The Depiction of Homosexuality in US-American Movies and Its Reception in Society
Seminar paper from the year 2012 in the subject American Studies - Culture and Applied Geography, grade: 1,7, University of Marburg, language: English, abstract: According to Epstein and Friedman, the engagement of America's film industry with ho- mosexuality in general has always been a sensitive issue and still is up to today. Although quite a few people working in Hollywood, 'in all aspects of moviemaking, from producing to performing', are openly homosexual, the industry's main players are still reluctant to intensively approach this 'prime phobia in Hollywood' (Hilliard 9). From the first signs of homosexuality in Dickson's 'Dickson Experimental Sound film' (1895) over to the restrictive Hays Code in the 30s on to influential modern movies such as Demme's Philadelphia (1993) or Lee's Brokeback Mountain (2005), there are plenty of examples of Hollywood's varying engagement with homosexual issues. In the course of this paper, I will not only analyze the depiction of homosexuality in these movies, but also describe society's reactions to these works. Of course, there have been harsh reactions to movies presenting homosexuality not as something to be feared of. Especially Christian groups have always blamed respective movies for depicting 'deviant' behavior, as well as conservative politicians and media.
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