Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Indiewire logo
Coming Attractions: 'Boy Meets Girl,' An Unlikely Twist On The Teen Rom-Com Coming Attractions: 'Boy Meets Girl,' An Unlikely Twist On The Teen Rom-Com John Waters Will Show a 'Sequel' to ‘Pink Flamingos’ in January -- Starring Kids John Waters Will Show a 'Sequel' to ‘Pink Flamingos’ in January -- Starring Kids 'Mommy' and Me: Why Xavier Dolan's Film Is This Writer's 'Boyhood' 'Mommy' and Me: Why Xavier Dolan's Film Is This Writer's 'Boyhood' Listen To The Entire Soundtrack For Xavier Dolan's 'Mommy' Listen To The Entire Soundtrack For Xavier Dolan's 'Mommy' The 10 Best Tina Belcher Moments On 'Bob's Burgers' The 10 Best Tina Belcher Moments On 'Bob's Burgers' Let These Wise Words Meryl Streep Lives By Usher You Into September Let These Wise Words Meryl Streep Lives By Usher You Into September The 5 Best Gay and Lesbian Romantic Comedies On Netflix The 5 Best Gay and Lesbian Romantic Comedies On Netflix 14 Films On Netflix To Watch At Your 2014 Pride Party 14 Films On Netflix To Watch At Your 2014 Pride Party Reader's Poll: The 25 Most Important LGBT Television Series Reader's Poll: The 25 Most Important LGBT Television Series 'Game of Thrones,' Sex and HBO: Where Did It Go Wrong For TV's Sexual Pioneers? 'Game of Thrones,' Sex and HBO: Where Did It Go Wrong For TV's Sexual Pioneers? On Zac Efron, Homoeroticism and Gay Pandering: How 'Neighbors' Is The Gayest Studio Movie of the Summer On Zac Efron, Homoeroticism and Gay Pandering: How 'Neighbors' Is The Gayest Studio Movie of the Summer EXCLUSIVE: Actor Daniel Franzese Writes a Touching Coming Out Letter To His Iconic 'Mean Girls' Character Damian EXCLUSIVE: Actor Daniel Franzese Writes a Touching Coming Out Letter To His Iconic 'Mean Girls' Character Damian Amber Heard and Johnny Depp Are Officially Engaged But We Need To Talk About Bisexuality Amber Heard and Johnny Depp Are Officially Engaged But We Need To Talk About Bisexuality Read Sally Field's Impassioned Open Letter About Her Gay Son Read Sally Field's Impassioned Open Letter About Her Gay Son Watch: Travis Mathews' Sexy, Very NSFW Doc 'In Their Room: Berlin' Is Now Streaming Online Watch: Travis Mathews' Sexy, Very NSFW Doc 'In Their Room: Berlin' Is Now Streaming Online Must Watch: Kate McKinnon Gets Naked For Lena Dunham in SNL Promo Must Watch: Kate McKinnon Gets Naked For Lena Dunham in SNL Promo Why Sexy Gay Love Story 'Free Fall' Is Not Just a German 'Brokeback Mountain' Why Sexy Gay Love Story 'Free Fall' Is Not Just a German 'Brokeback Mountain' Watch a Teenage Boy Find a Stack of Gay Porn In Adam Baran's Adorable Short Film 'Jackpot' Watch a Teenage Boy Find a Stack of Gay Porn In Adam Baran's Adorable Short Film 'Jackpot' Ranking the House Down:
 The Queens of RuPaul’s Drag Race, from Worst to Best (Part Six: The Top 10!) Ranking the House Down:
 The Queens of RuPaul’s Drag Race, from Worst to Best (Part Six: The Top 10!) Ranking the House Down:
 The Queens of RuPaul’s Drag Race, from Worst to Best (Part Five) Ranking the House Down:
 The Queens of RuPaul’s Drag Race, from Worst to Best (Part Five)

Blood, Sweat and Queers: 3 Sports-Themed LGBT Films You Should Watch Instead of the Olympics

By Matt Thomas | /Bent February 19, 2014 at 10:18AM

Between the ongoing hardships for the LGBT community in Russia in the shadow of the Sochi Olympics and the recent coming out of likely NFL draft pick Michael Sam, sexuality and the world of sports have been front page news over the last few weeks. The queer cinema cannon is full of stories where LGBT lives cross paths with the world of athletics and here are just a few highlights.
0
Personal Best
Personal Best

Between the ongoing hardships for the LGBT community in Russia in the shadow of the Sochi Olympics and the recent coming out of likely NFL draft pick Michael Sam, sexuality and the world of sports have been front page news over the last few weeks. The queer cinema cannon is full of stories where LGBT lives cross paths with the world of
athletics and here are just a few highlights:

Personal Best 
This classic film from the lesbian sports genre was released in 1982 to critical acclaim but poor box office sales. It tells the story of a young bisexual track and field athlete named Chris (played by Mariel Hemingway) and Tory, her older lesbian training partner (played by real-life track star Patrice Donnelly), as they push themselves to qualify for the 1980 Summer Olympics. This kinetic and sensual film is remembered for its depiction of the world of professional female athletics, use of real footage from competitions and a totally 80's nostalgic look. It was written, produced and directed by Robert Towne whose most famous contribution to cinema was writing the script for Chinatown.

Summer Storm 
This coming of age flick out of Germany from gay director Marco Kreuzpaintner follows Tobi, a young competitive rower who attends a week-long  training camp in preparation for a big competition. It's at camp where he meets the members of Queerschlag ("Queerstrokes"), a gay youth rowing team who are fearlessly out of the closet and are the
cause of tension among campers. This experience pushes Tobi to deal with his encroaching sexuality which has taken the form of a crush he has on fellow team-mate and close friend Achim. The film is a great slice of adolescence sexuality, full of longing and painful realizations that stands out in the genre thanks to its earnest performances, beautiful cinematography and some well-paced rowing sequences. This film was inspired by Kreuzpaintner's own experiences growing up and this film was his first hit on the festival circuit. His newest film Coming In, about a gay man who shockingly falls in love with a woman, debuted at the 2014 Berlin Film Festival.


The Rugby Player
This documentary catalogs the unique bond between a mother and her gay son, who became an unlikely hero and role model. Mark Bingham was a charming and fun-loving man with a passion for making friends, traveling and playing rugby. By watching video footage taken by Mark over the course of his life, viewers come to know a excitable,
care-free prankster who overcomes family struggles and navigates his sexuality, all while becoming enamored with the camaraderie and physical challenges that come with playing competitive rugby. Mark Bingham was one of the passengers on the infamous United Flight 93 on 9/11 who, according to taped calls, was likely instrumental in fighting the terrorists on board and taking the plane down before it reached its intended, heavily-populated target in Washington, DC. Bingham's life and heroic death along with the coverage his story received in the media after the tragedy inspired many athletes to come out of the closet as well as an international gay rugby tournament championship in his memory. The film follows his mother as she becomes a restless advocate for gay rights and greater transportation security in American and it is as touching as it is inspiring and heartfelt. Winner of the HBO Audience Award for Best Documentary at the 2013 Miami LGBT Film Festival, this doc remains one of the best LGBT sport documentaries ever made.