Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Q Syndicate: Review of new Vincente Minnelli biography

“[A] compelling biography…Effervescent.”
~ Richard Labonte, Q Syndicate

There's not much gossip about director Vincente Minnelli's queer
proclivities in this otherwise compelling biography. That could be
because there's not much to gossip about. Last year's leaden
biography, Hollywood's Dark Dreamer by Emanuel Levy (the first
full-length study of Minnelli and his movies), referred to dalliances
with a bit player and a gardener while he was married to Judy Garland.
There's not much more on the sexual side in Griffin's more
effervescent bio - a "perhaps" reference to something physical with a
Japanese valet - though Minnelli's schoolyard sissiness, adult
penchant for discreet eyeliner and often fey on-set behavior are part
of the life story. Though he married three more times after he and
Garland dissolved their union, that Minnelli was gay is a given for
Griffin; his approach to "hidden things" is to assess several of the
director's films - most notably his first, Cabin in the Sky, along
with the notorious Tea and Sympathy and the late-career Goodbye,
Charlie through a deductive queer prism.

Richard Labonte has been reading, editing, selling, and writing about queer literature since the mid-70s. He can be reached in care of this publication or at BookMarks@qsyndicate.com.

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