question of the week responses

10 08 2009

The question this week: What is your favorite queer themed book and movie? For being off the meme for so long, I was really happy with the response!

  • Movies: Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (two votes! – thanks Doris and Wolfie)
    Shortbus (two votes! – thanks Jazmine and Jeff)
    Running With Scissors (Jeff)
    Happy Endings (Jeff)
    Wild Tigers I Have Known (Jeff)
    Beautiful Thing (Jeffrey)
    C.R.A.Z.Y. (Jazmine)
    Latter Days (Codicaine)
    The Talented Mr. Ripley (Joanne)
    The Hunger (Joanne)
    Trick (Jeff L.)
    Maurice (Jeff L.)
    Paris is Burning (ClipsNChips)
  • Books: The Complete Tales of the City Collection, by Armistead Maupin (two votes – Wolfie and JaytheBigLug)
    Michael Tolliver Lives, by Armistead Maupin (Wolfie)
    I am Not Myself These Days, by Josh Kilmer-Purcell (Jeff)
    The Last Herald Mage Trilogy, by Mercedes Lackey (Jeffrey)
    Written on the Body, by Jeanette Winterson (Jazmine)
    History of Sexuality, by Michel Foucault  (Jazmine)
    Tin Star, by J.L. Langely (Codicaine)
    Of Lena Geyer, by Marcia Davenport (Joanne)
    Friend Green Tomatoes, by Fannie Flagg (not the movie, Joanne of TheSkeptikOne is quick to point out)
    Brokeback Mountain, by Annie Proulx (Jeff L.)
    Fun Home, by Alison Bechdel (ClipsNChips)

My votes? For my movie, I have two standards: one for meaningful/interesting/important themes, and the other for fun/can watch anytime. I would say Shortbus, by far, is one of my favorite queer themed movies that talks about something more than just another trick or just another gay boy love story. For the latter, I could watch Mambo Italiano, Trick, and Broken Hearts Club over and over and over again and never get bored with them, though they aren’t deeply meaningful except as fun romantic comedies. An honorable mention should go to Cabaret for subtlety and because no gay movie list should exist without at least one Liza Minelli on it.

For book … the question is significantly more difficult. Melanie Rawn’s Exiles Trilogy series is one of the first scifi/fantasy pieces that I ever read with a serious queer character; a special shout out goes to Jacqueline Carey and the Kushiel series which deals with BDSM so artfully. For something brainier, I have enjoyed reading David Halperin’s What Do Gay Men Want as a thought exercise, and I enjoyed (though disliked) the arguments in Daniel Harris’s Rise and Fall of Gay Culture. Brokeback Mountain, as a novelette, is totally worth a read; the movie dragged too much for my tastes. Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison is also an excellent read, and is considered a classic, though you wait until the last 10 pages to find out why it is “queer themed.” What may be most interesting, however, is that I cannot think of a single mainstream novel I have read that had a major queer theme that I actually enjoyed … I expect to investigate your suggestions and find something I truly enjoy.

And while we’re on the subject, Examiner Sheela Lambert writes three columns worth checking out:

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One response

10 08 2009
The Dean of Cincinnati

I have not read many queer themed books, but I did enjoy “A Visitation of Spirits” by Randall Kenan.

http://www.amazon.com/Visitation-Spirits-Novel-Randall-Kenan/dp/0375703977

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