Queer Film Blogathon – June 27, 2011

Update June 27th: THE BLOGATHON IS ON!

You can now “attend” this event on Facebook!

Long time no see! Apologies for my very long, very unannounced absence from real blogging, but I have returned with a most exciting announcement. You may remember a while back I made a post querying if anybody would be interested in participating in a blogathon; due to a majorly positive response, today I am happy to announce that the event is officially a GO!

The Queer Film Blogathon will be held on June 27, 2011. The focus is on lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, or otherwise non-heterosexual, non-gender-binary depictions or personages in film. (Check out an all-inclusive discussion of the word “queer” at Wikipedia, including a history of its linguistic reappropriation as an identity rather than an epithet.) Since my (intended) focus is classic film, I would love it if my fellow classic film bloggers participated in this; but the blogathon is truly open to all film bloggers regardless of area of focus. I figure, it’s such a broad topic for a blogathon, might as well invite as many different viewpoints as possible! Furthermore, I am not only looking for reviews of films, but also biographies of queer performers and filmmakers, reviews of nonfiction books on the subject of LGBTs in Hollywood, or even photo pictorials! Anything that you can imagine and interpret as applicable to this topic is welcome – and if you’re not sure if what you want to do will fit, just ask me. :)

Contributions do not have to be dated June 27th. As long as the post is made in the month of June before June 27th, it can be included in the final blogathon list. There is no limit to how many contributions an individual may make. However, please wait until June 27th to send me links to your post(s).

Now, I know some of you may be thinking: “Gays and lesbians in classic film? But it was expressly forbidden by the Motion Picture Production Code!” Well, of course, but that doesn’t mean that queer depictions didn’t still pop up in subtextual and “coded” ways. Part of the fun of watching and analyzing classic film from a modern perspective is peeling back the layers of symbolism, allusion, and innuendo to find the true message filmmakers were trying to sneak through. To give you a bit of help, the following is a small sampling of films from each classic decade that would be completely appropriate to review or discuss for this blogathon.

Pre-1920: Dickson Experimental Sound Film (1895), The Eclipse: Courtship of the Sun and Moon (1907), A Florida Enchantment (1914), Different from the Others (1919)
1920s: Salomé (1923), Michael (1924), Sex in Chains (1928), Pandora’s Box (1929)
1930s: Morocco (1930), Way Out West (1930), Mädchen in Uniform (1931), Queen Christina (1933), Sylvia Scarlett (1935)
1940s: Rebecca (1940), The Maltese Falcon (1941), Rope (1948), I Was a Male War Bride (1949)
1950s: Caged (1950), Strangers on a Train (1951), Rebel Without a Cause (1955), Tea and Sympathy (1956), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), Pillow Talk (1959), Some Like It Hot (1959)

After 1960 it gets a bit easier to find examples. Still need more? Check out Wikipedia’s list.

And now my favorite part – here are the banners you can use to promote the event on your blog. Now, I know some people may not be totally comfortable using the word “queer,” and I understand that – so each of these banners also has an alternate version where “queer” is replaced by “LGBTQ” – which stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer. So just upload one of these images to your server, add it to your blog, and link it back to this post (http://garbolaughs.wordpress.com/2011/05/07/queer-film-blogathon/) so other people can come see what it’s all about!

Image from Morocco (1930).

LGBTQ versionImage from Different from the Others (1919).

LGBTQ version

Image from Rebel Without a Cause (1955).

LGBTQ version

Image from Pandora’s Box (1929).

LGBTQ version

Well? Think you want to join the fun? Just post a comment or shoot me an e-mail to be added to the list of participants. (Even if you commented on the previous post saying you were interested, I’ll still need you to confirm your participation now that there’s actually a date for the thing.) I’ll be going around promoting the blogathon on different blogs and websites soon, as well as hitting Twitter and Facebook. I do hope you’ll join me for a day of blogging in celebration of LGBT Pride Month. :)

Participating Sites:
Backlots
Cinema Fanatic
Classicfilmboy’s Movie Paradise
Comet Over Hollywood
The Defeatist Completist
Film Comment
Film Forager
For Cinephiles by a Cinefille
Four of Them
Frost Light
Garbo Laughs — but of course :)
The Girl with the White Parasol
Grand Old Movies
Harlean’s Heyday
The Hollywood Revue
Ida Lupino
In It For The Kills
The Kitty Packard Pictorial
Krell Laboratories
Let’s Not Talk About Movies
Lost Video Archive
Marcus’s Movie Life
Marlene Dietrich: The Last Goddess
Memories of the Future
missemmamm.com
The Most Beautiful Fraud in the World
Multiplex Slut
My Love Of Old Hollywood
My Unacceptable Body
Netflix Stream
Nishikata Film Review
The Other Side
Pussy Goes Grr (NSFW)
Randomaniac
She Blogged By Night
Stephanie Hammer
They Had Faces!
Thrilling Days of Yesteryear
Trashfilmaddict
True Classics: The ABCs of Classic Film
Viv and Larry
Wide Screen World

88 Comments

  1. oh I love this idea. I’d love to write about Strangers On A Train. sooo much subtext there.

    • Wonderful to have you on board! Yes, that’s definitely a good one — so much is said by not being said. :)

      • I was also thinking about writing about Laurence Olivier’s character in Spartacus. at least, that one scene between him and Tony Curtis in the bath. if that isn’t FILLED with gay subtext, I don’t know what is.

    • not to mention the book was written by an awesome lesbian author!!

  2. Oh, sure, I’ve been looking for an excuse to do a seemingly random double-post of the Queen Christina subtext and The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.

    • As someone who has seen Priscilla, Queen of the Desert at least 300 times (not exaggerating) and can quote the entire film in my sleep, I fully support this plan. Happy to have you. :)

  3. Brandie

     /  May 7, 2011

    Yay! I’m very excited about this. I’d love to take a look at Cary Grant’s filmography in this context, especially with the release of Jennifer Grant’s book, in which she addresses her father’s purported bisexuality. I always thought it was interesting that, according to some film critics, Grant’s ad-libbed line “Because I just went GAY all of a sudden!” in Bringing Up Baby was the first instance of using the word “gay” in a homosexual context in film. Don’t know if that’s true, but I’m looking forward to researching it while I write my post!

    Glad you’re back to blogging–don’t know if you noticed, but we set a date for the Lucille Ball blogathon–you’d expressed interest in participating? There are a couple of quick banners I whipped together to start getting the word out, but I’ll be making some prettier ones when I have some free time.

    http://trueclassics.wordpress.com/2011/04/28/some-general-announcements-of-general-interest/

    • Jeez, HOW did I not know Jennifer Grant has a book out?!? Cary Grant’s “purported bisexuality” is one of my obsessions in life, and I definitely plan to do a picspam of him with Randolph Scott. In fact, I’ll likely be dedicating most of June to the topic of queer cinema and LGBTs in classic film. I’m so happy to have y’all on board; Grant’s filmography is MORE than ripe for analysis. (I was so about to add My Favorite Wife to my list of examples of films with queer subtext, until I realized that the film isn’t really gay at all and that the subtext is entirely in my head.)

      As for the Lucy blogathon, I DID notice and I apologize sincerely for not commenting, but I totally added it to my calendar. I’m very excited about it because I plan to review The Big Street, one of my very favorite films. If you need any help with the banners, seriously, just let me know and I’d be happy to contribute. :)

  4. We’ll definitely be writing at least 1-2 posts for this over at Pussy Goes Grrr. Not sure about what yet, but queer cinema is our bread & butter so it shouldn’t be hard to find a topic!

    • Fabulous! So glad to have you! You’re welcome to contribute as many posts as you like. I’ll probably be dedicating all of June to the topic of queer cinema on my own blog, so that I can save June 27th to promote everybody else’s contributions to the blogathon.

      (By the way, I added Pussy Goes Grr to the list of contributors with a NSFW tag, hope you don’t mind.)

  5. Count me in! I’ve been meaning to write about Pandora’s Box for a while now, so this will be the perfect reason.

  6. Hey, Caroline, you forgot me in your list of participating sites! Of course it’s been a while, but I responded to your original query (pun intended!) about this blogathon! I requested “The Boys in the Band.” Would still love to do it!

    • Of course I remember, Becky! I was just giving everyone a chance to re-respond to confirm that they were definitely still interested. I’m glad you still want to write about The Boys in the Band and I can’t wait to read it!

  7. Can’t completely commit to this right now but I’m definitely going to put some thought into this because I’d love to participate. Great idea.

    • I’ll add you to the list anyway. :) There’s plenty of time to think about it, so just let me know!

  8. I will be blogging about the 1965 short film Kustom Kar Kommandos

    • YAY LILZY!!! I’m glad this may inspire your return to blogging! I know you are well-qualified to discuss that particular gem of WTFery.

  9. This sounds great. You can put me down on the list although I can’t decide on my topic yet. Too many choices. Thanks for hosting this!

    • Excellent! There’s still a bit of time to think about it, and I’ll be doing a lot of posts in June on the topic to get the cogs turning.

  10. Would love to participate – what a great idea!

  11. I’m TOTALLY in for this. Not sure what I’m going to write about, but I’m sure I’ll think of something. I might write about Bugs Bunny, actually.

    • That would be BEYOND awesome. That dude was always in drag. So happy to have you! :)

      • dunyazad

         /  May 10, 2011

        I’ll probably be writing all month, too. It’ll give me a chance to dust off the big seminar on trans films that I did a few years ago.

        • PLEASE do. Needless to say I’m having a lot of trouble coming up with trans representations in classic film. :\

          • Oh, it’s there, but it’s almost all problematic. It’s either played for laughs a la Some Like It Hot, or the trans characters are criminals or psychos, as in The Unholy Three, Sylvia Scarlet, and, well, Psycho. The only classic film that I can think of that deal with actual transsexuality, as opposed to cross-gender behavior, is Glen or Glenda. I’ll probably dilate the boundaries of the classic period to include things like, say, Dog Day Afternoon or In the Year of 13 Moons. Unfortunately, you don’t really get informed, sympathetic depictions until 1980 or so. I should probably save all of this for the blogathon. ;)

      • Crap. Let’s try this again. I’m dunyazad on WordPress. Sorry about that.

    • Replying up here because the nesting comments are getting ridiculous. ;)

      Why do I keep forgetting Glen or Glenda?

      I’m thinking of covering The Christine Jorgensen Story (1970). I haven’t seen it for a long time but I’d definitely like to re-examine it. I’m trying to do one film from each decade (1910s-1990s) and be inclusive of all the identities contained within LGBT (which is, of course, not that many and leaves out a whole lot of queer-identified people, but I’m not a superhero and I gotta cut myself some slack).

      • I was thinking about writing about The Christine Jorgensen Story, myself, actually. I’ve been eyeing it ever since I saw that it was on Netflix Instant. I’ve been putting it off for no good reason. I think you have the right idea when it comes to spreading the love among the letters of the QILTBAG umbrella. I know that I’m certainly guilty of zeroing in on my own identity when it comes to queer film. It’ll do me good to get out of my comfort zone.

        • I’m going to be writing about a lot of films, so there’s absolutely no reason why we can’t have multiple posts from different authors on the same film. Everyone will bring a different perspective. Point is, I don’t want to claim Christine Jorgensen all for myself; you’re free to write on the same film!

          As for myself, I have a tendency to focus on the G of QILTBAG, even though it’s not my identity. And of course that’s the one that’s been written about the most and the easiest one to find examples of in classic film. But, at the same time, if that’s what I’m most passionate in writing about, so be it. I’m going to try to be as inclusive as possible while still staying true to my own interests. That’s why it’s a collaborative event. ;)

  12. sbbn

     /  May 10, 2011

    I am all over this! What a terrific blogathon idea. Now if I can just get my hands on a copy of Our Betters

    • sbbn

       /  May 10, 2011

      By the way, I plan on doing probably 2 things, maybe 3 for the ‘thon. One I hope to do is something on stealth gays in pre-codes — Franklin Pangborn anyone? — but there is another movie I’d like to do but kind of want to keep it under wraps. Is that okay or do we need to claim a film?

      • I’m super excited to have you on board, Stacia! Feel free to make as many contributions as you want (and if you’re worried about flooding your blog all on one day, it’s fine to do them on different dates, as long as it’s on or before June 27th). You can totally keep your film a secret — I wasn’t going to have anybody “claim” films, since coded stuff can be interpreted in so many different ways. Plus I’m tentatively planning to devote the whole MONTH over here to queer cinema, and I wouldn’t want anybody to be discouraged from writing about something just because I’ve already covered it.

  13. Got wind of this via Krell Laboratories, and must participate! Problem is about a million different things ran through my head all at once–now it’s just a matter of deciding… I’ll give you an update when I have a more clear idea! :)

    -jesse @ memoriesofthefuture.wordpress.com

    • Happy to have you, Jesse! And if you want to write a million different things, write a million different things! Just make sure they’re all posted by June 27th so they’ll count for the blogathon. :)

  14. I think I’ll give this a shot. My site is more focused on horror, so maybe I’ll look into the horror movies.

    • There’s a lot to find there, though it can get a bit dismal. Fortunately all representations of queerness qualify for this blogathon, positive or negative.

      Here’s a site that might help you get started: http://www.queerhorror.com/

      So glad to have you on board! :)

      • Very cool site. I am sure I can find a lot to talk about!
        I might do something with the lesbian vampire theme since I am a big fan of LeFanu’s story Carmilla. Talk about how the two themes (homosexuallity and vampires) mirror each other to produce “the other”.
        Still thinking…

  15. Page

     /  May 11, 2011

    Caroline,
    I’m glad you’re getting such a good response for this Blogathon. I’ve got the logo up and ready to go! This is going to be great fun, thanks for including me.
    Page

  16. Hello, I would like to participate in the blogathon. I was thinking of writing about gay undertones in The Legend of Hell House. Regardless of whether you accept my participation (as I am a horror blogger,and I don’t always write formal critical essays as I was a B student) I would still like to publicize the ‘thon because I think it’s a great idea.
    Thanks,
    Erin

    • Of course I’ll accept your participation! All are welcome to contribute, whether they write critical essays or not — hell, you can even just throw a few pictures together! Whatever you decide to do, I will be happy to have you as a contributor, and will add your blog to the list. :)

  17. This sounds great! I’d definitely like to participate over at http://www.vivandlarry.com!

  18. A most excellent idea for a blogathon! Please count me in. I’m not entirely sure of the topic of my entry but I may or may not write about Pandora’s Box and Diary of a Lost Girl.

  19. I would love to participate. How hard and fast is the Hollywood rule since you mentioned Pandora’s Box and Mädchen In Uniform. I ask because I would love to do Fassbinder’s Fox And His Friends and compare it with a traditional Hollywood film of the same sort or All That Heaven Allows with Ali: Fear Eats The Soul. Just a couple of ideas.

    • There is no “Hollywood rule,” really. Any film, any country, any time period. Happy to have you on the list, Michael!

  20. Count me in…

  21. Hi Caroline, I’m interested in participating. Feel free to send me an e-mail as I have a few ideas!

  22. Jen

     /  May 20, 2011

    Hi! I’m new to blogging, but would love to participate in the blogathon over at my blog. I was thinking of writing about Alfred Hitchcock’s Rope (1948).

    I love your blog, btw! :)

    • Hi Jen, and welcome to the world of classic film blogging! :) Happy to have you on board for the blogathon. I was also planning to write about Rope — I’m trying to write about one LGBT-themed film from each decade 1910s-1990s throughout the month of June — as it’s one of my favorites, but there’s no reason why you can’t do it too! Such an excellent film. I’ll add you to the list right away! :)

  23. This is a FABULOUS idea! I’d love to take part, if you’ll have me. My site is by definition very much about new releases (it’s a shame that ‘Blitz’ was released this week – an interesting use of queer themes in an otherwise highly mainstream action flick), but I’m kind of branching out a bit into more general movie discussion. There are few subjects that spring to mind immediately, but for starters how about a look at homosexual themes in British gangster movies?

    Failing that, I can get my other half to ghost a post on ‘But I’m A Cheerleader’.

  24. Hello,

    Great idea for a blogathon. I’d love to participate; I’m gonna do a Queer reading of Tarantino’s “Reservoir Dogs”. Not a Classic era film, I know, but it was influenced by all the Film Noirs, and I’ve always thought it had a big-time homoerotic subtext (b/t White & Orange).

    Thanks for hosting,

    David

  25. Hey Caroline, I adore this idea! I blog at “They Had Faces”, and am also a Clamba Member. I have recently done a post on Josephine Baker (who was famously Bisexual) and am working on one about the treatment of Gays in classic and silent Hollywood, so count me in! I was going to email you but couldn’t find your email address (I am really tired, so cut me some slack if I’m just being really unobservant). I hope you can stop by my blog if you get a chance. Love ya, Keep blogging,
    Venus

    • Fabulous, Venus! I’m really eager to get more perspectives on the silent days for this blogathon so I’m very happy you’ve decided to join up. I’ll add your name to the list. :)

      Oh, and if you still want to e-mail, I can be reached at Garbo.Laughs.Blog@gmail.com :)

  26. I posted a bio on Franklin Pangborn last year and would love to participate. Look forward to reading others contributions!

  27. I’d love to join. I think I have a lot to say on this issue.

    I think people will love to read the perspective of a 22 year old guy on the matter.

    Count me in! :D

  28. What a clever way to contribute to Pride Month! I collaborate on a blog about Marlene Dietrich and will participate in this blogathon to reassess literature studied in queer college courses that cites Dietrich’s work–particularly “Notes on ‘Camp'” by Susan Sontag and perhaps the writings of those who adapted Laura Mulvey’s ideas to queer perspectives. Additional blog entries could focus on the following: showing gay appropriation/adaptation of Dietrich’s image, correcting the many factual errors in Diana McLellan’s The Girls: Sappho Goes to Hollywood related to Dietrich, and investigating how the lesbian relationship between the characters Helen Jones and Taxi Belle was all but expunged from the script of Blonde Venus.

  29. One more possible idea: evaluating whether the Marlene Dietrich biography written by Maria Riva–Dietrich’s daughter–is homophobic.

  30. Hi!
    I’d like participate in the blogathon,
    I am planning to post a short bio of the German actor Peter Chatel, who’d worked frequently for R.W. Fassbinder.

  31. Marcus

     /  June 14, 2011

    Hello!

    I’m not quite sure how I stumbled onto this blogathon event, but I’m glad I did! I think it’s a great idea and would love to throw my hat into the ring along with all these other writers. :) My general blogging focus is horror, so I’m thinking I’ll look into trans depictions in horror films. This really just seems too neat an event to pass up.

    Here’s my blog URL – http://marcusmovielife.blogspot.com/

    • I’m glad you stumbled onto the blogathon, too! Sounds like an intriguing post, Marcus. Welcome! :)

  32. I might have to stretch my posting out over a couple of days. I started writing and found I have an awful lot to say!

  33. I will be participating on http://missemmamm.com
    My first related post will be up later today with another to follow.

  34. Mike Maguire

     /  June 26, 2011

    Hey, glad I found this in time, it seems like a wonderful and–with the new NY legislation–timely idea. I’ll be writing up a review of either MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO or BREAKFAST ON PLUTO for my Cannes/NYFF blog, http://www.defeatistcompletist.wordpress.com [The Defeatist Completist is the title]. Sorry, but not a lot of older cinema dealing with the subject from the Cannes/NYFF festivals that I can immediately think of.

  35. Here’s what’s hopefully my first blog entry: http://lastgoddess.blogspot.com/2011/06/throwing-shade-homophobia-in-rivas.html ! I can’t wait to read others!

  36. Mike Maguire

     /  June 27, 2011

    Wound up going for Velvet Goldmine instead, which I think covers more bases anyhow. Post is now up: http://defeatistcompletist.wordpress.com/2011/06/27/velvet-goldmine-todd-haynes/

    Thanks!

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