Queer Images : A History of Gay and Lesbian Film in America
LJ Reviews 2005 December #1
Media professors Benshoff (Univ. of North Texas; Monsters in the Closet: Homosexuality and the Horror Film ) and Griffin (Southern Methodist Univ.; Tinker Belles and Evil Queens: The Walt Disney Company from the Inside Out ) set out to create the definitive guide to queer issues in American cinema, and they have succeeded admirably. Using an erudite yet easily readable approach, they explore homosexuality in the movies, starting mostly with the talking era and moving up to the present. With detached precision, they underscore the clandestine presence of homosexuals in movies and how gays in Hollywood were able to "work in" characters whom audiences could sense were gay. Other issues addressed include homosexual stereotypes in early Hollywood cinema (most, it is adeptly pointed out, were negative), Tinsel Town's puritanical roots, queer exploitation, physique films, AIDS issues, and (particularly) the evolving image of gays in cinema. What's refreshing about this work is that it's not a one-sided criticism but a guide through the more progressive development of the presentation of gays in movies; readers are left with hope for the future. Highly recommended for general, gay and lesbian, and especially film collections.--Michael Tierno, New York[Page 131]. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.