About the Book

Law of Desire

Law of Desire

A Queer Film Classic
October 2009
Trade Paperback · 120 Pages
$14.95 U.S.
ISBN 9781551522623
Arsenal Pulp Press


Recommended for These Courses


“This series will be a significant, valuable contribution to the history and literature of gay cinema. Each of these works will be valuable additions for academic and popular students of film and gay culture.”—Library Journal

Law of Desire, one of three inaugural titles in Arsenal Pulp Press' new film book series Queer Film Classics, focuses on the 1987 homoerotic melodrama by Pedro Almod Normal 0 MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 óvar, Spain's most successful contemporary film director.

The film Law of Desire is a grand tale of love, lust, and amnesia featuring three main characters: a gay film director (played by Eusebio Poncela); his sister, an actress who was once his brother (Carmen Maura); and a repressed, obsessive stalker (a young Antonio Banderas). In the twenty-plus years since its first release, Law of Desire has been acknowledged as redefining the way in which cinema can portray the difficult affective relationships between homosexuality, gender, and sex. Taking his cue from the golden age of Latin American, American, and European melodrama, Almod Normal 0 MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 óvar created a sentimental yet hard-edged film that believes in the utopian possibilities for new relationships that redeem people from their despair. Since its release, Almod Normal 0 MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 óvar has become an Oscar-winning filmmaker who regularly delves into issues of sexuality, gender, and identity.

This book examines the political and social context in which Almod Normal 0 MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 óvar created Law of Desire, as well as its impact on LGBT cinema both in Europe and around the world.

Jos Normal 0 MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 é Quiroga is a professor of Spanish and Comparative Literature at Emory University in Atlanta.

The Queer Film Classics series, starting this fall, consists of critical yet populist monographs on classic films of interest to LGBT audiences written by esteemed film scholars and critics.

About the Author

José Quiroga is a Professor of Spanish and Comparative Literature at Emory University in Atlanta. He has written extensively on Latin American and Latino popular culture, media, literature, and queer studies. His books include Cuban Palimpsests (University of Minnesota Press, 2005) and Tropics of Desire: Interventions from Queer Latino America (New York University Press, 2001).