Andrew Britton

January, 1994

Critic, writer. British-born film writer Andrew Britton was an influential queer film scholar who contributed to Canadian and international queer film culture from his Toronto base during the last fifteen years of his life. Occasional reviewer for TBP between 1979 and 1983, frequent contributor to Cineaction!, Britton was known for his fiercely intellectual confrontation with the entire spectrum of the cinema. Author of books on Cary Grant (1983) and Katharine Hepburn (1984), of influential articles spanning horror cinema and queer Eisenstein, his widely cited 1978 denunciation of “camp” exemplifies a political moralism, out of fashion a quarter century later but worthy of revival:

“Subversiveness” needs to be assessed ... as a relationship between a phenomenon and its context—that is, dynamically.... In a contemporary context, gay camp seems little more than a kind of anaesthetic, allowing one to remain inside oppressive relations while enjoying the illusory confidence that one is flouting them (1978-9).