Queer cinema

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I think that the most important development that I have seen in watching all of the films in the class has taken place in By Hook or By Crook. The thing that was the most groundbreaking was that they hardly mentioned queer identity at all, yet it was present the whole time. Both lead characters are very genderqueer, and maybe the only part I can remember that directly focused on gender identity is when a kid asked Shy "Are you a boy or a girl?" and he responded "both," and a brief scene in the bathroom where Shy and Val mentioned issues with their parents and clothing choices. Other than that, the plot had absolutely nothing to do with their gender identities or sexuality, but instead was largely focused on friendship and mental health. It was really refreshing to see a film where two main characters remain friends, and there is no drama in regards to someone sleeping with the wrong person, or romantic tribulations, that you see in almost ever other film ever, even the other "buddy films." Unfortunately, since this is such an indie film, I doubt there are many people who have seen it, especially non-queer identified people, so it is difficult to say that it is a major win for queer cinema.

Its difficult for me to pick a favorite film, because I liked most all of them. I have always loved The Birdcage, Priscilla, and Brokeback Mountain, but this is the first time I encountered But, I'm a Cheerleader, and I thought it was really great. The things that I like about the 3 former films is that they are all mainstream films that have brought queer existence into the public eye, most especially Brokeback Mountain. I mostly enjoy the Birdcage because I find it hilarious. With But I'm a Cheerleader I was confronted with an observation that I had not really even thought about before, the lack of female queer camp. I thought the movie was totally cute and funny, and it was really great to see a lesbian lead character in a campy film.

I think the next step would probably be to just feature more queer characters in film, (regardless of the plot) and try not to use so many tired, old stereotypes. I realize this seems to be difficult in most films, but I think that we have made a lot of progress over the years.

2 Comments

I agree about how refreshing it was to see two main characters who are genderqueer (or queer in general) and not given story content based solely on that aspect of their character. I always find it confusing in movies or television shows when the only problem facing the character is how to come out to person A or how to stand up to person B. I would like to see ideas like this implemented on a wider scale in films.

I totally agree with you about But I'm A Cheerleader. I never realized the female absence in queer camp, it was so interesting and well done in my opinion. I loved it! And we share all of the same favorites, all of them!

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This page contains a single entry by nels6731 published on April 23, 2012 11:33 AM.

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