Week 13 Reading Response – Joe Viola

The discussion of the commercialization of queer cinema and the implications behind that (as discussed in the Alexander reading) is one that intrigues me. I’ve always found the dichotomy between queer representation and who is doing the representing to spark fruitful conversations and even dichotomies within myself. I think it’s important to acknowledge who helms a film (in this case) and take into account their own personal relation to their material. So, if a heterosexual person is directing a queer film, their own heterosexuality should not be ignored when analyzing the effectiveness with which queer characters are represented. Oftentimes, this is the source behind not-so-great representations, however I don’t think this in itself and this alone should be reason to judge a queer film. I believe that every person is entitled to whatever art they wish to create, so I think it’s slightly naive to discount a queer film simply because it may be directed by a non-queer person. It’s an interesting dichotomy, as I mention earlier. I am writing about Black Swan for my final project, and while the film doesn’t necessarily fit underneath the “New Queer Cinema” cannon, it certainly exhibits queer attributes, thematically, stylistically, etc. It’s one of my favorite movies of all times, and its director Darren Aronofsky is a heterosexual man. This is just a ramble-y digression, but for me, it proves a point. I’m looking forward to Mysterious Skin in relation to the discussion of New Queer Cinema, and how it may or may not fit into my own thought process mentioned here.

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