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Contemporary essays capture images and issues, past and present

Women and Film

A Sight and Sound Reader

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edited by Pam Cook and Philip Dodd

"Women and Film's scope and depth, its variety—from cultural criticism to one on one interviews—reflect an important new direction in the changing attitudes and debates that surround the representation of women in all aspects of contemporary cinema."
Susan Seidelman

Brought together for the first time, these lively, sophisticated essays bring into focus contemporary debates regarding the representation of women in film and analyze women's practices as filmmakers and actors. Sight and Sound, the pioneering magazine of film criticism, has enlisted a distinguished group of cultural commentators—critics, scholars, novelists—to consider the roles of gender and sexuality in classic and recent cinema.

Like Sight and Sound itself, the essays in this book are international in scope and represent the newest perspectives in cultural theory and criticism in a readily accessible style. Challenging dominant myths and the status quo in the industry, these provocative writers consider a wide range of fascinating topics that define the boundaries of traditional cinema and explore unmapped territory.

Essays are generously illustrated with stills of films discussed, and each section contains a comprehensive bibliography and filmography.

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Excerpt

Read an excerpt from Chapter 1 (pdf).

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Reviews

"This is a delightful collection of essays—smart, witty, socially informed and on-target. In its delicate, and all too rare, balance of intellectual sophistication and stylistic grace and accessibility, it offers a treat to both the general reader and the student of gender and film theory."
Elayne Rapping

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Contents

Foreword – Philip Dodd
Border Crossings: Women and Film in Context – Linda Ruth Williams
Everything in Question: Women and Film in Prospect – Pam Cook

Part I: Icons
1. The Colour of Virtue: Lillian Gish, Whiteness and Femininity – Richard Dyer
2. Exorcised: Marlene Dietrich and German Nationalism – Gertrud Koch
3. From Dietrich to Madonna: Cross-Gender Icons – Marjorie Garber
4. Glamour and Suffering: Gong Li and the History of Chinese Stars – Berenice Reynaud
5. Denying Her Place: Hattie McDaniel's Surprising Acts – Stephen Bourne
6. Audrey Hepburn: Fashion, Film and the 50s – Elizabeth Wilson
7. Catherine Deneuve and French Womanhood – Ginette Vincendeau
8. Never a Victim: Jodie Foster, a New Kind of Female Hero – B. Ruby Rich
9. The Outsider: Whoopi Goldberg and Shopping Mall America – Andrea Stuart
10. A Body of Political Work: Tilda Swinton in Interview – Michael O'Pray

Part II: Women against the Grain
11. High and Low: The Transformation of the Rape-Revenge Movie – Carol J. Clover
12. 'Thelma & Louise' and the Tradition of the Male Road Movie – Manohla Dargis
13. The 'Alien' Trilogy: From Feminism to Aids – Amy Taubin
14. Working against the Grain: Women in Animation – Irene Kotlarz
15. Sisters under the Skin: Video and Blockbuster Erotic Thrillers – Linda Ruth Williams

Part III: Deconstructing Masculinity
16. The Beast's Beauty: Jean Gabin, Masculinity, and the French Hero – Ginette Vincendeau
17. Grabbing the Knife: 'The Silence of the Lambs' and the History of the Serial Killer Movie – Amy Taubin
18. 'Cape Fear' and Femininity as Destructive Power – Pam Cook
19. 'Falling Down' and the Rise of the Average White Male – Carol J.Clover
20. Men, Women, Children and the Baby Boom Movies – Lizzie Francke
21. Fathers and Daughters in French Cinema: From the 20s to 'La Belle Noiseuse' – Ginette Vincendeau

Part IV: Queer Alternatives
22. Homo Pomo: The New Queer Cinema – B. Ruby Rich
23. Queer Questions: A Response to B. Ruby Rich – Pratibha Parmar
24. Queer Male Cinema and Feminism – Amy Taubin
25. Female Misbehaviour: The Cinema of Monika Treut – Julia Knight

Part V: Women Direct
26. Lerii Riefenstahl: The Body Beautiful, Art Cinema and Fascist Aesthetics – Thomas Elsaesser
27. Chantal Akerinan and Feminist Film-Malting – Angela McRobbie
28. Monitoring Conformity: The Career of Doris Dörrie – Carole Angier
29. Mira Nair: A New Hybrid Cinema – Andrea Stuart
30. Against Crawling Realism: Sally Potter on 'Orlando' – Walter Donohue
31. Julie Dash: 'Daughters of the Dust' and a Black Aesthetic – Karen Alexander
32. Jane Campion: Costume Drama and Reclaiming Women's Past – Stella Bruzzi

Actors' Filmographies
Directors' Filmographies
Select Bibliography
Contributors' Notes
Index

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About the Author(s)

Pam Cook, Associate Editor of Sight and Sound at the British Film Institute, has published widely on feminism and film and is co-author and editor of The Cinema Book.

Philip Dodd, Editor of Sight and Sound, has written numerous articles on film and television and published several books, including Englishness, Politics and Culture, 1880-1920.

Contributors: Karen Alexander, Carole Angier, Stephen Bourne, Stella Brooks, Carol Clover, Jenny Diski, Richard Dyer, Thomas Elsaesser, Lizzie Franke, Julia Knight, Gertrud Koch, Irene Kollatz, Alison Light, Angela McRobbie, Berenice Reynaud, B. Ruby Rich, Cherry Smyth, Andrea Stuart, Amy Taubin, Ginette Vincendeau, Linda Ruth Williams, Elizabeth Wilson, Jeanette Winterson, and the editors.

Subject Categories

General Interest
Cinema Studies
Women's Studies


In the series

Culture and the Moving Image, edited by Robert Sklar.

The Culture and the Moving Image series, edited by Robert Sklar, seeks to publish innovative scholarship and criticism on cinema, television, and the culture of the moving image. The series will emphasize works that view these media in their broad cultural and social frameworks. Its themes will include a global perspective on the world-wide production of images; the links between film, television, and video art; a concern with issues of race, class, and gender; and an engagement with the growing convergence of history and theory in moving image studies.

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