This volume is a record of a time, the 1990s, and a subject, the New Queer
Cinema, and the decades and lineages of representation to which they gave
rise. It was then and there that a new class of films and videos found a home
and defined an era. These videos and films, so fresh and powerful, decisively
shifted modes of representation, exhibition, and reception in ways that con-
tinue to evolve today. This book traces their arrival and evolution. In the
process, it also records my own participation in that founding moment, for I
had the privilege of christening the New Queer Cinema way back in 1992 and
have been along for the ride ever since.
Definitions and descriptions of the New Queer Cinema (nqc) fill these
pages, for it was a kind of filmmaking characterized by a melding of style and
subject in its moments of origin. I once called it, in passing, Homo Pomo in a
nod to the postmodern theories then current. It was a style favoring pastiche
and appropriation, influenced by art, activism, and such new entities as music
video (mtv had just started). It was an approach in search of new languages
and mediums that could accommodate new materials, subjects, and modes of
production. Emanating from a (mostly) new generation, the nqc embodied
an evolution in thinking. It reinterpreted the link between the personal and
the political envisioned by feminism, restaged the defiant activism pioneered
at Stonewall, and recoded aesthetics to link the independent feature move-
ment with the avant- garde and start afresh.
What made the New Queer Cinema possible? It’s a question that has re-
curred over the years, one that I can answer only with hindsight. Four ele-
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