Manuel Betancourt

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Manuel Betancourt is a film critic and a cultural reporter based in New York City. His academic work on queer film fandom has appeared in Genre and GLQ, while his work of cultural criticism has been featured in The Atlantic, Film Quarterly, Esquire, Pacific Standard, and the Los Angeles Review of Books, among others. He is a regular contributor to Remezcla where he covers Latin American cinema and U.S. Latino media culture, and Electric Literature, where he writes about book-to-film adaptations. He has a Ph.D. but doesn't like to brag about it. 

Stories

Cover Photo: An illustration of a young man watching a film in the movie theater; the screen is framed by rainbow curtains; projected onto the screen is a still from the Tom Hanks film 'The Burbs
When You Hate the Movie Your Lover Loves: On Tom Hanks in ‘The ’Burbs’

It’s easy to think—as Ray does in ‘The ’Burbs’—that you can know a lot about a person from what they value.

Oct 28, 2019
Cover Photo: An animation of the actor Antonio Banderas in the film 'La ley del deseo' wearing only his white briefs in an apartment
Learning the Laws of Desire from Antonio Banderas (and His Briefs)

Boxers hide. Jockstraps flaunt. Briefs titillate by the very shape they contour and convey.

Sep 24, 2019
Cover Photo: Illustration by Levi Hastings for Catapult/Paramount Pictures
Posing for a Nude Portrait Taught Me to Separate Desire From Intimacy

When Jack drew Rose like one of his French girls, he didn’t just sketch her; he saw her. It’s a level of intimacy that doesn’t need desire—but that doesn’t make it any less erotic.

Apr 02, 2019
Cover Photo: Illustration by Levi Hastings for Catapult/Screen Australia
Acknowledging Tragedy While Finding Love and Joy in AIDS Films

I gravitate towards AIDS stories because, behind their righteous anger and torturous despair, they lay out visions of couples and communities.

Mar 12, 2019
Cover Photo: Illustration by Levi Hastings/20th Century Fox
When Popular Films Misrepresent My Country, They Misrepresent Me

When people tell me “I don’t look Colombian,” I’m reminded of how pop culture gets my home country of Colombia wrong—where we are, who we are, and what we can look like.

Feb 12, 2019
Cover Photo: Illustration by Levi Hastings for Catapult/Columbia Pictures
Sex, Lies, and “Closer”: Lying to Survive as a Queer Kid, as Taught by Natalie Portman

Coming into one’s sexuality, Natalie Portman had taught me, goes hand in hand with learning how to deceive as a means of survival.

Jan 15, 2019
Cover Photo: Illustration by Levi Hastings for Catapult
In ‘My Best Friend’s Wedding,’ I Found My Gay Role Model: Julia Roberts

There are two gay men in “My Best Friend’s Wedding.” There’s Rupert Everett, then there’s the gay man I wanted to be—Julia Roberts’ character, Julianne Potter.

Dec 11, 2018
Cover Photo: Illustration by Levi Hastings for Catapult / Gaumont
“The Fifth Element” Was Made For Straight Boys—The Gay Ones Made It For Themselves

My family enjoyed “The Fifth Element” without seeing how queer it was. Did that mean they could not see how queer I was?

Nov 13, 2018
Cover Photo: Illustration by Levi Hastings for Catapult / Disney
How Disney’s Animated Movies Awakened My Queer Imagination

Animation can teach a kid a lot about themselves and the world around them. Disney movies taught me about my queer desires.

Oct 23, 2018
Cover Photo: Still from the film "Beach Rats."
On the Internet, Everybody Knows You’re a Horndog: On “Beach Rats” and Gay Chat Rooms

Remembering the online world of gay chat rooms in the digital moment before social media.

Nov 16, 2017