Flaming Classics: Queering the Film Canon by Alexander Doty

By Alexander Doty

This vigorous, opinionated, and playful examine the films is a must-read for movie buffs, and for an individual drawn to gender, sexuality, and pop culture. One thing's evidently. After interpreting Flaming Classics you are going to recognize you are certainly no longer in Kansas anymore.

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However, to the end, and like its main character, Caligari remains deeply conflicted and incoherent about its queerness. ” This is certainly the position of the epilogue of a staged prologue and epilogue that framed the film’s framing story during its initial New York run at the Capitol Theatre. Set in the home library of a man named Cranford (who turns out to be the older man to whom Francis tells his story), the epilogue has Cranford pick up on the the final intertitle of the film, “. . and now I also know how to cure him”: 39 FLAMING CLASSICS And he did!

15. Laurie Schulze, “Not an Immaculate Reception: Ideology, The Madonna Connection, and Academic Wannabes,” Velvet Light Trap 43 (Spring 1999): 37. 16. , 47. 17. Simon Frith, “The Cultural Study of Popular Music,” in Cultural Studies, ed. Lawrence Grossberg, Cary Nelson, Paula Treichler (New York and London: Routledge, 1992), 183–84. 18. , and London: Duke University Press, 2000). 19. B. Ruby Rich, “In the Name of Feminist Film Criticism,” in Issues in Feminist Film Criticism, ed. Patricia Evens (Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1990), 269.

Whether understood as a sign of degeneracy, camp or something else, the use of expressionist style in the framing story creates certain complications in understanding Caligari’s Expressionism as only representing queerness as monstrousness or madness. Granted, in order not to give away the twist ending, the opening of the frame perhaps needs to be visually in line with the story that follows, but what explanation is there for continuing to use a visual style linked with fantasy and mental illness in the closing section of the frame?

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