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Representation of Sexuality in Film

Rob Miller | Monday October 27, 2014

Categories: A Level, AQA A Level, AQA A2, OCR A Level, OCR A2, Collective Identity, Representation of Sexuality, Film, Film Analysis, Key Concepts, Audience, Genre, Ideology, Representation & Stereotyping, Hot Entries, Theory, Queer Theory

This resource focuses on representation of sexuality in contemporary film, both English language and non-English language cinema using three 2014 LFF (London Film Festival) screenings as source material – Love is Strange, an English language French-American drama, A Girl at my Door, a South Korean drama and also The New Girlfriend, a French drama. It is worth acknowledging the increasing presence of more ‘mainstream’ films like Brokeback Mountain (2005), Black Swan (2010) and Milk (2008) that positively represent homosexuality but like the three films in this resource, most films that explore gay culture or alternative sexualities as in The New Girlfriend tend to be more independent and have limited distribution. British cinema has few rivals in reference to the raft of new and existing diverse films about gay culture, from Dirk Bogarde’s Victim in 1961 through to Stephen Frears’ My Beautiful Laundrette (1985), and Weekend (2011) with the BFI showcasing many more at the London LGBT (London Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Film Festival).

Love is Strange is an American film directed by Ira Sachs. In making the film he states that he drew heavily on personal experiences as an openly gay New Yorker - the film is based on characters he has himself been familiar with but importantly, also on a news article he read about an elderly gay man who had been in a relationship for over 30 years who, after finally tying the knot with his partner lost his job as a choir master suggesting bigotry and a lack of understanding and tolerance. In terms of narrative, characters Ben and George are a same-sex couple who, like the news story get married after 39 years together. The film is about the latter days of a life long love with the second scene in the film the joyous occasion of their wedding. This is attended by a significant number of their non-stereotypical heterosexual and homosexual friends to whom they are a source of warmth and...


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