Coined in the early 1990s to describe a burgeoning film movement, “New Queer Cinema” has turned the attention of film theorists, students, and audiences, to the proliferation of intelligent, stylish, and daring work by lesbian and gay filmmakers within independent cinema and to the proliferation of “queer” images and themes within the mainstream. Why did this transition take place? Was it political gains, cultural momentum, or market forces that energized the evolution and transformation of this cinematic genre?
The volume is divided into four sections: defining “new queer cinema,” assessing its filmmakers, examining geographic and national differences, and theorizing spectatorship. Chapters address the pivotal directors (Todd Haynes and Gregg Araki) and salient films (Paris is Burning, Boys Don’t Cry), as well as nonmainstream and non-Anglo-American work (experimental filmmaking and third world cinema). With a critical eye to its uneasy relationship to the mainstream, New Queer Cinema explores the aesthetic, sociocultural, political, and, necessarily, commercial investments of the movement. Although there are certainly other books on gay and lesbian issues in film, this is the first full-length study of recent developments in queer cinema, combining indispensable discussions of central issues with exciting new work by key writers.
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