This week the BFI celebrates its 25th London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival. Once upon a time going to see a “gay” film was at worst reprehensible or at best, a bold political move. But two decades on, thankfully queer cinema is becoming integrated into mainstream society.
In the dawn of Brokeback Mountain and The Kids Are All Right, it appears as if this minority has become part of the majority. With that in mind, the purpose of this article is to strike up some healthy discussion as to what people feel is in store for the future of queer cinema. The following are a few starting points to lead the way.
Do we live in a post-homophobic age? After Stonewall, the LGBT community have seen advancements like civil partnerships; however unlike race or gender, sexuality is an internal identity and so perhaps queer cinema’s spotlight is a necessary way to keep the community’s profile.
Will queer cinema appeal to the masses? Of course, breakthrough movies like Brokeback deserve their praise but one could say that unless big stars are attached to the production, few people will want to see it.
Should queer cinema break stereotypes or work with them? Limp-wristed? Dungarees? Surely cinema should seek to challenge these stereotypes or at least parody the behaviours and styles associated with homosexuals.
How does queer cinema compare to its television counterpart? There have been several series which feature queer characters. And even entire shows dedicated to the community. However the main thrusts (excuse the pun) of these plots are about sexuality. By making a big deal of it aren’t we highlighting the differences between gays and straights?
This is by no means a fixed or comprehensive set of ideas. Please feel free to react, comment, refute or expand on anything relating to the future of queer cinema. Cinema as like any art form is organic and ever evolving. With your input we could shape it.