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Five directors

"What does queer signify in twenty-first-century French film? How are lesbian, gay, and trans* characters represented on screen? The book responds to these questions via the cinema of five emblematic directors: Jacques Martineau, Olivier Ducastel, Alain Guiraudie, Sébastien Lifshitz, and Céline Sciamma. From gay sex at a nudist beach to lesbian love at a high school swimming pool, from gay road trips across France to transgender journeys through time, the films treated in this study raise a host of key questions about queerness in this century. From award-winners such as Stranger by the Lake and Portrait of a Lady on Fire to the lesser-known Family Tree and Open Bodies, these productions gesture toward an optimistic future for LGBTQ characters and for the world in which they live, love, and desire. Comprehensive in scope, Queer cinema in contemporary France traces the development of queerness across the directors’ careers, from their earliest, often unknown works to their later, major films. Whether they are white, beur, or black, whether they are lesbian, gay, trans*, or queer, the characters open up oppressive notions of hetero- and cisnormativity to something new, something unexpected, and something oriented towards the future.

Andrew Moor

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.

Film Studies
Fetish Filmmaking and the Revision of Masculinity in Scorpio Rising and Drive
Rebecca Sheehan

This article examines how the ironic construction of queer masculinity from biker culture, a realm of consumer fetishism and hetero-masculinity, in Kenneth Anger’s Scorpio Rising (1964), influences Nicolas Winding Refn’s 2011 film Drive. As Anger’s film appropriates pop-culture images and icons of biker culture, fetishes of post-Second World War American masculinity, Refn uses overt references to Anger’s film to wage a similar reappropriation of muscle car culture, in the process challenging contemporary images of heterosexual masculinity in Drive. Like Anger, Refn relies upon the dynamics of fetishism and postmodernism’s illumination of the distance between sign and object to subvert muscle cars’ associations with masculine violence and rivalry, mobilising them instead to exploit the inherent multivocality of the fetishised object, seizing the car (and its mobility) as a getaway vehicle to escape prescriptions of identity and limiting definitions of gender and sexuality.

Film Studies

Moving images of the British monarchy, in fact and fiction, are almost as old as the moving image itself, dating back to an 1895 dramatic vignette, The Execution of Mary Queen of Scots. Led by Queen Victoria, British monarchs themselves appeared in the new 'animated photography' from 1896. Half a century later, the 1953 coronation of Elizabeth II was a milestone in the adoption of television, watched by 20 million Britons and 100 million North Americans. At the century's end, Princess Diana's funeral was viewed by 2.5 billion worldwide. Seventeen essays by international commentators examine the portrayal of royalty in the 'actuality' picture, the early extended feature, amateur cinema, the movie melodrama, the Commonwealth documentary, New Queer Cinema, TV current affairs, the big screen ceremonial and the post-historical boxed set. These contributors include Ian Christie, Elisabeth Bronfen, Andrew Higson, Steven Fielding, Karen Lury, Glyn Davis, Ann Gray, Jane Landman, Victoria Duckett, Jude Cowan Montague, James Downs, Barbara Straumann, Deirdre Gilfedder, Jo Stephenson, Ruth Adams, Erin Bell, Basil Glynn and Nicola Rehling.

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Derek Jarman’s life-writing

Luminous presence: Derek Jarman's life-writing is the first book to analyse the prolific writing of queer icon Derek Jarman. He blended visionary queer politics with experimental self-representation and consistently created art with material drawn from his own life, using it as a generative activist force. Although he is well known for his avant-garde filmmaking, his garden and his AIDS activism, he is also the author of over a dozen books, many of which are autobiographical. Much of Jarmanʹs exploration of post-war queer identity and imaginative response to HIV/AIDS can be found in his books, such as the lyrical AIDS diaries Modern Nature and Smiling in Slow Motion, the associative book of colour Chroma, the critique of homophobia At Your Own Risk, and the activist text published alongside the film Edward II. The remarkable range and depth of his writing has yet to be fully explored by critics. Luminous Presence fills this gap. Spanning his career, Alexandra Parsons shows that Jarman’s self-reflexive response to the HIV/AIDS crisis was critical in changing the cultural terms of queer representation from the 1980s onwards. She reads Jarman's self-representations across his literary and visual works as a queer utopian project that places emphasis not on the finished product, but on the process of its production. Luminous Presence examines Jarmanʹs books in broadly chronological order so as to tell the story of his developing experimentation with self-representation. The book is aimed at students, scholars and general readers interested in queer history, literature, art and film.

Open Access (free)
Quentin Crisp as Orlando’s Elizabeth I
Glyn Davis

’s ‘queenliness’ and his roles as Elizabeth I and II are examined. Do aspects of the persona and life story of this ‘stately homo’ (a term Crisp used in reference to himself) make him an appropriate choice for either impersonation? Next, attention is turned to debates about queer cinema that circulated in the early 1990s, and the complicated position that Potter’s Orlando and Quentin Crisp occupy in relation to

in The British monarchy on screen
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Epstein as pioneer of corporeal cinema
Christophe Wall-Romana

think of the cinema of Cocteau, Pasolini, Kenneth Anger, or Derek Jarman. The two contemporary filmmakers who have decided to call the entirety of their collaborative œuvre, ‘le cinéma corporel’, Maria Klonaris and Katherina Thomadaki, are lesbians (Klonaris and Thomadaki, 2006). Epstein belongs to discussions of the role of embodied experiencing in queer cinema that should extend to both silent movies and films that are not obviously queer. In view of the fact that Epstein’s closet was a result of censorship – that is, of the legal and cultural opprobrium against

in Jean Epstein
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Queer productions
Todd W. Reeser

unique, but indicative of a wing of queer French cinema. This book takes the idea of queer futurity or becoming as its focus, aiming to offer one answer to the question: What is French queer cinema in the twenty-first century? I respond to that question from the vantage point of a corpus of five living directors working entirely or mostly in the twenty-first century: the directorial duo Olivier Ducastel

in Queer cinema in contemporary France
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Andrew Dix

openly: prominent examples from Hollywood itself would include Philadelphia (1993), Milk (2008) and A Single Man (2009). Later, this chapter’s case study is Blue Is the Warmest Colour (2013), a successful French film recounting a passionate lesbian relationship. Other critics in this field are concerned with evaluating the achievements and legacies of ‘New Queer Cinema’, a wave of filmmaking roughly dated to the mid-1980s onwards and including the work of US and British directors such as Todd Haynes, Derek Jarman, Isaac Julien, Jennie Livingston, Rose Troche

in Beginning film studies (second edition)
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Barry Jordan

options, such concerns show significant thematic affinities with New Queer Cinema. This trend emerged in the late 1980s and early 1990s, across the festival circuits (such as Sundance), as a challenge to fixed gender representations and the binary ‘normality’ of heterosexuality and homosexuality. According to Aaron this cinema provided an outlet to some of the more marginal voices within the field of nonstraight sexual

in Alejandro Amenábar