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University of Toronto Scarborough
M.Hoffmann- Universityof Toronto

Final Exam NotesENGC82 Cinema Studies ThemesTheoriesFall 20121 James Joseph Dean suggests that we candivide independent lms into two types gay and lesbian standpoint films and queer cinema 365 How according to Dean do these two types of films differ from Hollywood films about homosexuality How does Frears My Beautiful Laundrette OR Julie Dashs Daughters of the Dust fit into these categories of films concerned with homosexualityGays and Queers from the centering to the decentring of homosexuality in American films James Joseph Dean Gay narratives are invisible virulent harmful stereotypesor innuendosEnd of the 1980s homo character were featured in filmsThey were typically presented as deviant and pathological human types from murders and sociopaths to victims of psychological sickness Recent debate over meanings of the new gay and lesbian visibility Continue to reinforce stereotypesInferior or hypervisible tokens who are reduced to their homosexualityEither gays are assimilated or commodified inserted into the film in order to exhibit certain hipness Shift from the polluted to the normal gay Being fully human as the psychological and moral equal of the heterosexual Link sex to love and a marriagelike relationship to defend family valuesand display national prideGay standpoint films are distinguished by their narrative focus on a gay and lesbian subculture whereas queer cinema generally depicts representations of a characters sexuality as decentred Queer cinema in the midlate 90s are responses to the shift towards normalizing images of homosexuality in mainstream Hollywood films in the 80s90sQ cinema can be seen as a challenge to both gay and lesbian standpoint films and normalizing mainstream films Gay and Hollywood centre and normalize homo id Hollywood almost always isolate the gaylesbian character from their lager subculture Subculture setting challenge the norm of heterosexuality If they portray subculture as legitimate forms of social life they would be arguing not only for tolerance for gablesbians but equality and social recognition Subculture challenge cultural normsChiefly these films make gay and lesbian id into a uniform and essentialist id where the main characters lives revolve around their homosexualityNormalizing context Andy accepted his homosexuality lives with longterm partnerCloseted at workCompensates for the stigma of homosexuality by being hyperidealized in every other characterological aspectHardworking successful quasimartial relationship Contracted HIV lead to conventional sexual life that excludes stigmatized sexual practicesHomosexuality isnt stigmatized because of his hyper idealized character Avoid depicting a gay subculture community as the films narrative context bc this would situate the targeted viewer as more likely subculturally gay themselves not as a general audience which Hollywood films by their very nature of their big budgets and stars aim to attract to the theatre Subcultural life invisible rendering it as symbolicAvoid images that challenge social norms that privilege heterosexualityThe norm of hetero is not viewed as wrongly dominantDesired Confine homosexuality to isolated charactersHeterosexuality is shown to be the status of the majorityAndys parents live in an almost 1950s ideal of family Again hyperidealization reinforced the normality of Andys character except for his HIV Parents accept him and his partner Still reproduces quasimarital relationship Fired for being HIV positiveNormative hetero narrow critique of normative heterosexuality Do not context privileges hetero as ideal and normal Depicts homo as selfaccepting and good homo as unjust and bad Homo characters portraying them in narrow essentialist waysIsolating gay from larger gay communityAvoid depicting gay and les subcultural life altogether The key departure of gay standpoint films from mainstream films is in their representation of gay les subcultureCommunities contest normative hetero styles norms and values to various extents ENGC82 Page 1
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