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Dissertation zugänglich unter
Queer Film Culture : Performative Aspects of LGBT/Q Film Festivals
Queere Filmkultur : Performative Aspekte von LGBT/Q-Filmfestivals
Dokument 1.pdf (7.723 KB)
Filmfestspiel , Film , Medienwirtschaft , Repräsentation , Öffentlichkeit , Publikum
Freie Schlagwörter (Deutsch):
Filmfestival , Queer Cinema , Performantivität , Filmkultur , Medienindustrie
Freie Schlagwörter (Englisch):
film festival , queer cinema , performativity , performance , film culture
Sprach-, Literatur- und Medienwissenschaften
Öffentliche Darbietungen, Film, Rundfunk
Bleicher, Joan Kristin (Prof. Dr.)
Tag der mündlichen Prüfung:
Kurzfassung auf Englisch:
LGBT/Q film festivals are an integral part of the social practice of queer film culture. They are places where social, political and economic discourses intersect and where LGBT/Q identities, representation through film, definitions of queer cinema, community and global queer politics are negotiated. The festivals themselves are constantly responding to the changing surroundings and demands from stakeholders such as their audience base, the communities they want to serve, and economic and political stakeholders. The versatile, ever evolving form of the festival speaks to its performative formation. Therefore, the concepts of performativity, the performative and performance lend themselves to the analysis of the mechanisms and processes at play there.
This study, situated at the intersection of film and media studies, sociology and queer theory, builds its arguments on the interdisciplinary field of film festival studies, and sets out to argue for the value of applying the concepts of the performative, performativity and performance to the study of film festivals in general, and LGBT/Q film festivals in particular. As the discussion of the concepts in chapter 1 show, the performative as developed by Austin in language philosophy and its further transposition to performativity in the theorizations of philosophy and literature by Derrida, for gender/queer theory by Butler, and performance for ethnography by Turner, and in theater/performance studies by Fischer-Lichte and McKenzie provides a versatile analytical arsenal for the analysis of film festivals. At the same time it is highly compatible with other existing concepts and theorizations such as event, public sphere, and networks and flows that have already been canonically applied to festival studies.
In chapter 2, I mobilize the historical dimension of the performative to discuss the formation of LGBT/Q film festivals and their circuit. There, I sketch out the historical development of the LGBT/Q film festival while paying attention also to the larger social, political, geographic, and economic contexts. The discursive historiography is accompanied by an empirical one, where I analyze the growth pattern and global spread of the LGBT/Q film festival circuit. Along with the global perspective, a discussion of US-American (Frameline, NewFest, MIX NYC), German (Lesbisch Schwule Filmtage Hamburg, Verzaubert, Berlinale Teddy Award) and Austrian (identities) case studies provides further depth in understanding the evolution of the festivals and the circuit.
Having drawn a broad picture of the circuit in chapter 3, I zoom in to look at a number of specific incidents of disruption and boycotts as case studies to unravel the different layers in which LGBT/Q film festivals as instances of queer film culture are performed (or failed). In this chapter I mobilize mainly perspectives of performativity and performance from ethnography and performance studies. These are put in synch with concepts such as public spheres, audience address, and event culture in three steps: selection, exhibition, and reception.
Under the heading of selection, I discuss the performance of queer cinema as it becomes visible in the practices of selection of films and their programming at LGBT/Q film festivals. There I discuss various processes involved in programming, ranging from pre-selection, to screening committees, to programming strategies. Two historical incidents from the history of Frameline, the “Lesbian Riot” and the “Genderator” incident, serve as examples of how programming directly interrelates with identity negotiations. In the section on exhibition, I turn to the performative architecture of an LGBT/Q film festival by shedding light on the event itself, which follows specific scripts and rituals.
In the last section on reception, I look at the corresponding side of these processes and look at the audience. Here, I discuss the formation of a counterpublic sphere, audience address, and the specific reception context of a festival. Two further festival boycotts are presented to analyze how LGBT/Q film festivals operate as queer counterpublic spheres that activists utilize for political intervention. The last section discusses the communal experience of collective viewing and the impact on the formation of a festival community. With this take on audiences, community and reception contexts, the chapter returns to the question of how LGBT/Q film festivals are an integral part of the practices of queer film culture, which was raised in the introduction.
In the concluding outlook to the study I propose three further research trajectories. While the study mostly relied on conceptions of performativity and performance in the sense developed in ethnography, gender/queer theory and performance studies, another aspect of performance can be productively brought to bear on the subject of (LGBT/Q) film festivals: performance in the economic sense of efficiency and achievement.