The monogamous/promiscuous optics in contemporary gay film: registering the amorous couple in Weekend (2011) and Paris 05:59: Theo & Hugo (2016)

Çakirlar, C. ORCID: 0000-0003-1171-8635 and Needham, G., 2019. The monogamous/promiscuous optics in contemporary gay film: registering the amorous couple in Weekend (2011) and Paris 05:59: Theo & Hugo (2016). New Review of Film and Television Studies. ISSN 1740-0309 (Forthcoming)

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Abstract

This article explores representations of same-sex intimacy in contemporary gay cinema by focusing on two films, namely Weekend (2011), and Theo & Hugo (2016). Both films spatialize intimacy, which is reflected in a formal appeal to monogamous and promiscuous optics. What interests us here is how the relational politics of monogamy/promiscuity can be considered as stylistic and ideological registers in gay filmmaking. Informed by Bersani's work, we investigate how gay cinema tests the social viability/intelligibility of same-sex intimacy against a centring of the self. Furthermore, we explore how gay films use form and style to situate both their politics and their spectators through spectacles of erotic relationality. Following Bersani, the article proposes a theory of a cinematic optics that privilege the impersonal over the personal, and the ontological over the psychological. The film Weekend ‘ovalises’ intimacy and locates the couple formally and ideologically. The couple in Weekend’s space of sociality operates within a monogamous optic that presents intimacy through stabilising identities and psychologising subject positions. Theo and Hugo, however, reorients spectatorship as impersonal and promiscuous in finding a way to express the experience of cruising and sociability in ways that are dispersed and extensible.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: New Review of Film and Television Studies
Creators: Çakirlar, C. and Needham, G.
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Date: 13 September 2019
ISSN: 1740-0309
Divisions: Schools > School of Arts and Humanities
Depositing User: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 20 Sep 2019 13:42
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2019 15:23
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/37730

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