straight / 'strāt (adj.) . . . without curves . . . correct . . . honest . . . not deviating from the normal . . . conventional . . . heterosexual
Practically all mainstream cinema is “straight,” and has been since its inception. In Straight, Wheeler Winston Dixon explores how heterosexual performativity has been constructed in film, from early cinema to the present day. In addition to discussing how cinematic visions of masculine and feminine desire have been commodified and sold to reinforce existing societal constructs, Dixon also documents the recent emergence of “hypermasculinity,” a kinetic and exaggerated masculinity that has been created to counter the more gentle, thoughtful male portrayed in While You Were Sleeping, Sleepless in Seattle, and other films that seemingly threaten the established order of patriarchal cinematic discourse.