Pioneers of Queer Cinema

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Celebrate Pride virtually with three groundbreaking classics of queer cinema from Weimar Republic-era Germany that showcase wit, style, comedy, tragedy and iconic filmmaking. All three films are available in a streaming bundle for just $15!

Mädchen in Uniform
dir. Leontine Sagan / 87 minutes / 1931 / German with English subtitles

This artfully composed milestone of lesbian cinema – and an important anti-fascist film – was the first of just three films directed by Leontine Sagan. At an all-girls boarding school, new student Manuela and compassionate teacher Fräulein von Bernburg have a passionate and illicit romance.

“A moving portrait of burgeoning sapphic desire, rendered with great technical skill.” —Film at Lincoln Center

dir. Carl Theodor Dreyer / 93 minutes / 1924 / German intertitles with English subtitles

Danish film master Carl Theodor Dreyer’s Michael takes its place alongside Dreyer’s masterpieces as an unusually sensitive and decorous work of art, and is one of the earliest and most compassionate overtly gay-themed films in movie history. Collaborating with famed German cinematographers Karl Freund (Metropolis) and Rudolph Maté (Passion of Joan of Arc), Michael offers the first fully realized example of Dreyer’s emotionally precise, visually extravagant style that would be perfected in his subsequent masterworks such as Joan of Arc and Ordet.

Victor and Victoria
dir. Reinhold Schünzel / 84 minutes / 1933 / 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 her playful bending of genders enmeshes her in a tangle of complications. Produced in the final days of the Weimar Republic, Victor and Victoria received limited exposure in the United States, 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.

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