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 »
A story of amour fou. Walt is madly in love/lust with a young illegal Mexican immigrant. However, the object of his unrequited affection doesn't even speak any English and finds Walt really... See full summary »
A cinematic essay in defense of remembering, The Royal Road offers up a primer on the Spanish colonization of California and the Mexican American War alongside intimate reflections on ... See full summary »
Max is a trendy, pretty, young lesbian, who is having trouble finding love. A friend sets her up with Ely, whom Max likes, but Ely is frumpy, homely, and older. Nor do they have much in ... See full summary »
T. Wendy McMillan
Three intercut stories about outsiders, sex and violence. In "Hero," Richie, at age 7, kills his father and flies away. After the event, a documentary in cheesy lurid colors asks what ... See full summary »
As Michael and Robert, a gay couple in New York, prepare for Robert's departure for a two-year work assignment in Africa, Michael must face Robert's true motives for leaving while dealing ... See full summary »
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
If this film were called "The Story of American Queer Cinema" I would give it a higher rating, although --as it has been written in other reviews-- it only covers a small sample of its subject in American cinema, mostly independent films from recent years. It is neither a work on self-representation by American gay independent filmmakers, since it also covers a few motion pictures made by heterosexual directors, who --with varying degrees of respect-- have worked with homosexual or lesbian stories and characters. The lack of references to significant mainstream titles as "Mädchen in Uniform" (1931) and the very bad "The Third Sex" (1957), both from Germany, the interesting British drama "Victim' (1961), Fassbinder's "Fox and His Friends" (1975), the very bourgeois parable "The Best Way to Walk" (1976) from France, the Mexican black comedy "Doña Herlinda and Her Son" (1985), or Wong Kar-Wai's dramatic "Happy Together" (1997), omits the different and many aspects of what it means to be homosexual or lesbian in other cultures, so we are left with what it means to be "gay" or "queer", one-dimensional terms that many persons from all over the world (including myself) seem reluctant to apply to themselves or anyone. In the end this omission affects the work, making it appear too light and shallow in terms of world contribution to cinematic representation of same-sex eroticism, even when a few of the testimonies and analysis of a couple of motion pictures make the documentary moderately interesting.
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