Spectacular Passions - Cinema, Fantasy, Gay Male Spectatorships

Brett Farmer

Published by Duke Univ
ISBN 10: 0822325594 / ISBN 13: 9780822325598
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Synopsis: The image of the movie-obsessed gay man is a widely circulating and readily recognizable element of the contemporary cultural landscape. Using psychoanalytic theory as his guide while inflecting it with insights from both film theory and queer theory, Brett Farmer moves beyond this cliché to develop an innovative exploration of gay spectatorship. The result, Spectacular Passions, reveals how cinema has been engaged by gay men as a vital forum for “fantasmatic performance”—in this case, the production of specifically queer identities, practices, and pleasures.
Building on the psychoanalytic concept of the fantasmatic, Farmer works to depathologize gay male subjectivity. While discussing such films as Kiss of the Spider Woman, The Pirate, Suddenly Last Summer, and Sunset Boulevard, and stars ranging from Mae West to Montgomery Clift, Farmer argues that the particularities of gay men’s social and psychic positionings motivate unique receptions of and investments in film. The Hollywood musical, gay camp readings of the extravagant female star, and the explicit homoeroticism of the cinematic male body in gay fanzines are further proof, says Farmer, of how the shifting libidinal profiles of homosexual desire interact with the fantasy scenarios of Hollywood film to produce a range of variable queer meanings.
This fascinating and provocative study makes a significant new contribution to discussions of cinema, spectatorship, and sexuality. As such, it will be welcomed by those in the fields of film theory, queer theory, and cultural studies.

From the Publisher: “Spectacular Passions offers a series of original, always intelligent, often provocative analyses of the fantasmatic potentiality of gay male spectatorship. The result is the most sustained and complex examination of fantasy and cinematic spectatorship that I have yet read. It is compelling, informed, wide-ranging, and affecting.”—Steve Cohan, author of Masked Men: Masculinity and the Movies in the Fifties

“Brett Farmer's eloquent study of gay male spectatorship in relationship to classical Hollywood cinema is challenging and far-reaching.  Spectacular Passions encourages readers to imagine and re-imagine the dream machine of cinema as very different than standard heterocentric accounts of Hollywood would suggest.  Taking psychoanalytic approaches to fantasy as his point of departure, Farmer demonstrates the complex and fascinating connections between gay male desire and Hollywood cinema.”—Judith Mayne, author of Cinema and Spectatorship

“Spectacular Passions makes a compelling case for deploying psychoanalytic theory to explain gay culture's complex relationship with popular film.  But, fear not, author Brett Farmer mixes Freud with fandom to produce an engaging book that is filled with insights and surprises.”—Alexander Doty, Lehigh University

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Title: Spectacular Passions - Cinema, Fantasy, Gay ...
Publisher: Duke Univ
Book Condition: BRAND NEW

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