From Thomas Edison’s first cinematic experiments to contemporary Hollywood blockbusters, Queer Images chronicles the representation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer sexualities over one hundred years of American film. The most up-to-date and comprehensive book of its kind, it explores not only the ever-changing images of queer characters onscreen, but also the work of queer filmmakers and the cultural histories of queer audiences. Queer Images surveys a wide variety of films, individuals, and subcultures, including the work of discreetly homosexual filmmakers during Hollywood’s Golden Age; classical Hollywood’s (failed) attempt to purge “sex perversion” from films; the development of gay male camp in Hollywood cinema; queer exploitation films and gay physique films; the queerness of 1960s Underground Film practice; independent lesbian documentaries and experimental films; cinematic responses to the AIDS crisis; the rise and impact of New Queer Cinema; the growth of LGBT film festivals; and how contemporary Hollywood deals with queer issues. This entertaining and insightful book reveals how the meaning of sexual identity―as reflected on the silver screen―has changed a great deal over the decades, and it celebrates both the pioneers and contemporary practitioners of queer film in America. Queer Images is an essential volume for film buffs and anyone interested in sexuality and culture.
By Harry M. Benshoff and Sean Griffin , 2005