A Queer Film Classic on Canadian director Patricia Rozema's I've Heard the Mermaids Singing, her quirky and hopeful first feature film which made its premiere at Cannes and won its Prix de la jeunesse. Presented as a "videotaped confession," it tells the story of Polly Vandersma, an unpretentious and introverted young woman who takes photographs as a hobby and works as a personal assistant to an elegant and sophisticated, but unsatisfied, art gallery director, Gabrielle St. Peres, whom she worships. This book presents a new close textual analysis of Mermaids that places this complex yet teachable film unquestionably within the global queer film canon while uncovering many of its complexities. The film has appeared on the Maclean's "Top 10 Films of the 20th Century" and Toronto International Film Festival's Best 10 Canadian Films of All Time.
Julia Mendenhall, a longtime fan of the film, places it in the context of the director's life experiences and her filmic oeuvre, the production and reception history of the film within the mid to late 1980s and the 1990s era of "outing," and the development of queer theory.
QUEER FILM CLASSICS is a critically acclaimed book series that launched in 2009, edited by Thomas Waugh and Matthew Hays, covering some of the most important and influential films about and/or by LBTQ people made between 1950 and 2005, and written by leading LGBTQ film scholars and critics.
Julia Mendenhall is an Assistant Professor at Temple University, where she teaches transnational film and queer theory for the English Department and Women's Studies Program. In 2006, she conducted research on Canadian lesbian films with a U.S. State Department Fulbright Scholarship. She lives in Philadelphia.
Thomas Waugh is the award-winning author or co-author of numerous books, including five for Arsenal Pulp Press: Out/Lines, Lust Unearthed, Montreal Main: A Queer Film Classic (with Jason Garrison), Comin' At Ya! (with David L. Chapman), and Gay Art: A Historic Collection (with Felix Lance Falkon). His other books include Hard to Imagine, The Fruit Machine, The Romance of Transgression in Canada, and The Perils of Pedagogy: The Works of John Greyson. He is co-editor (with Matthew Hays) of Queer Film Classics, a series of monographs for Arsenal Pulp Press on classic LGBTQ films; titles in the series include Paris Is Burning, Strangers on a Train, Law of Desire, and Female Trouble. He is Professor Emeritus at Concordia University in Montreal,where founded the Concordia program in sexuality studies, the Concordia HIV/AIDS Project, and Queer Media Database Canada Quebec (mediaqueer.ca).
Matthew Hays is a Montreal-based critic, author, and university and college instructor. His articles have appeared in a broad range of publications. His first book, The View from Here: Conversations with Gay and Lesbian Filmmakers (Arsenal Pulp Press), was cited by Quill & Quire as one of the best books of 2007 and won a 2008 Lambda Literary Award. He is co-editor (with Thomas Waugh) of Queer Film Classics, a series of monographs for Arsenal Pulp Press on LGBTQ films; titles in the series include Paris Is Burning, Strangers on a Train, Law of Desire, and Female Trouble. He is the film instructor at Marianopolis College, and also teaches courses in journalism, communication studies, and film studies at Concordia University, where he received the Concordia Alumni Award for Teaching Excellence in 2007 and the President's Award for Teaching Excellence in 2013.
An email has been sent out with instructions for resetting your password.