Coined in the early 1990s to describe a burgeoning film movement, “New Queer Cinema” has turned the attention of film theorists, students, and audiences to the proliferation of intelligent, stylish, and daring work by lesbian and gay filmmakers within independent cinema and to the infiltration of “queer” images and themes into the mainstream. Why did this shift take place? Was it political gains, cultural momentum, or market forces that energized the evolution and transformation of this cinematic genre?
New Queer Cinema: A Critical Reader provides a definitive and highly readable guide to the development of this important and controversial film movement. The volume is divided into four sections: defining “new queer cinema,” assessing its filmmakers, examining geographic and national differences, and theorizing spectatorship. Chapters address the work of pivotal directors (such as Todd Haynes and Gregg Araki) and salient films (including Paris is Burning and Boys Don’t Cry), as well as unconventional and non-Anglo-American work (experimental filmmaking and third world cinema).
With a critical eye to its uneasy relationship to the mainstream, New Queer Cinema explores the aesthetic, sociocultural, political, and, necessarily, commercial investments of the movement. It is the first full-length study of recent developments in queer cinema that combines indispensable discussions of central issues with exciting new work by key writers.