Gay Shame: A Primer

By Lee, Nathan | Out, June/July 2009 | Go to article overview

Gay Shame: A Primer


Lee, Nathan, Out


ONCE UPON A TIME-1981, TO BE PRECISE-a scholar of the cinema could break virgin ground with a study of the various shady, salacious, and repressive ways that gays and lesbians were portrayed on the silver screen. Vito Russo's landmark survey The Celluloid Closet laid important groundwork for countless gay critics and historians to come, but half a century later, much of its hectoring, kneejerk indignation has grown dated. While it may be hard to agree that Kubrick's Barry Lyndon deserves singling out for "a gratuitous and offensive scene [that] shows two gay soldiers bathing in a river," it's easy to understand how the conscientious critic of Russo's era 1

CRUISING (1980)

On the one hand, William Friedkin's notorious thriller about an undercover cop (Al Pacino) who descends into the gay underground to catch a serial killer is the ultimate gay panic movie, a lurid cautionaty tale about the power of Crisco-coated leather freaks to seduce upstanding heterosexuals. On the other hand, it's hot as hell. Reviled by gays upon its release, Cruiiing now functions as a time capsule of uninhibited sexual camaraderie-the last gasp of Dionysian abandon befbre the arrival of AIDS.

2

OFANTASMA (2000)

This ingenious fable from the young talented Portuguese filmmaker joao Pedro Rodrigues charts the descent of a fetishistic garbage man into madness after bemg rebuffed bya straight swim jock.A formal tourde fbrce that aims to represent the veiy shape and structure of desire itself this brilliantly staged, exquisitely dirty provocation is art house smut at its brainiest.

3

BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN (2005)

Huh? Aren't we all super proud ofthis one? Exploding the homosocial subtext of the classic Western, Ang Lee's gay cowboy opus is both a milestone in gay representation and a throwback to the shamebased melodramatics of the 1950s. There's no doubting its emotional force and cultural significance, but let's not pretend this isn't, at the end of the day, yet another movie about mortified homosexuals led to their doom.

4

FIREWORKS (1941)

The legendary avant-garde filmmaker Kenneth Anger was still a teenager when he made his first film, shot at home one weekend while his parents were out of town. A key inspiration for Jean Cocteau and Jean Genet, and the summation, per Anger, of everything he had to say about "being 17, the United States Navy, American Christmas, and the Fourth of July," Fi,vworkr is an experimental wet dream about getting beat up then jizzed on byagang of sailors.

5

REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE (1955)

Nicholas Ray's classic tale ofyouth run wild and the formulation of alternative families has long been analyzed for its subtext, insinuation, and cxyptohomosexuality. After all, the needy sissy played by Sal Mineo, crushed out on James Dean, is nicknamed Plato....

would pounce on every image, no matter how fleeting or coded, that cast his lavender brothers in an unflattering light. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Gay Shame: A Primer
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.