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A Queer Film Classic on a groundbreaking 1977 documentary about ordinary gay men and lesbians.

WORD IS OUT A Queer Film Classic new release

The latest Queer Film Classic is on the groundbreaking 1977 documentary that profiles the lives of ordinary gay men and lesbians of different ages, races and backgrounds. Word is Out found a wide audience theatrically and, perhaps more importantly, had a national publictelevision broadcast. The film presented an intimate portrait of gay men and lesbians, and by doing so, it played a significant role in the then-nascent struggle for gay rights. It premiered the same year that Anita Bryant waged her infamous "Save Our Children" campaign in Florida, a battle that was soon copied across the US. With its affable portrait of twenty-six gay men and women, Word is Out offered an important counterpoint to the homophobic rhetoric that Bryant and others were spreading. Greg Youmans examines the historical, political, and aesthetic significance of this important film, situating it firmly in its late-1970s context. He also delves beneath the film’s placid surface to explore the backstory of its making, from the complicated relationships among its six filmmakers (three men, three women) to the more than 140 video pre-interviews they conducted in their search for the perfect cast.

Greg Youmans Greg Youmans is a scholar, maker, and programmer of queer film and video. His research focuses on gay and lesbian activist and experimental filmmaking of the late 1970s, in the context of the rise of the religious right and the channelling of gay and lesbian politics into a liberal, rights-based agenda. He also creates an ongoing video series with Chris Vargas, entitled Falling in Love ‌ with Chris and Greg. He lives in Oakland, California.

isbn 978-1-55152-420-7 5 x 7 | 160 pp | paper $14.95 / $14.95 us b&w film stills

QUEER FILM CLASSICS is a critically acclaimed film book series that launched in 2009 and edited by Thomas Waugh and Matthew Hays, covering twentyone of the most important and influential films about and by LGBTQ people, made in eight different countries between 1950 and 2005, and written by leading LGBTQ film scholars and critics. For existing Queer Film Classic titles, see page 35.

performing arts (film) per004030 pub month: november

spring 2011 page 14

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