Outside the box Gay and Lesbian Silver screen - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Outside the box Gay and Lesbian Silver screen PowerPoint Presentation
Outside the box Gay and Lesbian Silver screen

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Outside the box Gay and Lesbian Silver screen

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  1. Indie Gay and Lesbian Cinema

  2. Gus Van Sant • Fresh distinctive voice in cinema • His style is so personal that unlike Tarantino he has not been easily imitated

  3. Films • Mala Noche 1987 • Drugstore Cowboy 1989 • My Own Private Idaho 1991 • To Die For 1995 • Good Will Hunting 1997 • Elephant 2003 • Last Days 2005

  4. Depiction of Outsiders • Drug addicts and Male prostitutes are shown for their humanity and not for “their tawdriness” • Eccentric point of view provides a look at down-and-out characters on the fringes of society whom he never romanticizes or pities • We’re looking through a peephole, dropping in on the secret lives of people • -J Hoberman

  5. Van Sant’s attraction to street people • Is based on the belief that they are more interesting • There is more drama in their lives than middle class characters

  6. Expressive imagery • Odd rhythms and a jagged camera style • Studied painting at Rhode Island School of Design • More concerned with images as a means to tell stories than other directors

  7. Mala Noche 1986 • Self Financed • Follows the doomed infatuation by a skid row liquor store owner with a Mexican immigrant • 25,000. Budget (grainy b&w film • Received scant attention until it won the Los Angeles Film Critics Award for best independent film

  8. Drugstore Cowboy 1989 • Depicts the life of Bob(Matt Dillon), a drug addict and dealer who supports his habit by stealing pharmaceuticals • Van Sant’s non-judgement of the characters caused Hollywood funders to back off • Van Sant saw it as an anti drug story • Won best picture and best screenplay in 1989 from the National Society of Film Critics (upset: beating Spike Lee and Steven Soderbergh

  9. Van Sant turned down Lucrative Hollywood Offers to make My Own Private Idaho 1991 • A retelling of Shakespeare’s Henry IV with street hustlers • Having teenagers lapse into Shakespearean verse doesn’t always work, but it suits the story.

  10. Narrative • Veers off the conventional track • Pileup of open parentheses within parentheses that never get satisfactorily closed

  11. Characters • Instead the filmmaker chooses to develop rich and interesting characters • Most interestingly the central character Mike Waters played by River Phoenix a narcoleptic hustler trying to search for his lost mother who has abandoned him

  12. Scott Favor Keanu Reeves • Mike’s tragic unrequited love for Scott • Bob Pigeon is the film’s Falstaff (Scott’s true father) • Scott is the Prince Hal figure who plans to renounce his street life once his father dies • Class difference

  13. Reviews: • Uneven yet lyrically shot • Elevates Van Sant’s issues to a lyric, poetic, and intensely sad place

  14. Controversy • Treatment of homoerotic exploits of male hustlers • He ignored warnings that male prostitution and homosexuality were taboos in a social climate marked by hysteria over the AIDS epidemic

  15. Mike • What does it mean when a protagonist suffers from narcolepsy?

  16. Non-active central character- • Misses most of the crucial developments of his own life • Depends on others’ compassion • Dreamy detachment • Not a great hustler • No long range plans • Film is about each single moment • Not about the destination

  17. Gay Sensibility not new to Hollywood Cinema • Had to be hidden • George Cukor, Mitchell Leison, Dorothy Arzner, Nicholas Ray • Open secret in Hollywood, but kept out of the public eye

  18. The Celluloid Closet Vito Russo Book 1981, Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman’s Film 1996 • Surveyed hundreds of films • Looked at all the different gay stereotypes depicted in Hollywood film: • Comic sissies, lesbian vampires, pathetic queens & sadistic predators

  19. The Film Points Out • Depiction of homosexuals in Hollywood film has been used to get cheap, easy laughs from straight people • This reinforces ignorance and prejudice

  20. Under the Studio System Classifications of • Acceptable • Morally Objectionable • Condemned • Meant that gay characters had to be shamefully degraded