“The Monogamous/Promiscuous Optics in Contemporary Gay Film: Registering the Amorous Couple in ‘Weekend’ (2011) and ‘Paris 05:59: Théo & Hugo’ (2016)”

By Cüneyt Çakırlar & Gary Needham

Excerpt: “The specificity in our reference to ‘gay cinema’ and ‘gay film’ is both a speculative and strategically essentialist move in contradistinction to the ways in which the post-1990s uses of the term ‘queer’ attempt to revise and interrogate the identitarian regimes of gay and lesbian politics. This turn to ‘gay’ does not necessarily prioritise a contestation of the constructivist appropriations of what B. Ruby Rich defined as New Queer Cinema (NQC). However, as Rich also argued the queerness of NQC implies a historically specific moment rather than an ongoing and enduring definition of gay and lesbian cinema (Rich 2013; Aaron 2004). Thus, we would like this study’s framework to match with the specificity our chosen films address in their depiction of the contemporary experiences of gay sex and intimacy, which the use of queer, as the definitive marker of NQC’s playful ‘Homo Pomo’ aesthetic, would not effectively tackle. A key underpinning in our approach to sex, intimacy, love, and the couple in contemporary gay film is this dualistic tension between monogamy and promiscuity.”

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