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A queer perspective: gay themes in the film Interview with the Vampire




Bendel, Jared A., author
Burgchardt, Carl R., advisor
Aoki, Eric, committee member
Sloane, Sarah, committee member

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There are a growing number of mainstream films and television shows which include gay characters or same-sex families as central figures: A Single Man, The Kids Are Alright, Will & Grace, Mad Men, Two and a Half Men, and Modern Family. This thesis sets out to determine if the film Interview with the Vampire, which preceded the above named films and television shows by more than five years, is a cite of queer cinema that focuses on gay themes while proposing a same-sex family. In coupling Seymour Chatman's rhetorical theory of narrative in fiction - literature and film with Harry Benshoff and Sean Griffin's theory of Queer Cinema, the study focuses on locating and citing specific instances where gay themes of identity and identification along with the theme of the same-sex family emerge. The study utilizes the novel Interview with the Vampire by Ann Rice as a critical touchstone and draws from Roland Barthes' concept of "Rhetoric of the Image" to evaluate the strength of the themes found within the adapted film Interview with the Vampire. The research finds several examples of the re-presentation of individual gay lives and uncovers evidence of a cinematic representation of a same-sex family. The researcher concludes that while the film Interview with the Vampire is certainly an example of queer cinema, it also presents a same-sex family unit that may be the first of its kind.


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