since the documentary Fabulous! The Story of Queer Cinema explored the emergence
of boy meets boy and girl meets girl cinema from the beginning of the gay rights movement in the 1960s
to the "New Queer Cinema" of the 90s, and the explosion of gay images in the
mainstream media. OutUK's Ron Dicker has been talking to the co-producer of Fabulous!
Lesli Klainberg about her groundbreaking documentary.
Even though the documentary Fabulous! The Story of Queer Cinema focused
on American independent film, British director Derek Jarman was too pivotal to exclude.
A portion of Lesli Klainberg and Lisa Ades' documentary is devoted to Jarman's
premiering of Edward II at the Sundance Film Festival in 1992, a watermark in
the modern wave of gay movies.
"He was the sort of Godfather of all that," Klainberg says. "He is a huge, huge figure in all of gay cinema."
Jarman spoke at a film festival two years before he was to die of AIDS at age 52,
bringing the homoerotic subtext of Marlowe's classic into full view with a modern
Director Lesli Klainberg.
Critic Ruby Rich, one of several talking heads interspersed with
clips, described a heightened feeling of hope for gay artists at the time.
"I would be embarrassed to show the film in England and say it's the story of all
queer cinema," Klainberg cautions. "Tilda Swinton would kick my butt."
Swinton, of course, was Jarman's muse and actress in such films as Caravaggio and
The Last of England. UK films buffs can see Fabulous! for
themselves on DVD, as it is available now from
Fabulous! certainly does arouse glimmers of recognition
for a host of American film faves such as John Waters (Hairspray), Todd Haynes (Far From Heaven)
and Don Roos (Happy Endings), and for milestone movies such as Boys Don't Cry
and the multi award-winning and much critically acclaimed Brokeback Mountain. ||
Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger in Brokeback Mountain.