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Title: New queer cinema : the work of five gay directors in the context of queer culture and its politics of representation
Author: Davis, Glyn Peter
ISNI:       0000 0004 2668 3655
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 2004
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The term 'New Queer Cinema' was coined by critic B. Ruby Rich in 1992, in an attempt to mark a flourishing of independent lesbian and gay film and video work that she observed occurring at the time. Key films of the (rather short-lived) movement included My Own Private Idaho (Van Sant, 1991), Poison (Haynes, 1991), Swoon (Kalin, 1992), and The Living End (Araki, 1992). To date, very little has been written about New Queer Cinema. This thesis is an attempt to fill this gap in scholarship. Chapter One offers an overview of three main perspectives on New Queer Cinema that have been taken to date, and their implications: Rich's claim that the movies share a similar aesthetic, which she terms 'Homo Pomo'; Jose Arroyo's assessment of the films as affiliated to, and intimately connected with, queer activism of the late 1980s and early 1990s; and John Pierson's positioning of New Queer Cinema within a history of independent filmmaking in North America. These three viewpoints are useful and valid, but do not begin to account for the complex content and political significance of New Queer Cinema texts. In Chapters Two, Three and Four, I examine in depth three alternative approaches to these films. In Chapter Two, I argue that New Queer Cinema (and queer culture more broadly) provoked a re-examination of the 'positive images' debate: one of the main ways it did this was through its representations of queer killers. Chapter Three assesses the role of space and place in New Queer Cinema, as many of the key films of the movement are set either in Los Angeles or on the 'open road'. Finally, Chapter Four investigates the persistence of campness in queer culture of the 1990s, offering a comparison of New Queer Cinema and mainstream American movies' uses of camp. The exploration of this trio of topics enables a nuanced appreciation of the significance of New Queer Cinema texts, and their relation to broader topics of cultural and political debate.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available