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To What Extent does New Queer Cinema Restage Dominant Themes of Classical Hollywood - Essay Example

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To What Extent does New Queer Cinema Restage Dominant Themes of Classical Hollywood

Classical Hollywood films refer to those films that were produced between 1910s through 1950s (Michele, 12). As opposed to New Queer Cinema films, these classical films did not openly dramatise homosexual issues because of the dominant and conventional heterosexual lifestyle. It was the New Queer Cinema that came with the sexual revolution and opted to go against the status quo, challenging the heterosexist minds by explicitly dramatising homosexuality. However, restaging the dominant themes in the classical Hollywood cinema brought about this shift. This paper evaluates the extent at which the New Queer Cinema has restaged dominant themes of the classical Hollywood cinema. In order to understand dominant themes that the New Queer Cinema has restaged, we should understand some identifying genre styles. First in order to identify and designate a group of films into a certain class, like the New Queer Cinema, principle characteristics are to be isolated (Braudy, 34). One such isolating approach is referred to as structuralism that lists genre’s iconography, stock characters, typical themes and central narratives (Gever, Greyson & Pratibha, 92). Another approach would situate genres within the historical context in order to assess how films achieve public popularity and how these impacted the production studios. In this case feedback is highly essential in determining whether some class of the film will succeed in the market or not. Gever, Greyson & Pratibha, 93) analyse that, this success is highly depended on the ability of the film to capture key and popular cultural anxieties that are prevalent at the time. The last approach, which is closely intertwined with the gist of this paper, is the way we have classified films over time. This is the origin of the classification of classical Hollywood films and the New Queer Cinema (Gever, Greyson & Pratibha, 93). What has been the concern of most classification is the shift from the most relevant and prevalent themes of the time. In most cases, New Queer Cinema revises classical cinema themes and makes them more relevant to the target audience at a time or generation. As we saw earlier, in their exact nature, classical Hollywood films did not dramatise homosexual lives and issues because such issues were not openly acceptable. The content of the Hollywood narrative was largely heterosexual, and that was reflected by male-female romance; a theme dramatisation which was common in all film genres (Mann, 2). Where homosexuality issues featured in a film, before the sexual revolution, the new queer film; insignificant and supporting roles were allotted to the characters. For instance, in the film A Florida Enchantment (1914), a pre-code film, homosexuality was so extreme at that time in featuring female characters who fed on magical sex-changing seeds that turned them into women pursuing Lotharios (White, 11). This lack of direct and explicit dramatisation of homosexual themes emanated from the Hollywood production code that was made effective in 1934, which forbade explicit depiction of what is called "sex perversion" (Mann, 12). At that time, however, the classical Hollywood cinema, under the code, kept on suggesting queerness by the use of effeminate men and mannish women; although the characters never came in the open as real homosexual or lesbians proper. There are classic actors like Horton (1886– ...Show more
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New Queer Cinema refers to the proliferation of intelligent, stylish, and daring work of lesbian and gay filmmakers within independent cinema…
To What Extent does New Queer Cinema Restage Dominant Themes of Classical Hollywood
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