Film History 101

Through the process of making this film I was keen not just to understand and document the personal and political history of kids with LGBT parents, but also to give myself a lesson in the film making theory and techniques of the queer film makers of the 70s, 80s and 90s – partly as this was when decisions were being made that would have a direct affect on the kids but also because I am keen to situate the film in their lineage – drawing on the techniques and textures, not to become retro, nostalgic and backwards looking, but to embed the film in a wider queer history, to give the film a chance to span across these times and be part of them. It has been amazing and I have learnt and seen a great deal.

I just came across some notes I made from some different books I have been reading in the research stage and thought I would put some up here:

Explore the experience of oppression, recover lost histories and profile currents of change

subjects are themselves members of the community they describe – an insiders perspective

Barbara Hammer – Nitrate Kisses 1992 – adopts experimental film techniques along with some reenactment – texture and subjectivity of such experience – less a linear narrative of the story of lgbt parenting I plan to sketch out, in evocative terms the qualities and texture of what the community is like

Butler – gender trouble – to take it to a performative level – through this evocation with textures and varied media/medium – the chosen roles and positions of non heterosexuals is established by what one does rather than what they appear to be or say – a pregnant woman, mother or father of children, child with parents

Generate a feeling of tension between the film as a representation and the world that stands beyond it – a film that represents the world in ways that always leave more unsaid than said – that confess to a failure to exhaust a topic through the mere act of representing it…. “documentaries that remain open to a difference in orders of magnitude between their own representations and what they represent allow us to remain open to the real, historical process of forging a society and culture, with values and beliefs, that are never reducible to a single mold or a fixed system”

Contribute to the social construction of a common identity among members of a given community – social visibility to experiences once treated as exclusively or primarily personal – attest to a commonality of experience and to the forms of struggle necessary to overcome stereotyping, discrimination and bigotry – embody the perspectives and visions of communities that share a history of exclusion and a goal of social transformation.

Someone I have enjoyed reading about and would like to know more about is Shirley Clarke -this film Portrait of Jason I love for all its layers and meanings and simplicty and feels so much more than the sum of its parts…


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