In this Book

The Boys in the Band
summary
The Boys in the Band's debut was revolutionary for its fictional but frank presentation of a male homosexual subculture in Manhattan. Based on Mart Crowley's hit Off-Broadway play from 1968, the film's two-hour running time approximates real time, unfolding at a birthday party attended by nine men whose language, clothing, and behavior evoke a range of urban gay "types." Although various popular critics, historians, and film scholars over the years have offered cursory acknowledgment of the film's importance, more substantive research and analysis have been woefully lacking. The film's neglect among academics belies a rich and rewarding object of study. The Boys in the Band merits not only the close reading that should accompany such a well-made text but also recognition as a landmark almost ideally situated to orient us amid the highly complex, shifting cultural terrain it occupied upon its release-and has occupied since. The scholars assembled here bring an invigorating variety of methods to their considerations of this singular film. Coming from a wide range of academic disciplines, they pose and answer questions about the film in remarkably different ways. Cultural analysis, archival research, interviews, study of film traditions, and theoretical framing intensify their revelatory readings of the film. Many of the essays take inventive approaches to longstanding debates about identity politics, and together they engage with current academic work across a variety of fields that include queer theory, film theory, gender studies, race and ethnic studies, and Marxist theory. Addressing The Boys in the Band from multiple perspectives, these essays identify and draw out the film's latent flashpoints-aspects of the film that express the historical, cinematic, and queer-political crises not only of its own time, but also of today. The Boys in the Band is an accessible touchstone text in both queer studies and film studies. Scholars and students working in the disciplines of film studies, queer studies, history, theater, and sociology will surely find the book invaluable and a shaping influence on these fields in the coming years.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. restricted access Download |
  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
  2. pp. i-vi
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. ix-x
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Introduction: On Returning to The Boys in the Band
  2. Matt Bell
  3. pp. 1-32
  4. restricted access Download |
  1. Cinematic Transitions
  1. 1. Let’s Hear a Round of Applause for the Camps in the Band
  2. Steven Cohan
  3. pp. 35-56
  4. restricted access Download |
  1. 2. “Turning”: Alcohol and Affect in The Boys in the Band
  2. Joe Wlodarz
  3. pp. 57-87
  4. restricted access Download |
  1. 3. Gothic Spatiality and the Limits of Gay Visibility in The Boys in the Band
  2. Ryan Powell
  3. pp. 88-112
  4. restricted access Download |
  1. 4. Closet Dramas: Masculinity and Claustrophobia in William Friedkin’s Films
  2. Nick Davis
  3. pp. 113-138
  4. restricted access Download |
  1. Historical Thresholds
  1. 5. “Who Does She Hope to Be?”: Celluloid Ghosts, Queer Utopias, and The Boys Onstage
  2. James Wilson
  3. pp. 141-162
  4. restricted access Download |
  1. 6. The Boys in the City: Disintegration, Transformation, and the Cinematic Flash in William Friedkin’s New York City Films (1970–80)
  2. David A. Gerstner
  3. pp. 163-189
  4. restricted access Download |
  1. 7. “Nobody’s Goddamn Business but My Own”: Leonard Frey and the Politics of Gay and Jewish Visibility in the 1970s
  2. Stephen Vider
  3. pp. 190-216
  4. restricted access Download |
  1. Queer-Political Crises
  1. 8. “Beware the Hostile Fag”: Acidic Intimacies and Gay Male Consciousness-Raising in The Boys in the Band
  2. Ramzi Fawaz
  3. pp. 219-246
  4. restricted access Download |
  1. 9. “A Credit to the Homosexual”: The Boys in the Band and the Appearances of Queer Debt
  2. Matthew Tinkcom
  3. pp. 247-265
  4. restricted access Download |
  1. 10. The Tragedy and Hope of Love between Gay Men: The Boys in the Band and the Emotionality of Gay Love in the 1960s and ’70s
  2. J. Todd Ormsbee
  3. pp. 266-291
  4. restricted access Download |
  1. 11. The Sounds of Silence: Acoustics and Politics
  2. Amy Villarejo
  3. pp. 292-308
  4. restricted access Download |
  1. Contributors
  2. pp. 309-312
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Index
  2. pp. 313-324
  3. restricted access Download |
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.