A Bit of Scarlet excavates clips from Britain's cinema archives to create a moving and humorous testament to the closeted gay and lesbian images from filmmaking's earliest days.
Following gay characters as they go from being the butt of jokes to full-blown leading characters, Weiss has captured a playful, occasionally melodramatic, insight into on-screen queer representation. With Ian McKellen as narrator and witty graphics to introduce each theme, A Bit of Scarlet reveals to what lengths the film industry went to include and yet ridicule gay characters. Both well-known portraits - like John Hurt's performance in The Naked Civil Servant and Dirk Bogarde in Victim- and many more obscure finds, make for a telling post-modern look at British queer cinema.
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