In Sydney for the 40th Mardi Gras, the pioneering proponent of New Queer Cinema reflects on once radical ideas that have made it to the mainstream. By Glenn Dunks
The significance of this moment in time is not lost on the artist and filmmaker Isaac Julien.
The London-born son of St Lucien parents, Julien, 57, has spent much of his career exploring sexuality, race and the iconography of queer history. Having just watched his home country celebrate 50 years since homosexuality was decriminalised, he has arrived in Sydney to help celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras – the first since Australia legalised marriage equality.
And next year marks three decades since releasing his seminal film Looking for Langston, a documentary about Langston Hughes that was at the forefront of a queer film movement, winning the world’s most prestigious award for queer cinema, the Teddy award, when it premiered at the Berlin international film festival in 1989.
Image: Isaac Julien, Mise en scène No.1 (Looking for Langston Vintage Series), 1989/2016
© Isaac Julien