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Celluloid closet : homosexuality in movies (1981)

de Vito Russo

Altres autors: Ruth Bornschlegel (Dissenyador), William Graef (Dissenyador de la coberta)

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Praised by the Chicago Tribune as "an impressive study" and written with incisive wit and searing perception--the definitive, highly acclaimed landmark work on the portrayal of homosexuality in film.

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Es mostren totes 5
A rather dated review on LGBTQI in the cinema but Russo's critique of how the film business had, at the time of publication, not portrayed a non-cis person favourably. The situation has changed somewhat in the decades hence but no doubt there remains room for improvement.

Sadly, Mr Russo's death means the update won't be by him. ( )
  MiaCulpa | Apr 28, 2020 |
A groundbreaking revelation when it came out almost 30 years ago, this book, as revised by its author in 1987, is very dated; and it's never been my idea of a prose paradigm.

I admit I was going down the primrose path of nostalgia when I decided to read this revised edition. I'd read the first edition as an eager young slut-about-town, yearning to impress the Older Men (25! 30! Oh, those old roues!) I was seducing in job lots with my encyclopedic knowledge of their old-fashioned world.

*snort*

But I did learn a lot, and it's always useful to do so. I wasn't aware that queer subtexts in Hollywood movies were the prime motivating factor for the introduction of the Production Code. I wasn't aware that the hoi polloi didn't know some of its major heartthrobs only throbbed for their own kind (Rock, of course, but Farley Granger, Randolph Scott, Burt Lancaster, ye gods what fun it would have been to be there then!!)...but I've known all that for a long time now, and I found it dreary to go back and read the uninspired prose of the late Mr. Russo without the sense of discovery and amazement I brought to it the first time.

You can't go home again. I suppose one shouldn't want to, either, but the urge hits once in a way, less and less often as the years pile up. I expect I'll stub my toe on this rock again. I'd say, if you're an average straight person, this book could be informative and possibly even interesting if you like the movies a lot. But it sure won't be entertaining. ( )
3 vota richardderus | Jun 23, 2010 |
A comprehensive and thoroughly absorbing history of (primarily American) queer folks on film. The feature-length documentary of the same name was quite faithful to Vito Russo's work, but returning to the source is worthwhile for film history buffs of all persuasions. As a woman, I also appreciated that lesbians on film were well integrated into Russo's narrative, and that he included quite a bit of valid analysis about the connection between homophobia and misogyny on screen. A master work. ( )
1 vota whirled | May 20, 2009 |
Excellent book about the depiction of GLBT characters in movies from the silents to around the '80s. The book and the film complement each other well, the book with a little more depth and the film with a little more breadth. ( )
  thedefinitefraggle | Dec 28, 2008 |
I have been wanting to read this book since about 1996 or 1997, ever since I first saw the Rob Epstein & Jeffrey Friedman film based on the book. I must have watched that film dozens of times in my late teens and I did my best to track down the films mentioned in it and the book it was based on. I don't know if I had much luck on either score for a long time and I almost forgot about the book. Then I was writing an essay for my Introduction to Film Studies class and ended up looking for a quotation in the film, which reminded me of the book, so I went and bought a second-hand copy online.

It surprised me how America-centric the book was. I suppose I should have expected that - even the film is essentially about Hollywood but the book is clearly more about American attitudes to homosexuality and gay and lesbian characters in cinema. And what I have really liked is the range of people who appear on it but it seemed to me that kind of direct input was mostly lacking in the book. Russo does note in the beginning that it was extraordinarily difficult to talk to people and hardly any of those who did agree to talk to him were gay themselves.

And in many ways it feels that the book describes the past - but on the other hand one wonders if things have really changed that much, after all the fuss about Oliver Stone's Alexander, or making Patroclus Achilles's younger cousin in Troy, or the need to classify Ang Lee's Brokeback Mountain as gay cowboys' love story when describing it as a love story would be enough.

Nonetheless, an extremely interesting book. ( )
3 vota mari_reads | Aug 28, 2006 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Vito Russoautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Bornschlegel, RuthDissenyadorautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Graef, WilliamDissenyador de la cobertaautor secundaritotes les edicionsconfirmat

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Praised by the Chicago Tribune as "an impressive study" and written with incisive wit and searing perception--the definitive, highly acclaimed landmark work on the portrayal of homosexuality in film.

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