Dion Kagan reviews 'Gay Directors, Gay Films? Pedro Almodóvar, Terence Davies, Todd Haynes, Gus Van Sant, John Waters' by Emanuel Levy

Dion Kagan reviews 'Gay Directors, Gay Films? Pedro Almodóvar, Terence Davies, Todd Haynes, Gus Van Sant, John Waters' by Emanuel Levy

Gay Directors, Gay Films?: Pedro Almodóvar, Terence Davies, Todd Haynes, Gus Van Sant, John Waters

by Emanuel Levy

Columbia University Press (Footprint) $52.95 pb, 392 pp, 9780231152778

Emanuel Levy has had a prestigious career as a senior critic at Variety, professor of film and sociology, and jury member at fifty-four international film festivals. His exhaustive account of the careers of five gay male auteurs is peppered with quotes from his own interviews with them. This awfully titled book may frustrate some readers, including Levy's peers in screen studies, to whom it will seem slight. Film buffs fond of these directors are probably familiar with much of what's on offer here. For the 'general reader', the book is a breezy introduction to questions of 'gay' cinema; but as an introduction it fails to position these careers in the broader universe of queer representation, and it all but ignores non-white directors and women.

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Published in May 2016, no. 381
Dion Kagan

Dion Kagan

Dion Kagan is an erstwhile lecturer in gender studies who is now a book editor and an arts critic.