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A chronological look at films by, for, or about (or 'by, for, and about') homosexuals in the United States, from 1947 to 2005, from Kenneth Anger's 'Fireworks' to Ang Lee's 'Brokeback Mountain'. Talking heads, anchored by critic and scholar B. Ruby Rich, are interspersed with an advancing chronology and with clips from two dozen films. The narrative groups the pictures around various firsts, movements, and triumphs: experimental films, independent films, sex on screen, outlaw culture and bad guys, female romances, films about A.I.D.S. and dying, emergence of romantic comedy, transsexual films, films about diversity and various cultures, and then main-stream Hollywood drama. What might come next? Written by
<email@example.com> and Brian McInnis
Fabulous! will be most interesting to people who have no knowledge of queer films. Anyone who already has a semi-decent working knowledge of queer films will probably find Fabulous! to be an OK choice to watch/listen to while going through a pile of unsorted mail. Anyone hoping to find information about films they've never heard of will probably be disappointed.
Fabulous! does a good job including many films that could be tagged L, G, B, T, and Q though it quickly passes over or neglects some that seem like they'd have a bigger role in a documentary like this.
There are a lot of interviews with makers and supporters of queer cinema. Actually it's essentially all interviews, Fabulous! is a talking head film with a few clips thrown in here and there. Some of the interviews, especially those with queer actors, offer little more than "Oh my god, I loved (insert queer film title here)!".
Ironically for a film about film Fabulous! could have been just as effective as radio documentary because it's not a film you really need to watch to get anything from. Most the time you're just staring at someone's face as he or she talks. Every now and then the talking heads are interrupted by a clip, still shot, timeline of 20th century gay history, or montage of queer film titles. The words and still images are thrown on the screen so briefly you can barely read anything or take in the images.
Over all Fabulous! (a terrible gay cliché title that doesn't describe all queer films) feels like a promotional film for a film fest, queer TV channel, or DVD rental service...Which it just might be as Netflix was somehow involved int the production.
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