By David Savran
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Extra info for A queer sort of materialism : recontextualizing American theater
The major stu dios, meanwhile, discovered the commercial potential of women coded as lesbian or bisexual in lurid melodramas like Basic Instinct and Singl e White Female. Hollywood's fascination with lesbians (especially if they happen to be psychopaths) was paralleled by a flirtation with gay men and/or male homoeroticism in a number of high-profile, critically well received films-from Philadelphia to The Talented Mr. Ripley, from As Good as It Gets to American Beauty-that aspire to the category of art.
In what remains of elite culture, books by lesbian and gay writers, in cluding Dorothy Allison, Michael Cunningham, Gore V idal, Jeanette Winterson, and Edmund White, garnered glowing reviews in the main stream press. And in the theater, which occupies a somewhat less ele56 57 vated position in the cultural hierarchy, gay men and lesbians were productive, visible, and honored as never before. Angels in America, ha� ing amassed the Pulitzer Prize, two best-play Tonys, and other p�est1gious awards, chalked up a groundbreaking Broadway run, a national tour, and countless productions in regional theaters.
Re and A. M. S. political culture has veered sharply to the right, and the Times has consistently underreported that shift as well as the massive upward redistribution of wealth it has facilitated. During this period its arts policy (despite the considerable differences among its critics) could be categorized as being consistent with the paper's vision of a liberal, pluralistic, capitalist state, and it has sometimes given ap- Middlebrow Anxiety 49 preciative reviews to art whose politics its editorial writers would find distasteful.