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The Right to Play OneselfLooking Back on Documentary Film$
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Thomas Waugh

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780816645862

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816645862.001.0001

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Walking on Tippy Toes

Walking on Tippy Toes

Lesbian and Gay Liberation Documentary of the Post-Stonewall Period (1997)

(p.219) 8 Walking on Tippy Toes
The Right to Play Oneself

Thomas Waugh

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter continues the previous chapter’s discussion of the proliferation of lesbian and gay documentary films and provides a different insight about their creative process. The Stonewall Riots not only started the gay liberation movement but also ended the “famine” or scarcity of lesbian and gay films in mainstream media. The chapter reviews previous accounts of the increase in lesbian and gay films during the 1980s, one notably being the heralding of a period called “postaffirmation” cinema. This particular period was marked by a discursive flux around issues of identity. The chapter also reflects on performance as the crucial idiom for lesbian and gay documentarists during the period of absence of the gay liberation movement in media. They preferred artificial and hyperbolic performance discourses that pushed through and beyond the observational and interactive realist codes.

Keywords:   lesbian and gay documentary films, creative process, Stonewall Riots, gay liberation movement, mainstream media, postaffirmation cinema, performance

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