Carol has been named the best LGBT film of all time, in a new list published to mark the 30th anniversary of the BFI Flare Lesbian and Gay Film Festival.
Andrew Haigh’s Weekend and Hong Kong romantic drama Happy Together were close runners up, in a list which encompasses films from the past 84 years, across 12 countries, from Thailand and Japan, to Spain and Sweden.
The poll was compiled from the votes of 100 film industry experts, including filmmakers, writers, critics and programmers.
1. Carol (2015)
Todd Hayes’s lesbian romance is based on the classic novel by Patricia Highsmith and earned rave reviews for leading lady Cate Blanchett. It is the most recently released film to make the list.
2. Weekend (2011)
Andrew Haigh’s cinematic breakthrough film follows a brief romance between two men in a Nottingham council flat, and has been considered as a period defining gay film.
3. Happy Together (1997)
This Hong Kong produced romance is about a couple in a fiery relationship who are attempting to patch things up with a trip to Argentina. It earned Wong Kar-wai the Best Director prize at Cannes in 1997.
4. Brokeback Mountain (2005)
Possibly the most mainstream gay movie of all time, Brokeback Mountain was based on Annie Proulx’s short story about two cowboys who fall in love in the American West, against a hostile social background.
5. Paris Is Burning (1990)
One of the most culturally significant documentaries ever made, Paris Is Burning took the drag balls and vogue dances of New York’s LGBT scene, and used it to explore wider issues affecting the largely African American and Latino personalities depicted.
6. Tropical Malady (2004)
A beautifully shot film about a soldier who forms a bond with a young man he meets on an assignment in rural Thailand.
7. My Beautiful Launderette (1985)
A hugely influential polemical film tackling homophobia and racism in Thatcher’s Britain, through the relationship between a young Pakistani man and his punk friend, played by Daniel Day Lewis.
8. All About My Mother (1999)
One of Pedro Almodovar’s greatest triumphs, which won him an Academy Award, the movie deals with complex themes such as homosexuality and trans issues, as well as AIDS and existentialism.
9. Un chant d’amour (1950)
The only film ever made by controversial writer Jean Genet, this once banned 26 minute long clip centers on a French prison where a guard takes pleasure in watching the prisoners perform sex acts.
10. My Own Private Idaho (1991)
Loosely based on Shakespeare’s Henry IV and Henry V plays, this is a very 90s movie which follows River Phoenix (who plays a gay street hustler) and Keanu Reeves on a journey of personal discovery.
11=. Tangerine (2015)
Another recent entry, Tangerine was made entirely on an iPhone, and follows a trans woman who has been released from prison to find her boyfriend has taken up with a cis woman.
11=. The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant (1972)
A German film, exploring same sex desire and themes of sadism and masochism with an all female cast.
11=. Blue Is the Warmest Colour (2013)
Clocking in at a whopping 3 hours, this coming of age movie follows a French teenager who discovers romance with an aspiring painter.
14=. Madchen in Uniform (1931)
An international cult classic, this German movie shows explicit romance between girls at a military boarding school.
14=. Show Me Love (1998)
This love story about two teenage girls was actually called ‘Fucking Amal’ in its original Swedish.
14=. Orlando (1992)
Tilda Swinton is perfect in this lavish adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s novel in which the main character transcends centuries and changes gender.
17. Victim (1961)
The first English language film ever to use the word ‘homosexual’ this highly controversial piece features explicit story lines about gay sex and blackmail.
18. Je, tu, il, elle (1974)
A French art-house classic in which a woman recovering from a romantic break up resigns herself to a room, before taking a sexually charged trip with a trucker which leads back to her female love.
19. Looking For Langston (1989)
Part documentary, part narrative, this fairly short film celebrates gay black identity and desire during the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s. The Langston of the title is poet Langston Hughes.
20=. Beau Travail (1999)
Loosely based on Billy Budd, Beau Travail follows soldiers in the French Foreign Legion, and maintains all the homoerotic undertones of Melville’s text, and Britten’s opera based on the same story – some of which is sampled for the soundtrack.
20=. Beautiful Thing (1996)
Jonathan Harvey’s beloved play hit the big screen in this adaptation about two young boys falling in love on a London council estate.
22=. Stranger By The Lake (2013)
A dark French thriller about deadly goings-on at a popular cruising site, and the risks we take for pleasure.
22=. Teorema (1968)
An enigmatic stranger visits a middle class Italian household and engages in sexual affairs with all members of the family in this Pasolini classic.
22=. The Watermelon Woman (1996)
The first feature film directed by a black lesbian, The Watermelon Woman shows art imitating life, as main character Cheryl – herself a black lesbian – attempts to make a film about a black actress from the 1930s.
22=. Pariah (2011)
A coming of age film about a 17 year old African American girl coming to terms with her lesbian identity.
22=. Mulholland Drive (2001)
One of David Lynch’s biggest hits, Mulholland Drive is a psychological thriller about a young actress who comes to Los Angeles and befriends an amnesic woman hiding in an apartment, in mysterious circumstances.
27=. Portrait of Jason (1967)
This documentary consists largely of gay hustler and aspiring cabaret performer Jason Holliday telling his story to the camera. In 2015 it was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry of the U.S. Library of Congress.
27=. Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
Based on a real life bank robbery in Brooklyn in 1972, Al Pacino plays Sonny who robs a bank to pay for his partner’s gender reassignment surgery.
27=. Death in Venice (1971)
The film adaptation of Thomas Mann’s classic short story about a man recovering in Venice who falls for an young Polish boy.
27=. Pink Narcissus (1971)
A short art-house film, Pink Narcissus visualises the erotic fantasies of a gay male prostitute.
27=. Sunday Bloody Sunday (1971)
This film follows a young bisexual artist, and tells of his relationships with a female recruitment consultant played by Glenda Jackson, and a male Jewish doctor played by Peter Finch.
27=. Tomboy (2011)
This French drama follows a 10 year old transgender child who introduces himself as his new gender when he moves to a new neighbourhood.
27=. Funeral Parade of Roses (1969)
Loosely based on Oedipus Rex, this film is set in the underground gay counterculture of 1960s Tokyo.
To read more on the films that made the list, visit the official BFI website. BFI Flare runs from March 16-27 in London, and you can also watch content from the festival on the BFI Player.