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Recommend Retro Sundance: 1991's Poison (Email)

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Since we're not in Sundance this year,a look back at Sundance classics.Here's David on Poison...

Glenn kicked off our Sundance retrospective witha look atDesert Hearts,a film with more than a passing resemblance to Todd Haynes'Carol;a few years down the line,and we come to Haynes' own appearance in the Utah festival,with his feature debutPoison.Winner of the 1991 festival's Grand Jury Prize - Dramatic,Poisonis considered a vital film in the ‘New Queer Cinema' movement of the early 1990s,as coined by B.Ruby Rich the following year.Rich's theory involved not just the presence of LGBT characters and themes,but the queering of filmmaking form itself.Haynes had already demonstrated his inventive,radical eye in the controversial short filmSuperstar: The Karen Carpenter Story,andPoison,with its triptych of homonymic narratives,consolidated the director's manipulation of nostalgia and classic cinematic forms to produce a strikingly different approach to cinema.

Each segment is presented in an individual and vivid stylistic form.'Hero',the story of a young boy who shoots his father and literally flies away,comes as an oversaturated tabloid news documentary,containing interviews with scandalised neighbours,incisively lurid narration and tremulous recreations of the event itself.[More...]


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