The Celluloid Closet: Movie Analysis

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Vito Russo, author of The Celluloid Closet (1981, 1987), which was made into a documentary, critiqued not the invisibility of LGBT characters in movies but the way they were depicted. In the movie Cruising, the underlying message was that “homosexuality was contagious and brutal.” (Gibson, pg.304) Another example was in the movie, E.T: The extra-terrestrial, that a lesbian relationship was more intimidating than a creature from outer space. (Gibson.pg.305)
In time, no longer were lesbians and gays so odd but most were depicted as violent or depressed. “In the films, The Hunger, Bound, and Basic Instinct showed lesbians as violent and outsiders.” (Gibson, pg.305) Although, the intent was to show the LGBTQ community in a more sympathetic
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In some cases, such as Shrek 2, it depicts the emerging of coming one’s true self just as many gays and lesbians must do. Another example of how the media/ televi?sion industry has changed in the ways they want to depict gays and lesbians is the example of Ellen. Although, it failed and they had to redirect the way of the show, they used Ellen to speak on LGBTQ issues. The Ellen show also helped to get recurring gay characters in double digits. (Gibson.pg.310) Another way that the depiction has changed is that gays and lesbians are the funny character rather than the suicidal one like in the 1980’s films, it shows the community as if all lesbian and gay are supposed to play this funny like role. In Finding out, John Lyttle told the Independent on Sunday that “it has begun to be the norm on TV. Gay culture is not all about that stereotype. Its like gay men are only acceptable if they play the court jester.” Although, gay and lesbians have not been invisible in the television and media, they have been depicted in many different stereotypes throughout the decades. The media has created the depictions of gays and lesbians from being freaks of nature, violent, depressed, complex, and a joke. Although, I believe that we have come a long way from viewing gays and lesbians as unnatural, it will be a decade longer until we stop the stereotypes in film/ media industries and start depicting real life scenarios as we do with

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