Fabulous! The Story Of Queer Cinema

The pictorial depiction of gays and lesbians in American culture is a modern-day achievement – the result of gay and lesbian movements in the last third of the previous century. Up to that point, depictions of gay and lesbian life were considered taboo; and whenever they did appear, it was largely a question of stereotyping.
Nowadays, queer images are to be found everywhere. Lisa Ades’ and Lesli Klainberg’s documentary describes how this change has come about, and how we got from there to here. Using numerous examples of recent film history and copious interviews, the two filmmakers look back on the history of gay and lesbian cinema. Their chronicle ranges from experimental and avant-garde productions of the 1940s and 50s to committed documentaries of the 1980s that came out of Aids awareness campaigns, and moves on to new queer cinema of the 1990s as well as the work of contemporary filmmakers.
Among those appearing in the film are well-known directors such as Ang Lee, John Waters, Todd Haynes, Gus Van Sant and Jennifer Livingstone, producers like James Schamus and Christine Vachon, as well as a whole host of actors. The film also includes comments from film historian Jenni Olson and film critic Ruby B. Rich.
Their testimonies and memories form a many-voiced dialogue on a multitude of topics: sex, gender, coming outs and gay rights are all broached, as is the sudden explosion of depictions of gay and lesbian life in mainstream cinema in the USA.
by Lisa Ades, Lesli Klainberg USA 2005 82’

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