The body picturesque: the films of Bavo Defurne.
Griffiths, Robin (eds.)
Queer Cinema in Europe.
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Bavo Defurne’s trademark visual motifs of whimsical, cloud-dotted skies, and natural environments rendered strangely exotic in their magnified excess, approach the kitsch in their picturesque valorisation of beauty. This includes the hauntingly statuesque visages of the impossibly good-looking young men that he casts as protagonists, framed within a visual world that self-consciously blends high-art aesthetics with what he calls the ‘language of propaganda and commercials’ (Copestake 2002: 23). This paper will discuss the strategies deployed by Defurne and explore the ways in which his complex cultural and mythic themes work to facilitate the distinctly international currency of his language of beauty and what one Dutch magazine termed his ‘pure gay-aesthetic’.
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