The article notes a trend towards low-key naturalism in twenty-first-century independent queer cinema. Focusing on work by Andrew Haigh, Travis Mathews and Ira Sachs, it argues that this observational style is welded to a highly meta-cinematic engagement with traditions of representing non-straight people. The article coins the term ‘New Gay Sincerity’ to account for this style, relating it to Jim Collins’s and Warren Buckland’s writing on post-postmodern ‘new sincerity’. At its crux, this new style centres itself in realism to record non-metropolitan, intimate and quotidian gay lives, while acknowledging the high-style postmodernism of oppositional 1990s New Queer Cinema.
relationships may be more difficult to attain for future generations of film viewers and spectators. But if in 9 Songs (2004) we witness a couple break up after around nine varied sexual encounters during the course of a year, in 45 Years (Andrew Haigh, 2015) we watch a married couple (Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay) celebrate their lengthy relationship, even if it is revealed to have not been easy or rewarding at times. Several of the films explored have not been straightforwardly classifiable as genre films ( Perfect Sense draws upon science fiction, social
moving accounts of complicated and complex relationships between male and female characters taking place in differing decades of British social history, the 1960s and the 1990s: On Chesil Beach (Dominic Cooke, 2018), An Education (2009) and One Day (2011), the latter two both directed by Lone Scherfig; and films exploring the pleasures and pains of same-sex attractions: Imagine Me & You (Ol Parker, 2005); Pride (Matthew Warchus, 2014); Weekend (Andrew Haigh, 2011) and God ’ s Own Country (Francis Lee, 2017). There were serious and uncompromising
marriage, to those involved it is a serious bond, whether or not conducive to lasting happiness. Again, what propels the denouement is the sense that there is more to life than the easy gratification of self, though here, of course, the matter of Darwan’s religion is also a key factor in accounting for his renunciation. Weekend In the gay romance, Andrew Haigh’s Weekend (2011), a casual acquaintance made at a gay bar proves to be something more than just a night of sex. As with Brief Encounter , the relationship
; Tim Roth’s incest drama, The War Zone (1999), which Gilbert Adair argued ‘should never have been made’; 63 Patrice Chéreau’s Intimacy (2001), with its unsimulated sex scene; Ashley Horner’s brilliantlove (2010); Andrew Haigh’s Weekend (2011); and Peter Strickland’s The Duke of Burgundy (2014) confirm the fact that British art cinema has not lost its taste for sex and its penchant for provocation. It is significant that many of the films mentioned above cannot be said to be straightforwardly British. Contemporary critics have
desires and dreams conclude – in death and entombment – and leaves open the question of how we should choose to live our lives in the face of this awareness of our impending and inevitable demise. Another gay love story, but this time between two men, Weekend (written, edited and directed by Andrew Haigh and released in 2011), also ends with a couple separating at the close, with one partner heading to America. The title refers to a two-day encounter between two gay men, Russell (Tom Cullen) and Glen (Chris New) and probes whether this relationship can and should