Publication Details

McKinnon, S. (2010). Taking the Word 'Out' West: Movie reception and gay spaces. Participations: journal of audience and reception studies, 7 (2), 341-359.


This paper explores intersections between film reception and definitions of urban space, particularly the inner-city, gay neighbourhoods of Sydney. The reception in the Australian print media of two American movies is examined in the light of controversies provoked by the geographic location of potential screening venues. Word is Out: Stories of Some of Our Lives (1977) and Brokeback Mountain (2007), each inspired discussion in the Australian media about whether they would or would not (should or should not) be screened in areas outside the inner-city. These discussions reveal a great deal about the role of the movies in the history of a city and about the historically and spatially constituted nature of attitudes to homosexuality.