisexual movies out there.

9. I Will Survive (SobrevivirŽ)
Meet Marga, who for most of her life has had little to worry about. Then, life throws her plenty of curves all at once. Her boyfriend dies in a car accident, she's pregnant and just been fired from her job. She tries to put her life together and gets help from an unlikely source, a gay man. The two feel an attraction even though the entire gay thing is likely to get in the way. The gay man, I–agui, is willing to give dating a woman a try. This is a strong film dealing with bisexual themes from Spain and worthy of a look/see.

8. Borstal Boy
This biopic is based on the life of bisexual Irish poet and writer Brendan Behan's autobiography. He's a member of the IRA who has recently been captured by the British police. They send Brendan to a boy's reform school where he experiences his first attraction to a member of the same sex, though he's not quite yet sure what to do about it. But what makes this film stand above others is that a man so filled with hate learns to love his enemy, to find something of worth in them. That's a message more of the world should learn.

7. Sunday, Bloody Sunday
This is one of the earliest films to tackle the subject of bisexuality, and the fact it was released only two years after the Stonewall riots made it years ahead of its time. It was one of the first films to show two men kissing, causing a bit of a scandal in its day. Peter Finch plays a gay man and Glenda Jackson a straight woman. Both of them must share the bisexual man they love, played by Murray Head. He floats back and forth between the pair, causing frustration on the part of the two lovers. But, the bisexual lover was open and honest and everyone knew what they were getting into.

6. Midnight Cowboy
This 1969 classic won a Best Picture Oscar despite being saddled with an X rating. When you watch it now you'll wonder why it was rated X, because it's very tame by today's standard. Joe Buck is a Texan who shows up in New York City with his heart set on satisfying older rich women. He figures they'll go for his Texan persona. When that doesn't work out like he hoped, he meets Ratzo who introduces him to the world of being a gay hustler. There are hints of same-sex attraction between the two oddball friends, but that storyline goes no where. Instead, we have Buck looking after Ratzo, whose health is failing fast.

5. Kinsey
Based on the true life of Alfred Kinsey this film came and went so quickly in 2004 that most Americans probably didn't see it. That's too bad. It just proves that Americans are still as hung up on sex as they were during Kinsey's times in the mid-1900s. This movie offers a great cast and a story that caused no end of controversies when Kinsey was peeking inside America's bedrooms and informing people of what really happens inside of there. Kinsey, as played by Liam Neeson, has sex with both women and men and his lead researcher is also openly bisexual. The casual attitude toward sex, especially by Kinsey's wife, was the only downgrade for me.

4. Cabaret
Here's the first movie I'm happy to have in my Top 10, which shows how weak this category is. The classic 1972 musical won eight Academy Awards and ushered in a new era of talking about gay characters in a positive way. Michael York plays Brian, who is gay until he meets Liza Minnelli's Sally Bowles. He falls for her and soon the two become lovers and thinking long term. That is, until a German baron sweeps them both off their feet. The images of Nazi Germany before the war are haunting and the music still sings to your heart making this a must-have in every gay film fans' collection.

3. My Own Private Idaho
This Gus Van Sant classic was just released on DVD for the first time in 2004. River Phoenix and Keanu Reeves are two male hustlers living in Portland. Phoenix's character, Mike, is probably gay and appears to be in love with Reeve's character, Scott Favor. He's only gay for pay, or so he says, and he's only hustling to piss off his VIP father. Mike is on a search for his mother and for some meaning in his life and convinces Scott to help him. The movie takes some unexpected detours, but the honesty of the characters, the performance by Phoenix, and the abilities of this director combine to make this an unforgettable film.

2. Y Tu Mama Tambien
This film had the potential for a five rating, but the sophomoric jokes at the beginning forced me to knock it down one. One fart joke is bad enough, but two? Still, teens that age are still amazed at the body's ability to pass gas so I guess it's true to the characters. What I liked most about this film was the social commentary that gets worked into the plot, without distracting from it. Two Mexican teens convince an older woman to join them on a road trip to little known and magical beach that only they know about. She agrees and the adventure begins. It's obvious both boys are hot for her, but what comes out is they are also hot for each other.

1. Midnight Express
This Oliver Stone classic tells the true-life story of Billy Hayes, who was a happy heterosexual man with a woman he loved, but a visit to a Turkish prison opened up new possibilities for him. There, he fell in love with a male prisoner. Unfortunately, the film version of Hayes' book tones down the gay aspects to this story, because film audiences were not quite ready for a true depiction of same-sex love in 1978. Still, it's a great movie and gay actor Brad Davis does amazing work as the lead in this story of an American locked into a foreign prison for attempting to smuggle drugs.

What do you think of this list?

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the philosphical bastard said...

I've always heard about Y Tu Mama Tambien but have never had the chance to watch it. I should take time... although, i hate fart jokes too.

Anonymous said...

brokeback mountain is also one good bi movie..even thought the ending is sad(as usual), the story still tackles real situations that bi people face...and the love scenes hot..especially jake!lol!=)

Geeky Fem said...

This list covers almost all of my favorite movies :)Especially the Cabaret my personal fav :)

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