It’s a bit of a surprise that it’s taken so long for The Celluloid Closet to make it to DVD. The 1995 documentary, which looks at the history of gays and lesbians in film, won numerous awards and was a major success on its release, and yet it’s only just appearing on DVD now. Based on the book by Vito Russo, which was the seminal work on the subject, it’s a fascinating trawl through a topic that has always been present in cinema, but for most of its history was hidden away and never openly mentioned.
Starting right at the earliest days of moving images, The Celluloid Closet charts the different ways cinema has tried to deal with homosexuality, from Marlene Dietrich dressing in a tux and kissing a woman in 1930’s Morocco, to how The Hay’s Code insisted that any suggestion of homosexuality was stripped out of film adaptations of Tennessee Williams. [Read more…]