Preview of our first season
CAMERAS! ACTION! SILENCE!
Cinema has been one of the most effective ways to customize, connect with, and communicate gayness. This has been true from the very beginning of the medium. Silent cinema is often misunderstood as a period predating the development of “proper” cinema. It is true that, because it was a new art form (and a new industry), to an extent, cinema remained unregulated for decades. Silent films were also in a “moral” limbo. The establishment of the Hays Film Censorship Code (set up by Hollywood to promote conservative values, in 1934), marked a shift in terms of explicitness and tone.
In Europe, in the first decades of the 20th century there was an extraordinary flourishing of gay and queer cinema in Germany. When the Nazis came to power, in 1933, it was the end.
But up to the 1930s, there was no rule that said that homosexuals in film couldn’t be sexy, heroic, or plain nice. A number of silent films had entirely gay plots, and many of them celebrated and promoted gay bonds, as well as sexual and gender fluidity. Other films were more subtle, hiding their gay queer tales inside the Trojan Horse of a heterosexual romance. Some other films were openly exploitative, ostensibly “liberated” but in the final count homophobic (as well as racist and gender-fascist).
While some gay films from the silent era have been lost, many more have survived. They are laying around, half-forgotten, waiting for our generation to take them up, and let ourselves be entertained, impressed, and inspired.
In the age of SFX, 3-D, and HD, it is not easy to find a place which will show an interest in the more subtle and sophisticated charms of a group of films which relied on good stories, great acting, and visual inventiveness. Luckily for us, such a space has just set up in Dublin. The gay and lesbian film club (nicknamed the Film Qlub), launched in june 2010, opens with a season of the best in gay silent cinema.
Dublin Film Qlub 2010
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