Added: June 3, 2017 – Last updated: June 3, 2017


Author: Vulcan Volkan Demirkan-Martin

Title: Queerable spaces

Subtitle: Homosexualities and homophobias in contemporary film

Thesis: Ph.D. Thesis, University of Canterbury

Advisors: Misha Kavka and Julie Wuthnow

Year: 2009

Pages: 210pp.

OCLC Number: 475605296 – Find a Library: WorldCat


Keywords: Modern History: 21st Century | American History: U.S. History; European History: English History, French History | Representations: Films / I'll Sleep When I'm Dead, Irréversible, Mysterious Skin, Mystic River; Types: Anal Rape, Child Sexual Abuse, Same-Sex Rape; Victims: Boys, Captivity


Link: UC Research Repository: Digital Repository of the University of Canterbury (Free Access)


Abstract: »This dissertation seeks to read contemporary films as symptoms of the societies they are made in, mainly contemporary Western societies, which I argue to be subtly but intensely homophobic.
Films imagine/represent their own subject matter in terms of symbolic, encoded scenes. The decoding for the films I chose occurs through a use of very specific, heavily coded spaces as visualisable shorthand for a complex of homophobic reactions. Filmic texts do not have to have denotative non-heterosexual elements to be termed ‘queer’. These texts become queer often in their reception by non-heterosexual audiences. In ‘queering’ these spaces and films, I extensively make use of tools of social geography, film studies and cultural studies
The films I chose are not random choices, but they include certain themes that I believe to reflect the subtle homophobia in our societies. In the first chapter, Geographies of Cruising, I analyze the representation of streets and the leading character’s cruising on the streets in Eyes Wide Shut (Stanley Kubrick, 1999). The second chapter, Geographies of Effeminacy, concentrates on the denial of space to non-masculine men exemplified in The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999). In the third chapter, Geographies of Exclusion, the representation of a cellar in Mystic River (Clint Eastwood, 2003) serves to display the links between paedophilia and homosexuality. The fourth and final chapter, Geographies of Abuse and Rape, is an exercise on “out of placeness” and examines the connections made between male/male rape and homosexuality in I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead (Mike Hodges, 2003). The last chapter is an extended reading of Brokeback Mountain (Ang Lee, 2005), in which the tension between closed spaces and wild spaces leads to a discussion of contemporary representation of homosexuality and a summary of the chapters.« (Source: Thesis)


  Acknowledgments (p. 2)
  Abstract (p. 3)
  Introduction (p. 4)
    Theoretical Background in Film and Cultural Studies, and Social Geography (p. 9)
    Social Geography and Queer Spaces (p. 13)
    Geography and Film (p. 16)
  Chapter I. Geographies of Cruising (p. 19)
    Part I. Introduction (p. 19)
      Cruising (p. 20)
    Part II. Eyes Wide Shut (p. 23)
      Women in EWS (p. 25)
      Homosexuality in EWS (p. 27)
      Tom Cruise (p. 29)
      The Ambivalent Streets of EWS (p. 33)
      The Closet (p. 39)
    Part III. Boogie Nights (p. 42)
    Part IV. Conclusion (p. 48)
  Chapter II. Geographies of Effeminacy (p. 50)
    Part I. Introduction (p. 50)
      The Troubles with Effeminacy (p. 53)
    Part II. The Talented Mr. Ripley (p. 57)
      Ripley as Closeted Homosexual (p. 62)
      The Geography of the Beach (p. 63)
      Bathtub (p. 66)
      Shades of Non-Masculinity (p. 69)
      Mirror Existence (p. 71)
      Effeminacy (p. 74)
      Murder (p. 77)
      Traveling Through Geographies (p. 78)
    Part III. The Mexican (p. 82)
    Part IV. Conclusion (p. 88)
  Chapter III. Geographies of Exclusion (p. 90)
    Part I. Introduction (p. 90)
      Child Abuse, Paedophilia or Intergenerational-Sex? (p. 92)
      Age of Consent Laws (p. 94)
      Representing Intergenerational-Sex (p. 97)
    Part II. The Cellar: Politics of Mystic River (p. 99)
      Sexual Politics of Mystic River (p. 104)
      Deserved Rape as a Result of Failed Masculinity (p. 106)
      Dave's Monstrous Body (p. 109)
      Deserved Murder as a Result of Failed Masculinity (p. 114)
      The Space of the Cellar: Paedophilia and Pederasty as Disease (p. 116)
    Part III. Mysterious Skin (MS) (p. 120)
    Part IV. Conclusion (p. 125)
  Chapter IV. Geographies of Abuse and Rape (p. 128)
    Part I. Introduction (p. 128)
    Part II. I'Sleep When I'm Dead (p. 134)
      The Space of Rape: Out of Placeness (p. 136)
      Filmic Style (p. 138)
      The Connotations of Male/Male Rape (p. 141)
      Identication with Characters (p. 143)
      ISWID and Male/Male Rape: Murder of Bent Heterosexuals (p. 147)
    Part III. Irreversible: Whose Rectum Is This? (p. 153)
      Men in Irreversible (p. 158)
    Part IV. Conclusion (p. 160)
  Chapter V. Brokeback Mountain (p. 163)
    Space (p. 165)
    Identities (p. 168)
    Love, Lust and Sex in BM (p. 174)
    Hygiene (p. 180)
    Space of Murder (p. 183)
    Gender Performance and Masculinity (p. 186)
  Conclusion (p. 189)
  References (p. 193)

Wikipedia: History of Europe: History of England / History of the United Kingdom (1945–present) | History of Europe: History of France / French Fifth Republic | History of the Americas: History of the United States / History of the United States (1991–2008) | Film: American films / Mysterious Skin, Mystic River (film) | Film: British films / I'll Sleep When I'm Dead (film) | Film: French films / Irréversible | Sex and the law: Child sexual abuse