Queer Cinema from Spain and France: The Translation of Desire and the Formation of Transnational Queer Identities
Amount of award
Dr Darren Waldron (leading on audience research)
Dr Ros Murray
Summary of project
Our project focuses on transnational sexualities, their representation in cinema, and how they are inflected when transmitted and viewed in different video media. We will be looking at Spain and France as sites of production, distribution and reception of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer (LGBTQ) films; we will also survey film festivals, audiences and video content consumers in Britain. Building on previous film historical work on the processes of transnationalization of cinema and on recent shifts in thinking about queer cultural identities, we aim to examine specific cases of the trans-European traffic of films and ideas about cinema as well as ideas about queer culture. One of our main questions is that of the translatability of formations of desire through the moving image and its associated processes, and we will be thinking though how the movement and reception of films and filmmakers across national, cultural and linguistic lines feed into the social construction of non-normative identities. So questions of audience and critical reception and cultural translation will be related to questions of taste, fantasy, desire and values; theoretical ‘readings’ of the films and associated processes of production and transmission are going to be underpinned and informed by an array of audience-research based interventions designed to map the responses of queer interpretative communities and their interaction with cinema, broadly understood.
As the project progresses, we will be analysing the existing corpus of films and (print and on-line) responses but, more importantly, tracking new productions, festival programming and DVD and on-line distribution trends. Above all we will be connecting with local LGBTQ communities, groups and audiences through collaborative volunteering, interviews, on-line questionnaires and blogs, festival-based presentations in France, Spain and Britain, and variants on focus group discussion.
We will be working in and out of Catalan, English, French, and Spanish, on a range of materials from radical documentary through popular short-format entertainments to feature-length dramas, on-line, off-disc, and in film theatres and archives.
As well as giving conference papers (two or three in each year of the project), and a range of local presentations and discussion groups, the team will be producing two monographs and seven peer-reviewed articles or chapters, keeping the project linked to unfolding theoretical debates and to the still fast developing field of queer cinema in Europe.
Our project is, obviously, concerned with audiences and individual subjects beyond a traditionally scholarly readership or specialist set of audiences. The planned festival-based presentations in France, Spain and Britain will target local audiences in a number of ways to further comparative debate within interested collectives on issues of queer identity and citizenship. Project-related screenings at Cornerhouse, Manchester and engagement with local LGBTQ groups and organizations at various sites in France, Spain and the UK will facilitate collaboration with broader programmes and campaigns concerning self-affirmation, community involvement and quality of life.