(Tell Me Why) The Epistemology of Disco

John Di Stefano

1991, 24:00 minutes, colour, English


(Tell Me Why) The Epistemology Of Disco is an often humorous, at times sarcastic and poignant look at the role that disco music has played in the formation of gay male identity. The tape challenges the notion of disco as merely a "leisure activity" by positing disco as an important cultural space created as an expression of gay sexuality. Combining tongue-in-cheek semiotic texts (about Levi's 501 Jeans), classic gay film clips and disco classics, (Tell Me Why)... celebrates gay desire and uses it as a thread to draw a historical lineage between gay movement politics of the late 60's, early 70's and the more recent gay movement politics around AIDS.

Les pistes de danse "mouillées" de sueur des discos, les "back room bars" pleins à craquer, les vidéos pornos, Donna Summers et Village People constituent la toile de fond de cette description spirituelle de l'émergence de la culture gay dans les années soixante-dix. Di Stefano retrace le parcours historique en partant des espaces libérateurs et stimulants des discos, en passant par une analyse sémiotique sarcastique des mâles et de leurs 501, pour aboutir aux problèmes plus contemporains des initiatives de lutte contre le SIDA.

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