Here's the synopsis:
Two queer couples go out for a night on the town in a “revisionist history” 1930’s b&w cartoon musical misadventure. The film embeds historical issues of stereotype, representation, censorship and homophobia, and on the way becomes a document that could not have existed at the time it references.
Animator Lorelei Pepi is an internationally award-winning independent animation artist! She has been recognized with numerous grants, including the LEF Moving Image Fund, Harvard Film Study Center Production Grant & Fellowship, Rhode Island State Council on the Arts Fellowship and a MacDowell Fellowship. She received her BFA from Rhode Island School of Design in Illustration, and her MFA from California Institute of the Arts in Experimental Animation. In addition, she is also teaching animation at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and Rhode Island School of Design, and has also taught at the Rochester Institute of Technology, California State Summer School for the Arts, and Harvard University.
She wonderfully explains the cinematic history behind the homophobic and exclusionary practices of Hollywood in great detail on her website. Here's a snippet:
This film's goal as a "revisionist history" work is aimed at responding to acts of censorship, prejudice and stereotype by re-placing a positive representation of gay and lesbian characters into the narrative. I think of this as a document that could not exist at the time it references because of dominant social, cultural, and religious moral codes of the time.
The 1930’s American Hollywood Hays Code, in collaboration with the Catholic Church's "Legion of Decency" were focused on limiting filmic representation in the name of “morality and good taste.” This activity enforced the erasure of a positive gay and lesbian presence. It was not just about being underrepresented, but was very much about not existing at all in any positive way. Depictions were aimed at profiling a depraved and pitiful creature that was ultimately punished for their unnatural life, and caused anxiety and frustration in their heterosexual counterparts.Here are a couple of other animation samples from the movie! Look for Happy & Gay at a film festival near you coming soon! Follow the film on Facebook! Or Twitter!