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October 18 , 2008

Out at the Movies


Over the decades, gay cinema has reflected the community's journey from persecution to emancipation to acceptance. Politicised dramas like Victim in the 60s, The Naked Civil Servant in the 70s, and the AIDS cinema of the 80s have given way in recent years to films which celebrate a vast array of gay life-styles. Gay films have undergone a major shift, from the fringe to the mainstream and the 2005 Academy Awards were dubbed ' the Gay Oscars' with gongs going to Brokeback Mountain, Capote and Transamerica. Producers began clamouring to back gay-themed movies, including I Love You Philip Morris with Jim Carey and Ewan McGregor, and Gus Van Sant's Milk, starring Sean Penn as Harvey Milk, the first prominent American political figure to be elected to office on an openly gay ticket back in the 70s. So loved was he that his brutal and homophobic assassination by ex-policeman Daniel White sparked the biggest riots in gay history. Out at the Movies looks back, decade by decade, at the history of gay cinema, celebrating the films which have defined the genre. Indie films, the avant-garde, sex on screen, bad guys, lesbian lovers, transgender films, camp comedies, musicals and gay rom-coms – all are featured here. As well as highloighting the key movements and triumphs in gay cinema, the author includes information on gay filmmakers and actors, and their influence within the industry. Interspersed throughout are some of the most iconic scenes from gay cinema and the most memorable dialogue.
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