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Pioneers of Queer Cinema

Pioneers of Queer Cinema
We’ve worked with Kino Lorber, the distributor of MÄDCHEN IN UNIFORM, MICHAEL and VICTOR AND VICTORIA, to make it possible for you to see these films — and your ticket helps support the Belcourt. 
For $15, you can purchase a ticket that enables you to see all three films — and you’ll have a 10-day pass to see it once you’ve purchased. (You may also purchase a ticket to each film individually, and you’ll have a 5-day pass to watch.) *Note: After clicking the purchase button, you’ll need to register for Kino Now in the pop-up window. 
Kino Lorber will share a portion of your ticket payment with the Belcourt. Please note that this arrangement, in these unprecedented times, means we’re unable to offer member pricing. Thanks for your understanding and for your support. And if you’d like to consider an additional donation to the Belcourt, we’d be most grateful. You can do so here.

Note: Pioneers of Queer Cinema is watchable on your computer, tablet, mobile device, or on the Kino Now app on Roku or AppleTV.

For Pride Month, we offer three landmark films from the ‘20s and ‘30s, restored anew and ripe for rediscovery: MADCHEN IN UNIFORM, MICHAEL and VICTOR AND VICTORIA. One purchase includes all 3 films (may also be purchased individually).

Dir. Leontine Sagan | Germany | 1931 | 87min | NR | In German with English subtitles

As a new student at an all-girls boarding school, Manuela falls in love with the compassionate teacher Fräulein von Bernburg, and her feelings are requited. Experiencing her first love, lonely Manuela also discovers the complexities that come with an illicit romance. This artfully composed landmark of lesbian cinema—and an important anti-fascist film—was the first of just three films directed by Leontine Sagan. Official Website

Dir. Carl Theodor Dreyer | Germany | 1924 | 94min | NR | Silent with English intertitles

Remembered as one of the earliest and most compassionate, overtly gay-themed films in movie history, Danish film master Carl Theodor Dreyer refashions the classical Greek myth of Jupiter and Ganymede into MICHAEL—a love triangle between the aging painter Zoret, his youthful muse Michael, and Princess Zamikoff, an aristocratic femme fatale as entranced by Michael's beauty as Zoret is. As Michael plunges from the dizzying heights of new love to the depths of theft and betrayal, Zoret experiences a spiritual rebirth from out of the ashes of rejection and despair.

Co-written by Fritz Lang's collaborator and wife Thea von Harbou (M, METROPOLIS) in collaboration with famed German cinematographers Karl Freund (METROPOLIS) and Rudolph Maté (Dreyer’s subsequent PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC), this intimate and compelling film depicts the twilight of a male-male romance with unusual daring and subtlety. Official Website

“Closeups of burning intensity and opulent tableaux of frozen horror suggest the great director’s transcendent theme, of divine grace granted and withheld.” —Richard Brody, New Yorker

Dir. Reinhold Schünzel | Germany | 1933 | 84min | NR | In German with English subtitles

In this dazzling musical romance, a young woman (Renate Müller), unable to find work as a music hall singer, partners with a down-and-out thespian (Hermann Thimig) to revamp her act. Pretending to be a man performing in drag, Victoria becomes the toast of the international stage. But she soon finds that her playful bending of genders enmeshes her personal and professional life in a tangle of unexpected complications. Produced in the final days of the Weimar Republic, VICTOR AND VICTORIA received limited exposure in the U.S., and is today best known by Blake Edwards's 1982 remake and the 1995 Broadway production. Viewers will be delighted to discover that the original is every bit as charming and outrageous, reminiscent of the sly sex comedies of Ernst Lubitsch and Billy Wilder. Official Website

“An impressive blast of Weimar decadence… As the inevitable romantic complications ensue, what emerges is a movie with surprisingly tangled gender politics and a melancholy sense of romance, crossed with lively, creative musical numbers.” —Bilge Ebiri, Vulture

The Belcourt Theatre does not provide advisories about subject matter or potential triggering content, as sensitivities vary from person to person.

Beyond the synopses, trailers and review links on our website, other sources of information about content and age-appropriateness for specific films can be found on Common Sense MediaIMDb and as well as through general internet searches.

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