Printer Friendly

The yellow pages of queer cinema: The Bent Lens offers a wealth of information while being light on critical insight.

The Bent Lens: A World Guide to Gay and Lesbian Film * Lisa Daniel and Claire Jackson * Alyson * $22.95

This latest edition of this hefty gay film reference volume will be beneficial to any student, programmer, or enthusiast of gay and lesbian film. To call it essential, however, may be stretching a point--a good deal of this information exists in other volumes and online. However, The Bent Lens is impressive for its sheer volume (listing more than 2,300 titles), its international scope, and its documentation of countless short films (ephemeral in film culture but crucial to queer film history).

It is not necessarily a book to hunker down with and read for pleasure, though. Authors Lisa Daniel and Claire Jackson--respectively the director and president of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival in Australia--cull many synopses from festival catalogs and national film commissions. These provide handy descriptions but reflect no particular critical perspective. (Raymond Murray's Images in the Dark still stands as the most astute and stimulating of the queer film reference texts.)

The book also features four provocative essays that examine contemporary trends in queer cinema. Particularly groundbreaking are Judith Halberstam's analysis of the articulations of gender in By Hook or By Crook (2000) and Helen Hok-Sze Leung's explication of "Queer Asian Cinemas" both as an emergent social phenomenon and as an invention of queer festivals worldwide. The book also places a wealth of fresh information at the reader's fingertips, tracking a film culture that adds hundreds of titles every year. Indexes by country, director, nationality, and genre enhance the volume's usefulness, along with current film contact information--a boon to festival programmers everywhere.

Kelley is senior consultant to the Sundance Film Festival's documentary program and a consultant to independent filmmakers.
COPYRIGHT 2003 Liberation Publications, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2003, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Kelley, Shannon
Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Mar 18, 2003
Previous Article:Jessica on gender: Oscar winner Jessica Lange talks about taking on the emotional challenge of a transgender story line in HBO's Normal. (television).
Next Article:It's a gay world after all: Tim Acito, the creator of Zanna, Don't!--a new musical set in a world where everyone's gay--reflects on the ups and downs...

Related Articles
Sex and the Church: Gender, Homosexuality, and the Transformation of Christian Ethics.
Religion Is a Queer Thing: A Guide to the Christian Faith for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered People.
Queer Iberia: Sexualities, Cultures, and Crossings from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance.
Policy, Program Evaluation, and Research in Disability: Community Support for All.
A Critique of Dying.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2021 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters |