Gay cinema in the 90s essay

World War II era to s[ edit ] During the Second World War and the subsequent Cold War, Hollywood increasingly depicted gay men and women as sadists, psychopaths, and nefarious, anti-social villains.

Gay cinema in the 90s essay

Of the approximately half a million people who had died of AIDS in the United States toaround two-thirds, or about , died in the ten years — We can estimate, then, that around 50, gay American men, most of them concentrated in the urban gay centres of large cities like New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles, died in this short period.

Sullivan describes a community alienated from the modern civilisation that surrounded it by medieval experiences of plague: Gay cinema in the 90s essay, creative responses to this peak period of the AIDS Gay cinema in the 90s essay leant towards the spectral, the alchemic, the mystical.

The Living End is set resolutely in the present. Cinematically, it restages the celluloid of the 60s and 70s: The queer present negotiates with the past, knowing full well that the future is at stake. The Living End treats the queer-as-criminal theme from a contemporary perspective.

In an interview in MayB. It has remained a relatively well-known film, probably due to the subsequent career successes of Van Sant and Reeves, and the enduring pop-mythology of River Phoenix, who died of a drug overdose in Mike hustles to survive and to escape the no-hope hell of his Midwestern home, a place where his cherished mother is no longer found, and where, we learn, his father is also his brother.

Mike passes out regularly and is usually carried to safety and protected by Scott. The film is laboriously stylised. Sex scenes are filmed in quasi stop-motion, in the style of porn magazine photo stories; in other scenes cover models of such magazines laid out on a newsstand come to life and speak directly to the camera.

Visual metaphors, such as salmon trying to swim up stream, and old wooden houses that crash out of the sky into splinters occur throughout the film. My Own Private Idaho received generally positive reviews in the gay media, typified by Planetout.

Numb from the diagnosis, he drives around the streets, where he encounters Luke Mike Dytrian extroverted, sexy hustler who packs a gun and rarely wears a shirt.

On the run from gay bashers and the police Luke has shot three attackers and a cop deadJon and Luke set out on a nihilistic road trip to nowhere robbing banks and stealing cars and exploring ennui, freedom, gay sex and romance in the age of AIDS, all under their motto: Again, metaphors abound, like cocked and loaded guns jammed into the mouths of HIV-positive gay men at the point of orgasm and stealthy roadside snakes terrorising penis-hating lesbians.

Conspicuously addressed to a particular audience and commercially limited by both budget and aesthetics they are not films open to everyone, entries into universal popular culture that could potentially play to random spectators.

They are special, personal films that rely on audience identification for much of their impact. Though it is impossible to demonstrate a gay-male-heavy demographic break down of the audiences of these two films, and though the star power of Phoenix and Reeves has no doubt drawn many non-gay male viewers to My Own Private Idaho, the assumption that the two films enjoyed a proportionately large amount of interested gay male viewers on their initial release is, I believe, a reasonable one As John Champagne has argued, culturally marginalised groups — such as gay men — cannot define and conceptualise themselves outside the imposed frameworks that contain them.

Like many of these icons, his sexuality draws freely from both genders. Gravelled LA industrial sites and vast but empty shopping mall car parks stand in for tumbleweed desert scapes. The pair pack an intimidatingly large gun and both seem to know the language of both the night and the street.

Punk and the sexual revolution, movements that nurtured early gay liberation, inform much of The Living End. The fact that they are pretty much the only gay male characters in the film codes their same-sex love affair as a defiant, pioneering act — an act of sexual revolution.

This face is present in both films, but only in shadowy form, and those who wear it are made conspicuously distinct from the central characters. Tellingly, such figures are foreigners — blow-ins from some strange faraway place. All seem to inhabit run down hotel rooms, where they lurk among peeling paint and the pasty yellow glow of bare bulbs.

Their HIV-positive status is what timestamps the film, and gives it a greased shortcut to socio-political significance. My Own Private Idaho leaves HIV completely out of the picture, an especially unrealistic omission in a film about gay hustlers living and sex- working in urban America in the early s.

His well-being is made conspicuously tenuous as he keeps convulsing and collapsing, but he always gets back up again, full of beans and ready to start over. In both films, symbolic affliction which gives complexity and sympathy to character without causing any real physical harm is used to construct a gay identity that is psychically complex as a result of illness and circumstance, but not under any serious physical threat.

Gay cinema in the 90s essay

In this light, how do we view these two films as polemic gut-punches and resonant gay romances that forged, apparently, new and brave paths of post-AIDS gay cinema representation? In my opinion, they are prime examples of precisely the opposite: The road is a central, fleshed-out character in both films.

Other Subject Areas

At one point Mike ascribes a face to it, and later ponders whether it has an end, or whether it runs all the way around the world. Both films were praised for their unconventional treatment of narrative and genre, specifically, the road movie format.

Definitively breaking with older humanist approaches … these works are irreverent, energetic, alternatively minimalist and excessive. This mis use and subversion of the road movie genre was seen as a spit in the face of Hollywood codes, which had long bristled gay movie going culture with its apparent misrepresentations of gay identity through suicidal, murderous or in some other way unstable and negative gay characters.

I read this backwards movement as a collapse back into safe familiarity, the taking of shelter in a comfort zone. In proximal defence, the problem object or incident is dealt with by doing whatever can be rationally expected to minimise vulnerability My reading of these two films observes proximal defence in response to the AIDS Crisis operating within the films, and also among critics and audiences.Queer Representation in Film and Television.

Diversity in Media, movie about “straight-acting” gay men who barely have sex and who cannot even accept their own desires is hardly a gay movie at all. Queer Cinema. In the ‘90s, New Queer Cinema challenged established notions that queer legitimacy could only come through assimilation.

Even the 90s New Queer Cinema movement was made up mostly of gay men, to the point that several very average lesbian directors were celebrated simply because they existed (and indeed several films about lesbians were directed by straight men and considered part of the movement).

LGBT 27 Things You'll Only Know If You Grew Up Gay In The '90s. Yep, I'm a disco-dancing, Oscar Wilde-reading, Streisand ticket-holding friend of Dorothy. Jun 13,  · July I Can’t Date Jesus, by Michael Arceneaux This debut essay collection — a meditation on Arceneaux’s life as a gay black author — is boisterously funny, melancholic, and at times.

What’s the Best Dating Site for You? Are you ready to try online dating? Thousands of singles join online dating sites every day. With seemingly endless options, the list below can help you find a . The media portrayal of LGBT people refers to the varying and evolving ways in which the media depicts or portrays the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community.

The acronym LGBT is commonly used in North America and other English-speaking countries; it attempts to include all sexual orientations and variations represented in shorthand.

The Best Gay And Lesbian Films of All Time - Flickchart