The following article investigates the origins and functions of particular settings in queer films by examining four examples from different national contexts: Shortbus (dir. John Cameron Mitchell, US, 2006), Weekend (dir. Andrew Haigh, UK, 2011), Stranger by the Lake (L’inconnu du lac, dir. Alain Guiraudie, France, 2013), and Tropical Malady (Sud pralad, dir. Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand, 2004). The textual analyses highlight a range of prevalent queer film settings, such as the road and nature, in which queer characters take refuge. The study aims to identify a transnational countercultural stance in various uses of setting by concentrating on the notion of escape in a theoretical framework that draws on the work of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, José Muñoz, and Marc Augé. In the context of the study, the production of alternative spaces in queer cinema is treated as a revolutionary practice that challenges homophobia and heteronormativity, which sometimes coexist with class inequality and racism. The discussion finally suggests that there is a social critique of civilization behind the escapism and pessimism, as well as utopianism, in queer cinema.

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