HARRISON PARKER TYLER, better known as PARKER TYLER was born on this date in New Orleans (d: 1974; New York City), Tyler was an author, poet, and film critic. Tyler had a relationship with underground filmmaker Charles Boultenhouse from 1945 until his death. Their papers are held by the New York Public Library.
He wrote The Young and Evil (Paris: Obelisk Press, 1933) with Charles Henri Ford, an energetically experimental novel with obvious debts to fellow Villager Djuna Barnes and Gertrude Stein. Tyler and Ford co-edited the Surrealist magazine View until it folded in 1947. A writer for the journal Film Culture, Tyler is one of the few film critics to write extensively on experimental and underground film. From its inception in 1946, Tyler was film commentator for the historic film society Cinema 16, founded by Amos Vogel. His Screening the Sexes: Homosexuality in the Movies (New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1972) was one of the first books about homosexuality and film, preceding Vito Russo’s The Celluloid Closet.
Tyler was mentioned several times in the novel Myra Breckinridge by Gore Vidal, bringing renewed attention to Tyler’s film criticism. This led Vidal to claim that “I’ve done for [Tyler] what Edward Albee did for Virgina Woolf” after The Hollywood Hallucination and Magic and Myth of the Movies were republished in 1970.