Daily | B. Ruby Rich’s Director’s Cut

Happy Together

Wong Kar-wai’s ‘Happy Together’ (1997)

The recipient of last year’s Frameline Award was B. Ruby Rich, profiled in the San Francisco Chronicle by Meredith May: “Rich coined the term ‘new queer cinema‘ 21 years ago in a Village Voice article. She wrote it at a time when two gay-themed movies, Poison and Paris Is Burning, won top honors at the Sundance Film Festival. Soon after, in 1992, a group of LGBT filmmakers and critics hosted Sundance’s first panel on the new frontier of gay film.”

Rich has now released a new anthology, New Queer Cinema: The Directors Cut, and you can read the first chapter at Indiewire and another generous excerpt at PopMatters.

Jan Stuart for the Chronicle: “Rich contextualizes the films in their social moment with an urgency at once personal and intellectually rigorous. Essays on the global scene are particularly illuminating, including a rangy look at Latino cinema and a brilliant deconstruction of French auteurs André Téchiné, François Ozon and Cyril Collard.”

New Queer Cinema

The Director’s Cut

“Because Rich is as much a film critic as she is a film scholar, New Queer Cinema is inflected with her personal opinions and tastes in way that enlivens the book where academic tomes often remain dry and tedious in their intellectual detachment,” writes Chase Dimock for Lambda Literary. “Rich dedicates an entire chapter on ‘What’s a Good Gay Film?’ with High Art and Happy Together as examples of the necessity of taboo-breaking, and in another chapter, she weighs in with her disappointment over the commercial turn in queer cinema during the mid 90s: ‘I was troubled by a pronounced audience tendency: the desire for something predictable and familiar up there on screen, a sort of Classic Coke for the queer generation, not the boundary-busting work that I cared about and wanted to proliferate.’ … While praising and encouraging seasoned veterans of the community to keep up the fight, she ends her book with optimism, ‘awaiting with anticipation the generation just coming of age at home’ and inviting them to ‘pick up your image-making device and claim your place.'”

Duke University Press has posted “endorsements” from John Waters, Christine Vachon, and Gus Van Sant.

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