FREDERIC TCHENG /// Normative Processes and their Transgression in Queer Cinema

NORMATIVE PROCESSES AND THEIR TRANSGRESSION IN QUEER CINEMA
Conversation recorded with Frédéric Tcheng in New York on January 12, 2014.

In this conversation filmmaker Frédéric Tcheng and I reflect on what characterizes queer cinema. Despite the (fortunate) impossibility to attribute a systematic label on a film as “queer,” we attempt to dissociate films that integrate homosexual or transsexual narrative components within itself but yet remain within a relatively conventional structure, and thus contribute to a problematic yet interesting normalization of the LGBT community, from films that substantially transgress genre/gender through their very narrative structure. Such questions about normative processes and their subversion leads us beyond cinema to the domain of the social bodies.

Frédéric Tcheng is a French-born filmmaker. He co-produced, co-edited and shot Valentino: The Last Emperor, the 2009 hit documentary shortlisted for the Best Documentary Oscar. He is the co-director of Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel, a Samuel Goldwyn release. His collaborations includes such varied personalities as the poet Sarah Riggs, the fashion brands H&M, Jimmy Choo, Ferragamo and Vogue, among others. He is currently working on a feature documentary about haute couture and developing a screenplay about queer histories.

WEBSITES:

http://www.dianavreeland-film.com/frederic-tcheng/
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3088409/
- http://www.valentinomovie.com/

REFERENCE FILMS:

– 1989: Looking for Langston by Isaac Julien
– 1990: Paris is Burning by Jennie Livingston
– 1991: Poison by Todd Haynes
– 1992: Swoon by Tom Kalin
– 1995: Stonewall by Nigel Finch
– 1996: Lilies by John Greyson
– 2004: Tropical Malady by Apichatpong Weerasethakul
– 2012: How to Survive a Plague by David France
also quoted: The Mad Masters by Jean Rouch (1955)

QUOTED ARTICLE:

– Andy Hartman, “Structural/Sexual Transgression: Todd Haynes’s Poison as a Critique of Homonormativity” (http://brightlightsfilm.com)

REFERENCE BOOKS:

– B. Ruby Rich, New Queer Cinema: The Director’s Cut, Durham: Duke University Press, 2013
– Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality, New York: Vintage, 1990
– Judith Butler, Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of Sex, London: Routledge, 2011.


ARCHIPELAGO /// The Podcast Platform of The Funambulist
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. - 2014