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The Celluloid Closet 4K 1995 Ultra HD 2160p

The Celluloid Closet 4K 1995 Ultra HD 2160p
Genre: Documentary 4K
Lily Tomlin, Tony Curtis, Susie Bright, Arthur Laurents, Armistead Maupin, Whoopi Goldberg, Jan Oxenberg, Harvey Fierstein, Quentin Crisp, Richard Dyer, Jay Presson Allen, Mrs. Gustav Ketterer, Gore Vidal, Will H. Hays, Farley Granger, Paul Rudnick, Shirley MacLaine, Barry Sandler. (Actor)
Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman (Director)
IMDB: 7.8


Country: USA | UK | France | Germany
Language: English
Release Date: March 15, 1996 (United States)

Technical Specs

Runime: 102 min
Video Codec: HEVC / H.265 (63.0 Mb/s)
Resolution: Native 4K (2160p)
HDR: Dolby Vision, HDR10
Aspectratio: 1.85:1
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 (48kHz, 16-bit), English: Dolby Digital 2.0
Subtitles: English, English SDH

Story Movie

The Celluloid Closet 4K 1995 Ultra HD 2160p

The film deals with the subject of homoeroticism in English-speaking cinema. It is an essay on how non-traditional sexual relationships were shown on the screen, from Edison's silent film to such famous films as Philadelphia and Basic Instinct.

The Celluloid Closet 4K Review

Turning to Vito Russo's (1948-1990) book The Celluloid Closet: Homosexuality in the Movies (1981), whose author was one of the many victims of AIDS, two famous American documentary filmmakers, Rob Epstein and Jerry Friedman, made a unique attempt to explore one of the most closed and sensitive topics-the history of the homosexual statement in cinema. For years cinema pretended to be unaware of such an issue, and thus saw no reason to talk about it.

The authors offered an impressive and, at the same time, quite scrupulous analytical study of the juicy issue, avoiding sensational revelations and unflattering evaluations. For this they had to use a lot of fragments both from very famous paintings and almost forgotten ones. They used them with the comments of people who are tolerant of unconventional love (some of them are very famous people, like Tony Curtis, Shirley MacLaine, Whoopi Goldberg, Tom Hanks, Susan Sarandon...) and open homosexuals (John Schlesigner, Harvey Fierstein...) who shared their experience in creating gay characters, but also their sexual predilections.

As a result, we can trace in detail the metamorphosis of homosexual themes on the American and partly European screen in the first hundred years of cinema. In the 1920s, homosexuality was mostly seen as a laughing matter, or at least that's how it was portrayed on the screen. In the 1940s and 1950s, largely as a result of censorship (by the notorious Will Hayes) and attacks by the church (which urged to treat same-sex love as an illness), homosexual orientation became purely reprehensible.

Over the years, gay characters have evolved from cold-blooded villains, vampires and fetishists to miserable and desperate people with the same end in sight. All of them were bound to suffer on screen and pay with their lives for their bad life choices. In proving this point, the authors used an impressive montage of many horrific deaths, both gay and lesbian, in one piece. It was only in the 1970s that homophobia on the screen started to be squeezed by tolerance and a more tolerant attitude towards the representatives of non-traditional love.

In this sense, a landmark picture was the musical comedy Band Guys (1970) by William Friedkin, in which gay men were shown for the first time not as sufferers and martyrs, but people enjoying life. Only a couple of years later a famous film like Cabaret (1972) openly celebrated same-sex relationships, according to one commentator. But it took another decade before American mainstream cinema, namely Arthur Hiller's Making Love (1982), first explicitly showed homosexual love in all its glory.

At the same time, the inclusion in this context of a number of famous films in which homosexual motifs do not seem to be central, or are deeply hidden in subtext (being limited to rather long hints in the films), makes us look at the textbook works in a completely new way. And suddenly you discover things you hadn't paid any attention to before: that the killers in Hitchcock's 'Rope' were sexual partners, 'Rebel Without a Cause' was a latent gay man, and Ben Gur is found to have had very unequivocal feelings for Mesala in his youth. So don't be surprised if at some point it suddenly begins to seem as if all classic cinema has been homoerotic for a long time.

When they found homosexual overtones in the relationships of screen characters, same-sex lovers saw this as nothing less than support for their carefully concealed orientation and nothing less than a coded sign of attention sent to them personally by the filmmakers. Today, these (often overly liberal) interpretations and assumptions of the sexual minority can be seen by "straight people" as a kind of complex, which many gays have devoted their lives to getting rid of.

And in that sense, Rob Epstein and Jerry Friedman's painting can play an important rehabilitative role for some. But for cinephiles, the cinematic analysis that makes 'Celluloid Closet' one of the best non-fiction films among the many anniversary projects that have appeared to coincide with the centennial of cinema seems far more meaningful.

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