June marks Pride Month, a time to celebrate queer identities and remember queer history as a movement that started with a riot. To be queer is to be revolutionary if you think about it. Our identities go against the grain, a different way to move through the world. And not many mediums represent the feeling of queer quite like film.
Celebrate that feeling with five queer screenings happening across the District through Pride Month.
“To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything! Julie Newmar” at Alamo Drafthouse DC
Brunch and a queer cinema staple is just the way to celebrate the start of Pride Month. Patrick Swayze, Wesley Snipes, and John Leguizamo play three drag queens speeding their way across the US to make it to a national beauty pageant in time. But, their car breaks down in a middle-of-nowhere town. From there, they interact with homophobic locals. Hijinks ensue. Laughs are had. RuPaul wears a questionable dress. Rated PG-13. Alamo Drafthouse DC Bryant Street: 630 Rhode Island Ave NE, DC; drafthouse.com/dc-metro-area // @alamodrafthousedc
6.18, 6.19, + 6.22
“Paris is Burning” at AFI Silver
Reading is fundamental, and so is watching Jenny Livingston’s documentary about voguing and drag culture in 1980s New York City. Specifically, Livingston focuses on the Black and Latinx community that started these scenes and created a space and community for those searching for a place to belong. The documentary dives into the different houses of drag, the interpersonal struggles of these performers, and the dangers of existing as a queer person in the 1980s. Not Rated. AFI Silver: 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, MD 20910; silver.afi.com // @afisilvertheatre
6.20 – 6.23
“Arrebato” at AFI Silver
This 1979 sexy, queer, vampire film was almost lost to time. But, thankfully, now there’s a 4K restoration making its way across arthouse screens. The film, which Pedro Almodovar declared his favorite horror movie, follows a tortured director addicted to heroin crashing into reminders of his part. It’s weird, it’s experimental, it’s hallucinogenic, and it’s perfect for Pride! Not Rated. AFI Silver: 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, MD 20910; silver.afi.com // @afisilvertheatre
“The Birdcage” at Alamo Drafthouse DC
This dramedy stars Robin Williams and Nathan Lane as a gay couple who run a popular gay club in Miami. Their lifestyle is loud, colorful, and proud. But, when their son gets engaged to the daughter of a conservative senator, they have to hide who they are when her family comes to visit. It’s both a hilarious comedy featuring the incredible talents of Williams and Lane, and a heartbreaking look at what happens when you force someone to fit into a more societally acceptable box. Rated R. Alamo Drafthouse DC Bryant Street: 630 Rhode Island Ave NE, DC; drafthouse.com/dc-metro-area // @alamodrafthousedc
“But I’m A Cheerleader” at Landmark E Street Cinema
“But I’m A Cheerleader” is incredible lesbian cinema. Starring a young Natasha Lyonne, Melanie Lynskey, and Clea Duvall, Lyonne plays a high school student who, despite trying her best, is whisked off to a gay conversion camp. While she tries to adhere to the straight teachings of football and cheerleading, she simply cannot contain her identity. Rated R. Landmark E Street Cinema: 555 11th Street NW, DC; landmarktheatres.com/washington-d-c