Welcome! Queeriod Piece is a newsletter with biweekly essays on films that depict the queer past.
About me: My name is Robert Stinner, and I’ve written essays and criticism for publications including Literary Hub, Electric Literature, and Bright Wall/Dark Room, among others. In my previously published work, I’ve often written about how history and culture have influenced queer cinema, and how films that engage with queer history tend to say just as much about their present moment as about the past. For example, in a piece for CrimeReads on Tom Kalin’s Swoon (1992), I delved into how Kalin ties the media circus surrounding the 1924 trial of murders Leopold and Loeb to contemporary issues surrounding criminalization and stigmatization of queer sexuality.
Some of the most widely-seen queer films of the past few years—Carol, Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Call Me By Your Name—take place years in the past. Though this trend has been much-discussed, one topic that’s often missing from the discourse is how period pieces can show how perceptions of queer identity have shifted over time, and how contemporary ideas of queerness tend to inform how we see the past (for better and for worse). This intermingling of the past and the present is what I find most interesting about queer “period” films, and it’s what I focus on in this newsletter.
If you’re interested in intersections between queer films and queer history, then subscribe to this newsletter for regular deep dives into this topic.
Subscribers to Queeriod Piece will receive an essay every other Wednesday. These biweekly newsletters are free, and always will be.
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