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Out Takes: Essays on Queer Theory and Film (Series Q) Paperback – May 3, 1999

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Taking a fresh look at significant gay films . . . "Out Takes" challenges readers to consider provocative issues about gay identity and sexuality that are now at the forefront of academic debate."
--Filmbill

"[Hanson] makes important interventions in film studies while working to open up dialogue across a number of discourses. . . . [T]he essays in "OutTakes" . . . [offer] rigorous and nuanced discussions of classic cinema, challenging earlier conceptions of homoeroticism in mainstreaming representations."
--Sue Scheibler," Signs"

"[W]ell designed, readable and illustrated with frame enlargements. The contributions retain the best aspects of queer theory's appealing revision of the past, revealing examination of the present and weather eye on the future. The volume is also welcome in that it is not purely located in the labyrinthine psychoanalytic underworld where much similar work tends to be found, and many of the contributions retain the sense of humour that is happily part of much of queer theory's style."
--Mark Brownrigg, "Scope"

"Ultimately, "Out Takes" is important for two reasons. First, it demonstrates the potential of using queer theory for a radical re-reading of identity and subjectivity. . . . Second, the readings in this anthology have larger political implications. Could we not apply the same type of reading to the homophobic speeches of Newt Gingrich or the homosexual panic that underlies the right wing's concern with political correctness on college campuses? . . ." Out Takes" helps further our understanding that 'queerness' lies not on the margins of our society at all, but instead is inextricably bound with every aspect of it."
--New Art Examiner

From the Back Cover

This collection brings together the work of both film scholars and queer theorists to advance a more sophisticated notion of queer film criticism. While the "politics of representation" has been the focus of much previous gay and lesbian film criticism, the contributors to Out Takes employ the approaches of queer theory to move beyond conventional readings and to reexamine aspects of the cinematic gaze in relation to queer desire and spectatorship.

The essays examine a wide array of films, including Calamity Jane, Rear Window, The Hunger, Heavenly Creatures, and Bound, and discuss such figures as Doris Day, Elizabeth Taylor, and Alfred Hitchcock. The first section of the book reconsiders the construction of masculinity and male homoerotic desire -- especially with respect to the role of women -- in classic cinema of the 1940s and 1950s. The second section offers a deconstructive consideration of lesbian film spectator-ship and lesbian representation. The third section looks at the historical trajectory of independent queer cinema, including works by H.D., Kenneth Anger, and Derek Jarman.

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Product Details

  • Series: Series Q
  • Paperback: 376 pages
  • Publisher: Duke University Press Books (May 3, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0822323427
  • ISBN-13: 978-0822323426
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,695,948 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Everything you'd expect and hope to find in a scholarly work on film and queer theory, and a good many surprises. Ellis Hanson's well edited collection has found its way onto numerous college reading lists and will doubtless stay on them for years to come as this is indeed a seminal volume in the history (brief as it is) of queer theory and film. Academic yet readable and engaging, these essays leave behind discussion of queer films in terms of whether or not they contain "good" or "positive" representations of gay men and lesbians, and rather celebrate what is illusive, problematic, complex, and interesting about the queer themes and characters that have appeared in film since its earliest days.
Hanson's own essay tackles lesbian vampire films, a genre which most critics and film theorists have seldom taken seriously. By the time he's done with it, however, you can't imagine how lesbian vampires could have been igorned for so long. The book, like Hanson's essay, invites us into new and unfamiliar territory and rewards us with fascinating perspectives and analytic energy that can only come when scholars are turned loose on fresh subject matter.
Although talking about anything "queer" is apt to offend certain constituencies, these essays cannot be lightly dismissed. The book is challenging, provocative, and absolutely essential reading for anyone who is interested in queer theory, film, or both.
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