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Performing Arts History & Criticism

Montreal Main

A Queer Film Classic

series edited by Thomas Waugh & Matthew Hays

by (author) Jason Garrison

Publisher
Arsenal Pulp Press
Initial publish date
Nov 2010
Category
History & Criticism
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9781551523644
    Publish Date
    Nov 2010
    List Price
    $14.95

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Description

Montreal Main: A Queer Film Classic considers the brilliant yet neglected 1974 Canadian film set in Montreal's bohemian neighborhood "The Main" and hailed at its premiere at the Whitney Museum of American Art. The movie, directed and starring Frank Vitale, is both a great indie film and a great queer film; a fascinating cinema vérité take on North American social mores and relationships in the 1970s, about a twentysomething photographer living among the outcasts, junkies, and artists populating the Main, and his growing obsession with Johnny, the young son of acquaintances, a relationship that is doomed from the start. Disarming in its matter-of-fact treatment of potentially sensational themes, Montreal Main is a quiet yet powerful look at human relations among the post-flower power generation.

The book, a collaboration between Thomas Waugh and Jason Garrison, details the nuanced history of this peculiar film, which was released on DVD for the first time in 2009. It also considers the politics and aesthetics of the trope of intergenerational love that director Vitale and collaborators Allan Moyle and Stephen Lack so brazenly probed, in a way that would make the film virtually impossible to produce in present day.

The QUEER FILM CLASSICS series, begun in 2009, consists of critical yet populist monographs on classic films of interest to LGBT audiences written by esteemed film scholars and critics. The series is edited by authors Thomas Waugh (Out/Lines, Lust Unearthed) and Matthew Hays (The View from Here).

About the authors

Thomas Waugh is the award-winning author or co-author of numerous books, including five for Arsenal Pulp Press: Out/Lines, Lust Unearthed, Montreal Main: A Queer Film Classic (with Jason Garrison), Comin' At Ya! (with David L. Chapman) and Gay Art: A Historic Collection (with Felix Lance Falkon). His other books include Hard to Imagine, The Fruit Machine, and The Romance of Transgression. He teaches film studies at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, where he lives. He has published widely on political discourses and sexual representation in film and video, on lesbian and gay film and video, and has more recently undertaken interdisciplinary research and teaching on AIDS. He is also the founder and former coordinator of the Minor Programme in Interdisciplinary Studies in Sexuality at Concordia.

In addition to the titles below, Thomas is also co-editor (with Matthew Hays) of the Queer Film Classics series.

Thomas Waugh's profile page

Jason Garrison's profile page

Matthew Hays is a Montreal-based critic, author, film festival programmer, and university instructor. He is the co-editor (with Thomas Waugh) of Arsenal Pulp's Queer Film Classics series. He has been a film critic and reporter for the weekly Montreal Mirror since 1993. His first book, The View from Here: Conversations with Gay and Lesbian Filmmakers (Arsenal Pulp Press), was cited by Quill & Quire as one of the best books of 2007 and won a 2008 Lambda Literary Award. His articles have appeared in a broad range of publications, including The Guardian, The Daily Beast, The Globe and Mail, The New York Times, Vice, The Walrus, The Advocate, The Toronto Star, The International Herald Tribune, Cineaste, Cineaction, Quill & Quire, This Magazine, The Hollywood Reporter, Canadian Screenwriter, and Xtra!. He teaches courses in journalism, communication studies and film studies at Concordia University, where he received his MA in communication studies in 2000. A two-time nominee for a National Magazine Award, Hays received the 2013 Concordia President's Award for Teaching Excellence. .
Matthew is also co-editor (with Thomas Waugh) of the Queer Film Classics series.

Matthew Hays' profile page

Editorial Reviews

Arsenal Pulp Press's Queer Film Classic series has established itself as the premiere source of critical acumen about queer film. This year's titles - three inaugurated the series in 2009 - combine scholarship with cultural context, assessing the films sometimes almost scene-by-scene and always with an eye as to what makes the movies relevant both historically and contemporaneously.
-Richard Labonte, Book Marks

Book Marks

A passionate hybrid of theory, film criticism and social history, engaging the cutting edge of contemporary sexual politics. Waugh and Garrison brilliantly explore this forgotten gem of Canadian neo-realism, and in the process, critically revisit the turbulent riches of early seventies debates concerning the representation of intergenerational desire ... a sustained, subtle interrogation of this haunting, enigmatic masterpiece.
-John Greyson, filmmaker

John Greyson

Waugh and Garrison treat Montreal Main with all the complexity that a vanguard film dealing with the relationships between men and boys deserve. They eloquently describe and analyze the film, placing it at the interstices of film aesthetics, sexual liberation history, and the larger history of representations of the desiring body. They ask how it was possible to frame the questions about men's and boys' eroticism and longing, and largely non-controversially, and they suggest why such open explorations would give way not many years later to banal and predictable plots on television police serial. At once a formal reconsideration of a lost film treasure and astute analysis of debates about intergenerational desire, Montreal Main is a "must read" for film critics and historians of sexuality alike.
-Cindy Patton, Canada Research Chair in Community, Culture and Health and Professor of Sociology, Simon Fraser University; author of Cinematic Identities

Cindy Patton

Other titles by Thomas Waugh

Other titles by Jason Garrison

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