All Academic, Inc. Research Logo

Info/CitationFAQResearchAll Academic Inc.
Document

Edge of Seventeen: Juvenile Agony and Youth Fantasies in New Queer Adolescence Films
Unformatted Document Text:  Tony did not know that Jamie had expected him, for some reason, to be homophobic; and Jamie and crying Ste (in a later scene) did not know that Sandra was not angry at them because of their erotic identity but because they had lied to her and pretended to be straight. From Sandra’s point of view, honesty is (even) more important than (hetero)sexual conformity. Moreover, Harvey is well aware that some of his viewers would not expect working-class Sandra, who lives in London’s East End to be relatively open-minded. Hereby, he challenges the viewer’s epistemology as well. The epistemology of the closet is problematized in Edge of Seventeen when Eric adopts the unisexual aesthetics of the 1980s pop stars: he dyes his hair blond, puts on eyeliner, dresses flamboyantly, and thus is marked, signified and stigmatized as “less” masculine and thereby as “less” heterosexual. First his (hetero)sexuality is suspected by his schoolmates when he gets drunk at a party, criticizes the musical genre of Heavy Metal and is confronted by the other youths: “Who done your hair? Boy George!” This homophobic remark refers to the leader of the pop group “Culture Club,” and one of the most influential gay icons of the 1980s. When the music changes to pop, Eric starts dancing in a manner resembling the British pop icon Morrissey, who is admired by many gay men. When Eric touches one of the other boys by accident, the latter remonstrates: “Are you queer or something?” Eric is thrown out. He cries, but goes to another party that is taking place in a local gay club. There he meets Angie who had been his boss during a summer job at a restaurant. Angie, a charming butch lady who now celebrates her lesbian identity, encourages him: “You’re so handsome. Freddie Mercury, eat your heart out!” In this club, surrounded by supportive new friends, he feels free to express his sexuality. 5 Angie also plays an important role later on in the film, when she encourages him in his coming out. In contrast to Angie, who never doubts Eric’s gayness, his fag hag Maggie finds it difficult to accept his particular sexuality. Although she assures him that he is still her best friend, she is highly disappointed because she is still in love with him. After Eric has spent the night with another man, he returns home and is confronted by his worried mother. He tells her that he wears special clothes and 5 ˜ Eric’s visit to Angie’s club is similar to other cinematic subcultural initiations located in gay venues. Jamie and Ste’s first visit to The Gloucester, for example, was also their first encounter with camp subculture, represented by a drag queen who sings the traditional Israeli song “Hava Nagila” (in Hebrew: “let’s be happy/gay and sing together”), and welcomes the boys to the club in his/her sarcastic style. Jane and Taylor’s first visit to a gay club in The Truth About Jane is also where they can express their love for each other in public for the first time. The gay venues are politicized in these films as a liminal sphere, public and private at the same time, where queer adolescents can express their affection freely within a supportive community.

Authors: Padva, Gilad.
first   previous   Page 14 of 24   next   last



background image
Tony did not know that Jamie had expected him, for some reason, to be homophobic;
and Jamie and crying Ste (in a later scene) did not know that Sandra was not angry at
them because of their erotic identity but because they had lied to her and pretended to
be straight. From Sandra’s point of view, honesty is (even) more important than
(hetero)sexual conformity. Moreover, Harvey is well aware that some of his viewers
would not expect working-class Sandra, who lives in London’s East End to be
relatively open-minded. Hereby, he challenges the viewer’s epistemology as well.
The epistemology of the closet is problematized in Edge of Seventeen when Eric
adopts the unisexual aesthetics of the 1980s pop stars: he dyes his hair blond, puts on
eyeliner, dresses flamboyantly, and thus is marked, signified and stigmatized as “less”
masculine and thereby as “less” heterosexual. First his (hetero)sexuality is suspected
by his schoolmates when he gets drunk at a party, criticizes the musical genre of
Heavy Metal and is confronted by the other youths: “Who done your hair? Boy
George!” This homophobic remark refers to the leader of the pop group “Culture
Club,” and one of the most influential gay icons of the 1980s. When the music
changes to pop, Eric starts dancing in a manner resembling the British pop icon
Morrissey, who is admired by many gay men. When Eric touches one of the other
boys by accident, the latter remonstrates: “Are you queer or something?” Eric is
thrown out. He cries, but goes to another party that is taking place in a local gay club.
There he meets Angie who had been his boss during a summer job at a restaurant.
Angie, a charming butch lady who now celebrates her lesbian identity, encourages
him: “You’re so handsome. Freddie Mercury, eat your heart out!” In this club,
surrounded by supportive new friends, he feels free to express his sexuality.
5
Angie
also plays an important role later on in the film, when she encourages him in his
coming out. In contrast to Angie, who never doubts Eric’s gayness, his fag hag
Maggie finds it difficult to accept his particular sexuality. Although she assures him
that he is still her best friend, she is highly disappointed because she is still in love
with him. After Eric has spent the night with another man, he returns home and is
confronted by his worried mother. He tells her that he wears special clothes and
5
˜ Eric’s visit to Angie’s club is similar to other cinematic subcultural initiations located in gay venues.
Jamie and Ste’s first visit to The Gloucester, for example, was also their first encounter with camp
subculture, represented by a drag queen who sings the traditional Israeli song “Hava Nagila” (in
Hebrew: “let’s be happy/gay and sing together”), and welcomes the boys to the club in his/her sarcastic
style. Jane and Taylor’s first visit to a gay club in The Truth About Jane is also where they can express
their love for each other in public for the first time. The gay venues are politicized in these films as a
liminal sphere, public and private at the same time, where queer adolescents can express their affection
freely within a supportive community.


Convention
All Academic Convention makes running your annual conference simple and cost effective. It is your online solution for abstract management, peer review, and scheduling for your annual meeting or convention.
Submission - Custom fields, multiple submission types, tracks, audio visual, multiple upload formats, automatic conversion to pdf.
Review - Peer Review, Bulk reviewer assignment, bulk emails, ranking, z-score statistics, and multiple worksheets!
Reports - Many standard and custom reports generated while you wait. Print programs with participant indexes, event grids, and more!
Scheduling - Flexible and convenient grid scheduling within rooms and buildings. Conflict checking and advanced filtering.
Communication - Bulk email tools to help your administrators send reminders and responses. Use form letters, a message center, and much more!
Management - Search tools, duplicate people management, editing tools, submission transfers, many tools to manage a variety of conference management headaches!
Click here for more information.

first   previous   Page 14 of 24   next   last

©2012 All Academic, Inc.