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Out at the Movies: A History of Gay Cinema [Kindle Edition]

Steven Paul Davies , Simon Callow
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Over the decades, gay cinema has reflected the community's journey from persecution to emancipation to acceptance. Politicised dramas like Victim in the 60s, The Naked Civil Servant in the 70s, and the AIDS cinema of the 80s have given way in recent years to films which celebrate a vast array of gay life-styles. Gay films have undergone a major shift, from the fringe to the mainstream and the 2005 Academy Awards were dubbed ' the Gay Oscars' with gongs going to Brokeback Mountain, Capote and Transamerica. Producers began clamouring to back gay-themed movies, including I Love You Philip Morris with Jim Carey and Ewan McGregor, and Gus Van Sant's Milk, starring Sean Penn as Harvey Milk, the first prominent American political figure to be elected to office on an openly gay ticket back in the 70s. So loved was he that his brutal and homophobic assassination by ex-policeman Daniel White sparked the biggest riots in gay history. Out at the Movies looks back, decade by decade, at the history of gay cinema, celebrating the films which have defined the genre. Indie films, the avant-garde, sex on screen, bad guys, lesbian lovers, transgender films, camp comedies, musicals and gay rom-coms -- all are featured here. As well as highloighting the key movements and triumphs in gay cinema, the author includes information on gay filmmakers and actors, and their influence within the industry. Interspersed throughout are some of the most iconic scenes from gay cinema and the most memorable dialogue.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 7566 KB
  • Print Length: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Kamera Books (21 Oct. 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0078XG1DM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #842,180 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Steven Paul Davies was the youngest-ever newsreader on national radio in the UK, shortly after graduating from Goldsmiths' College, London. He spent two years working as a news presenter for Virgin Radio before he started writing film books.

After completing his first film biography "Alex Cox: Film Anarchist" (2000), he teamed up with Andrew Pulver, Film Editor of The Guardian to write "Brat Pack: Confidential", published in January 2001. Research for this project saw Davies in New York and Los Angeles talking to Hollywood casting directors, agents and directors, as well as many of the actors themselves. The book was later turned into a VH1 series "Awesome 80s" in 2007.

Following the success of his first two books, Davies then completed his next project, "The A-Z Cult Films and Film-makers" (2002) which has been reprinted twice.

His book "The Prisoner Handbook" about Patrick McGoohan's strange 60s TV series The Prisoner was released by Pan MacMillan in 2002. At the same time, Davies took the role of Associate Producer on the Universal Networks TV series "In Search of The Prisoner" which aired in the UK on the Sci-Fi channel. A revised and updated edition of "The Prisoner Handbook" was published in 2007 and reprinted again in 2010.

In 2003 Davies worked with the director Mike Hodges (Get Carter / Flash Gordon / Croupier) on his official biography "Get Carter and Beyond" which was released in early 2004 and given the 'Highly Recommended' tag by Hotdog magazine.

Steven Paul Davies' most recent book is "Out the Movies: A History of Gay Cinema" which examines the development of gay-themed and gay-interest films throughout the decades, from early images in the 50s and 60s to recent hits such as Transamerica and Brokeback Mountain.

Steven can be heard across the UK on Magic as well as regular newsreading stints on Absolute Radio and BBC Radio 2

Visit his website at

Praise for "Out at the Movies" -

"Impressive... this is an essential purchase" - Out North West

"Razor-sharp and definitive, a rapid-fire bible of the industry's most notable queer films. A must have." - Pink Paper

"This is a must for any fan of gay movies! Out at the Movies is the ultimate guide to gay cinema and the films that define it." - Zone

"Lavishly illustrated and packed with fascinating analysis, Out at the Movies is the definitive guide to gay cinema." - Bent

"A solid pink-cinema primer." - Total Film

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Decent Guide to the history of gay cinema 5 May 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a decent and informative guide to the history of gay cinema. I found it particularly useful for bringing to my attention a host of films I have never seen or known to exist. I can now go and look for them on DVD.

However I would not give this book a full mark for 2 reasons:
First of all it pays too much attention to the Oscars, which in my view is a very overrated award not to mention highly flawed. You only have to look at some of the dubious choices picked by the academy as `best picture' in the last 5 or 10 years to see that. Secondly the authors take a rather dim view of light hearted gay comedies and also of films with a happy ending. This is slightly odd as the book spends a good deal of its earlier chapters rightly complaining about the fact that films from the pre 1960s era always portrayed gay characters as victims, with the gay character almost always dying at the end. Then in later chapters the guide keeps referring to films with a happy ending as predictable.

As someone who loves a happy, upbeat and optimistic end to a story I found myself disagreeing with many of the authors views.

Gay cinema has come a long way in the last 30 years and all genres of films should be celebrated rather than derided.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Screened Out 3 Jun. 2009
This is an authoritative guide to gay movies through the decades and beautifully produced too, from the fabulous cover to the glossy full-colour pictures included throughout.

Steven Paul Davies takes the reader on a journey through a century of gay-themed cinema, from the silent era, into the reprssive Hollywood production code, the AIDS cinema of the 80s, to the very latest gay-interest releases.

Interspersed throughout this history, Davies singles out gay-themed films that have impressed him most, with full detailed reviews. The book also includes profiles of notable gay writers, directors and actors.

This is a well researched, informative and revealing book on gay cinema and has obviously been a labour of love for its author Steven Paul Davies, whose knowledge of this genre is formidable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Out at the Movies 22 Oct. 2010
By Marta07
Good book. Clear sections, specific information about actors and movies from different periods. Also visually attractive.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Must read 3 Nov. 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It's an important view over the movies we see. A must read book indeed. And actually open our eyes for several things in Hollywood and world wime movies.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Brokedown Prosestyle 4 May 2009
By Raphael
Out at the Movies: A History of Gay Cinema
This is a handsomely-produced and generously illustrated book- which is about all that can be said for it.
The titular 'history' is dealt with in categorising movies by decade,there are no surprises or revelations and Mr Davies writes in a style best classfied as middle-period-News-of-the-World.
An unexpected stylistic sparkle in a film synopsis soon dimmed when I discovered that said paragraphs were copped from the Production Notes on the DVD.
The real problem is that Mr Davies has no criteria, therefore no stand-point: what defines a gay film? Actor, writer, producer, director,audience? The inclusion here, for instance, of THE WIZARD OF OZ and MILDRED PIERCE bespeaks a confusion betwixt gay and camp, and an overall stream-lining might have meant more cogency, less lacunae.
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