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Performing Arts History & Criticism

Zero Patience

A Queer Film Classic

by (author) Susan Knabe & Wendy Gay Pearson

series edited by Thomas Waugh & Matthew Hays

Publisher
Arsenal Pulp Press
Initial publish date
Nov 2011
Category
History & Criticism
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9781551524221
    Publish Date
    Nov 2011
    List Price
    $14.95

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Description

A Queer Film Classic on John Greyson's controversial 1993 film musical about the AIDS crisis which combines experimental, camp musical, and documentary aesthetics while refuting the legend of Patient Zero, the male flight attendant accused in Randy Shilts' book And the Band Played On of bringing the AIDS crisis to North America. The film features the explorer Sir Richard Francis Burton, who is working as a taxidermist at the Museum of Natural History in Toronto; seeking exhibits for his Hall of Contagion, Burton encounters the ghost of Patient Zero, and together, they set out to try to discover the truth about the origin of AIDS and restore Zero to life.

This book provides a guided tour of the film, looking at its engagement with both biomedical and populist discourses around AIDS in its first decade and with the political work undertaken by the queer community to provide support for HIV+ people and treatment for those with AIDS. It also delves into how Greyson, one of the most important figures in New Queer Cinema, combined experimental film aesthetics with a camp take on Hollywood genre films (both musical and horror) and the Canadian documentary film tradition while at the same time responding to Shilts' book and other discourses focused on placing blame for the AIDS crisis on an individual and a community.

Arsenal's Queer Film Classics series cover some of the most important and influential films about and by LGBTQ people.

About the authors

Susan Knabe is an assistant professor in both Media Studies and Women’s Studies at the University of Western Ontario. Her research covers the construction of gender and sexuality in discourses of health and disease as well as the representation of gender, sexuality, race, and ethnicity in film and media. Her forthcoming book is titled Affective Traces: AIDS Cultural Production and the Legacy of the Holocaust.

Susan Knabe's profile page

Wendy Gay Pearson is an assistant professor at the University of Western Ontario. Her current research project involves the impact of modes of distribution on the politics and aesthetics of Indigenous film. She is co-editing a volume on the politics of representation of Indigenous girls and women.

Susan Knabe is an assistant professor in both Media Studies and Women’s Studies at the University of Western Ontario. Her research covers the construction of gender and sexuality in discourses of health and disease as well as the representation of gender, sexuality, race, and ethnicity in film and media. Her forthcoming book is titled Affective Traces: AIDS Cultural Production and the Legacy of the Holocaust.

Wendy Gay Pearson's profile page

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

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

A gripping tale ... Passionate and smart.
-Andrew Holleran, Washington Post

Washington Post

This book offers lots of fascinating background detail and teases out the complexity of its central conceit in a way that will undoubtedly add to the viewing experience.
-Eye on Film

Eye on Film

Knabe and Pearson do a stellar job summarizing the political and populist discourse about AIDS in Canada in the early years of the disease.
-Quill and Quire

Quill and Quire

[Knabe and Pearson] offer through the lens of the film a concise and pointed history of the development of the AIDS crisis and the queer community's various responses to it in the 1980s and early 90s.
-Film Quarterly

Film Quarterly

An extensive and approachable piece of work ... The authors do not simply give us a guided tour of Zero Patience or the fascinating external narrative that comes with its release. They use the opportunity for multiple discussions, whether thoughtfully and concisely exploring the history of AIDS activism and community, or generally taking on Canadian queer filmmaking and Greyson's considerable contributions to it.
-Xtra!

Xtra!

Other titles by Susan Knabe

Other titles by Wendy Gay Pearson

Other titles by Thomas Waugh

Other titles by Matthew Hays

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