Film:The Celluloid Closet
Written by: Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman.
Running Time: 107 min.
This is a traditional style documentary about the portrayal of homosexuality in Hollywood Cinema leading up to the time of the documentary’s release, utilizing a combination of Film clips from all parts of Hollywood cinematic history and interviews with guest speakers. It was based off the book of the same name by Vito Russo.
The premise of the topic of homosexuality and Hollywood was very concisely articulated through the documentry style, and utilized a chronological overview that lays the ground work coherently and engagingly, with just the right particular attention to both the various stereotypes and tropes of homosexuality, censorship, and the utilization of purposeful, yet subtle, innuendo that many filmmakers throughout the years utilized in history to work around censorship.
The interviewees were a good selection of scholars, actors, and filmmakers. The Narrator, Lily Tomlin, did a good job of narrating, expressing just the right tone and infliction for the subject matter. Despite there being a narrator, what was being said in the film did a good job of being expressed through the cinematic images being utilized, the narrator, and the interviewees such as Tony Curtis, Whoopi Goldberg, and Daniel Melnick to name a few of those whom contributed.
Overall it was an excellent basis for the topic, very engaging despite its traditional documentary format, and you can tell that a fair about of care and attention went into its production. Despite the fact that it might be a little dated by 2015’s standards, it is still relevantly informative and fascinating, something to watch if you are a cinema history buff or just plain love cinema.
*Celluloid Closet link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhygdCjYrdk&list=PLbP1qZTHfPXoHJ6gnyGb1NzvMIbRa5r9z&index=4
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