On (not) quantifying queerness


"This suggests a third way of defining queer film, one that centers on issues of spectatorship. According to this model, a queer film is one that is viewed by lesbian, gay, or otherwise queer spectators. In other words, all films might be potentially queer if read from a queer viewing position--that is to say, one that challenges dominant assumptions about gender and sexuality" (Benshoff and Griffin 10).

I think this quotation is an important one to keep in mind as we begin a class called "Queer Cinema." It seems that people have a propensity to want to quantify the people and programs we watch. "Is Barack Obama black enough?" "How violent is too violent?" and so on. I think a challenge we might encounter in class is arguing that a film or a character therein is not queer enough. This is a dead-end conversation.

Instead, I like to think of queerness as a lens through which we can view movies--the examples given in the reading do a great job of explaining how films that are otherwise not intended to be queer, and which feature no queer characters (such as Top Gun) can be interpreted differently by queer viewers.

Also, on an unrelated note, I really enjoyed Creekmur and Doty's discussion of camp. I don't have much to add except to say that when I describe something as "campy," it's always a compliment. I love it when films and television are so-bad-they're-good and aware of it.


I like your take on the queer lens perspective. It actually made me think of my own quantifiability when I watch queer cinema. I too, think it is important that we must look at not only queer films, but average films viewed in the perspective of a GLBT person and the perspective taken.

However, I am sure a generous portion of this class will be dedicated to the representation of queer individual on screen from the Hollywood lense.

I think your take on the 'queerness' is very interesting. How you view it was quite differnent from my post.. I agree that we shouldn't just look into queer films, but "regular" movies and even tv shows or images..

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This page contains a single entry by lundb195 published on January 30, 2012 12:02 AM.

Blog Response 2 - What Is Queer Film History? was the previous entry in this blog.

I like queers is the next entry in this blog.

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