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The Fruit Machine-PB [Paperback]

Thomas Waugh , Thomas Waugh , Waugh

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Book Description

April 4 2000
For more than twenty years, film critic, teacher, activist, and fan Thomas Waugh has been writing about queer movies. As a member of the Jump Cut collective and contributor to the Toronto-based gay newspaper, "The Body Politic", he emerged in the late 1970s as a pioneer in gay film theory and criticism, and over the next two decades solidified his reputation as one of the most important and influential gay film critics. "The Fruit Machine" - a collection of Waugh's reviews and articles originally published in gay community tabloids, academic journals, and anthologies - charts the emergence and maturation of Waugh's critical sensibilities while lending an important historical perspective to the growth of film theory and criticism as well as queer moviemaking. In this wide-ranging anthology, Waugh touches on some of the great films of the gay canon, from "Taxi zum Klo" to "Kiss of the Spider Woman". He also discusses obscure guilty pleasures like "Born a Man" ..."Let Me Die a Woman", unexpectedly rich movies like "Porky's" and "Caligula", filmmakers such as Fassbinder and Eisenstein, and film personalities from Montgomery Clift to Patty Duke. Emerging from the gay liberation movement of the 1970s, Waugh traverses crises from censorship to AIDS, tackling mainstream pot-boilers along with art movies, documentaries, and avant-garde erotic videos. In these personal perspectives on the evolving cinematic landscape, his words oscillate from anger and passion to wry wit and irony. With fifty-nine rare film stills and personal photographs and an introduction by celebrated gay filmmaker John Greyson, this volume demonstrates that the movie camera has been the fruit machine par excellence.

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Review

"For more than twenty years Thomas Waugh has been writing about gay movies and gays in cinema in Canada. Waugh's career has covered the underground gay cinema of the late 70s, gay cinema during the early Aids epidemic in the 80s and the Queer New Wave of the 90s. Witty, ironic and always passionate, Waugh--whose work has been collected in a book, The Fruit Machine--was an early champion and practioner of queer cultural and cinematic criticism, an inspiration to countless would-be gay film journalists and an invaluable study source for queer film buffs." -- Gay Times, August 2000

"This is an enthralling book about a topic at once life-affectingly important and extraordinarily complex: how gay people--or anyone else--are seen and see themselves and how the movies help shape that. The excitement of the book is that it so deftly combines the white heat of political engagement with the rigor and nuance of scholarship. Tom Waugh shows us in exemplary fashion that you can combine personal passion and political engagement with the highest standards of intellectual discipline, while taking us on a delicious trip through the vagaries of queer film images." -- Richard Dyer, University of Warwick

"Tom Waugh was thinking queerly about the movies for decades before the New Queer Cinema was a market niche, but without his careful thinking and charming interventions, it's hard to imagine the present cultural moment. Back when being gay was anything but fashionable, Waugh taught and fought, proselytized and organized, so that queer films and queer audiences would be taken seriously." -- B. Ruby Rich

From the Publisher

“This is an enthralling book about a topic at once life-affectingly important and extraordinarily complex: how gay people—or anyone else—are seen and see themselves and how the movies help shape that. Tom Waugh shows us in exemplary fashion that you can combine personal passion and political engagement with the highest standards of intellectual discipline, while taking us on a delicious trip through the vagaries of queer film images.”—Richard Dyer, University of Warwick

“Tom Waugh was thinking queerly about the movies for decades before the New Queer Cinema was a market niche, but without his careful thinking and charming interventions, it’s hard to imagine the present cultural moment. Back when being gay was anything but fashionable, Waugh taught and fought, proselytized and organized, so that queer films and queer audiences would be taken seriously.”—B. Ruby Rich, author of Chick Flicks: Theories and Memories of the Feminist Film Movement --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


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