New queer cinema
Boys Don’t Cry
Boys Don’t Cry is a movie examining the life of the late Teena Brandon. It is an intense movie that follows her journey to self-discovery and essentially her passing. Boys Don’t Cry not only explores how difficult it is to be queer but also what it means to have a sexual identity crisis (as Brandon puts it). Brandon goes through so much to cover his true identity and in the end nothing is enough. This adaptation of a true story engages and walks the watcher through the difficulties transgender people have in life.
The opening scene of Boys Don’t Cry lets the audience know that Teena Brandon has now become Brandon Teena. Following the lines of New Queer Cinema this film gives the outside world a new way to look at transgender individuals. This film breaks new ground by showing “true crime material through the prism of New Queer Cinema” (Brooks, 2000) The fact that what happened to Brandon was true makes this movie all the more important. Both straights and queers can watch this movie in disgust and learn something from it also. Discrimination (any type and in this case especially sexual) should be stopped.
Examining this movie more in depth the audience gets a look not only in the life of Brandon but of the people he surrounds himself with. In the Film Journal article Driving into the 'Dustless Highway' of Queer Cinema By Daniel Mudie Cunningham he gives background information about Falls City, Nebraska. Being a native San Franciscan myself it helped to know what Falls City was all about because of the obvious contrast between California and Nebraska. Cunningham describes the “wall people” in his article. The “wall people” in Falls City are “bored kids who congregate against the wall at the Qwik Stop convenience store all night long.” This is actually a subculture in Falls City. The activities that Brandon and his friends do in the film are what actually happen there. Karaoke and whip-its are the thing to do for fun...
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