Movie Cycles: Gay Film Cycle, 1967-1971

Gay Cycle: 1967-1971

Between 1967 to 1971, there was a cycle of high-profile gay-themed films (featuring both male and female protagonists), mostly from the studios, which benefited from the newfound freedom in depicting homosexuality in a more honest and open manner.

If you want to know more about gay films and gat directors, please read my book:

Gay Directors, Gay Films? By Emanuel Levy (Columbia University Press)

It was the second wave of a trend that had first surfaced in 1961.  Due to the changing political and cultural contexts, those seven films carried more weight and repercussions than the features of the first gay cycle.

No less than seven films were made in a period of two or three years.  This cycle was influenced by the Andy Warhol and Paul Morrissey films of the 1960s.  Films such as Flesh or Trash viewed sexuality with added cool and hipness, reflecting a nonchalant approach that discouraged moral or value judgments of any sort.

The new gay and lesbian films were also trying to comepete with bold foreign films, such as Therese and Isabelle.

Ultimately, the liberal surface of films like The Fox served as a trendy veneer for delivering confused messages of acceptance, condescension, and domination.

It would take another two decades for the next major gay cycle to emerge, this time around within the nascent American Independent Cinema. This new wave ca,e to be known as The New Queer Cinema, 1991-1994.

The films of the second cycle included (in alphabetical order):

Boys in the Band, The (1970)

Fox, The (1967)

Killing Sister George, The (1968)

Midnight Cowboy (1969)

Reflections in a Golden Eye (1968)

Sergeant, The (1968)