Todd Haynes Movies

Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 5:59 pm

Films Directed by Todd Haynes

I can honestly say that I haven’t seen any of the Todd Haynes movies on this list. In fact, I had forgotten his name until I came across it while searching through a rundown of American directors. I don’t say this to diminish his abilities, but only to illustrate that even the most passionate film fan can occasionally let one slip under the radar.

Openly gay, Haynes frequently includes themes of homosexuality or eroticism in his works, and he’s not afraid to remind the audience that they’re watching a movie. While these films are never going to cash in at the box office, they’re the types of projects that those liberal bastards up in New York City just love to gush about (just kidding, NYC). Then again, Brokeback Mountain made a killing, so I suppose anything is possible.

Todd Haynes movies

When you see Todd Haynes movies, you're helping this guy buy a new car.

It’s a little awkward to discuss a filmmaker who I’m unfamiliar with, but this should prove a learning experience both for myself and anyone else who finds themselves in the same boat. Whether you’re into queer cinema or simply the avant-garde, Todd Haynes films may be just what you’re looking for.

To learn more, you can click on the provided link and become a member of Netflix. Their sign-up process is a snap, and you’ll have the first batch of feature films or television shows shipped by the next day. Or, if you prefer, you can choose to watch streaming movies right over your PC or television. In either case, Netflix offers multiple subscription packages and a vast library of both classic films and complete trash.

Todd Haynes Movies

Poison (1991) – One of the early films in the movement known as New Queer Cinema, Poison presents three tales of sexuality. Each is filmed in a different style, from documentary to drive-in horror movie. While I’m not the least bit homophobic, I still have no plans on seeing this one. For those of you who are really into film festival darlings, you might be interested to know it won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance.

Safe (1995) – Julianne Moore stars as a housewife who develops multiple chemical sensitivity, which renders her allergic to all manner of everyday household items. The film is categorized as a drama/thriller, but there’s nothing in the description that sounds too thrilling to me. Another Todd Haynes film that I’ll be passing over.

Todd Haynes movies

More than one of the Todd Haynes movies on this list features Christian Bale. Hard to believe that this is the same guy who plays Batman.

Velvet Goldmine (1998) – I’ve been a longtime fan of David Bowie, so this film might eventually wind up in my Netflix queue. It stars Christian Bale as a journalist who’s writing about the disappearance of a famous glam rocker (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), and a series of flashbacks detail the gender-bending music scene of the 1970s. In case you’re interested, Toni Collette, Ewan McGregor, and Eddie Izzard co-star.

Far from Heaven (2002) – Another collaboration between Julianne Moore and Todd Haynes, this film revolves around a 1950’s homemaker who learns that her husband (Dennis Quaid) is gay. This drives her closer to her gardener (Dennis Haysbert), which doesn’t sit well with locals given the color of his skin. I’m certain the message here is that sexual and racial intolerance are bad, so I think I’ll skip the movie and the subsequent sermon.

I’m Not There (2007) – Six different performers play roles based on the life and personas of musician Bob Dylan, with the most notable being Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Richard Gere, and Heath Ledger. Blanchett got an Oscar nomination for her role in the film, and she strangely looked more like the singer than any of the men. Bob Dylan has always been overrated in my book, so I can guarantee that I’ll be skipping this one. Call me when they get around to making a film about his son, Jakob.

Now that I’ve read and written about Todd Haynes movies, I can’t say that I’m any more inclined to see his films. It’s not that I’m opposed to such topics (I recently watched a double feature of Beautiful Boxer and The Iron Ladies), but Bob Dylan has never been of any interest to me, and dramas about unhappy middle-aged couples often bore me to tears. I hope you feel differently, as Todd Haynes may have a mortgage to pay off.

This entry was posted on Thursday, July 21st, 2011 at 5:59 pm and is filed under Good Movies, Thoughts on Film. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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