In the days and weeks following the weekend’s mass shooting at a gay club in Orlando, many will be seeking answers to questions that might prove ultimately unanswerable. Others will simply be seeking solace and strength.
If you look to art, there is whole world of beautiful and inspiring LGBT cinema to explore, and that world is celebrated in a poignant three-and-a-half-minute (and NSFW) supercut by French video essayist Candice Drouet entitled “Rainbow Flag Of Film.” The supercut was commissioned by Fandor Keyframe well before the Orlando shootings, but the grim recent headlines lend it extra significance.
As the title suggests, Drouet used the rainbow flag, a symbol of gay pride since 1978, as the inspiration for her dreamy, impressionistic montage. Each of the flag’s six stripes represents a particular value of the LGBT community, including life (red), serenity (blue), and nature (green). Drouet’s video chooses thematically appropriate clips to go with each one of those colors/values. Among the films excerpted here: Blue Is The Warmest Color, Hedwig And The Angry Inch, Mulholland Drive, Priscilla: Queen Of The Desert, and Before Night Falls. Musical accompaniment is provided by Lykke Li’s “I Follow Rivers.”
In her notes accompanying the video, Drouet explains that the values extolled in her video are universal, not limited to the LGBT community. “Everything I see, I see in terms of movies,” she writes. “As I thought about how each of these values can be found in LGBTQ movies, this video formed in my head. I put together these images representing these values, which are values we can all relate to.” And it’s true. By pure accident of history, Orlando casts a long and ominous shadow over “Rainbow Flag Of Film,” but the mood of the video is celebratory, not mournful. Here are moments of joy and beauty and intimacy: If they move you, seek out the full-length films from which they were taken.