Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

Now it's time for MY misspent youth. I loved this movie and watched it regularly throughout my junior high and high school years. Of course, I didn't completely get that behind the fabulous songs and naughty costumes was a heartfelt, and I feel ultimately successful, attempt to carve out a space for alternative and flexible sexualities that wasn't judgmental or fraught, but filled with joy and discovery. After all, when Freud introduced the term, perversion didn't carry the negative connotations with which it was almost immediately saddled by the sex police--it simply meant pleasure that didn't confine itself to heteronormativity. And Rocky Horror, by firmly inhabiting the genre tropes of horror (spooky house on the hill! mad scientist!) and sci-fi (aliens!) and musical theatre (everyone spontaneously bursts into song and dance!) manages to explore and endorse some pretty shocking arguments about sexuality that 1975 might not otherwise have tolerated. So let's hear it for genre fiction and letting our freak flags fly! Just to whet the appetite:

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