Queer Theory/LGBT Film
Reaction Essay 1
Through my experience in the Sex and Cinema class in the fall of 2012, I learned a lot about Queer Theory, Auteur Theory, and LGBT cinema in general, and initially expected this course’s material to be along the same lines as before, assuming it’d difficult to have new reactions to the same content. Besides being downright wrong about my reactions to the content I’ve had experience with before, the ideas of gay male spectatorship and textual flexibility stand out greatly as subjects that, prior to my exposure to them in our readings, were entirely new to me.
My initial, knee-jerk reaction to the notion that many films have latent homosexual subtexts was similar to that of Alexander Doty’s- that people were looking for things that aren’t really there. However, after further thought and reviewing the preponderance of evidence supporting this notion, it makes a lot of sense. In some cases, like Saturday Night Fever, the argument could be made that these “alternate interpretations” may serve better as primary interpretations after all.
The suggestion of gay male spectatorship opened an entirely new take on the cinematic experience than how I, and apparently many others traditionally approach a film in the critical sense. While it was not surprising that people of different backgrounds interpret different cinematic experiences differently- a point raised in every one of my film classes to date- I usually assumed that these interpretations were just small differences on opinions of the film. However, I never considered that ones sexual orientation might lend them to experiencing an entirely different movie than I would have viewing the same film. Before the consideration of gay male spectatorship and textual flexibility, I know for certain I would not have picked up on the nuances that may have referenced Tony’s sexuality in Saturday Night Fever. I would’ve considered his reluctance to gay-bash or his refusal of the...
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