Giving Yourself a Crash Course in Gay (Ep. 26 - Cinephiles)

Alonso Duralde (photo: Gabriel Goldberg)

Alonso Duralde (photo: Gabriel Goldberg)

Last week I spoke with Dave White, one half of the movie-reviewing team Linoleum Knife. This week, I'm joined by Dave's partner and husband, Alonso Duralde, who lives film every moment of his life.

Alonso just returned from the Venice Film Festival, because wherever there's an intriguing image projected on a giant screen in a darkened room, Alonso is there. That affinity for film dates back to his early childhood, when he was part of a brood of seven kids. Despite the chaos of growing up in such a large family, his parents always made time to settle in for a good classic film. As a kid, movies were how he connected with family and friends. As student, movies showed him what gay life could be. And as an adult, it was movie theaters that brought him closer to the man he loved.

Alonso made about two dozen movie references in our conversation, so hopefully you've got a full list of movies to watch for the next few weeks. But just in case you need more, I highly recommend his two books, 101 Must-See Movies for Gay Men and Have Yourself a Movie Little Christmas.

I first discovered Alonso's work about a decade ago, when he gave a presentation on 101 Must-See Movies at Frameline, San Francisco's LGBT film fest. Over the course of an hour and a half, he raced through over a hundred incredible films with a zeal for the art form that bordered on religious. Some I'd heard of, many were new to me, and there is not a single title among them that you can afford to miss.

His second book, Have YourSelf a Movie Little Christmas, is similarly invaluable, particularly at this time of year. Now is the time to start planning which holiday films you'll gorge on this year, and this book will serve as a helpful little elf to guide you through your options.

What makes both books so wonderful is their incredible diversity, from Funny Girl to Opposite of Sex to Showgirls to Gods and Monsters. Each movie is an entirely fresh window into the queer experience -- a buffet of possibilities, a homosexual cabaret.

And while you're at it, don't forget to pick up a copy of Exile in Guyville, Dave White's book about how he picked up his life and moved to West Hollywood with Alonso years ago. What started out as a series of funny emails to family and friends became a blog, then a monthly article, and then finally a book about Dave's exploration of his new life with Alonso on the West Coast. Alonso's books contain windows into gay worlds; Dave's is a window into those windows.

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Parisian Kevin MacLeod ( 
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