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Fabulous! The Story of Queer Cinema (2006)

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A chronological look at films by, for, or about (or "by, for, and about") gays and lesbians in the United States, from 1947 to 2005, Kenneth Anger's "Fireworks" to "Brokeback Mountain." ... See full summary »

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Title: Fabulous! The Story of Queer Cinema (2006)

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Brett Miles Sanford (archive footage)
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Storyline

A chronological look at films by, for, or about (or "by, for, and about") gays and lesbians in the United States, from 1947 to 2005, Kenneth Anger's "Fireworks" to "Brokeback Mountain." Talking heads, anchored by critic and scholar B. Ruby Rich, are interspersed with an advancing timeline and with clips from two dozen films. The narrative groups the pictures around various firsts, movements, and triumphs: experimental films, indie films, sex on screen, outlaw culture and bad guys, lesbian lovers, films about AIDS and dying, emergence of romantic comedy, transgender films, films about diversity and various cultures, and then mainstream Hollywood drama. What might come next? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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7 April 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Fabulosa História do Cinema Gay  »

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[first lines]
Jane Lynch: For the longest time I couldn't put a name to who I was. I didn't have an image of anybody else who was like me, and it was torture.
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References The Brady Bunch (1969) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Interesting Summary of (Modern, American) Gay Cinema
10 August 2006 | by (Ireland) – See all my reviews

"Fabulous! The Story of Queer Cinema" serves as an interesting introduction to GLBT cinema over the last 40 years. However anyone who is familiar with the similar documentary, "The Celluloid Closet" (1995), may be somewhat disappointed by "Fabulous!". It is distinctly less ambitious in scope and depth - it spans a shorter period in time (50-60 years) and therefore does not explore homosexuality in the early history cinema - surely a crucial part of 'the history of gay cinema'? Oddly, "Fabulous!" almost totally excludes European and World Cinema while explaining that these were almost the only sources of gay cinema in the dark days of homophobic censorship in the US. On the other hand, the treatment of different ethnic and minority groups (e.g. Asian- and African- Americans) in gay movies is explored in an interesting way.

A wide range of contributors (actors, directors and critics) give their opinions on the development of gay cinema - although this commentary often resembles the shallow contributions found on TV 'best of' compilation programs. The graphics, jumpy editing and music used also give the whole production a rather cheap and 'made for TV' feel.

Where this documentary is strongest is in gathering together a wide collection of (US) gay-related cinema, particularly from the last 20 years. For anyone interesting in exploring gay cinema further these films will provide a good starting-point. A humorous and light-hearted tone is maintained throughout meaning that the documentary should appeal to a wide audience and not just ardent film buffs.


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