Hollywood Pride: A Celebration of LGBTQ+ Representation and Perseverance in Film

Sure, the movie is rarely as good as the book, but Alonso Duralde's Hollywood Pride: A Celebration of LGBTQ+ Representation and Perseverance in Film is a book that's as good as many movies: ceaselessly entertaining and surprising and, with its wealth of visual elements, quite the spectacle.

Vito Russo's The Celluloid Closet and its corresponding documentary are Duralde's frequent touchstones, but his like-themed Turner Classic Movies-branded effort offers something zippier. In eight chronological chapters, each launched with a page capturing its historical moment (the production code, the AIDS crisis), Duralde provides annotated lists of the period's LGBTQ+-relevant films, followed by brief bios of the era's queer film icons. Duralde, who's behind two Christmas-movie books as either author or coauthor, is a droll writer, but Hollywood Pride is serious business. Taking an "Is it good for the gays?" approach, he folds into his own assessments the sometimes-inharmonious insights of other cultural observers. In a section devoted to the golden era's sissy archetype, Duralde quotes both screenwriter Arthur Laurents, who calls the trope "disgusting," and actor/writer Harvey Fierstein, who's for "visibility at all costs."

In that sportingly contentious spirit, readers of Hollywood Pride will doubtless bristle at the inclusion of some films (Frozen and Frozen II?) and lament the omission of others. About the latter gripe, readers should be mindful of Duralde's observation that it would hardly be possible to list "every single queer film produced" from around 1990 onward: "There are simply too many to count, and that's a good thing." --Nell Beram, author and freelance writer

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