Screened Out: Playing Gay in Hollywood from Edison to Stonewall

Routledge
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Rapacious dykes, self-loathing closet cases, hustlers, ambiguous sophisticates, and sadomasochistic rich kids: most of what America thought it knew about gay people it learned at the movies. A fresh and revelatory look at sexuality in the Great Age of movie making, Screened Out shows how much gay and lesbian lives have shaped the Big Screen. Spanning popular American cinema from the 1900s until today, distinguished film historian Richard Barrios presents a rich, compulsively readable analysis of how Hollywood has used and depicted gays and the mixed signals it has given us: Marlene in a top hat, Cary Grant in a negligee, a pansy cowboy in The Dude Wrangler. Such iconoclastic images, Barrios argues, send powerful messages about tragedy and obsession, but also about freedom and compassion, even empowerment.

Mining studio records, scripts, drafts (including cut scenes), censor notes, reviews, and recollections of viewers, Barrios paints our fullest picture yet of how gays and lesbians were portrayed by the dream factory, warning that we shouldn't congratulate ourselves quite so much on the progress movies - and the real world -- have made since Stonewall.

Captivating, myth-breaking, and funny, Screened Out is for all film aficionados and for anyone who has sat in a dark movie theater and drawn strength and a sense of identity from what they saw on screen, no matter how fleeting or coded.
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About the author

Richard Barrios, a native of Louisiana, lives in New York City. He is the author of A Song in the Dark: The Birth of the Musical Film. He holds degrees in cinema studies, music history, and literature, and has worked in the film industry and music publishing.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Routledge
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Published on
Feb 16, 2005
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Pages
416
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ISBN
9781134001781
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Language
English
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Genres
Social Science / Media Studies
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Middlebrow Cinema challenges an often uninterrogated hostility to middlebrow culture that frequently dismisses it as conservative, which it often is not, and feminized or middle-class, which it often is. The volume defines the term relationally against shifting concepts of ‘high’ and ‘low’, and considers its deployment in connection with text, audience and institution.

In exploring the concept of the middlebrow, this book recovers films that were widely meaningful to contemporary audiences, yet sometimes overlooked by critics interested in popular and arthouse extremes. It also addresses the question of socially-mobile audiences, who might express their aspirations through film-watching; and traces the cultural consequences of the movement of films across borders and between institutions.

The first study of its kind, the volume comprises 11 original essays that test the purchase of the term ‘middlebrow’ across cultures, including those of Europe, Asia and the Americas, from the 1930s to the present day. Middlebrow Cinema brings into view a popular and aspirational - and thus especially relevant and dynamic - area of film and film culture. Ideal for students and researchers in this area, this book:

Remaps ‘Popular’ and ‘arthouse’ approaches Explores British, Chinese, French, Indian, Mexican, Spanish ‘national’ cinemas alongside Continental, Hollywood, Queer, Transnational cinemas Analyses Biopic, Heritage, Historical Film, Melodrama, Musical, Sex Comedy genres.
Singin' in the Rain, The Sound of Music, Camelot--love them or love to hate them, movie musicals have been a major part of all our lives. They're so glitzy and catchy that it seems impossible that they could have ever gone any other way. But the ease in which they unfold on the screen is deceptive. Dorothy's dream of finding a land "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" was nearly cut, and even a film as great as The Band Wagon was, at the time, a major flop. In Dangerous Rhythm: Why Movie Musicals Matter, award winning historian Richard Barrios explores movie musicals from those first hits, The Jazz Singer and Broadway Melody, to present-day Oscar winners Chicago and Les Misérables. History, film analysis, and a touch of backstage gossip combine to make Dangerous Rhythm a compelling look at musicals and the powerful, complex bond they forge with their audiences. Going behind the scenes, Barrios uncovers the rocky relationship between Broadway and Hollywood, the unpublicized off-camera struggles of directors, stars, and producers, and all the various ways by which some films became our most indelible cultural touchstones -- and others ended up as train wrecks. Not content to leave any format untouched, Barrios examines animated musicals and popular music with insight and enthusiasm. Cartoons have been intimately connected with musicals since Steamboat Willie. Disney's short Silly Symphonies grew into the instant classic Snow White, which paved the way for that modern masterpiece, South Park: Bigger, Longer, & Uncut. Without movie musicals, Barrios argues, MTV would have never existed. On the flip side, without MTV we might have been spared Evita. Informed, energetic, and humorous, Dangerous Rhythm is both an impressive piece of scholarship and a joy to read.
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