Critical Writing Index

Queer Film Classics Series

by Davis Glyn

Canadian Journal of Film Studies, Fall 2012, v. 21, no. 2, pp. 148-154

The book reviews by Glyn Davis discuss Queer Film Classics Series edited by Matthew Hays and Thomas Waugh. With 21 volumes in total anticipated, (9 released so far), the canons created subvert British Film Institute Canons published in Sight and Sound every ten years. The titles represented in Queer Film Classics series must also include 1 in 3 Canadian titles. Although there are texts written about queer works such as Brief Encounter and Far From Heaven, The Queer Film Classics Series have an additional critical objective of addressing the historical and political significance of building a queer cinema canon. Waugh argues that, "queerness may be antithetical to canon formation."

Critic Jon Davies' work on Trash by Paul Morrissey is discussed to some length in relation to a common goal with the Queer Film Classics: to engender space for representation and critical engagement with such "trashed" works. Both also argue for a re-calibration of their cultural and political value. The presentation and engagement with marginalized works via the canons also intends to surprise and challenge its audience. Surprising in the sense that the works discussed are unexpected in the canons, and challenging in terms of alternative content.

Finally the author traces the notion of queerness in canon compilation. The term and meaning only appears after the early 90s, and Davis challenges its absence from the construction of cinema history. Notions of queerness have also often missed non western and non white perspectives. The archival impulse, and creation of Queer Film Classics volumes then, pushes the boundaries of representation outwards, and celebrates diverse models and histories.

ITEM 2012.110 – available for viewing in the Research Centre

Videos, Artworks and Artists Cited

TrashPaul Morrissey