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In this lavish history, Davies (A-Z of Cult Films and Filmmakers) examines gay cinema from its earliest days through the present. He organizes the material by decade, beginning with pre-1960s cinema, and discusses various films within their social contexts-from when the subject was off-limits and expressed on-screen only via symbolic codes and icons, through Stonewall and AIDS, to when gay people and gay themes were openly accepted and became central to certain films. Davies follows each chapter with biographical summaries of key actors and directors and includes in-depth examples of the genre's development, from Midnight Cowboy(1969) and La Cage aux Folles(1978) to Torch Song Trilogy(1988), Philadelphia(1993), and Brokeback Mountain(2005). A generous selection of photos and movie stills and an excellent foreword by Simon Callow nicely complement this work. A thoughtful and well-presented overview of the subject with insightful perspectives on the complex role and social, political, and artistic impact of gay cinema within modern culture.
—Carol J. Binkowski