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Film Directors  
 
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Anger's most famous film is undoubtedly Scorpio Rising (1964). Here, Anger anticipates forms subsequently perfected in the music video genre to effect a queer subversion of images of teen romance; for example, he juxtaposes homoerotically charged footage of male bikers with a soundtrack of 1960s pop and Rhythm and Blues songs.

Anger's name is sometimes grouped with his University of Southern California film school associate Gregory J. Markopoulos (1928-1992). Like the multi-talented Anger, Markopoulos also wrote, edited, produced, and occasionally acted in many of his own works. His aesthetic, however, is markedly more cerebral and lyrical than Anger's, reflecting the influence of Greek myth and classical motifs--as in Psyche (1948) and Lysis (1948)--and of French literature and avant garde culture.

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Indeed, Markopolous, like Anger, spent time in Europe in the 1950s and was influenced by writer Jean Genet (1910-1986), as evidenced by the Genet-like title of Flowers of Asphalt (1949). Other Markopoulos films of note include The Dead Ones (1948) and Twice a Man (1963).

The influence of European film has been highly significant in the formulation of a queer cinema aesthetic. Genet's perverse aesthetic of the erotics of the Paris underworld is evident in his own 26-minute silent directorial effort, Un chant d'amour (1950). Primarily known as a playwright, Genet was mentored by flamboyant French director Jean Cocteau (1889-1963), who was also responsible for some of the foundational works of gay cinema--Jean Cocteau, fait du cinema (1925), Le Sang d'un poète (1930), La Belle et la bête (1946), and Orphée (1949).

The French tradition was a strong influence on the Italian director Luchino Visconti (1906-1976), an aristocrat whose early embrace of Marxism led first to the gritty realism in films such as Ossessione (1943) and later to such lavishly staged critiques of the Italian class system as The Leopard (1963). In 1971 Visconti made a sensuous adaptation of Thomas Mann's classic homoerotic novella, Death in Venice.

Pier Paul Pasolini (1922-1975) initially established himself as a writer before directing confrontingly queer adaptations of classics such as Oedipus Rex (1967) and Medea (1970). His final film, the controversial Salo or The 120 Days of Sodom (1975), was banned in many countries. His murder, shortly after the completion of Salo, has never been satisfactorily resolved.

German director Rainer Werner Fassbinder (1946-1982) paired cutting-edge techniques and themes to address post-war German concerns in areas of class, race, and sexuality. His The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant (1972), staring frequent collaborator Hanna Schygulla, is a powerful study of lesbianism, while In A Year of 13 Moons (1978) focuses on a doomed protagonist. Fassbinder's final film, before his drug overdose suicide, is Querelle (1982), an adaptation of the Genet novel that blends film noir grit with dreamy eroticism to explore the power/desire nexus of the Genet model of masculinity.

In the United States, the burgeoning of underground venues in the 1960s and 1970s provided forums for four multi-talented contributors: Jack Smith, Andy Warhol, Paul Morrisey, and John Waters.

A filmmaker, artist, photographer, writer, and occasional actor, Jack Smith (1932-1989) is a significant filmmaker primarily because of his camp hybrid Flaming Creatures (1962). This controversial work, subject to a number of legal actions to prevent its screening, was described by critic J. Hoberman as: "a cross between Josef Von Sternberg at his most studiously artistic . . . and a delirious home movie of a transvestite bacchanal."

By contrast to Smith, the film output of Andy Warhol (1928-1987) was prolific. Already successful in the art world for his pastiches of mass culture commodities, Warhol (who began his career in advertising) transferred his eclectic pop art aesthetic to film.

Innately voyeuristic, fascinated with the Hollywood star system and with the technical minutiae of the medium's reproductive capabilities, Warhol explored, sometimes in excruciating detail, the trash and banality of "everyday" life, as experienced by the "superstars" (drag artists like Candy Darling, or socialites like Brigit Berlin) who populated his alternative work space, the Factory.

Warhol's relentless focus on transgressive lives and desires forged an important archive of images for queer culture, from Blow Job (1963), a 35-minute single shot focusing on the expressions of a recipient of a blow job; to My Hustler (1965), a 70-minute film about a male hustler, shot on Fire Island; to Andy Warhol's Lonesome Cowboys (1968), a gay take on the Western, complete with ballet dancing cowboys; to the absurd confessional theatrics and squalid lesbian demimonde of Chelsea Girls (1968).

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